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Kit La Touche
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Kit La Touche

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This country likes to talk at length about how much it values democracy, as a core concept. For a long time, I’ve said that this strikes me as strange, when two out of three of our major cultural institutions are (mostly) based around (substantial)…
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Kit La Touche

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Well, my G+ use has been a bit disrupted due to the recent mishegas. Not gonna touch that here (that's for the Gaming collection, or more often, private conversations), but I will share this!

Ben has been writing some things on his (and to a degree, my) thoughts and observations on productivity stuff.

The most recent post is an interesting one, though, I think. What's a better word than "task" or "to-do"? They both, but especially the former, have some negative connotations. I think this is part of why GTD is "getting things done", as it's a bit more neutral.

Thoughts? I'm particularly interested in some non-native English speakers' (+Ivan Vaghi?) input.
Here's a thing we have noticed: all the words for “todos” (as we think of them) feel not-quite-right. I suspect this may be why there are so many todo-apps or task trackers, and so few happy users of such products. “Todo” as I have seen it is generally used for small things, or things with no ...
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Kit La Touche

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So, I've finally read Getting Things Done by David Allen. I've had a folk-knowledge of it for a while, but it's striking what little details I got from reading it that I hadn't gotten in the folk version.

There are two big things in it for me:

First, gracefully-degrading (onion-skin) design, such that there's a small pile of core ideas that you can pretty much always do, and then nuances and improvements you can add to better fit your needs. I'm gonna try to hold to this in anything I do in this space—it's the only way people can actually make use of something. "I'm gonna fix my life" changes rarely work.

Second, put everything you have to do in one spot. It doesn't seem magic, but it kinda is. By putting everything, and I mean everything, into one accessible repository of "things I need to do in my life", I have freed up so much brainwidth to actually do those things.

(My one gripe is that I don't have a perfect repository; I have a few problems with each one I've tried, software or pen-and-paper. Always gotta work on tools, I guess.)
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The really important thing for me is having something that lets me get back into context, as well as easy overviews and links into contacts/maps.
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Kit La Touche

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So, if you don't watch Every Frame a Painting yet, you might wanna consider it; one of the best things on YouTube, I think.

In this particular case, this discussion of editing includes a line that makes me think about RPGs: "emotions take time". So true.
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Such an amazingly entertaining and informative YouTube series
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Kit La Touche

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Developing a desire to run Urban Shadows inspired by The Fisher King.

Will add to my game backlog.
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Kit La Touche

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Wait what.
Google's long suffering social media efforts are about to get a little help from the creator of one of the Internet's most controversial communities.
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Oh, oh, another thread where I can fume 'Google's social media efforts are NOT suffering (long or otherwise) and do NOT need reviving'.
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Kit La Touche

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Dar Williams:

You gotta admit life magazine made 1968 look great,
My father said it sucked, everybody died.
All the troops you couldn't save, no one knew how to be brave,
He said sometimes you were afraid to turn your radio on.
It was enough to make you quit that peacenick scene.
Well I heard about leaders, yeah I hear they're no longer around
Cause peace was abandoned, and bravery hanged in his town.
And they passed down a sentence
For building on the beauty of some dream.

All my heroes are dead, I got them in my head, saying
Never again, never a war, no more fighting.
So I'll stay true to them, and they'll come home again,
I'll carry the light, follow the dream, I'll remember.

The '68 convention was a singing the times they are a-changing,
Well I guess they a-changed back.
Oh I miss those peaceful folk, love and humor when they spoke, hey
Phil Ochs you still sound great, should've stuck around to hear it.

They say that compact disc makes songs come true.
But Phil I never expected that I'd miss you like a friend,
Cause I never expected that we would be marching again.
And the soldiers of peace would tumble from this life as in a war.

All my heroes are dead, and all the books I read,
Said "this is greed, this is wrong, fight your war at home".
So I'll stay true to them, and they'll come home again,
I'll carry the light, follow the dream, I'll remember.

So back to the present passion, romance, love, or simply put a lack thereof.
Shall we go on?
I don't take it personally, it's our post-modern history,
You know since Nixon was impeached it's just been hard to commit,
So we cast our allegiance left and right.
But I always believed that our souls would come through.
So I never expected that you'd take her home with you.
And I never detected, how hardened and not sorry you could be.
Don't you know?

All our heroes are dead, we got ourselves instead.
And oh my friend, all your lies, they won't do you.
You gotta stay true to them, and they'll come home again,
I miss them too, I miss them too, you know I miss them
More than I love you.

---

No commentary on this, except there are so many people in this category—people I knew, people I never knew—who I wish could be here to stand by my side and help us all resist right now.
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Kit La Touche

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Slack

(Not the chat tool.)

To get more done, leave more slack time. Seems weird and unintuitive, must be clickbait, right?

Yeah, but also not a bad idea. One thing I've observed, and had corroborated by my reading, is that trying to fill yourself to capacity (and, let's be honest, over capacity) usually significantly reduces what you can get done. You do less than you would if you tried to do less.

Some of it is rest. You know, that thing that you never actually account for in your scheduling. Turns out that it helps people get things done.

