Books on probabilistic programming ml

A list of intro-level books for learning a first probabilistic programming language.

Fixing " Check failed: false." errors on NixOS code

Electron apps on NixOS crash at the udev\ check due to a linking error. Here's how to fix it with libudev0-shim.

How to Install Pixelator on NixOS code

Here's how to install Pixelator on NixOS.

How to Look up a URL's PageRank with Ruby + Open PageRank's API code

DomCom’s Open PageRank is a free alternative to Google’s PageRank and includes a public API. Here's how to use it with Ruby.

Black progress short

From 2001 to 2017, the incarceration rate for black men declined by 34 percent.

Tall trees short

Researchers Discover the Tallest Known Tree in the Amazon 88.5 meters, or over 290 feet

As hedge fund grandma used to say short

A truism at the commodities hedge fund I used to work at was the “the Saudis are always lying” along with “never be long a country’s currency if they have their own word for afternoon nap”

Clowns to the left of me, secret police to the right short

We find that low‐achieving officers were stuck within the regime hierarchy, threatened with discharge, and thus more likely to join the secret police for future benefits.

Communists have the best transit short

Subways in Beijing are roughly 55 cents, only about 1/5th the level of NYC.

Diversity riddle short

Between 2013 and 2016, 90% of Oracle’s hires were people of color.

How to make rent in the Bay Area short

I‘m using near infrared as a brain hack, by shining a cheap 850nm LED light on my forehead.

money + fire = VC short

Venture capital (VC) has delivered poor returns for more than a decade.

Mushrooms & civilization short

Psilocybin mushrooms occur in higher concentrations around human settlements than in “wild nature” (still today).

Why shouldn't I have my own water fountain? short

If anything, Thomas believes that the state should—where it can, within the law—support the separation of the races.

Would you hire Elon Musk? short

We find that former founders receive fewer callbacks than non-founders; however, all founders are not disadvantaged similarly. Former founders of successful ventures receive even fewer callbacks than former founders of failed ventures.

–The Effect of Founder Experience on Labor Market Outcomes: A Field Experiment (emphasis mine)

nginx + Rails (puma) on NixOS code

Not too much on the web about how to set this up, so here's an example.

How to: Generate Rails-Compatible html.erb with Hugo code

You can teach Hugo to generate Rails compatible `html.erb`

How to: GPU-Accelerated R/Keras on NixOS (via Docker) code

I spent a weekend trying to get R, Keras, and CUDA to play nice together on NixOS. I suspect this’ll be the task I’m assigned on my first day in Hell.

Top Places to Buy Cheap Houses in USA, 2019 homesteading

Houses in this country can be had for far cheaper than almost anyone realizes.

Rural Areas with Good Internet Speeds (for Streaming, Gaming, Remote Work) homesteading

Ever wonder how remote you can go without sacrificing internet connectivity?

GUIDE: the best place to buy land for homesteading homesteading

There is no clean, “one size fits all” answer to the question, “Where is the best place to buy land for homesteading?

Links for June homesteading

The possession of a cow or two, with a hog, and a few geese, naturally exalts the peasant.

Links for June links

In favour of about one citizen in five hundred, who, by education or practice in scribbling, has acquired a tolerable style as to grammar and construction, so as to bear printing; or who is possessed of a press and a few types.

The Best Self-Sufficiency Blogs homesteading

Here are my favorite self-sufficiency blogs, along with links to content I particularly enjoyed. Note that I continue to expand this list whenever good articles hit my RSS reader. Last updated 06/26.

“The Ask” is an Entrepreneur’s Core Skill book

+ Other Notes on Entrepreneurial Expertise

I’ve been going through the second edition of the Cambridge Handbook of Expertise after reading the first years ago, and was delighted to find the new edition has a chapter on excellence among entrepreneurs.

Some highlights:

Links for May links

Any point of a rhizome can be connected to anything other, and must be.

