Trying out Day One again

My favourite writing stationery: Irushizuku Shin-Kai ink, Lamy CP1 fountain pen, the Hobonicho Techo planner (in black), and the Baron Fig Confidant notebook and Squire pen.

In a Discord community, I am a part of the journaling app Day One came up again, months after I stopped using it.

I've been journaling for the whole year but have done so mostly using pen and paper. Every morning, after drinking my coffee and reading the daily chapter of Robert Greene's latest book, I sit down at my desk and journal.

I write a daily recap in the Japanese version of the Hobonichi Techo. Thanks to its Tomoe River paper, I can use my favourite fountain pen and favourite ink. It's a blast; I love it. And if you are willing to get real nerdy, read this post on Tomoe River paper. (Unfortunately, it seems as if TomoeGawa might not produce Tomoe River paper anymore. Time to look for alternatives.)

Why Tomoe River Paper Is The #1 Fountain Pen Paper
Have you been on the hunt for the perfect fountain pen paper? Discover the epitome of Japanese craftsmanship through Tomoe River Paper; an all time favorite at Galen!

But even though I do – very obviously – love journaling by hand, it misses a few things: What about pictures and other metadata? What about random thoughts that don't make sense being linked to a specific day? (The Techo is mostly a planner. Every page is for one day. Even if Day One works by days, too, a random thought can live on its own as a single entry. It doesn't have to share)

So, I will try Day One again. For a month or so, I will try the following experiment:

  • Write morning pages using the iPad and Day One. The goal is to write without thinking. I am faster at doing this on a keyboard than by hand, so it might allow me to edit less while writing. It doesn't matter what gets through my head, I'll write it down.
  • Reply to the daily prompts in Day One.
  • Log pictures, random thoughts, and metadata like how much I slept (tracking this for another experiment) and if I exercised.
  • Write in my Techo every evening to recap the day, what I am grateful for, what has occupied me while it is still fresh.

It might not work out. I might forget to journal; I might write the same thing twice, I might get bored of using one of the two methods.

I'll check back in a month or so.

You need Scroll Reverser in your life

Scroll Reverser for macOS

Scroll Reverser is a free utility that might enhance your life tremendously, courtesy of Markus.

Twice a week, I go to the office where I use my MacBook Pro (not the new one yet) and use peripherals provided by the company: a random HP mouse and a random HP keyboard.

The annoying part is that the HP mouse has a scroll wheel but no third-party software. This means that I have to change the scrolling direction in the macOS system preferences. It, however, messes with the natural scrolling of the trackpad. And I can't get used to old-school scrolling anymore.

Scroll Reverser fixes this. It reverses the direction of scrolling, with independent settings for trackpads and mice. That's all it does, and it's fantastic.

(Seriously, thank you, Markus!)

#TGIBF — Stand in line, please

Welcome to Black Friday Week.

You will probably get overflooded with emails and banners, and notifications telling you of this once-in-a-lifetime deal. Be fast, or otherwise, this product you never knew you wanted will be out of stock in no time.

I unironically like Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is the perfect moment to unsubscribe from all these marketing emails you collected over the previous year to get 10% off on the first order.

It's also a happy coincidence that during this week, you'll get emails from companies you didn't hear from for a very long time. It's as if they all stand in line for you to ban them to the nether realm one by one.

How considerate of them.

CNN tries Tesla's full self-driving

Matt McFarland for CNN:

The Model 3's "full self-driving" needed plenty of human interventions to protect us and everyone else on the road. Sometimes that meant tapping the brake to turn off the software, so that it wouldn't try to drive around a car in front of us. Other times we quickly jerked the wheel to avoid a crash. (Tesla tells drivers to pay constant attention to the road, and be prepared to act immediately.)

Read the linked article and watch the embedded video. If you're short on time, just watch the first ten seconds of it. The tech isn't there yet. It doesn't matter if it's Tesla, Apple or Ford.

And don't tell me, "but it's a beta". Because dying or getting hurt would be pretty final.

Apple Aiming for Fully Autonomous Vehicle, Me Aiming Not To Drive It

Mark Gurman for Bloomberg:

For the past several years, Apple’s car team had explored two simultaneous paths: creating a model with limited self-driving capabilities focused on steering and acceleration — similar to many current cars — or a version with full self-driving ability that doesn’t require human intervention.
Under the effort’s new leader — Apple Watch software executive Kevin Lynch — engineers are now concentrating on the second option. Lynch is pushing for a car with a full self-driving system in the first version, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the deliberations are private.
Apple is internally targeting a launch of its self-driving car in four years, faster than the five- to seven-year timeline that some engineers had been planning for earlier this year. But the timing is fluid, and hitting that 2025 target is dependent on the company’s ability to complete the self-driving system — an ambitious task on that schedule. If Apple is unable to reach its goal, it could either delay a release or initially sell a car with lesser technology.

While it doesn't offer fully autonomous driving yet, I own a car that offers a lot of driving assistance: a lane-keeping system, adaptive cruise control, pre-collision assist with automatic braking, reverse braking assist, and so on.

In most cases, these features are nice to have. Especially the lane-keeping system and the adaptive cruise-control while driving on highways makes it worth its extra cost.

In some cases, however, these features are either annoying as hell or full-on dangerous. I don't know how many times, while steering through a turn, the car started to panic and warn me of a collision because vehicles were parked on the side.

Or how often this car couldn't keep the lanes because the lines on the side of the road weren't in the best condition. Most times, it turns the lane-keeping system off. Sometimes it starts to freak out and wiggle-waggle the steering wheel before turning it off, and I have to fight against it not to crash into something.

The most annoying thing is when reversing, and it sees a car coming that I have also seen. But the Mach-E probably thinks I am suicidal and decides hard breaking is a good choice.

In all these three examples, while no one is in danger, it freaks me out. It's a spike of adrenaline, my heart starts beating faster, and I nearly shit my pants. It always takes me a few minutes to calm down.

Don't get me wrong, all of these features are nice to have, mostly very helpful, probably sometimes life-saving. But whenever it gets it wrong, it gets it wrong by a lot.

I want to be bullish for these things, but I don't believe fully automatic driving will be a thing for at least ten years. The only way this can work out is if cars start communicating and warning each other when they are braking, accelerating or parked.

And finally – and this is coming from a huge Apple fanboy – "from the company that brought you Siri" does not sound that nice, to be honest.