DND – End of January

Shōgun (novel)
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OK, I got to the end of January making a post each day so at least one month of the resolution has been achieved.

However, instead of driving views, the regular postings seem to be actually diminishing the daily views, and my stats have actually shown less in January than they did in December, in the time before daily posts.

Is the readership telling me that less is more? By all means let’s have your comments on whether you welcome the Postaday challenge being followed by this vlog, whether you’d prefer less width but more quality, or whether you don’t care either way.

I wanted to say just a couple more things to you today as we come to the end of January. Firstly, this is the month in which I have piloted a couple of new ideas, mainly ones that I planned to do, some that came along unplanned and I will just re-write my plan to include them as I would have done if I had known about them earlier.

One planned thing I piloted was to listen to the Michel Thomas Method Greek Course, which I have nearly completed 6 CDs of.  It is very good, as have been all of the new courses made by MT acolytes.

One unplanned thing was that I discovered the website http://www.readthekanji.com – it is a very well constructed staged repetition system including all the cards and materials and all the research done, really the ultimate resource for learning Japanese and once you get the hang of it very addictive. I am seeing how far you can go with the free sample – it’s given me a good twenty hours’ worth of drilling so far, and I don’t think I’m even a half way through what you can get on the free trial so that seems very fair – I already made up my mind to buy a proper annual sub as they really do deserve it, but in the mean time I just wanted to see what happens if you just keep going until the JLPT 4 vocab is all at 100%.

It seems to be fairly close to Ebbinghaus compliant as far as the repetition algorithm is concerned. I’m not sure if there is a bit of supermemo style code in there or not.

So I am quite happy to admit that it is a good alternative to the gold list method for Japanese. The only advantage that the Goldlist might have here is that you don’t get your hand in, you type Romaji and the Java interface magically turns all the answers into Hiragana. Sometimes you have to watch out to make a double n for “n”, and care needs to be taken over some of the bya, cha, etc characters (the ones with the small soft vowel following) as the way I was expecting to write them different from the way the programme accepts them, but you can always see the right answer if you get it wrong the once.

So January seems to be a good month for piloting. Now is the last day and after three months of not using my car I also got it back today and paid a huge amount for the repair. But I will need to drive it tomorrow, and I needed to get it working.

So I’ll pilot my own car, as well.

I also started reading Shogun this month, which tells the story of a pilot they called Pilot, or anjin-san, as they could not pronounce “Blackthorne“.

And “Lost” final series started to show on Polish TV – all in all a month full of pilots.

So it reminds me of the song by the group Pilot about January, from way back in 1975:

When I was 11 years of age, I thought that the lyrics “January, sick and tired, you’ve been hanging on me” was all about how this dingiest month of the year seemed to go on forever.

Now that I am old I assume that the lyrics refer to a woman, but I still don’t fully understand whet the poet is getting at.

I think I’ll stick with my initial interpretation.

January is now nearly over, and a good thing too.  The days will be getting longer day by day and there are only four weeks of February to go until it’s March.

February and March are both quite capable of delivering challenging conditions in Poland, but we will have to see how we fare. November gave us one of the earliest starts to a really tough winter, so we are now I’d say just over half way there. We have to just grit our teeth and work hard and not notice, and soon Spring will be here. I’ll be able to go and use my terrace again and the pleasant days will be here again.

And I have to use every opportunity to walk and lose weight, which was the idea of not repairing the car in the first place, but now I have places to go that aren’t well served by trains.

Let’s see how it develops. Please give me feedback on whether to keep up with the daily postings.

6 thoughts on “DND – End of January

  1. Добрый вечер, господин Huliganov,

    I think maybe the reason the viewings have dropped from the December figures is that may people (o.k., I) cannot keep up with your frenetic pace ! But please do continue your excellent vlogging. How else can people like me (stuck in the U.K) get such a wide view of the world and (last year) see so many places and faces, learn Russian and have a few chuckles into the bargain ? Any thinking person will surely find your T.V site compulsive viewing. I haven’t missed a single vlog of the new series and I always learn something new from them.
    I was glad to read your comments on René Descartes. I’ve always thought his philosophy to be flawed, the “cogito ergo sum” I think as a bit of circular reasoning. He rejected everything that had gone before in philosophy wishing to start with a tabula rasa, which is laudable, but “I think therefore I am” doesn’t get you much further than the abandoned philosophies. Still leaves the questions “what is thought ?” and “what is existence ?” Anyway what sort of philosopher allows himself to be persuaded to tutor the queen of Sweden so that the cold climate can give you pneumonia ? was it fear of refusal, vanity or flattery ? It certainly wasn’t stupidity.
    I’ve also heard say that he carried out vivisection on live animals but am not sure if this is accurate information. It is possible as the 17th C attitude to animals was certainly less enlightened than today (with the exception of intensive farming).
    I digress !
    Sorry I can’t help with the Pilot lyrics…..doesn’t make a lot of sense as a woman though.
    Keep up the good walks and work.