Where is homeschooling most popular? States by the numbers homesteading

Surprisingly, no one has published homeschooling rates per capita for different states, so I’ve mashed together some census data to figure that out.

Links For December links

File this under “everything you believe about yourself is lie”: “Surveys of the psychological literature suggest that perception of skill is often only moderately or modestly correlated with actual level of performance.

Links For November links

“Several studies have indicated that, for men, regular blood donation results in a massive reduction in heart attack.

Web Roundup: Links for October links

They sift the human storm for souls, eat flesh of reason, fill tombs with sinners.

A 60-Second Exercise That Boosts Goal Achievement By 20% cogsci

The hero of our tale, Jason Padgett. (Content note: this is an example of what I send out to email subscribers.

Web Roundup: Links for September links

Famous last words: “Why are you dodging [bullets] like this?

Analogical Thinking: Concepts as Example Bundles cogsci

Analogy is our best guide in all philosophical investigations; and all discoveries, which were not made by mere accident, have been made by the help of it.

Book Review: A Random Walk Down Wall Street book

_(Note: this review originally appeared on a sister-site I’m building out, Top Financial Advisor, but I’m cross-posting it for readers here, as part of my ongoing book reviews.

Web Roundup: Links For August links

Useful Science is a super cool website, aimed at summarizing instrumentally useful science.

Review and Summary: Advertising Secrets of the Written Word book

I made you a promise. I promised that book reviews were going to become a regular thing around here — you know, in my Born to Run review and summary, where I said: “I plan for this to be the first in a very long tradition of reviewing books, so stay tuned for more.

Spinach, unhealthy? Reflections on one month vegan philosophy

Rewind. It’s August of last year. I’ve just published a post on the reasoning behind certain “strange” beliefs.

Fixing VirtIO Code 39 misc

I’m recording this here in case anyone else is unfortunate enough to encounter this Code 39 message, and so that she can avoid wasting several hours of her life attempting to fix it, by instead Googling it and reading this.

Born to Run: Book Review and Summary book

I’m training for a half-marathon. As someone not terribly athletically gifted, it’s been slow-going.

Web Roundup: Links For July links

3 book recommendations straight from Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos: The Goal, The Innovator’s Solution, and The Effective Executive.

Pareto Principle Examples and History econ

Economics consists of theoretical laws which nobody has verified and of empirical laws which nobody can explain.

Tiger Petting, Not That Dangerous misc

I was not designed to be forced. —Henry David Thoreau, On the Duty of Civil Disobedience

Results From The First Split Test misc

Measuring gives you a leg up on experts who are too good to measure.

Web Roundup: More Links for June links

Let others praise ancient times; I am glad I was born in these.

How the 2013 Boston Marathon Bombings Affected This Year’s Attendance misc

A year ago, I logged a prediction (at 60% confidence) that this year’s Boston Marathon attendance would be lower than the previous year’s as a result of the 2013 bombings.

Why I Like Surprises and You Should Too cogsci

I love surprises. Imagine a man — oh, I’ll just pick a name at random, let’s call him James Randi.

Web Roundup: Links For June links

Regarding MMOs: 23 percent of men play as women, but only 7 percent of women try taking a walk on the hairier side.

Prolonged Eye Contact and Attraction: What The Science Tells Us philosophy

    Belladonna means “beautiful woman” in Italian, but it’s also the name of a type of plant.

100+ Interesting Data Sets for Statistics misc

If we have data, let’s look at data. If all we have are opinions, let’s go with mine.

Surprisingly Dangerous Jobs In America misc

You can’t avoid danger. —Jeannette Walls, Half Broke Horses

Web Roundup: More Links For May links

Curiosity is only vanity. Most frequently we wish to know but to talk.

The Unreasonable Effectiveness of Checklists philosophy

Dr. Peter Provonost had a problem. People were dying and — to borrow a line from Fight Club — not in the Sylvia Plath, Tibetan Buddhist, we’re-all-dying-so-get-used-to-it sense of the word.

