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Ideas I frequently invoke:

- Philip Guo on silent technical privilege

- Bryn Hammond on silenced history

- Duncan Watts on cumulative advantage, or, MusicLab, in the top ten scientific experiments ever

- AnimeFeminist for their critiques and season guides

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“Fischer Black thought that got the right price within a factor of two about 90 per cent of the time… I knew Fischer pretty well, and he didn’t throw numbers like those around lightly; he thought long and hard about them, even though they sound like the kind of rough figures other people would come up with quickly. We argued quite a bit about them, and I pushed for ‘within a factor of two about half the time’.” —Aaron Brown

*Financial Risk Management for Dummies* chapter 4 = 🔥

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“Taking less risk than is optimal is not safer; it just locks in a worse outcome. In competitive fields, doing less than the best often means failing completely. Taking more risk than is optimal also results in a worse outcome, and often leads to complete disaster.”
—Aaron Brown, “Red-Blooded Risk”

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‘developers (and companies) aren't immutable. Because I've been lucky enough to work in environments that allow people to really flourish, I've seen a lot of people go from unremarkable to amazing. Because most companies invest pretty much nothing in helping people, you can do really well here without investing much effort.‘ —

I will never stop quoting thing.

“These days, most neural networks are defined in Python with the computation offloaded to GPUs. We believe , instead of , could act as an ideal language for expressing mathematical ideas if the proper infrastructure existed.”

Regardless of the merit of this proposal, if there was a question (“will JS replace Python for ML—proxied by some GitHub or survey event—within 15 years”), I’d assign 90% probability to “no”.

Things are sticky.

Complaining about—what else—hiring in tech 

My new gig is 🔥 but something unnerving: the interview was a bunch of the usual, LeetCode ~mediums (and a couple of softer sessions). So all they knew about me was
1- I can grind algorithms in JavaScript,
2- I’m not insane.

But I could have been someone who didn’t know
- React,
- Node/npm,
- the GitHub pull request cycle,
- Unix,
- product design, …

Would they have just taught me all this?

If so, why not assume they could just teach me to LeetCode? 🤨

22 boosted

All these years I thought, if music playing is like playing video games, then music composition is like making video games—if not orthogonal, not a ton of overlap.

But it’s been explained to me that, on the contrary, composition is another level of playing the game.

And in the metaphor, the video game makers are the piano makers.

🤯 thanks to everyone who patiently explained it till I got it. (I am astonishingly amusical.)

Does anyone have any and extensions they’d love to see, or features added, or bugs fixed? Looking for small projects to dive into and contribute.

MacOS keyboard mapping nerding 

Used and to map backslash to common apps:

\-V to VS Code
\-I to iTerm
\-S to Safari

\ by itself of course does \ which I don’t think I ever use (I do use | a lot, a lot of folks use these to switch keys from shifted to unshifted).

I also mapped left/right shift to open/close parentheses.

I also resurrected the very nice Hotkey window that iTerm used to have by default but didn’t find in my recent install.

A bit more thought shows where I’m going wrong—it’s not that writing code editors is different than writing Bayesian posterior calculators.

It’s that I’m intimately familiar with the *use* of code editors but was unaware of the formidable complexity that underlies them.

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Starting to work on open-source stuff for work!

And realizing 😅 writing code editors is very different than writing everything else.

😳 cannot believe we used to review the video recording and type things into a text file and have this super-complex multi-stage workflow.

Clearly, you simplify and smooth your workflow to a polish, otherwise you risk giving up.

Kudos to amazing spouse for being a ninja at adding flashcards to Memrise during live lessons.

Hmm. It'd actually be better if the teacher typed in phrases/vocab they wanted us to practice into the chat window right? Might be too Zoomer for them…

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Oh, I had posted a summary of our workflow 1.5 years ago:


- parent with laptop does video lesson with teacher (or sits next to child doing video lesson)

- as vocabulary or phrasing is introduced, it's entered directly into a long-running course. Memrise will suggest auto-complete, which helps for plain vocab, but not helpful for phrases. Thus, often longer phrases have kana-only (no kanji). Not ideal… 😒

- Above software is run ~weekly to add audio.

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I'm learning for work so I rewrote my little robot that adds speech to all my flaschards! It's so much better and faster than the previous Selenium version.

I think it's almost user-friendly—you will need to do is create an IAM account for AWS (since it uses ), which is hard.

We have ~3'200 flashcards in Memrise that have each have two AWS Polly voices (masc and femme). It's a system that, surprisingly, works really well for us.

Child: “dwarves would have a hard time during covid wearing masks—beard.” 🧔

I miss . What he’d have made of pandemic. Littlebottom would scold Angua for not wearing the wolf mask she designed.

N95 mask availability complaint 

I also will try out EnvoMask (which I learned about from which, internet being what it is, seems suspicious but it's author co-authored a piece with well-respected physicians:

Airline employees following their mystic corporate commandments likely won't allow half-respirators (much safer than a surgical or a cloth mask); they might still object to an EnvoMask depending on how zealous their faith is—hence N95 backup.

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N95 mask availability complaint 

🤯 that a year into the pandemic, N95 masks are still so hard to find in USA.

Grainger (well-known parts supplier) has Moldex N95s in stock, in medium/large size, which I obtained and am happy with, but it’s proven impossible to find small or extra-small N95 masks.

I invariably wear a half-respirator with N95-grade cartridges when going indoors (take-out, <5 mins at a time; grocery stores, <30 min)—highly effective—but will need “normal” masks for flying soon.

and are very interesting and all, but I wonder how to properly measure prediction of events like global pandemic, asteroid collision, earthquake-induced human casualties, etc.

These events have non-negligible probabilities year after year. Are they just less interesting than the normal “is event E going to happen before date D?” questions that Good Judgement Project asks—which seem interesting only until one of those chronic low-probability-high-impact black swans.

Just to affirm something crucial: neither money nor time nor being able-bodied are necessary for life improvement, and the above are offered for those that might have these requirements in sufficient supply to try these proposed life quality upgrades.

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I hesitated tooting this for a while because it seemed close to advertising, and also my discomfort with promoting improvements to life quality via spending…

So to balance, here's another life quality improvement that only costs time.

+YouTube. My family introduced me to 30 Days of Yoga with Adrienne. She deserves all the fame she has, and every day I don't do a lesson, I can feel it.

I tried her "Home" series and missed the physicality of "30 Days" so went back to that. You'll love it.

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It's been about a year since I bought an air quality sensor, prompted by Ruby on Rails inventor DHH's tweet:

The main concern there, CO2→headache and cognitive impairment, is definitely something I've experienced—the sensor helps me know when to open a window, even in winter.

But something else I've come to appreciate this winter: a lot of my headache and sinus pain is also caused by low humidity—humidifiers help a lot with this.

A nice life quality improvement.

(About rich people) 

Spare a thought for someone I know who in 2019–2020 bought $40'000 of crypto that's now worth $350'000, and their daily torture of deciding whether to hold or sell.

(Describing this situation to a primary schooler who said, "I would sell right now", to which I replied, "Ah, but with that attitude you'd have sold at $60'000 or $80'000 right, you'd never have gotten to $200'000 or $300'000 let alone $350'000" and primary schooler realizing risk management is hard.)

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