What Would You Downgrade To?

As I walked my daughter yesterday I found my mind was also off on its own adventure. For some reason I posed a new question to myself > what would you downgrade your equipment to?

I’ve asked myself what I’d like to upgrade to many times, but I’ve never asked myself what I could downgrade to.

The default for many of the items I considered was simply the previous version. In a few cases there wasn’t a clear choice but the most interesting cases were the ones where there was a clear option that, while it had downsides, also had benefits subsequent versions didn’t.

An example is my Fuji x100t, a great camera but the x100 is claimed to have better image rendering…but with fewer pixels. Another example, though not relevant to me, would be downgrading from a current MacBook Pro to the 2013 MacBook Pro. It wouldn’t be as thin or powerful but would instead have some good port options.

I wonder if I could recreate this thought experiment before a purchasing/ upgrade decision as it might shine some extra light on the merits and downsides of a choice.

Merry Christmas. If you don’t celebrate it then I wish you a good day regardless. 680634B9-A3A2-4E0A-ADF2-2D6395E46888.jpg

My parents’ (homemade) Christmas Nativity set.

Plectrums, plectrums as far as the eye can see!

Walks in England aren’t half bad (and playing with darkroom is fun too)

Having the best mattress, suitcase, and vitamins nearly broke me - Vox 🔗

Having the best mattress, suitcase, and vitamins nearly broke me - Vox

I would try them all at once, in the service of a single question: Would they actually improve my life?

The short answer is yes. Of course they did! As a shock to probably nobody, the direct-to-consumer mattress was indeed far superior to my regular mattress, which is actually my old roommate’s mattress, which before that was probably somebody else’s too…

But the long answer is more complicated.

I love serendipity and this article was a great one for me. I had become more aware of the toxic marketing idea that “you need, no deserve, the best,”. In truth, I had been greatly affected by it and spent money appeasing that inner voice. But now I wonder, as I type on my “best smartphone” (an iPhone XS) if this really was worth it.

Would it really be so bad to choose the average or mediocre option?

One of the versions of “minimalism” that you can come across is “I have less, but I have the best”. If minimalism is about less than I guess it works, but if it’s about being detached from possessions (as Christian minimalism should) then this is a failure in a different form.

My Top Paid iPad Apps – Painfully Hopeful

Well Christmas is here, and a lot of folks will be getting iTunes gift cards. So I thought I’d share some of the best paid apps for getting “real work” done on an iPad.

A great selection of paid iPad apps from Wesley.

We took a wet trip into London today, but the friendship (and Mexican food) warmed us up.

Now and then in December 2018

This month has been busy which is partially why I didn’t post a “now and then” update earlier, however my now page has been updated). November included - a hectic work schedule, - a thanksgiving meetup with old friends - a family birthday - and minimal Black Friday shopping (I bought a couple of switch games which had been on my list for a while.

I did a bit on many of my projects for last month but finished few. The area where I saw the most success is health. Perhaps this has been a real testament to the compounding effect of habits. There was little change early on but now there has been far more.

While many of my side projects and tasks have seen little change, I’ve got much closer to my family. My wife and I set out a plan for our evening activities to get away from the “default of TV/Netflix. This included an evening of coding, a “date” evening, an evening at her church group and so on. This has been a real blessing and we’ve spent more time talking and closer than we have since our daughter was born.

I’ve also spent more quality time with my daughter, witnessing her grow and develop. It truly is a blessing and joy to see the world through her eyes.

Adding podcasts

I’ve started adding new podcasts to my listening feed again. After about four months of culling my list, I decided to add some new ones. I’ll probably have to cut some again but so far the mix of tech and Christian podcasts (they all seem to feature Tom Wright) has been a welcome addition. I’ve wanted to add a page with my podcast recommendations for a while so this should be motivation to push forward.

I’m excited for the future and the next year.

We’ve been in the UK for two days and I’ve only had two mince pies so far. I will correct this error.

Shuffling feet

Right foot forward, Left foot forward, A slight dip in the hip with each stoop, Pulling the foot across the floor, Shuffle, shuffle, shuffle. Wringle, wringle, wringle. Moving in my arms, A sudden shift in position with every breath, Left arm out, Right arm out.

How I Quit Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon - Motherboard 🔗

How I Quit Apple, Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and Amazon - Motherboard

By now, it’s common knowledge that Google, Facebook, and Amazon are harvesting as much of our personal data as they can get their hands on to feed us targeted ads, train artificial intelligence, and sell us things before we know we need them…

With the exception of Microsoft and Apple, these fortunes were not built by selling wildly popular products, but by collecting massive amounts of user data in order to more effectively sell us stuff. At the same time, this data has also been abused to swing elections and abet state surveillance. For most of us, giving away our data was seen as the price of convenience—Google and Facebook are “free” to use, after all.

I found flying stressful. Today we’re flying with my four month old daughter 😣. I’m focusing on the destination not the process.

I got some Lamy ink to fill my cross pen, this was a gift when I was 25 or something like that but I’ve barely used it. Now it’s at work that might change. D8EFED9C-8074-43FB-9D60-AD1336D75517.jpg

One of My usual camera testing spot but this time with a very different view. 16A66304-9A1B-4E9D-8E80-65E6BDD5BAB0.jpg

Making 95% of the perceived effort

When I first moved abroad I thought that when I returned to visit the UK, I’d simply state that I would be somewhere or available for an period of time and people would come to see me.

From my perspective, I was travelling several thousand miles so why shouldn’t other people travel a couple of miles to see me?

But after a couple of return visits I realised I was wrong. I looked at the distance but really I was interrupting their lives. I was placing demands on their attendance by my return. If I wanted to see friends, I needed to make 95% of the effort instead of the perceived 50% I saw.

So as I prepare to return to the uk for Christmas, I’m aware that I’ll need to go to see everyone, even after travelling thousands of miles first.

I’m really enjoying these weekly link things that some people are doing on MB. It’s great for discovering something interesting and I almost always check them unlike email newsletters which are full of links. Maybe it feels less obligatory to click through or it’s the mindset I’m in 🤷‍♂️

David Sparks’s Omnifocus Field Guide is very good. Especially the custom perspectives, I love some of the ideas he offers here.