Web Roundup: Links for May links

Expensive wine doesn’t taste better: “In a sample of more than 6,000 blind tastings, we find that the correlation between price and overall rating is small and negative, suggesting that individuals on average enjoy more expensive wines slightly less.

Why Category Theory Matters math

I hope most mathematicians continue to fear and despise category theory, so I can continue to maintain a certain advantage over them.

What I’m Watching misc

From most recommended to least (roughly): The movie Manufacturing Consent details Noam Chomsky’s criticism of the media, covering Indonesia’s invasion of East Timor and media bias generally.

Hard Books Are Overrated book

Hot air balloons take people on adventures. Books do, too.

Web Roundup: More Links For April links

Andrew Drucker has a paper where he mentally multiplies ten-digit numbers by exploiting human image recognition.

Math Jokes excerpt

The AMS has a 2005 paper “Foolproof: A Sampling of Mathematical Folk Humor” which is — delightfully — filled with math jokes.

Hal Abelson on Math for Programmers excerpt

Seibel: So that explains why the book is the way it is.

It Probably Won A Prize excerpt

Architect Sam Sloan coordinated a project in which employees … were able to select their own office furniture and plan office layout … Since both the Seattle and Los Angeles branches of the FAA were scheduled to move into new buildings at about the same time, the client for the project, the General Services Administration, agreed with architect Sloan’s proposal to involve employees in the design process in Seattle, while leaving the Los Angeles office as a control condition where traditional methods of space planning would be followed.

Why Dogs Bark At Night excerpt

A reformed thief, telling of his success, put it this way, “I’m telling you, if I had a hundred dollars for every time I heard a dog owner tell their dog to ‘shut up and go lie down’ while I was right outside their window, I’d be a millionaire.

Response to BasicBookReader misc

How can e-readers be improved? This is a response to Austin G.

Too Smart To Understand misc

Here is a meme I would very much like to see die forever.

What Is The Purpose of Science? Algorithm Discovery compsci

Consider the trial of Amanda Knox. What’s the purpose of the legal process here?

Proofs In Math: What’s The Point? math

Tyler Cowen pointed me to an article on automated theorem proving.

Herbert Simon’s Ant cogsci

Here’s a metaphor that comes to me by way of Nobel laureate and Turing award recipient Herbert Simon.

Zach Weinersmith On The Importance Of Reading Books excerpt

Zach Weinersmith writes Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal, my current favorite webcomic.

Web Roundup: Links for April links

A sociology-style deconstruction of the pick-up community. Nearly twice as many black men than black women are looking for a long-term relationship, or so they report.

Anki Tips: What I Learned Making 10,000 Flashcards misc

If you don’t know what Anki or spaced repetition is, start by reading gwern’s excellent introduction.

Creativity, Fan Fiction, and Compression cogsci

I’ve written before about the relationship between creativity and compressibility.

You Could Have Discovered Quantum Mechanics excerpt

Quantum mechanics is what you would inevitably come up with if you started from probability theory, and then said, let’s try to generalize it so that the numbers we used to call “probabilities” can be negative numbers.

The Creative Process Demystified cogsci

Jack Kerouac is a liar. Okay, let me rewind. I don’t know how much experience you’ve had with creative writing types — pale, imaginative creatures — but let me tell you how they talk about Jack Kerouac.

Web Roundup: More Links for March links

To score drugs, try a support group for addicts.

Creativity, Literature, and Compression cogsci

But first, a joke: I was at a bar last weekend, chatting with this woman.

Mike Tyson and Steroids science

This is a picture of Mike Tyson at age 13.

The Stable Marriage Problem Explained math

You are out in a thunderstorm. You look up, at the rolling thunderheads painting the sky, and wonder, “Why am I here?

What Are Quantum Computers Used For? compsci

The literal answer to the question, “What are quantum computers used for?

Who initiates divorce the most? Men or women? sex

Pop quiz. Who initiates divorces and break-ups? Men or women?

