Where do I start with _____?
I know that a lot of people kick off a new calendar year pursuing new resolutions, new goals, and new interests. I figure this thread can be a way of helping people embark on their individual journeys using guidance those who are more in the know.
Ask about anything you're wanting to start or dive into: listening to a new band, starting a new fitness routine, diving into Discworld, making a game, etc.
We managed to get partial root on the Oculus Go using this method.
That seems to be the best we can do for now since Magisk is not allowing a boot flash. So in order to really make the device our own, it may come down to running our own ROM. Where do I start with working with AOSP or Lineage to try and construct my own Android? Official Documentation is something along the lines of "yolo" for porting to a normal device, and having to make a VR launcher seems all the more imposing.
I don't have any advice for you, but I try to pay attention to efforts to take the Facebook out of Oculus. Please let me know if you have any success!
How do I start zettelcasting effectively? I have heard the term, but still don't grasp what really should go into it.
For context, I work as a software engineer lite (for lack of a better descriptor), but have some hobbies that could probably use some knowledge management (martial arts, cooking, general computer stuff (messing with servers, electronics)). Should random stuff from my daily tildes / hacker news go into it as well?
Doe more software context, I am a currently a Windows / Android person (those M1 macs are sure damn sexy for photography/video works), and care about having my second brain on my mobile device, but also about data portability (so... probably Obsidian?)
This is something that is ultimately pretty personal and depends on what kind of knowledge you want to store. Personally I've been using Obsidian and enjoying it a lot.
The main thing I've learned about knowledge management (and habits in general) is that it should be as easy as possible. If you're struggling to get in the habit of taking notes, any system that requires complex categorization, or adds barriers to taking a note is detrimental.
While making a fancy categorization/directory structure feels nice, it can be painful in the long run, as it makes it more difficult to do the one thing you want to do: make notes. If I need more categorization, I just create a new note linking to other notes.
To that end, I've settled on a flat directory of markdown files. Each note describes a concept or idea. If I mention a concept I've made a note of before, I just create a link using the [[square bracket]] link notation. There's a nice plugin for Obsidian that makes it easy to automatically commit changes to a git repo, so that's how I sync/backup my notes.
I pretty much make a note of anything I want to remember: grammar/vocab for language learning, math, how to use software/libraries/programming languages, ideas for creative endeavors, recipes, TODO lists, etc.
As another Obsidian user, I'll echo what @tesseractcat said.
Don't concern yourself with how to use zettelkasten properly1. I did that mistake myself at the beginning because zettelkasten has some pretty loud advocates.
Pick a software that suits your needs the best and then just start taking notes. The more notes you'll take, the more aware you'll be of your current setup's shortfalls and from there you can just adjust according to your needs. Picking a system of any kind without assessing your needs first usually ends up hurting productivity because over time it becomes work to maintain that system and work around its needs whereas it should be working and helping you with your needs.
Since I've been using Obsidian for over a year now, I can wholeheartedly recommend it, but if it doesn't work for you for whatever reason, the only advice I can give you is make sure whatever software you end up using has great portability options. (The mere support for exporting your files is not enough.) Good luck!
1: This is the best website that describes what zettelkasten is. As I learned more about it, I come to realize that it's a neat idea that works best in a physical medium more than a digital one. I think people romanticize the system quite a bit for various reasons. More power to them, of course, but I personally don't think zettelkasten is a great method for digital note taking.
The best advice that I can give you is to pick a piece of software - Obsidian is good because of data portability, Dendron is newer but looks decent - and just start taking notes. You can worry about connecting them later!
For example, I recently started a new job. I started with numerous onboarding meetings and tons of one-on-one chats. Rather than think about what my desired structure was, I just made one note per meeting, wrote down everything, and then (between a few meetings) made an index note which connected every meeting note with a checkbox next to it. Over the next week or so, I spent a bunch of time between meetings (and during boring ones) processing those stream-of-consciousness notes into a more atomic form - one note per idea. Only then did I take the time to connect those notes and discover the emergent structure among them.
