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):

(Source)

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. ↩︎

Ennio Morricone

I remember it was about sixteen years ago now, that someone introduced1 me to the spaghetti western genre.

This is how I came across the “dynamic duo“ of Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone. I had watched fragments of them, but hadn’t quite seen them as movies that had anything in common, and I certainly never knew that these were Italian movies, not Hollywood ones (!)

Having seen one I had to see more, but what stuck with me more was their music, and since then, of these movies2, I’ve heard more soundtracks than seen the movies3.

It’s a distinctive sound, and I keep going back to a few favorites every few months. In his memory4, then, here are some of them:


  1. I’m usually the one introducing someone else to something new, so this doesn’t happen often, and I have a special respect for this person ↩︎
  2. Wikipedia ↩︎
  3. although, the slow takes are a good antidote to some of the fare on offer today ↩︎
  4. 1928-2020; he passed away a week ago ↩︎
  5. with the lead-in. Yes, I heard the Metallica version first. Yes, I like the original better ↩︎
  6. though, tbh, only the first half, with the epic whistling ↩︎

The Highlight Zone

One of my favorite shows for Tara is Peg Cat. There is a glut of “kid-oriented shows”, and this is very refreshing.

The “drawing quality” is similar to Pete the Cat (crayon-cartoon-ish), with grid paper in the background. I came for the “oh, a show that tries to make Math fun”, and stayed for the whacky characters.

It is not without … references for cough … discerning adults … cough, as I realized when watching ”The Highlight Zone1, where everything turns black and white, and Peg and the eponymous Cat must find things out of whack to return to “the normal world” (or do they? Lol).

Anyway, all round good fun, easily recommend.


  1. link to video here ↩︎