A quick review of “what’s going on here”

This blog costs me $10 each month, and I completely forgot (but still paying) to write (even rarely) here something I learned from here and there. This blog available on the Internet since 2014 or so, you do the math! I have to say though, “us dollar to russian ruble” changes enormously (at least for me) to keep up such places like paid hosting, but I must! I can’t give up! I can’t surrender! And I should write to explain somehow such losses.

Moreover, second week as Russia is under strict self-isolation regime (mode?), it means no going outs if there is not urgent need like to feed the body (visit neighboring stores for water and bread), you can imagine how plethora of time to read and write was handed to us and all these precious hours can be used to be more active here and not waste dollars, so here we are!

Besides this blog, you also can check out my bookmarking blog at albertiealik.tumblr.com! You won’t find anything super useful there, I myself need a reminder to check what I accumulated, but the idea is cool I think, if I found something worth to save, iPhone makes it really easy to do so, so why to ignore such a cool feature? Plus, all these train of links can be useful to someone else. (Yes, it is not likely.)

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How we learn things about things?

You know, it’s always about cutting the-middle-man and doing what essential, exactly!

The other day I was part of the conference call and the people gathered there to learn English, it was a free lesson for everybody interested in English, so why not?

I can’t take precise conclusions from 40-minute-zoom-call, the incentive was that the lesson is free, and there were 4 other persons in it, if I my take a guess – women in their 40s, and three of them from four are Yakut spoken persons – their pronunciation was a clear sign of it.

The teacher was an asian guy in his 30s with better pronunciation than the local people used to talk and talking, even if they have clear distinctions of what difference between present perfects and when to use the word “concatenation”, which was a good plus for him, and for the school who organized this free lesson.

Anyway, the lesson had started, as per usual lesson, I mean the teacher has shared his Windows based machine and traditionally Power Point presentation had shown up, and there were title one can see very clearly “when to use “have to” and “must”.

Of course it was just the free lesson and the topic had been chosen by the teacher, and the guy was paid by the school to ask some very basic questions, and everyone is happy, what’s up?

I used to work as a teacher of English for a relatively long period of time and I used to pack up my lessons with the same idea of taking with myself few slides and pages from book and explaining what had already been explained, and that’s it.

And now I must say that’s wrong way of learning things not from the teacher perspective, but from those who eat that dish they paid for. It’s not tasty and cooked by someone who learned things from book, not life. It’s very critical, especially in teaching and learning.

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Cummings’s Reading List

You can skip the blog post and read Cummings’s original essay (it’s highly recommended):

  1. Thucydides
  2. Statistical modeling
  3. The Brothers Karamazov
  4. The Quark and the Jaguar
  5. Kipling’s Kim
  6. Tetlock’s Good Judgement Project

In what areas you should focus your mind, i.e. attention:

  1. Better prediction of complex networks
  2. Ubiquitous cheap energy and opening space for science and commerce
  3. Exploration beyond the Standard Model of particle physics, better materials and computers, digital fabrication, and quantum computation
  4. Understanding the biological basis of personality and cognition, personalised medicine, and computational and synthetic biology
  5. Quantitative models of the mind and machine intelligence applications
  6. Nielsen’s vision of decentralised coordination of expertise and data-driven intelligence (‘a scientific social web that directs scientists’ attention where it is most valuable’); more ambitious and scientifically tested personalised education; training and tools that measurably improve decisions (e.g.ABMs)
  7. Replacements for failed economic ideas and traditional political philosophies; new institutions (e.g. new civil service systems and international institutions, a UK DARPA and TALPIOT (non-military), decentralised health services)

Sounds complex, isn’t it? Are you ready to attack these fields? Your mind are capable of it?

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10 life lessons from @naval

@naval is a twitter name of Naval Radvikant.

  1. When looking for a purpose to life, notice that most things are stepping stones, done for ulterior motives.
  2. If you ever want to have peace in your life, you have to move beyond good and evil.
  3. To measure the quality of your life, simply do nothing, and see how it feels.
  4. No one can compete with you on being you. Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most.
  5. Living a life of integrity pays off, but it takes a very long time.
  6. Three things in life: your health, your mission, and the people you love. That’s it.
  7. Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.
  8. Religion, science, and spirituality help us make sense of the world. Life without at least one of them is a lonely place.
  9. Life is a single-player game.
  10. You can get almost anything you want out of life, as long as it’s one thing and you want it fat more than anything else.
  11. Bonus: Of all the cards you can pick in the game of life, choose intelligence and drive. You can trade those two for almost anything else.

