23 of 30 / Capture
An idea can be forgotten, remembered, captured, buried but never destroyed. We realised that the frequency invaders were nothing more than manifestations of our own subconscious. All this time we had been in battle with ourselves. Or at least part of ourselves.
23 of 30 / Capture
22 of 30
We had sent multiple skyminders into the Spectrum before. What made this time different was the stakes and the scale. This move was putting all of human existence on the line. Based on a simple hypothesis. I was sent in first.
Issue 039 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out, The Shinkansen. This is one of those topics that practically wrote itself. I could have easily written two or three times as much. An incredibly rich topic and one I hope to expand upon in the future.
21 of 30 / Winter
‘We are deep in humanity’s longest and maybe last winter. We’ve been here before, maybe a thousand times over. I’ve lost count. We have sacrificed nearly everything we have. This is my account of our very last attack and how we survived.’
Since I read Digital Minimalism earlier this year, I have been on a bit of a journey into more purposeful productivity methods, which can be attributed to a couple of reasons - the work itself and the place of work.
I have been listening to Cal Newport talk about Time Blocking for months now, but not really been able to implement it because there was another piece of the puzzle that was not available to me, the configure part of his method. This week I was finally able to find the solution to the configure section of things.
He would alway suggest using Trello and I did honestly try a couple of times. Turns out the man is very smart but his blind spot is Trello (we all have one). This overtly complicated software with fiddly (and silly) options, themes, templates, bloat. Just terrible advice really.
Two apps that work together to complete the configure circle. While it may seem limited at first, the free Basecamp Tier is incredibly versatile, because you can have an infinite amount of individually named todo lists.
Basecamp gives you three ‘projects’. I would offer you to think of these as contexts instead. I have three contexts:
Within each context I then have multiple projects, each with its own todo list. What is great about the Todo lists for Basecamp is that each todo list can have a general discussion attached to it, each item can have a general discussion attached to it. I can add files if I want, but I tend not to (usually adding links to files instead).
Under personal I have also added categories such as housework, to get a general feel for how much time I actually spend on household tasks. Eventually I will also add how much time I spend on walking, reading and writing.
At work the external context gets the most action, however increasingly more time is spent elsewhere. I needed an ever more accurate way of tracking the plethora of channels so that I don’t context switch and keep that to a minimum. I think I finally found it as long as the free tiers remain.
20 of 30 / Fade
While she had faded from existence, her presences would be known in this place. The best way to disrupt any frequency is to create the right circumstances that lead to interference. Luciana didn’t loose any time getting to work. Even though she didn’t understand the why, she was a soldier and a good soldier always follows orders.
19 of 30 / Possible
The Spectrum was a hard concept for humans to conceive of such a place, like infinity. It did not resemble the physical. Here linear thought was not possible and your very existence was a very different experience. You became your thoughts, wrapped in your ideas. Endlessly.
18 of 30 / Dependence
‘Always remember that you have nothing to fear. Your dependence has been untethered. A million souls. All of what is left of humanity is behind you in these moments.’ The Admiral passed Luciana a golden glass filled to the top. Luciana stood on the edge of forever and at once ceased to exist in both the real and subconscious human worlds.
In case you missed this, but iA announced they are releasing a new app
Companies, like us, that are working on a brand new app, will think about founding another corporation to avoid the one million threshold and lose out on integrating the two apps together. User experience suffers as a result.
Then in this conversation, over at capiche.fm, Oliver Reichenstein confirms that they have been working on this for years and it goes into beta in a month — super excited about that. Then he confirmed that they are going to be releasing that physical product mentioned for their 10th birthday. Good day for us iA fanboys.
17 of 30 / Train
Luciana peered at the glasses of golden liquid. ‘Time. What we need is time. We are sending you into the heartland of the Frequencies. Your mission is simple, unleash chaos. There is just one thing, once the train has left the station, there is no turning back. The trip is one way.’
30 day photo challenge complete (only showing 27 here). Will be good to post in colour again.
16 of 30 / Memory
‘Your memory might be young, Lieutenant Luciana, but your actions mask the fact that you are the most prolific skyminder we have ever had. Humanity is tired Luciana. Over the decades we have tried to break free of the endless cycle.’ The Admiral paused and looked intently at Luciana.
It’s been 2 weeks of writing my story in roughly 50 word chunks. This is part of the Micro.blog November challenge. I decided last year to combine this challenge and NaNoWriMo into one, which yielded a short story called The Mark. What I liked about the exercise is that it had very low stakes and expectations. Sometimes it’s all about the journey and not the destination.
15 of 30 / Far
‘The decision to put the fate of humanity in the hands of our children was not taken lightly. It was universally agreed that although far from ideal, this situation would be accepted as a temporary one. Weeks turned to months, then years, then decades. We have been fighting the Frequency Invaders across generations with no clear way out. Until now.’
14 of 30
‘At first we had no line of defence for what was happening to us. You have to know what you are up against before you can counter attack. It didn’t take us long to realise that one particular demographic was immune, children that had not yet turned to adults.’
13 of 30 / Guess
‘You just had your fourteenth birthday is that not right?’ asked the old lady. ‘I did…Admiral’ replied Luciana. ‘Well then, I guess you are clear to join me for a drink.’ The Admiral paused, let a small smile escape her and proceeded to pour a rich golden liquid into the two glasses. ‘It’s time you understood your role in this world soldier.’
