when i started preparing stuff for DataFrames, it seemed sensible to introduce the Python Dictionary.

in it, i use the NATO alphabet, which as we all know is an acronym. Another form of an abbreviation is an initialism. Both utilise the first letter of words to form a “new” word but the former pronounces it as a word, while the latter is voiced by each initial (like AI for Artificial Intelligence).

as part of forming the subheadings, (although often used interchangeably) i discovered if i should use duplicate or replicate.

here’s the updated repository:

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/Python/tree/master/DataStructures

CAVEAT:  you might have noticed that my title format has slightly changed.  i’m still starting it off with what ever comes to mind and after the colon i’ve appended what i think the post is about (you might interpret it differently or have an alternative understanding when you “read between the lines”).  it has been brought to my attention that some readers may not want to go through the entire thing for the title to make any sense.  this is not an egregious attempt to increase ‘likes’  or to act as ‘click-bait’ but shouldn’t it be part of ‘sharing’ to make stuff ‘more digest-able’ – looks like i still have a ways to go.

i underwent a medical procedure recently – recovery time is typically from one to two days –  because of my age it took me three days. so i temporarily stopped my daily exercise program for about two weeks – this affected me but i didn’t notice right away.  it became first obvious to me at a speech pathology session.  i used to get through them just fine even if they were during the afternoons – i didn’t feel winded afterwords but my sound production performance faltered occasionally.  Moreover when i went to my regular neurophysio appointment, she could physically feel the difference – i found out that apparently pain can also cause your muscles to “relax”.  At first i had done this to reduce my anxiety levels (but perhaps because i now take a natural supplement for it it’s less pronounced) but, also very importantly, getting my core strength up not only helps me avoid falls (and minimises potential injury) but also helps my speech.  Suffice it to say i’ve started up again and hoping to get back to the level i once was.

these aren’t directly related but are also from recent “trips” outside my house so…

i want to whinge about the three (let me be clear: not all or even a majority of them) taxi drivers driving skills were really bad:  the sudden stops-and- starts, not slowing down enough to take a round about, or abrupt jerking of the steering wheel.  These gave me a headache despite sitting in front and having the road visible – imagine how much worse i would have felt if i sat in the back.  i was going to complain about another thing but in hindsight one of my drivers was “self-obsessed’ that he would have acted that way to an “able-bodied” passenger.

Despite using my “letter board”, some drivers (not only taxi drivers but one support worker), still misunderstood me.  i suspect it’s either because they’re not patient enough to listen or having a preconceived notion of what i’m going to say (Ding!  Ding!  Ding!:  it’s usually wrong).  i understand that my speech can be hard to understand especially since this is probably the first time we’ve talked (on a few occasions i get the same drivers) but mistakes ca be avoided:  like going the wrong direction, it’s on the other side, that’s the wrong address, accidentally running me over,  etc.

we just want to feel listened to.  here’s a video by Purple Orange (it kind of reminds me of the You Can’t Ask That format on the ABC) about diverse communication shared on Darryl Selwood(Ph.D.)’s blog:  http://darrylsellwood.com/?p=998.  While i don’t  relate to everything said, i agree with the central premise of respect and the underlying theme of “not judging a book by its cover”.

it is very easy for me to accuse the drivers of not thinking: parking too close to the incline, the ramp, or curb so it’s “tricky” for me to get into or out of the car;  dropping me off by an entrance with only stairs ; driving “far” the door so need to cross the street, walk “some” distance, or negotiate a challenging surface (like inclines, uneven surfaces, pebbles, etc.); ask me directions or instruct them where to pass or stop; or turn the meter on while i’m still trying to get in the car (i believe the law states it should be only activated when i’m seated).  sometimes they can’t be bothered or are in a rush but sometimes i think it’s because they haven’t been exposed to or educated about disability – these are tasks they take for granted so there’s a need for more “training”.

