i told one of my neurophysios i needed to “rest”/stop after 20 minutes of walking. bless her heart, she “estimated” my “effort” was equivalent to about three hours of walking for an able-bodied individual (i’m guessing it’s probably “closer”to about two hours). my daily exercises have increased it from about 10 (don’t quote me on that) to 20 minutes but what she said “shook” me: if i “lost” five minutes every two years: i’d be only able to manage five minutes in six years!

i asked for a “practical target” (as that’s seem to have worked for me in the past). she suggested that 60 minutes she thinks would cover most activities. using my “logic” to project out using a linear function (which is unrealistic since i’m not a robot and will tire): this is about six hours to another person. nonetheless, i need to work on building my endurance to “boost” my current capabilities.

like one of my neurophysios say, we need to work on what we can to prolong my “independence” for as long as possible. i have begun “slowly” by trying to remain standing whilst watching TV. Also, i am currently noting my speed/RPMs (like was suggested to me) and not just increase the duration on the stationary bike.

while motivation has been tied to “success” – it has recently been reiterated to me that it’s definition should be expanded to what’s personally important and not just the “narrow” criteria of what society dictates (as a migrant i’ve noticed some “variability” in certain aspects).

initially, i just planned on posting a “short” “blurb” on my blog and GitHub Python page as there seemed to me to be a “virtual triangle” among machine learning, statistics, and data visualisation. i’m still likely to make a brief GitHub “file” but upon serious reflection this post may not be a “cursory” post.

it took me awhile to come up with this post because i was partly busy with an online machine learning course, and, frankly, didn’t know what to write – and i’m finding it difficult to figure out how to do it – it didn’t help that there was a “time-consuming” upgrade of the Jupyter notebook environment that i use to store my ipynb files online.

my last experience started me thinking on how i learn- i still need to reflect more on it. i’ve done “ok” academically but i’ve discovered i can understand better if “alternatives” are provided for me to choose from. programming is, essentially, divergent: that is, sometimes there is more than a single way to arrive at an “acceptable solution”. why can’t “formal” education be that way? i know that the human brain can be easily overloaded by many things but perhaps offering a few choices might result in more students understanding. i’m realistic and pragmatic enough to understand that most teachers are overworked (at least those that care about the development of others) and that maybe there needs to be a more “active” open-source community like coding: sharing can make lighter work.

here is my initial attempt at my updated repository:

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/Python/blob/master/Machine%20Learning/Learning.ipynb

just learned there are only two fears we are all born with: falling ad loud noises. apparently, we pick up the others along the way – i’m guessing through other people or our own experiences. it would have been handy to have known this fact sooner as a parent – having “mostly” already raised my son.

if i could only figure out where my claustrophobia came from then i can address it better…

i was so hung up on words that i “overlooked” visualisations can deceive audiences. i’ve been recently exposed to the works of Edward Tufte and Alberto Cairo on Information Graphics (commonly known by its portmanteau, Infographics). Aside from the important role it can play in emphasising statistics, it also has the power to mislead “consumers” of the information (whether intentional or not). The main point is that they need to be designed carefully and not simply thrown in to break the “monotony” of words or “pretty” things up – they must only be included to serve a particular purpose.

here are a few guidelines to help make the figure you generate “better”:

https://journals.plos.org/ploscompbiol/article?id=10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003833

i did a lot of coding in my time and was introduced to neural networks at school so it wasn’i really a stretch learning Python. i only knew aspects of statistics so it became obvious to me that it was something i had to strengthen to upgrade my data science skills because i had a lot of exposure to programming and a little background on artificial intelligence – let me preface it by saying, it’s been awhile since i’ve “actively” done both and technology has advanced, that said, i’ve been developing a GitHub repository because i believe the expression that says you teach best what you need to learn.

to brush on the basics and truly understand Descriptive Statistics i’m perusing version 2 of the ebook Think Stats: Exploratory Data Analysis by Allen B. Downey. it’s supposedly framed for programmers and better suited for them in learning statistics.

aside from personal growth, my wife (although she’s well versed in machine learning and teaching programming) and her work team are looking at doing some research that may require this. so there’s a greater incentive to study this.

i was at my weekly neurophysio appointment yesterday for first time in 2020. since it was the session of the new year, she asked if i had any goals or specific plans for this year – honestly, nothing came to mind and i hadn’t really thought about it.

she reiterated that my daily exercise routine was meant to improve my stability and balance. and that “putting it together” in a regular walk outside might be beneficial for me. i wouldn’t impose on my wife as she is tired from work and does household chores. although i exercise everyday, the last thing i want to do is go out exercise and do more of it.

