MAY 22, 2022

In The Surprising Math of Doing Less—Cal Newport's podcast episode 194)—Cal reminds his listeners that dedicating more hours in a row to the same activity has a compounding effect not present when we jump from activity to activity. For instance, writing for five hours can yield better writing results that spending 30 minutes writing six days in a row. That's why doing less, not in dedicated time but in different types of tasks, can make our work better.

MAY 21, 2022

Creatividad Remota, Universidad de Málaga


Estas son algunas de las cosas que mencioné en mi presentación en la Universidad de Málaga en la III Jornadas de Orientación Profesional y Fomento del Emprendimiento el 21 de mayo de 2022.

Cosas mencionadas

Nono en Redes

MAY 20, 2022

In a newsletter-y email from OpenSea this morning, there's a section titled Copymints1 that reads what follows in italics.

Copymints are a problem that can sometimes make it difficult for our community to find authentic content with confidence. We’re committed to threading the needle between removing these copymints and giving space for substantively additive remixes to prosper in the following ways:

  • Image Recognition Technology – Our new copymint prevention system leverages computer-vision tech to scan all NFTs2 on OpenSea (including new mints) — looking for flips, rotations & other permutations. We'll continue expanding and training our models to improve detection.
  • Dedicated Human Review – Making this image recognition technology work requires dedicated “humans in the loop” who can review removal recommendations and train our models continuously.

It feels like a rat race. The better the copymint image recognition technology gets the better the generation of fake copies will get. Verification is likely to help and filter out scams, yet that makes "the open sea" less and less open. On the other end, we've heard how miserable moderating content manually is.

The numbers shared on OpenSea's email are brutal. The largest trading volume day in OpenSea history was May 1, 2022, with $476,139,461, and there were 3.1 million transactions on OpenSea over the last 30 days. Some have to be making lots of money and many are probably losing a lot.

Please, please, don't take any content on my blog, podcast, or YouTube channel as financial advice. I don't endorse these platforms nor do I encourage you to invest your money in cryptocurrencies or NFTs. These are highly volatile markers prone to making you lose your money.

Here's an OpenSea post on verification and copymint-prevention updates.

  1. I just added the word copymint to my Grammarly dictionary. 

  2. NFT stands for non-fungible token. Aziz Barbar and I recorded an episode on NFTs and digital art in a language we hope everyone can understand. 

MAY 19, 2022 becoming harder and harder.

It used to be that you would study and then work on that for life. Today, hybrid roles let us work on loosely related things to what we studied.

For instance, you can apply programming, AI, or data science to any discipline. What gives you an advantage is having domain knowledge in a specific area, such as biochemistry or, in my case, design and architecture. That's what may make a difference.

MAY 18, 2022

It isn't possible to perform at your normal levels while you're sick.

A cough, the flu, coronavirus; You'll have to postpone meetings and deadlines for a couple of days, rest in bed until your body fights whatever is making you feel like crap, and catch up with work whenever you feel better.

That's why we need to let some buffer time into our schedules; you don't know if you'll be able to perform at 100% tomorrow.

MAY 16, 2022 often a one-off.

Unless your audience is different, the topic is exactly the same, and you can use your slides with no changes, you'll have to re-frame your speaking engagement—at times from scratch.

Each talk requires a unique narrative and preparing always takes more time than you thought.

That's why it's often a dread to accept public speaking opportunities.

MAY 15, 2022

Sometimes what's hard to solve a problem is not knowing what question to ask.

A lack of domain knowledge and what potential solutions exist make searching hard.

Once you figure out what's possible and how to talk about the problem, it becomes easier to formulate your question.

MAY 14, 2022 easy 95% of the days.

It's hard 5% of the days.

Those hard days are what count the most, even if you don't get the best out of yourself. What's important is to keep going.

Of course, another strategy is to only show up when you feel like. But then it's way too easy to hide and end up never showing up again.

MAY 13, 2022

Yesterday, I took a look at BlobGAN during the live stream. The code was open-sourced by Dave Epstein on GitHub on May 5, 2022.

