Why am I starting again with the monthly changelogs?
I constantly have the burning desire to have a place to write something completely free. My blog is mostly about technology, and my Medium publication is about political philosophy, but what about everything else? In the last two years, my interests shifted, and while I am definitively still working in tech fields, and I will still write about it, I missed having a small place where to explore different things that are not big enough to be worth an entire article or, even worse, a separate blog.
Things like the happy things I find, the interesting things I read, the music I listen to, the game I play, and various thoughts. Stuff like that.
And I can anticipate the question: why should we care? And the answer is that you don’t. That’s the nice part. You don’t have to. Like many of the most beautiful things I have done, I have done them for myself.
But if you want to keep me company along the way, I’ll be a tiny bit happier. :)
I have to admit this month I didn’t read a lot. Or, to say it better, I didn’t finish reading many books. Instead, I am in that weird situation in which I am in between reading 4 large books simultaneously. This happens often, especially when 2 of them are not really great.
Fortunately, though, a small book slipped through the cracks of my obtuse parallel reading: Bird by Bird by Anne Lamotte, originally published in 1994. It is small enough that it took me just 4 days of dedicated attention to complete it. And I have to say, it was worth it.
Bird by Bird is a book on writing disguised as a personal life story. Or it is a book on life disguised as a book on writing. Or should I say a book on death because the theme pops up frequently while the author goes on describing her touching and funny life experience? (Anne Lamott has certain expertise in tackling dark themes with humor)
In the end, the book is a bit of both. The most similar book I can compare to it is Stephen Kings’ On Writing, another beautiful book mixing a “life memoir” and “expert writer sharing their craft.” But, in my experience, Bird y Bird felt more valuable on the “on writing” part and way funnier on the “life pare” (if you can navigate among all the deaths involved).
This month got the most significant hit of my “challenge” of listening to the entire massive Frank Zappa discography (that includes something like 119 albums – 62 until ‘94 and 57 posthumous).
Like many of Zappa’s records, they are pretty hit-or-miss. Nevertheless, the most significant teaching I had from Zappa’s work concerns the approach to music. He taught me that the most crucial thing while making music is having fun. Music must be fun. And not that it must be full of jokes and satirical lyrics (like Zappa did), but that it must be free and fun to do.
If you want to do rock, do rock. If you want to do jazz, do jazz. If you want to make classical music, make classical music. If you want to talk for 14 minutes on a 12-bar blues background, do that. Not everything will be amazing, but you will be free in your journey. And this alone makes the journey worth it.
This first issue ends here. I started in mid/late May, so I have not collected a lot of things. And my May has been full of emotional ups and downs that almost derailed this article. So I call this a win.
I hope to see you in July. Have a lovely June! See you next time.
Hey! If you want this monthly update in newsletter form, click here. That’s what the kool kids do nowaday, right?
Other Funny/Interesting Things
- 🗞 A Town’s Covid Money Was Sent to One Man in Error. He Gambled It All Away. - New York Times (Pay Walled)
- Well, it is not really so interesting. But it made me chuckle a lot.
- 🎥 The AI historian: A new tool to decipher ancient texts – Nature – Youtube
- These things pop-ups frequently. Every now and then you can read about some machine learning algorithm solving some mystery. This video is a good overview of the problem.