Deus Ex McKenna

I was going to make a short comment about liking some specific video, then thought I should provide context, then realized that I have … no real way to start because there was too much to say, and if I started in the wrong place it wouldn’t be worth it, and it’s best not to say anything.

Anyway, I will try to write more on this somehow, some day, but for now I’ll just say (this part almost rhymed) that some of the most intriguing, bewildering, lulling, awakening, and funny material I’ve ever heard is by Terence McKenna.

Yes, like many people I like to read or hear, he’s dead.

(the title shamelessly stolen from one of the few YouTube channels featuring old content by him)

On “… the terrible beauty of maps”

This captures so well what I sometimes feel about visual note-taking (basic mind-mapping, as well as more flexible, powerful tools):


I’ve gotten to the point where I generally use outline as my default. The problem I have with maps is that they cue an aesthetic response that overrides other concerns, and I have trouble setting that response aside. A map is either beautiful and this creates a barrier to revision, or it is ugly and making it attractive becomes my priority. If I leave it ugly, then I find it hard to work in the file unless I stop using the map. Outlines short circuits this enormous weak spot in my mental make-up.

(Also, a nice phrase!)

Why u no have footnotes, Medium?

Yuck, footnotes simply don’t render in Medium the way they do in WordPress.

I have no clue why this is so — it seems a terrible limitation in my opinion.

There are notes, which are a poor substitute. I … don’t think I’m going to change my use of footnotes, which means I have to be okay with the crappy way they render in Medium. 🤷‍♂️

Thoughts on WordPress and Medium

I had tried out Medium earlier, perhaps three years ago. At the time, I found it redundant for what I had started doing, which is sharing the curated monthly links. WordPress was a better fit for that, and I left Medium.

Looking at my WordPress usage, I stuck to essentially posting the curated monthly collections, and life updates.

This year, I’ve been reducing my personal “barrier to post” by allowing more of a sort of “micro-blogging” to happen. For me, this is “my Facebook”; I don’t mind sharing tidbits from my life, but I want to own the content.

More recently, I’ve been challenging myself to write longer pieces, and for these I think it might be useful to give Medium a try again.

P.S. I will cross-post these longer posts on both WordPress and Medium. I don’t want to think about this sort of stuff more than a couple of times a year, so I won’t change my mind till about the middle of next year 🙂

Some thoughts on notes, with DevonThink

I should write about my opinions on “artisanal software” separately, but I have mentioned some of the tools I use, and DevonThink is pretty central to a lot of ways I “augment myself”.

So, here’s a series1 of posts with some ideas on using notes, that mention DevonThink (and OmniFocus):

  1. by Kourosh Dini, and if you liked this, he has a book on more of this. ↩︎