These are some FAQs I get on literally every YouTube video. I'll answer them here so I don't have to every time I post something new.
What do you use for...?
A lot of people ask me what distro/program/system I'm using. Here's a handy chart:
|Linux distribution||Parabola or Arch Linux, sometimes with OpenRC|
|Status bar||Polybar, but some of my older videos have Bumblebee status.|
|How I compile LaTeX||in vim with vim-live-latex-preview Here's some info on some options of how to compile LaTeX documents.|
|Video editor||Blender for big stuff, ffmpeg for simple manipulation|
Why do you put unrelated memes in your videos and thumbnails?
When I put up my first few videos on a whim, without any expectation of people actually seeing them, I decided to put up a SANIC meme in one and a Pepe/Wojak meme in another as a post-ironic joke. The contrast of autistic specialist tech stuff and orgiastic memes was humorous to me.
As my channel took off, I started to realize that people clicked on my videos because the memes are great clickbait. I've noticed that my channel grows a lot faster than similarly sized and dated channels due to the comparative attractiveness of the meme thumbnails. I get a huge number of hits from people seeing the thumbnails and clicking them as a whim. That's not to diminish the actual content of my channel, which I think is much higher than most "competitor" YouTube channels, but you can't see content until you click.
So I've really never advertised or shilled my channel or tried to—I didn't think I'd be doing anything but uploading one or two things for friends—but Meme Magic made it happen. It's also gotten to the point that people complain if I don't include unrelated memes, so I do.
"You spelled X wrong!"
Unless it interferes with you understanding what I meant, I don't really care that much. I will literally spell things wrong in my videos, then notice it, but deliberately choose to not correct it because I don't want to waste the two seconds it takes to change it.
Back when I was a young Neil deGrasse Tyson-tier pseudointellectual, I cared greatly about such things. But now I don't. Or in other words:
>tfw to inteligent too spell things corectly
Are you a programmer/dev/code monkey/Pajeet/NEET?
I'm a PhD student in linguistics. Computer stuff is a hobby I've cultivated over the past year. I don't consider myself a programmer, because I've never written a full program, only design scripts to do the little things I need.
I like to emphasize to people that at most I am a hobbyist, probably less. Ricing is only a minute portion of what I do. You should take this as encouragement that really getting what you want from a Linux system is a lot easier than it looks. I only began using Linux full time two years ago, and for the first year I used only standard Ubuntu Unity.
Can you do a review of [Program X]?
I don't really take requests for programs to "review." I certainly do like the idea of me taking cues from my audience on topics, etc., but I'm not going to prentend to opine on something I'm not organically familiar with from my own experience. There are too many people on YouTube to tinkering with a program or distro for a couple minutes, make sweeping conclusions about it, and then doing a video on it with little content to add.
If you really want me to give you my impressions on some kind of software, convince me to use it, and then maybe I'll look into it.
Why don't you use emacs?
Because I happen to not. I have nothing against it, I just prefer vim for several minor reasons and have a lot of momentum in vim. I may switch to emacs with a vim layer in the future (EVIL mode), but I'm fine as is here.
Why don't you use tmux or a terminal multiplexer?
Terminal multiplexers don't really give you much if you're already using a tiling window manager. Sure there are some things they can do for specific workflows, but I've just never gotten into them. I do use tmux for a dropdown terminal and when I'm doing something important remotely.
Can I get your config for [Program X]?
Check my Github account. Of course you probably know that already, and it's probably useless for me to say that here because if you had the agency to find my FAQ on my website, you probably already found my Github, but I still get asked this all the time.
How can I contact you privately?
firstname.lastname@example.org Please contact me here, rather than using YouTube's private message function. Feel free to email me in Spanish/French/Italian/Portuguese or another Romance language if you know one and don't speak English well. I guess you could email me in Latin too if you were a total dweeb!
How can I send you money?
Via PayPal is the easiest: https://paypal.me/LukeMSmith (Note the M!) The address that it will show I believe will be Lawrenceville, GA, while as you may know, I actually live in Tucson; this is not an error.
I'm going to be moving onto Patreon soon, so I feel free to fund me monthly! Needless to say, my previous employers at the linguistics department have proven very unhappy to fund me in the past, so I may need to rely in part on subscribers early next year.
Thanks to everyone who has or is about to donate. PayPal does not give me the email addresses of those who donate, but I'd like to personally thank everyone who does!
Do you have a Reddit account/do you post on 4chan under a tripcode?
I don't use Reddit or have an account, though I do occasionally browse some subreddits (unixporn, for example). I do use and post on 4chan, but I never, ever, post non-anonymously. Anyone pretending to be me isn't. If I ever do post non-anonymously, I'll provide photographic evidence.
Come to think of it, I haven't really posted on or gone to 4chan in months, since around the election ended. For the record, I also never have and never will shill my videos there, not least because I've been there long enough to understand how resistant the chan mindset is to self-aggrandizement and e-celebrity (a mindset that I share).
Make a video complaining about SJWs.
No. Everyone already hates them; you can get your catharsis from any other new media. I'll tell you what I tell my students when they complain about SJWs to me. Just beacuse the people who control the media/all educational establishments/the bureaucracy/etc. all abide by this bizarre cultlike religion doesn't mean everyone around you does.
Most people hate their guts and can't wait for them to be gone. There are emotionally normal people all around you and you only don't notice them because you're being too afraid to talk to them like normal humans, so do it.
You use Pepe the Frog in your videos. Are you a White Supremacist®?
I'm actually a paid shill of the Kremlin.
Naw, but really, what are your political beliefs?
I can't give you one term that describes my socio-politics, but if forced I'm a political reactionary with strong localist and primitivst leanings. A lot of Neo-Reactionaries support a form of monarchy or another, which I understand (i.e. the "state CEO"), but for me, the goal should be totally endogenous, spontaneously ordered micro-societies, which is frankly how humans naturally arrange themselves in all times and places without the specter of universalist relgion/ideology.
That said, for me the greatest, perhaps only, threat to human freedom, prosperity and world cultures is the homogenizing monolith of information-control institutions in Western countries, or what reactionaries generally call "the Cathedral", the order that perpetuates this ideology. That is, the hivemind of interlocking and reinforcing media companies, think-tanks, universities and lobbying organizations that speak in one uniform tepid voice, calling for more standardization and centralization of decision-making and power in the permanent bureaucracy and intelligensia.
A minor note on celebrity
I have limited time like everyone in the world. I have a a job and classes to take and teach and a social life. If I don't respond to your email in a timely matter, it's not because I think I'm better than you. Responding to people on YouTube is literally my last priority, that's not because I don't love doing it, but because I have other responsibilities that impinge much more directly on my life.
As of this writing I have only around 2,000 subscribers, and I still pretty much read every email and comment I get from them. I can't respond to them all though, and in the future as I get more subscribers, it might be even more difficult.
So a lot of people think celebrities are aloof because they think they're better than their fans. Maybe for some, but as a practical matter, the sheer number of people who want me to review their rices or solve their tech problems is great enough even now that I have to be pretty picky in who I respond to. So don't get offended if you don't get a response, but don't let that deter you from asking!