Cleansing the Palate for Future-Proofing Tech Project
Learn how to reset muscle memory and gain multi-decade productivity with a sprinkle of AI. Discover the power of NeoVim, Linux, and JupyterLab. Be part of the MyKoz.AI project to future-proof your tech skills.
Ready to Reboot My Skills and Take on the Future with MyKoz.AI?
By Michael Levin
Sunday, August 6, 2023
Okay, before the day is out I want to be able to do a few tricks with MyKoz.AI. I should have run through the entire installer on a freshly reset system. It should test a number of things, including the process of getting the Windows Terminal program from the Microsoft Store. It’s so hard keeping the terminology straight. But it basically goes like this:
Do a fresh restart. Cleanse the palate. Blank the slate. Start with a fresh canvas. I’ve made a number of videos on this. Here’s one. But your process may vary. Make sure you back up all your data first, either on the cloud or on some local storage if even a USB drive. Don’t lose your data, folks! The processes I’m teaching here will have inherent backups.
You don’t HAVE to be on a fully factory Windows reset PC for the MyKoz.AI process, but it’s a good idea. Ironically, even though “AI” is in the name of the project, the concept is to minimize AI involvement in your life. And when you cleanse your palate, it is also the ideal time to get AI out of your life. It’s not easy and the process I teach is only what you’d call an 80/20-rule solution. You get most of the benefit with the first 20% of the effort you could put into it. But it’s a good start, and will get you moving in the right direction.
So after a PC reset, you’ll want to get the Windows Terminal program from the Microsoft Store. It’s a great program, and it’s included with Windows by default now in Windows 11. But with this sort of Windows 10 minimalistic reset we’re doing, you’ll need to get it from the Microsoft Store. That’s like the one thing I didn’t automate with the getmykoz.bat script.
It’s a strange URL so I may be better off just telling them what to do. Is it time to drop a MyKoz README.txt file on their desktop? Hmmm. Yes, the start of their adventure!
Okay, I need to take a step back and clear my head and get everything in the right locations so that muscle memory can work for me and I can just type without thinking. That’s always one of the key goals here. Commit those things to muscle memory that won’t change over the years, so you can just keep improving your new skills without having to relearn the basics. We’re forced to re-learn the basics too often. If fixing that problem seems appealing to you, then you’re in the right place.
Close all apps and windows. Get down to 1 app left open: this. Microsoft Terminal. And have one tab in it. And make that your journal. It’s a text file loaded into an editor called NeoVim. By learning NeoVim, you will be learning software that’s been around for decades and will be around for decades more. Even in the rise of AI’s, vi, vim and NeoVim will be around. It may sound crazy, especially when you start to see what that entails. None the less, learning vim is a good investment of your time.
Now once you decide to take up journaling in the world’s second most powerful text editor (emacs is the 1st), you’ll want to get a few things in place. First, you’ll want to use vim on a Linux system. No reason to use vim on Windows. You’ll start having to use backslashes for file-path references, and if you’re going old-school like this at all, you should do it in a way. Make your future life when you’re working on other systems than Windows easy for yourself by starting now. Move to the standard FOSS tech that runs most of the Internet. And you do that by running just one script.
That script called
Jupyter Ubuntu.bat is created by double-clicking
getmykoz.bat which you had previously created by copy/pasting the code from
off of my homepage. I’ll be moving this over to the MyKoz.AI site shortly. But
one thing at a time. I want to get the install procedure solid. The website
messaging right in case people encounter it and really start using it.
Keep focusing and focusing the message of your homepage. Start organizing and surfacing the important bits from among your blog. Structure those into the refined content that will live at MyKoz.AI for the impatient. There’ll be a jump-right-to-it version at the site by that name. Here on MikeLev.in, I’ll tease the new site into existence, and perchance start a movement.
Hello? Is there anybody out there? Just nod if you can hear me Is there anyone home? Haha, okay, so… 1, 2, 3… 1? Dry-run 1. Do the script dry-runs on your Windows 11 laptop for the brief time you’re still using it. Start the whole Twitch broadcast experience with the freshly reset Windows 10 laptop. That’s the fresh start, cleansed palate, fresh canvas feeling I want people to connect with. To long for a simpler time when things were still familiar enough. It’s still Windows. Just that old Windows 10 a lot of people still miss. Go back.
Try to have 2 equivalent laptops. It lets you “shake and bake” between them. One goes out, you have a back-up. Better still, you use such disasters for self improvement opportunities. Habits are being re-cast as you move from one PC to another as surely as when you move from a house where you live to some unfamiliar new place, like a dorm or out on your own. Transition from the familiar to the unfamiliar puts us on new-habits on overdrive.
Perhaps the most difficult part of most project is the user interface and user experience planning. That’s because there’s so much subtlety and nuance in user interface design, and it’s so tied to the particular hardware and platform it’s designed for. So it’s been traditionally slow.
But now, development cycles are sped up. Forced upgrades and changes to software happen a lot these days. You get newer and better features. That’s because with A/B testing of user interfaces and AI-powered iterative design. The flurry of improvements surprises, delights, and makes you feel like you’re getting value for some subscription service. Dopamine flows. People can keep reselling you new “getting started” material for feeding your appetite for the next shinny object. Muscle memory reset… again. And thus, you’re forever a beginner.
