I listened to this podcast instead of writing today

Instead of spending time writing this morning I decided to listen to this podcast. That was an almost 4 hour investment.

“Machine Learning Street Talk (MLST): MLST #78 – Prof. NOAM CHOMSKY (Special Edition) on Apple Podcasts” https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/mlst-78-prof-noam-chomsky-special-edition/id1510472996?i=1000569314505

Writing away the start of the day

Unexpectedly, I accidently worked to a point where I’m now 5 posts ahead of the next publication date on The Lindahl Letter. The entire week 75 post just came together and got recorded in the last two days. It was something that I had been thinking about for some time and maybe I was just ready to finish that block of writing. A lot of times during the process of creating something I’ll have a good idea of the finished product before starting the writing or design process. Currently that means that podcast recordings are complete between now and July 1, 2022. For the next five weeks something will go out every Friday. One of the things I’m planning on working on today is just editing and reworking that series of 5 posts. That could create a scenario where the audio recording the text is not 100% aligned. I’m ok with that result if it means that typos and other grammarian concerns are addressed before publication. 

My efforts to transition to writing more research note based weekly missives is well underway. Every week my attention gets focused on a topic that I’m learning about and writing about. To that end I’m creating original content and sharing it out as part of the ongoing The Lindahl Letter series. Within that framework the content has to stay focused and be geared toward providing a unique perspective within my own breadth vs. depth combination. Really digging into the upcoming research notes and putting everything I can into their creation will be important. The series of posts between week 79 and week 86 need to be really rock solid contributions. 

  • Week 79: Bayesian optimization
  • Week 80: Deep learning
  • Week 81: Classic ML algorithms
  • Week 82: Classic neural networks
  • Week 83: Neuroscience
  • Week 84: Reinforcement learning
  • Week 85: Graph neural networks
  • Week 86: Ethics (fairness, bias, privacy)

Messing around with podcasts

Yesterday during the evening I started to remove a few applications from my Google Pixel 5 smartphone. That effort started as a basic cleanup of a few applications and soon became a bit more intense. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all now removed from my smartphone. I still have access to them from a browser at my desk computer or my Chromebook. However, they are now distinctly less accessible. I kept the communication applications loaded on my phone for now. At some point in the future, those applications might very well be the next wave of things that are going to get purged from my smartphone. For the next few days I’m going to just remove an application a day like a digital game of survivor. Generally applications get downloaded and are allowed to just sort of stay forever. 

Over the last few months the two applications I probably use the most are Pandora for streaming music and Google Podcasts. I know that people running Pandora would really like me to use it for Podcasts instead. They even changed the application byline to reflect that it is a music and podcast application. Moving my favorite Podcasts over would be pretty easy. In no particular order that would involve subscribing to the following: Sway, Bourbon Pursuit, Decoder, The MLOps Podcast, The New Yorker Radio Hour, How you livin j Piven, The Daily, Tomorrow. Lex Fridman, The Wan Show, Literally! With Rob Lowe, FiveThirtyEight Politics, Machine Learning Street Talk, and This week in Google. You can try to figure out a pattern from that mix of subscriptions. You won’t really find one as the content I elect consume is generally based on my mood intersecting with the topic they are covering. I’ll scroll along until I find something that catches my attention. 

It took me about 5 minutes to “collect” all the podcasts mentioned above using the Pandora website. Under the banner of collected within the Pandora website you can see all the podcasts. A good chunk of the podcasts that I listen to were either not on Pandora or hard to find. I even had to submit my own podcast, “The Lindahl Letter,” which in theory should arrive in 4-6 weeks on Pandora. I’m not sure actually switching over to Pandora for podcasts is going to be a possible thing to do in practice. A lot of the technology related podcasts that I listen to on a regular basis were not in the catalog of things to be collected on Pandora. I’ll give the application a try during my walking efforts over the next four weeks, but it may not work out and I’ll have to switch back over to using Google Podcasts as a primary driver.

Completing enough content before spring break

The first portion of this morning was spent on editing a Substack post called, “Touching the singularity.” My routine of writing on Saturday morning and finishing the editing on Sunday morning worked well enough. I was able to complete the audio recording for that post today and it is scheduled to go out on Friday April 1, 2022. Based on the current planning and scheduling I’m four weeks of recordings ahead on The Lindahl Letter. After spring break that buffer will be diminished by a couple of weeks. I’m not sure The Lindahl Letter will ever be months ahead in terms of recording. The content is not meant to be tied to a specific time and place. I’m trying to write in a more general way that really covers a topic vs. trying to provide news or observations that are time sensitive. One of the things that I do need to complete at some point is a YouTube video about the audio recording and editing process. You can probably expect a video about how I record podcast audio at some point in the near future. It has been snowing since last night in Denver, Colorado. It’s March 6th and we have several inches of snow on the ground. Being stuck in the house all day might be the catalyst to complete that video. 

I’m probably going to need to update OBS and maybe take some B roll of the microphone setup itself with my Sony ZV-1 digital camera. Given a couple shots of espresso and the right amount of quiet time I can probably record the entire thing in one shot without a script. My podcast recordings are highly scripted and produced to the point of sounding professional. At least, I think they are relatively professional in audio quality for a weekly podcast recorded at my desk for the pure purposes of adventure. Given that I’m already starting to think about the mechanics of the recording process, that video is probably going to happen. I have a couple of hours right now that are going to be spent on digging into the content presented in my 5 year writing plan. Finding solid blocks of time to engage in academic writing is something that will continue to be a priority. Really sitting down and deeply focusing without distractions is almost becoming a super power these days. It is something you have to be planful about and really make happen on purpose.