Ask @windyoona:

Oona Räisänen
Top answers

Over the years have you met a large amount of people that are very much like you in your area?people with similar attention to details,curiosity and geeky sense of investigations?

Yes, I have, fortunately, as I live in a somewhat big city. Often these people can be found at the university, ham clubs, relevant IRC channels, and geeky events. These circles are also small.

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How did you become interested in Biosciences? It seems a sharp divergence from your interest in signals and electronics. Have you found any interesting interfaces between the two?

John Shade

It was one of those special interests that I contracted from a friend I liked a lot. This was in ninth grade or so. Biology is full of signals, from circadian rhythms to neural impulses and bird songs and doppler sonars, so it has never ceased to interest me. The details and perhaps even the big picture of sound processing in the brain is still a scientific mystery, for example. But I also somehow enjoy the endless amount of information to be learned for no immediately apparent use, like being able to identify hundreds of different plants or insects.

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Do you like dank memes? :^) also, what do you think about ylilauta and Spurdo Spärde? Are they important components for the outreach and radiance of the spread of the Finnish Internet culture?

I'm mostly unfamiliar with the scene and its terminology. But STP & sakolut used to appeal to my sense of humor, if that's relevant, and I still have a well-kept sakolut collection. Ylilauta is, afaik, a birthplace of higher culture.

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We are always taught in school there is a beginning and an end I finally had a professor who stated take that theory and scrap it. Think of time space as no start and no end a continuous run. My mind has a hard time getting around that concept.

I also struggle with this question. And so does current science, I think. So I only have more questions as an answer.

Is time eternal or phenomenal? Was time created in the Big Bang? What's the Big Bang anyway? What happened before it and what caused it? Was it some kind of a "singularity" where no physical laws even applied? If there was no time and so nothing caused it, then why did it happen? Is "why" even a meaningful question, if there was no time and hence no causality?

Maybe time is just another dimension of spacetime, part of its geometry, like Einstein and his contemporaries said. But then why does it seem to be a one-way street, unlike the spatial dimensions? Does this mean time is also finite, unlike the infinite space spanned by the three spatial dimensions? Leonard Susskind once gave a lecture on the arrow of time, it might interest you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jhnKBKZvb_U

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Are you an introvert or an extrovert?

I like to spend most of my time alone. Short bursts of social activity are okay, and especially with like-minded people.

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Do you let exposure to new ideas and concepts from others influence the overall direction of a project or the outline of its path in your conceptual thinking? For example music,code or research? Is serendipity influential at times and do you find it beneficial?

Dernyn (JD)

Yes, I occasionally go to certain geeky places and gatherings to talk about interesting stuff and get new ideas. It's very refreshing to listen to people with a lot of specialized knowledge.

I sometimes try to be serendipitous and do things I couldn't have imagined doing 2 years ago. I think it's good for personal growth. But it also means many projects will be left unfinished.

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Have you ever believe that you have the capability to change the world?

Dernyn (JD)

It depends on what is meant by changing the world. Of course everyone changes the world around them, if even just a little. But if we mean significantly altering the general course of history, then perhaps I don't have such capability.

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Do you consider yourself a hermit ?

To some extent, yes. I like to be in solitude and do whatever I find interesting.

I have my social times though, and even in solitude I like to keep some medium open. Nowadays most often IRC.

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What kinds of books do you read, and what were the last ones you read and recommend to like minded ?

I don't literally read books, but sometimes I listen to non-fiction audiobooks. I did this especially last year. According to my listening history, they mostly have to do with quantum physics, Advaita Vedanta loosely defined, mysteries of the mind.

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If you had quantum goggles to see all radio waves where would you aim it at?

Dernyn (JD)

I would aim them at our Milky Way and contact Berkeley SETI.

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Are you a night owl?

Yes. I often stay up as late as 1 or 2 am. Recently I've tried using a sleep alarm, since this is not very compatible with work life.

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We are in the information age, but often it seems the information is scattered within so many different realms...when you do research, is the a specific process or method that you used to ease the gathering of information?

Dernyn (JD)

I use Google for research a lot. I come up with an initial search term and see what it brings up. I may open some links into background tabs - but not all of them. Preferably these would be sites that aim for concise presentation of information, like Wikipedia and Stackoverflow. Unanswered forum posts and autogenerated spam pages can be quickly ruled out. It may be useful to click or search for PDF files only (filetype:.pdf), as these are often of scientific articles, or under a specific domain (site:wikipedia.org).

Also, talking to experts or expert-level hobbyists is often very effective. Generally people you'd expect to know more about it.