The framework works great with the pre-trained models the authors provide. A bit of Google Colab wizardry lets you set up dependencies, configure the model, and interact with raster color blobs that represent different parts of the room without looking at a single line of code. You can even manipulate blobs, see how they affect generated images, and export an mp4 video of the input blogs and the resulting output image.

I look forward to learning more. A quick look at the paper and code repository felt overwhelming as it seems GANs are getting better and better as they increase in complexity and required knowledge to understand what they are really doing.

Have a great weekend!

MAY 12, 2022

I recently used this regular expression to convert a string from snake to camel case.

import re

def camel(match):
    return +

regex = r"(.*?)_([a-zA-Z])"
snake_case = "my_camel_case_variable_here"
camel_case = re.sub(regex, camel, snake_case, 0)
# returns myCamelCaseVariableHere

MAY 11, 2022

I still maintain a habit tracker in Google sheets which I keep open most of the time while I'm at the computer; and it works! I'm reminded of the things I want to do daily, such as meditation, writing, sketching, blogging, and reading my Readwise quotes. These tasks don't take too much time, but it's easy for them to slip by and for me to forget about them. So I try to mark them as done as early as possible in my day to not have to worry about them until the next one.

I try to keep in mind a few quotes from James Clear's Atomic Habits when thinking about systems and goals. "If you want better results, then forget about setting goals. Focus on your system instead. […] Goals are good for setting a direction, but systems are best for making progress. […] You do not rise to the level of your goals. You fall to the level of your systems."

MAY 9, 2022

You can do anything.

But you can't do everything.

Be realistic, choose what is it you want to do, and focus on that.

Everything else needs to go.

MAY 8, 2022

Consistency is key, reads the subtitle of Spatie's Guidelines page. "Most projects are not built or maintained by a single person. Instead, there is a collection of people involved, who all have their own personal preferences." When the Spatie team reaches a consensus about different programming preferences, they write it down.

I'm saving a link to each of their categories to review them in detail in the future.

MAY 7, 2022

Laravel 9 was released on February 8, 2022. I've started adding official support for 9.x to Folio. (See the pull request.)

I've mostly added support for PHP ^8.0 and dropped support for PHP 7; updated many dependency packages—I had to edit the CommonMark implementation, which is slightly different in 2.x; and followed the upgrade guide which only affected the file system adapters.

Here are a few other things I need to take a look at.

  • The mailing functionality broke as SwiftMailer is being removed in favor of Symfony Mailer. I need to check if this breaks Folio's notifications.
  • The lang directory location has moved.

Note that I had to update the app/Http/Middleware/TrustProxies.php file in my apps, but this is not part of Folio. (I guess it could be beneficial to ship this via Folio to all apps.)

MAY 6, 2022

I brought my podcast recording gear to Atlanta, Georgia, but I didn't get a chance to record any interviews. The week has been hectic, and I've met many wonderful people in person; some of them, colleagues I've been working with for months. I missed this type of event, and I'm glad we're finally experiencing a little bit of normality. I'm sure we gained a bit of social capital.

MAY 5, 2022

Hi, all.

It's Thursday but I won't be able to livestream today. I look forward to continuing looking at interesting machine learning models and their applications to creativity, design, and art.

See you all next week!

MAY 4, 2022

There's a huge difference between working with someone remotely through Slack and Zoom and meeting them in person.

Remotely, the informal small talk goes away.

I have to jump to my next meeting.

MAY 2, 2022

I watched Steve Spielberg's A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001) for the first time1 on my way to Atlanta, Georgia; a two-hour-and-a-half movie that reminded me of Jonathan Nolan's Westworld, especially by the way the face of the robotic boy programmed to love opens up to unveil its mechanical interior.

Jude Law hasn't changed.

Robin Williams played Dr. Know.

Haley Joel Osment has grown up.

MAY 1, 2022

It's super hard to do things, even when you said you would, especially when you have other things to do.