P.S.

In case you interested in my opinion about this talk in JRE #1309 with Naval Radvikant, it’s all below.

I don’t agree with everything he said as the idea of the World from the angel investor now who was raised in New York of 70s and a young man living in a town with 500K people in East Siberia can be totally different, obviously. They can have commons, for example, about the things like “everyone is a journalist now”, that’s it!

The economies of climate and relationships, language, mentality, background, and everything else has put something into our genes and mindset. One has not to be fooled by something that might be sound too interesting and revealing of something like in jiffy of few words combinations, it can’t be false like nothing.

You must not take for granted the brain you have in-default and check for the facts any statements coming from anywhere. Again, obviously.

First of all, I don’t think that life is a single-player game, if there is no misunderstanding of what Mr. Radvikant says. If he is saying that the life you have is the life YOU are going to live and nobody else, sounds too simple. Of course life is a multi-player game, and I don’t think it’s a game at all.

Game would be that someone else created what we see around us, and we live in some sort of engine, i.e. strict rules, and it has imperfections, bugs, someone can cheat on the system, etc., etc. It sounds more like that not the life is a game, but the society where we live is a game, i.e. under socialism, communism, capitalism, etc., etc. I believe life is more than communism or capitalism combined.

Life is a kernel I think in a sense of communism or socialism is a Mario and Animal Crossing, Sims, and sometimes even Counter-Strike.

Mr. Radvikant says that in a single-player game you must choose intelligence and drive. It depends I think. In the World of angel investment, it can be true, if there is such choice. Sometime, life does not give a choice at all, and it is so sad.

I very liked the rule number 7 though. I totally agree with it, and I believe a compound effect has a meaning in life in general. Life in itself a very iterative process, very very iterative. The ability and energy to guide this process is free, it’s a built-in function, no need to write extra code, figuratively speaking.

When someone is looking for a purpose of life and in life, I think, this person just have plenty of free time.

I think it would be foolish to try to have a peace in life, as you know, you know…

If you want to measure the quality of your life, one will get very subjective auditing process I think. It’s very simple, you can measure the quality of your food on the table, and you’ll get the instance answer, as Sherlock said “It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important.” I think Mr. Holmes is right. The better your food, the better the quality of your life.

Religion help us to feel safe, I think. Science help us to questioning this safety, and spirituality to find calmness amongst chaos. Life without at least one of them is a life without at least one of them. I think.

Most of life is a sort of figuring out things around us I think, and the quality of these processes is the quality of our mind, but not our life.

P.S. The talk was very interesting thanks to Mr. Rogan!

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You want to be a designer, so where can you start?

I think it would be fair to say that I’m not qualified to give the answer to such “big questions”, anyway, here is my algorithm of problem solving where you can get one simple thing done: design something that would be useful to someone else, but before, to you.

late Middle English (as a verb in the sense ‘to designate’): from Latin designare ‘to designate’, reinforced by French désigner. The noun is via French from Italian.

New Oxford American Dictionary

In this particular case, by design this post has to tell what I mean when I use the word “design”, something you can do in order to solve any kind of problems, like, giving an answer to the question “where can I start if I want to be a designer”, and it doesn’t matter what are going to design, chairs or user interfaces, even writing this post (for me) is in itself the process of design.

1. Read a lot, read everything!

Blog posts are great starter point for anything related to problem solving (because other people doing it all the time, might be your problem had already been solved), if you clearly see a problem you want to solve for yourself, and it can be useful to other people, you have to have some basic knowledge of what you are doing on your side. Which blogs?

You can Google it “I want to be a designer”, but it is not good idea as Google can be tricked by SEO agencies to show you not so good bullet points with some text and nice pictures. They aren’t good in fact! You need an inspiration, not some sort of steps to go through. (It is my own personal opinion, because it didn’t work for me.)

This guy and this post! Paul has all required reading for you, go and check him! He is a designer at Twitter, the interesting thing is that by reading majority of his posts, you’ll see the roadmap of what it takes to land a job at the great company, at least enough popular company which product you might have used before in your daily life.

