Beyond the Infinite

I collect a lot of “stuff” on my computer. I’m one of those lazy people who just drop most of it onto my Desktop and assume I’ll figure out what to do with it later. The problem is, I rarely actually figure out what to do with most of it.

Late last year I created a folder on my Mac’s desktop named “Beyond the Infinite” 1. Anything that ends up on my desktop that isn’t important enough to file away but is something that I’d still like to keep, “just in case,” gets tossed into Beyond the Infinite.

It’s become a minor treasure. It’s like a journal of things that barely matter at the time, but become valuable later. Screenshots, text snippets, URLs, etc. I love it.

Printing web pages

In 2020 I wrote,

I no longer try to read longer-form articles right away. I instead send them to Instapaper and, after a day or two, review the inbox, delete the ones I no longer care about, and print the ones I do.

Reading Long-Form Web Articles By Printing Them First

I still print web pages for later reading, but I’ve updated the way it works.

I’ve replaced Instapaper with Zotero as my read later service. Zotero is overkill for this, but it’s free, local, and makes the articles I save usable as references if needed.

When I’ve found an article that I want to print and read, I visit the page and use the excellent Markdownload web clipper extension. Markdownload grabs the meat of the article, converts the HTML to Markdown, and (optionally) adds front matter and metadata to the document. Here’s an example:

created: 2022-11-12T08:40:29
source: https://www.wired.com/story/tweet-dying-revolutionary-internet/
author: Paul Ford
documentclass: scrartcl
- twocolumn

# A Tweet Before Dying | WIRED
source: ([www.wired.com](https://www.wired.com/story/tweet-dying-revolutionary-internet/))

> ## Excerpt
> The revolutionary internet is over, and we don’t have much to show for it. A new start is out there, somewhere.

i find it a good philosophical exercise to imagine the last tweet. It could come centuries hence, when a cryptobot offers a wistful adieu to another cryptobot, or in 2025, when Donald Trump, the newly ...

I add the documentclass and classoption front matter manually. These options are used by my pandoc template 1 when converting the Markdown file to PDF using Pandoc. The rest is handled automatically by the extension.

Once I have the Markdown file, I convert it to PDF either via a BBEdit script or pandoc-mode in Emacs.

Here’s what the PDF looks like:

Screenshot of printed output

After that, it’s off to the printer.

Admittedly, the setup for this took me some time, but now that the hard part is done I can go from web page to a typographically beautiful printed document in about a minute. It’s been totally worth it.

Fancy graphs are fancy

All I think when I see posts like this is, “So? To what end?”

“5 months results. @logseq keeps logging and meaning emerges naturally.” (@hillsmao)

I’m sure some people actually derive value from these graphs, but I also suspect that many just get a kick out of looking at them. Nothing wrong with that, but it’s not Knowledge. It’s barely even information.

Alan Moore on comics

Watchmen author Alan Moore: ‘I’m definitely done with comics’:

I said round about 2011 that I thought that it had serious and worrying implications for the future if millions of adults were queueing up to see Batman movies. Because that kind of infantilisation – that urge towards simpler times, simpler realities – that can very often be a precursor to fascism.

And this:

Hundreds of thousands of adults [are] lining up to see characters and situations that had been created to entertain the 12-year-old boys – and it was always boys – of 50 years ago. I didn’t really think that superheroes were adult fare.

My first salt-water aquarium

When I was a kid I kept a small, fresh-water aquarium. It was fun, but I always knew that the really cool fish lived in salt water. Fast forward 40 years or so and I’ve finally put together a salt-water “reef” aquarium.

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Moving my journal to (mostly) digital

For years, I’ve kept a paper notebook at hand. I always have a Moleskine-style bullet journal or a Field Notes pocket notebook or a Hobonichi Techo nearby. Sometimes all three.

Lately, I’ve been feeling hampered by keeping my journal on paper. My handwriting is terrible unless I write very slowly and deliberately. I worry that personal journaling suffers from too-slow, overly-deliberate writing. I spend too much time deciding between and playing with various writing instruments. I love my fountain pens, but I’m left-handed, and fountain pens are not ideal. The ink and paper must be just right, and that’s hard to arrange.

Eleven years ago I started using Day One, a journaling app for macOS and iOS. Day One is a fantastic app, dedicated to journaling. I’ve used it intermittently ever since. I’m now using it all the time.

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Use what you have

I have some pretty nice things. I’m fortunate enough to have more “stuff” than I could ever need. And yet, it seems as if I’m always buying something new. It’s just that I like to try new things, whether it’s tools, software, gadgets, or what have you. I want to see what different things feel like to have and use.

The photo above is from my dad’s garage, taken this year. I took it because I’m always amazed at how little it changes. My dad rarely buys anything new. He just uses what he has.

Recently, I have been striving to be more like my dad. Whenever I start looking for some new thing to help me do some old thing, I say to myself, “Use what you have!” It’s working pretty well. I have not purchased anything new if I already have something similar that will do the job. No gadgets, cameras, pens, notebooks, computers, etc. I already have all those things, and they work great.

I need a new film scanner

My Epson V750 Pro, purchased in 2009, has scanned thousands of rolls of film, slides, and prints. After making strange grinding noises recently, it has finally ground to a halt.

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