Thoughts

To fight my laziness and procrastination, I just unsubscribed from all YouTube channels and deactivated the app on my phone. I had the feeling that instead of focusing on the tasks I have to do (various tasks I don't really like), I watched YouTube videos instead. But not only that, I also often watched YouTube until late at night instead of sleeping, which resulted in waking up very tired in the mornings.
There are some online services that use email login. This means that instead of a combination of user name and password, only the email address is entered and a login link is sent to it. Basically, this is a good option to increase security a bit. The service only needs to store a list of email addresses instead of the corresponding password (hopefully encrypted and hashed) for each user. But somehow this is also quite annoying sometimes.

I wrote something similar about Medium back in July to what Ben Werdmüller writes now. Medium isn't doing something bad, it's just that they changed directions over the last years. From being a platform, where anyone can write anything and anyone can read anything for free, it's now something like a paid magazine anyone can contribute too (and earn some money from it).

What Medium isn't is a generic blogging or publishing platform. It's narrowed its focus into being more like a magazine that everyone can contribute to (and I'm told that more changes are coming in the New Year). In doing so, it inevitably loses some of its early users - and it adds features like a paywall that may drive some casual readers away.

And that's actually a good thing:

But in building a magazine that anyone can contribute to, Medium has opened the door to a more diverse community of writers sharing their lived experiences and getting paid for it as part of a business model that promotes value over blind engagement and doesn't need to profile you all over the web.

People, who used Medium as the generic blogging platform, now experience why provider lock-in should be avoided. If you want to blog (and don't want to generate some income from it), start a blog with your own domain and the possibility to move platforms. I learned my things: There's a Medium archive on my blog with articles I originally published on Medium.

I'm currently still in a year-subscription for the Membership until March 2020, but I'm not sure I want to extend the Membership after that. It's just that I find those stories on Medium not interesting enough to spend 5€ per month or 50€ per year on it.

What I really wish Medium to fix though, are those banners (Membership ads and cookies). Please make them a bit less annoying.

Today I got up at 7 am (although I could have slept a little longer) and instead of eating breakfast, I started directly turning on my PC and finishing an open programming assignment. It took me about an hour, but after finishing it, I felt so good. It reminds me that about 2 years ago I got up very early every day to run. It feels so good to have already achieved something productive in the morning right after getting up and before breakfast.
I usually prefer using LibreOffice over Microsoft Office because it's free / libre software and I can use it on Linux. However, while writing a seminar paper, I noticed one feature that LibreOffice Writer is missing and that made me use Microsoft Word for the paper: literature index. I need to make references following the IEEE style. While it's pretty easy to create a literature index and select whether it should be IEEE style, APA or one of the many other styles, literature indexes in LibreOffice are a pain.

I deleted my Facebook account back in 2017. If you still have an Facebook account, maybe think again if you really need it. There's this site and Kev Quirk also wrote a list of reasons why using Facebook might be a bad idea.

Although I have no Facebook account anymore, I still use WhatsApp and Instagram. WhatsApp is really popular in Germany (despite being owned by Facebook) and without WhatsApp you would socially exclude yourself from too many things. All university groups are coordinated via WhatsApp - although I study computer science and people there have technical knowledge, it's sad… I only use it for group chats though, because almost all my contacts use Telegram.

In the past I used Instagram to share moments from my life, stay in touch with some people and get to know new people, but since I've been in a happy relationship, my Instagram usage decreased to almost zero. I will probably export everything and post pictures on PixelFed or maybe a section on my website or blog instead.

A livestream on YouTube (German) shows two moderators trying to break the Guinness World Record of the longest talk show. They have to moderate for at least 70 hours and 5 minutes (their goal is 72 hours) and only get 5 minutes per hour, which they can use for other activities (like sleeping or going to the toilet).

Although I don't mind such stupid record attempts, it's amazing to see that after almost 48 hours they're still surprisingly fit.

Walking

This year, I did way less sports than last year. I've only done bodyweight training, but currently do it very irregular. I do running less regular too. But one thing I really enjoy is going for a walk through the park. Near my flat there are a few parks and when the weather is nice and the sun is shining I really enjoy walking and breathing fresh air. It's definitely a great alternative to sitting at my desk in front of my computer.
This semester I have two lectures each week (not in total obviously), each one of those taking 3 hours from 4pm to 7:15pm on Mondays and Tuesdays. Both are given by a professor with a strong accent and a sometimes little bit strange view of the world. I think I never wasted that much time before in my life. But I have no other option than just going there, doing all the homeworks.
I've been noticing this more and more lately. Often, when I blog about something, like yesterday about a software I discovered, there are actually people who take a closer look at the thing I blogged about, in the case of the software even install it and try it out. I actually seem to have some influence on my readers and somehow it fascinates me. Especially when I think that I wondered a few months ago if anyone was reading my posts at all.
Jan-Lukas Else
20 years old student who writes about everything he cares about.