A Gem From My 2009 To Reads

When an article looks promising but I don’t have the time, attention, focus, or patience to read it, I generally stick it in my to read pile on Delicious.com. I filed away what turned out (just today) to be a real gem in April of this year – from Gary Wolf on the blog Quantified Self and titled Measuring Mood – Current Research And New Ideas. It provides a thumbnail sketch of the recent scholarly history of the theory of emotions, and points to a few approaches that show promise including happy factor. Mood tracking and the ability to measure and share data about levels of individual happiness is a topic that seems to pop up in brainstorms all the time, and is often falsely assumed to be as an easy and straightforward thing to implement.

Read, don’t skim Gary’s article if you’re interested in finding out more about the tension between two prevailing approaches at modeling emotion — one that makes happiness and sadness polar opposites, and one that allows them to coexist at the same time — and how Lisa Feldman Barrett’s approach helped to lead the discussion in a productive direction.

Year-End Tidying Up Tasks

I’m thinking about some tidying, straightening, and reflecting before 2010 hits. Hopefully by listing it out I’ll make it more likely that I get through a bunch of it. Here are the things I hope to get through in the next 10ish days:


  • Read through and clear out my to read, to watch, to listen to, and to look at piles

  • Same same for pile of magazines and things – recycle as many paper catalogs and magazines as I can bear to part with

  • Archive my 2009 received and sent email

  • Clean out online storage, Google docs account, and laptop drive of anything that’s not worth holding on to indefinitely

  • Consolidate and revisit my backup scheme

  • File any needed 2009 papers, shred older stuff that I don’t need any more

  • Bring my WP install and all plug-ins up to date

  • Make a few practical and a few more directional resolutions for next year

  • Take a fresh look at Extraface.com and the blog, and see if any adjustments might be needed

  • Remove and sell, recycle, or donate some of the attic clutter

Possibly more later.

Update: I asked my network via Aardvark (@vark) what digital tidying they are doing to prepare for the new year. I’ll paste some of the answers here:

Ryan A, from SLC

“1) search HD for files I no longer need, including duplicates, empty folders, installers, tryout software I never bought,

2) remove Preference files for files as per above.

3) archive pictures I no longer need immediate access to. Same with photos.

4) backup my financial records for the year.

5) purge email folders of unnecessary stuff

6) run all maintenance scripts ( which should have been periodically run throughout the year), fix permissions (LINUX, Apple). Optimize HD.”

Marie from Tucson

“…oddly enough, yesterday i started burning CDs to back up one computer. i’ve got a problem with ubuntu and need to reinstall the OS. don’t want to loose anything. i’ve also been reading Chris Guillebeau’s annual review and those of others. thinking i will make one of my own and pop it into a time capsule for my nieces. “

Most But Not All Friday Heh

There’s only so much heh a Friday can take.

Friday Heh

  • Shiny Suds Ad Elicits Full-on Harrumph Of Outrage – The true heh here is not the original ad, or the reaction to the ad, which if honest should be considered. The true heh here is this comment from a critic/observer, who I’m strongly suspecting is a sock puppet for one of the competing companies: “Making us fear chemical residue from cleaning products because it’s tied into a rape threat is beyond sickening.”
    [via Gerard]

  • Sneak Preview Of The Upcoming Adidas Star Wars Collection – “The products in the season’s first drop take inspiration from legendary Star Wars characters and scenes and fuse them with iconic adidas Originals silhouettes.” OMG.

  • Steven Seagull’s Exit Wounds – This sounds like a much better movie.

  • Ruby Pseudo’s Favorite Sentences From Youth Culture Research – “On being asked what their ideal phone would look like: “I wanted the phone to be easy to use, so I have placed eight buttons on the back, two on the top, six on the bottom, four on the left, and four on the right. Take a look at the sketch to understand’ 15 year old male, Belgium”
    [via Jonas]

  • Face Ahoy Blog – A blog that chronicles the faces in everyday things. This is something I’ve always kept an eye out for – I’ll have to send them Mr. Sedgewick, circa 2003.
    [via Gavin]

  • The Lobster Zone Skill Crane – A deeply disturbing lobby game where participants wield the skill crane to try to catch real live lobsters:

    [via Capn Ken]

  • Hadouken..hadouken…