Words of Radiance
29 May 2023 | 11:00 pm

Words of Radiance cover

✍️ Written by: Brandon Sanderson
🏷 Genre: Sci-fi / fantasy
🗓 Published: 04 March 2014
📄 Pages: 1088
🧐 My rating: ★★★★★ / 5 stars

Expected by his enemies to die the miserable death of a military slave, Kaladin survived to be given command of the royal bodyguards, a controversial first for a low-status darkeyes.” Now he must protect the king and Dalinar from every common peril as well as the distinctly uncommon threat of the Assassin, all while secretly struggling to master remarkable new powers that are somehow linked to his honorspren, Syl.

The Assassin, Szeth, is active again, murdering rulers all over the world of Roshar, using his baffling powers to thwart every bodyguard and elude all pursuers. Among his prime targets is Highprince Dalinar, widely considered the power behind the Alethi throne. His leading role in the war would seem reason enough, but the Assassin’s master has much deeper motives.

Brilliant but troubled Shallan strives along a parallel path. Despite being broken in ways she refuses to acknowledge, she bears a terrible burden: to somehow prevent the return of the legendary Voidbringers and the civilization-ending Desolation that will follow. The secrets she needs can be found at the Shattered Plains, but just arriving there proves more difficult than she could have imagined.

Meanwhile, at the heart of the Shattered Plains, the Parshendi are making an epochal decision. Hard pressed by years of Alethi attacks, their numbers ever shrinking, they are convinced by their war leader, Eshonai, to risk everything on a desperate gamble with the very supernatural forces they once fled. The possible consequences for Parshendi and humans alike, indeed, for Roshar itself, are as dangerous as they are incalculable.

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In short, this is an utterly enthralling book that continues to build upon the first book, The Way of Kings. This is another long book, but rightfully so as Sanderson takes his time to develop a number of characters, their backstory and related storylines.

The result is an incredibly good story that I just couldn’t put down. I’ve already started diving into the third book in this series.

Underline Your Links
14 May 2023 | 11:00 pm

I’ve talked about this myself in the past and I wholeheartedly agree with Jatan on this. While perusing the internet I’ve seen links that are formatted in all kinds of ways, even ones that don’t seem to be formatted at all and are, to my eye at least, completely indistinguishable from the rest of the body text.

I won’t re-hash what Jatan has said in his post, but suffice to say, please underline your links.

Anti-Social Update
9 May 2023 | 11:00 pm

Following my last post, I’ve made some changes to the way in which I consume social media.

I was feeling a bit shitty about social media. Honestly, I wasn’t getting a lot from it, so I decided to make some changes to the way I do things. In my last post on the topic I said:

I don’t think I could follow in the footsteps of Nicolas and Manu [removing social media completely], as I do enjoy my time on the Fedi…sometimes. But something has to change.

Well, something has changed and, true to form, I’ve contradicted myself. I’ve pretty much gone full Nicolas/Manu and stopped using social media.

I’ve cancelled my Micro.blog subscription, and redirected the Mastodon compatible account to my Fosstodon account. I’ve also reduced the amount of people I’m following on Fosstodon from 350 to 40; I’ve also hidden all replies and boosts, so I only see what those 40 people post.

More yet

While the steps above helped, I still wasn’t satisfied. So I decided to take a quiet sabbatical from the Fediverse. I removed the app from my devices, and decided to just see what happened.

It’s nice. Like, really nice.

I rarely pick my phone up now and I certainly don’t doom-scroll. I did write a post yesterday that was asking for blog recommendations, because - you guessed it - instead of doom-scrolling, I’m either ignoring my phone completely, or reading RSS feeds.

It’s much more enjoyable.

My new social” approach

Honestly, I’m still working out what this will look like long term. I’m still involved in Fosstodon, and intend to remain so, after speaking with my co-founder, Mike.

I’ll still be posting links to posts I publish here, and will continue to interact with my followers, but that will be when I decide to check, rather than reflexively opening an app every time I look at my phone.

I’m also thinking about unfollowing the remaining 40 people so that Mastodon becomes a mechanism for conversation around the posts I publish here, rather than a doom-scrolling shit show.

Isn’t that a little selfish, though?

Maybe. But honestly, I don’t really care at this point. I really enjoy the engagement I have from my posts here, whether that’s via email (using the button below) or via conversations on Mastodon in reply to my posts.

I’m basically doing things the same, I’m just cutting out my problem with doom-scrolling. I doubt much will change for you, except for the occasional delay in my replying on Mastodon. But again, who really cares? 🤷‍♂️

Let’s see what happens…

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