Week 2 of the new position was a success, I’d say. Feeling more productive and contributing to the team’s efforts. Coming from the Ruby/Rails world, I’ve had to make a lot of major adjustments, especially working with Go. You write a lot more boilerplate code when working without a framework, and that’s doubly true when working with a small, statically typed, compiled language like Go. I definitely experienced some frustration when trying to cast a request body of unstructured JSON into a map, but it’s forced me to think more reflectively about what the computer actually does with the code I write.
My parents gifted me a new record player for Christmas. We gave or sold our old one prior to moving, and I missed it considerably. That said, it was a Crosley that I’ve owned since 2010/2011, and we were due for a change. I think I’ve listened to records more in the past week than I have in the last year. I’ve also discovered the joy of actually owning my music collection again, as opposed to renting it.
Yes, I realize that a vinyl record with a download code sells for roughly twice the price of a subscription to any of the major streaming services, and I’m certainly privileged to even afford such a luxury. Nor will I begrudge anyone their thriftiness. But, if I really love an album and would like the artist to continue making things I like, I try to purchase it outright. And when I consider that I usually only listen to the same few albums on rotation on Apple Music anyway, the endless options provided by streaming services seem less and less compelling. I might be more prone to decision paralysis than others, but I’m finding limits, however self-imposed, to be a helpful thing.
This piece over at Comment was one of those essays that crystalized something I’ve been intuiting for a while but struggled to put into words. If you’ve ever struggled with a desire to “do justice” while feeling wary of ideological commitment or tribalism, I heartily recommend it. This bit especially stuck with me:
Building on the previous pair of habits, it seems essential to develop the Habit of Attention: Cultivating acute sensitivity to the moral texture of my surroundings.
Such sensitivity seems to be able to be grown in local and concrete practices: halting myself in a moment of annoyance; spending my lunch hour with a painting or an afternoon with a homeless stranger; taking time from my phone and giving it to poetry; rejecting an ill-fitting promotion; letting nature or my family be an inconvenience; refusing to let a friendship drift away. Such concrete acts seem essential for pulling the soul back to its native tenderness. The grander habits of aspiration and apprenticeship need the fine-grained sensitivity of attention.
The essentiality of “concrete acts” to cultivate our “native tenderness” cannot be understated. For the very-online, this is probably especially true. I can speak from experience the value of minimizing and de-tuning my internet. It’s a simple step toward greater attentiveness.
Still going through Hyperion, but I also read an ARC of Christian Wiman’s forthcoming poetrycollection, Survival Is a Style. I meant to write a review, but realized I don’t really know how to write about poetry, other than to say that if you want to be deeply affected by language, give it a read.
Sam Mendes’ 1917 might have been the best movie I’ve seen in the last 12 months. The plot is so so simple, but the power of the movie might be in its utter simplicity.