February

Last updated 2 months ago

Summary

This month went by fast. 'Started' working on a side project that I am quite excited about. Hope to learn more more things and hopefully apply the things I've learned in action to make something I want to exist from scratch.

Aside from that I refined my workflow, as always and am still looking to do some kind of meaningful work. I hope the next months will go better. Another thing to note is that I hope to make the upcoming months Changes to be a bit more lively with updates. Hopefully an update each day of something I've done or made. I like to think of this as just the beginning of this.

Another cool thing is that my project I hope to make soon will improve these looking back entries by quite a bit. Can't wait to release it.

Changes

  • Completely updated my wiki and now everything is quite clean and tidy.

  • Started using Fira Code font. And generally started to pay attention to fonts more. Fira Code is amazing.

  • Automated dotfiles with dotbot.

  • Started discussing and working on new version of Learn Anything. Will have two modes: Explore and Learn. Made some mockup for both of the modes.

  • FB actually unblocked Learn Anything and now people can share links of the website with other people.

  • Started using Ship app more often for GitHub issues.

    • Will try to triage as many open issues I have across all my repos.

    • Have a pretty sweet setup going with 2Do, Trello, Fantastical and Ship.

  • Will try not use mind map for documenting my Karabiner config but try a method of self documenting.

  • Will try to be a lot more active on Twitter. It's a pretty amazing platform.

  • Taking Git and Git workflow a lot more seriously. Atomic commits. And coding. Lots more coding. Also started to use Tower app for for my Git workflow. It's working pretty great so far.

    • I also automated quite a lot of my Git activity. Specifically I learned that most commits if not all start with an action so I automated inserting Update words in Tower as well as many more things. Plus I automated a lot of same Update commits that I do for my knowledge repo. It genuinely saves a ton of time.

  • Moved all my Go workflows to use Kingpin. Makes updating and extending workflows a lot easier which I should do in the coming time.

  • Started to use Spotify's make song radio of the song a lot more aggressively. My current Spotify workflow is pretty awesome. I find a song I like, I quickly add the song to Likes with m + g. If I love the song, then I add it to my Bliss playlist. And then I can start a song radio of the song to see what other cool things Spotify throws my way. I should start making my own music too although my knowledge of music and music theory is 0.

  • (21) Going to use my diary a bit more often. I realized just how valuable it is to express my thoughts and feelings either on paper or through music. Ideally through music but I need to learn how I can do that.

  • (21) Writing in my personal diary feels like sitting by a fire place sipping warm tea. It feels nice to let my thoughts and my frustrations be expressed on paper. Knowing well that what I write is not going to be read by anyone but me.

  • (21) Will try to write more in my digital private journal. I wrote a small letter to myself in there. To remind myself of what it is that I want to do and what I want to stop doing. I am not following my own rules!

  • (21) Removed my Karabiner mind map as I it is stupid to keep it in track with my actual config. It's better to optimize searching and self documenting the config itself in the code with comments.

  • (21) Going to start doing this kind of changelog more often. I love it. With the date on the side. Software has change logs. Why not life?

  • (27) Made a Telegram group to share and talk about all things macOS/iOS and automation.

  • (27) LA was included in Product Hunt Best of 2017 book.

Thoughts

  • I am thinking how I can experiment with this monthly overview more. Aside from Changes and the Summary paragraph at the end of each month, I want to drop down some thoughts I have too in some form. Just for posterity. Plus I do want to write more often, I think it's better to focus on that more rather than just dropping some random thoughts here.

  • In other news though, I think this month, I am starting to realize more just how absurd my past behaviors were in regards to my life and education. I want to make cool stuff and I deeply felt that everything around me was limiting me in some way but I should treat it differently. I should embrace everything as a learning opportunity and take the best from the cards I have been dealt with. But above all I should just take small steps every day to achieve my goals and not live in some fantasy or fantasies. Just make things I want to make and see what comes out of it.

  • (21) It's pretty amazing how freeing having this kind of change log is. It's so awesome that I can quickly open it in a mere second and add a little thing I made or done and have a way to to quickly reference the things I've made in each of the months. I think this will make for a pretty interesting 2018 in review post.

  • (21) Only thing I am not sure about is how to balance Twitter posts and this change/thoughts log here. Do I make the tweet and reference it from here? I kind of hate how Twitter is a black hole where you post things, only to never find the tweets, posts again. I link to the tweets I made in that month at the end of each of the month reviews but I am not happy how Twitter shows all the tweets I made, even my tweets to some person asking for some feature request or finding a bug. I just want a way to see the actual tweets I made in some period of time. Will try to experiment and see what works best for me. I don't want to duplicate things and want something that fits the way I work and do things as easily as possible. I also made a pretty neat KM macro to quickly add a dashed point with the number of the day prefilled. Automation 💜.

  • (21) I wrote the rules that I don't even follow. It's not that they are hard, it's just my mind is a mess and I want to do/make so many things I can't focus on something specific. These rules should ground me and let me focus on doing what I want. I wasted so much time in my life already and it sickens me that I am still wasting it despite knowing full well what I am doing. But one thing to remind myself again is that working away from home is a must. I can't focus to do anything at home. I need to move around.

