Physics and Free Software

  • 11 Posts
  • 290 Comments
Joined 1 year ago
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Cake day: June 5th, 2023

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  • There are two reasons switching to, or even trying out Linux is difficult and often ends in failure: too many choices or too much information. This (great) write up is an example of the latter. Those among us, the would be tutors of Linux, actually read the whole thing before hopping down to the comments, or offer our opinion. Be honest.

    We are all passionate about FOSS. Not just because it’s neato, but because we recognize that it improves the quality of life of anyone who uses it, and (hopefully) society at large.

    Rather than providing many choices with a sink or swim mentality, or write a novel Herman Melville would envy, my suggestion is to become mentors rather tutors. What’s the difference?


  • I can see where you are coming from, but that is a skill in and of itself. Go far enough into any technical field and you reach that boundary. Especially if you do research.

    It’s this kind of thing that develops into imposter syndrome. You’ve gotten this far doing things this way, and it’s always worked. You are told you are smart. Fixed mind set. Maybe you aren’t that smart at all. It effects your mental health dramatically. I’ve literally seen it hundreds of times.

    But I do get it. Students are expected to perform at a high level. That approach is expedient and it works well to get everything done.

    I recognize things are different than they were ‘back in my day’, but I was a C student. I did the bare minimum, except for the subjects I cared about. Those I was exemplary.

    Now ‘kids these days will’ say "no that’s bullshit. It doesn’t work anymore’. That I can tell you isn’t true. I have those students. You just need to figure out how to get around the artificial red tape that keeps you from focussing entirely on what you want.

    (Sorry for sp. I haven’t installed spell check on this phone)


  • Read. Write. Execute. RWX. I’m going to piss some people off. Here goes: you are wasting your time if you watch videos. At all. A video moves at the pace it plays. It is linear. You can’t jump around easily. Reading? You can jump wherever you need immediately. You can have multiple sources at once. If you use a book, yes a physical book, you learn where things are and jump right to them. Read

    Write down a paraphrased version of what you read. Do not copy. Include references so you can return to source if needed. Note taking is a skill. Your notes should be organized in a way you can skim what you wrote as easily as the sources themselves.

    Execute. You don’t learn anything unless you do it. I’ve had too many students who watch Khan Academy, and think they understand it when they haven’t done it. They don’t score well on exams. Not my fault. I told them they have to do it to understand it.

    RWX. I await the flame war I just started with the video people.






  • Update: Thanks for the advice. Particularly, they may not realize they are loud. That was something I hadn’t considered. I knocked on the door, and no one answered. I know someone is up there, because they walk like a dinosaur. Based on their steps during the day, I imagine they are quite heavy set, know how loud they walk, and could be embarrassed to open the door. I will try again later, and hopefully a positive update will follow.

    But, if this turns into a game of noise, I have a solution: make them louder. I have access to an ultra sonics lab. They’ll be loud enough I won’t need to call in a noise compaint. The rest of the complex will come with torches and pitchforks. Though I believe this can be solved diplomatically.