YouTube FAQsThese 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 is your Linux distro?
I've used Parabola and Arch as my main distros for a while, and now I'm in the process of migrating to Void Linux to avoid systemd. I don't really have super-strong opinions about distros, but I usually like distros that come with very little at the beginning since I usually end up installing and using exactly what I want.
If you're a Linux newbie, I recommend Ubuntu MATE if you're a normal human or Manjaro if you'd like to ricing/extreme customization in the future.
I strongly recommend 100% free distros for people getting serious about free software, but not necessarily for beginners who want a smooth transition. I've become sufficiently familiar with my hardware and software to avoid using proprietary software/firmware, but these distros help those who aren't yet.
What do you use to compile LaTeX?
I write LaTeX in vim and compile code with the aid of vim-live-latex-preview (AUR), (Github), NOT to be confused with the different vim-latex-live-preview. Anyway, this compiles the code automatically into an mupdf preview.
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.
What is your windows mananger and status bar?
My windows manager is i3-gaps and the status bar is bumblebee-status. As of July 2017, however, I've switched to Polybar (still use i3-gaps).
"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.
Can I get your config for [Program X]?
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.
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!
Can I get the memes you used in your video?
lurk moar and find them yourself. Or be a l33t hacker and youtube-dl the video and use ffmpeg to extract them.
Where do you get your memes?
My local Chinese girl cartoon imageboard.
Are you a weeb?
No. I used to hate weebs, but now I've made my peace. A good portion of my subscribers are larping as anime girls anyway.
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.
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!