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Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Getting Things Done

I've had some serious issues with getting things done. OTOH, I'm into writing things down. E.g., I've been using something like The Hipster PDA for over 10 years (in the form of a memo fact, just bought a new one this morning--which highlights the weakness of my system: I have to start in a new one when the one I've been using gets filled up.)

But from hanging around and other sort of geek/tech sites, I've become aware of a GTD cult. Some of it appears to be centered around the "the groundbreaking work-life management sytem and book by David Allen that transforms personal overwhelm and overload into an integrated system of stress-free productivity." That's from his website--and of course there is a book: "Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity".

But there's an entire cottage industry of geek/techie people infatuated with productivity tools.

One that I just started using an hour ago is the GTDTiddlyWiki. A TiddlyWiki template designed to help you GTD. I'm going to try to actually stick to this one and use it.

I saved that link to my repository, and discovered I'd tagged one other page I'd saved with "gettingthingsdone": a WiredNews article titled "A Guide to Getting Things Done", which begins:

If you thought your time-management skills were up to scratch, think again. David Allen's personal-productivity guidebook Getting Things Done has become a call to arms for webheads who want to accomplish more tasks in less time.

But who is the author followers call "the guru," and what do you need to join his merry band? Here are a few pointers to get you started.

What is Getting Things Done and what's the big idea?

Depending on your politics, Getting Things Done is either a how-to for drones to perform harder and faster, or the book that will help you wipe out anxiety through streamlining your approach to work. According to the back cover, "our productivity is directly proportional to our ability to relax; only when our minds are clear and our thoughts are organized can we achieve results and unleash our creative potential."

My politics tend to lead me towards the prior--all these productivity tools and systems are just a way for the system to squeeze more productivity out of us. Sort of a quasi-Marxian, homo economicus view of society, I would guess (not really knowing anything about those topics).

More on this later. In particular, I'll report if I actually succeed in GTD using a GTDTiddlyWiki.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Making the connection on flickr

Last weekend I finally d/l'ed our photos from our trip to MN, and added keyword in iPhoto. I tried to upload them to flickr, but the wireless connection at the apartment we're staying at is unreliable. Only one photo made it up so far.

Then a funny thing happened. I'd added "bloomingtoncentralstation" as a tag to that photo, and just for fun looked to see if anyone else had photos with that tag, by going here.

And indeed there were 5 other photos, all taken by the same person, agc. And one of those photos was from the roof across to the cranes. I took a similar shot when Mark took us up to the roof, so I added a comment to that effect. Agc replied with a comment on one of our Istanbul photos.

Flickr is crazy.

Now I've got to figure out how to start geotagging my photos...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The 100 Greatest Theorems

I came across this list via digg, and soon after JuniorCooper also e-mailed the link to me.

It would be interesting to go through the and count:

(1) how many I could state (w/o looking it up)

(2) how many of those I could sit down & prove

(3) how many I could understand the proofs of

One cool & interesting thing about this: I touched on 3 of the top 5 in that lecture on infinity I gave back in June: numbers 1, 3 & 4.

So not only can I sit down and write out the proofs of those--presumably, so can anybody who came to the lecture.

Right guys?

Friday, November 04, 2005

encounter with a Gophers legend

I was walking through downtown SF yesterday evening--down California Street, from where we're staying these days, near the top of Nob Hill, down to Market Street. I would've caught a cable car if one had come by going down, but none did--which turned out to be lucky.

California St comes down from Nob Hill, cuts across Chinatown for a couple blocks, and then goes through the Financial District. Somewhere in between Chinatown and the Financial District, I spotted a guy outside a hotel flagging down a cab. What caught my eye was that he was wearing a Gophers letter jacket.

Then I looked a little closer, and realized that it looked like none other than...Gophers great Miles Tarver.

So I went up to him and asked, and indeed it was Miles. He was surprised--seemed like he thought at first that we had met somewhere before. I told him I was from MN, mentioned the '97 season. He seemed like he actually wanted to talk with me. If his friend hadn't been anxious to get in a cab, I think we might have hung out.

He said he's working as a teacher in SF. I put it together later, that he was from the Bay Area originally--Oakland or Alamdeda, I think.

I should have thought to mention to him how a friend's game is modeled on his. Indeed, I might not have recognized him had I not seen his photo on Mark's desk a couple week's ago.