Oh my gods,
nbis what I've needed but haven't had for ages. Thank you so much!!
Cool stuff! Didn't know about those.
I recently found out about Dendron from the presentation they did for the vscode YouTube. It exists right inside vscode which is my usual development environment so that was a big selling point for me compared to Obsidian. It's also open source.
The first question you should ask yourself is whether you even want a Zettelkasten. I tried to properly set up a Zettelkasten multiple times, but ultimately I just used it for referencing things (recipes, bash commands, etc). Eventually I gave up on the Zettelkasten method proper and decided to keep notes in a personal wiki (wiki.js; I've detailed my reasons for using this particular software before).
I have tried a few times, always on Emacs Org Mode + Org Roam Mode. I usually become so invested in the setup that I forget why I wanted it in the first place. The other problem is that Emacs is the perfect platform on the computer. There are no good solutions for bringing Org to mobile, especially with a non-trivial setup like this one (what am talking about? Emacs is never trivial!). And I don't wanna pay a subscription, anything priced in dollar is not cheap for me.
How do I get started with gauche paints if I have basically no art skills? I got some as a gift and neglected to use them again after I completely botched a tutorial that I thought would be easy.
It's easy; when you start off, all of your paintings will be gauche.
(Sorry, couldn't resist the joke. It's actually spelled "gouache" by the way).
Do you have much experience with any other form of painting? Most skills you learn transfer, especially if you're already familliar with watercolors. The biggest difference is that there's more pigmentation with gouache so it will create a matte effect. That means that you can effectively create an opaque layer on top of other colors.
For the record I also have basically zero art skills and have thrown away everything I have ever made.
gouache darn it...
I have a very small amount of experience with watercolors—I could get away with my sloppiness by using ink pen sketches and painting over them aka "line and wash" and the resulting mistakes had a cute look to them. With gouache it was very gauche & the mistakes were NOT endearing...
I’ll say a thing that I hope is helpful, but I’m apologizing in advance in case it’s not:
The only, and I mean only, way to make good art is to make a LOT of bad art. The first hundred pieces of art made by literally every artist, especially the very best artists, were terrible. If you’re lucky, you get all or most of the truly bad stuff out of the way when you’re a young child and haven’t developed an adult’s miserable sense of perfectionism; if you’re not lucky, you just have to plow through, knowing full well that you’re making crap.
That said, for 2D visual art, here’s what I’d suggest:
Don’t compare yourself to experts and professionals. Compare yourself to last-week-you. And even then, only every once in a while. Even if it doesn’t come out how you imagined, it’s still cool as hell that you made a painting!! And if you ever want someone to take a look and tell you how awesome you’re doing, don’t hesitate to hit me up!
Any recommendations for getting started with sign language (specifically ASL)?
I have a disabled parent and suggested ASL a while back due to situations where communication would be difficult, and they've expressed interest in it again recently.
Larger screens can unfortunately be a trigger so something that works on a smart phone sized display would be ideal. A previous attempt at learning it was stopped due to look of interest, so things that are enjoyable or possibly have some community component would be a big plus, but any advice would be greatly appreciated!
I've looked at some Youtube channels and courses (Bill Vicars, Chris Gorges, ASL Meredith, ASL Rochelle looked decent). For apps Lingvano / Pocket Signs seemed best?
For books A Historical and Etymological Dictionary of American Sign Language was the best hit I found for their interest in having an approach the explains why signs looked like what they did, but it might be a bit too dry.
This is exactly what I wanted to ask. In fact I asked this on tildes before but didn’t get a response.
Does anyone here know sign language? Not necessarily ASL, just any.
I lived with a deaf roommate for several years and pretty rapidly became semi-fluent in ASL as a result. It's been over 2 decades since I last used that knowledge, so I have unfortunately forgotten the majority of it by now though. About the only things I can still remember clearly are the alphabet (which TBH is still pretty useful), and various words/phrases we frequently used (mostly swear words and curses/insults, so not as useful :P ).
