An Online Course Review Checklist (Udemy, Coursera, EdX, etc.)

In 2020, I decided to take a few months and update my skills with some online courses from Coursera, Udemy, EdX, etc. I started with Coursera but quickly ended up finishing 35+ courses in about 5 months, mostly Udemy courses. I quickly discovered that I was repeating myself when writing course reviews and decided to formalize it a bit.

Here’s my online course checklist. I hope it helps somebody in picking quality courses and in writing their own helpful reviews.

  • Overall
    • Overall valuable course.
    • Overall okay course.
    • Overall not a valuable course.
  • 1080p Videos
    • Good – Has 1080p videos.
    • Improve – Include 1080p or higher videos.
  • Volume Levels
    • Good – Consistent volume levels.
    • Improve – Inconsistent volume levels.
  • Audio Quality
    • Good – Clear audio quality.
    • Improve – Inconsistent audio quality.
  • Vocal Speed
    • Good – Vocal speed fast enough at 2x.
    • Improve – Vocal speed at 1x is too slow resulting in 2x being too slow.
  • Has Transcripts
    • Good – Has transripts.
    • Improve – Include transcripts.
  • Has Captions
    • Good – Has captions.
    • Improve – Include captions.
  • Has single PDF of course notes slides
    • Good – Has single PDF of course notes slides.
    • Improve – Include single PDF of course notes slides.
  • Has single zip download of all resources
    • Good – Has single zip download of all resources.
    • Improve – Include single zip download of all resources.
  • Quiz Pacing
    • Good – Quizzes paced nicely.
    • Improve – Quizzes are can sometimes be too frequent.
    • Improve – Quizzes are can sometimes be too spread out.
  • Quiz Length
    • Good – Well sized quizzes.
    • Improve – Quizzes sometimes too short (recommend 5-10 questions).
    • Improve – Quizzes sometimes be too long (recommend 5-10 questions).
  • Minimal distracting visual or audio effects
    • Good – Minimal visual/audio distracting gimmicks.
    • Improve – Reduce visual/audio distracting gimmicks.
  • Minimal reading material – Should be in video format for flow
    • Good – Minimal reading material (uses video to cover most topics).
    • Improve – Reduce reading material (use video to cover most topics).
  • Minimal intros/outros to reduce time waste
    • Good – Minimal intros/outros to reduce time waste.
    • Improve – Reduce intros/outros to reduce time waste.
  • Intros/Outros Lack Substance/Value
    • Good – Intros/Outros provide just enough substance/value.
    • Improve – Intros/Outros do not provide enough substance/value.

I simply copy&paste the appropriate Good or Improve bullet points in order to create my reviews.

Course authors may find this list helpful as a checklist of what to look for in their coursea and what to include or not include when planning out courses.

PS. If Udemy happens to read this, the Rating descriptions provided are confusing. For example, “Good / Amazing” is confusing. Something might be “good” but far from “amazing”. Many times I chose “Good / What I expected”, instead. This kind of confusion and non-objective descriptions may be hurting your ratings system.

Credit: Featured Image

We live in Nietzsche’s madness. How Nietzsche called the 20th and 21st centuries.

Nietzsche truly called the 20th and 21st centuries.

We live in the madness.

“Nietzsche went on to say that because God had died in the 19th century there would be two direct results in the 20th century.”

Catastrophic destruction and a universal madness.

“First, the 20th century would become the bloodiest, most catastrophically destructive century in history, and second, a universal madness would break out and turn the West upside-down.”

“Truth would become lie and lie truth; evil would become good, the unnatural would become natural, and the unholy would become holy.”

We live in the madness.

Quotes from  Nietzsche’s Dire Visions: Universal Madness and Genocide

This piece was originally a series of @Shovas tweets.

Credit: Featured Image

Secrets of Bitcoin and Crypto

Introduction

  • This is a cheatsheet meant to quickly onboard people to Bitcoin and crypto
  • These are all the details I find myself explaining when introducing Bitcoin and crypto to people

Getting Started

  • Crash course yourself on Bitcoin with the Bitcoin Wikipedia article, the Bitcoin Whitepaper, YouTube videos, Online Bitcoin Courses (eg. Udemy), etc.
  • Understand the nature of Bitcoin and crypto, where it came from, its intentions, its blockchain technology, its pros and cons, its place in the world versus other currencies or stores of value (eg. gold), and its property of being a global currency. This will provide the conviction to feel confident to proceed with crypto.

Buying Crypto

  • You will probably buy your first crypto on an exchange but there are other options including ATMs and local face-to-face buying and selling
  • Never spend more than you can afford to lose

Bitcoin

  • Bitcoin’s Early Inflationary Cycle
    • Bitcoin has a history of repeated multiple times gains, followed by 80%+ crashes, followed later by new all-time-highs
      • Ex. In 2017, Bitcoin reached nearly $20k USD, crashed to nearly $3K (~85% crash), followed by a 2020/2021 rally to more than $30k.
    • This is the game in an unregulated asset that is in an early inflationary stage
    • Don’t panic sell during these crashes
    • Those who know this cycle are confident even during crashes and reap the rewards on the next up-cycle
  • Bitcoin has always been far and away the leading and most trusted crypto. You will be tempted by altcoins, and like stocks its fair to have a portfolio, but represent most of your money in Bitcoin to maximize your gains.

