Name of the Game

In which RVA talks about his offspring…

Figuring out what to write is sometimes really tricky.  I’m a fiction writer by disposition but a journalist by training and a science writer by occupation.  Sadly, nowhere in there is promotional writer.  So I often struggle with knowing what will generate ‘hits’ to this site (or garner the attention of one of the dozen other sites where these blog posts appear).  I often use these fun little blog entries to muse on different ideas, rant about different social issues, and to generally just chat.  Mostly, though, these blogs are just to show that I’m alive.

Long ago, when I wrote a daily serial, the serial entries themselves sufficed as daily content.  But these days, metrics and algorithms run the lives of content creators.  It was determined (I’m not sure by who, but I’ve seen the figures quote often enough so I guess it must be true) that daily content proved to actually be counterproductive.  Twice and thrice-a-week updates seemed to be the sweet spot for content.

Cool, I suppose.  Less work, right?  Well, what if you no longer produce daily content.  What do you do? Continue reading “Name of the Game”

Minimum Effective Dose

In which RVA talks about doing as little as needed…

Long ago, I was pretty adherent to the writings of Tim Ferriss.  One of the first life hackers (before that was a term, really), Ferriss wrote the very-good-if-overrated 4-Hour Workweek.  A treatise on joining the ‘New Rich’, a lot of the techniques described are problematic and the assumptions it makes about the world are equally troublesome, but it does have some good advice on goal-setting and even goal-defining (do you really want a motorcycle, or do you just want to feel cool?  Do you really want to speak Japanese or do you just want an Asian girlfriend?).

Ferriss would follow that up with the masterful 4-Hour Body, which is a treatise on self-reinvention.  Some of the techniques and topics discussed within are, at this point, a bit dated (some of the supplements he advises have largely been established to be bogus).  But the training programs and the seminal diet – the Slow-Carb Diet – still hold up and I suspect will for some time to come. Continue reading “Minimum Effective Dose”

Reality of Idealism

In which RVA talks about not liking the beach…

So I have a confession to make: I kind of enjoy the quarantine.

Not the actual circumstances that are necessitating it.  Oh lordy, no.  No, I’m a public health professional.  I know why we’re quarantined, I know how it works, I know why it’s necessary, and I know what will happen if we don’t.  Hell, I have a pretty decent idea of what will happen even with us doing it (though not as many of us are doing it as we should). Continue reading “Reality of Idealism”