The Collector’s Fallacy  – Zettelkasten Method

On researching taking notes, speciffically the Zekkelkasten method, I learned The Collector’s Fallacy.

In its essenses:

Saving links, copying or just reading a material does not mean that you have consumed the knowledge.

You may have increased the knowlege for a short time, but it will fade away very soon after that.

By taking notes, or making a Zettel, to summarize again what you understood, you then actually can reaffirm the newly acquired knowledge.

The gist here is to make notes as soon as possible. The article suggested a cycle:

– Set a limit, an hour, for research.
– You could find, search, read until the time run out.
– Stop and start rewind the stack, making notes.
– Review how it goes, whether the time limit is good enough.

One key is that the taken note should contain enough information that the original copy is no longer mandatory.

This post is itself a zettel.

TIF – Powerful SSH #1

Recently, I discovered that SSH have some wonderful features and usages that I didn’t know before.

Faster copying directories with rsync via SSH

When it comes to copying files back and forth to a remote server, I usually go for scp.

scp hello.txt

scp even supports to copy a whole directory:

scp -r files/

Not until recently, a colleague of mine, Alex, taught me that using rsync happens to be faster than scp when it comes to syncing directories between local and remote server.

rsync -a files/

The result is fascinating! It is much much faster than scp when it comes to hundreds of files need to be synced. Better, rsync only copy files that has been changed.

There are some more advanced use cases with rsync and SSH like you can establish somehow a rsync daemon on the remote server so that you can sync files/directories over a bastion host. See “Advanced Usage” on man page of rsync.

Check out code

I usually have a need to log in to the server and do a git clone on that server for testing some code.

Cloning a repository via SSH on a remote server requires that server to have an SSH key-pair registered..

…unless we use ssh-agent.

Using SSH Agent Forwarding allows me to SSH into a remote server and do git clone on without the need to actually transfer my private key to that server.

# First run the ssh-agent daemon in case you haven't.
# See for why we gotta use `eval`.
$ eval $(ssh-agent -s)

# Add your identity key into ssh-agent.
# In case you have a key somewhere else, simply specify the path to it.
# You can attach multiple keys if you want.
$ ssh-add -K

# SSH into the remote server using Agent Forwarding option.
$ ssh -A

# On the remote server, perform git clone as usual
remote_user@server $ git clone

Today I Found: Bill Gates’s message for college grads if they want to change the world.

In his letter, Bill Gates wrote that he was lucky because he started his venture at the right time, when the digital revolution was just underway, and the young people at that time had had a great opportunity to shape it.

Today, college graduates have also the same chance with these fields:

If I were starting out today and looking for the same kind of opportunity to make a big impact in the world, I would consider three fields.

One is artificial intelligence. We have only begun to tap into all the ways it will make people’s lives more productive and creative.

The second is energy, because making it clean, affordable and reliable will be essential for fighting poverty and climate change.

The third is biosciences, which are ripe with opportunities to help people live longer, healthier lives.

But his letter contains a very important point which I also agree with:

For one thing, intelligence is not quite as important as I thought it was, and it takes many different forms.

In the early days of Microsoft, I believed that if you could write great code, you could also manage people well or run a marketing team or take on any other task. I was wrong about that. I had to learn to recognize and appreciate people’s different talents. The sooner you can do this, if you don’t already, the richer your life will be.

(emphasize mine)

Bill had the same point as with Jeremy Harbour in his book “Go Do!” in which: when one who is excel in his technical skill may not be ready to start his own company because he lacks other important skills.

Today I Found: Soft-Coding & #1 Deadly Sin of Programmers

A question on StackOverflow, What is Soft-Coding (anti-pattern), introduced me to the term soft-coding (a pun to hard coding).

To explains simply the term, I quoted the code snippet of the accepted answer:

SpecialFileClass file = new SpecialFileClass( 200 ); // hard coded

SpecialFileClass file = new SpecialFileClass(DBConfig

Too much of anything is not good. The above is not an exception. Too much of flexibility led to over-engineering.

This is somehow similar to the #1 deadly sin in the series Seven Deadly Sins of Programming by Eric Gunnerson.

Little things matter

Today, I’ve read a entry in Quora that actually Made Me Thing (MMT). It was a survey “What is the nicest thing anyone has ever done to you?” and there was a man writing that some woman had helped him back when he was travelling in Swizertland and making his way to his home in Rome. The woman had spent over 2 hours to sit with him, hopping trains in order to make sure he made it way home safe. He had been moved by the action and really appreciated the woman’s action. He even stated that to him the most nicest country is Swizertland.

After reading the post, I just realized that doing a little thing with your heart really matters. You don’t need to do big things to impress people. Doing a little thing with your heart in it and specially with careness is actually the most thing that help you “win” people.

So, how about my closet person? My girlfriend? My mother? My sister? My colleagues? What litte things I can do for them to make them feel better NOW?