  • (21) Another cool thing about having this life change log is that it is super motivating to keep it. It feels good adding something to Changes and seeing that list grow. It shows that I am doing something and it gives it some concrete meaning. Also having a more detailed log makes for shorter and to the point summaries which I want to try to focus on. Never repeat myself.

  • (21) Cryptography is interesting. Makes you wonder how stupid you have to be to use something like FB messenger when there are much better messenger clients available where each message is encrypted and no one logs your metadata.

  • (22) Trying to make my writing more consistent. Specifically when to bold out text. When to italicize it and when to make a code quote of it. Made a rule of it in rules but it irks me that I never had a consistent rule that I followed, I mostly made a code quote of everything.

  • (22) I decided I will use this looking back month reviews as the first class citizen. That is most tweets I will make will have a place here somewhere, most probably in changes. And then I will make a tweet of that. Reason is that I do actually want to keep a kind of log of things I have been doing and thinking about. I am certain that I won't regret this decision because I have full control over the content here which I can't say about Twitter. Only thing I don't have much control over is my Imgur images which I use to embed images both here in this wiki and all my GitHub repos. They do promise they won't ever take them down so let's hope. 🙏

    • I did start to keep a local copy of the images that do matter to me. So I can quickly make an Imgur link of the image to share but also have a local copy of the image that I can keep safely in my Pixave library.

  • (22) Another thing I am trying to come to terms with is imperfection. For example currently it irks me hard that my wiki is a bit inconsistent with regards to my styling of text throughout this wiki. I might go and review the past entries some time in the future. I currently still don't have a clear idea what is actually the best choice to go about styling text.

  • (23) It feels so strange and I have no idea what I am doing. Sometimes have a feeling that you can do anything. And other times you feel normal. I wish I could feel or remember that I can do anything all the time.

  • (23) My life would be so much more simpler and nicer if only I followed my own rules and remembered my own lessons. I've been thinking how awesome it would be to have a kind of life linter. That is enforced by my own rules I set. That reminds me when I am doing something that I promised myself not to do. How awesome would that be? Is that even possible?

  • (24) I don't code enough. But it's so crazy fun and awesome what you can do. I should focus and ground myself to actually streamline and do the things I want to do. No messing around. I automated so many things, it's genuinely ridiculous.

  • (25) VS Code and Go can be insanely productive. I kind of hate myself that I haven't started getting deep into Go and this editor + vim more earlier. Should take things more seriously.

  • (25) Should also learn some design patterns for building software and read other people's code. My ability to create abstractions from code sucks.

(13) Went through all my old FB posts

Went through all my FB posts on my account and transferred the links + photos to my Photos app locally. I posted a lot of songs and links there as it turns out. Was fun going through most of them but I am super happy to never ever post to FB again. Life is so much simpler without it. I have a pretty awesome mental outlook on how I want to approach using technology and tools going forward and I want to cut out anything that brings me no use to my life.

One thing I did find that was actually interesting was the first post I made about the mind map I was making that back then was called research. It was huge and with time I started cleaning and going through it all moving all the links to another map I started to make which I named learn anything and you can see that map here. History is fun to look back on.

I actually have a lot more things written in my private journal which I am grateful I was doing back then. Nowadays I am more relaxed and less consistent about my journalling. Mostly because I am experimenting with having a kind of a public log/journal here. Although I still will keep my Day One journal for most everything else.

One other thing I observed is just how much the kind of links I shared changed with time. I started posting a lot more personal links with links to the mind maps + the articles I started writing on Medium. It mostly started after I published my first ever article on Medium which has a rather symbolic title to it too:

My first super short article

Since then I genuinely try to live by that motto of trying to express myself, who I am and what I want to see or create. It's a liberating thought and outlook on life that no matter what you do, there is no one that can judge you for being you. I am still trying to integrate this idea more into my life. It's crazy to think what would happen if I didn't actually sit down and write that article that day. I wouldn't have started a blog then and probably wouldn't have started it in a long time since then either. I wouldn't have created this wiki as result as it came as a somewhat of direct evolution of my blog and the things I have learned about Open Source and development. Will see how my workflow changes in time, I am curious to see what I will learn next and if I will regret having this wiki and these public journal logs. Although I doubt that.

This act of transferring my posts from a closed and controlled silo that FB is opened my eyes to just how hard it is for some people to move away from FB. If you have invested quite some time in posting photographs, sharing links and sharing experiences with other people, there is quite a lot of friction as you can't just close down the account and leave. You have all those photos and comments and posts you made at different points in your life. And in many ways you are kind of forced to visit this horrible place where everything you do is monitored and recorded. Where every action you make is used as data to some neural network optimized for extracting as much value from every single user as possible by trying to show the most relevant ads and content that you should like. It's sad that people realize these things so late into using the service that they accumulated and gave away so much of their data and memories that it will take time to move all of that away from it.

In any way, no one is forcing me to use FB yet and that feels amazing. I have learned my lesson and I am now always trying to stay in the control of the data I create. Having a private encrypted journal is an amazing feeling, I can't thank Day One enough for making such an awesome digital journal that I can use.