But the rest of it is something I find more interesting: slack lets you deal with the ad-hoc crises that come up all the time in life, and not have them cost you both for the time to deal with them, plus at least two context shifts back and forth, from an already full budget.

(This is apparently something that Toyota has applied at an organizational level, which I'd like to learn more about. I bet they have a lot of research on it.)

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That sounds about right. I always schedule myself for fewer hours than I actually want to work, and I've never had trouble getting in the hours I want by the time things are done.
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Kit La Touche

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Dependencies and Contexts

So, if I want to look at the question of how to do more things, I have to address the question of why and when I don't do something on my list.

There are two main reasons that recur: either the task has unresolved dependencies, or I am in the wrong context. These are kind of complements to each other: dependencies are contexts on the time axis, and contexts are dependencies on the space axis.

Contexts are somewhat easier to conceptualize: if I'm not at the grocer's, I can't pick up groceries. We have an ancient tool for handling this: a map.

So we want a map of dependencies, then.

It's not always obvious what is in the way of a task. Sometimes you need to pause and consider what the implicit first steps are. GTD prompts you to answer this by asking you, during the refinement phase of processing your inbox of tasks, what the concrete next step is for that task.

I sometimes like a longer view, though. It's useful to me to see what the next three steps are, often, so that I can strategize about how to best spend my efforts. Being a programmer, I tend to look for the right data structure, and here, I love a directed acyclic graph. Lists are often insufficient. It adds some overhead, but it can help me see what is high-leverage to work on right
now.

Do you have any tricks for managing dependencies, and maintaining a strategic view? I'd be interested to hear them.
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+Kit La Touche fogg model in a nutshell: getting stuff done is a function of ability, motivation and triggers. You need all three to get started. For instance, my gym has a cafe and I find myself motivated to go and work from there. Once I am there and I feel tired, that acts as a trigger and I am able to go to the gym immediately since I am already there. By working on these 3 elements you can build a number of situations that nudge you towards where you want to go.
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Kit La Touche

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Hey, I don't know if any of y'all play Dota 2, but a friend and I just made a thing for it.

It's a really powerful data analytics tool, and it might help you play better. There's a longer writeup on Reddit (where a lot of the Dota 2 community is), maybe go give it a look and an upvote?
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A bit of both! I'm just impressed with the depth here. 
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Kit La Touche

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OK, gamerfolk: I know a lotta you out there have good Tarot taste. I've got a decent pile of decks myself (skewed somewhat towards the hopelessly esoteric, and the historical). What decks do you really like? What decks should I take a look at? What decks should I cry over, because I missed their only print-run?

(Here's the list of ones I've got next to me right now:

- Lo Scarabeo's Ancient Italian
- Godfrey Dowson's Hermetic Tarot
- Robin Scott's Urban Tarot
- The Jane Austen Tarot
- The Tarot de Marseille
- Waite-Smith
- The Golden Tarot
- The Wildwood Tarot
- The Mage: the Ascension Tarot
- The Archeon Tarot

And +James Mendez Hodes is sending me a copy of the Ghetto Tarot.)

(Art from Robin Scott's Urban Tarot because I love it.)
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Mine:

Hanson-Roberts
Kipling West's Halloween Tarot
The Light Grey Tarot
Denise Fairchild's small square deck.
And I used to have the Scapini deck.

I respond emotionally the best to the Light Grey and the Fairchild, which usually enriches my readings.

Most people who aren't familiar with divination respond well to the Hanson-Roberts (it's my second deck of that tarot, the first died via use) Trying to think of the one I used in high school. I think it may have been Spiral, something.

The Halloween deck is very light hearted in its spookiness, so I often pull it out for chill goth clients. The Scapini deck, when I had it, was not a deck for anyone fucking around. The interpretation guide for it (I usually try and stick to a deck's guide) is straight forward, brusque. I used to pull it for people who were helplessly lost and in need of truth.
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Kit La Touche

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Saw this shared recently, maybe here, maybe Twitter, unsure. But it's very good. She's not talking, to my mind, in vague platitudes, but about concrete skills that are useful to develop if you want to tell good stories.
Learning how to fail well is as crucial a part of a writer's craft as putting words on a page. With other kinds of failure, you have less control.
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Kit's Collections
Story
Tagline
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by…
Introduction
I must down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.
Sea Fever, John Masefield

My games thus far:
Bragging rights
People who I didn't know before have become friends because of games I've made.
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Game Designer and Web Developer
Nice teas, often good music, a great place to get some writing or coding done.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
The folks here know their tea, and the selection is fantastic. Ask them for suggestions, talk with them about what they like, and you won't go wrong.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
Some of the best tea selections in Boulder, and a great place to sit and write.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
I honestly never knew empanadas could be this good. Sit, watch some fútbol, drink some mate, be very happy.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
8 reviews
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Crowded and small, but the food is worth it. Their vegan potstickers and their bao aware particular delights.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
Their dosas are delightful, their vindaloo is my favorite in Boulder.
Public - 9 months ago
reviewed 9 months ago
Absolutely magical spot. Beautiful little cabins. The best stargazing I've seen.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago