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wijagain's profile

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hubskier for: 2836 days

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"Danger Zone, Lana!"

I would add business communications to the diagram for data scientists working in the corporate world. After transitioning from academic stuff to corporate clients, I noticed I needed to spend more and more time crafting my presentation and inquiry skills.

Many times clients don't even know what kind of potential value they may have in their in-house data. They'll then neglect to mention something very valuable, like some data or a difficult problem well suited to data-oriented solutions, because they either consider unimportant or haven't considered it at all. Learning their language allows really opens up to potential of even basic DS/ML techniques.

For general purpose R, I would recommend Hadley's stuff over the in a nutshell book. It's not base R, but I find it easier to write and read R using his conventions: http://r4ds.had.co.nz/

For getting started with python, I would check out "Python for Data Analysis" which is by the Pandas author. Pandas is the python port of data.frame, and I find it extremely useful. After that there a number of ML specific books.

The article is correct in identifying a clear separation between religious Buddhism and therapeutic Buddhism.

I find most Westerners underestimate how very, very similar Buddhism is to other religions in practice, because they assume religious Buddhism resembles the therapeutic Buddhism which is so popular in America.

In reality, religious Buddhism is as varied, ritualistic, and even as anachronistic as Abrahamic religions. (The anachronistic description is my probably wrong perspective on all religions, but it is true that if you consider Judaism outdated, than you should also consider Buddhism outdated as well.) The four noble truths especially are not something most religious Buddhist incorporate into everyday practice -- it's usually more about chanting for death points and other ritualistic things.

wijagain  ·  1089 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: What do you do when you feel stagnant?

In addition to the hundred year goals suggested by Gem, you can break down that goal into 2 years milestones between major changes in the way you live your life. A lot of successful people I know seem to operate at that pace.

For example, something financial (making significantly more salary, exiting a company, building an investment, etc.), personal (physical and mental health goals), or a hobby (write a book, sell some furniture you made), anything.

I get bored really easily, but luckily so does my family. We're on our third country in 8 years. It's definitely not for everyone but we like it. Our medium term (5-10 year) plan is more continent based.

wijagain  ·  1153 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ask Hubski: What are you working on?

If you ever make the move, hit me up.

The good news is Taipei in general and the tech industry here in particular seem to have better English than say 10 years ago. I found a co-working space and almost everyone speaks pretty passable English.

wijagain  ·  1153 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ask Hubski: What are you working on?

In Manila. Are you looking in Taiwan though?

wijagain  ·  1153 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Shake it up. Offer up one somewhat unpopular opinion that you hold.

Your point makes sense in regard to welfare, although to be honest I don't really know anything about it so take my agreement for what it's worth.

I agree school segregation is a self reinforcing loop, because school segregation is both a cause and an effect of income inequality (via geographic segregation). But we could short that circuit if there were the political will to put resources into creating incentives for local governments (it's very expensive), teachers and parents. In the FY2017 Obama budget proposal, there was originally a $120 million grant program for integration, which was eventually reduced by 90% to $12 million. Now Devos might cut that in the name of "school choice" -- a dog whistle for de facto segregation.

On the other hand, if we choose to follow political decisions (in this case, politically motivated legal decisions) like Miliken v Bradley and allow de facto segregation in schools, then we will never be able to have the equality of opportunity that would narrow the income and achievement gaps across races and prevent auto-segregation.

Another thing to consider is why we can't appreciate the inherit incentives of school integration: It appears to do a whole lot of good for a lot of kids. Integration leads to higher achievement in several subjects, especially for black students. Based on the research I've seen, there is little to no effect on white students' performance. I don't know of any other pro-equality public policies that minimizes loses as much as integration does. As for the big picture, the potential knock-on effects of reducing systemic inequality should provide a lot of long-term incentive for white communities to embrace integration. It's not a panacea, but there are a lot of reasons to be (cautiously) optimistic about school integration.

I think one, maybe not the only but at least one, reason we don't think about the inherit incentives of integration is that racism makes supporting integration politically toxic. Both white and black communities were widely opposed to integration in the 70s, and white families fought particularly hard to keep black students out of white schools. After that, white flight kicked in to avoid having to send white kids to predominately black schools.

wijagain  ·  1153 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Ask Hubski: What are you working on?

