I’m working on improving my health. Lifehacker has what I think might be a useful post:

Where to Start When You Want to Optimize Your Health:

Exercise, any kind

You can run, lift weights, do yoga, take classes—there are tons of options. Any exercise is better than none, and if you’re feeling out of shape, try doing a little more than whatever you’re currently doing.

A healthy week’s worth of exercise should include:

Some cardio
Some strength training

You might be a runner who gets in a few quick strength sessions, or a lifter who hops on the rower for a little cardio once or twice a week. Or maybe you play a sport that gives you a good mix of both in every practice.

If you’re new to everything, explore until you find something you love.

Here’s the problem: there is no form of exercise that I love.

I’m someone who played three sports in high school, played a bunch of intramural at uni, and even played soe semi-organized soccer and hockey (ice and roller blade) as an adult. I like to hike. I like to swim. I like to bike. I will lift weights or use a machine. I will hop on a treadmill.

Love enters into none of my exercise equation. I’ve never experienced any kind of “high” from exercise or sports. I even ran cross country for a hot minute in high school and stopped because it was such a slog and boring.

More sleep and less garbage food & stress – those I get behind whole heartedly.

jwz: Infocom:

Jason Scott just posted all of the Infocom source, which is glorious!

<TELL “The ” D ,GLASS-CASE ” is “> <TELL “open”>) (T <TELL “closed”>)> ) ( >> ) (<VERB? MUNG> )>>

Zarf summarizes:

“This material has been kicking around for a while now. If you search for articles about “the Infocom drive”, you’ll see some discussion from years past. Actually, don’t do that, it’s mostly old arguments that don’t need to be rehashed.

The point is that a great deal of historical information about Infocom has been preserved — but it’s not publicly archived. You can’t go research it anywhere. Nobody admits to having it, because it’s “proprietary IP”, and you’re not supposed to trade in that stuff because companies like Activision make the rules.

So when Jason puts this information online, he’s taking a stance. The stance is: history matters. Copyright is a balance between the rights of the owner to profit and the rights of the public to investigate, discuss, and increase the sphere of culture. Sometimes the balance needs a kick.

Quite possibly all these repositories will be served with takedown requests tomorrow. I’m downloading local copies for myself tonight, just in case.”

If you’re in a mirroring mood:

curl “https://api.github.com/users/historicalsource/repos?page=1&per_page=100″ | grep git_url | cut -d \” -f 4 | xargs -L1 git clone

Read on for a fun fact.

Cognitive load is real | Seth’s Blog:

Here’s my list, in order, of what drives behavior in the modern, privileged world:

  • Fear
  • Cognitive load (and the desire for habit and ease)
  • Greed (fueled by fear)
  • Curiosity
  • Generosity/connection

The five are in an eternal dance, with capitalist agents regularly using behavioral economics to push us to trade one for the other. We’re never satisfied, of course, which is why our culture isn’t stable. We regularly build systems to create habits that lower the cognitive load, but then, curiosity amplified by greed and fear (plus our search for connection and desire to love) kick in and the whole cycle starts again.

I like Seth’s set up for this but not the corporate entity as the example. Here’s a sanitised version:

…without habits, every decision requires attention. And attention is exhausting.

And it’s stressful because the choices made appear to be expensive. There’s a significant opportunity cost to doing this not that. … what are you going to skip? What if it’s not worth the [time or wait]? What are you missing?

It’s all fraught. We feel the failure of a bad choice in advance, long before we discover whether or not it was actually bad.

What consistently good communicators do:

What consistently good communicators do: Prepare thoroughly, show up on time, seek to understand, be thoughtful about their contributions, pay attention to non-verbal cues, and follow up.

When they do all of this, they succeed in reaching the people they’re speaking to in the right context – unerringly.

It turns out that being a consistently good communicator is largely determined by what we do when we’re not trying to communicate.

This post came out a while ago. I was reminded to write about it when I saw the 16 April Daily Stoic entry, OBSERVE CAUSE AND EFFECT:

“Pay close attention in conversation to what is being said, and to what follows from any action. In the action, immediately look for the target, in words, listen closely to what’s being signaled.”
—MARCUS AURELIUS, MEDITATIONS, 7.4

To both quotes, there is an undercurrent of presence, of being in the moment when communicating. Being distracted by a laptop, tablet, or phone takes away from that presence.

The other undercurrent is that communication is, by definition, bidirectional (or full duplex for the networking nerds out there). It’s funny to me how many people forget that.

Git and Plain Text for Writers | Irreal:

Although the article, by Seth Kenlon, is advertised as considering the question “Why (prose) writers should use Git,” I think the more important takeaway is that writers should embrace plain text. Kenlon makes a persuasive case that authors would be better off trashing their word processors and using a combination of a text editor and Markdown.

Kenlon’s text editor of choice is Atom (although he does mention Emacs as an alternative), which is, I think, leaving money on the table. Other than the obvious but subjective judgment that Emacs is a better, more customizable editor, it is virtually universally acknowledged that Magit is the best Git interface—integrated or not—and that Org mode markup is superior to Markdown, especially when its Babel interface is taken into consideration.

