Getting back to my Nerdy Ways!

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When I was a student.... (sigh, what a way to start a blog post... that was such a long time ago in real-time, but in some ways.... I feel like it was just yesterday!).

... anyway, starting again...

When I was younger,I would always have a book or a newspaper with me... that was back in the days when mobiles phones were still new, and they were used for telephone and SMS conversations only. I would have jackets that would have a book stuffed in one pocket, and I would always have the daily newspaper tucked under my arm or stashed in a back. I was a pretty nerdy guy (still am...), and I loved reading and learning about things... anything really!

Of course, there was the usual topics... the Physics and Mathematics, that I would enjoy reading and thinking about. That was always an interesting time... where you would just read, reflect, and ponder... and before you knew it, most of the day had passed.

However... I was always keen to stay on top of politics and world affairs... not because I was interested in politics at all, but the geopolitics angle of every decision was something that was crazily interesting to me... like a giant puzzle, a great-power game of chess, where the aim was to be winning... but not so much that the opponents were crushed and decided to play a different, less desirable game.

It was also an interesting excercise in learning how nation states would have to act in the international area... how they would have to relate to each other through ebbs and peaks of local, regional, and strategic power. The idea that despite having relatively supreme power or dominance didn't mean that you could just do whatever the hell you wanted without consequence.

It was also a great time to be reading newspapers... it was a time before everything had turned shrill and partisan. I was slightly (still am...) left-leaning in most things (so, to translate that for our American friends... slightly left leaning in the rest of the world is apparently far left in the US!).... but I would read the national newspaper, which was considered slightly right-leaning. I always enjoyed having a counter-balance to my instinctual reactions... but I have noticed that it isn't something that is possible anymore. I have tried reading all the newspapers... and all of them are stupidly shrill and polemical at best... no exceptions, all the newspapers from both the centre right and left are just straw-manning pretty much all the time and preaching to their "natural" constituencies. That is something that needs to return back to where it came from..

Anyway... it has been quite a long time since I have had journals or newspapers sitting in my pocket... reading things online just isn't quite the same. And if we are going to be perfectly honest with ourselves, it just doesn't end up happening. Meanwhile, if you have a journal in your side pocket... you pull it out when you are on the train or just sitting around waiting.

My wife has noticed that I read much less... and so, for a recent birthday, she subscribed me to one of the world quarterlies... a great publication that I used to read and that I still sometimes read online! The Quarterly Essay is packed with essays and writing from leading thinkers in the strategic and policy spheres... with an Australian perspective. I LOVE IT!

It is currently sitting in my side pocket... I'm looking forward to be being a policy nerd again!

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13 comments
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I love this so much..I miss the days of reading, reflecting, pondering... And a book with me all the time. I've made a vow to wake up and read for twentyminutes every morning before going on my phone and it's the best part of the day!

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I'll raise you one @riverflows! I love reading that way and it is an important part of my day, of me!

Before I go to sleep at night, I give myself thirty minutes of reading time before I go to bed, then sometimes have the morning to finish it.

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That's awesome! I can't read at night now as I'm too mentally exhausted - my brain is brighter upon waking. I've just been loving it and it's a really good habit to set!

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I've made the vow to carry a book with me at all times! Just a soft paperback that fits in my pocket... I have one at the moment about consciousness, attacking from a mathematical/physics point of view. Lots of reading, thinking, re-reading... thinking. Its heavy, but I feel like my brain gets a good workout!

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That sounds fascinating! What's it called? Yeah we need to exercise the brain - I don't think the internet always does that!

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The internet is built for easy quick sugar hits...

The book is called Emperor's New Mind by Roger Penrose.(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/179744.The_Emperor_s_New_Mind)

It is a touch old, but the ideas are still quite interesting and I don't think that the advent of AI or Quantum Computing would change much the underlying ideas that he puts forth.

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That sounds so fascinating. Have you been watching the 'interviews' with LaMDA/AI? It's quite extraordinary how fast these machines learn and mimic human sentience.

I've been watching that series that Ridley Scott did for television, 'Raised by Wolves', a sci fi which has robot AI raise children on another world after Earth falls to war. I'm a sci fi fan and don't mind a bit of escapism. These days it doesnt seem such a foreign idea that a robot could be programmed for emotion or that a machine could learn enough to break the bonds of human programming a la Westworld.

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Oooh... that Raised by Wolves sounds pretty cool! I'm off to search for that! ... and Westworld, I think I have to go back to that one. I was watching it quite a bit in the earlier seasons in the middle of the night when the kids were babies and needed someone in the room to hold them. Needless to say, it probably wasn't the best thing to watch by myself in the dead of night... freaked me out!

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You hit me right where it counts! This. *I got tired of missing it and tired of people telling me they get all their news right here. As they point to the phone.

I still get excited when I see something that I will be reading, taking it all apart and putting it back together again.

Lov, Love, Love @bengy

@tipu curate

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Ah yes... the anticipation of uninterrupted book reading time! I'm starting to think that I'm going to spend more time in the roof cavity... or up on top of the roof. Very peaceful up there!

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all of them are stupidly shrill and polemical at best

This is why I not only don't pay attention to "reputable" news sources, I really, really struggle to actually cannot take them seriously anymore.

Now I'm imagining you in a long coat carrying a briefcase and wearing one of those hats with brims and maybe a pair of classy little round spectacles trotting briskly to the train with your...book thing...under one arm XD Enjoying your journal? :)

or at least someone that may or may not look like you seeing as I don't know what you look like

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Yep, I agree with you there... but alt-news sites are even worse!

I look very much like my robot avatar! But the description is close... not trotting, just ambling... reading and walking, and likely walking into a pole.

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