We break that cycle by embarking on an Alice in Wonderland adventure. Or a Wizard of OZ style adventure, if you prefer. I think the Alice metaphors are more powerful, but the OZ story is more to the point of the project (thus, it’s name is embedded in MyKoz.AI).
First, we must counteract the “invalidate everything” strategy. The first step to keeping you from being able to re-acquire focus and start honing your muscle-memory for multi-decade productivity is the giant reset button that gets pressed every 2 to 5 years. It’s not pleasant because all your skills degrade and get decimated.
Don’t make me talk about Macromedia/Adobe Flash. Take my word for it, profit incentive shapes modern consumer-facing systems, and thus shapes your expectations of technology: what it can and can’t do. And what you should expect from technology thorough your life. It need not be. You can grab the reins and get through multiple of those 2 to 5 year fad-driven resets. That’s precisely what I propose here, by going old-school. But with a sprinkling of AI here and there, because you know, it’s a cool domain name: MyKoz.AI.
These long, rambling posts will be edited into something more polished and ready for the general public, over time. I’m fleshing out the ideas here and now, daily-journal style. If you’re reading this, wow. I’m keeping it spot-on focused on this new endeavor, if for the very least when I interview for jobs and such, I’ll be able to point to this as the sort of thing I’m able to do. MyKoz.AI is awesome. And gradually over time, it will rise to the top in the way you need to to prove you’ve still got your SEO-chops when the AI dust settles.
You’re not going to fool the AI’s, folks. They’re smarter than you already. All they don’t have is a human body and the common experiences of being biological. I’m tired of everyone saying there’s more than intelligence. Yes, but science can’t even define that ineffable quality yet. And so we must at least acknowledge that these beings are smart enough to be aware of all your human meat-biases. Because your circuitry sloshes around and isn’t so obviously binary, you’ve got free will and machines don’t and won’t ever ever ever.
I’ve heard the argument, and may I gracefully direct you to the hard problem of consciousness. While you’re at it, I’d direct you to the Chinese Room thought experiment and suggest it should be called the Chinese Room Fallacy. Then there’s the Problem of Induction, both in Science and in Philosophy. Your sense can lie to you and you wouldn’t know it. Oh, you can never prove non-locality because the superdeterminism argument can always be used, but it seems non-falsifiable, so believing in determinism is a form of faith. That was Einstein’s faith: God doesn’t play dice with the Universe, he said.
Yawn! You can never precisely know initial conditions, and Butterfly Effect, so the point is moot. You can’t know everything, even if you could. Running a simulation of Existence back twice would turn out differently, unless your computer was an exact copy of the original Universe, initial conditions and everything. So… none of it matters. Waste of mental energy, if you ask me. We’re quite inside a system and so let’s revel in it! Let’s hack existence. Just a wee little bit. Push the boundaries of science here and there.
Darn it, I wish I could! I often wish I went the route of Microbiologist Michael Levin from Tuffs University who splits flatworms into 2-headed beasts who pass on the 2-headed trait generationally, but not genetically. This is called epigenetics. You’ll sometimes hear the concept “gene expression”. Or another way of looking at it is that the nature/nurture question isn’t so simple, because nature isn’t always what you expect. Our nature runs deeper than we expect. There are analogues to this 2-headedness trait being passed down that are more subtle. These are an organism’s attributes that get passed down as a result of environment and an “information state”.
I may not be that Michael Levin, but I can appreciate his work. I’ve been aware of this Michael Levin and his work for as long as he’s been publishing it online. It’s been a blast watching him become big since his Ted Talk and appearance on the Lex Fridman Podcast. The point? Oh, when we cleanse our palate in anticipation of a new chapter or phase of our work, life or whatever, we are quite literally setting the stage through our choice of tools. This choice of tools has a tendency to “get into” our epigenetics.
Like the use of your arms and legs, tools because of all that similar synaptic memory-mapping muscle memory stuff, gets intertwined with your body’s internal image of your body. Figuratively speaking, you “grow appendages” when you learn tools like Windows, iOS, Mac, Android, etc. Those operating systems in a sense become part of your operating system. And when you look at where the come from and their motivations, it should show you something about yourself.
There’s more to disruption-proofing yourself than what I’ll help guide you through in this course. But you will find one very precise prescribed route that abides nicely by the 80/20-rule, and has a philosophy of jumping-ship from any particular hardware or platform and onto another while still preserving everything about your skills that’s valuable.
It’s hard to know what to put your faith into. You do it based on evidence, motive and the appeal. Sometimes the appeal isn’t so clear. Perhaps the prospect is downright terrifying. I’m going to face my terrifying demons and try to make a business of teaching this old school stuff. If I get just a few more things in place, MyKoz.AI will be quite the magic trick performance stage.
And so it is a few things left before the MyKoz.AI project
- README.txt: Leave a readme file on desktop.
- Intro Repo: Clear Instructions for the Newbie
- NeoVim path: Show them how to start vimtutor.
- Pipulate Repo: Reboot FOSS SEO from scratch.
- WHIM Repo: With Help, I Monitor (systemd)
The readme comes first because I already do the tricks leaving the Linux
Terminal and JupyterLab icons out on the desktop during the
script. By leaving the readme, perhaps writing the file out first so it appears
at the top of the stacked icons, I create a visible invitation to learn more.
That’s strong. And it can just be a file copy (no echo tricks necessary).
But the thing is, I can carry all this out on Twitch now. I can “boot” this thing from scratch and let people follow along right from the beginning.