This blog post is enough information to start doing anything you want, solving any kind of problem you want in the field of designing something, I said “it doesn’t matter, if you have a brand new spoons or new resistive touch-screen technology”! (Actually, it does matter as the latter is some kind of serious problem solving than constructing chairs.)

2. You must have some sort of tools to check your ideas against reality as quickly as possible

Let’s see, you want to be a designer of user interfaces (UI Designer), not an engineer which works with touch-screen technology. It’s a fairly simple to start to work in this field as you already have ready-to-go tools and huge market as everyone nowadays uses touch-screen displays where you can immediately show your work.

It is a truly democratic system, user/developer relationship, if someone likes your ideas and their implementation, they will use it, right? You have heard about tools like Figma, Origami Studio, Xcode and so on, as each level of these softwares are providing you the toolset to solve the problem (no pun intended) in each level of designing process.

Figma

From paper to screen, iterative process has to be very quick and ready to be changed immediately, you need to be fast quickly check your ideas on the fly, and Figma is a free-to-use software to help you with that.

The irony is, I think, that we didn’t have Figma like programs 4-5 years ago (absolutely free to use and just amazing workflow) and now we just thinking, “how we lived before at all”, this is the magic of problem solving. You must notice that the founder of this company (now it is a legit company) can be younger than you.

He saw the solved, he solved the problem, and I believe he is rich now!

Origami Studio

It’s all levels as you knew it, layers I would add. Layer upon layer upon layer, you can choose one, or you can choose all. I think it’s because one of the reasons, obviously, when you have a user base of 1 billion people even monthly, decision to change 12×12 pixels icons to 14×14 can cost you 1% decline in user base and that is millions of people, right?

The events happening on the phone while user touching device, sometimes it’s much safer place to get the notion of how it feels when you have a raw prototype on Origami Studio and it is cost effective to show the changes in front of your co-workers.

Origami Studio was created at Facebook, and they have plenty of real life examples how they using this software, if you have a mindset to learn from the best, Origami Studio has to be on your list of programs you want to master.

Xcode

Again, layers upon layers, upon layers! Congratulations, this is the final step to make things happen in your process of design! Now, you are not working with the colors of certain buttons, or what animation is linked to this particular user interface, now you are designing a code to make all these two layers happen on the real device! You are now an engineer, a coder, a magician!

3. Thousands little steps are more important than one big jump

You can’t get here anything just like this, if you are enough interested to know what I wrote in this section, email me at alik at outlook dot kr!

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How am I learning these days?

Have you noticed my excessive usage of the word these these days? Why it is happening, these? I think it is because these days I am reading few books simultaneously, science books, and it is pretty good books.

So, how am I learning these days?

Watching a lot of YouTube videos, the appreciation you would feel by watching the long (up to 6 hours) videos (of someone sitting in front of monitor and doing what he is doing), is when you do the videos (including editing) and posting them on YouTube, the reality is kicking in instantly by statistic numbers like views and new subscriptions.

The last video I uploaded few hours ago got like 2-3 views and I guess it’s my own, I have now idea how much time and efforts it will take to start make some money out of this very energy consuming activity, anyway, go and check my channel and may be even subscribe!

It is very competitive field I have to say, stream games, commenting it, and doing it without editorial side of it, just recording and uploading it as it is. Ok, here my last video…

GREAT STREAMS I AM WATCHING THESE DAYS

Two channels that will help you to learn from how others do the streams.

George is brilliant! Just the websites he is visiting for the info, only this information can shape your day! Another level of googling, another level of focusing, another level of… You should watch his videos just because it is entertaining and real hub for ideas.

And I found this excellent channel (George’s recommendation) and now watching it like forgetting what time is it now, like really? What time is it? 3AM!!! I should go back and sleep.

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Ad Blockers not cool anymore, at least on Safari

It’s like hilarious to install plugins like Ad Blockers via re-designed and re-styled App Store, whaaaat? And people really selling plugins there for real money! I can’t imagine such world where one have to pay to block ads, it is just not logical to me.

Does it mean that the landscape of how we browse and see ads is changing? How do I even install an ad blocker plugin in Safari without thinking about it? Yes, it is no brainer if one uses Chrome to install any plugin, it is two click easy thing to do, but in Safari, how? Nowadays, everything must be done via AppStore? It is stupid!

I know that advertising money should be paid back by people at least seeing the ads somewhere while browsing, but it is not how Web worked before, right? Going to give a try to Brave later just because of it.