Of course, those are the opinions of an Emacs partisan so others may disagree but it’s hard to see how one can argue about Magit or Org mode. In any event, the important point stands: embrace plain text. If you do any writing at all, you should take a look at Kenlon’s article, especially if you’re still using Word or one of its evil offspring.

There’s more here and here.

RSS vs. Twitter | Irreal:

Lots of folks love Twitter, of course, but at least for my purposes, RSS is a much better solution. A Tweet is a good way to discover that the latest version of Emacs, say, has been released but if you want thoughtful analysis a blog or technical article is a much better bet.

Cybersecurity | Daniel Miessler:

Cyber Security—also called Information Security, or InfoSec—is arguably the most interesting profession on the planet. It requires some combination of the attacker mentality, a defensive mindset, and the ability to constantly adapt to change. This is why it commands some of the highest salaries in the world.
“Cyber” vs. Information Security

One of the most common questions in the computer security industry is the difference between Cybersecurity and Information Security. The short answer is, “not much”. But the long answer is, well…longer.

Essentially, “Cyber” is a word from pop culture that actually fit our digital future fairly well, with the merging of humans and technology and society. In the beginning, “CyberSecurity” was used as a way to glamorize or sensationalize computer security, but over time people started using it in more and more serious conversations. And now we’re stuck with it.

If I had to give any distinction today (2019) it would be that Cybersecurity is a bit larger in scale than Information Security.

Read on in Daniel’s article for how he breaks Security down.

In general I think his taxonomy is spot on for the difference between Information Security (InfoSec) and Cyber Security. I am one of the people he references here:

People who’ve been in Information Security for a long time tend to really dislike the word “cyber” being used in a non-ironic way to describe what we do. But we’re getting over it.

I don’t always agree with Daniel’s writing, but this is a nice index.

Great Emacs config: reddit.com

Tl;dr: The takeaway here is to install the SuicaEng app on your iPhone. Use the regular Suica app if you read Japanese and/or need advanced features.

Region Settings and Apple Pay – Ata Distance:

The iOS Region Setting and Apple Pay are linked together in interesting ways that has changed with iOS versions. Up through iOS 10, devices needed to have the Region match the country they wanted to add and use cards in: iPhone had to be set to Japan to add and use Japanese credit cards in Apple Pay, and so on.

This was a pain when I first came to Japan.

This changed in iOS 11 with global FeliCa iPhone and NFC switching. The Region setting only needed to be changed to add a card for any particular country and had nothing to do with using it. This is because Apple Pay Wallet only displays the card options that match the Region setting and acts like a filter …

After adding a card, the Region setting can be anything as Apple Pay ignores it and takes care of the rest.

This was wildly unintuitive. I discovered it on accident when I set up my new iPhone.

Many inbound users don’t realize this and have avoided adding Suica to Apple Pay under the misconception that the iPhone/Apple Watch Region has to be set to Japan to use it.

…as one would expect.

Wallet behavior is the same in iOS 12, even with the iOS 12.2 UI tweaks, but the Region setting can be completely ignored when adding cards to Apple Pay with an app like SuicaEng. SuicaEng simply adds Suica no matter what the iPhone Region setting is, a nice time saver because changing the iPhone Region is a mini restart.

The SuicaEng app is almost perfect. It provides just enough functionality for 95% of Western travelers if they read English – and they don’t need to be able to read much at that.

Another small change from iOS 11 is that if you have a Suica card deleted from Wallet that is parked on iCloud, Wallet will show you the Add Suica option no matter what the iPhone Region setting is. It’s a nice touch and reminder in case you ever forgot you had one.

This is valuable when swapping devices or when troubleshooting issues.

I hope there is either more advanced functionality coming in the SuicaEng app or English language support in the full Suica app. As it is, with a little help from my friends I can get what I need out of the Suica Two-Step.

This simple test assesses if men are being good gender allies by Alexandra Ossola:

It’s 2019, and there’s no more denying it: hiring women is a good business decision. But keeping and retaining women is not only a matter of adding more family-friendly policies or flexible work hours. Leadership (often male) also needs to foster a workplace culture that shows women they are valued and will grow at the company.
Men may find themselves wanting to do better (well, not _all _men–a 2016 survey by compensation-focused website PayScale.com found just one in five men said gender disparity was a problem in their workplace). They are to be commended for that. But sometimes, they just don’t know how. From calling a female colleague “dear” to explaining something to a woman that she clearly already knows, even the best-intentioned of men can sometimes do things that slight the women around them.
Matt Wallaert, a behavioral scientist and cofounder of getraised.com, a free site that helps women ask for raises at work, has a simple recommendation for men who want to know whether they’re on track: They should ask themselves if a woman in their lives is able to tell them when something they’re doing is bullshit.
I love this.
And yes, I am fortunate that I have a number of women in my life happy to call me out on my bullshit.