Engineered Eloquence

Think Critically, Write Things Down, Repeat

Outer Inner Monologuing

December 29, 2018

I said to my wife recently, I’m glad you appreciate my outer inner monologue.” Which was to say, I talk a lot. I think through things, especially the existential things out loud. It’s blogging with a single-person audience. My wife provides a listening ear when I need it most, when the ideas are too big to internalize.

Minimalism is one of those things; it requires airtime, especially since it also requires her to be in agreement. I don’t talk through these things to persuade her of anything, but I also talk through things with the hope that, in the end, it comes to a point. And makes said point well enough that perhaps my wife-shaped sounding board becomes an advocate.

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The Need to Simplify Tech Workflows

December 19, 2018

Yesterday, I realized I needed to simplify my workflows. I have to believe that the need is a commonality amongst technologists. Let me set the stage with a look into an iMessage conversation.

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Minimalism as a Gospel Calling

December 18, 2018

I don’t often discuss my religious life on this site, but as I start discussing minimalism and my personal reasons for pursuing that lifestyle, my faith is bound to come up. I feel this is especially true given the fact that much of religion preaches the redistribution of wealth (in its many forms) whether or not that same religion actually practices it. In any case, I went to church last weekend and the sermon (the Catholic Church calls them homilies”) was about just that: giving to those that need (preferably through a Catholic charity).

The homily went there because the Gospel reading thematically drove the point. From Luke 3:11: [John the Baptist] answered them, He who has two coats, let him give to him who has none. He who has food, let him do likewise.’” The reading and the homily got me thinking about the Gospel expectation of minimalism. The idea is everywhere in the Bible. (For Gospel passages, I will stick to Luke and I will not repeat the passage above.)

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Kids Stuff and Minimalism

December 17, 2018

In one of my recent posts on minimalism in my digital life, I mentioned that such a path is a personal choice. While seemingly self-explanatory at the time, I realize that there are whole books about decluttering the stuff that children inevitably bring with them. As such, I wanted to expound on areas in which I feel I have little power to change anything at the moment.

My house has a unique layout. The reason I start here is the idea that the ability to live minimally is often tied to layout and design, whether intentionally or not. If I have five pieces of furniture in a room not meant for them, it doesn’t matter that the number of pieces is small, the room will not work toward one of the major goals of minimalism: less stress. In my home, I have an almost prescient open floor plan, since the house was built in the late-1940s.

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Health Tracking Can Be Unhealthy

December 16, 2018

From So Long, Step Count: My Brief and Sad Smartwatch Hiatus - WIRED:

Sometimes our relationships with our things don’t always make sense. We like some things because even if they require more care and attention than they ever return, you once received that important text message on your wrist at a moment when you really couldn’t look at your phone. We like them because sometime companies over-engineer a feature on a product, and you at least respect the effort. We like them because they’re attached to us, and as a result, we become attached to them.

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A Minimalist in the Tech Industry

December 14, 2018

Engineered Eloquence was born out of the link list boom. I had a Tumblr space back then and Tumblr’s main purpose was sharing other, more important people’s content. Daring Fireball was the gold standard of link lists and every tech person who enjoyed writing wanted to be like John Gruber (to some extent). Tumblr became a stepping stone that provided me a way to use my tech knowledge and launch multiple incarnations of this site over time, including a move to Github Pages (where I learned some Ruby coding and the Jekyll blogging engine) and finally Blot (where I met Nash). Time and time again, I have focused more on the outlet itself than the content, even though the original reason I got into blogging was sharing interesting things and writing down my thoughts.

The problem as I see it now, however, is that in order to share interesting things, you must seek out interesting things. I am reading all the time, but not always on the internet and not normally the easily-distilled. Right now, I am in the midst of four books, none of which I can take snippets from to blockquote. In addition, as I work to whittle down my technology use in my personal life, I have struggled with the balance between sharing and internalizing. And finally, in my desire to become more focused and minimalistic, I have started to see more of the tech blogging echo chamber as trivial. This last point is important because I would historically consider myself a tech blogger.

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