I have been working on replacing Evernote. The software has just got so slow and buggy, and I dislike having my important information in third-party software. The main things that I use it for are for capturing articles that interest me online, for writing my diary, and capturing photos of receipts and letters.
I now email the URL of any interesting articles or blog posts to a custom email address. I have set up a rule to map any emails going to that email address to a special folder on my IMAP server. I have a Python script that I wrote that will process emails from that folder and extract the URL, then download the HTML at the URL and convert it to a Markdown file. This has been working pretty well. I am planning to index all these files, and I need to set up a process to regularly review the downloaded articles.
Continue reading “Replacing Evernote”
I was listening to The Economist “Babbage” podcast yesterday, and was really struck my something Timoni West said. She mentioned Arthur C. Clarke’s Third Law - “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”. She then said; “The reverse is also true - any sufficiently rigorous technology doesn’t feel like technology any more”.
Continue reading “Sufficiently Advanced Technology”
For the last few days I have been on an Internet fast. That means no news, no Twitter, no surfing, no games, no Netflix. I still check my email, and I send and receive the occasional WhatsApp message, but that's about it.
I feel so much more productive! When I would normally reach for my phone to check twitter, or read the news, I have been studying, or doing something active. When I go back to accessing the Internet again, I will probably try and limit myself to certain times of the day.
Lately I've been doing a lot of work on automating my life. It's been a lot of fun! I've been using Python and Jupyter a lot to create scripts to make myself more productive. I have been customising my notebook to create an optimal work environment. I've been setting up my Emacs environment to make it more effective. It's been nice having the space to do this!
Some days I feel flat and completely unproductive. It's a struggle to get anything done. I find that time-boxing helps. Today I found that going for a run really helped. This morning I felt totally discombobulated. This afternoon after the run, I had a lot more focus. I still need to ensure that I get the right things done though.
I have been studying continuously for many years now. I am still refining my studying technique though. One of the things that I am being forced to do with the maths I am doing at the moment, is to read and re-read the course materials over and over again. My workflow at the moment is:
- Skim the chapter. Scan the headings and sub-headings and try to build up the outline in my head.
- Skim through the problems within the chapter.
- Speed read the chapter. Get more of an idea of what is going on.
- Read through the problems and the answers.
- Read the chapter more thoroughly. Try and get a good understanding.
- Work through the problems.
- Repeat 5 and 6 until either clarity or the exam arrives!
The World-champion chess player Gary Kasparov concluded that "Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkable, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process." He created "Freestyle Chess", pairing a computer and a human to make a stronger chess player. This hybrid combination is sometimes called a "Centaur".
Continue reading “Centaur Living”
In Charlie Stross' Keynote at the CCC, he talks about corporations being like Slow A.I. organisms. They pursue their instrumental goals, they exist apart from people yet are legal entities in their own right, and they can have lifespans way longer than human lifespans.
Continue reading “Slow A.I.”
I've been using Todoist for my daily tasks, but today I decided to upgrade to a Premium account. I used Things for a while, but when I switched to using an Android phone (OnePlus One), I had to switch to something that was cross-platform. Todoist allows me to structure my projects hierarchically and put priorities on the tasks. The Premium account means that I can add labels and comments to the tasks. It integrates with Amazon Alexa, and there are apps for all my devices!
I am currently experimenting with coding using a Vortex Pok3r Mechanical Keyboard. I'm not sure whether it was a good buy or not. My rationale was that has a programmer, my keyboard is my primary tool, and it makes sense to have the best that I can get. I quite like the action of the keyboard, but it is too early yet to tell whether it is making me more productive or not.