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Weeknotes #2229 - Mending

David Nunez
David Nunez
2 min read

After feeling burnt out last week, I took it easy on myself these past few days.

I have a pile of winter clothes with small rips to repair, socks to darn, etc. Slowly repairing them in meditative quiet, one stitch at a time. We also had our roof replaced this week to repair a leak—lots of debris and noise and human effort.

One sometimes needs to make a bigger mess to mend broken things.

Blow it all up.

Afterwards... "Mending" at all these different scales feels like the right mode for these days.

  • I went down several rabbit holes this week, getting my workflows more deeply integrated with Roam Research, a "tool for networked thought." I've been using it in earnest for a few months. I'm using it for everything from note-taking in meetings to writing these weeknotes. I've even tried to pressure-fit an intention management workflow in there (i.e., to-do management). It has some severe flaws from privacy, stability, user experience, and even conceptual framing that I think make for a poor experience.

    Ultimately, it's a tool that gets in the way. Indeed, almost by design, it wants you to spend a lot of time hacking on it. Depending on your perspective, that's either its killer feature or a deal-breaker. I'll have more to say about this in a proper blog post.

    That said, it's an exciting development in the productivity tool space. It seems to be successfully making some pre-computation ideas from 60 years ago more accessible to users in 2020. Roam certainly has managed to build up some hype for itself using the early adopter community; I think it's loads better than anything else in the note-taking / wiki-making space right now, which, sadly, isn't saying much.  I'm also working on a side project that will be a more humane tool than all this.

  • Weirdly in this COVID-19 time, we are hiring somebody at our museum soon. I documented the tech onboarding required, so, eventually, when we start hiring up again in earnest, we'll have a checklist.

  • Kicked off our new project with Micah Walter Studio. To support this, I spent time this week building out our image processing pipeline to be a bit more automated.  We're also trying to get some core server infrastructure ready to go at MIT.

  • I participated in a few exhibition planning meetings. Despite 2020, it is quite exciting to see some of these long series of conversations start shaping up to what are some fairly bold concepts.

  • I did a bit of research and testing on newsletter systems. I wanted to go all-in on Ghost's built-in member/newsletter features, but it's still not quite ready for primetime (ex. this bug means people could __think__ they are subscribing to a newsletter but not actually subscribing). In the meantime, I'm leaning towards MailerLite.

    And yes, that implies I'm preparing to do a newsletter.  I'll start spamming everyone to sign up next week.

  • Iggy and I enjoyed a bit of fresh air yesterday. We've had more quality time together these quarandays.


David Nunez Twitter

Dir of Technology at the MIT Museum • Writing about emerging tech's impact on your life • Speculative insights on the intersection of humanity and technology 🤖


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