Here is a little collage of my favorite posts I made on FB since my first article on expressing myself.

I pm'd Day One of my second Medium article I wrote about my approach to journalling. And they kindly enough published it on their own blog.

An article I wrote about my experience of trying to become more compassionate and conscious in my life. Starting with my decision of stopping eating meat. Long story short, I watched Earthlings and realized my absurd and ignorant behaviors towards other living creatures. So I stopped supporting this horrible industry. I just wish more other people started to think about consequences of their actions and how they affect other living beings with them.

The next article I wrote about my not so original idea that everything is connected in this world. Mostly it was about how I tried to embrace this fact to try and approach learning in a new way. The article was also a part showcase of my growing love for mind maps.

Probably my favorite article I wrote on Medium. The true essence of the article is very close and dear to my heart. And the entire idea of bootstrapping knowledge and sharing experiences and everything a person knows continuously with the entire world clicked something in my brain and it made me approach and do things differently. Both with my blog, the GitHub repositories I made since then and finally this wiki itself together with Learn Anything which acts as my ultimate answer of trying to solve bootstrapping knowledge problem as best as I can. My ultimate goal though is something akin to Alfred My Mind which will let anyone query what I know about any topic. As well as of course sharing my entire workflow and ways of doing things as well as ideas and, well everything. It's pretty amazing how far you can take this idea if you want to.

This was an interesting post too as I for the first time shared some Imgur albums I started curating. I shared my Art album in that post as it was my favorite of all. And still is. It's interesting to think how everything evolves if you just start doing a thing. I have since then made an Instagram account where I share some of these photos. I think it would be awesome to see the collage of all the beautiful photos as one big stream in time.

I didn't think much of the mind map back then. Aside from the fact that I loved mind maps and I thought that making mind maps was awesome. This learn anything map was born from me trying to break down the huge research map into smaller maps connected to each other. I also only focused on links rather than notes + links that research map had. I automated adding of links as well as opening any of the maps so extending it was quite easy and fun even. In many ways I became obsessed with that map as I wanted to connect every topic that you can learn about in there. It was named learn anything after all.

Somewhere in the middle of making the many learn anything maps, I got the idea of trying to make a search engine for them. Or at least a way to search for a map (topic) and open it. Currently only I could open the maps locally on my computer and no one else could. Problem was/is that I suck at code and don't know web development but I did manage to make a sketch of how this hypothetical search engine might look.

One Reddit post that literally changed my life. On a random thought, I posted the link of the mind map to Internet is Beautiful subreddit. I also had this profile picture on my GitHub:

Which mostly certainly played into the success of that post. Most clicked without even reading the title thinking it was a post in /r/aww or something. This post reached the front page of Reddit which meant that more than 200,000 people saw the post and the mind map I made.

Pretty crazy for a random thought of making a post and going through with it. Lesson learned though. Share things I made, perhaps something awesome will come out of it.

This post actually linked to a GIF:

The GIF showed the first version of what is now learn-anything.xyz. The website didn't even have a domain then. But most important change that happened was that Angelo who actually knew code and web development actually found interest in the project and added the search bar that I only hypothesized about till now.

This post linked to a GIF too I can't find now. But big date there (12 May) is the date when Learn Anything was launched. We bought the domain and set it up after a bit of fighting with nginx as none of us knew it at that point.

Things were moving fast since then and I wrote an article on the changes that happened since that Reddit post and things I've learned on the way.

FreeCodeCamp published a blog article about us. This was absolutely huge for us due to it bringing a lot of people and thus more people were at least aware we existed. We weren't the most usable website in the world then so the retention we got from those users was horrible but seeing that number of 150+ active users on the website for the first time was incredibly motivating. We haven't met that user spike from this article in a long time since then.

Angelo came to Netherlands and we actually wrote some code for the website together. I learned what React was all about and helped add the sidebar to the website. The post above showed a preview for a white themed map that we were going to add very soon to the site.

This update was quite painful to make but it made the website a LOT better. Before D3.js, trying to zoom in and out as well as navigate the map was barely usable. With D3.js it was actually pleasant for the first time. Also I was adding mind maps manually at the time, so each map added was still a MindNode map that was attached to all other maps. I added ~ 400 more maps since then and stopped as we moved to the new version of the website.

One cool thing that old website had that current doesn't. Was that the suggestions for topics were instant. You just type things and they would show up instantly, 0 delay. This was because the entire suggestions list lived on the client. We later moved it to ElasticSearch so we can provide API for suggestions amongst other things but that did come at a cost.

A little prototype or rather an idea we had and wanted to add. We did add themes but didn't add Bookmarks and Learned Maps as that was quite complex to add at one time.

The last post I'll add here. But on that day we released our first version which allowed for users to actually contribute and add resources to maps much more easily than before. We still have a long way to go and improve but I think its pretty awesome how some idea can turn into something quite cool if only you open it up and share with the world.

Timing

Going to take Timing a lot more serious next month. I revamped by projects and Trello according to my goals but disregarded Timing for this month. I also was not productive this month. At all. Mostly due to my health condition that I wish would go away already.

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