Writing this from the WordPress app on iOS. Let’s see how it goes.
Actually picture is from last night. (First post from mobile phone)
I had a writing grandmother, and during my early childhood she influenced me in the way of reading. She gave me books, we read together, and she introduced me to ways of thinking about reading that gave me a lot.
My grandmother died in 2008 – 15 years ago. This was also the year that one of my brothers got very sick mentally; he is still sick. She has since lost a lot of her piedestal position in my world, but the gifts she gave me in terms of a joy of reading has been with me, and has become a core of my being.
In 2020, I started being admin on a Facebook group called “We who will read 50 books (or a similar goal) in 2020”. The group has grown, and is now at 161 members, and we are still updating our own “reading threads”. During my depression which culminated in the autumn of 2022 and the winter of 2022/2023, I did not read much at all. But I recently started again, and for 2023 I am now on book 12. I don’t know if I can make the target of 50 for this year. It will take some priority. But it is no issue if I do not make it. Last year I stopped at 47.
The book 12 of 2023 is “Lyst” by Thomas Espedal. But as I am reading that book, I am also reflecting about my own reading, and my own writing.
This blog – DLTQ.org – does not have a Project now. There is no underlying principle, no set of rules, nothing that frames this blog firmly. There IS the principle that I record my process of writing the blog post as often as I feel like it. Like now – I am recording my writing this, and the Pink Floyd song in the headset, and I wonder now how these things interact with each other. My writing. My reading of what I am writing. My knowing that I am recording this process, and saving it on Dropbox for future days, months, decades; my knowing that in my creative urges…
Well. What are those urges? An urge. Not just interest. Not just passing fad, a phase through my life. Or can the urge also be immediate and explosive, in that moment, like
If you should go skating[Source]
On the thin ice of modern life
Dragging behind you the silent reproach
Of a million tear-stained eyes
Don’t be surprised when a crack in the ice
Appears under your feet.
You slip out of your depth and out of your mind
With your fear flowing out behind you
As you claw the thin ice.
My fear, I think, is that while I walk forward in my life, new cracks in the ice of my modern life will form, and that my fear will flow out behind me as I claw the thin ice. My fear is that the traumas (will be it’s own tag later) in my childhood will haunt me, and create parts of the cracks, and – just imagine it – feeling surrounded by cracks, visible or invisible. And finding my ground, finding my routine, using my mental capabilities to not go too much in this or that direction.
According to psychoanalytic / literary theory, water is often a symbol of a person’s mental landscape, with images of deep, unfathomable water frequently connected with the unconscious mind – that part of the psyche that houses the majority of a person’s most basic and unrealized self. In this sense, a person’s mind has been compared to an iceberg: he is conscious of the 1/8th of his persona that juts out from the water and oblivious to the 7/8th of his personality’s submerged base. Accordingly, the upper part of Pink’s psyche is frozen over with thin ice, illustrating (or perhaps foreshadowing) the rigid and unemotional person he is or will become. At the same time, it’s this very thin layer of ice that keeps him from slipping into the uncharted depths of his subconscious, an action that would (and will) lead to some measure of insanity as a result of being submerged in his repressed and unrealized emotions.[Source]
So. I read. And I think about reading. And I write. And I write about reading, and I read about writing, and it is 12:25 now, past noon, and I have no obligations, no plans, before tomorrow morning, Monday morning, when I will go to the office in central Oslo.
12:27. My time-centric approach to things. Second, minutes, hours, weeks. 15 days for a new phase. June 5th. June 30th. I want to create a workflow. A workflow that works for me. For sharing. For writing. For being in the moment, and expressing myself in that moment for my future moments.
Reading authors like Thomas Espedal gives me courage. To explore a certain path. And an urge to walk more. Among other things. Walking, not using the bicycle or the tram (as much as I Love the tram in Oslo; the old SL-79 model, not the loathesome SL-18 model).
Reading. Writing. Watching. Feeling. Smelling. Hearing.
