Melusine - Part 1
The sun, that day, had forgotten to set.
As he was reclining on a curvy and narrow chaise longue, Sebastian Byrne looked at the slant rays glimmering through the yellowing leaves on the lowest branches of the elms. Their brass-trimmed green lace ebbed and flowed as the wind blew away the last minutes of the golden hour. Sebastian brought the quilt closer to his neck.
He sighed, scattering some crumbs around for the birds; but that evening none dared to fly by. Maybe Nathan had lost track of time on his way to the post office and back, and would not come, as he promised, before dusk. They had always watched the sun set together. They did so for the last six weeks, before Sebastian fell ill; and for the first day he could step outside, Nathan did not even bother to be on time. Undergrads will be undergrads… Sebastian was staring absentmindedly at the slow, suspended vanishing of the light when muffled footsteps echoed down the hill, along the side path that lead to the verandah.
The silvery voice rushed towards Sebastian, followed from a distance by a buoyant, youthful figure clad in light linen, waving a folded paper. The figure flew nearer, leaping, kid-like, on the smooth slope where Mrs Byrne’s garden weaved itself into a wilderness of low bushes and wild roses.
A smile flickered across Sebastian’s thin, slightly parched lips, and disappeared. He had always seen Nathan skipping and leaping around, from the day he had interviewed him as a candidate for Oxford. While most of the applicants were timidly sliming along the college’s staircases and the tutors’ questions, Nathan jumped along the steps as he did through Greek and Latin periods. A rare breed he was, that seventeen-year-old brat, in a time when undergraduate faces were drawn by sullenness and tedious ploughing.
And here he was, two years later, running back from Mrs Byrne’s country house, a letter in his hand. It was that white rectangle that chased Sebastian’s smile away. It was, doubtlessly, the answer Nathan had been expecting for weeks.
Sebastian, they wrote back!
« I know », thought Sebastian. « They wrote back and had the answer been negative, you would not have leaped so vivaciously, would you now? »
Presently Nathan threw himself on the chaise longue, which squeaked under the attack, and stuck the letter under Sebastian’s nose.
- Tolle, lege!
Sebastian’s lips quivered as he caught glimpses of the words carefully drawn in dense black ink on the white paper. The handwriting leaned gently towards the right, on even lines that left an elegant margin on each side of the silken-white paper.
I am very grateful for you reply. I have read the reference letter sent to me by Doctor Byrne with great interest and his account of your accomplishments… We are very pleased that you are able to join us in spite of the circumstances… Looking forward…
Did Madame de La S*** answer herself? Sebastian did not read any further. The thin, straight lines seemed to curl up, fading into one another, becoming barely legible. He smiled and extended his hand:
« Well done, young man. This is an unexpected step, but an expected success. And they seem quite keen. » The last paragraph was indeed pressuring. It was urgent that the position would be filled. As many other applicants had manifested interest, Nathan was expected to arrive as early as possible, or they will be forced to hire someone else. « I would need to go as early as possible, maybe the day after tomorrow », said Nathan.
It was not until then that Nathan looked at his tutor’s face. As the golden sunlight was turning to purple, he realized the sudden and deep changes the disease had impressed on Sebastian Byrne’s face, once full of strength, intelligence, and mercy. When he had first met Sebastian — then Doctor Byrne to him, Nathaniel Kiernan fell under the spell of these grey eyes, so deeply grey they sometimes seemed black. For two years, almost every day, he had sat under their keen gaze in Sebastian’s room, a shabby but spacious set that overlooked Saint Mary’s tower and the Bodleian’s dome.
Those were the days we shall remember as the last golden golden glory sining over the Spires. Not that these were better days, but this time is gone. Surely, then, tutors complained about the termly fifth)week gloom, about the food, at times too rich and at times too poor, and about the noises that the new automobiles made, covering the trodding and rattling of the carriages. Those days poured over the city one after the other, year after year. Matriculation speech faded into Christmas carols as we snuggled in library nooks during the winter; then Summer Eights dragged us out by the river, revision books in hand, then graduation ceremonies rushed upon us and after the long, and yet too short, summer vacation, Matriculation happened again, ushering in a new cohort of Freshers’ faces, at once enthusiastic and anxious, the youthful barbarians from Eton or Harrow, the models of appropriateness from hard-working grammar schools. Under the gaze of the dreaming spires, the streets teemed with laughter that rang along the chiming bells, with inebriated songs at the crack of dawn, with the joyful glee and careless wrath that came with the examinations’ results. While the colleges remained unchanged, their stones and statues clad in centuries of iteration, the young faces around made every morning new. Even Sir Rayleigh, the provost, seemed like a playful young man to Nathan the first time he met him, his eyes sparkling with cheerful wit under his wrinkled forehead and his snow-white hair.
