Voyageur Technologique

Tools I love and hate

No one wants to read a series of blog posts about the various tools I use on a daily basis and how I feel about them. But maybe someone wants to read one blog post? Love Bandcamp Lets me buy + download music from all my favourite artists and then gets the hell out of my way. Complice I wrote a love-letter to you. 5 years later the love is still going strong.

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Mini Book Reviews 2019-2021

Extracting the short (mostly 3 paragraphs or less) book reviews I’ve written from a private group chat onto my blog, because fuck Goodreads and Amazon. Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Christopher Voss and Tahl Raz Excessively long given the simplicity of the content. Instead, read: Patrick McKenzie’s post on salary negotiation Getting to Yes, which is a classic and shorter Nitpicks:

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Podcasts 2021

In October 2019, I got bronchitis and listened to a bunch of podcasts while I recovered, at the recommendation of my old labmate Brent Komer. Later during COVID, I started listening to podcasts more often to feel less lonely. These are the podcasts I enjoy the most, ordered according to educational value. Farm to Taber Dr. Sarah Taber is a crop scientist with a spicy Twitter account. Her podcast is less spicy, but it still fights preconceptions around agriculture and the incentives driving its current manifestation in America.

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Eternal Disagreements in Computer Science

Concepts which refuse to be nailed down

Differentiating concrete concepts from fuzzy categories is an essential step to mastering a domain. This took me years in Computer Science, because practitioners often deny categories are ambiguous. Thus, for all the noobs out there, here is a list of unanswerable questions. I’ve wasted hours of my life searching for definite answers to each of them. Whether to taboo these words or embrace their subjectivity is a personal choice. But at the very least, you should know that if someone claims to have an unassailable answer to any of these questions, they’re a gosh-darned liar.

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Faster Scientific Python

When you're computation-bound, what are your options?

[epistemic status: hastily written, high-level overview lacking practical grounding] Bottlenecks Python isn’t known for it’s speed. It has a purposefully dumb interpreter which gets blown out of the water (in terms of throughput, memory consumption, and start-up speed) by almost all compiled languages. This is usually fine, because you’re just trying to ship a gosh-darned website or quickly whip together a data-cleaning pipeline. Typically, other bottlenecks, such as network speed, memory access times, algorithmic approach, or the ability to scale across multiple machines take precedence.

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