How many senses are there? Do I often consider proprioception as often as I consider my sight? What about my gut feeling? Is that it’s own sense? Intuition. Some years ago I learned that the stomach has neurons (random link). Now, Human Design talks a lot about the gut, well, I guess they use other fancy words. As a generator in their classification system, the theory (I consider it theory, just like I consider astrology or religion theory, which you may or may not believe in, but can still be useful) talks about how I should listen more to my gut. The “Yes!”, the “uh-huh” (no) [I hate the tribalism of such movements, it’s like yoga at times, or veganism, or other things]. Anyway. I have become more aware of my gut feeling, scanning things. In a library, a big library, my eye suddenly “connects” with a book, and I end up borrowing it, and the book gave me something. Do I have to believe that there is a mystical power behind it? No. Of course not. But I still experiment with my gut feeling, my reaction to things, people, situations.
Anyway, what was my question?
12:43. Time to go outside!
[Video of process; 49m31s / 391MB]
Today, I had my first meeting with EWB Norway – Engineers Without Borders Norway. I decided to become an applicant to a position in their organization, a voluntary position. We will see how the application goes.
But I am new on this arena, and I hope that I will have a good time in this space. I really feel that the world needs more engineers, and more smart solutions. We need solutions that are practical, and often frugal technologies is the key.
I will attend the general assembly of EWB Norway next week, to get a firmer understanding of how it works and who the main players are, as well as the different sections and groups.
I hope that this new interest in this field; well — it is not really that new.
Actually, I have for a long time been interested in North-South collaboration. But the closest I have been to it is my 2010-2013 involvement with a Norwegian NGO that created home schooling opportunities for girls in eastern Afghanistan in partnership with an Afghani NGO.
So, it is about 10 years since I finished that project, and other things have been on my mind since. But now I want to get into the north-south collaboration (NSC) on engineering projects.
Here is another ChatGPT Prompt:
I am now a candidate for a position as head of an expert group for IT and digitalization in the Norwegian branch of Engineers Without Borders. The expert group is involved in different projects in different countries, and if I get the position (which is a voluntary position), I will be a coordinator between the Head Office of the Organization (In Norway) and the Members of this Expert Group, who are different IT professionals. What are the top 10 things I should consider in my campaign to get this position?
Congratulations on your candidacy for the position as head of the expert group for IT and digitalization in the Norwegian branch of Engineers Without Borders! Here are the top 10 things you should consider in your campaign to increase your chances of securing the position:
- Understanding the Organization: Familiarize yourself with the mission, goals, and values of Engineers Without Borders. Demonstrate your knowledge and passion for their work in IT and digitalization.
- Research the Expert Group: Gather information about the current projects, ongoing initiatives, and past accomplishments of the expert group. This will help you identify areas where you can contribute and make a difference.
- Showcase Relevant Experience: Highlight your previous experience and expertise in IT and digitalization. Emphasize how your skills align with the needs of the expert group and how you can effectively coordinate with IT professionals.
- Leadership and Coordination Skills: Clearly articulate your leadership qualities and your ability to coordinate between the Head Office and the expert group members. Provide examples of how you have successfully led teams or projects in the past.
- Communication Skills: Effective communication is crucial in this role. Highlight your ability to communicate clearly, both verbally and in writing. Discuss how you can facilitate effective collaboration and information exchange among team members.
- Networking and Relationship Building: Engineers Without Borders is a collaborative organization. Illustrate your ability to build and maintain strong relationships with team members, stakeholders, and potential partners. Emphasize your networking skills and how you can leverage them to benefit the expert group.
- Cultural Sensitivity and Adaptability: Given that the expert group operates in different countries, emphasize your cultural sensitivity and adaptability to different environments. Showcase instances where you successfully worked in diverse settings or demonstrated cross-cultural competence.
- Strategic Thinking: Present your ability to think strategically and identify innovative approaches to IT and digitalization projects. Demonstrate your capacity to envision long-term goals and develop actionable plans to achieve them.