so it might be more practical to arrange an NDIS-funded carer to take me for a walk. i sometimes already do this indoors in our “long” hallway at home so you might be perplexed. i’m not very confident walking alone on uneven surfaces. i was given an “assignment” before to walk around our house – case in point, i only tried this once as aside from it was slow going my walker kept getting “stuck”.

she thought walking outside may be beneficial (she was even willing to write the NDIS a letter to support an increased funding for this activity). i did some digging and i think it’s prudent to arrange a “trial” first using my current plan before “committing”to it in full.

since i mainly use a Jupyter notebook for Python coding, i use the print() function a lot to help with “debugging”. Error “detection” has a lot to be desired (that’s one of my only complaints. i lean towards it being used to introduce programming).

here are a “few debugging tips” that would have handy to know in learning how to code in Python:

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/Python/blob/master/DataFrames/Debug.ipynb

barely breathimg

October 5, 2019

i’m currently taking natural supplements daily to help combat my hay-fever (rhinitis to be technical),  It helps a little but I can feel when the pollen count is high (even when the entire house is closed) or even when it’s only moderate if a window’s left open.  It can manifest itself through itchy eyes, constant sneezing, blocked nostrils, or in really sever cases, an inability to breathe.

i noticed today that i exhibited the first two symptoms – which i noticeably have less of.  However, my wife propped a window open as she was cooking – even once i closed it i knew i was too late and the pollen had already gotten in the house because i couldn’t stop rubbing my eyes.  Later, i had a string of sneezes – which i now rarely do.

it was only once we lived in Adelaide that it became obvious – i lived in Melbourne for a year and was unaware of it then – some say it’s because the wind here blows through deserts.  even when i was in the Philippines and Victoria i sneezed consecutively ( my record is 27. if i recall correctly) so i must have had some form of allergy.

you need to understand that for someone with claustrophobia the prospect of not being able to breathe is a really terrifying proposition.  Moreover, sneezing “wildly” for anyone using a rollator, forget steering but trying to maintain upright balance.

it’s  more prominent now since it’s Spring.  It’s “harder” to do my daily speech exercises now as my nose is blocked. it can be quite challenging to produce the correct sounds while also multiplexing breathing with the mouth – co-ordination is not a strength these days!

learning to un-learn

September 30, 2019

my accent (along with my disability) makes it difficult for me to be understood.  My English was influenced by American (as they “imposed” their educational system on us, unlike the Spanish who “chose” us to be “ignorant”) but someone born Sate-side could easily tell i didn’t grow up in America.

we spoke English at home as my parents spoke different dialects – sadly it was their only common language.  i learned Tagolog (comprising most of Filipino) from the “streets” (as this was only a subject in school during my time – the medium of instruction is in English).  Suffice it to say, my vocabulary in Filipino isn’t “great” or “refined”.

Although i was taught the letter “j” in our alphabet, it is pronounced as “h” in our native tongue – so producing a “hard j” is more difficult for me (and is further compounded by my current speech quality).  During my education, “z’ was not part of our alphabet (i think it’s now included) so this is also not an “easy”  sound for me.  Essentially, my condition impairs my ability to produce “active” (that is, with the voice turned on) sounds.  While previously i made “fast progress” through daily practice and sheer will, i need to be more conscious now as i have a tendency to revert to old habits as my speech patterns are already well established {this is not helped by my age).  Case in point, (unlike consonants) there’s an “acceptable” range for vowels which children “easily” mimic and older people struggle with (that’s why it’s easier for you to learn another language ehen your “younger”).

i’ve got such a “bastardised” accent (as my pronunciation of syllables doesn’t “neatly” fall under one language) that i can pose a challenge to my speech pathologist.  =)

“walang masamang tinapay”

September 21, 2019

this is a Filipino expression that roughly translates to:  “no such thing as bad bread”.  It is used to describe individuals that always sees the good in others.  Being pedantic, it applies more towards their attitude.  For me at least, that is an important distinction.  They are not ignoring other’s faults but choose instead to focus on the “good” qualities of the individual.

in my experience, these people are also “nice”.  i’m generally mistrustful but there are just a handful of people you just instantly like (in the absence of rationale or actual dealings with them).  there are just a few “good eggs”. you just automatically know whom (did i use it correctly?) these people are.

while i dislike a few, they are at least true to themselves and are honest.  what i abhor are those that project a “nice” image but when you get to know them more that their motivation(s) for doing “good” deeds are rooted on what others might say, social expectation, or self interest.  they assume, quite wrongly IMHO, that the world revolves around their wants and needs.