Posts from November 2017

  • Journalling Update

    My switch to Vim for journalling can be described as nothing less than a rousing success!

    As of this writing I’ve written over 25,000 words using my Vim-based setup and it has been, to put it mildly, an absolute joy.

    The switch to using my instrument of choice–the computer–as my preferred method of journalling has freed my inner dialog from the restrictions of my sluggish, illegible printing. And the sheer portability of my laptop means that I never feel as though the choice to go digital has been an albatross. Quite the contrary, in fact, since I’m rarely without my laptop, but frequently don’t have my notebook with me.

    For anyone with a bit of a technical bent, I strongly recommend Vim + Goyo + Limelight as a writing stack. The tooling gives me everything I’d want from a distraction-free writing experience, without costing me a penny, with all the power of my favourite editor.

    Ironically, the biggest downside is that I’m back into the habit of pressing Escape every time I’m done writing something… even if I’m writing in a web form. And that means I frequently accidentally back out changes to JIRA tickets at work… damn it…

    And speaking of work, I’ve also moved to this same stack for taking my own work notes and tracking my work-related tasks. Turning a bulleted list into a set of checkboxes in Vimwiki is a Ctrl+Space awaym, so I can quickly and easily write out the day’s plan, accomplishments, and misses. Synchronizing with OneDrive means I can get the same set of notes on any of my work environments. I highly recommend it!

  • Review: Ancillary Justice

    Review of Ancillary Justice (Imperial Radch #1.0) by Ann Leckie (9780316246637)★★★
    Cover for Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie

    On a remote, icy planet, the soldier known as Breq is drawing closer to completing her quest.

    Once, she was the Justice of Toren - a colossal starship with an artificial intelligence linking thousands of soldiers in the service of the Radch, the empire that conquered the galaxy. 

    Now, an act of treachery has ripped it all away, leaving her with one fragile human body, unanswered questions, and a burning desire for vengeance.

    Ancillary Justice feels like the archetype of the massive vision science fiction novel… i.e., all concept, no character.

    The first person perspective ensures that the only character we really get to know is Justice of Torren One Esk, but as a character, One Esk is a cardboard cutout. This is ironic as the setup would seem to make this narrative a great opportunity for a character study, but as we draw back the covers of One Esk, there just isn’t much there there.

    As for the supporting cast, there’s little to recommend them, and in fact Seivarden is downright unpleasant for most of the book, with a mysterious turnaround partway through that I still don’t understand.

    Continue reading...