Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 65)

A Course in Machine Learning

Machine learning is the study of algorithms that learn from data and experience. It is applied in a vast variety of application areas, from medicine to advertising, from military to pedestrian. Any area in which you need to make sense of data is a potential consumer of machine learning.

CIML is a set of introductory materials that covers most major aspects of modern machine learning (supervised learning, unsupervised learning, large margin methods, probabilistic modeling, learning theory, etc.). It's focus is on broad applications with a rigorous backbone. A subset can be used for an undergraduate course; a graduate course could probably cover the entire material and then some.

The Secrets of D.B. Cooper, Part Three - Criminal Profile

For whatever reason, hundreds of people are convinced they know who D.B. Cooper was—or themselves admitted to being the most recognized hijacker in the world. Maybe it’s the extraordinary circumstantial evidence. Maybe it’s the desperate need for an answer. Maybe it’s a secret wish to make a difference in the world. But sometimes, no matter how hard we wish, no matter how hard we believe, we just can’t make something true. Today, the FBI has DNA from Cooper’s J.C. Penney clip-on tie that he left on the jet and partial fingerprints from the cocktail glasses he drank from while in flight. They can now quickly confirm or eliminate suspects.

The Secrets of D.B. Cooper, Part One - Notorious Flight 305

Would you jump into a mountain forest for $1,052,000? In the dark? In the rain? In November?

In 1971, one man did. Unfortunately, the cash was stolen and the aircraft was hijacked Boeing 727 with fighter jets and FBI agents in a helicopter following it.

Was he an experienced skydiver or an ordinary criminal attempting an extraordinary theft? Did he survive and escape, or perish in a forest in Washington State? Decades later, no one knows for sure.

Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful

A mental model is just a concept you can use to help try to explain things (e.g. Hanlon’s Razor?—?“never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by carelessness.”). There are tens of thousands of mental models, and every discipline has their own set that you can learn through coursework, mentorship, or first-hand experience.

There is a much smaller set of concepts, however, that come up repeatedly in day-to-day decision making, problem solving, and truth seeking. As Munger says, “80 or 90 important models will carry about 90% of the freight in making you a worldly?wise person.”

Mental Models I Find Repeatedly Useful

Project Bloks: Making code physical for kids

Kids are inherently playful and social. They naturally play and learn by using their hands, building stuff and doing things together. Making code physical - known as tangible programming - offers a unique way to combine the way children innately play and learn with computational thinking.

Project Bloks is preceded and shaped by a long history of educational theory and research in the area of hands-on learning. From Friedrich Froebel, Maria Montessori and Jean Piaget’s pioneering work in the area of learning by experience, exploration and manipulation, to the research started in the 1970s by Seymour Papert and Radia Perlman with LOGO and TORTIS. This exploration has continued to grow and includes a wide range of research and platforms.

However, designing kits for tangible programming is challenging—requiring the resources and time to develop both the software and the hardware. Our goal is to remove those barriers. By creating an open platform, Project Bloks will allow designers, developers and researchers to focus on innovating, experimenting and creating new ways to help kids develop computational thinking. Our vision is that, one day, the Project Bloks platform becomes for tangible programming what Blockly is for on-screen programming.

Project Bloks: Making code physical for kids

The Cluetrain Manifesto

Just as traditional media conditioned the audience to be passive consumers — first of commercial messages, then of products — the traditional organization conditioned employees to be obedient executors of bureaucratically disseminated work orders. Both are forms of broadcast: the few dictating the behavior of the many. The broadcast mentality isn't dead by any means. It's just become suicidal.

In contrast, the Internet invites participation. It is genuinely empowering, well beyond the cliché that word has become. And corporate intranets invite participation in the same way. There are strong reciprocal parallels between the open-ended curiosity of the new marketplace and the knowledge requirements of the new organization. The market-oriented Internet and workforce-focused intranet each relies on the other in fundamental and highly complementary ways. Without strong market objectives and connections, there is no viable focus for a company's Internet presence; without a strong intranet, market objectives and connections remain wishful thinking.

The Cluetrain Manifesto