FINAL WORD (let me know if these prompt helps with readability or i should go for more “traditional” headings – i know a poll is a more suitable for this but i probably won’t get enough respondents for a truly statistically valid result and, frankly, confronting my readership numbers scares me).  There’s a tension between keeping the post short-and-sweet and making it comprehensive enough to be informative – after all like they say, perfect is the enemy of good. Moreover timing is an issue, some thoughts have an ‘expiry date’ while others not so much.  While Twitter isn’t for me (trolls aside), it take me some time to type – this has the added bonus of letting me reflect and not simply reacting, All-in-all, i’m still struggling with the balance.  Furthermore, i feel the pressure to post frequently – as evidenced by the number of “self-corrections” right after i publish – when i should learn to recheck my drafts first.

 

it’s complicated

November 3, 2019

i put a draft of QuickSort implemented in Python – admittedly, i’m open to suggestions to further improve it and any other examples that will help understanding. Like my experiences before, it was “difficult” for me to find a “simple” explanation online.  Since some programming languages implemented it as part of a standard library, some ICT professional aren’t familiar with its internal workings and don’t bother to learn it.  i’m all for black boxes and abstraction but when trying to master a language it helps to implement fundamentals – this doesn’t only sharpen one’s thinking ( sort – pun intended – of a form of mental gymnastics) but also to familiarise oneself with the intricacies/quirks of a language.

this absence of “simple” resources seem to be due to a number of things.  my direct experience is that it is sometimes due to the attitude and education/training of technical personnel.  some of them just want to feel superior/smarter than the rest of us – their “hang-ups” from school is evident so that they in turn mistreat others that’s why, IMHO, hazing practices persist.  some act, understandably, as “gate-keepers” to try and make this knowledge exclusive in order to protect their jobs (i.e. economic reasons) or status (i.e. social motivations) or both. and while they most are capable enough to understand, they are not clever enough, equipped to, or motivated to (there’s an obvious misalignment of objectives) make these concepts “easily digestible” for others.  the willingness to help masks their hubris or condescension  – a humble brag of sorts. this fact necessitates me to query my own motivations.

while i don’t recall it being discussed (probably due to my specialisation), it may have been covered in passing by a course in my masters, i could no longer remember how it worked exactly before this endeavour.

the updated GitHub repository can be found at:

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/Python/tree/master/Problems/Algorithms

 

“easy” A

October 30, 2019

first, it was the Towers of Hanoi.  And then it was QuickSort.  i wanted to provide “simpler” explanations of concepts i was taught during my undergraduate days.   i eventually got them (with some effort) but they are trickier to “share” with others.  But like most technologists, i’ve substantially underestimated the the time and effort in realising these. i guess i was severely swayed by my experience in “simplifying” the normal forms when i taught databases.

i think i need to take a cue from the much greater individuals that preceded me. Or just use great ideas from others and properly attribute their work.  in any case, i should reacquaint myself with these concepts and refresh my memory – so that my unconscious mind can continue to work on these while i focus on something else.  hopefully, it will no be long between “Eureka” moments.

i have just got back from medical leave “recently” and have been “out of commission” for the last few days due to a procedure (it should have taken only two days to recuperate but due to my age it took me longer to recover – i’m still not 100%).  Lately, i’ve been “scrambling” to salvage any hope of completing my research degree.

kindly excuse my “radio silence” for the last few (and probably next few) days.

 

prime (directive)

October 21, 2019

i moved to a function that determines if a number is prime – i’m still struggling with how to make the Tower of Hanoi problem “simpler” (as Einstein puts it) to understand.  i always knew that “0” was not prime but now i know why not.  i was taught in school that “1” was prime but apparently not according to the definition.

Here’s the updated GitHub repository:

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/Python/tree/master/Problems/Exercises

tower of Babel

October 17, 2019

for the last few days, i’ve been held up by the “Tower of Hanoi” problem.  at first it was just a debugging issue and getting the code to work as expected; however i realised the real difficulty was in being able to explain the algorithm “simpler” and in “plain English” – i’m still thinking about  how to do this.