Monthly Archives: October 2016

Weekly Reading Roundup – 10/28/16

AT&T’s Merger Could be a Bad Sign for the Economy – FiveThirtyEight: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/atts-merger-could-be-a-bad-sign-for-the-economy/

Someone is Learning How to Take Down the Internet – Schneier on Security: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2016/09/someone_is_lear.html

Surface Studio, Nintendo Switch, and the Potential of the Niche – Stratechery: https://stratechery.com/2016/surface-studio-nintendo-switch-and-the-potential-of-niche/

How Successful People Work Less and Get More Done – Quartz: http://qz.com/386166/how-successful-people-work-less-and-get-more-done/

The Biggest Money Mistakes We Make Decade by Decade – The Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/the-biggest-money-mistakes-we-makedecade-by-decade-1477275181

How to Get Rich – Jared Diamond: https://www.edge.org/conversation/jared_diamond-how-to-get-rich

Absence of Truth

Today, liars and deceivers are everywhere. I’ve seen them in almost every facet of my life. Those who lie to sell something, those who lie on their resume, those who lie to convince you of something. I refuse to lie on most occasions though I have lied before and I am not against the white lie, but I refuse to lie on my resume, lie to convince someone of something (non-white lie to protect them), or lie to sell.

Deception is also rampant. In many ways we can blame media for this, as all of our TV shows involves someone lying or deceiving someone as the plot twist. It’s annoying and frustrating when it is replicated and the lie is perpetuated.

This post isn’t supposed to be a political one, but I will use a "political figure" (used this term very loosely here) as my primary example of a liar. Donald Trump is currently our media’s biggest headline, and he is a liar on nearly all fronts. During the 2016 Presidential Debates, he would constantly shout "False!" or "Lie" or "Wrong" when a statement was made against him, but the statement was more often than not, in fact, true. It goes to say that there is little to no accountability in what people do or say, when a claim can be refuted without consequence. There was no one to say: "No, you’re wrong" on his outbursts so viewers are left with weighing the truth of the speaker vs the truth of the denier. Fox News is constantly using this tactic to promote it’s agenda, as are all the other media outlets.

Without accountability, the whole system collapses.

We are living in an age where accountability is being thrown straight out the window. Where history is made by the last one speaking. We cannot allow ourselves to fall down this path where we can say whatever we want and get away with it. We need some type of immediate fact check and system to ensure that when someone is wrong or lying they are held accountable for it, immediately.

I don’t believe that a "test" would work. I know people who lied on their resumes and were given a test only to get the job in the end. A test adds friction to the system and I propose a system without friction. Perhaps a bar at the bottom of a news screen to show the percentage of chance that a given statement is true or not. Perhaps Amazon Echo or Alexa or whatever AI system is used in the home will refute a lie for us. The way our system is evolving is full of lies and waste, distractions and deceptions. I believe we need to move away from it ourselves, and shame those who use such tactics to gain advantage.

Weekly Reading Roundup – 10/21/16

Echo, Interfaces, and Friction – Benedict Evans: http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2016/10/10/echo-interfaces-and-friction (Personal note, this seems a lot like a Stratechery post I added last week)

European Machine Learning Landscape – Medium: Libby Kinsey: https://medium.com/project-juno/european-machine-intelligence-landscape-43a22b44e961#.wpj6pw1z0

The Open Guide to Amazon Web Services – https://github.com/open-guides/og-aws?imm_mid=0e9900&cmp=em-data-na-na-newsltr_20161019#tools-and-services-market-landscape

Personal Flow and Plan Carving as Water – pt 3

As we flow down our metaphorical river of life to reach the metaphorical ocean that is our goal/plan, it is our combination of luck and sheer will that determines what the result is. It’s important that we adjust our plans frequently and with new information, re-directing our efforts from one part of our personal operations to another that deserves or requires the attention. Thinking big picture is a must, and re-iterating what works is a must.

