My machine learning course got pirated (good)
I gave $5000 to my Mum, getting back to nature and a question I'm wrestling with.
Hey everyone, Daniel Bourke here.
Welcome to the Eat, Move, Learn, Make March 2020 edition. This letter contains words for hungry, active, curious creators. You might be one. If not, feel free to unsubscribe at any time.
Let’s get right into and address the elephant in the room.
COVID-19. On Tuesday, (4 days ago), I was a heavy sceptic. But after consulting a few of my online oracles and seeing what they had to say about it, my views flipped.
I went to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu training that night and told my arch-nemesis, “I don’t know if I’ll compete on March 22 anymore.” To which he replied, “Nah, I’m still competing.” And that was all the convincing I needed.
24-hours later, I withdrew from the competition, cancelled my travel plans to Vietnam and started washing my hands multiple times per day whilst singing “if you’re happy and you know it wash your hands...”.
What can we learn here?
First and foremost, we’re terrible at predicting events. Really, we’re terrible at any kind of predictions. Go on, test yourself. How’s your track record?
A week ago, I proudly walked around saying the panic was overreacting. I was wrong. If there is a time to panic, it is early.
Now don’t confuse the word panic for hysteria. It’s not a time to completely lose one’s mind but if panic causes precautions to take place to prevent an event getting worse, it is a positive, not a negative.
China panicked early. Built hospitals, implementing isolation methods and now they’re seeing their cases decline. I even saw a video of medical professionals standing outside one of their makeshift hospitals removing their facemasks in celebration they no longer needed them.
I trust you’ve already educated yourself on what you can do to prevent the spread. If not, I’d suggest you visit the #StayTheFuckHome website or just pay attention to the name, wash your hands often and avoid touching your face.
I’ll confess, I’ve accomplished basically zero in the past few days due to researching what’s going on. But I think we are now at a good stage.
This virus isn’t going to know what hit it.
I’ve never felt a global energy like there is now. It seems the whole planet is banding together to tackle a problem.
And we will succeed.
If only we could muster the same energy for the other, but very related, elephant in the room, chronic healthcare issues. We’re moving towards a world with more people who have a chronic disease than don’t.
By chronic disease, I’m talking diabetes, heart disease, obesity. It saddens me it’s now become an anomaly to be a lean healthy individual.
The oncoming tsunami-like burden of chronic disease will make Coronavirus look like the ripples of a pebble.
Where does it come from?
The food system.
We’re eating ourselves to death, growing food with more harmful chemicals than ever before and producing more carbon emissions with current farming practices than all fossil use combined.
I’m digressing but this is where my emotions are taking me. I’ve had it playing in the back of my mind to start a farm for the past few months.
And reading Food Fix by Mark Hyman has all but confirmed it.
Let’s put it bluntly.
The food system is fucked and it’s destroying our health. And if I want to offer any kind of contribution to try and fix it, it needs to be from the ground up.
Here’s my 3-5 year plan:
Make money with technology
Use the money to purchase a farm
Make farm profitable on its own
Use technology + first-hand knowledge of producing food to improve the food system
How will all of this plan out? I have no idea (remember how bad we are predicting the future). But it’s been the poke in my side for long enough and I’m listening to it.
A side note, one of the benefits of writing all of this down is I get to be reminded later if I do turn out to be wrong.
The best times in life come after taking a leap. Making a decision to do something and getting after it.
A great way to tell a man’s broken is if he can’t make a decision without data, without knowing exactly how things will play out. He’s divorced from his essence.
My essence has been telling me different forms of the same message for a while now.
Get back to nature.
It seems many of the problems we have today, physical health troubles, mental health troubles all stem from ignoring the voice of Mother Nature.
My machine course got pirated (good) and we’re now at 12,000+ students
Speaking of making money with technology, as of today, Andrei and I’s machine learning course now has 12,000+ students on Udemy.
Here are the numbers for February 2020.
Total revenue (pre-split): $13,664USD
Total revenue (post-split): $6,832USD (Andrei and I split 50/50)
Total students: 9,956 from 136 different countries
Rating: 4.63/5 (currently top rated for category on Udemy)
Minutes taught: 850,940 (14,182 hours, 591 days)
Refunds: $254USD (1.8% of total)
Where are the funds going?
