I’ve just had a very busy week and I’m expecting the coming one to be similar. Today will be very much a day of rest.
1. Quote of the week
The attempt to work on one’s own mind is a vicious circle. To try to purify it is to be contaminated with purity. — Alan Watts
2. What I’ve been enjoying
The weather is being both cruel and kind to us this year. Kind because it is good. Cruel because we are limited in how we can enjoy it. Despite the restrictions being lifted, my view is to exercise caution. The second wave of a pandemic is often worst than the first.
I am now getting out on the bike twice a week and am back at a comfortable 50km standard. I need to get back to a comfortable 100km weekly standard. Plans are afoot. Being on a bike away from it all gives great opportunities for thinking things through.
3. What I’m reading
I finished The Loom of Language on Tuesday. I enjoyed the book on the whole, but there are some mistakes in it particularly regarding the Russian language. A common mistake is to declare that the genitive must follow numbers of 5 and over. Not true. After 21, 31 and so on, the nominative singular follows, and 22-24, 32-34, the genitive singular follows. It’s Russian – life is more complicated than it would seem.
It was particularly interesting to read about Peano’s attempt to simplify Latin by removing cases and simplifying the grammar because by pure coincidence I was reading up on Peano a few weeks ago. Peano put significant effort into the foundations of mathematics and linear algebra. I stumbled upon his wikipedia page when I was researching something else, found his work on Latino sine flexione and went down a cul-de-sac for an hour reading about it. It felt like I’d come full circle when I finished the Loom.
I have now picked up Strategy in Crisis by Michael de Kare-Silver. I know Michael as a recruiter and I had a conversation with him last summer which led me to look at his books. This book on business strategy was written in the 90s, but I believe the lessons in it are still valuable. I started to read it last year, read a couple of chapters and put it down. There are a couple of books on my list like this and I want to clear them off the list.
4. What I’m doing in my free time
Not a lot this week because I’ve not had a lot. However I’ve managed to complete my Russian homework well in advance. Usually it gets left to the day before.
This year I’ve spent a bit more time taking care of my lawns and it’s paid off – apart from a few irritating edge patches, I have a nice green lawn.
I did have a chance to do some cooking this weekend. The full English (pictured) is a little time consuming but worth the effort.
5. What I’m learning more about
My reading is giving me more insight into business strategy and customer focus. I need to spend more time on learning and get some more AWS and Azure courses under my belt.