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The movie Wizkid was one of my enjoyment as a kid growing up, have you ever seen it? http://bit.ly/2lynO11

No, thanks for the suggestion :)

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Have you ever been to the U.S. or comp. security conferences there?

No, they're interesting but I don't like traveling long distances very much.

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if you didn't have the early influence instilled in you from your dads experimentations with electronics, music equipment and the hands on approach of your mom... would you still be you, now? would you had still be constantly fascinated and surrounded by electronics, would you be curious as now?

Probably I would have very different areas of interest, I think my childhood had a huge impact on this. But I also think I had a natural tendency to detail, curiosity, and geeky investigation. For example, I used to make lists and statistics about my toys and even characters in pretend play.

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Do you feel it's hard to guide people who may not keep up with your step pace ? it's hard for me to explain things to those who have different mindsets or often I loose track of the path taken, what is your process?

Yes, it takes a lot of effort and can be frustrating. Also the other person may become frustrated if they have difficulty grasping a concept. Also I try to not come out as frustrated, arrogant, or know-it-all, because such attitude adds nothing useful to the situation. I often find it pretty interesting to try and come up with ways to explain things.

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Do you listen to RF spectra on a daily basis? do you have any other equipment besides the gnuradio/Hackrf stuff? have you ever used this... I own 2... http://bit.ly/2kTrXvL

Dernyn (JD)

I don't listen at all at the moment, mainly because I don't have any good antennas. I have two RTL-SDRs, a HackRF, and AirSpy.

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Are you into Japanese culture?

Not as much as many of my friends. For example, I don't watch anime, play games or speak Japanese. However I'm a fan of a Japanese variety comedy show called Downtown no Gaki no Tsukai ya Arahende, and I've watched all of their batsu games many times and some of the other episodes too (fan-subbed of course).

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How do you keep up with all the social networks(7 or so), plus your blog... I can tell you also have favorite social settings, and the content is different or more on a one to one basis like G+...how do you balance it all?

I wouldn't say I keep up with them - for example, I don't read my Twitter or G+ timeline. Way too chaotic!

As for posting, I alternate between them. Sometimes I don't post anything for weeks, or maybe even months as with G+. Then I think of something that absolutely needs to go on Twitter, and post it and maybe reply to replies for a while. Or see something funny on the town and take a quick instagram pic. But I'm not too stressed about them. Online downshifting, maybe?

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You are a naturally great teacher, a mysterious one but definitely inspiring... have you ever thought of getting sponsored to teach others like many do via patreon.com ?

Dernyn (JD)

As I understand it, Patreon is meant for fairly active creators who post things regularly. I do these things for a hobby and couldn't promise to post new things even as often as every month.

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Often lay people see your work as simple or almost magic like, simply lacking understanding & the arduous work and dedication that goes into it, likely it's experience gathered through the years by hands-on, often your explanations are straight and direct(which deceived its complexity) Do you agree?

Dernyn (JD)

Yes, I prefer to say things concisely as I said. This might stem from writing Wikipedia articles, where you're supposed to link to other articles, so that the reader can follow for more information, and not necessarily explain them in the same text.

Somehow the popular image of a 'hacker' has a lot in common with that of a witch or wizard. And people seem to enjoy it - I've gotten such comments on my talks as 'It was very exciting, although I didn't understand anything'.

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I often get frustrated when people interest in a field of work don't do simple searches or read protocol standards that explain everything... but often laziness gets the best of them...do you feel some hand holding is needed for those people?

Coming up with the perfect search term is a very useful skill and not everyone can do it - I think Googling should be taught at school.

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I saw your Ted Talk and you are great in public gatherings....I felt so personally there...would you ever consider doing something like https://www.youtube.com/user/micahjd/featured

Thanks! That would be an interesting thing to try. Maybe it could even be easier to concentrate on the task? I really like watching Micah's videos. Also, she's able to think aloud while working; I wouldn't be so sure about it myself.

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Ok!,I know you like interesting music and art but can you dance, :-)

No, not the least bit. Or maybe the basic steps of waltz. I can move on a random path at raves though.

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I love your improvisation when you have to use whats near & available(hair pins as probes) and your instant hacking of code when theirs a need...I too prefer this over neatness or oneway best practices. Do you feel you can teach better this way?....why not release more quirkyness as proof of concept

Yes perhaps! Maybe in the form of youtube videos, or instagram pics!

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About Oona Räisänen:

Ask Oona about signals. Or life on Earth.

Helsinki, Finland