Living expenses, investing in future content and business ventures.
Last month, I said I'd be buying a new laptop, giving $5,000AUD to my Mum to pay for a year’s worth of utility bills and taking the family out to a celebratory lunch.
I got a new laptop, a 16-inch MacBook Pro with all the tricks. This beast will be the main driver of future creations.
We went out as family and friends to a new Thai Restaurant called Phat Elephant and ate half our collective body weight in fried rice.
And I sent $5000AUD to my Mum.
Last year I took care of myself financially. This year I take care of my family financially.
In other amazing news, the course is now available outside of Udemy.
It launched on the new Zero to Mastery Academy (zerotomastery.io) and is accessible with membership.
And it got pirated by Daniel from Iran so it's potentially available for free somewhere on the internet.
I don't condone stealing but Daniel reached out to me to let me know he had pirated it and apologized. I thanked him for his apology but told him it was unnecessary and to enjoy the course. And if you find it online somewhere for free, the same goes for you.
I wrote a blog post explaining the response in more detail called My machine learning course got pirated.
Long story short, once my creations are out there, they're no longer mine. If I've been able to make something, it's because of the generous work of people before me.
The lottery ticket of life
Tyson and I met for the first time the other day and he told me he'd just heard an expression, "the lottery ticket of life" and it resonated with him.
He explained his background, great parents, growing up in Australia. Listening to it gave me a healthy dose of confirmation bias.
I too have been dealt a lottery ticket of life.
Blessed with two incredible parents, living in a beautiful country, having access to the internet.
It reminded me of two things.
Opportunity and subsequently, responsibility.
A mistake I’ve been guilty of is thinking one came without the other. In other words, thinking I should access to any opportunity I please without taking on the responsibilities that come with them.
Standard spoiled brat mentality. All reward and no risk. Similar to the kind of life an executive banker or politician lives.
I've since taken measures to combat this illness. The main one being, no reward without risk.
As I said, being here, being on this Earth able to write these lines, that's enough. That's enough of an opportunity. It's my responsibility to make something of it.
Perhaps you've been dealt the lottery ticket of life too. Time to step up.
Replicating Airbnb’s Object Detection
Today is day 20-something of my current 42-day project. Replicating Airbnb's object detection pipeline (using machine learning to detect different pieces of furniture in images).
Due to the unfolding pandemic, productivity went to near 0 last week. None the less, I've been having fun, trying to a bunch of new tools and sharpening my machine learning skills.
There are now 5 videos in the Airbnb series and plenty more to come. I won't link them all here, but the one where I got Detectron2 running (an object detection model) is fun and contains dancing.
Currently, I've got a small machine learning model running so my next step is to increase the size of it to work with more data.
As you know, life is movement. And moving a little every day helps boost your immune system. With the current pandemic, this is a wise move.
Dave and I went to the park the other day for an animalistic style workout, movements which can be performed with the body and map to almost any discipline, our current one being Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
5x10 ring push-ups (normal push-ups if you don't have rings)
5x10 ring pulls (skip and double the animal sets if you don't have rings)
Standing stick game with a partner, first to 3 points
2x20m bear crawl 5:05 - 2x side hops (left and right)
2x10 kick sits
2x20m frog hop
2x1min rounds of ground-based stick game (or until fatigue)
Are you locked indoors? If so, how are you getting your #repsforrona in?
Fame or business?
A question I'm wrestling with after achieving small-time YouTube fame.
Am I after fame (in this case, more views, more subscribers) or am I after building something which will still be of value next January?
The story of the businessman and fisherman came to mind.
The one where the businessman tries to convince a local fisherman to scale his fishing trade to a level where it sustains itself so he can spend more time fishing and with his family. And the fisherman, who already spends his time fishing and with his family asks, "why would I do that?".
Luckily the narrative reminded me to ask a more robust question.
"Is there anything in your life you're doing, which you'd rather not do anymore?"
To which the answer was no.
Someone asked the other day what my plans were for 2020. My response was to keep doing the things I'm doing now, learning, creating, writing, moving, spending time with family. The lottery ticket.
So that's where I'll leave it to you.
Is there anything in your life you're doing, which you'd rather not do anymore?
Stay alert, keep moving, wash your hands.
I love you all.
Big dogs gotta eat,