Because of how I learned, by being taught directly by my roommate and his friends, I unfortunately don't really feel able to answer the above questions regarding learning material. But due to that experience, IMO by far the fastest way to learn ASL is not by studying from a book or video, but to immerse yourself and use it daily (which is also true of most languages).
I understand that immersion may not be possible for everyone, and is especially difficult to accomplish during a pandemic, but if anyone here is genuinely serious about learning ASL/sign it still might be worth looking for a teacher/tutor or online community that is willing/able to do regular video conferencing with you. And so in that spirit, Discord #sign-language may be a good place to start, since at the very least the people in those communities will likely be able to point you in the right direction, and answer your questions about ASL/sign better than anyone here probably can.
Thanks! I'd asked elsewhere but for some reason Discord didn't cross my mind. Two of those guilds (that nomenclature still feels so weird) look like what I was hoping for!
NP. Glad to help. BTW, there are also a few more listed under #ASL that you might want to check out as well. E.g. This particular American Sign Language server seems well populated, and even mentions getting help learning the language, and face-to-face practice in its description.
Neglected to mention that I checked out the #ASL tag where I found that second one you linked to. Thanks again!
I had a college acquaintance who was learning Russian from a book of dirty phrases, with one choice one I remember being a way of calling someone lazy: "You slap a tree with your dick expecting fruit to fall off"
Were there any phrases that didn't map well to English or that you found memorable/useful?
Since I have forgotten most of what I learned at this point, and was never an expert to begin with, it's probably worth taking anything I say about ASL with a grain of salt. But IMO despite being derived from English, ASL as a whole doesn't really map 1:1 to English as well as you might expect, since it has a somewhat limited base vocabulary, different grammatical structure, and also uses heavily truncated syntax (e.g. "I am a Doctor" would be signed "Me+Doctor+Me"). So in order to convey more complex meaning and nuanced concepts, spelling intermixed with more complex signs, facial expressions, body language, pointing, and even mouthing words along with the signing, all play a huge part in ASL. And to add to that complexity, there is also a ton of unofficial slang, and unique regional signs that someone who learns ASL in one city, region, or country likely wouldn't recognize when visiting another.
E.g. The CN Tower here in Toronto is signed by basically making the traditional middle finger raised "fuck you" sign with one arm, with the other arm lying flat at its base, fingertips touching the elbow (Video). But outside of Toronto/Ontario/Canada not many people would likely recognize that sign.
p.s. Incidentally, ASL slang for "fuck you" isn't actually the traditional raising of the middle finger (although that still works too), it's more like the Italian "get lost/fuck off" sign where you flick your chin, but then point at the person afterwords. And this is despite "fuck" (as in, have sex) having its own unique slang sign.
As I mentioned before, sadly it's mostly the swearing that I still remember. ;)
Thanks for the explanation! The sort of ad hoc nature of it makes sense of a lot of other things that I'd read. Including a Kurzweil book, oddly?
Looking forward to trying to invent the signs for some local landmarks and seeing how they compare with the authentic versions... I think I've reserve-engineered "to giveth no fucks" as scratching your chin.
You've also convinced me that the deaf have 50 colorful words for "THE LIGHT IS GREEN" :P
Ad hoc is a great way of describing ASL. And yeah, colourful language, and irreverent/cheeky improvisation was pretty standard, at least in my experience with ASL (limited though that may be). E.g. CN Tower is technically supposed to be signed with pointed index finger, but I never met a single person here who didn't use their middle finger instead. :P
And part of the reason I remember the swearing/cursing/insult signs so well even after 20+ years is because of how frequently they were being used in day to day conversation, at least among the people I was hanging out with anyways.
p.s. What (Ray, I assume?) Kurzweil book? I am familiar with the man, and some of his work, but none of his formal writing.
It was Ray Kurzweil's How to Create a Mind. He should only ever be read with a good deal of skepticism, imho.
The connection may be a little forced, but (iirc, it's been ~9 years) the main idea was that the rapid increase in the size of our ancestors brains/the neocortex was in the form of minicolumns that served as basic units of hierarchical pattern recognition. They didn't involve specialization seen in other parts of the brain, just a selective pressure to get as many as possible on that wrinkly surface area.
