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A Zeitgeist is a concept from the nineteenth century Germany Philosophy, meaning “spirit of an age.” Contemporary usage is often to describe a genre or schema of fashion or fads. I’m going to expand that usage to encompass our shared cultural experience in an expansion of Georg Hegel’s usage. We are going to start collecting the data for our personal Zeitgeist from Hulu and novels. Starting this journey will help us create our own recommendation engines.

For most technology companies today, the need to build better and better personalization algorithms is critical for their financial success. With that information, they…


Building out your Knowledge System with Roam Research Metadata

Photo by <a href=”https://unsplash.com/@elisa_cb?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Elisa Calvet B.</a> on <a href=”https://unsplash.com/s/photos/knowledge?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Photo by <a href=”https://unsplash.com/@elisa_cb?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Elisa Calvet B.</a> on <a href=”https://unsplash.com/s/photos/knowledge?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText">Unsplash</a>
Photo by Elisa Calvet B. on Unsplash

Over the past year, Knowledge workers have become increasingly isolated. With Zoom calls, remote meetings, and work from home, it becomes harder to retain context with what we are working on because of the uniformity of our current work environment. How do we build this context in our Knowledge System?

I have become ever more dependent on notes, task lists, and online research to meet my work needs. I have created a personal knowledge system with Roam Research. To date, my graph has:


Use common Web Scraping techniques in Python to build a library of articles for you to read offline. Using BeautifulSoup, urllib3, and pdfkit.

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Lately, I have been interested in creating a Second Brain as a complement to my current goal to build an automated life. I intend to create a repository of the content that I consume, add my notes to it, and make it searchable. This will allow me to surface content as I need it and create a repository of information that I have previously vetted. As anyone who has looked into building an AI, the first thing to do is that you need data. I don’t have enough time to read all the articles I come across. So, I need…


Recently I discovered that I was sleeping through my morning alarm and set out to suggest the sound on my Google Home. The idea was that I had become familiar with my current tone. Unfortunately, my partner didn’t like the sound I chose. Frustrated with the limited selection of alarm sounds, I set out to create a random playlist.

Since I have Home Assistant running my smart home, I figured a smart place to start was there.

Helpers and Sensors in Home Assistant


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Presence Detection in Home Automation is the holy grail. Knowing that particular members of the household are entering a room allows you to customize certain aspects. Each member of the family would want different temperatures, light schemes, TV inputs, etc. If you knew when those members entered or left, you could automate the environment.

But how do you decide whose wishes to prioritize when there are multiple people in the same room? More importantly, how do you get each member of the family to cooperate with your artificial system?

When you search for an answer to this question, the usual…


*For a 100 Employee Company

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Did you know that knowledge workers spend an average of 9.3 hours a week searching and finding information? With salary numbers from Q4 of 2020, that translates to an annual cost per employee of $9290¹.

Here’s how this searching and finding takes place on an average workday:

You turn on your computer, ready for the day to start. As you read your e-mail and schedule for the day, the list of information that you need grows and grows. Information such as:

  1. Notes about your upcoming client meetings from the team lead
  2. PowerPoint decks detailing the…


Recursive Automation

I listen to a number of podcasts every day. When I wake up, I refresh my podcasts and listen as I start my day. In my pursuit to constantly reduce my manual activity for recurring activities, I looked to automate it.

I have an Android Phone so I chose the following “stack”:

  1. Tasker — $3.49
  2. AutoRemote — $3.49 (you can also use AutoApps — about $1.49 a month)
  3. Home Assistant — Free
  4. Podcast Addict — Free (with In-App Purchases)

Browsing Reddit, I found this post that inspired my automation. …


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When we vote for a President of the United States, the voters are presented with a series of policy positions, i.e., lower taxes or universal healthcare, for example, that they will implement. However, there is a reason that this position is called the Executive Branch. The President doesn’t pass laws or negotiate them. He doesn’t do the fine-tuning of broad policies to make them work; instead, he hires the people to do it and then manages him.

In the first volume of Barack Obama’s memoirs, A Promised Land, he talked less about his executive actions and more about the personalities…


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In today’s Business Environment, there are two types of companies: those that understand their data and those in danger of going under. In 2020, 2.5 quintillion bytes of data are produced by humans every day¹. Also known as an Exabyte or 1 BILLION Terabytes.

Some examples of the data being generated includes:

  • Search Queries
  • Shopping Habits (both in-person and digital)
  • GPS Location and other IoT Sensors
  • Social Media Posts
  • Individual Website Interactions

Companies are looking to build more in-depth analytics based on the data they can produce or buy. They need help aggregating the data and performing the analysis. …


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6 Different Video Binges for your Holiday Week

For many of us, 2020 is the Christmas that we will be isolated from our family and friends. Here is a list of Holiday Inspired Playlists for you to stream to get you in the Christmas Spirit.

Comedies that embody the Christmas Spirit

Comedies that uplift with just a little bit of absurdity

“My Best Moment” — Scrubs (Season 4 Episode 12)

A Scrubs’s Episode where everyone is alive at the end is an excellent place to start our Christmas Journey.

“The One Where Rachel Quits” — Friends (Season 3 Episode 10)

Ross’s guilt forces a comical interaction, Monica spirals, Rachel is a bad waitress, and Joey has a part-time job. Like every other Friends Episode, but this one has Phoebe heartbroken about Christmas Trees dying.

Andrew Crider

Head of Digital Transformation at Provoke Solutions (www.provokesolutions.com) Blogger at recursiveautomatoin.com

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