- Passion for Social Impact: Engineers Without Borders is dedicated to making a positive impact on society. Express your passion for using IT and digitalization to drive social change and improve the lives of communities in need.
- Commitment and Availability: Voluntary positions require dedication and time commitment. Assure the selection committee of your availability, willingness to invest the necessary time, and commitment to the role and the organization’s objectives.
Remember to tailor your campaign to address the specific needs and priorities of the organization and the expert group. Good luck with your candidacy!Source: ChatGPT 3.5 based on my own prompt.
Well, all those 10 pointers were pretty standard in my thinking, not much new. But it was interesting anyway to get my strategy confirmed in this way.
What would be the biggest growth for me in this position if I get it? I have a lot of experience with networks in different contexts from before, and also international projects. My goal is to – over time – become an expert in North-South collaboration, and to have an expertise in projects in such organizations.
If you secure the position as head of the expert group for IT and digitalization in Engineers Without Borders, there are several growth opportunities that you can pursue:
- Enhanced Leadership Skills: Leading an expert group will provide you with valuable experience in managing a team of IT professionals and coordinating their efforts. This will further develop your leadership skills and ability to guide and inspire others.
- Project Management Expertise: You will have the opportunity to gain expertise in project management within an international context. As you oversee various projects and initiatives, you will learn how to effectively plan, execute, and monitor IT and digitalization projects in different countries, further enhancing your project management skills.
- North-South Collaboration: Given your goal to become an expert in North-South collaboration, this position offers a unique opportunity to engage with projects involving different countries and cultures. You will gain firsthand experience in bridging the gap between diverse stakeholders, understanding their needs, and facilitating collaboration for sustainable development.
- Network Expansion: Engineers Without Borders operates globally and has a broad network of professionals and organizations. Through your role as head of the expert group, you will have the chance to expand your network and forge connections with individuals and organizations working in the field of international development and IT. This network can provide valuable insights, partnerships, and future career opportunities.
- Holistic Approach to Problem-Solving: Working on projects in different countries and contexts will expose you to a wide range of challenges. This will enable you to develop a holistic approach to problem-solving, considering technical, social, and cultural aspects in finding sustainable solutions.
- Expertise in Development Projects: As you engage in IT and digitalization projects within an organization like Engineers Without Borders, you will gain specialized knowledge and expertise in the context of development projects. This experience can be highly valuable if you aim to pursue a career in international development or work with similar organizations in the future.
- Cross-Cultural Competence: Collaborating with professionals from different backgrounds and working in diverse settings will enhance your cross-cultural competence. You will develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for cultural differences, which is crucial for effective North-South collaboration.
- Knowledge Sharing and Learning: Through your role as head of the expert group, you will have the opportunity to share your knowledge and experiences with other professionals while also learning from their expertise. This exchange of knowledge and ideas can further enrich your understanding of IT, digitalization, and international development.
By actively engaging in the role and seeking opportunities for growth and learning, you can develop into an expert in North-South collaboration and gain substantial expertise in projects within such organizations. Remember to set goals, seek mentorship, and continuously expand your knowledge and skills throughout your tenure in the position.Source: ChatGPT 3.5 based on my prompt
The cross-cultural competence is something that I aim for. I particularly want to get experience from Africa as well as Middle East.
I am 45 now, and single. My son is 12 years old, and even though he is with me during the weekdays, he is pretty independent. So if I spend the next 3-5 years working voluntary in this organization in my spare time, I could get a lot out of it perhaps. And in either case, I feel like this kind of work is more interesting, long-term, for me than many other things I might be going for or spending time/energy on.
We will see how this goes. I guess the result from my candidacy will be clear in a few weeks.
[Video of process; 14m28s / 84MB]
In 2015 I started to think about iterative processes; I had been studying project management at the BI business school spare-time for a while, and I was finishing my bachelor’s thesis. My paper, written with a fellow student, was called “Uncertainty Management in Outsourcing Projects”.