Kurzweil related that to machine learning (computer vision) and the sort of problems/number of layers of abstraction you can address with a certain amount of those pattern recognizers.
In this image the brain has assembled pixels-->edges-->shape primitives-->etc. from the eye in a hierarchy of increasing abstraction. If you see an "A" your brain gets primed to recognize things with an "A" in them, like "pear" or "apple", in the same way that "A" could be missing an edge if the context implied it ought to be there.
So, yeah, the connection is pretty forced but the idea was that because of the relative restrictiveness of signing with your hands (vs speech) you have a reduced vocabulary and incorporate other ways of emoting/communicating to compensate?
Not gonna lie, even after reading the wikipedia and imgur links, about half that still went well over my head... but I think I get the basic concept, and yeah the connection to ASL expanding beyond just vocabulary to compensate kinda makes sense. :P
If you are ok with non-English lyrics, Mid-air Thief is pretty great IMO.
Here you go :
You've got to sift through the list to accommodate for your tastes, but if you over a couple of pages you're pretty much guaranteed to find something you'll love.
Do you have Spotify? Sourcing links will be easier if so.
Here’s a list of albums, unordered:
New Long Leg
Shadows on the Sun
The Impossible Kid
2012 - 2017
The Money Store
I Know I’m Funny haha
OIL OF EVERY PEARL’S UN-INSIDES
No Dogs Allowed
Sleeping With Ghosts
Pinegrove on Audiotree Live
Space Is Only Noise
Since I Left You - Spotify doesn’t have the original Australian release, go find that and give this a listen if you haven’t.
This list is just a handful I could think of - I tried to keep it to things that are fairly well regarded but not too well known. This is based on my own perception as well, so some of these might be very well known and some of them might be very niche, and I just don’t realize this. Well, except Since I Left You - this is well known, but if you haven’t heard it go listen to it.
Edit: Oh Demon Days as well, everyone knows Gorillaz.
I'd be interesting in getting started with 3D printing. Just these past few weeks, I have had a handful of instances where a custom 3D printed solution would be more elegant than the stuff I rig together. I'm not looking for top of the line or anything, just something that will allow me to print up to ~4 inches of material. Note, I haven't looked into this at all so my mind still thinks 3D printers are things that you go to a college library to use because (at least in the past) they took up a lot of space. I would also be curious to learn what projects you have utilized 3D printing for!
There's actually a bunch of small scale 3D printers on the market, so you've got a lot of things to choose from.
It sounds like you want to print something that requires a good amount of mechanical strength, so you're probably going to want an FDM printer, and with that in mind the one I recommend to all newbies is the Prusa Mini. It might take a while to get one right now because of the holiday rush. There are others I can recommend if you can't wait that long, but it would be worth it if you can; Prusa seems to offer the greatest amount of support you can get from a 3D printer manufacturer outside of extremely expensive commercial environments.
I've printed out a huge number of different things, from decorative objects to functional one-offs, stands, and storage organizers, and whatever else I could think of. The last thing I've been working on was a miniature board game concept. I'm not great at designing 3D models but I get some practice in from time to time. One of my all-time favorite printable objects is this collapsible dice tower.
Prusa is impressive on how well they've been able to solve "it just prints". If someone is looking at getting into 3D printing as a hobby in and of itself and are willing to put up with lots of tinkering to save some money, it's hard to beat an Ender for price, but with my Prusa i3, ever since I got it dialed in, I can "just print" basically whatever I want, and that's quite nice to know.
That being said, I defintely want to build a Voron...
My main machine is based on the Voron 2.4. It's a workbeast and I love it. But at the same time, I am just marveling at the engineering behind the Prusa Mini. The fact that they made a machine that prints just about as well as their flagship i3 (which has been incrementally improved for decades now) but with this tiny footprint minimalist machine that costs about half as much - that's a huge accomplishment!
Thank you! This is exactly the type of information I was looking for!
