i’ve always been “terminally trivial”. as i am a keen reader (i consume less books now given my vision impairment) and watch a heap of TV/movies (i no longer watch those exclusively with subtitles as the captions are too fast for me to read), the accumulation of factoids can be said to be “eclectic”. sadly, this hasn’t translated to any pub quiz wins and any major prizes in HQ Trivia.

with the advent of Google (and similar technologies) , this predilection for facts seems passé. the ubiquity of search engines and voice assistants like SIRI have resulted in “information at the fingertips” for some. this “JIT” (Just In Time} approach has transformed our relationship with facts – it’s, after all, when (and no longer if) we need it. it’s psychologically more efficient and practical to store information external to your person rather than in your mind (as evidenced by our “over”reliance on our phones). the onus has shifted from the right answers to the right questions. i’ve always believed questions were important but more so now – Jeopardy! was only “tangentially” right.

i asked a former knowledgeable teacher and very smart friend why digital technologies used the Red Green Blue (RGB) palette when i was taught early on that the primary colours were Red Yellow, and Blue – so i was thinking shouldn’t it be RYB instead. i was told that RGB had always been the standard spectrum. i was placated for a while by their answers but it was always in the back of my mind.

one day i was just compelled to do a web search. apparently, RGB are the base additive colours: That is they are “active” and can be combined to form various hues and shades (through the use of such things as lasers). primary colours uses paint and paper to make other colours and are more “passive” – if that makes sense.

it’s no longer just about memorising facts in the digital age as it is, also IMHO, about having the intellectual curiosity to ask “interesting” questions. From now on, i’ll also share the results of my “research” on this blog.

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

 

ex libris

September 16, 2019

i like books. Even after my ABI i still read (although it’s much trickier now).  i bring it up because it’s the primary way i learn.

Some people would like me to go straight to coding but reading stuff and paraphrasing it is, i’ve found, an “effective” learning process for me – i tend to understand things “better”.

Here’s the updated GitHub reposisitory with the “basic” Python library overview: https://github.com/LinsAbadia/Python 

I originally thought of doing both a presentation and blog post but due to time pressures opted for the latter. Here’s a concise version of what I ended up doing…

I’ve used a “structured” approach to impart more formality but being a blog post I decided to make it more “medium-friendly”.  =)

A.  Introduction

A.1 Description and Background

Since New York city had over 60 million visitors last year alone, it may be useful to recommend hotels based on their physical proximity to major attractions (such as Central Park – not Central Perk of Friends fame) or what I called Places of Interest (or POI for short)using the Haversine formula – it’s a technical way of measuring distance between points using Latitude & Longitude (I won’ bore you with the details as it uses a lot of Trigonometric functions).   Essentially, it was envisioned to help plan your trip to the Big Apple.

A.2 Data

It used “free” data to determine which hotels are in which neighbourhoods and in which boroughs (so I used an API called FourSquare to get some of the place information).  Unsurprisingly, the major hotels were clustered in and most POI were located in Manhattan.

B. Methodology

I used clustering to segment my data (thankfully, the hard bits are already implemented). Freakishly, the cluster of neighbourhoods corresponded to the NYC boroughs (you know somebody worked it out).  This was confirmed visually (after all, seeing is believing) by something called a Folium map (see below).

This is one of the “cool” tools available at your disposal.  This is not, in and of itself, conclusive proof but you can “go down a deep rabbit hole” of data to assert your claim.  This is, by no means, the only “weapon” available to you but it sure is pretty.

C. Results

Unremarkably, the data merely confirmed what we’ve always known:  hotels are near one another and sites are chosen for their proximity to popular landmarks and sought after amenities – it’s so obvious, duh.

D. Discussion

It’s not always about generating new insights.  It’s sometimes about “empirical”  confirmation of things we just take for granted as true.

E. Conclusion

I can talk until I’m blue in the face but you’ll probably pay me no mind and tune out (if you haven’t already). In short you can use Data Science (and its associated tools) can be powerful in uncovering secrets.

