Clerestory

Dry November: Day 12

November 12, 2019

Another night in a pub on the lime and soda, seeing a few friends I’ve not seen in some time. Everyone is coming and going, leaving London or about to return, trips to Stockholm and South Africa.

I’m staying put, though I need to book flights to California sometime soon. Today I read Emma Darwin, Balzac, Taleb’s Antifragile. I listened to Robert Wright speak to Jack Goldsmith about his new book about Jimmy Hoffa, which sounds fascinating, and might be a nice break from the kind of research I’m doing.

Frustrated by half-complete lists of book recommendations across Workflowy, Zotero, text files, the Zettelkasten, and scraps of paper, today I also put together a SQL database to hold them in pretty little rows. It hooks into Zotero’s SQLite, and uses a list of names which I was already using for film recommendations. I wrote a short Python script to manage it, and it’s all working now.

+---------------------+---------------+-------------------+-------------------------------+
| Date                | Person        | Book              | Note                          |
+---------------------+---------------+-------------------+-------------------------------+
| 2019-11-12 10:50:40 | Robert Wright | In Hoffa's Shadow | From Hoffa podcast 2019-11-04 |
+---------------------+---------------+-------------------+-------------------------------+

That’s a joined up query; there’s a many-to-many table linking the list of people to the list of books and articles in Zotero’s SQLite database.


I'm Bryan Kam. I'm thinking about complexity and selfhood. Please sign up to my newsletter or see more here.