FRED FIRST: So Little Time – So Many Rabbit Holes

The information tidal wave overwhelms and I float amongst the flotsam with dread and with delight, every morning when I sit down to pick up where I left off.

And I left off all over the place. I have emails and essays substack drafts that are easy to start, and apparently impossible to finish. Meh.

I want to know more. I want to understand the jargon. I want to make connections that satisfy my need to comprehend. I want synthesis; distillation; insight!

That is my own private struggle to sip from the Firehose of Data, and it leads to less, not more posts in any public place.

And so, midweek in this autumn muddle and incapable of creating a finished exposition on any of these dangling threads of personal curiosity, I will share some of the floaters from today’s shipwreck.


Maybe when the days get short, the muse will settle back into her Winter Writer state of mind and hang with me for a few months until spring opens the doors that winter will soon close. The winds will keep me at my desk.


In curating a personal graph or database of information, the individual bits from your curation and life in general tend to fall in one of two baskets: Folders or Tags.

NOTE: For some younger person just confronting this issue of finding places for digital scraps, notes and documents so they can be found again, this choice is crucial. (Duh. Most people I know have no need for this at all, but one or two of you might.)


… consider the Johnny Decimal system. Think Dewey Decimal of libraries of yore. But it is created BY YOU and FOR YOU.

The Johnny Decimal website, where you can find the official guide, examples, and FAQs. If you’re inclined this way, the concept of this system will click. If not, no click. Search Johnny Decimal or check out 14.02 The Decimal Workbook║J•D

► For the TAGS CROWD

Consider creating (hash)tags for IDEAS not Notes. It is ideas and concepts that you want to find each other in a month or a decade. Just keep up with your TAGSonomy as it grows, or you’ll be dogpaddling in the deep end.

Becoming your own Anthropologist 🧗‍♀️

This is related in a way to the “filing systems” mentioned above. This might be the notes that go into your JohnnyD system. And it turns out, it describes what I have been doing for two decades: Creating field notes from a life lived in the context and with appreciation for of the natural world and the Cosmos.

Self-Anthropology: Become your own anthropologist with personal field notes

Digital Archeology and Visual Technology 📸

This project is amazing. Mexico City is built on top of much history. Here is yet another instance of new tools creating new in-sights!

A Portrait of Tenochtitlan • 3D reconstruction of the capital of the Aztec empire.

Biology of Dragonflies 🪰

Getting The Shot 📸

I am using this free camera more and more often (in manual mode).

NightCap Camera | NightCap Camera is a low light and night photo, time lapse and video photography app for iPhone and iPad

Physics and Beauty 🌈

This WIRED article was of interest, since TIME is a topic I keep coming back to—time and time again, so to speak.

And I love it when the AHA! of connection happens. Within the article, a name was mentioned. Wilczek. He created something called a “time crystal.” Sounded like something from HitchHiker’s Guide. ButI have heard that name. January, this year—I went right to it.

And he is the one who espoused the notion that Beauty is a guide to knowledge Oy! The article on time is good, but it is his synthesis of beauty and physics that attracts me most from this rabbit trail.

For the Time: Be-ing

– Fred First is an author, naturalist, photographer watching Nature under siege since the first Earth Day. Cautiously hopeful. Writing to think it through. Thanks for joining me. Subscribe to My Substack HERE

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