Around then I also thought about all kinds of projects. I had been doing projects in different contexts since 1998. First as a project member, then a project manager / leader. And in 2015 I came up with this new triplet of questions:
- What is your vision?
- What is really stopping you?
- What is your next step?
The first question is long-term or idealistic, or it is something quite concrete and perhaps something you are working on Right Now. So, when my vision is formulated (and remember it has to be smart as well; I guess my version of vision is more concrete, oh well).
The second question is mostly about asking “why” over and over. “Why can I not reach my vision?” “Why is xx stopping me?” “Why is yy stopping me?” “Why is zz stopping me?” And at the end, I come up with a root cause. The root cause may be very different to the excuses I give myself in my primary conscious way of thinking.
The third question is really easy: What is the next step? Not 10 steps ahead, no project plan with 30 milestones. Just: What is the next step?
I very often ask myself these three questions, like a mantra. And I may do them over and over. Last winter, during the deepest part of my depression, I asked myself this a lot (“Vision = Be filled with energy and happy”), and every time I ended up giving myself a ton of slack, and saying to myself: “A time of more energy will come, sooner or later”. So in that case, every time, the “next step” was simply “be kind to yourself”
Right now, I may say that my “Vision” is to find a girl-friend. What is stopping me is that no girls seem to have a romantic interest me. But then I ask why some more, and some more, and some more, and it turns out that I am really not That interested in finding a new girl-friend / romantic partner. So that is really what my issue is. My next step then is to evaluate the idea of having a romantic partner some more, and perhaps seeing that in a more positive light.
Or, I may say that my “Vision” is to do something extraordinary at work. Or that my “Vision” is to have a new job for 2024 which is really giving me a lot of new challenges. My “barrier” for those visions may be different, and I may also have variations of answers, depending on where I am on my own energy cycle. My next step is often just to do x or y the next moment, or the next morning at the office, or something else.
But, here is my Current Core Questions triplet (I need to give it a specific name…); one that I have had for a few weeks now. It is not about finding a gf or a new job or even in my current job doing extraordinary work (I know already that I am good at my job).
Since April, when my energy level started to rise, I started to get curious about what I should fill my spare time with. Games, reading, staying with my son and blogging just doesn’t cut it. So I ended up being curious about “EWB” – engineers without borders. And I may find a way to get involved in that organization here in Norway. I like working internationally, and I like NGOs. I am kind of “done” with politics as such, and I am not interested in doing the same stuff as before; a new cycle would bore me too fast. But EWB is interesting. If I was a doctor, doctors without borders would be my thing. Well, I am not Really an Engineer, but I am enough of one to be able to be useful in such an organization. We will see.
I am scanning the organization now, and looking at the ways I might fit in. I guess I will have news before the end of May.
These questions are often with me. And now, I want to read some more in my current book, to move closer to my vision of reading 50 books also in 2023 (I am waaaaay behind on that target; I have only read 9 books so far this year)
[Video of process; 13m31s / 82MB]
I started playing Counter-Strike not far after the beta launched in 1999. I had already played Half-Life for a bit.
I liked CS. It was quick, it required muscle memory, and I liked to hang out with other students etc at the local internet cafe in Bergen, named “Dataport”. In 2000, I also started working at that internet cafe. I liked it there. Open 24/7.
Anyway. It is now 2023, and I started playing Counter-Strike: Global Offensive again a few months ago, after I bought a new gaming pc.
My skills are still quite bad. And when I remember XeQtR who also was playing at Dataport now and then back before the new millennium, I remember just how quick he was. And I remembered his laser focus during the play.
Here is a CS:GO session tonight. I did ok during the round. There is no audio commentary there, you just see the game from my perspective.
I stopped playing CS not long after it went into “retail” in 2000; I became busy with other things. Gaming-wise I started playing WoW in 2005, not after the release of the game. I enjoyed that game, for other reasons than CS. But that is another story.
[Video of process ; 11m57s / 86MB]