Unknown Unknowns - Issue #5
3 min read

Unknown Unknowns - Issue #5

I've been lazy and procrastinated on setting up email for this site.  A few of you have let me know that your replies keep bouncing.  So this week I figured out how to add email to this website, and now you can reach me at [email protected].  If it doesn't work, please DM me on twitter.  Looking forward to hearing any ideas you all have!

This Week:

Idea of the week: A platform for learning in public

The fastest way to learn is to learn in public.  It forces you to document your process, it gives you feedback from everyone, and it forces you to make your learning legible.  It's also a good way to find people to teach you.  And you build a following.  

But how do you learn in public?  What if someone built a platform or came up with best practices?  Should you keep a journal?  Should you do a retrospective after each project?  Is video or writing better?  Maybe a podcast?  How do you solicit feedback?  

Imagine a platform dedicated to facilitating people learning in public.  What would you learn?  What would you follow?

Something Interesting: 1729.com

1729.com is the X-Prize for crypto.  The original X-Prize gave a $10 million prize to the first Suborbital Spaceflight.  It incentivized the building of private spaceships and jumpstarted the personal spaceflight industry.  SpaceX, Blue Origin, and Virgin Galactic owe their origins to the X-Prize.  

1729.com gives bounties for completing tasks and tutorials in crypto.  

Experiment - Recap of Alexander Technique

I tried using Alexander Technique a few times over the last week.  Of course, when I say I tried, I also mean there's a non-zero probability this may not actually be anything close to Alexander Technique.  

I tried to be in a state of expanded awareness during a walk around a nearby pond.
The difference is noticeable when comparing it to when I wasn't in expanded awareness.

When I'm in expanded awareness, I can hear birds, smells trees, notice leaves and branches, feel the breeze.  When I'm not in expanded awareness, my recognition of these sensations is gone.  My attention is focused on whatever's in front of me.  But the sensations from expanded awareness can lead to attention - hearing a bird can lead me to focus my attention on finding that bird.

On some of these walks, I'm walking backwards.  I've been trying to do this through the lens of Alexander Technique.  Setting the intention of walking backwards without deliberately walking backwards.  I noticed that I don't feel the need to check behind me as frequently, I feel more sure footed.  It's possible I'm not as worried about tripping or running into something.

I also tried using Alexander Technique while making lasagna.  

I found I needed to set an intention to do specific actions.  For example, I couldn't just set an intention of "making lasagna" and everything happen on autopilot.  But when I was cooking the noodles, I made an intention of submerging the noodles (part of the noodle sticks out of the water until they're soft) and my hand moved the spoon to do so without me consciously directing specific movements.  I didn't have to make an intention of poking each noodle down as an act in itself.

I write Morning Pages, a stream-of-consciousness journal, with pen and paper.

Is this a form of non-doing, am I consciously thinking as I write?  I don't think I'm consciously forming ideas and translating them into words.  Sometimes I feel like the words appear on the page and I'm reading them after they appear.

When I write or type, I do it without consciously forming the letters.  I think the words and then my fingers move.  I don't think about my fingers moving.

I don't think I have expanded awareness when I write.  My attention is solely where the words are physically going.  It feels like the words are going on the page and then I'm reading in my head what someone else wrote.

General Thought
What is the difference between non-doing and spacing out?  I would say spacing out is without intention.

Am I any closer to learning Alexander Technique?  I have no idea.  The lack of feedback is discouraging.  I'll keep on with Michael Ashcroft's course and hope more emerges.

Questions, suggestions, complaints?  Email me me at [email protected].  Feedback welcome.

If you enjoyed this newsletter, please share it with a friend or two.  And feel free to send anything you find interesting to me!

Have a great week,


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