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Late Spring Update
personal news and Substack changes
This will be a quick update on some of my projects and life in general.
I have recently read Nation of Victims, by Vivek Ramaswamy, and cannot recommend it highly enough. I have three books that aren’t part of my US history project that I want to review, and will when I can find time—that one, A Mother’s Reckoning by Sue Klebold (the mother of Dylan Klebold, one of the Columbine shooters), and Atlas Shrugged, which I am about a quarter of the way through now and can already tell I will want to write about when I finish it.
Substack Change: the US History Project
I have been on a journey of learning US History, and writing about it as I go. I am using an 1828 dictionary as a primary source, including many definitions of the words in the primary source documents so that the meaning of words at the time they were used will lend insight.
I will be back in my workday routine, which involves dedicated time for this project every morning, soon. I’ve written the next couple of Constitution installments and will get one edited and posted soon.
So far this has been for paid subscribers only, but I’ve sent out free previews to everyone. Going forward, I’m only going to do that occasionally. It’s obvious that a deep dive into the details of US history is not everyone’s cup of tea, and for the people who don’t care, either about the subject of US history itself or about following on my journey of discovering it, I don’t want to drive them nuts with extra emails. I may send one from time to time if I think the topic is especially interesting or relevant (thinking ahead to the first amendment after I finish the Constitution) but in general, I won’t.
Major Life Upgrade: iPad and Notability App
I recently got an iPad with an Apple Pencil and have started using the Notability app. This is the most major life upgrade I’ve had in awhile. The Notability app is that rare animal — an app that is designed in a way that makes sense and is easy to use. (No, nobody is paying me to endorse it, LOL).
The organizational scheme is easy, intuitive, and makes sense, and has security options for both whole folders of notes and individual ones—for example, you can send a note to someone else as a locked PDF with a password required to access.
It offers dozens of templates of “paper” to choose from, in addition to templates of calendars, budgets, recipes, to-do lists, schedules, planners of every sort, etc.:
I just realized what “CRT” means to most non-woke people. I am not writing a Python function about critical race theory, ha ha! I’m working on a number theory/coding project about the Chinese Remainder Theorem.
More examples from the app:
And there’s all kinds of easy integration of other types of content and functions:
I absolutely love this app. The ability to write by hand, but to do so electronically with easy erasing and a permanent record (that isn’t subject to getting lost, getting wet, or needing to be filed, etc.) has been far more of a positive change than I would have guessed, and I heartily recommend it.
Substack Chat: Learning Math
Substack has a “chat” section of their website and app.
People can create threads in this chat area. I am using it now, but not for the usual purpose of trying to create discussion around my writing. Mostly I’m posting math things — sometimes answering people’s math questions (feel free to post yours; I recently explained how to multiply and divide fractions there), but mostly posting number theory proofs. If you are interested in learning math, re-learning math you used to know, etc., or if you are interested in number theory (especially if you have sufficient knowledge to give meaningful feedback!), then I’d love to see you join us there.
Happy Personal News
It’s hard to consider the winter really “over” in Vermont, as we were still getting frost warnings at night as recently as last weekend. But it’s going to get into the 80s today, so I think it’s probably safe to put winter in past tense now.
Which means I can now say that I got through a winter without any serious, prolonged depression. I had a couple of very bad weeks when it felt like I was slipping into that, but I pulled out of the tailspin every time.
Saying this out loud feels like tempting fate, but I’m trying to see the world differently these days, so I’m going to say it anyway.
About My Substack: I’m a junior data scientist (two years experience and presently job-hunting if you’re hiring). My great love is mathematics, but I also enjoy writing. My posts are mostly cultural takes from a broadly anti-Woke perspective—yes, I’m one of those annoying classical liberals who would’ve been considered on the left until ten seconds ago. Lately I’ve regained a childhood love of reading and started publishing book reviews. My most widely useful essay may be this one, about how to resist the demon of self-termination.
Paid subscribers get access to occasional creative writing posts and have sole access to a journey I am making to educate myself about United States history. The first entry is not paywalled and is accessible here.
I used to be poor, so this Substack has a standing policy: if you want a paid subscription but cannot afford one, email me at hollymathnerd at gmail dot com and I’ll give you a freebie.
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