using LaTeX via texlive vanilla

Assuming knowledge of package managers and the TeX ecosystem the title just might be understandable. In short: because I wanted to work with a newer version of TikZ than was available through debian stable software repositories, I decided to switch from apt-maintained texlive packages to installing the texlive distribution using the installer availble from the texlive homepage.

Installation was straight forward. All binaries where in /usr/local/texlive/2020/bin/x86_64-linux/ which obviously is not in $PATH. In order to use the new distribution one can either add this directory as the first option in $PATH (if /usr/bin is search before, the debian binaries are used instead) or create symlinks to /usr/local/bin/, which is alread part of $PATH. sudo /usr/local/texlive/2020/bin/x86_64-linux/tlmgr path add did that.

Some error that I don’t remeber what is was improved after a sudo texconfig rehash.

Still my document in question would not compile, but complain about a missing font txsys, which was not very easy to find information on search engines. this error could be fixed by running sudo updmap-sys. What a nice name.

That did the trick. So to be able to have my new texlive installation work, after the install script I needed to run:

sudo /usr/local/texlive/2020/bin/x86_64-linux/tlmgr path add
sudo texconfig rehash
sudo updmap-sys

Maybe this will save somebody some trouble sometime in the future.




cutting video with ffmpeg

to cut out a 6 minutes and 56.935 seconds long piece of video which starts 6 minutes and 20.112 seconds into input_file.MTS using ffmpeg and not reencoding the file, you can run:

ffmpeg -ss 00:06:20.112 -i input_file.MTS -c copy -t 00:06:56.935 output_file.MTS

from the ffmpeg man page:

       -t duration (input/output)
           When used as an input option (before "-i"), limit the duration of data read from the input file.

           When used as an output option (before an output url), stop writing the output after its duration reaches duration.

           duration must be a time duration specification, see the Time duration section in the ffmpeg-utils(1) manual.

           -to and -t are mutually exclusive and -t has priority.

       -to position (input/output)
           Stop writing the output or reading the input at position.  position must be a time duration specification, see the Time duration section in the ffmpeg-utils(1) manual.

           -to and -t are mutually exclusive and -t has priority.

       -fs limit_size (output)
           Set the file size limit, expressed in bytes. No further chunk of bytes is written after the limit is exceeded. The size of the output file is slightly more than the
           requested file size.

       -ss position (input/output)
           When used as an input option (before "-i"), seeks in this input file to position. Note that in most formats it is not possible to seek exactly, so ffmpeg will seek to
           the closest seek point before position.  When transcoding and -accurate_seek is enabled (the default), this extra segment between the seek point and position will be
           decoded and discarded. When doing stream copy or when -noaccurate_seek is used, it will be preserved.

           When used as an output option (before an output url), decodes but discards input until the timestamps reach position.

           position must be a time duration specification, see the Time duration section in the ffmpeg-utils(1) manual.

       -sseof position (input)
           Like the "-ss" option but relative to the "end of file". That is negative values are earlier in the file, 0 is at EOF.

and from the ffmpeg-utils man page

   Time duration
       There are two accepted syntaxes for expressing time duration.


       HH expresses the number of hours, MM the number of minutes for a maximum of 2 digits, and SS the number of seconds for a maximum of 2 digits. The m at the end expresses
       decimal value for SS.



       S expresses the number of seconds, with the optional decimal part m.

       In both expressions, the optional - indicates negative duration.


       The following examples are all valid time duration:

       55  55 seconds

           12 hours, 03 minutes and 45 seconds

           23.189 seconds

Gabor Mate

Today the algorithms introduced me to Gabor Mate. Finally some one who both understands and critiques Jordan Peterson. On this note I found him, the video is about a variety of more valuable topics though.


dashcam #001

I thought it would be nice to share some a glimpse of where I live:

This is my first attempt of making a video from dashcam material. The video plays at 3.5 times the original speed – and so does the audio. All in all the result makes me a bit dizzy. Not sure yet, whether I will make a second one.


why I don’t settle for the best

good – better – best

who concentrates on being better, needs to compare to some worse. No matter in which field: to be better can be achieved in two ways. Improve; or worsen what you compare against. If your goal is to be better, recognizing the good in your object of comparison threatens your success. Trying to be best expands this problem to every object of comparison.

My goal is to be good. Comparison is not necessary. Good can be better than best.

Meta music

what music

if you listen to Beethoven – or to Mozart – you see that they are always the same. But if you listen to traffic you see it’s always different.

John Cage

What kind of music do I like? Many different. What kind of music do I make? Many different? Sometimes I come up with music that sounds like what I hear in my head. Sometimes I come up with music that is something very different.

Reading this past paragraph I am tempted to call my music differential. Perhaps the most important characterization is, that the outcome is much less consistent than the process of making it.

When you find a new scale, it will reach your perception in a specific way. It is possible to get into a dialog with your fantasy. Then out comes some result. I try to make this result be beautiful. Voila, some music.

Maybe you will now play your creation more often; or make more creations with the same scale. Every time you use this scale, and when you play your music, your inner dialog continues. If you play for an audience, the dialog is enriched by the experience of the feedback-loop between the performer and the audience. A year later, when you play the piece of music from the previous paragraph, your experience of it will have changed.

If you try to be most true to your original music, a decision needs to be made: Whether you go for the same combination of musical notes, or instead go for a similar dialog with your fantasy.

I consider the physical vibration of air molecules as medium, through which music is flowing. Music itself exists in our consciousness. To be more specific requires a common understanding of metaphysics. Such common understanding is not known to me.

I like music that comes from the heart of people. I like music that resonates the way I want to be. I like peace, funk, beauty, humor, depth, observation…



oftentimes it seemed strange to me, how strange I seem to many for not feeling this need of constant competition. Some think it’s fear; some generosity. Of those who don’t, still many seem to think one must suppress desires, or be a bit behind, to not engage with it.

I don’t thrive in competition, in matters of importance. And honestly, I don’t understand how people think they need a looser to feel winning.

What do you think of competition?

Meta music stuff on the internet

a thought on pedagpgics

watching this video triggered some not so brand new comparisson I hold in my synapses:

This awesome dude explains music theory. He explains the most basic building blocks, how they add up to the next level (#1f4a9;) then suggests to practise permutating all possible permutations of the blocks we have just learned. More on that in a bit.

During my first year in university I was attending Tibetan and Chinese language courses. In the Tibetan class we first learned the alphabet. Then we learned what syllables (Tibetan writing is heavily syllable based) can be written with this alphabet. Only after that did we learn simple sentences, like “the Lama is wondering where he put that holy grail again”.

Forgive me my cynicism, but the absence of an alphabet in Chinese language made it so much more accessible. For the first 15 minutes or so of our lecture I don’t remember hearing a single word that was not Chinese. We witnessed 我学中文 being written on the blackboard. Our textbook started with “Mama, Papa, Sister, Brother, this is, that is,…” Needles to say, Chinese was much easier to learn.

As a teenager I got more fascinated with my fathers guitar, than when I was younger. In order to learn it I picked up a songbook, which had shapes of guitar chords printed on top of the melody lines of well known songs. In the beginning it took ages for me to put my fingers in the right places, but after some practicing I didn’t need the pictures anymore. The chord names became enough.

Two different approaches of learning/teaching have been described now. First two examples of a systematic approach, using some basis that can be agreed on to be The Basic Building Blocks. And two of an approach that holds cultural experience to be more important than the systems that have been used to describe them.

Personally, I find it important to use both. As they both have their strengths and weaknesses.

stuff on the internet

Muskian Future Review