Focus begets Flow State, the instinctive state of understanding. Flow is a cousin of the meditative Observer State, and striving for it is a similar practice. We strip distractions, and provide only the tools needed to focus on the task at hand. I aim to achieve flow, primarily, in long-form text composition and in working closely with a code base. The two tasks are interrelated. I often find flow in certain types of games like Traditional Roguelikes and 4X games, but that is out of scope for a Concept Operating System.
Working closely with a code base is about being able to quickly
follow loose-threads by wandering through a code base and building a
mental model of how modules interact and interplay. Most codebases are
not developed through Literate
Programming, of course, so modeling this interplay is often left to
code comments, and tools like
language server project, which I
explore on other pages.
The creation of text is a process that I aim to perfect in building this Knowledge Management tool.
It happens in stages.
The first stage is a simple train of thought, a flow of consciousness. For that, I simply need shit to get out of the way and let me write. When I am doing late-night ideation, I am simply trying to let thoughts flow together, and capture the ones which appear meaningful or worth refining. Org Journal is a fine tool for this, frankly, and I am hoping to integrate that in to my system now that I am working with mobile linux as part of my physical computing inventory.
After I sort of just stream a bunch of thought in to paper or pixel, I edit it down in to a set of anchor paragraphs, the core arguments or the cores points I am trying to make, and then I build support for those things. I validate my hypothesis. Sometimes the hypothesis shifts dramatically as I work, of course, as I discover new facts and integrate them in to my thinking. This process can happen in fits and starts over weeks and months, I will come back to the same set of documents every few days for a month or more before it's "done". This gives me a first draft.
At this point, the document is either done, or it enters a stage of public vetting. A lot of my thoughts are simply "done", I don't even know if people read the blog posts that I publish, and frankly it's not for you all, it's for me. The act of publishing a creation on the internet today is an invitation for editors to speak. I don't always want or care to hear the voices of editors, many voices I simply discount – I share my content "publicly" but only because that same modern internet has made publishing content to a small group nearly impossible. I hope my friends and I can build a better world for that, indeed that's what the Arcology project is building towards.
Reading and Editing Text
Mode is an Emacs minor mode which dims
text that isn't in the paragraph my point is in. In reading and writing
focus-mode provides an easy way to
walk through text a paragraph at a time. Being able to tackle a reading
a paragraph at a time is a good way to keep my eye on a paragraph if I
am reading while I am on the bus, or what have you.
use-package focus (;; for the hack :after cce/hydra-dipswitch :config"j") #'focus-next-thing) (define-key focus-mode-map (kbd "k") #'focus-prev-thing) (define-key focus-mode-map (kbd 'normal focus-mode-map (kbd "j") #'focus-next-thing) (evil-define-key 'normal focus-mode-map (kbd "k") #'focus-prev-thing)) (evil-define-key
This function is from Tasshin Fogleman's .emacs.d and is an easy keybinding to switch between narrow and wide views of a buffer, iteratively between region, source block, subtree, and function.
defun narrow-or-widen-dwim (p) ("If the buffer is narrowed, it widens. Otherwise, it narrows intelligently. Intelligently means: region, org-src-block, org-subtree, or defun, whichever applies first. Narrowing to org-src-block actually calls `org-edit-src-code'. With prefix P, don't widen, just narrow even if buffer is already narrowed." "P") (interactive declare (interactive-only)) (cond ((and (buffer-narrowed-p) (not p)) (widen)) (and (boundp 'org-src-mode) org-src-mode (not p)) (( (org-edit-src-exit)) ((region-active-p) (narrow-to-region (region-beginning) (region-end)))'org-mode) ((derived-mode-p cond ((ignore-errors (org-edit-src-code))) ( ((org-at-block-p) (org-narrow-to-block))t (org-narrow-to-subtree)))) ('prog-mode) (narrow-to-defun)) ((derived-mode-p t (error "Please select a region to narrow to")))) ( 'evil-leader (with-eval-after-load "n") #'narrow-or-widen-dwim)) (evil-leader/set-key (kbd
Fringe Mode is a way to control how wide the "fringe" of my windows (see Modern Interface Terms) are. When I am trying to read a document, increasing the size of the fringe is a simple way to constrain the width of the text and keep it easy to keep the entire text in my "visual memory". For text which is let to be very wide, it's often difficult for me to keep track of lines when I am moving to the next line.
when (boundp 'fringe-styles) ('fringe-styles '("focus 150" . 150)) (add-to-list 'fringe-styles '("focus 500" . 500)) (add-to-list 'fringe-styles '("focus 300" . 300))) (add-to-list
I wrap these commands in a simple command:
flow. I type
M-x flow and I get dropped in to a flow session,
which includes a branch to eventually go in to Code Surfing Mode.
When I am done, I type
<SPC><SPC>end flow<RET> and it
returns me to my main state.
defun end-flow () ( (interactive) (focus-mode -1)nil)) (fringe-mode defun cce/flow-text () ( (interactive) (focus-mode)"focus 300" fringe-styles nil nil #'equal)) (fringe-mode (alist-get (delete-other-windows)) defun flow () ("Start a flow session. Make the current buffer easy to surf." (interactive)cond ((derived-mode-p 'text-mode) (#'cce/flow-text)) (call-interactively 'prog-mode) ((derived-mode-p #'cce/flow-prog))) (call-interactively "Take a deep breath and let's begin.")) (message
Flowing through Code
Focusing on a bit of code or text comes in two varieties for me; one
is the highlighting of a symbol, either manually or with
auto-highlight-symbol. The other is the
opposite, dimming everything but exactly what I'm trying to grok right
This little fellow,
auto-highlight-symbol, tags all occurrences of
the symbol under the cursor.