Author Archives: smartpeopleiknow

The problem with carpentry and how it differs from IT

It is near impossible to learn how to do carpentry from either books or the Internet. I know because I’ve tried really hard.

Let’s say you decide you no longer want to buy bookcases from Ikea but you want to make you own. You decide a book case is simply a box and decide you want to learn how to make a box with a few tools and some simple instructions.

If you go search for help with your box, you may very likely come across instructions like this: www.popularmechanics.com/home/how-to-plans/how-to/g1591/how-to-make-a-box/

It makes assumptions that you have lots of tools and you can do hard things like cut joints. After a few hours of searches, you will find most sites are like this: tailored to woodworkers making wood pieces that are hard to do and not anything near modern looking.

IT is different. For any technology out there, you can search for the name of the technology and “tutorial” and find something. You can be up and running using the technology in the time it takes you to give up looking for carpentry skills.

I am not sure why that is. Maybe there is more interest in IT so there are more tutorials on it. You could argue carpentry is harder but I have done both and I disagree.

I especially disagree because there is one site I could that actually does make it easy to make furniture and that is Ana White’s. Because of her I have made a wide range of furniture with basically a hammer, a jigsaw and a drill. The furniture isn’t fancy but it was cheaper and better and as modern looking as Ikea.

I think that is a problem with a lot of woodworking sites. They assume you want to do fine woodworking. Find woodworking is fine, but for people starting out, they likely want to make a simple table, a bookcase or set of shelves, perhaps a storage chest. A good joint may be best, but most Ikea furniture is held together with dowels and screws. If you make a book case with dowels and screws and glue, it will last and hold lots of books.

I wish there were more introductory sites on the internet that help people who wanted to learn how to make furniture and do carpentry, like there is with IT. Right now all I have found is Ana White’s site. I highly recommend it.

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Who can bear to be forgotten? Who can bear to be remembered?

Who will pass on without kind words? Who will have loved ones gathered for them? Who will have them stay away? If a tree is best measured when it is down, what does it say when the downed tree is not measured? Where is the measure of how we were loved when we were alive? Or the measure of how we were unloved?

If you read obituaries from your small home town, you will see things and you will wonder. Wonder about lives past. Wonder about your life to pass. What people will think. What people think now. What difference you can make. Did you even make a difference. Are you remembered. Are you forgotten.

And I have thought these things as I read this. RIP D.J.L.

On the things we endure

We endure so much throughout our lives. When we are young, we endure school. We endure our siblings, perhaps. Certainly we endure some of our classmates. We endure teachers and subjects and our parents to some degree.

Later we grow up and roommates, apartments, bad jobs and bad relationships of once kind or another we live through in hope of an end.

Eventually we get old and the thing we have to endure most of all is ourselves. The qualities we seem stuck with, the habits unshakeable, and the traits indelible. We make an effort occasionally to shake them off, like dust, but then we settle and they settle back upon us. And so we endure them. Until the end.

On confusing resilience and endurance

As I suffer from personal difficulty, many people tell me I need to be resilient. This is what I thought as well. But what they really mean is I must be able to endure.

The key difference between resiliency and endurance is temporal.

If the difficulty you suffer is over and you bounce back, you are resilient. You can’t be resilient if your difficulty is on going. Then you are simply enduring.

For some reason, resiliency sounds better than endurance. Perhaps the former sounds active and the latter passive. There is nothing passive about endurance. It is a struggle to work against your difficulties, and those that passively suffer them will likely not endure for long.

To be resilient is good. But while you suffer, endurance is what you need.

It’s RRSP season in Canada. You may feel: why bother contributing? Read this then.

If you are daunted and dismayed with the impossibiity of saving for retirement, then read this.

A few thoughts:

  1. It’s written for Americans, but it works just as well for Canadians. (Replace 401K with RRSP).
  2. You may still not be able to retire, but the more you save, the more cushion you have for later.
  3. It may help you get to sleep at night when your brain starts saying: you are doomed to die old and poor!

On deplatforming on social media

Deplatforming is starting to rise up as a means of dealing with the bad effects of social media. For instance:

On having fallen from the grace of god

Having walked for seven plus years, having lost so much, so much dead, so much broken, he accepted he had fallen from the grace of god. He walked through the years, and recalled them, picking over broken things, things he had built now gone, things he had saved now lost. He had walked for seven plus years and lost so much from the lack of grace from god. And he despaired, and fed the fires of despair. And when his despair had burned away, he looked around once more and saw what still remained, what was good, what could be built up. And this was the true gift, not this thing or that, not the vain hope of never losing. This vision was the gift. With this vision, he could see that he had regained the grace of god, though it had never left him.