Google Chrome is my go-to browser since 2008-2009, the problem is, my desktop computer has only 8GBs of RAM, and it is less than anything to have such privileges like running browser with multiple opened tabs and Xcode with simulator at the same time, it is a headache just to type simple text on Playground and waiting… waiting… while it will debug for me basic if-else statements, not saying running a blank page of an app on simulator!

So now I have to ignore all the ads everywhere by watching them one by one.

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О переименовании ЯГСХА в АГОУ

Местное правительство поздравило “Якутскую государственную сельскохозяйственную академию” с переименованием, теперь она “Арктический государственный агротехнологический университет”!

С другом стороны, может мне реально переименовать фамилию на Gates? Но от этого, естественно, миллиардером не стану. Может быть для ВУЗ-ов это как раз и возможно? Не знаю просто, чем еще можно поздравить.

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Swift 5.2 Official Documentation

Learning Swift PL these days to make an app and release it immediately, I have, as I believe most people, an app idea to make a million of dollars, but the problem is, as of today, one must know Swift programming language to make it happen (if one, of course, doesn’t have immediate access to VCs money to hire iOS engineers).

Swift’s official documentation page is the first destination to wrap up the main ideology and its techniques to learn a bit about this language, for example:

protocol ExampleProtocol {
    var simpleDescription: String { get }
    mutating func adjust()
}

“A protocol defines a blueprint of methods, properties, and other requirements that suit a particular task or piece of functionality.” 

class SimpleClass: ExampleProtocol {
    var simpleDescription: String = "A very simple class."
    var anotherProperty: Int = 69105
    func adjust() {
        simpleDescription += "  Now 100% adjusted."
    }
}
var a = SimpleClass()
a.adjust()
let aDescription = a.simpleDescription

struct SimpleStructure: ExampleProtocol {
    var simpleDescription: String = "A simple structure"
    mutating func adjust() {
        simpleDescription += " (adjusted)"
    }
}
var b = SimpleStructure()
b.adjust()
let bDescription = b.simpleDescription

As you can see, the problem with all these chunk of codes is that they are so abstract you must act (I don’t know how) to find a real life example usage of it on your own. Most people smart, but there are, who can’t grasp such an abstract ideas immediately, they need something to copy “right now from some freely available repository” and use it on production.

May be it is because I forgot how to use my own brain, and I engrained the idea of plagiarism so deeply that I need all these ready-to-go recipes now and immediately. It seems to be this is not how the World works nowadays, right?

struct SimpleStructure: ExampleProtocol {
    var simpleDescription: String = "A simple structure"
    mutating func adjust() {
        simpleDescription += " (adjusted)"
    }
}

We have struct type that’s called SimpleStructure and it has ExampleProtocal type we have “created” earlier. What does this code do? How can I use this code in my real life? Why I need a SimpleDescription? Just for the sake to describe my Protocol? Why? What am I adjusting and why adjusting at all? And another zillion of questions I must find before even create the first page of my app that is going to make a billionaire.

P.S. Of course I will find all the answers to my questions, this post will be just a simple reminder with a simple description to… Something like that.

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The Dawn, W. B. Yeats

It’s cosmic maaaaan, how one can even dare to think like that, “I would be ignorant as the dawn”, wow!?

Someone, do me a favor, add this verse to “Dawn, The” page in Wikipedia, my IP is just blocked.

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Из “Лицейских дневников” Пушкина

Давыдов является к Бенигсену: «Князь Багратион,— говорит,— прислал меня доложить вашему высокопревосходительству, что неприятель у нас на носу…»

— На каком носу, Денис Васильевич? — отвечает генерал.— Ежели на Вашем, так он уже близко, если же на носу князя Багратиона, то мы успеем еще отобедать…

P.S. Кто Багратион, а кто Денис Васильевич (см. фото), я думаю, вы и сами догадались. Фотографии из Wikipedia были соединены через сервис https://www.imgonline.com.ua/ и оптимизированы на http://compresspng.com.

Источник: Дневники. Автобиографическая проза/Сост., подгот. текстов и вступ. ст. С. А. Фомичева; Примеч. и им. указ. Н. Е. Мясоедовой: Худож. Г. Г. Федо­ ров.— М.: Сов. Россия, 1989.— 384 с.— (Русские дневники).
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