Red Pill Rhetoric: Swallowing the Red Pill Isn’t misc

You take the blue pill, the story ends. You wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe.

Fox News Versus MSNBC: Who’s More Opinionated? misc

Listening to the internet, you’d think that Fox News is some sort of liberal boogeyman — the lowest of the low that is modern journalism.

What affects your personal identity? You’re a sponge. philosophy

That thing is the most badass of all sea slugs, the nudibranch.

Hindsight Bias In The Media: Talking While Driving science

What’s more dangerous: texting and driving or talking on a headset and driving?

Software For Writers: Tools To Improve Your Writing misc

There are two types of writer — the snobs and the engineers.

Why Do We Think The Way We Do? cogsci

I sometimes experience a sort of mental disconnect — a sense of knowing what I’m going to think before I bother to think it.

Links for March links

A review of linear algebra, with pictures instead of matrix computation — which, if the Lord God had possessed a bit more foresight, would have been banned in Leviticus instead of shrimp.

The Boy Girl Paradox Explained math

Probability theory is notorious for violating human intuition. Consider the Boy Girl Paradox:

People All Think The Same cogsci

On May 7th of 1997, Garry Kasparov — the second strongest chess player of all time — was hunched over a chess board.

The Secretary Problem Explained: Dating Mathematically philosophy

I was, to put it mildly, something of a mess after my last relationship imploded.

Worldbuilding, Worldbuilders, and Mathematics econ

This week, I was introduced to the hobby of worldbuilding — inventing imaginary places, making maps, elaborating histories.

Does the internet lie? (Hint: Yes.) misc

Yesterday, I saw someone spin this very plausible theory about why it’s so repellent when someone brags about their IQ on the internet.

Statistician on a Plane Joke excerpt

Speaking of probability and statistics, there is the story of a statistician who told a friend that he never took airplanes: “I have computed the probability that there will be a bomb on the plane,” he explained, “and although this probability is low, it is still too high for my comfort.

Overcoming Writer’s Block: Narrow To Generate Ideas misc

Heuristic: Focus on concrete categories when generating ideas.

Online Community Building: Why Communities Decay misc

The first day of September 1993 was the beginning of an eternal September, a calendar month whose days stretched to infinity.

What Savant Memory Says About The Limits of Memory cogsci

Scientific American has published an article on savantism, which rattled a few ideas loose in my head.

Effective Study Skills for College Students: “Why?” Questions cogsci

Consider two sentences: The llama was made out of watermelon flavored cactus.

Why Psychology Is Not A Science science

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd.

Developing Good Research Skills: Compressing Knowledge science

I wrote a couple of days ago about how we can think of humans as agents who take in information from the environment, compress that information, and then store it in long term memory.

Love Is Not A Choice And Other Tools For Thinking philosophy

I’m not much of a romantic. If I wanted to hack romance I’d start with going through all the literature on the mate preferences of chimpanzees, bonobos, and great apes generally.

What Makes Something Interesting? cogsci

Francis Galton, cousin of Charles Darwin and maybe best known for his work on intelligence, was a bit obsessed with the idea that people have certain innate traits.

The Science of Problem Solving cogsci

Mathematics is like the One Ring in the Lord of the Rings.

More Links For February links

Users with many Facebook friends are less likely to post about politics and gay rights.

The Ultimate Guide to Simulated Annealing compsci

  Imagine that you’re approached by the Greek goddess of discord, Eris and, given that Eris is a cruel goddess, she places you into the mathematical space above.

Where are the women in the IT industry? sex

It has become fashionable as of late for media outlets like Gawker and others to attack Silicon Valley, math, computer science, and the hard sciences generally for being unfriendly to women.

The Science of Habit philosophy

The truth is that everyone is bored, and devotes himself to cultivating habits.

Links For February links

What’s the most bullshit-sounding-but-true fact you know? My personal favorite: “There used to be a flying reptile that was as tall as a giraffe.

