Posts Tagged writing

Advice from John Searle – Find the questions you are passionate about

In an interview with John R. Searle, there was this exchange (edited):

 Searle: That’s my main objection to contemporary philosophy: they’ve lost sight of the questions. …

Interviewer: … But what advice would you give to a young philosopher starting out to not lose sight of the questions?

Searle: Well, my advice would be to take questions that genuinely worry you. Take questions that really keep you awake at nights, and work on them with passion. I think what we try to do is bully the graduate students. The graduate students suffer worse than the undergraduates. We bully the graduate students into thinking that they have to accept our conception of what is a legitimate philosophical problem, so very few of them come with their own philosophical problems. They get an inventory of problems that they get from their professors. My bet would be to follow your own passion. That would be my advice. That’s what I did.

Indeed! The idea is to find the questions that matter, at least to you and pursue them doggedly.


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Settling in on the new Mac

I think I have my list of front-line apps settled — at least for the most part — in my quest to get more things done. As anyone knows who decides to fiddle with these things, much time (and some money) can be spent in researching apps, downloading and trying apps, comparing apps, and so on. That in itself is a threat to genuine productivity. But as I’ve said, I think it is a risk worth taking. In fact, any move, transition, or transformation in life will demand time (and probably money) devoted to the change itself instead of to that at which the change is aimed. 

So what are some of the apps?

  • Quick notes (mac): nvAlt & Simplenote

  • Quick notes (iPad): Drafts an Simplenote

  • Longer writing (non-web; mac): Scrivener & Word

  • Longer writing (non-web; iPad): Scrivener/Simplenote integration

  • Blogging (mac): MarsEdit

  • Blogging (iPad): Posts or BlogPadPro (still not decided)

  • To Do: Todoist

  • Lists: Wunderlist

  • Calendar: Fantastical

  • Screen capture: Snagit

  • Screen casts: Camtasia

  • Research organization: Devonthink Pro Office & Evernote

  • Referencing/Footnoting: Bookends

  • eBook library: Calibre

  • Presentations: Powerpoint

  • Spreadsheet: Excel

  • Twitter: TweetDeck & Buffer

  • PDF reading/annotating (mac): Skim

  • PDF reading/annotating (iPad): (undecided between Good Reader, iAnnotate, and PDF Expert)

  • RSS reader (mac): Leaf

  • RSS reader (iPad): (undecided)

  • Passwords: 1Password

  • Automation: Text Expander, Hazel, Keyboard Maestro

  • Markdown editor (mac): (undecided…Mou, Lightpaper, Multimarkdown Composer, Byword…?)

  • Markdown editor (iPad): (undecided, but I like Editorial)

  • Cloud: Dropbox (just drastically lowered their price; I do use other services — Box, Google Drive, One Drive, etc. — for specific purposes)

  • Notebook: Circus Ponies Notebook 4


NOTE: apps that don’t specifically identify mac vs. iPad are cross-platform and synced.

I’ll try to add some notes on these apps as I go along.

What are you using and why?

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