The Recurse Center is only as good as the effort you put into it. Allowing people to be entirely self directed is a double edged sword - the flexibility afforded allows for a lot of self exploration, but also makes it very easy to get distracted by all the little things and never really get any work done.

Making the best of RC is all about finding the right balance between exploration and discipline.

One way RC-ers keep themselves on track is to share their progress/plan regularly on RC’s internal chat system. The idea being - Sharing your progress will make you more accountable to finish things.

I’m notoriously bad at planning and time management. Discipline is not one of my strong suits. I am easily distracted and can spend days doing lots of small things without getting any meaningful work done.

This is week 4 of 12 at RC and, as suspected, I’ve not got much done.

So far I:

  • Worked on karthikb351/slack-pub - a tool to publish your Slack team archives on the internet. It’s great for public Slack communities to share conversations and activity without needing everyone to log in. Lots more to be done on this, but glad to have at least shipped a simple v0.1.
  • Worked on karthikb351/thumbsdb. A database of episodes of the Idle Thumbs podcast - built from their YouTube video descriptions. Rewriting the
  • Did some reading on nand2tetris - a 12 part course that help you understand computing by starting from the first principles. You start with just a NAND gate and work your way up to making a game of Tetris. With chipsets, assembly code, compilers, and more along the way. I was considering starting this, but I’m not too keen.
  • Played around with PICO-8. A tiny virtual video game console and IDE for making games (with Lua).
  • Read a bit about making pixel art, and how shading and color palettes work. Ayla’s presentation was the starting point to go down this rabbit role.
  • Explored The Cryptopals Crypto Challenges. This seems like an excellent way to gets started with the basics of Cryptography (and is simple enough to learn a new language with)
  • Setup a repository for the censorship detection project InternetFreedomFoundation/watchdog
  • Paired with a fellow Recurser for a little bit on their Android project. I’m still undecided on whether Android is something I want to lean into. I enjoy working with Android, but is that the direction I want to go (career wise)?

The plan for the upcoming week is to focus on just the watchdog project. Specifically, I want to try and follow a simple milestone system so I can have clear checkpoints to track progress. I’ve never done this before as I usually have projects where I’m just working on everything at the same time without any real idea of how far along I am until it’s actually over.

Commitments for week 4:

  • Make a detailed plan with milestones for the watchdog project.
  • Pester @ja2ke to fix (or allow me to fix) the timecode issues on some of the Idle Thumbs episode descriptions on YouTube.
  • Brain dump all features and ideas into issues on karthikb351/slack-pub and karthikb351/thumbsdb.