Another thought about self learning

Here's another small thought about self-learning:

I often feel like I go through a tutorial, or even a book on whatever subject I'm currently studying, and at the end I didn't really learn much; like, I know I went through all the knowledge, and I understood all of it, or at least most, but for some reason most of it didn't really stick; I know I "get" it, but if I try to explain it, top to bottom, I can barely say ten words about the subject. So then I start thinking that I need to do another tutorial, or book, or watch more videos, or whatever. But there must be a different answer to that problem, and I think it is this:

Don't just simply "go through" the material. Study it. Learn it. Make it your own. Repeat the exercises untill you are able to reproduce them without any kind of help.

A lot of information can fit inside a 10 page pdf or web article, or a tutorial that takes you 2 hours to complete (concentrated) but if I don't really make the effort to take in everything that it offers, it will always feel like it was just a vague introduction to the subject.

This is probably very obvious for many, and it's something I've thought about for some time now, but for some reason I really struggle to put it into practice. I will make a conscious effort to practice what I preach.

Photo by Антон Злобин

PS: I think I've hit a wall with my self-hosting endeavour because it seems that my ISP is using a CGNAT and that makes it imposible for me to host a website, even on ipv6. But at least now I know.


Self-hosted Website

For the past few days I've been trying, unsuccesfully, to set up a server to host my own website from home. I was thinking of doing it from an Ubuntu Server Virtual Machine in my PC. Really, how hard can it be? I'm not thinking about any kind of web-app, with complex functionality, or even something critically important to worry a lot about safety. Well, it turns out, plenty. I just can't get it right for some reason. I guess I'll have to drop that project for now and come back to it when I am a bit more knowlegeable.

The only thing I haven't tried yet is to host it from my PC directly instead of a VM, I hear that can be rather insecure, but maybe just for the lulz, it won't even be up all the time anyway, it's just so I can say "I did that. You know why? Because I can."

Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger


Good Bye Windows

I just deleted the Windows 10 partition that had been living in my computer completeley rent-free for years. I should have done that years ago, but I just kept it there out of aprehension and anxiety, I guess, in case I ran into some big wall with Linux or decided that I really needed Windows for some important project that could only be done with Windows exclusive software, but I don't think that will ever be the case. After 4 years of using Linux excluvely I think I can finally let go. The final straw was that there was some problem with the updates and every time I booted Windows it would take about an hour trying to update and then ran into some problem and had to 'undo the changes'. So there. No more Windows taking up space for free in my PC.

I'm still using primarily ArchCraft with bspwm window manager. It takes a little getting used to, learning where all the config files are and all, maybe not a distro for beginners, but its great. I'm beginning to understand how all Linux distributions are one OS and the distros are more like using different themes.

Lastly I countinue on my Linux/IT learning curve. Of course just by using Linux —and one of the not-so-user-friendly distributions at that— you learn a lot about it. It's one of the things I love most about Linux, how it encourages the user to learn much more about the inner workings of their system, even on the more mainstream distros it may not be entirely obligatory but still encouraged. I've been focusing on networking and cyber-security lately. Networking is a very complex and daunting topic for me, I can barely say that I get the fundamentals, but there is something fascinating to me about being able to understand how computers communicate.

Now there's a big empty hole in my hard drive with the name 'unallocated', what should I fill it with?


Some thoughts about self-learning

This is something I care about a lot as I have considered myself a self-learner for a long time. I've studied all kinds of things, I have been baking my own bread since I was 20, I learned how to juggle when I was 18 or 19. I've also studied many languages (both natural and programming languages). For the past 3 or 4 years I've been learning a lot about Linux systems. I've even taught my self about trading of stocks and cryptocurrency.

Although, I do recognize that I have been much more succesful in some areas than in others. For example, in baking, I managed to run a semi-succesful business out of that for about 5 years. In programming however, I've tried for years, many different languages, methods, approaches, I did almost learn enough of HTML/CSS/Javascript to be able to work as a freelancer web-developer for while, but I only really had a couple of very small projects. As for the linux stuff, I've never really thought of it as a career, more of a hobby, but there are some periods when my motivation goes up and I do start thinking all kinds of things. But then it goes down again.

And it's kind of like that with all the programmimg/IT/Linux stuff, the hype goes up for a while, and then down, and up and down, and so it has been for the past 10 or 12 years. And even though I try to convince myself that I really don't care, because I just do it for the brain exercise —it's true, for the most part—, it does get frustrating when I feel stuck and that's when the motivation usually starts going down. Then sometimes I completely forget about it for months and when I try to take it up again I've forgotten most of what I had learned. I'm always in a state of false-beginner

So here's one thing I've learned after all these years of ups and downs with the things that have worked and the things that haven't:


It's all about consistency. Nothing else matters, not nearly as much. It doesn't matter if you have the newest and most revolutionary method, or read all the best books. If you are not consistent you'll never get very far.

And how do I get consistency?

Easier said than done, of course, but the key is quite simple: make it a part of your life, not just a project for your spare time.

At least I think that is what's made all the difference in the things where I have reached a higher and more persistent level of proficency. And I'm trying hard right now to do just that with my latest bout of enthusiasm for programming/Linux/IT related learning. I hope one day soon to be able to do that as a career. But who knows, I might be all wrong.


I did it again!

I did it again, I distro-hopped when not even two weeks ago I said I was done with that. But I just couldn't resist. I started hearing a lot about ArchCraft so I went ahead and installed it, and man, it delivers! It's absolutely stunning. It's all pre-riced, it has themes and all the necessary applications, and supprisingly little amount of bloat. It is a distro for Linux lovers. I have had to edit a few of the config files on the bspwm session, mostly the polybar, and had to learn how to use bspwm because I had never used it before. So I've been entertained the past couple of days. Other than that, I'm lovig it. I will never distro hop again!

Don't quote me on that, though.


Should Everybody learn how to Code?

Yes, I think everybody should learn how to code, or more generally how computers work.

Computers are everywhere, from the super-computers and giant data centers to your cheap drip coffee maker, they are embedded in nearly every single aspect of our lives. So I think we all should learn how computers work, even if only just to understand the world we live in a little bit better.

In a world where everything, at some level, is run by computers, being able to manipulate, understand and control those computers is a superpower.

Photo by cottonbro studio


Engagement vs Content

How do you create a social network where the incentive is not to fish for likes, follows and shares but to actually create good content?

Make the users work to create the content and scale down as much as possible on the interactivity. When you put effort into just putting it out there and there is little to gain from the engagement then you actually care more about the content you put out.

At least I think that's the model that neocities.org adopts and I think it's very valuable in this age of social network engagement addiction.

Of course there are still elements like the follows and likes and comments, but they are not even that much in plain sight, so the emphasis is much more in creating and owning your own thing and the devil may care who likes it or not. You make it for yourself.

© Photo by me.


Some projects I've been working on

Some might say I have lot of spare time, but no. lol. What I have is a full time job that's pretty easy, I can afford to ocuppy about 30% of my brain, during my shift, to do these things. It's just the attention is always divided; that may be also the reason why most projects end up getting interrupted —because I start getting interested in something else—, or everything just ends up a little half baked.

© Photo by me.