12 of 30 / Wear
On the table was a decanter and two large wine glasses. Luciana took her seat at the table. ‘15 years old’, began the old lady ‘is that the average life expectancy of a skyminder. Do you know why?’ Luciana did not attempt a guess. ‘Because those that wear the uniform fail to understand the significance of the subconscious.’
Currently listening to Simple Song by The Shins. Song of the autumn for me.
11 of 30 / Say
The eyes belonged to an old lady who was looking down with focused intention. She wore a sharp two piece navy blue skirt and jacket. The only tell that she was military was a sharp silver pin under her left shoulder. ‘Sorry about the abrupt interuption, we have much to get through.’ Luciana slowly managed to get to her feet, before she could say anything they were both inside a large empty tent with a round table and two chairs in the center.
10 of 30 / Elderly
This was not normal. In the puzzling you were the hunter. Nothing was meant to land an attack. Yet here she found herself lying on the floor, the wind completely knocked out of her. She turned over onto her back and looked straight up. Staring down at her were a pair of elderly eyes.
My coffee has been weak sauce for about 2 weeks now. I chalked this up to the coffee beans themselves. Nope. Turns out my handground setting was on 8 (coarse) when it usually is at 3. Incredible how fiddly a simple cup of coffee can be. In other news, my other fiddly piece of coffee gear from Kickstarter doesn’t arrive until May/June of next year which is a major bummer.
Sporting a new haircut.
Actually excited for the announcements later on today from Apple. It’s been a little over a year without a MacBook (the first time in over a decade). At the time I didn’t buy a replacement because of the keyboard issue. Then they announced that Apple silicon was coming this year, so I decided to hold out a little bit longer.
Speaking to my guy in the know he rightly predicted that a November ‘present’ would be coming. 16” and 13” MacBook Pro first, followed by the Air. His other prediction was that the new lineup will be slightly cheaper than the current lineup of MacBooks.
9 of 30 / Force
The puzzling was distinct in that you were always doing the chasing. This was a direct contrast to the realities of being a skyminder. This mental construct also served as a training ground, to help you anticipate how a chaser moves, thinks and reacts. Luciana was bounding through a city made of infinitely routes across seemingly infinite levels. In an instant she found herself knocked to the ground by an impossible force.
Issue 038 of my newsletter In Abeyance is out. This one covers one of my favourite architectural and art movements, the Art Nouveau.
8 of 30 / Bind
Luciana’s subconscious switched back without missing a beat. Here she was running at the speed of thought. Here she was not under attack. Here there was nothing to bind her. Here she was not in constant danger. Here she was not a crucial link in the world’s defence. Here she was allowed to smile.
Wonderful bike ride across Copenhagen this morning. Sun was shining. Temperature was like Goldilock’s porridge (not too cold, not too warm). Lots of awesome black and white photos coming to wrap up my month of posting photos.
7 of 30 / Inflate
The human subconscious needs to be fed challenges. It is what keeps the brain from imploding in on itself. The puzzling was created to offer just the right level of engagement. A near infinite maze of challenges to explore and discover. The levels of complexity continuously inflate as more time is spent wandering the conjured worlds. Some skyminders have spent their entire lives between these two states of being.
6 of 30 / Puzzling
It was established early on, that while the body and brain can be put in a successful suspended animation, the subconscious required a different kind of solution. Trying to pause this activity meant breaking something that could not be fixed. Our answer to this was the puzzling.
5 of 30 / Stoop
In the suspended state your mind wanders; meanders. While your physical body floats in the air, suspended on an invisible stoop. Everything lingers. Your breathing slows down and is barely perceptible. Your eyes glaze a milky white. Your skin hardens and goes cold. Your heart is barely felt. Your subconscious however is in complete overdrive.
4 of 30 / Near
This particular attack was devastating in scale. Reaction was led by instinct, if you waited too long the game was over. In this heightened state, Luciana was in a form of trance. Her body being stressed to near breaking, yet for the casual observer it seemed effortless. She managed to fend them all. Then almost instantly she switched off again.
Robert Fisk dies at 74. I saw him speak in Beirut with my brother 10 years ago. His work will live on after him.
I’ve not felt this anxious about an American election since 2008. I remember waking up in the middle of the night in my flat in London and just being happy that the right choice was made. Then you guys follow that up and elect someone that was ostensibly worse that George W. Bush - and by all accounts he was the worst. Get this right ‘merica. Seriously.
3 of 30 / Astonish
The exact nature of the attack was never the same. It just happened and it was always relentless. The onslaught reached critical. Luciana switched. Instinct kicked in, her movements were fluid, almost rehearsed and yet completely new. Her deftness however would astonish even the most veteran of skyminders.
Hard to imagine but this is the first physical book I have bought this year, having made my transition to digital for most of my reading.
2 of 30 / Concentrate
We quickly learned that being in this state quickly brings about exhaustion. While the human brain was never designed to concentrate at this level in perpetuity, it does have an incredible way of adapting. Turns out all you need to keep things moving along are the fleeting moments inbetween. From an early age we are all taught to turn on and off, like a switch.