Journal Daily. Learn vim by Journaling. Similar Tricks for Python & Linux
Learn to use Vim, Python, and Linux with journaling and personal projects. Develop timeless skills to stay ahead of the rapidly changing tech world. Increase creativity and gain wisdom with journaling and mindfulness. Use tools to foster creative thought and self-expression. Find the best platform to become known for one thing and make a compelling pitch.
I'm Journaling Daily to Learn Vim and Improve My Python & Linux Skills
By Michael Levin
Friday, September 1, 2023
My “thing” is much like the “Morning Pages / Artist’s Way” book, but for a modern age. It’s not so much for budding artists wanting to unleash their deactivated child-like creativity so much as it is recovering creativity lost as an adult due to the rapidly changing world and the need to make a buck.
In the field of tech, skills are perishable and keeping them sharp is like being on a hamster wheel. The idea is that as a young person you make enough money in tech to buy a house, pay a mortgage and have savings for retirement, and hope that nothing goes wrong with these plans, ruining the very slim margin for error.
Life is full of mistakes. We learn from mistakes, and the idea is that we do indeed learn. And the idea that we learn means we stop and think. We reflect on what has happened to us. We discuss it, if not with trusted folks we know, then at least with ourselves through journaling or some similar process. And layered up gradually over time, the idea is we make continual adjustments aligning ourselves to some vision that’s increasingly in-tune with who we really are and what’s important to us.
Or not. Our century or so that we’re given on this planet isn’t really much. By the time we’re on our second or third round of serious life-adjustments, we may be in our fifties with AARP starting to market to us. But in my estimation and experience, if you haven’t had good parental or other forms of guidance, fifty years old is just enough to take a deep breath and know what you’re really about and just get started.
Wisdom sets in. If you’re not foundering. If you’re journaling. I have journaled for much of my life, but not enough. It’s time to get myself journaling almost constantly, and make even more of a habit of it. Write a book as a result of it. Earn online followers who support me as a result of it. Spread the unique techniques of tool-use I have developed in the process.
Apply what you have learned. And one of the most important things I have learned is that you have a small window of opportunity to direct your internal reward system to aim your energies towards your goals. If you don’t, you go onto a more automatic program that doesn’t always serve your desired purpose. You’re behaving much more like non-human animals, more pre-determined and less likely to beat the odds.
Doing better for ourselves is redirection. Doing better for ourselves is beating the odds. The less privilege you’re born into, the more true this is. I would also argue the more satisfying it is achieving your desired purpose. And perhaps even the truer-to-self that desired purpose could be for lack of excessive influence by parents, generational responsibilities and other trappings of privilege.
So I’m advocating journaling as a way of redirecting natural inclinations or addiction in order to survive and thrive. Sure, there’s some delayed gratification principles here, but then there is also the joy of typing, and thinking out loud to yourself, and navigating your own life as sport. There’s coming to know yourself better, practicing skills which in and of themselves have great value (communication, typing, etc.). And of course the whole mindfulness and intent thing which seem to be some of the big keywords of late.
Phones run interference with improving your life. By making an instant “fix” of a mostly non-life-improving nature always available, your phone is like a steady stream of the “butterfly effects”. But whereas the butterfly effect in popular usage results in huge weather pattern changes from a butterfly flapping its wings, this is the reverse. Huge changes that could happen in your life from deeper, more meaningful engagement is shut down because that next thing in your feed was more interesting.
Doomscrolling feeds a need. It releases dopamine and other brain chemicals that control your body and behavior. But then so does writing. So if you need a way to escape this vicious cycle, try writing. In a similar way to how the phone creates the neurochemical feedback loop addiction, similar neurochemical feedback loops can be used to foster creative thought and self-expression.
But then here’s the twist. Tool-selection is all-important. If you choose good tools, you’re planting the seeds of future technological freedom and independence from Google, Microsoft, Apple and whatever other big tech companies are trying to corral you into their farm. It is not only possible to journal into the eternal text-editor of tech, vim, but it is a life-changing pleasure to do so.
I type this right now in vim. Technically it’s NeoVim, a “fork” of vim. I lack vision. I don’t want “a team” or responsibility or to take on liabilities, technical or otherwise. But I still want to be able to make money.
Really, education seems like the best way I can go.
- Building timeless skills internally
- Thinking long-term, like decades
- Skills that cut across the decades, fads, platforms, etc.
I can probably make a compelling pitch based on this.
I should really just find the best platform for myself and become known for one thing. Focus! Do one thing well and make sure everybody who wants that one thing can find me and has a clear way to support me.
vi, vim & NeoVim with no plug-ins
What this means? It means extreme familiarity and comfort with editing text in almost any situation, as if editing text were a natural body function.
Do one thing well. Have a simple message. Make it compelling enough people will support me. Ensure it has the potential to be a big enough message that it can really support me.
Stay “engaged” on several fronts. “Reach out” to my audience in several ways. Make memes that can migrate cross-channel. Construct a funnel, the one or two places I spend most of my time. Most likely candidates:
- YouTube - Large built-in audience and already >10K followers
- Twitch - More suitable for the less-polished “gamer” approach than YouTube
- X.com - Trying hard to be a monetizable creator platform
And the few basic principles:
- Journal daily
- Learn vim by journaling
- Do personal projects
- Learn Python with personal projects
- Use Linux servers
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Wow.