Issue 18 - Back to sleep
On the importance of mathematics
Our brain is probably the best tool we have. At least that's the major organ explaining our actual development state as a species our as individuals.
Still it's not designed to shape experiences into relational thoughts. It only tries to make sense of the vast stimulus it receives from the outside world. A behavior destined to answer natural selection.
It's important to counterbalance it.By taking distance from it. By letting it to rest.
Whether you went back from summer holidays or you're working hard : take the time to sleep every night. Not only weekends or irregularly.
Like a data pipeline, your brain need time to digest information and build value from it.
So try to make your own pipeline get the green light everyday !
📖 If you want to know more on how sleep is important, I really recommend Why We Sleep book by Matthew Walker.
📡 Expected Contents
How to Draw Anything
We already discussed in previous issues about the growing technology of AI generated images.
This time I share with you a such inspiring blog post on an image creation thanks to some tricks and obviously an AI algorithm (Stable Diffusion here).
Andy come with great thoughts in the end :
That’s the size of the model that has made this recent explosion possible.
4.2 gigabytes of floating points that somehow encode so much of what we know.
Yes, I’m waxing poetic here. No, I am not heralding the arrival of AGI, or our AI overlords. I am simply admiring the beauty of it, while it is fresh and new.
Because it won’t be fresh and new for long. This thing I’m feeling is not much different from how I felt using email for the first time - “Grandma got my message already? In Florida? In seconds?” It was the nearest thing to magic my child-self had ever seen. Now email is the most boring and mundane part of my day.
There is already much talk about practical uses. Malicious uses. Downplaying. Up playing. Biases. Monetization. Democratization - which is really just monetization with a more marketable name.
I’m not trying to get into any of that here. I’m just thinking about those 4.2 gigabytes. How small it seems, in today’s terms. Such a little bundle that holds so much.
How many images, both real photos and fictional art, were crammed through the auto-encoder, that narrower and narrower funnel of information, until some sort of meaning was distilled from them? How many times must a model be taught to de-noise an image until it understands what makes a tiger different from a leopard? I guess now we know.
And now I suppose we ride the wave until this new magic is both as widely used, and boring, as email. So it goes.
Building Modern Data Teams
Here is a great resource on how building modern data teams. It's a curated list of blog post regarding team strategies, data driven orgs, data quality, data careers, etc... Definitely something to keep in your library.
Get cloud work done
If you have ever worked with a cloud provider (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, etc...) you probably had a hard time dealing with roles, access, configurations, etc...
Not that it's big deal in itself - it's rather the need for scale and the way we retrieve information that need improvements.
That's the promise of Steam Pipe : an open source tool to query your favorite cloud APIs through SQL.
Is NYC Safe? The Reality of Crime Rates in New York
This great post reminds me the great Enlightenment Now book from D. Pinker.
Bloomberg come here with a story telling piece explaining the relationship between perceptions of high profile events, generational shift and media coverage and how they sway reality.
A simple but great piece of journalism !
📰 The Blog Post
Why Do We Study Mathematics?
I owe a lot to mathematics. A major part of my actual life stems from it. It was a long time I was thinking writing such blog post.
Thanks for reading From An Engineer Sight! Subscribe for free to receive new posts and support my work.
🎨 Beyond The Bracket
There are often great takes to get from architecture. Beyond the cool optimization on the image above, it reminds how a little trick on the environment of a system can enhance the entire system.
When looking for changing something, we often think too much of the thing itself rather than the environment it lives in.
From a wider perspective, information flows, goals, and incentives can be restructured so that separate, bounded, rational actions add up to results that everyone desires.
It's amazing how quickly and easily behavior changes can come, with even slight enlargement of bounded rationality, by providing better, more complete, timelier information.
So next time you face a problem, try to get the big picture, the one you're not seeing yet.
Very happy to come back on the newsletter after a summer break.
Got some great resources and discussions recently and quite busy weeks : I'm in a new position at my companyand I'm now owner of an appartement 🎉.
sleep school also means new sport activity - I'm back to the basket-ball courts - and quite happy on my analog photography hobby
Life going on, I would love to hear from you ! What are your current projects, challenges, recent enlightments?
Actually, the brain is the result of natural selection.
Moving from data-scientist to a more data engineer/ML-ops job with leading duties.
Needing some renovations, so moving is for early 2023...
Progress is an amazing feeling.