Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
Try Micromastery (elemental.medium.com)
52 points by lucasjans 68 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 40 comments

So we're just giving a new name to "learning skills"? What?

Why skip breakfast to learn a skill when you could instead micro master while intermittently fasting?

There is a wide spectrum of the amount of time, effort, and money it takes to learn various skills. This seems like a celebration of those skills on the small end of the spectrum that anyone can learn, whether they are practical or not.

Seems like a good idea to me, in an age where everything is either treated as disposable or outsourced.

I think the OP was saying it's a fancy term for nothing new. I agree with him (I note the term 'life hack' being used in the media for trivialities now). I'd agree with you too, learning new stuff is better.

Yes, we're giving a new name "to purposefully learning a bunch of easy-to-learn skills, that require smaller time investment, to boost confidence and use as a nice flow-inducing hobby".

The full phrase was a mouthful.

Seriously, the parent comment reads like the "Dropbox" comment (so they've just turned running curlftpfs, cvs, and ftp into a company now?)

I think you sometimes need a new word or term to better capture an idea. I quite like the idea of mircomastery. We'll have to wait and see if it's one that survives though.

Two of the skills mentioned are ones I've failed at. Making a great omelet and folding fitted sheets.

I've never made an omelet that is very good and I've tried a bunch of variations. I've had lots of omelets in restaurants that are great.

For the fitted sheet skill, I've watched the videos on people doing it and it feels a little like the old how-to-draw-an-owl meme. Step one and two make sense, but then step 3 is magic.

My spouse always asks me fold fitted sheets. But it doesn't seem that hard.

1. put two adjacent corner-pockets into each other, then do the same with the other side, then put those doubled pockets together.

2. Now you have an irregular shaped blob. If you put your hand inside the pocket (there is only one now), you have a flat square, plus the overhanging bits from parts of the fitted sheet that hang down.

3. You just lay those lobes flat so that what is left is flat(-ish) and square(ish).

4. Fold that once or twice depending on the size of the fitted sheet and you are done.

Step (3) is the hardish part since you need to keep the sheet flat. I do it "in the air", but to start I would use a table so that the flat part doesn't move around while I'm folding over the lobes. The flatness will depend somewhat on the thickness of the fabric, but it's usually about 30% thicker than the flat-sheet.

What's wrong with your omelets? I've made hundreds of ugly omelets but now I can make a pretty one about 3 out of 5 times.

They are bland and it's not due to lack of salt. I've had slightly better luck lately pre-sauteing the stuff I want to add to the eggs, but nothing that I'm terribly happy with so far.

What are you putting in yours?

What kind of eggs do you use? Regardless of your opinions on animal rights, etc, I strongly recommend buying the fanciest free-range, etc. eggs you can find. A healthy diet for the chickens makes a huge impact on egg quality & taste. I doubt this will solve your entire problem, but it helps.

I assume you're already using fresh garlic & onions, but those are also musts in my opinion.

I do buy they best eggs I can find.

I'm not a huge fan of garlic in eggs, but I do like onions and scallions.

Have you tried Tarragon? It's not for everyone, but I love it as a flavour to go with eggs. I'm with you on the garlic, I just end up with garlic-egg burps all day.

Are you leaving them a little runny? That's basically the trick to any egg. They'll continue cooking after you take them off the heat, and in the end won't be dry and tasteless.

I've done a little experimenting and found that the best results for me come with the eggs well cooked on one side (with small browned areas) and runny/custardy on the other side. I fold it so the runny part is in the middle.

Well, an omelette is not exactly exciting cuisine. The satisfaction comes from doing it right and enjoying the simplicity of the egg.

This youtuber seems to have captured the essence of an omelette by trying, almost in vain, to replicate the technique of the famous Jacques Pepin... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5__zptEU9vE

There are certain spices that go well with egg, like tarragon, chives, shallots. Dried version of these work especially nicely with egg. You're using sea salt flakes right?

I like to froth milk with steam on my espresso machine and fold that into the eggs, right in the pan. The foam makes a nice creamy almost puffy texture.

Thanks for posting that link. Great video and his omelette at the end looked perfect. I'm definitely going to work at this some more.