    1. Many thanks for that, DD. I agree with your points about Descartes, but I do think he was interesting and no doubt very impressive for his time. We have to take care not to assess the genius or behaviour of people by modern standards because the way we think about things like animal welfare now had simply never entered their heads.

      I think that the Pilot lyrics don’t make a lot of sense but they do have a deep, poetic ring about them, and that’s what counts.

      Like Gerry Rafferty’s Baker Street. I don’t really equate with them either. The guy should stop whinging and get on with his journey to the office.

  2. Dear Victor,

    I was keeping quiet but as you asked I will venture a comment. I think that the postaday challenge is taking time away from your important, unfinished work, your Russian language course.

    Your writings are entertaining and thought provoking and add to your charisma, though some of them I don’t understand fully because they are so academic and learned. They answer the questions, “Who is this man, Viktor Huliganov, what is he really like?” They are a lot of fun for you to do.

    However, I feel the need to steer you very gently and with respect back to your valued language training work. Perhaps you could give over some of your daily postings to the Russian course in some way, thereby achieving both goals.

    Best wishes,

    1. You got me thinking Peter, and it finally kicked me off into starting the comapnion volume book to the course as one of the WIP books I’m doing here. This will give me a way of going through the lessons so far so as to refresh my memory and not duplicate, and then plan on so that the course doesn’t fall into entropy.

      People seem surprised when they get to the end of 40 videos that it sort of stops there, but if you look at nearly all the language courses that have been started by people on YT, not all that many of them get beyond the stage that I take Russian to from the start. Some have more videos but are much shorter themes. There are even people who take a word at a time and do a whole video lesson around a single word. No wonder that the ones seem to have an endless supply of new material.

      There are even one-word language courses like hotforwords and misshannahminx where the majority of viewers aren’t even interested in linguistics, if the comments are anything to go by, and the content is just an excuse for exposing certain areas of female skin to the camera. I can’t compete with that.

      BUt you are absolutely right when you say that the Russian course is my “important, unfinished work”. It is important to me to get it finished, I just need to find my way back into it again, and I hope that doing this book will help.

      As with other books for the time being it is generally passworded, later on it will be opened to collaborators and later on still to the public. Finally, if it is finished I’ll go to press on a paper version. That will give me a good reason to press it into completion.

      Certain other aspects also impact – for one, since starting the course other ideas have crystallised in my mind about the right way to do a language course. I’ve been looking again at some of the other courses on the market and I’ve looked at what’s good and bad about them, and I think that I can build on them to create something even more useful for the learner.

      I don’t disrespect the likes of Pimsleur and Michel Thomas at all, but I do believe in literate language learning and I believe that literate learning can proceed just as nicely as the non-literate learning these two folk offer in their methods, and I also believe you can get away from short-term memoryism even more than these two do.

      The way forward is films which are entirely free backed up with a book which is acquirable in paper form and which is goldlist method compliant.

      And with rich seams of comedy and culture.

      If I had the time and money I would now make language courses like the world has never seen before.

  3. Athough I viewed them all, sometimes it was by viewing three at a time. Due to time constraints I didn’t comment, but thought the two books from the usenetposts Apochrypha were hilarious.
    I read Shogun back in the 1980’s and thought it was an excellent adventure novel. Found myself drawing parallels and comparisons between the Samurai code of Bushido and the way Christians are supposed to show fealty and obedience to our Lord.
    Keep posting, Viktor Dmitryevich, and I’ll keep viewing!

    1. John, great to know that you enjoyed those books. I reckon I should be raised to the level of Prophet in Mormonism for translating those two pieces of apocryphal writ. It was hard to feel whether people who didn’t know the individuals being referred to in the books would still enjoy them, but then again some books in acknowledged great literature do base of the satirising of individuals, and while these individuals are now little known, somehow the work of literature stands up anyway.

      I would never compare myself to Dante, but in this respect and this only the Divine Comedy is similar, as it is full of references to people in his day which he assigns to greater or lesser eternal punishments and the poem still entertains us even if we would have to follow turgid footnotes in learned editions in order to understand who those people were.

Your thoughts welcome, by all mean reply also to other community members!