I’ve recently started using Scrivener for writing larger documents. Scriveners ability to export and compile in plenty of output formats (.rtf, .odt, .docx, .ePub and even Latex) combined with it’s arrangement and research features, are the biggest takeaways for me.

Multimarkdown is also handled nicely, and combined with an app like Marked, previews of the end product is quickly available.

I’m not writing per se but am currently using Scrivener to produce training material for PRINCE2 courses, as well as longer blogposts and whitepapers. I find Scrivener really liberating compared to good ol’ Microsoft Word, essentially because the focus, as in Latex is much more on content than appearance.

Scrivener in action In the screendump I’ve got some quick references up (3 in total, the ones with the black ‘HUD’ around them) as well as the main document in the right hand side.

I’ve chosen Nighthawks by Edward Hopper as my backdrop along with a style for the editor that is reminiscent of Solarized by Ethan Schoonover.


The other day I saw the below video where Maynard James Keenan explains his perspective on the relationship between an artists personality and the art itself. The gist of it all, to me at least, is that progressing and maturing as a person is part of his process; and to be honest, seeing the above video in contrast to this one, I think there’s plenty of evidence of change.

Another facet of the discussion is the extent to which artists are ‘allowed’ to change the formula that laid the foundation of their stardom or success. Plenty of artists have been critizised for messing with that specific formula, but in truth, the artist and the actual music are only part an equation that has many variables that are not static over time.

Some of these variables are the actual state of popular music culture at the time (I don’t imagine Slipknot being popular in the fifties for example), whether or not you are in a band, how your bandmates see things (would Tool ever be able to create Puscifer?).

Sometimes the genre of music that the artist performs in will change as well (Metallica is still around but plays rather differently than e.g. Meshuggah or ISIS). In other words, for the artist, the artistic process or the art that is the output of it, to change, is in many cases something that will happen, just like the reception in musical culture of that product, might change.


My mind got triggered on the ever ongoing discussion of ‘PRINCE2® versus Agile’ and how these approaches can, or cannot (which is what most people argue), work together. In my opinion, there is no ‘versus’ here, just a matter of tailoring to achieve a common goal.

To me, what PRINCE2® provides on top of Agile Product Development ideas like Kanban and SCRUM is clarity (I will not go into DSDM here, since it’s already well integrated with PRINCE2).

Overall, PRINCE2 describes 3 levels in the project lifecycle: Directing, Managing and Delivering.

PRINCE2® processes

Where Kanban or SCRUM fits in from a PRINCE2 perspective is the Delivering level. This is the domain of the team (which may be working in a SCRUM or Kanban context) and this is where products are produced, in the Managing Product Delivery proces.

In PRINCE2 (remember the generic approach) work for teams or project resources is issued or sanctioned through the use of Work Packages. Basically, Work Packages are what you in the Agile world would call agreements on Iterations or Sprints; a defined period of time with a definite start and end, containing a set amount of hours for development (capacity) on specific products (ie. sprint goals), with set agreements on escalation and communication (how to handle impediments, SCRUMs or stand up meetings) and tolerance on the delivery scope (adding or removing Backlog Items during a Sprint).


In this excellent TED talk, american psychologist Barry Schwartz talks about the “Paradox of Choice””. The premise being that freedom in the western world today, is best represented by having many choices or options.

According to Mr. Schwartz this is not always so, as a high amount of choices often introduce a certain amount of paralysis as well. In effect, we are paralysed and have a hard time deciding out of fear of it being the wrong choice. In return, once we do commit to a choice, we often experience a lessened sense of happiness since what if the other choice had been better?

His generic advise is to have low expectations so that there is room for surprise and less room for feelings of failure. To some extent I think this can also be seen in the challenge of relationships in our day and age.

It is socially acceptable to change partners regardless of kids or family thus introducing the option of the grass might just be greener on the other side so why should I settle for less? In other words, the golden age of perseverance seems to be over (and that is true for many areas, not just relationships).

This widespread tendency is also seen across the royal houses of Europe; even princes and princesses gets divorced nowadays (and that might be a good thing) but it does prove that the public opinion of what is socially acceptable as right or wrong has moved a lot in the past years. Which, as a little side note, reminds me of a quote from The House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski:

“Passion has little to do with euphoria and everything to do with patience. It is not about feeling good. It is about endurance. Like patience, passion comes from the same Latin root: pati. It does not mean to flow with exuberance. It means to suffer.”

I guess that in our day and age, having patience and also the will to suffer for a period of unhappiness or stress, to realize potentially great benefits in the end, is something most people are unwilling to do. Maybe change of this kind brings with it an increased sense of happiness in peoples lives, but it most certainly also leaves families and especially kids, in stressful situations.

In some cases, staying together also has its issues, so it’s up to all of us to find that spot, in between the slow death or the quick change of partners when issues arise. Anyways, give it a go, it can’t hurt to actually reflect a little, can it? :)


Having known Mastodon from their Call of the Mastodon album, it was clear that this was not a record which went back to their origins, but one which again carried them forward from Crack the Skye.

I ordered the 45 rpm version since I wanted the best edition they would publish, in part due to the fact that I found the regular edition of Crack The Skye to be kind of harsh in the highs and very boomy in the lows.

“It sounds like Zeppelin with these smooth buttery vocals and a huge Jimmy Page-style guitar solo. Me and Brann [Dailor, drums] play off each other also in this sort of proggy way. There’s a lot of stuff for the listener to tweak their ear to.”
-Brent Hinds, Mastodon

The re-issues of Leviathan and Blood Mountain sounded great to me, so I figured they finally got it right. And alas, no disappointments with the 45 rpm edition, it’s clear and crisp (what the Augmented Reality Experience label on the cover is about I cannot say, though).