Greg Johnson – Monthly Update 201801

Personal Update 201801 | 30 January 2018 | Tuesday


I hope you’re doing well. Thanks for taking a moment to read my latest update.


This month I lifted about 209,000 pounds at the gym. I’ve done very little bike riding due to the extremely cold weather. I’d planned to ride through the winter, but with ice on the streets and trails, I want to avoid having any accidents.


I mentioned in my December 2017 update that I would be “bringing in the fishing nets” and assessing the various projects I’m working with. For the month of January, I’ve focused on my technology services work. In addition to actual time with customers, I’ve been developing some business management tools for office workflow of invoicing and work notes. This has helped improve my ability to document and bill for my time, even shorter support calls. It’s a scaleable system that can take very little time for some billing or longer if needed for more complex billing.

Social Media

For the month of January, I’ve mostly stayed off social media — checking in briefly on Facebook only a few times per week. This has helped me dedicate more time to my wellness goals and career.

Last month I mentioned I was developing an alternative to Facebook. In January, I worked on creating a system using hosting that would allow individuals to have their own Page (free website) where they could post whatever news and announcements they’d like to share. WordPress members can ‘subscribe’ to any WordPress blog (the equivalent to following on Facebook). Groups of people wanting to create a shared discussion forum experience could post on a shared WordPress website. Anyone subscribing to that site would get an aggregate of all the stories that the authors posted. Such a system needs no further development and can be implemented immediately.

This system can foster more articulate communications and put people into democratic control of the platform. This post you are reading is an example. If you subscribe to this website, as many have already done, you’ll be automatically notified of updates and can select how often you get those notifications.

Here’s an example of what a group of bloggers could do with a multi-authored and collaboratively managed site:

Weekly No-Tech Day

We’ve become so dependent upon technology, that when it isn’t working right, it can be very stressful and disruptive. We typically don’t have alternative systems in place to continue functioning. During the transition from paper to digital sales in retail stores, there was a period of time when stores would train their employees how to conduct sales without any computers. Businesses would have paper-based forms and log books to keep running when computers were down, and then manually enter the data later when systems were working again. Today, we have no such redundancy.

Once a week, typically on the weekend, I try to have a no-tech day. I’m not strict about it. If an important email or phone call comes in, I’ll take care of it, but in general I try to take time away from electronics and work with notebooks and paper based systems on that day. It’s reassuring to have a working model in place for when systems fail.

This month the Netflix website was down for over 5 hours and the company was apparently unable to repair the problem quickly. It’s unknown whether the problem was the result of human error, system failure, natural disaster, or an intentional malicious attack. Regardless, the outcome is the same, and that’s just one example of many where massive systems are becoming unreliable.


Many thanks to all of you who keep in touch and provide support for the work I do.



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Origins. For those of you who are new to these monthly personal updates, they began about 17 years ago out of a desire to share from my personal life about topics of lifeways (faith), health, career, finances, relationships, effective living, and activism. This is based on the life map presented on the Resources For Life website.

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