Category: blog

2014

This is just to say that this blog has not yet died. I’ll be posting at least a few times a month in the new year. I’ll be writing about film, books, and literature, and maybe I’ll start writing a bit about technology.

Beeminder

Lately I’ve gotten very addicted (in a good way) to Beeminder. It’s a site that allows you to set quantifiable goals, then it tracks your progress on them. If you fall behind on your goal (called “de-railing” in Beeminder parlance), then you can pledge money to stay on track. If you de-rail again, the money you pledged goes to the lovely people at Beeminder to keep the site running, and you can optionally re-commit and pledge a higher amount to try to stay on track the next time.

Both the goal-tracking features and the potential loss of money are highly motivating. You’re allowed seven free goals before you have to start pledging (which seems to be more than most Beeminders track anyway). As I said, I’m a bit addicted, so I’m currently tracking twenty-seven goals. I have a total of $110 pledged, but since May when I discovered Beeminder, I have not paid on a single pledge, because the site has been sufficiently motivating that I have stuck to my goals so far. I did, however, choose to pay for the completely optional “premium” account for a year, because I wanted to support the site even though I’m meeting my goals. If you stay on track with any number of goals, the service is completely free. If you want to track more than seven goals, you do have to pledge money for them, but again, if you stay on track you will never be charged.

If this sort of motivation appeals to you, you may be interested in some of the things I’m tracking. Some are obvious and even built into the site, but others less obvious, since you can track literally anything that’s quantifiable. In the interest of keeping it interesting, I’ll show my progress on most of the goals I discuss. Continue reading

An attempt to rewrite

What used to be here was the output of a Python blog engine that I wrote when I should have been writing my master’s dissertation in 2006. I liked it because I would write a code snippet which constituted a post, run my script, and out would come perfect XHTML on the other end.

Of course many CMSes and blogs existed at the time, but what I liked about mine was that it was static. Continue reading