4chan Is What Free Speech On The Internet Looks Like misc

Meditation: If there are true things that no one is allowed to say, how will you know them?

Why Replication Is Important philosophy

Every bit of evidence one can acquire, in any area, leads one that much closer to what is true.

Does race exist? misc

No one in her left brain could reject reductionism.

Polya Urn Model Dissolves The Gender War sex

Now listen, you queer, you stop calling me a crypto-Nazi or I’ll sock you in the goddamn face and you’ll stay plastered.

Expert Memory: What Can Memory Experts Teach Us? cogsci

That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.

Future Generations Are Your Legacy, All Of Them philosophy

I have heard tell of a time in a man’s life where he begins to worry less about his own dreams and invests more in living through his children.

When Is It OK To Break The Rules? philosophy

I propose a new way of thinking about rules. Not as something that distinguishes between what one is allowed and not allowed to do, but rather as a penalty that certain actions carry.

Could OSX’s Spotlight Suck More? Doubt It misc

There was a post about a week ago about how new computer science students don’t get the Unix philosophy and the power (and great responsibility) of the command line.

Thoughts On The Police Body Cameras Privacy Debate philosophy

There’s a link on Reddit to the sort of story that the internet can’t get enough of: police abuse.

An Interesting Academic Field misc

I’m troubled by not only how much I don’t know, which is legion, but how much that I don’t know that I don’t know.

Bill Thurston on Reading Hard Things excerpt

I was really amazed by my first encounters with serious mathematics textbooks.

What Is Wisdom? philosophy

There’s an art to knowing when; Never try to guess.

Two Cultures of Number Theorists excerpt

There is a famous distinction in prime number theory between the number theorists who like to multiply primes, and the number theorists who like to add primes.

Feynman on Reading Difficult Things excerpt

Well, I asked him, “How can I read it? It’s so hard.

Scott Aaronson on Mathematics excerpt

From Luke’s recent interview of Scott Aaronson (theoretical compsci guy at MIT, who blogs here):

Deciphering Core Human Values In A Society of Mind cogsci

Know thyself? If I knew myself I would run away.

The Life Satisfaction of Economists econ

Tyler Cowen has written a post on a paper about the life satisfaction of economists.

World War II: Not a Moral Triumph philosophy

I’ve started reading through some of the works of Mencius Moldbug.

The Terrible Future Isn’t: Drone Delivery Edition econ

Last night, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos appeared on 60 Minutes and spoke about the possibility of using drones to deliver small packages (“drone delivery“).

Criticism of Economics econ

I don’t have the requisite expertise to lay out compelling criticism of economics as a whole, and I suspect such an endeavor would be profitless (heh).

“Not A Real Christian” Is Real Rhetoric philosophy

Perhaps Sarah Palin will actually read about what that Jesus guy kept talking about and her head will explode.

Unreasonable Doubt: Legal Certainty is Impossible philosophy

The line about “what if he’s guilty?” made me almost throw my laptop across the room.

Fecund Universe and The Blind Universemaker philosophy

Imagine that there are many universes, not just the one we live in, and that they can reproduce; that one universe can have many children.

An Argument Against An Agument Against Nihilism philosophy

Skepticism, while logically impeccable, is psychologically impossible, and there is an element of frivolous insincerity in any philosophy which pretends to accept it.

Categories for the Working Philosopher book

Elaine Landry is working on putting together a book, Categories for the Working Philosopher.

Epsilon-Delta Proof Intuition math

There’s a nice question on MathOverflow about the mental experience of mathematics.

What’s deadlier: HIV or Smallpox? misc

The annals of history are strewn with smallpox-infested corpses. The idealist thinks, “Ah, the past.

Feynman on the Supernatural excerpt

The nurse recorded the time of death, 9:21 P.M. He discovered, oddly, that the clock had halted at that moment —just the sort of mystical phenomenon that appealed to unscientific people.

Bad at math? Have you tried steroids? math

Men with lower T performed better than other groups on measures of spatial/mathematical ability, tasks at which men normally excel.