Security

  • Never store your crypto on an exchange for longer than you have to (because exchange’s are prime hacking targets)
  • Withdraw your crypto from an exchange as soon as possible
  • Never share your password, private key, or recovery phrase with anyone

Exchanges

  • Avoid new or sketchy feeling Exchanges
  • Go with exchanges that have been around with a good track record (Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, etc.)
  • Exchanges are prime targets for hacks
  • Never store your crypto on an exchange for longer than you have to
  • Withdraw your crypto from an exchange as soon as possible

Wallets

Tracking Prices and Analytics

Blockchain Explorers

Explorers allow you to look up transaction details. You might do this to check up on the status of sending or receiving crypto.

Just websearch for “<coin> blockchain explorer” to find explorers for your coin

Nim’s Vintersaga

Enter Nim’s world this Christmas season and let his wintry world carry you to a land of northern lights, falling snow, playful gremlins, sleeping giants, chilly horses, and one little girl who still believes in good. Rest, and refresh, as Ola Schubert draws you into Nim’s magical land in his wonderously hand-crafted and richly orchestrated tale, Nim’s Vintersaga.

Enjoy!

The original flash homepage seems to be up still but who has flash anymore?

How to know what is right

Love God and Neighbour

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

Preach the Gospel and Make Disciples

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

Mercy Triumphs over Judgment

Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom, because judgment without mercy will be shown to anyone who has not been merciful. Mercy triumphs over judgment. James 2:12-13

Featured Image by Jens Johnsson from Pexels

How to learn something new

Learn something new

  1. Summarize (eg. definition, article)
  2. Cheatsheet (eg. handy one-page doc/pdf)
  3. Crash Course (eg. videos, online course)
  4. Deep Dive (eg. online courses, docs)
  5. Certify (eg. complete a quiz or test, or better, earn a certification)
  6. Refresh (eg. periodic online courses to maintain knowledge)

Continue reading “How to learn something new”

John Wick. A hot take. In five parts. A thread.

I watched John Wick 1 again to remember why I liked it and figure out why I don’t like the sequels.

The first movie is serious and dark and the humour that is there is dark humour. The action was honest just making it work action. The violence wasn’t the focus either. There’s surprisingly little blood shown.

The second movie focused too much on violence, blood and world building instead of character and story.

The third just became a fourth wall breaking caricature of itself with even more focus on shallow violence, slapstick, and “funny” “in” jokes because the movie knows that we know that it’s so over the top.

Their mistake is thinking the audience wants a reality check when what they really want is escapism for two hours, like every other good movie.

Thank you for coming to my ted talk

Context: These tweets were taken from a messaging group with friends in August 2019. Apparently the movies still bother me and my ego really is that big.

This is also a series of @shovas (me) tweets.

Secrets of Project Cars 2

  • You really should be using Christiaan’s Pure FFB. It appears to be the best attempt at improving FFB.
    • You probably need a lot of smoothing on direct drive wheels
    • See my AccuForce ffb settings in this post
    • Alternatively, if you have native telemetry ffb with your wheel (something like AccuForce SimCommander’s Steering Feedback Foundation, iRacing’s irFFB, etc.) then these tend to be ‘cleaner’ ffb signals in my experience.
  • TrackIR works:
    • Must launch using Steam VR launch mode
    • Must use Helmet view
      • You can disable the helmet visual so it looks just like Cockpit view

The Problem with iRacing: Where’s the grip?

The following is a post to the iRacing BMW M4 GT4 Members Forum and is reposted here for posterity and to prompt discussion on why exactly grip expression in iRacing is lack whereas other sims have long since solved this.

This car really, really helps earn the name iceRacing and highlights the deficiency in the way iRacing expresses grip.

Let me say, while grip isn’t perfect on other cars, I find the MX-5, Mustang, Skip, and some others tolerable, and I can enjoy them but some cars and tracks the grip is just atrocious on even those cars (Tsukuba, Suzuka, Belle Isle).

But none of these cars/tracks are anywhere near where they need to be compared to rF2, AMS1/2, even old GTR2/GTL/Race07 games, and even the likes of PC2.

The way grip is expressed in iRacing is so, so uninformative and it’s been this way for such a long time, it’s really starting to appear incredible to me that it’s still like this.

Here’s an interesting find: I use an AccuForce and I can choose to use Game FFB or the AF SimCommander’s ffb interpretation of telemetry data (“Steering Force Foundation” (SFF); Similar to what irFFB does). While I find SFF superior, neither expresses grip very well, at all.

^^^ Alarm bells should be going off here — the telemetry data isn’t expressing grip levels with enough clarity? That’s crazy.

I have experienced this since joining the service, many years, and across various tyre models.

Maybe it’s time iRacing looked into this, what with all the pro racers complaining about iRacing tyre model and this ffb/telemetry issue which has never been dealt with.

Cleft Palate Conditions and Saline Nasal Washes for Preventing Frequent Flu-like or Food Poisoning-like Illness and Symptoms

I have a cleft palate condition (~40yo, otherwise healthy) and, until recently, experienced frequent flu-like or food poisoning-like illness symptoms. But, starting January 2019, I adopted daily (or more) saline nasal washes. From that point, until January 2020, I never came down sick.

I have a cleft palate condition (~40yo, otherwise healthy) and, until recently, experienced frequent flu-like or food poisoning-like illness symptoms. By frequent, I mean, at its worst, I was getting extremely sick at least every few months, with the same symptoms, and never actually getting back to 100% in between those periods. But, starting January 2019, I adopted daily (or more) saline nasal washes. From that point, until January 2020, I never came down sick. I had sniffles, runny noses, but nothing at all like what I had been enduring before. I hope this finding helps others who have cleft palate or who are perhaps suffering similar symptoms.

Continue reading “Cleft Palate Conditions and Saline Nasal Washes for Preventing Frequent Flu-like or Food Poisoning-like Illness and Symptoms”