I've been playing around with some board game ideas in my head, and my daughter got me a "build your own board game" kit for Christmas! I've never done this before, and I don't know where to begin turning my ideas for themes and mechanics into something playable. Any suggestions or recommendations would be welcome!
I helped a friend in college make a board game and had fun with it! We were pretty amateurish, but I had some takeaways:
Theme-wise I think you do almost anything. You could make a game about your neighborhood through a lens of magical realism, a hobby, or something outlandish... the success of it would be more in the execution and your feelings about the project more than having a good theme.
The game we made was based on our school. The distance traveled around the board corresponded to completion of the curriculum, and some RPG elements were inspired by the different majors.
Some questions to start with might be:
Who do you see yourself playing the game with? What sort of experience would you want to have?
What's something you know a lot about, or something you'd enjoy researching?
What games have you enjoyed playing? What mechanics made for a fun game loop?
What's made you give up on games you've tried? Long turns, too simple/complicated?
What's easy to do with your kit that are hard elsewhere? How could you approximate a mechanic that isn't easy to do with your kit through something more simple?
Hope you have fun with it!
How do I start with machine learning? Especially the kind that involves image generation and style transfer.
I don't want to just download some python libraries, some data, and let the machine do all the work. I really want to understand how everything works, but at the same time, I'm not very good with math, especially the more advanced stuff (like complex transformations).
Unfortunately there's not really any way around math, that's the best and only way we have to model these kinds of things if you want to really understand what's going on. Some pointers, though. First, just forget anything analogies revolving around the human brain - they get parroted by reports on deep neural networks because it sounds cool, but neural networks resemble the brain about as much as the tree data structure resembles an actual tree. Relying on the brain analogy on any more than a surface level will just cause problems.
In terms of math, you only need a little multivariable calculus - once you get the hang of gradients and the derivative/integration rules for matrices you're probably fine. Then it's mostly a big exercise in linear algebra and statistics. Linear algebra is particularly key - neural networks on a base level is smashing matrices together, after all. You'll need to know stuff like eigenpairs, eigen decomposition, SVD, lagrange multipliers in order to do the linear optimization techniques used in neural networks.
To be honest, there's surprisingly (and somewhat unfortunately) not that much more math than that - a lot of neural network research is, uh, surprisingly "empirical", so to say, for the field of computer science.
Here is a useful document from my undergrad ML class that is intended to be a broad overview of math fundamentals that are necessary as a prerequisite.
Honestly, you don’t even really need to know that much math for ML if you aren’t implementing those optimization algorithms. Libraries like PyTorch and TensorFlow have really lowered the barrier of entry.
True, depending on your goals it very well could be unnecessary, but OP did state his goal as
And for that there's no real way to actually understand on a deep level what's going on without math as the primary model.
I agree, but at that point we aren’t too far from telling them to go get an applied math degree. More useful to understand the general structure first in this case, and move on to the deeper stuff later in my opinion. It’s also useful to keep in mind that there is some separation between optimization problems and optimization algorithms, and things can get hairy quickly.
Work towards understanding this paper. It is the first style transfer paper that was published, and likely the easiest algorithm. You will need to understand how classifiers like vgg16 are architected and trained.
Edit: Please consider this edit a low effort joke about how your second to last sentence describes the field of ML.
Edit 2: There’s actually a decent PyTorch tutorial using this algorithm, I highly recommend you use that tutorial to guide your understanding of the paper.
There are definitely going to be people here who are more up-to-date than I am. This is a mangled mess of how I first learned ML and how I am getting back into it.
NOTE: This isn't necessarily the best or easiest path. I am also mixing in my desire to learn functional programming into this
As others have said, if you want a deeper understanding of how ML works there isn't really a way around the math. I personally would suggest All The Mathematics You Missed But Need For Grad School. It isn't always perfect, but I found it's sections on Linear Algebra and Multivariate Calc to be pretty good, and it has a lot of exercises. If nothing else, its a great resource to find your weak points and help tune google searches for the areas you have problems with.
