Tasks for Week 5

August 16th, 2019

These are my target tasks to be completed this week.

  1. [ ] v.py : Minimum 10 lines this week, gain familiarity with the concept and document notes. Some progress has already been made propelled asciilifeform's comment regarding v.py being the non-docker solution to a reproducible environment. Notes so far will be published today.
  2. [ ] Complete draft response to Diana's comment on the 'indiewebifying my website' post and publish.
  3. [ ] GLMnet: Linear Regression algorithm is showing different (and some strange) results on different computers. This has to be replicated and investigated. Additional revision of past learning on Linear regression to be done, and preferably published.
  4. [ ] Summarise: http://thewhet.net/2013/09/your-feelings-are-out-to-get-you/
  5. [ ] Formulate a checklist based on http://cascadianhacker.com/how-to-actually-learn-programming, and add related tasks next week.
  6. [ ] Re-evaluate and Re-prioritise tasks/projects from past 'plan' to 'conquer' datascience such that more time/energy/focus is given to tasks from Diana and TMSR.
  7. [ ] Summarise progress this week and plan next and post this on [2019-08-18 Sun] or before.
  8. [ ] Maintain consistent communication on #ossasepia and get into the habit of publishing draft notes, even if 'incomplete' or transient, with a 'Q&A' section, so that Diana can review.

Review + Summaries - Week 3 and 4

August 14th, 2019

1 Review:

I've slipped backwards in my weekly summaries on http://younghands.club. I've actually been apprehensive about looking at v.py, and that it is beyond my capability. I wanted to finish the work and then speak up on ossasepia, and do realise that it is better to communicate, Diana has advised earlier.. perhaps more than once. Sometimes, I am just unable to say anything meaningful, or things are in such a state of flux in my head. This review and summary is an attempt to analyse the same.

Though I did revamp my workflow after a discussion with Diana, and that definitely helped me think better - I am still plagued by wanting to do something that could be indirectly related.

I typically take the effort to plan, break down things into tasks and even schedule them. I have all the tools and workflows at my disposal to do these things.

My first step in any project, is usually a project outline and notes, which become tasks as I move along. It seems like I want to rebel against the plan and still succeed. I'm constantly looking for a thrill, and to work with inspiration. Sometimes the inspiration is elsewhere, and on occasion I do not know if it is really inspiration. If not, perhaps it is that I manage time a lot less well than I think I do. To counter that, I can say that I have done more in the last 4 weeks than in a while. It is still important to remind myself that there is plenty of room to improve.

So, I often 'stumble' upon an obsessive urge to 'complete something first', with the idea that 'a lot of other processes will be streamlined if I finish this first'. While the ideas are in general worthy and not incorrect or useless - they are usually not 'easy' like a quick fix.

In short, these excursions cannot be planned as 'short distractions', which I have tried. The chunks of time I put in seem to cover several days. My note taking has been sketchy in some areas. I am yet to complete publishing my brain dump. As I think backwards - I think I have added to these and more - almost every other day. A portion of the notes are on https://shrysr.github.io/docs/.

Beyond these notes are numerous projects which are stored as individual, private git repositories (Bitbucket). Some done almost to the end, and many barely started. Very less original work. For example, tidy Tuesday was one of the challenges I took up, which lasted only a week. I actually have a few more tidy tuesday projects outlined. There is for example,

2 Week 3

  • [ ] The planned deeper exploration of the UMAP algorithm is pending. I think that to be able to test the UMAP algorithm on different , its is important to be able create reproducible environments for them. This has to be done using Docker.
  • Made significant headway in the Dive into Docker course. The notes are being consolidated and will be posted (as a blog post) which will be updated as I add to it.
  • Wrote about needing to resize the swap partition in Linode to install the UMAP library. This was quite easy to do, considering the relatively painful experiences in the past. The first Linode I set up had a generous swap allocation from the start, and I forgot to do so in the 2nd (current) instance.
  • Started documenting the effort to build a datascience docker container to aid in the exploration of UMAP and any such related projects.
  • Gained comfort in deploying docker containers locally, as well as on the VPS.
  • Connected the Business Science Slack channel to weechat. So I am running Slack in the terminal and it has actually been wonderful. I need to gain a lot more comfort in using weechat to reduce some pain points. I've actually started posting messages in it, composed on Emacs.
  • Customised tmux better and learnt more about weechat. There was an increased interaction on the IRC channels of Linux, weechat, weechat-slack, as well as Emacs. For example : I got to interact with Technomancy on the Emacs channel, mentioned here. My notes regarding tmux and weechat have been rather sparse. These are the commands that I am most unfamiliar with.

