- Birthlines, Part 1: What Is A Birthline?
- Birthlines, Part 2: Birthlines, Digital Sampling, Immersion
- Birthlines, Part 3: If You Want To Win, Stop Trying To Finish
- Birthlines, Part 4: If You Want to Succeed, Start Off On The Wrong Foot
Birthlines are to projects as digital sampling is to sound and frames are to motion pictures.
The sampling rate, sample rate, or sampling frequency defines the number of samples per second (or per other unit) taken from a continuous [i.e. analog] signal to make a discrete [i.e. digital] signal. ~ The Pedia
What do I mean? Well, for example, as I understand it, when a digital microphone is recording your voice, it isn’t actually recording your voice the whole time. Instead, it’s taking little “sound pictures” (samples) of what you say, thousands of times a second. One common sampling rate (frequency) is 44.1 kHz. That means that the mike (well, the equipment) is “checking” what you say — taking a sound sample — 44,100 times every second.
Movies are similar. What we call a movie is really a sequence of still pictures (frames). Twenty-four frames per second is a common framerate. In fact, I think it may be just about the minimum necessary to fool our eyes into seeing continous motion (persistence of vision)?
Why am I rambling incoherently about sampling rates and framerates? Well, because I think that birthlines could be considered samples. And it strikes me that it may well be that if you have enough birthlines, then your work on your project could become a discrete signal that is good enough to be considered a continuous signal. In the vernacular: working on something often enough, however little, could be as good as working on it all the time (if not better, because a 1-minute timebox is something you would actually do since it’s so non-threatening).
This has interesting implications for immersion. Here’s a tip: if you’re in a situation — perhaps at an office — where you can’t have Japanese on all the time…don’t. Instead, do…touch Japanese for 1, 2, 3 minutes every half hour. Look at a Japanese page. Do some SRS reps. Play 1 Japanese song while you take a little restbreak. There’s always a way. There are always cracks in the concrete for Japanese weeds to grow. So what if you don’t have vegetable patch (i.e. oodles of free time)! Grow through the cracks.