From there, you'll want to start learning about ML itself. I think just about everyone I know started off with this course by Andrew Ng. Its pretty solid, and I think most importantly is that it runs you through coding various machine learning algorithms. You don't use pre-built libraries to do all the ML for you. You will have to show that you understand step-by-step what each algorithm does and how. Really very useful.
After that, the world kind of opens up for you. I don't really know anything about the areas you listed as interests so I really wont be much help there. My next step personally is going to be learning Scala. I've been really liking functional programming as of late and so I'm going to be trying to get my hands dirty with it. Kind of a two-birds-one-stone situation, mixed with a moderate case of I-hate-python-itis.
Here is a youtube video also discussing best resources for self-taught learning from someone I generally respect: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2AcCEZaCZM
Thanks for your reply! Do you have any other recommendations for resources for updating statistics knowledge? I'm a software engineer and want to do more ML and generally data science stuff but haven't done anything with stats since a basics stats class in undergrad.
"All the Math You Missed" has a short section on combinatorics and probability that might help. Another thing I like about the math book is that at the end of all the sections they put a list of good books for further reading :) outside of that I don't really have any good resources at this moment. Most my statistics knowledge comes from taking a Combinatorics and Graph Theory course in college, on the fly during my ML work (which at this point was 6 years ago), and google. I found this in an old bookmarks folder but I don't remember reading it or using it so I can't promise anything.
Thanks for the reply! I'll check out the book and link, thank you.
I find this creator to be pretty good at explaining stuff:
Neural Networks Demystified
Learning to See
I think starting with the linear regression is always the way to go :
More explorations :
So I decided that in 2022 I will learn shell scripting. Last night I sat in front of the computer. 8 hours later, my Emacs had the most beautiful
init.elin the history of humankind. My other option for a project was... actually learning Emacs Lisp. But if I had chosen it, I'd probably have spent last night messing with shell scripts.
I need another brain.
Where do I start with electronics?
My GF got me a "build your own game console" maker kits, which was basically a PCB and a bunch of components to solder onto it (and instructions of course). I built it and, hey hey, the thing actually worked.
I'm interested into diving more into building electronics, but looking where to start obviously. Kits are cool I guess, but I think I'd be more interested in a simple project that would teach me more about the nitty-gritty of designing/building electronics. The kit I made was more "solder this resister here, and then this capacitor there," etc. I want to start learning about electronic design and engineering so I could eventually make my own gizmos or hack more complex electronics.
I have a couple of desktop synths, so I was thinking about something music related. But I'm not sure what would be a very novice project to start with.
For synths specifically, there's a great youtube channel that covers design rather than just assembly, by a guy called Moritz Klein.
In terms of digital electronics, Ben Eater's videos and associated kits are unparalleled.
Sweet, both look like great stuff. Thanks!
I’ve done a few hobbyist electrical projects in my day, but by no means am an electrician.
That said, my advice to you is find something electronic and relatively simple, that you’ve considered buying. Dig around google for “(thing) diy” and related keywords. If a fair amount of results pop up, they’ve probably laid out each detail between all of them. Find one that seems to make the most sense to you, and get to work.
For your use case, I’d suggest an effects pedal or a preamp. These things are fairly simple and have plenty of diy guides available. Just one example, but there are plenty out there.
Best of luck on your ventures!
Just bought an MPC Live II on a whim out of a desire to be able to enhance my DJing as a tool to lay extra drums on top of a track or sample vocals, fx, drops, etc. and have them on command to enhance a track. Does anyone have any good guides they'd like to point me at or any tips/tricks to share for this particular kind of functionality?
I started messing around with generating a track yesterday to get used to the functionality, where to get at various menus, etc. While I'm not sure I want to create tracks on it at this point in time and thus am not looking for any tutorials on this specific functionality, if you've used an MPC (or the software) I will take some tips/tricks/advice of something that you found particularly useful or some specific sounds that you use a lot that you found difficult to reproduce on other software.
Finally any good packs to download/purchase for EDM? I tend to stay in the melodic space - deep house, melodic techno, trance, etc. and I love me some breaks.