Open Thinkering


Weeknote 07/2021

This week has been half-term for our kids. During previous school holidays in this pandemic there’s been some release, for example in October half-term we went away to an Airbnb for a couple of nights, and over Christmas we weren’t working.

This time, though, our children had a week’s break at a busy time for both us parents. We’re working on the same projects and, although we tried to take some time off this week, I’m afraid to say that both kids put in about a 37.5 hour week on Minecraft and Fortnite, combined.

They, of course, think this is the best thing ever. I’ve seen wonderful creations in Minecraft, and they’ve been getting along very well together. One should be grateful of small mercies, I guess.

One thing I’ve been meaning to include in these weeknotes for a while is Buster Benson’s seven modes from his post Live like a hydra. You can go and read about them in more detail on his site, but I’ll include this quotation by way of explanation:

The purpose of these modes is to offer a selection of alternatives when one strategy isn’t working. Rather than beating my head against the wall because I’m trying to be social when I’d rather just organize my finances, these modes allow me to switch to the circumstances, and be productive within the mode that I’m currently in.

This week, then, I’ve been in work mode which Benson describes as: “Things that don’t require much creativity or thought to do, but which just need to be banged out. Fixing things, cleaning things, maintaining things, organizing things, etc.”

My work this week, and for the next month or so, primarily consists of leading one Catalyst-funded project (claiming Universal Credit remotely), and being part of a project team for another (helping 10 charities through a definition phase). They’re compelling and frustrating in equal measure.

I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want to do in the coming years. I’ve enjoyed my career to date, but I could definitely be accused of following the path of least resistance. Although, who knows? Perhaps the path of least resistance only appears when you’re really curious about a thing and follow it to its logical conclusion. Perhaps that’s what I’m looking for.

Things are going well, co-op wise. We’ve got some new clients and work that we’re lining up for after the Catalyst projects finish, and I very much enjoy working with Bryan and Laura. They give me energy when I’m flagging (and, hopefully, vice-versa).

One thing that hasn’t really helped this week is that I’ve had a bad back. I haven’t been able to complain about this too much because my wife also has had a bad back this week. Unlike my sledge-induced pain, her pain was caused by me pulling a chair away from her while we were playing a family board game. It, er, didn’t turn out to be as hilarious IRL as it played out in my head…

Bad back = not doing much exercise = grumpy Doug. It is on the mend, though, and I did some running this morning with the kids. Thank goodness I have a job where I sit down most of the day.

Here, I published a post about trustless systems and society entitled Trust no-one: why ‘proof of work’ is killing the planet as well as us. Over at Thought Shrapnel, I managed a link post and one listing out some tools and resources I’ve come across recently:

Next week, it’s more Catalyst project fun, with some added business development for good measure. Want to work on a project with me? Get in touch: [email protected]

Image of interestingly-coloured mud from a family walk in Thrunton Woods on Friday afternoon.

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