But when the tough gets-going and the going gets-tough, know when to put your foot down and change direction. You could think of it as adding onto the plan by having fall-back options or adding a way to mitigate risk. You could think of it as Plan B. No, you’re not exactly changing the ocean (goal/plan); this is important since you knew from the start that there was no ocean: there was only your idea of what the ocean would be. It’s a moving target where everything is constantly moving.

But remember this: you steer the boat. If it’s not going well, change direction. It’s the only way out. The hard part is knowing when to change, and knowing how to change.

Knowing when to change:
The most obvious opportunity comes when facing resistance. After identifying resistance (usually symptoms include problems continuing without an obvious source of the problem) it’s important to shift gears and change the resistance to an opportunity. For example, you feel like your work (project, job, etc.) is constantly facing new problems–not evoloving problems, problems that occur through a continuance of the work/project)–such as an error here, or questions about something there, or a break in something. These problems continue to pile up and eventually you’re a firefighter, doing what you can to put out the fires that are enflaming. Rather than doing that, I suggest a shift in gear–act like water and evolve the work/job/project. Use that resistance as a force to push you away, and push you forward. It is that resistance that is your motivation to improve or shift. You can’t solve every problem and you certainly don’t want to continue doing that.

Knowing how to change:
This is perhaps the more difficult step. Knowing how to change, you’d need to re-evaluate your current status. On the path that is your river to the ocean, you need to take a high level view of your position and re-evaluate where the future goes. This new future (or the same future you had in mind) should look slightly different because you now have something extra: the experience of knowing. You’ve experienced what you’ve experienced (you’ve already traveled along the river), and you can’t take that away. But guide yourself to the new future, and be like water: move through the cracks and get to the objective. It’ll make you stronger and harder, you’ll move quicker. Re-evaluate.

Weekly Reading Roundup – 10/14/16

Echo, interfaces and friction – Benedict Evans: http://ben-evans.com/benedictevans/2016/10/10/echo-interfaces-and-friction

Weird binary system spotted with three rings around two stars – New Scientist: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2108741-weird-binary-system-spotted-with-three-rings-around-two-stars/

What Can People Do Better Than Machines: The View From 1951 – Clive Thompson: http://clivethompson.net/2016/10/06/what-can-people-do-better-than-machines-the-view-from-1951/

Open For Who? – Jer Thorp: https://medium.com/memo-random/open-for-who-ce698a8de79c#.3hnuemekc

The Commoditization of Machine Learning – Niraj Pant: http://blog.niraj.io/the-commoditization-of-machine-learning

Chat and the Consumerization of It – Stratechery: https://stratechery.com/2016/chat-and-the-consumerization-of-it/

Reflections Post MBA

It’s taken me 6 years to get to where I am now. That’s not 6 years of planning, no, it’s 6 years. 6 years since I graduated with an MBA from the Mannheim Business School. 6 years since graduating, that I finally hit the salary I expected before starting, and 6 years since graduating that I finally can make strides towards what I went in for.

It’s been over 4 years since returning to San Francisco, after leaving Germany and struggling to survive with extended family outside of Philadelphia. 4 years since setting a new plan for myself. 4 years of fighting to make a place for myself, and 4 years of breaking things (myself included) to be able to achieve a single goal. And 4 years of attempting to escape from paralyzing debt, to the point where I am finally starting to save a couple of dollars.

If you break down these goals, I really haven’t even achieved what I wanted yet. 6 years ago I wanted to be a consultant, 4 years ago an investment banker, and now I finally have the chance to break into these roles. It’s crazy to me that it took so long. I really haven’t had too many breaks along this journey and I don’t think I have so many more.

To get here, I really had to make meticulous plans and budgets. I had to evaluate and constantly re-evaluate my status and personal well-being. I started a second Master’s degree (in data science). I studied my ass off on a variety of subjects (CFA, CMA, various coding languages), spent a lot of money (Investment Banking classes, programming classes, paying off debt), and chased a variety of rabbit holes (side consulting, side projects, einzigly) with various success/failure in an attempt to create some luck for myself.

