Monday, January 04, 2016

Reflecting on the '15

Apparently winter solstice isn't enough to get people thinking ahead, and a whole abstract numerical increase is required to push everyone into timely reflection and goal planning. Including me, I guess. The daffodils bloom at the same time as each other, is there ever one which appears before the rest?

Last year, I picked 4 broad themes I wanted to focus around: 

1. Openness
2. Detachment
3. Personal Infrastructure
4. Learn Chinese

Spoiler: #4 didn't happen.

To catch up a little first, 2015 has been a long-and-winding year. Nothing prepares you for being legally responsible guardian for 2 immature lifeforms hellbent on destroying themselves and/or the refined world of culture and materia that encircles them. 90% of my waking year (and a good amount of my sleeping one) has been picking things up, while trying to work out how life can be organised in a way that causes least pain. We finally left Brighton, moved house, and smooth talked our way into school like a cuckoo with a tux. Work has expanded, and my role and responsibilities with it. Other stuff happened which is either too personal or boring to share, but some people were lost and some were found, including bits of myself. Overall It's been a good year.


Looking back, much of what I've done though has fallen 'under' one of the areas above, like a dormouse 'under' the wheels of an Ice Road Trucker. Moving to the hills of East Sussex was a form of detachment, in a sense. I'm still active on Twitter, but have noticed a definite move away from news sites and Facebook, which I notice all the more when/if I do check them. One of the biggest detachments I've noticed is through not watching live TV for 8 months (aerial don't work) and living off downloads and catch-up TV - it's really weird seeing actual real-world TV adverts now. Or watching people talk about Christmas adverts. The broader question remains though - detachment from what?

I had small victories around being more open - working out loud at work a few times, but generally often preparing things for transparency, rather than actually opening them up. I'll point to them in raw form soon I think, but I started researching milk supply chains, cataloguing my tech device longevity, and taking writing about tao more seriously. We had one good open data meet up in Brighton instigated by James, Joshua and myself, but organising another has been admittedly low on my list. I've enjoyed *potential* openness as a way of just structuring thoughts - a driver to self-document, even if wider engagement hasn't happened. There's a strange fluidity this brings, but I'm not sure if that's from the transparency or the documentation. 

Lastly (as I really haven't managed to do any Chinese this year), personal infrastructure has been ... Hanging together. I have a Pi running a TTRSS server for feed reading and minidlna for internal media stuff, plus have been developing a little site to (hopefully, one day soon) make shopping easier. The Pi suffered a bit of downtime but was recoverable, minidlna still needs tweaking, but overall it's working OK - I miss TTRSS the most when the box goes down, and feeds are my favourite thing to check for stuff to read these days. Everyone really needs to write more (small) blogs. 

I've also been trying out Linux on a really cheap netbook this year, as well as just upgraded to a new digital pen. Both of these need their own post some time, but aren't too exciting, yet. Oh yeah, and I finally paid for Evernote, started playing with VMs, and have even been having new ideas on how to use notebooks...

So much other stuff happened I really wouldn't know where to begin, but highlights: becoming responsible for people's lives, at home and at work; gaining a garden; writing more haiku; general symbolic occultism; generally some amazing people, really.

So, on average, 2015 has been hard work, somewhat progressive, a lot of fun, and pretty long. I feel very different.

Stay tuned for where I'm thinking of taking it in '16...

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