my digital garden — a place for my ideas to grow and blossom.

⚙️ Version Update 21.08.20

571 words, 3 min read

Welcome to the ivanOS ⚙️update changelog. This is where I post updates on my life, such as what I find interesting and what I’m working on recently.

📚Book summary recommendation

The main thesis of Range: Why Generalists Triumph In A Specialized World by David Epstein is that you should become generalist rather than a specialist in today’s modern world. What’s good about this summary is that it cuts away the sloppy arguments and and distracting anectdotes, stripping them down to two main things (quoting the article):

  1. It compresses the ideas down to a fraction of the book’s reading time.
  2. It exposes the holes in Epstein’s arguments, which gives us opportunity to investigate those holes for ourselves.

This reminds me of a Twitter thread on why you should be an amateur in everything.

To add, I would like to insert a quote from the book Mastery by Robert Greene:

The problem with most people, he felt, is that they build artificial walls around subjects and ideas. The real thinker sees the connections, grasps the essence of the life force operating in every individual instance. Why should any individual stop at poetry, or find art unrelated to science, or narrow his or her intellectual interests? The mind was designed to connect things, like a loom that knits together all of the threads of a fabric.

Being a generalist helps you to see things from a diverse set of perspectives, giving you a holistic view on a particular problem.

🧜Mermaid Diagrams

I recently discovered Mermaid, an amazing way of generating graphs. Mermaid diagram is a powerful tool that allows you to create graphs out of code (JavaScript + CSS) with Markdown-like syntax. It’s easy to use, free, and open source.

You can do things like flowcharts, piecharts, illustrated timelines and even Git graphs!

Example of a sequence diagram with Mermaid. Source: https://mermaid-js.github.io/mermaid/#/

Here is a YouTube video that explains more on how you can use it.

Although I don’t see much use of it for me now, I’ll be sure to explore and play around with this in the future!

🍿Netflix show I’m currently binging

Avatar: The Legend of Korra, the sequel to Avatar: The Last Airbender, is finally here on Netflix US, and I am so so happy!

I remember watching this series online with my brother back in like 2014. I was so afraid of the villains back then. They had stronger, more realistic motives compared to the likes of Firelord Ozai in ATLA.

Rewatching it now when I am older allowed me to understand the deeper themes behind the show such as egalitarianism, anarchism, and LGBT representation. I’m also in love with the overall steampunk aesthetics of Republic City, with an unmistakable reminiscence to The Industrial Revolution.

Installing a VPN

If you are not from the US but still wish to watch it, you can try using a VPN. The problem is that either they are paid services, or are free but blocked by Netflix’s VPN blocker.

I recommend using Windscribe VPN. It is the best free VPN iOS app that I could find that was able to bypasses Netflix’s proxy error m7111-1331-5059.