Category: Learning

  • Venkatesh Rao on Big Data, Machine Learning, and Blockchains

    Venkatesh Rao had a good take on the big data/machine learning/blockchain mania in Breaking Smart a few weeks ago: Many people, database experts among them, dismiss Big Data as a fad that’s already come and gone, and argue that it was a meaningless term, and that relational databases can do everything NoSQL databases can. That’s […]

  • Notes: The Future of Intelligence on the Sam Harris Podcast

    Here are my notes from The Future of Intelligence, a Conversation with Max Tegmark on the Sam Harris Podcast. You can listen to it here: My notes and thoughts: We always focus on the downsides of super intelligent AI. There are, however, upsides. Super intelligence can help solve some of the biggest problems of our […]

    Notes: The Future of Intelligence on the Sam Harris Podcast
  • Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 2)

    I’m working my way through Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly by reading a few sections each morning. Below are my notes on sections 12-23. Read 1-11 here. “It’ll-get-worse-before-it-gets-better” fallacy: A variant of confirmation bias. If the problem gets worse, the prediction is confirmed. If the situation improves unexpectedly, the customer is happy and […]

    Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 2)
  • Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 1)

    I’m working my way through Rolf Dobelli’s The Art of Thinking Clearly by reading a few sections each morning. Here are my notes on the first 11 sections (Confirmation Bias had two sections, which I’ve only noted as one below): Survivorship bias: You overestimate your probability of success because you only see success stories. You […]

    Fallacies, Illusions, and Biases (Part 1)
  • Notes on how React and Angular work

    I got this question from a Praxis participant last night: “Hey Chuck quick general question: do frameworks like angular and react compile to JS? How exactly do they work?” Here is my response: This took me a little research because I didn’t quite know. Here is what I found: First, React is a library and […]

  • Taking Control of Our Attention

    Recommendation: What Is Technology Doing To Us? Tristan Harris on Sam Harris’s podcast  Tristan is a former Design Ethicist at Google and studied at Stanford’s Persuasive Technology Lab. His work highlights the design patterns in technology that grab our attention, pull us back in, and addict us. These designs are not only manipulating us, but they are […]

  • Building a Wide Base of Knowledge

    Someone I’m advising asked me this morning how to build a wide base of knowledge across many subjects and disciplines. Here was my answer: The short answer is that you need to be curious. Specifically: Read widely. Ask people what they are working on and dig in to understand. Ask lots of questions. Spend lots […]

  • Listening Notes: You Are Not So Smart podcast ep 92: Bullshit

    Episode link: https://soundcloud.com/youarenotsosmart/092-bullshit-rebroadcast Takeaways:  Methods of thinking are more important than raw intelligence. The people who were burning witches probably didn’t have a lower IQ than the people who went to the moon. They thought about the world in a different way.  Bullshit and lying aren’t the same. Bullshit may contain lies, but the purpose […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 21: Coffee Cup

    Instead of another try at my portrait, I decided to try another drawing with a focus on light and shadow, so I set up a swinging arm lamp to light up a coffee cup on a pedestal.  I drew it live and took a photo afterward. The photo isn’t from the exact perspective I viewed […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 20: Rushed Self Portrait

    I was supposed to do another self portrait today after learning about seeing light, shapes, and lines.  I was rushed, mentally distracted, I forgot to tone the paper, and I shifted my seat, which messes up my angle of view in the middle of the drawing.  In other words, it sucked. I’m going to try […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 19: Shadows and Crosshatching

    Read about different intensities of shadows and various crosshatching techniques, then practiced them:

  • Learning to Draw, Day 18: Light Logic

    Today I read about light logic, which results in four aspects of light and shadow: Highlight (brightest light) Cast shadow (darkest shadow cast by a subject blocking light) Reflected light (dim light, bounced back by other surfaces) Crest shadow (shadow that lies on the crest of a rounded form, between highlight and reflected light) To […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 17: Filling in the Details

    Today I filled in the details of yesterday’s drawing and fixed some of the scale issues. It isn’t perfect, but I’m going to call it complete today and move on to another drawing tomorrow.

  • Learning to Draw, Day 16: In Progress

    Today’s drawing is still in progress. I had a busy day today and spent the entire evening down in the city, so I only got about 30 minutes to start a drawing of a leaf on the cover of this book I’m reading. I’m going to work on filling in the details tomorrow.

  • Learning to Draw, Day 15: Broadway Bridge

    Today I did a quick sketch of the Broadway Bridge over the Harlem River on my iPad.  After I completed the drawing, I saw multiple places where I messed up the proportions and perspective. In particular, I made the bridge much too wide. I’ll pay particular attention to that tomorrow. 

  • Learning to Draw, Day 14: Drawing on the iPad

    Today I decided to take a break from the specific Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain exercises and try out drawing on my new 10.5″ iPad Pro with the Apple Pencil. I used the Linea app and did another pass at my Day 8 hand drawing. I don’t yet have fine control over […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 13: Live Profile Portrait of Amanda

    Today I drew a portrait of Amanda’s profile. She graciously sat at the table and worked while I drew and revised. This was difficult. I don’t feel like I nailed it. Should the eyes be further back? Did I get her nose right? How do I handle the shadows and subtle curves of the cheek […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 12: Profile Portrait Warm-Up

    Burning the midnight oil. Today I read about expanding the sighting and spacing I’ve been working on the last few days to faces. Then I spent about an hour applying what I learned to a line drawing of a portrait by Sargent.  Here is the comparison: Tomorrow I draw a profile portrait of a real […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 11: Perspective

    Today I did exercises to learn how to draw perspectives. The first was about finding scales and angles, then the second was a drawing of a complex scene to put those to use. I chose our entryway, complete with a crooked doormat and a pile of our shoes.  I think the left side came out […]

  • Learning to Draw, Day 10: Negative Space

    Today I had to draw a chair, but not in the usual way. Instead of drawing the lines and shapes that make up the chair, I had to draw the negative space instead. I didn’t take a photo or use the plastic pane very much, but drew from looking at the chair and occasionally using […]