After reading my sister’s latest blog post: "Author’s Notes" (http://jasminemartin.space/explorationofself/authorsnotes), I see some aspects of my own journey that she is facing herself. I want to reach out to her but I remember where I was then and where I am now. It’s up to her to find her own journey and no matter what I say it’ll always be her decisions that move her forward.

It took 6 years to get the first chance. I’m thankful for all those who helped, and I cannot say I have much regret about the decisions I made. I broke some eggs, but I’ve always tried to make the best decisions with all of the information I had at the time. 6 years is a long time to get where I wanted to go, and I haven’t even gotten there yet. I still have debt (car loan, tuition, credit cards), but I am going to continue to try to make the best decisions I can with the information I have available to me; luck must be created. 4 years of pushing to earn, and I see the light. It’s another 4 years away.

Weekly Reading Roundup – 10/07/16

Ever Wonder How Spotify Discover Weekly Works? Data Science – Galvanize: http://www.galvanize.com/blog/spotify-discover-weekly-data-science

Space Ex’s Big Fu*king Robot: The Full Story – Wait But Why: http://waitbutwhy.com/2016/09/spacexs-big-fking-rocket-the-full-story.html

America’s Monopoly Problem: Big Business Is Killing Innovation in the U.S. – The Atlantic: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/10/americas-monopoly-problem/497549/

The Art is Not Making Money, But Keeping It – Tony Isola: http://tonyisola.com/2016/10/the-art-is-not-in-making-money-but-in-keeping-it/

What is Hardcore Data Science? – O’Reilly: https://www.oreilly.com/ideas/what-is-hardcore-data-science-in-practice

Why You Need a Data Scientist on Your Team – Galvanize: http://www.galvanize.com/blog/why-you-need-a-data-scientist-on-your-team/

7 Signs That You’re NOT a Thought Leader – Marketing Craftsmanship: https://marketingcraftsmanship.com/2016/09/12/7-signs-that-youre-not-a-thought-leader/

Death is a Five Letter Word – Jasmine Martin: http://jasminemartin.space/explorationofself/grandmartin

Google and the Limits of Strategy – Stratechery: https://stratechery.com/2016/google-and-the-limits-of-strategy/

Weekly Reading Roundup – 9/30/16

End of September reading material — disclaimer: some of these articles will be older, I’ve been clearing out my reading list this week (also, apologies for re-posting articles from 2 weeks ago if I did):

Freakanomics Radio = The Future Probably Isn’t as Scary as You Think: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/future-probably-isnt-scary-think/

Technology Review: Who Will Own the Robots: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/538401/who-will-own-the-robots/

Financial Times – Yuval Noah Harari on Big Data, Google, and the End of Free Will: http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/50bb4830-6a4c-11e6-ae5b-a7cc5dd5a28c.html?siteedition=intl

yhat blog – What We Learned Analyzing Hundreds of Data Science Interviews: http://blog.yhat.com/posts/data-science-interviews.html

The Guardian – How Algorithms Rule our Working Lives: https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/sep/01/how-algorithms-rule-our-working-lives

FiveThreeNine – Why It’s So Hard to Find the Next Earth Even if You’re Looking Right At It: http://fivethirtyeight.com/features/why-its-so-hard-to-find-the-next-earth-even-if-youre-looking-right-at-it/

Continuations – Labor Day: From the Job Loop to the Knowledge Loop (via Universal Basic Income): http://continuations.com/post/149980165245/labor-day-from-the-job-loop-to-the-knowledge-loop

College Humor – 12 Dumb Pie Charts That Are Pure Perfection: http://www.collegehumor.com/post/7040353/12-dumb-pie-charts-that-are-pure-perfection

Stratechery – Snapchat Spectacles and the Future of Wearables: https://stratechery.com/2016/snapchat-spectacles-and-the-future-of-wearables/