I also watched the follow up video from Pepin himself:


Lots of ground black pepper (not fresh-ground), a pinch of onion powder (one for each yolk), a pinch of salt (one for the entire omelet, and some good Swiss cheese (cover the inside of the omelet with one layer of grated cheese before folding).

Also use really good salted butter (I use Kerrygold exclusively) liberally - two pats in the pan before the eggs, one pat after the fold, and one pat after the flip.

And, of course, never turn the heat higher than mid-point. I personally heat the pan on medium (5), and then turn it down to 4 right before I put the contents in. After the fold, heat both sides only until golden-crsipy areas start to form.

95% of the time, something fatty is bland because it lacks acid. Salt is of course acidic, but you can't add enough to work before the dish gets too salty. Try onions and/or mushrooms sauteed in wine or vinegar.

Tell us more about your process. Omelettes are pretty basic stuff, so odds are if yours aren’t coming out reasonably well it’s because of a triviality taken for granted.

Do you add your spices to the oil or the egg? Which spices?

The last one I made had only sauteed mushroom, jalapeno, goat cheese, salt, pepper, and eggs and I overcooked it. The pan was a non-stick pan and I used butter.

Jalapeño and goat cheese are a wonderful choice; I’d expect that to be quite delicious. At what stage(s) of the process were they added?

How did you cook the mushroom?

I sauteed the mushroom in butter, salt and pepper. They were delicious by themselves.

With the jalapeno I made the mistake of seeding it. It was super bland.

I added the mushrooms and jalapeno to the pan almost immediately after I added the whisked egg.

There's been a bunch of good ideas in this thread and the video of the guy making a Jacques Pepin omlette is great. I definitely have some new ideas for my next attempts.

I would add jalapeño at the butter stage, not the egg stage. Most of its flavor diffuses into the fats, so putting it directly into the egg will more-or-less confine its flavor and then steam it.

Thanks! I'll make that change.

>I've never made an omelet that is very good and I've tried a bunch of variations. I've had lots of omelets in restaurants that are great.

Did you add lotsa butter? That (and good ingredients) is the main secret (even if the restaurant wont admit it).

Genuine question.. does everyone on HN read so few Medium articles that they can actually load most of these, or are you paying the membership fee? Because I can't read these stories most of the time.

Medium keeps track by setting a cookie. If you have a ad-blocker that blocks cookies, or use incognito, or clear the cookie by hand, then medium won't know the difference.

Incognito or private browsing. Depebding on your browser choice

Haha, I'm an idiot, good idea :)

I've never hit any paywall on Medium. But I'm also running an ad blocker, so maybe that's why?

A while ago I saw this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5MgBikgcWnY is about "The first 20 hours" and there is a book as well. It's surprising how much could you can learn in just 20 hours. You can't be an expert by doing so little but you can learn some tricks for fun.

Although not a millennial, when I graduated with my engineering degree, I also felt lacking in practical skills. So, my wife(also an engineer) and I enrolled in community college vocational education classes. We learned to weld, sculpt, cast, blacksmith. Had a great time and would now have the confidence to buy a welder and know I could use it... if only I had the free time.

I've been thinking about origami lately. Has an aesthetic purpose, but very analog and doesn't involve looking at a screen.

being able to fold a simple origami crane at any given moment is a very satisfying skill, unfortunately, it fades if you don't practice it enough. I learned how to fold origami cranes at least 3 times in my life

So it's like riding a bike, except you forget how to do it.

With me it is solving the Rubik's cube. I must have relearned David Singmaster's a couple of times but after a year or two of not solving one, I easily forget.

Mihaly Csikszmentmihalyi is Hungarian, not Czech. And the "flow experience is analogous to meditating" statement is very questionable - I'd say it's [a good] kind of opposite: meditation is meant to be a 100% conscious experience, people rarely maintain mindfulness in the flow mode.

Some of these skills mentioned - sewing, cooking decent meals, driving a stick are life skills. But please don't try to cut your own hair unless you're in dire straits!

Operating a manual car is as much as a life skill as operating a manual loom. It'll be relegated to specialist hobby eventually. Some things are destined to be replaced by fully automatic systems, for the gain of productivity and convenience. An auto-loom can do the work of many, many people, so using a manual loom is now a craft show and museum pastime.

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact