EatYourBooks is a useful service which indexes cookbooks for their ingredient lists. So if you have dozens of cookbooks, and you’re excited about asparagus coming into season, you can search for asparagus and find recipes in your books which use it.
I wish it had search features organized around seasonality. Like: it’s early April in San Francisco; what should I cook this week from my book collection? Alas it has no API so I can’t build that feature myself.

(Cookbooks should be organized by season not by course fight me!!)
One other neat thing about this service is that it includes reader comments, by recipe, like on NYT Cooking, except for printed cookbooks. e.g. for Six Seasons, a weeknight favorite, there are 551 reader comments across the book’s recipes!…
(Typical caveats about internet comments apply: e.g. the first comment suggests that the book is too heavy-handed on the salt; this person is IMO wrong and just not accustomed to restaurant-style-cooking!)

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More from @andy_matuschak

4 Apr
This story viscerally conveys a strange asymmetry in modern creative work: a person like Max can be doing work which produces civilizational-level benefits affecting many millions of people… and yet bad-faith behavior by a *single person* can seriously drain gumption.
This seems to be a relatively common problem! People in Max's position usually even *know* that such asymmetric impact is inappropriate and untenable—but of course that doesn't stop it from happening. Maddening.
I'm not sure what the right response is. People who avoid this problem often do so by ignoring public engagement and criticism. But good-faith critical engagement is essential!

I suppose if one masters Stoic advice well enough, one can avoid this problem—but seems rare!
Read 4 tweets
4 Apr
Lovely paper on the importance of gatherings as sources of fatefulness:… (via @MargRev… ironically published in '19!)

"Social occasions are more likely than other kinds of time to house events that unexpectedly shift the trajectory of individual lives."
I would like some more fatefulness in my life please!

I don't know how to square this with a strong sense of self-efficacy, etc: like, I don't exactly *want* to be tossed around by the winds of fate! And yet it's hard to sail a ship with just the wind from one's own lungs…
Interesting to consider why video hangouts don't produce the five effects the author describes.

1. "A special world set off from ordinary live": nope, still on my couch, looking at my laptop, but now it's showing a different rectangle.

Read 5 tweets
4 Apr
Books as maps! "Today the book is already… an outdated mediation between two different filing systems. For everything that matters is to be found in the card box of the researcher who wrote it, and the scholar studying it assimilates it into his own card index." —Walter Benjamin
(In Reflections, p. 78; via Noah Wardrip-Fruin's interesting foreword to Engelbart's Augmenting Human Intellect in The New Media Reader)
The odd thing about this framing is that the book doesn't really perform the mediation! It's a sort of serialization of the card box of the researcher who wrote it. The reader has to "come to terms with the author" and then "bring the author to terms" to map to their own.
Read 5 tweets
2 Apr
Why are different kinds of learning so differently compressible?

If I can work through a textbook in 20 1-hour sittings, I usually get similar results from 10 2-hour or 5 4-hour sessions. But piano isn’t that way at all: a 20x1hr piece simply can’t be learned in 5 sessions IME.
One explanation might be that when learning piano pieces, successive sessions rely heavily on previous sessions having been consolidated, whereas many “book-learning” topics are somewhat more breadth-shaped.

Another might be that some tasks drain attention faster.
Other examples of learning which don’t seem to compress very well:
– learning how to draw
– learning how to design user interfaces
– learning how to write

Ones which seem to compress well:
– learning how to cook
– learning a new programming language
– learning a spoken language
Read 4 tweets
1 Apr
My friend @edelwax has been working on this school for social systems design for years: The material itself is rich and important—but I wanna nerd out about the form! The goal is to teach the material *through your pre-existing work / activities*. (cont)
The idea (as I understand!) is that a guide works with you to understand your current design projects, life activities, etc—then selects/adapts and sequences "quests" created to let you enact the textbook's contents in the context of your actual work/life.
This is an intriguing path for instructional design!

It's like project-based learning, but those curricula usually supply/scaffold the projects, rather than working with ones you already have. It's like unschooling (framed around your projects), but with an explicit curriculum.
Read 10 tweets
31 Mar
Thrilled to discover nbdev from @jeremyphoward & @GuggerSylvain. It's an attempt to solve a big problem with computational notebooks like Jupyter: you explore problems with a notebook, but usually need to "switch" to a more powerful tool for "real" impls:…
nbdev tries to solve this problem by giving you
- automatically turning notebooks into publishable Python modules
- bidirectional sync with plaintext .py for IDE usage
- fixes for other "real" project needs: tests, continuous integration, documentation export, conflict resolution
While nbdev seems focused on helping individual developers avoid the "switch" when implementing their own projects, I think layers like this could help solve a big problem with "executable books": the huge barrier for *readers* to build on embedded code to do anything real.
Read 8 tweets

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