3 Week 4

  • Successfully 'indiewebified' my site. I believe this is a step in the right direction. i.e making the website accessible to microblogging, and a customisable categorisation of posts and conversations, as my updated post archive will indicate. Anybody visiting the website, will get a better view of what I do, and I can post across networks. Unfortunately, this does not cover Linked in, but in general - my interactions can be viewed via the 'Browse' widget on the Side bar.
  • Composed a little bookmarklet to reply to any post / website with a click. Several other bookmarklets are also used as mentioned in the article, making it easy to like or comment / ping an article and directly feed that to my website.
  • Okay, as of now - it does stand on a bunch of chairs like indieauth, brid.gy and several WP plugins. It is not self contained like I had planned. However, it is also clear that the entire workflow can be replicated with some effort on a local server, and thus there is potential to ensure stability. See link for the list of libraries.
  • More customisation will be needed - both with the org2blog package as well as the indieweb WP plugins. I can first define and then plan these side projects as I find time. Support can be found in the IRC channels.
  • Received compliments from a fellow student in the Business Science university slack channel about having been helpful via answering queries. In the future, I intend to post my replies and summarise those as well on the website.

4 Plan

  • [ ] This will be updated tomorrow. Sleep.

Week 2 : Progress Summary

July 28th, 2019

I've attained a better idea about the WoT (pending comments from diana_coman). It was interesting to compare it to the only 'social' network I've been regulary active on : Linked in.

I implemented HTTPS for the website, and enabled pretty links to the posts and pages on the blog. However, I am yet to attain clarity on why HTTPS is needed for my website / blog, and diana_coman's comment that 'HTTPS don't work', has been puzzling me. I'm yet to make time for this, but as a start I've gone through Let's Encrypt's Subscriber agreement and do not feel encouraged. My notes on this are incomplete and thus not posted.

This week, a lot of time was spent in studying the UMAP algorithm. This is basically a dimension reduction algorithmn, and is relatively new. The concepts are very mathematically involved, and there are not many instances of online documentation in using the library. Though I'm not working out the original 51 page technical paper's math by hand, I've made strong strides in gaining an intuition of what the algorithm does. It seems clear that the hyperparameters of the algorithm, (especially the distance metric) have to be tuned for the data, on a case to case basis. It is not yet clear whether it makes a difference to the machine learning model, whichs is the subsequent step. This would be my first major exploration in data science at the algorithm level.

This kind of progress, and gaining such clarity has been rare for me and I crave for it to happen all the time. My notes on UMAP are a work in progress, but I think it will serve as an excellent reference when completed, hopefully in the next few days.

I was also able to contribute usefully to some discussions on the Business Science University forum, and published my note about setting titles, subtitles and captions in a plotly object.

Some time was also thrown at tinkering with the aesthetics of my blog/website and I finally found something satisfactory. For the next week, my plan is to focus on asciilifeforms's v.py, and also get going with running eulora while trying to complete the UMAP project. I know Diana would say that's too many #1 priorities, but it seems like if I ignore the other projects - they will die. As such, I've already made some headway in my reading about V, and the EUcrypt series.


July 25th, 2019

My first week in #ossasepia, has been exciting, for too many reasons that won't fit into a summary. I learned about the importance of identity, security, ownership and how the concept of 'keys' relate to bitcoin. Even more important, I've learned to not be overly cautious regarding expressing myself, and have re-discovered my willingness (and the critical need) to pursue and acquire deeper and less subjective knowledge. I've embraced the fact that I love the process of discovery, and the discussions on #ossasepia (and reading the btcbase logs) helped me reassure myself of the importance of documenting my journey. Going more technical - I got a brief, but functional exposure to the means of establishing my identity: by setting up new GPG keys and registering my nickname with Deedbot, as the first step to enter the Web of Trust (WOT). As a part of owning my identity - I've setup my own website on a self-hosted wordpress deployment on a VPS (only viable option!), and have started posting daily notes on the concepts learned, as well as the areas of improvement.

Links :
Week 1: Notes on PGP, GPG and WOT.

Finally, I've setup my wordpress site


July 20th, 2019

Use this space dilligently for your improvement, not for protecting your bad habits: if some criticism hurts you, it's because it is speaking the truth you don't want to but you still need to hear.

For real-time discussions, head over to irc, in channel #ossasepia on freenode.

The links in blogroll are provided for your reading hours - use them as you'd use a library as that's precisely what they amount to. So whenever you want to take a break from the work at hand, you can do way worse than reading some articles from those links. Even better, try to write a summary of what you read and publish it here.

Time is the only most important resource that you'll never be able to get any more of, so don't waste any time - neither yours nor someone else's.

Welcome and may you grow more than you can yet imagine!