Writing Stack Overflow questions as debugging 

A good Stack Overflow question, like all good research, tries to foresee & address every possible reply, including requests for more details, for reasons why you want to do what you’d like to do, etc.

Sometimes you’ll have discovered a real bug or system limitation, e.g.,

stackoverflow.com/questions/39 or stackoverflow.com/questions/54

but maybe ten? twenty? times a year, just writing a good question, concise but detailed leads to its solution before posting.

@seachaint Wow, that's so interesting, in a delightfully twisted way!


Longest thread #16 shouted that "critical thinking" doesn't (can't) solve conspiracy theories & fake news. Kahan's article


especially section 3.1 ("If you aren’t vigorously nodding your head…", page 7), is something I *always* think about. The punchline there is:

"To live well—or just to live—individuals (including scientists) must accept much more [decision-relevant science] than they can ever hope to make sense of on their own"


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This notion, that you or I can evaluate the medical claims, is toxic. brilliantly illustrates this papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cf:

"You learn next week that you have an endocrinological deficit that can be effectively treated but only if you submit to a regimen of daily medications. You certainly will do enough research to satisfy yourself—to satisfy any reasonable person in your situation—that this recommendation is sound before you undertake such treatment. But what will you do?" (cont.)

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@deshipu Yesss! This is what JupyterLite leverages. Absolutely stunning work there.

Ebisu quiz scheduling library 

Instead of pushing forward with research on a new probabilistic model for , I released a handful of new features folks had long requested with just the old Beta distribution model.

If anyone needs a Python (or JS, or JVM, or Dart, though those haven't gotten the new features) library for flashcard review scheduling, it might be useful:


Hope to get back to Stan soon and finding a better underlying model to handle memory growth.

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@pixouls no worries, that makes a lot of sense! JupyterLite might work well for you, especially after making sure save/export is reliable.

Though, it won't integrate with Atom 😕, you might need a real Jupyter server, locally or in Google Colab? I know VS Code has excellent capabilities for connecting to a running Jupyter server, I can't remember if Atom does.

Good luck in class! Programming profs can be crappy, if you need a code reviewer, you can msg me if you'd like!

Did anyone else find people’s obsession with “top-posting” creepy? 


A: Yes.
> Q: Are you sure?
>> A: Because it reverses the logical flow of conversation.
>>> Q: Why is top posting annoying in email?

In many ways glad it’s not the 90s (tho this example was from someone in 2007—hope they never saw quote tweets).

@elmiko let me know how that goes!!! My personal goal is to seriously level up my backend game (JVM, Python, Rust) and it would be so cool to work with wasm there and then do the front end pieces in the same language!

@deshipu Thanks for mentioning this, it looks cool!!! It used to be PyPy had poor support for Numpy and numeric libraries that needed C/Fortran libs but reading a bit on the PyPy faq maybe it’s gotten a lot better?

I love “full Python” runtimes in JS because I love running 5**500 and see that effortless bigint support 😁, in JupyterLite that hangs 😭

@pixouls oh!! What’s annoying? I’ve used JupyterLab for a long time but only recently started a job that involves developing it, and am most happy to help any way I can.

I know the setup can get hairy!, is that what you mean? That’s one reason people like using Google Colab (which is Google’s Jupyter) or Binder.

Is it operating system issues? Next time you run into something feel free to ping me and I’ll see if I can help!

I’m excited about because I have written A LOT of code that isn’t portable between languages and runtimes and machines. Really excited to see if JVM and Python and others get wasm runtimes soon, and to see which languages target wasm too. A universal substrate for programs would be really cool.

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Related, very exciting: a full Jupyter notebook including and Numpy and math libs running *entirely* in browser—no server.


They compiled the Python runtime plus and Numpy and FORTRAN libs to . It all runs in your browser.

This is kind of the opposite route from Gitpod, whom you go to to reduce the burden of server config and management. With things like , you minimize build/config problems *and* keep your computers.

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readme has an “Open in ” link which opens a tab running VS Code and a full Linux box running the Jupyter server. Cloud9, Glitch, &c. have had something like this but Microsoft’s strategy of making a killer editor be browser-first is 🔥.

Gitpod today:

“We believe that by 2023 ephemeral cloud-based development environments will be as common as CI/CD is today.”

Unpopular opinion: I totally agree. I know some folks dislike renting others’ computers but I’m excited.

Never thought I'd be happy to take a break from Linux for Windows but that's what happens when you spend 24 sleepless hours trying to build OCaml binaries in Docker and then realize you need WSL installed for Windows support.

Kimagure Orange Road as a slice of life in full-Bubble Economy Japan 

For more on Bitcoin's behavior on futures markets (my favorite markets), see the "Bitcoin contango" section of 's newsletter from Monday:


"As the current bull market gets more and more frothy, this newsletter spends less and less time on, like, complex derivatives, and more and more time on simple goofy nonsense that creates money out of thin air. (I am sad about this too.)"

Matt gets it.

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Kimagure Orange Road as a slice of life in full-Bubble Economy Japan 

While I'm as much an appreciator of irony as the next person, our Universal Bubble is really making me crave a palate cleanser—too much irony!

Corn, wheat, oil, etc., are more expensive for future vs immediate delivery—storage, transport, insurance, cleaning, growing &c. costs. too—future delivery is much more expensive, because like oil (toxic) and corn (perishable), its storage costs are so high. The ironies 👌💋.

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Kimagure Orange Road as a slice of life in full-Bubble Economy Japan 

I was curious why I was fascinated by watching on . I learned about this 1987 via


and despite the casual sanctimonious misogyny, I somehow appreciated several episodes (with liberal use of the +10 seconds button).

Reading about reactions to the IPO made me wonder if it was for the taste of late-stage bubble life…?

@brennen "almost every, possibly every decision you make, you make before you’re aware of having made it: your conscious brain was not consulted. And yet people think they have reasons for what they do but the fact is, they have to make up those reasons after the fact … Most people who think they know themselves mean they sorta know how they think … but they really have no idea why they do what they do."

Scary in the context of typing code magic on a keyboard!

@brennen Oh! You're echoing something Aaron Brown wrote about, the importance of sleep deprivation to build skills at a deep subconscious level:


Though… I've also noticed that a lot of times, stepping away from the problem (for hours/days) and coming back solves it. Have you had that experience too? I wonder if this happens when I'm too wedded to what I see in front of me and can't allow myself to see the radical change that's needed to get it to work?

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