If you’d like to read a more detailed and “serious” document, the full  report can be dowloaded at

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/corsera/blob/master/ADSC_Report.pdf

If code is more your thing, a Jupyter notebook in Python can be obtained from:

https://github.com/LinsAbadia/corsera/blob/master/ADSC_Finalv7.ipynb

If you’re generally more interested in GitHub (and open source computing), you can go to the following address:

https://github.com/

This has mainly been about content but, in my experience, context can be just as, if not more, important – that’s how you should think about Data Science!

(bridge the ) Gap Year

October 22, 2018

i first heard the term ‘gap year’ when I migrated to Australia. It’s supposed to be a respite after Year 12 before college (or as they call it here: university).  A year of ‘rest’ from school is a luxury and culturally antithetical from an Asian, developing economy such as the Philippines.  I do believe that this is beneficial to one’s mindset but maybe this is a result of how formal education is currently structured – maybe having social justice integrated with the curricula is more effective.

Bridge The Gap is essentially a movement to help address the inequalities that exist in Australian society:  it seeks to make Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander’s outcomes similar to that of the Caucasian population as the disparities are obvious.  Regardless of how you feel about the issue, a more general philosophy of empathy for societal challenges may shift our definitions for success and progress.  There is one I found with some aspects sort of the same but what I’m proposing is non-prescriptive and ‘decontesualised’ making it more applicable to most countries and subject to what’s realistic for the individual.

The idea still needs to be threshed out (and the subject of some blog posts) but I think it’s an idea worth exploring further.

2 princes

June 6, 2018

sorry. i was MIA but I had a few personal issues to contend with. I’m sort of back.  That said, my posts will be “irregular” over the next few months.  I need to reserve most of my time and effort for my other blog for my studies.  You may wonder why I maintain two.  It’s because most of the ideas there are not yet ready-for-prime-time and aren’t up-to-snuff  yet to be shared.

It’s partly a quality kick but mainly because you can’t serve two masters well.

sing

November 6, 2017

 

last week a choir performed this song.  I haven’t heard it in awhile being in OZ but it’s one of my favourite hymns. It made sense that they sung the English version so that most people could understand.

Strangely, the original is by St. Ignatius of Loyola and for some reason my personality clashes with the Jesuits.  The point is (regardless of spirituality), we should always aspire to be more selfless.  I don’t claim to be so inclined but the reminder to be generous is always welcome.

The English lyrics can be found below but I find the Tagalog version more beautiful and expressive.  There are many versions (most of which you can find on YouTube)  but I still prefer the one by the Bukas-Loob Ministry.

To paraphrase St. Augustine:  “Those who sing pray twice.”  A certain person inadvertently was mistaken  when he claimed to originate the saying (having received an Augustinian education I’m reasonably certain).  I’ve grown to be an admirer, who doesn’t like a good redemption story (I think that requires a seperate blog entry).

I may no longer have the ability to do it outwardly but in my mind, I still sing.

PRAYER FOR GENEROSITY (with English lyrics)

Dearest Lord, teach me to be generous
Teach me to serve You as I should
To give and not to count the cost
To fight and not to heed the wounds
To toil and not to seek for rest
To labor and ask not for reward
Save that of knowing that I do Your most holy will

 

PANALANGIN SA PAGIGING (PRAYER FOR GENEROSITY in Tagalog)

Panginoon, turuan Mo akong maging bukas palad
Turuan Mo akong maglingkod sa Iyo
Na magbigay ng ayon sa nararapat
Na walang hinihintay mula sa Iyo

Na makibakang ‘di inaalintana
Mga hirap na dinaranas
Sa tuwina’y magsumikap na hindi humahanap
Ng kapalit na kaginhawahan
Na ‘di naghihintay kundi ang aking mabatid
Na ang loob Mo’y siyang sinusundan

Panginoon, turuan Mo akong maging bukas palad
Turuan Mo akong maglingkod sa Iyo
Na magbigay ng ayon sa nararapat
Na walang hinihintay mula sa Iyo