Thinking Log Jan 2020

This is several days late because I have been crushed for the last week. But such is life. For the last couple years I have been doing classics learning logs, even though I think only a couple people read them. Regardless, they are useful for me as a nag to keep me studying and a good record as well. So I’m going to cease the break I have taken over the last few months and begin anew, but with a change. My studying over these last couple years has actually been a bit too focused on Greek and Latin. Yes, it pains me to say it. So I am consciously making an effort to branch out more this year, and this will be reflected in these posts.

Another big change is that I intend to focus more on making things. Just learning for personal development is good, but finding ways to learn while helping others and making useful things is better when possible. So I am going to report on that monthly as well. So let us jump in!

Casual Reading

I am halfway through The Coddling of the American Mind by Lukianoff and Haidt. It is interesting and depressing. More on the book when I am done.

I am very slowly making my way through The Original Illustrated Sherlock Holmes. Naturally, I can’t help but struggle between imagining Tony Stark or Dr. Strange as the character of Holmes.

I listened to Powerful Teaching. In terms of content, it has a lot of overlap with Make It Stick, which is good (more discussion of techniques around the same ideas) and bad (perhaps less to learn). I think I will give it another listen and try to make some notes next time.

Currently listening to the Audible version of Tom Holland’s Dominion. Enjoyable so far. He sure can spin a yarn.

And finally, I am listening to Luke Timothy Johnson’s History of Christianity Great Courses course. Also interesting.


Some GNT reading this month, certainly in Revelation (I am still teaching out of that at church) but also various other selections.

Outside of the GNT, I read 2 Clement (easy and not my first time), Epistle to Diognetus (hard at first, then easy, and also not my first time), a good chunk of Lysias’ first oration (difficult but very enjoyable), a little of Justin Martyr’s First Apology, occasional dips into Plato’s Timaeus, and for class with Seumas, a selection from Μαρτύριον τῶν ἐν Λουγδούνῳ τελειωθέντων.

Seumas’ Greek Patristics course started yesterday, and I am really looking forward to it. This last week didn’t allow for much study time, so I was woefully underprepared. This next week should be much better.


Such a slacker. I am rereading Familia Romana and doing some Latin with the kids which is good practice. I am also reading some of Livy, very slowly and with great difficulty. Other than Latin podcast listening, that is it.

Intense Study Topics

One of my main study areas this month was Justin Martyr’s Apologies. I read them both in English and spent time making one or two sentence summaries of each chapter. I will continue to study more there and have bought more resources as well. Along with that, I have been spending a good bit of time in Plato, as Justin is very fond of him. I listened to an audiobook of the Timaeus and am now reading through the Loeb volume. I have also started an audiobook of The Republic. But, alas, I am going to be distracted somewhat in February and March...

As I teach out of Revelation every Sunday, I do a lot of study there and related academic literature. It was brought to my attention by my friend Ragan the other day that I am apparently missing some very useful stuff related to astronomy/astrology in that book, so I am taking that on in earnest starting today. I bought the relevant Loeb volume of Pliny’s Natural History, the Loeb volume of Ptolemy’s Tetrabiblos, and a used copy of the very expensive edition of Ptolemy’s Almagest. This latter volume looks super useful, though I am disappointed in the amount of writing in this used copy. I like to buy new, but $100 for a new copy was too pricey for me.

What Did I Make?

The first thing I did was create a video on installing nginx on a Linux EC2 instance. So far it has 52 views, 4 likes, and 1 comment. At least it did a few people some good.

A couple weeks ago I published a video walking through the Greek text of 2 Clement 1. 16 views but no likes or comments, so who knows if anyone has really found it useful, though I did get a nice comment on Twitter. I expect that another one of these coming in the next few days.

Part of what crushed me this week was preparing for the hands-on lab on AWS we did at the user group this month. That involved a great deal of preparation and a good deal of stress, but reactions were generally positive, despite the difficulties. I will be making videos for all this material in the next few days, so maybe those will do some good.

I have two digitization projects in the works, one for Justin Martyr’s works and another for a Latin Patristics book. I made a little progress in both, though they are very much on the backburner.

comments powered by Disqus