On the flow of text on the page

Xanadu

Ever since I’ve been doodling around on apps/tools like Notion1, Tinderbox2 and Roam3, I feel constrained when I look at the flow of text on a regular book.

Of course, it had to be that way in the beginning, because the printed word began with movable type, which had to be laid out in rows, and the page was composed of rows, and so words flowed top to bottom.

But (okay, speaking for myself here) I don’t think like that, and I don’t read like that either. If someone were to track my eye movement on the page of a book, it’s not dissimilar to that of a long-form article in the browser.

I don’t go left-to-right, top-to-bottom, I’m always darting around, going back and forth, summarizing as I go along, judging whether I want to proceed.

It would be interesting to see — while keeping the medium of paper — have a more random layout, perhaps with arrows linking blocks of text … maybe using colors and labels on links …. Just breaking down the wall of text that exists right now into tiny little pieces.

I’d read that.

  1. https://www.notion.so/desktop
  2. http://www.eastgate.com/Tinderbox/
  3. https://roamresearch.com

Monthly Curations: February 2020

Monthly recap (January 2020)

Glorious sunsets seen from the ship
Glorious sunsets seen from the ship

Major updates:

  • Visited Kennedy Space Center! (only got a few hours, but still …)
  • Went on the first cruise of my life (in the Bahamas … also, learnt that I’m not really a “cruise person”)

Minor updates:

  • Came back with Tara and spent a week with her (and then she spent a week with Shivi later)
  • Went snorkeling for a bit and saw a Ray of some sort sitting in the sand, got a little freaked out …

Watched/read/made:

  • Read Lexicon (picked up at SFO bookstore, loved it, found echoes of Snow Crash in there …)
  • Watched the 1979 animated version of The Hobbit with my dad and Tara (highly recommend)
  • Second season of Lost in Space

Interesting links: January 2020

Proposed telescope for Project Diana, that never got built.
Proposed telescope for Project Diana, that never got built.

Interesting links: December 2019

A giant prehistoric turtle
A giant prehistoric turtle

Annual recap: 2019

Me:

  • Moved from Pure Storage to Confluent
  • Started and finished my third 1000-piece puzzle
  • Annoying tax related issues, car battery trouble
  • Tentative steps towards backyard gardening (Marigold, Moon flower)

Family/Tara:

  • Blood draws and an endoscopy later, learnt that Tara is intolerant to Gluten
  • Trying out some new board games (Zingo!, Race to the treasure, Monza, Robot Turtles)
  • Shivi got a big promotion at work
  • Went on a few hikes
  • Disney on Ice
  • A friend’s mom passed away, attended her funeral
  • Watched Dolphins in the water, 4th of July fireworks
  • Watched Beat bugs and Rapunzel at the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre
  • Tara moved to the last preschool class, and turned five this year!
  • Got the kitchen floor tiled
  • Trip to Berkeley, discovered Berkeley Bowl
  • Team offsets from work: pottery and sailing!
  • Tara’s first Lego sets
  • Trick-or-treating with Tara 🙂
  • Spent a week home alone with Tara
  • Pumpkin painting (at home, at her friends’)
  • Birthday party at Pump-it-up
  • Watched with Tara in the hall: Secret life of Pets: 2, Toy Story: 4, Lion King (the new one), A beautiful day in the neighborhood, Angry Birds: 2, Frozen 2 (with friends)
  • Travel: Asilomar/Pacific grove, Maui, Laguna Beach, Kauai,

Misc:

  • Watched: The Kominsky Method: Season 1, Altered Carbon, The Good Place, The Nineties, Fahrenheit 11/9, Burning, The Kindergarten Teacher, The Good Place, The Romanoffs, After Life, Behind the Curve, Umbrella Academy, Gully boy, Gad Elmaleh, Ronnie Cheung, Vice, Killing Eve, Stranger Things: Season 3, Sacred Games, The Last Czars, Chernobyl, End of the tour, The 2000s, Modern Love, Oceans, Death dive to Saturn, Dark Crystal, Modern Love, The Kominsky Method: Season 2, The Crown (latest season)
  • Listened to: The Square and the Tower, The world was never the same, Sapiens, The ascent of money, Homo Deus,
  • Read: Deep Work, Seveneves

Review:

  • Well, I did zero 10Ks, but I did start running for 15 minutes every week (a tiny thing, but a slow start)
  • Collected a bunch of haikus into a book

Tentative New Years’ Resolutions:

  • Do some random acts of making (e.g. see what mobile apps are like these days: make a small little app 😀)
  • One more 1000-piece puzzle (!!)
  • Write a small book about … something
  • Run a 10K (🤞)