APRIL 30, 2022

Hi, all! I'm a bit behind with adding chapters and summaries about what we did in the live stream, specifically for Live 70 and 71—I'm working on it! There won't probably be live-streaming the first week of May (that's this coming week). But it seems we'll be back at it on Thursday, May 12.

You can watch my three-minute summary of Live 71.

APRIL 29, 2022

Right after yesterday's stream, I recorded a three-minute video summarizing what I covered in the hour-long stream. I'm testing different formats and what I like about this one is that it requires little to no edit time, as I know what's been covered and have material, produced live, that I can use as slides as I talk. Let me know if this format is useful. Thanks!

APRIL 28, 2022

I recently spotted the (⨍) symbol in Gerard Serra's Twitter account1. In his bio, I saw it belongs to Fermat, "a multimedia space where you can build your own tools" released on November 11, 2021. The project is an initiative of Batou XYZ, "a design & engineering research company on a mission to rethink how people interact with tools, computers and ideas." The user experience of Fermat seems great from the recordings I've seen and the user interface is beautifully crafted. The potential applications are limitless. In the end, they are creating an operating system where people can script and create custom components.

Here are the steps of what (I assume) is a development roadmap. Is this the Notion of custom web apps?

  1. An infinite multimedia space to take notes, create moodboards and write documents.
  2. A toolbox of productivity utilities and templates.
  3. Technical early adopters can create and publish new productivity utilities and templates.
  4. Everyone is able to create utilities, apps & templates and share them. Non-technical users become computational authors.

The medium is the message. The language is the lens. The tool is the thought. —Pol Baladas (⨍)

APRIL 27, 2022

If we try to convert a literal string with decimal points—say, '123.456'—to an integer, we'll get this error.

>>> int('123.456') # Returns 123
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
ValueError: invalid literal for int() with base 10: '123.456'

The solution is to convert the string literal into a float first and then convert it into an integer.

int(float('123.456')) # Returns 123

APRIL 25, 2022

Here are the recently added chapters to my conversation with Scott Young from 2019 on Ultralearning: how to master skills and acquire knowledge quickly.

APRIL 24, 2022

Storing analytics with no specific purpose in mind.

Someday, maybe, I'll find a use for them.

APRIL 23, 2022

Explain it to an audience.

It can be an audience of none.

Record yourself, talk to the camera.

It can be an audience of one.

Explain it to a friend, colleague, relative, or to your partner.

It can be an in-person audience.

Look for speaking engagements and get ready.

It can be an online audience.

Stream live. Share your camera and/or screen.

Explaining things, to yourself or to others, will make you learn more about them and interiorize key concepts, even when you don't fully understand them. That's the point.

APRIL 22, 2022 a gift.

You're giving us your time.

You're giving us your knowledge.

Others could have done it.

But it's been you.

Thank you.

APRIL 21, 2022

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from Getting Simple's latest episode with Andrew Witt.

  • “It’s not possible to do everything in an amazing way all at once. You have to cycle through those things. Different moments in life will create different opportunities.”
  • “One of the consequences of mass media is that [it] creates intuitions around certain concepts through imagery.”
  • "The only thing that really conveys human value to things is time.”
  • “What remains after people are gone?”

APRIL 18, 2022

Here's how to prompt for user input from a Makefile.

USERNAME ?= $(shell bash -c 'read -p "Username: " username; echo $$username')
PASSWORD ?= $(shell bash -c 'read -s -p "Password: " pwd; echo $$pwd')

	@echo Username › $(USERNAME)
	@echo Password › $(PASSWORD)

You can then execute make talk.

You'll be prompted for a username and password. The variables will get stored as USERNAME and PASSWORD, respectively, and the talk command will print them out to the console.

Note that the password read prompt specifies the -p flag, which hides the characters as you type and stores its value in the PASSWORD variable.

APRIL 17, 2022

I finished reading Essentialism by Greg McKeown and started reading Breath by James Nestor. While Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker covered the importance of sleep for our health and lives, James Nestor highlights the importance of breathing; knowing its purpose, and the right way to do it, something we often give for granted.

Want to see older publications? Visit the archive.

Listen to Getting Simple .