“He wears a Fanny Pack, and he’s into mycology” he/they

Maria Popova provides one of the most complete overviews of how mindset shapes every aspect of our lives in this article from 2014.

One of the most basic beliefs we carry about ourselves, Dweck found in her research, has to do with how we view and inhabit what we consider to be our personality. A “fixed mindset” assumes that our character, intelligence, and creative ability are static givens which we can’t change in any meaningful way, and success is the affirmation of that inherent intelligence, an assessment of how those givens measure up against an equally fixed standard; striving for success and avoiding failure at all costs become a way of maintaining the sense of being smart or skilled. A “growth mindset,” on the other hand, thrives on challenge and sees failure not as evidence of unintelligence but as a heartening springboard for growth and for stretching our existing abilities. Out of these two mindsets, which we manifest from a very early age, springs a great deal of our behavior, our relationship with success and failure in both professional and personal contexts, and ultimately our capacity for happiness.

They go on to describe the genesis and consequences of fixed and growth mindsets, citing the research and findings of the book frequently.

Last Thursday, my family experienced In a Landscape—a classical music concert in the wild—for the first time.


  1. Be Here Now by Ram Dass. This book changed me. It’s a simple story and guide split into three parts. It begins with Ram’s personal journey, transitions into a series of artistic pronouncements about life and spirituality, and then details lessons and guidance for how to live a spiritual life. The whole book resonated with me in a way that was hard to pin down. There are a lot of concepts and assertions that I would have had trouble connecting with in the past. Some of it is still a bit out there. Overall, though, I really enjoyed it and I’ve referenced it several times in the last couple weeks.

  1. Shards of Earth (The Final Architecture, #1) by Adrian Tchaikovsky. This was a big book, both in terms of the number of pages and the scope of the story. Humanity has spread throughout the universe. The Architects—strange, moon-sized entities that destroy entire planets—are back. I really enjoyed the concept of Unspace—a plane of un-reality where faster-than-light travel is possible. Interesting science, great character building, and a complex and enjoyable plot made this one of my favorite books on the list.

  1. The Library at Mount Char by Scott Hawkins. This was one of my favorite books this year! It was bizarre and surprising and horrifying at times. I’ve yet to read a novel with such breadth that was so neatly woven together.

  2. Piranesi by Susana Clarke. Imagine a house with infinite rooms full of thousands of statues. Imagine this house contains an entire ocean. Now imagine you live there. Piranesi was awe inspiring. I couldn’t put it down.

  3. Breath by James Nestor. This book literally changed my relationship with breathing. It also helped me improve the quality of my sleep! If you want to know more about the science of breathing, and why it’s fundamental to our well-being, check it out.

  4. Hyperion by Dan Simmons. This book has been on my reading list for years. I finally picked it up this year, and once I did I couldn’t put it down. There’s a reason this is a classic in the sci-fi genre.


I want to write more.

Setting aside time to write is hard, though. I think I still haven’t adjusted to having kids after eight years. Making time to write requires sacrificing precious time with my kids, and that feels scary. Regardless, I think a little sacrifice might be in my best interest, so here goes.

I learned a lot about myself this year. I grasped that being truly present takes effort, but it can be transformational. I accepted that I am a deeply emotional being after decades of convincing myself otherwise. I discovered that until this year, the only emotion I truly embraced was anger. Finally, I realized that some of my strengths—the parts of my identity that I was most proud of—were keeping me from what I wanted most. After thirty-four years, I thought I had myself mostly figured out, but this year set me straight.

I’ve spent countless years pursuing mastery. It took me all those years to realize that what I really want is mastery of my own experience. Having discovered this, I’m genuinely excited for what’s to come. Next year, I plan to continue my journey to become the best version of myself I can be. Hopefully I’ll set aside time to tell you about it along the way.

Yesterday, I spent the day in the Gifford Pinchot National Forest learning about fungi.


This blog is now federated!


Today I found myself needing to use the comm utility to compare two 20GB files. This ended up taking about 10 minutes and while it was running I got curious at how much time was left. Knowing that comm must read through both files before it finishes, I decided to see if I could build a simple progress indicator based on the read offset of one of it’s file descriptors.


Bash is a wonderful and terrible language. It can provide extremely elegant solutions to common text processing and system management tasks, but it can also drag you into the depths of convoluted workarounds to accomplish menial jobs.


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