Sir John Harington on Treason excerpt

I thought about titling this as “Sir John Harington on Selection Effects,” but treason seemed more compelling.

How To Get Started With Anything philosophy

A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked.

Reading Math: Tips and Heuristics math

Reading math is tough. So tough that even Fields Medal winner Bill Thurston wrote about his near-constant confusion.

Thurston on Confusion excerpt

Mathematics is a process of staring hard enough with enough perseverance at at the fog of muddle and confusion to eventually break through to improved clarity.

Being a Good Person Does Not Depend On Perfection philosophy

The difficulty lies, not in the new ideas, but in escaping from the old ones, which ramify, for those brought up as most of us have been, into every corner of our minds.

Is belief a choice? philosophy

‘Snow is white’ is true if and only if snow is white.

No, I Love You More excerpt

Kaprio, Koskenvuo, and Rita (1987) noted that in the week following the death of a spouse, suicide rates are elevated almost tenfold for women, and almost seventyfold for men.

Depressed? Try Plastic Surgery philosophy

Ohlsen, Ponten, and Hamburt (1978) noted that twenty-five of seventy-one women in their study were receiving psychiatric treatment prior to a breast augmentation procedure, whereas only three continued to do so after the operation.

Let Them Eat Lobster excerpt

Prior to [the mid-19th century], lobster was considered a mark of poverty or as a food for indentured servants or lower members of society in Maine, Massachusetts, and the Canadian Maritimes, and servants specified in employment agreements that they would not eat lobster more than twice per week.

Is veganism for women? sex

I recently tried my hand at making this bean-based, vegan taco filling (recommended), and noticed something curious while reading the recipe’s comments:

Are introverts ever happier than extroverts? sex

Here’s one actual perk of being a wallflower: Although extraverts are generally happier than introverts, Kette (1991) found that extraverted prisoners were less happy than introverted prisoners.

Great Math Quotes math

I don’t collect many things, who needs that junk? But I do have a collection of great math quotes that I’d like to share with you.

Omar on Reading philosophy

Either the books contain what is in the Koran, in which case we don’t have to read them, or they contain the opposite of what is in the Koran, in which case we must not read them.

Relationship Between Incompleteness and The Halting Problem compsci

Yesterday, while googling around for information on hyperoperations, I came across Scott Aaronson’s essay, “Who can name the bigger number?

The Stark Beauty of the Glazed Donut misc

The glazed donut is the noblest of all donuts. It’s not a loud, flashy donut.

Women Friends are Better Friends sex

The Justice Department now seems to be saying that prison rape accounted for the majority of all rapes committed in the US in 2008, likely making the United States the first country in the history of the world to count more rapes for men than for women.

Math Art: Picasso as a Mathematician math

Math art. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms.

Why Some Weird Beliefs Aren’t philosophy

People hold a lot of weird beliefs, but these weird things seem a whole lot less weird once you understand the reasoning behind them.

Book Summary: The Pursuit of Happiness book

This is a review and summary of David Myers’s The Pursuit of Happiness.

Book Summary: The Psychology of Happiness book

The Psychology of Happiness.” width=“199” height=“300” srcset=“ 199w, 200w” sizes=“(max-width: 199px) 100vw, 199px” />This is my The Psychology of Happiness summary.

Book Summary: Happiness: Lessons from a New Science book

Happiness: Lessons From a New Science.” width=“195” height=“300” srcset=“ 195w, https://rs.

How To Spot Important Problems In The World Today philosophy

If you do not work on an important problem, it’s unlikely you’ll do important work.

Predictions for 2014 misc

The One Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge goes unclaimed. The price of an ounce of marijuana in Colorado drops to under 150, half of what it’s going for today.

I Hate My Phone misc

I read an interesting interview with Matias Duarte, Android’s head of user experience, this morning.

Why You Should Start Blogging (Again) misc

I have this theory: inside of every person there is a blogger trying to get out.

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