Brushing up on my Chinese because we recently moved back to Taiwan.

Finding some new brain-stimulating activities for the oldest kiddo and me to do together.

Riding my bike more. I want to bike commute every day (weather permitting) soon, and eventually take some longer rides (50km+). This is part of a more general "getting in shape" project I suppose.

Improving my hiring skills because I need to build a new product team at the office and I've made some bad hires.

Finishing a technical project for work. I actually get to code this one, which is refreshing b/c this job is mostly management.

Contributing to Hubski. I've lurked for a long time.

What about you @thenewgreen ?

wijagain  ·  1155 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Shake it up. Offer up one somewhat unpopular opinion that you hold.

First of all: thank you for posting what may be the only unpopular opinion on this thread. Someone said something interesting!

I think it hasty to draw policy conclusions based on descriptive statistics, there are so many nuances to quantitative sociology that would require further investigation to tease out. In fact, there is probably a limit to how well we can understand family structure and its effects on childhood performance from a quantitative standpoint because it's based on observational instead of experimental conditions.

For example, to what degree are we conflating marriage with some hidden or common causes? Perhaps the kind of people who make good parents are also likely to get and stay married (i.e., the selection effect), as is evidenced by underperforming children in stable step-families. Perhaps the quality of parents matters more than the marriage itself. Also, there is certainly an interaction effect between poverty and single parenthood that researchers are still disentangling.

I would be inclined to think the quality of a marriage overrides it's presence, but the data I've seen just doesn't make it clear either way. Even after admitting there is a lot we don't know about family structure and childhood outcomes, trying to determine the best course of action for an individual family from aggregate data commits the ecological fallacy. We cannot restrict divorce options based on statistical averages -- not only is that bad for the individuals involved but it's not necessarily better for society.

Removing no fault divorce seems like a recipe for disaster to me because it requires proving fault. This will return to us to pre-1970 condition of women being trapped in abusive marriages unable to prove their way out of them. Historically, women were successful in proving drunkenness, failure to provide, and to some degree later on, cruelty. Adultery and abuse, especially emotional abuse, were extremely hard to prove.

To your point about women's earning and job prospects, in fact to this date parental resources drop significantly after a divorce and job prospects for mothers are significantly worse for fathers after a divorce (on average, see my point above about ecological fallacies). One of the major contributing factors to childhood performance gaps in single parent households is the rapid descent into poverty brought on by single motherhood post divorce. If your logic is based on fulfilling a contract for the sake of the children, then a reasonable extension of that logic is that we should have child support (in either direction) in cases were divorce (wether fault or not fault) occurs.

As for the school bussing program, it might be unavoidable for a period of time because it turns out that school desegregation is still a major issue at the heart of many public school problems in the United States. Integration is one of the best ways to improve academic performance, but we never really finished integrating schools (even in states that skipped the whole separate but equal thing) because lots of white/middle class parents (understandably but possibly incorrectly) take a NIMBY approach to integration. This American Life has a great two-part series up on school integration that is worth a listen.

wijagain  ·  1157 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: My Family’s Slave

I was similarly impacted by this article. I lived in Manila for four years, and I saw remnants of this in my household and others.

The Philippines is still feudal in many aspects, including how poor people have no choice but to hitch their welfare to the rich landholders by becoming domestic workers like yayas, drivers, etc. The head of household, usually the matriarch in the Philippines, demands utter loyalty and commitment from them, with long hours and demanding conditions. In turn, the become a second-class member of the family who receives some support in times of need. I've seen whole extended families put through school by one yaya's long term employer. A good friend of mine hired a nurse to care for his childhood nanny, who lives with them along with several other domestic workers.

While I lived in the Philippines, I employed yayas to help care for my children. One in particular we employed for several years and she became like family. It isn't slavery -- she had a contract, regular schedules, wages, etc. -- but it is still an incredibly demanding job. I cannot stress how difficult it must have been for her at time to be away from her own family. On the other hand, we provided her with wealth and stability she just couldn't find anywhere in Manila. It was an imperfect situation that is very hard to understand unless you've lived it or close to it.