Nathan was one of these modern foundlings, all family ties loosened by a scandalous divorce that threw the name he bore into shame, then into oblivion. Her mother at least had the decency to spare enough money for his education but just enough. Her family would refuse to do anything for a Kiernan boy. As he settled in Oxford, Nathan saw Doctor Byrne as a master more than a tutor. He was impressed by the man’s thoughtful silences as much as by his constant good spirits; he mimicked the way Byrne’s long white fingers rose in a slow arabesque before he spoke, strived to reform the sharp angles of his character to match Byrne’s composed temperance, and copied Byrne’s way of parting his hair in a falsely messy line he wore slightly askew. « Byrne has his way with the young gentlemen, the provost used to say. He talks to them like he was their father, and smiles at them like he was their sister! ».
What a difference a few months had made. Oxford, in a few days, was deserted as people ran away from a nameless disease, that seemed to appear nowhere else.
The nomad developer setup #2: infrastructure as code
In a first article, I shared a quick and easy way to access VScode from any browser. You still need to create a cloud provider account and setup a server. In this second article I will share with you a way to automate all the steps needed from the moment you have created your account to using VScode in the browser. In order to do this I am sharing a GitHub repo at the end of this article. It contains all the Infrastructure as Code (IaC) you need.
IaC is a practice in software engineering, mostly on the devops side, that involves managing and provisioning infrastructure through code, rather than manual processes. It allows for the automated deployment and configuration of infrastructure, enabling consistency, scalability, and version control for your infrastructure.
The repository combines three very powerful tools: Packer, Ansible and Terraform.
- Packer is a tool to create machine images avoiding to re-install everything every time you start an instance.
- Ansible is an automation tool that simplifies complex tasks like configuration management. In a simple yaml file (a playbook) you can install and configure your server(s).
- Terraform is an infrastructure as code tool that enables the provisioning and management of cloud resources using declarative configuration files.
Please check the README carefully, it lists the current limitations and will be updated when the repo evolves.
In a next article I will add even more automation to it using a ci/cd (continuous integration and continuous delivery) pipeline using GitHub workflow to allow you to start/stop this infrastructure as you wish without accessing anything else than a web browser.
The Gates of Hell
Many days and many nights did the biggest ape spend on this strange planet. The planet of moral people who talk often of hell. They had a dress for man, one for married women, one for boys, one for girls. When the priests called to prayers they came, when the priests called to sacrifice they sacrificed. They all woke up at the same time, ate a same time, prayed at the same time. Their lives ruled by a religion under the rhythm of the stars.
-"We do it for this is good", said some.
-"We do it because it's best", said others.
Never did the biggest ape enquire further for he knew they had no more explanation to give.
One day at the market he met a learned man of those people.
"We do it because our fathers did it, and before them our forefathers", said the old man, his voice as dry and leathery as his skin. "Obedience was the primary virtue of our forefathers and what brought them glory and paradise". He paused for a while, appearing to think. "We are nowhere as obedient as they were and for that we suffer, this is the reason for our poverty and wretchedness." And with that the old man raised his eyes, deeply sunken in dark caves, hidden behind the weight of eyebrows too big for the emaciated face.
The biggest ape rose and took his leave, he had nothing to say.
As he was making his way out, a man stood in front of him, unmoved by the lamentations, unstirred by the calls of the priests. There he stood behind his stole.
-"Who is this man?", asked the biggest ape.
-"He is the richest merchant. ", said one.
-"We buy from him because he cheats less", said another, "if only he was more moral like us".
-"If only he would pray like us", lamented a woman.
-"If only he would give some of his money", said a beggar.
-"It pains us that he should go to hell", whispered and old woman.
Hearing the talk the man looked up, locking eyes with the biggest ape.
'If I ever enter a god's hell', said the man, 'I will make sure to do so an a honest man.'
Thus thought Apathustra.
Part 4/5: Research, Rants, & Ridiculousness: The Lighter Side of PhD Madness
PhD: the art of turning coffee, chaos, and code into a degree, one panic attack at a time.
- My machine learning model predicted I'd finish my PhD on time. Spoiler: Even AI has a sense of humor.
- Neurotoxicity research: figuring out if it's the toxins affecting the brain, or just the endless hours in the lab.
- Snake venom for drug discovery? Sure, because handling deadly snakes is less frightening than asking my advisor for a deadline extension.
- I told my computer to find a cure for snake bites. It opened a travel site to Antarctica. No snakes, no bites, problem solved!
Morocco, Spain, and Portugal World Cup 2030: An Unforgettable Cultural Experience
The 2030 World Cup organization by Morocco, Spain, and Portugal can be analyzed using various approaches.
In this article, I want to open a path for an anthropological and cultural analysis of this subject.
Morocco, Spain, and Portugal's joint bid for hosting the FIFA World Cup in 2030 has been recognized as a historic decision. The triumph is a significant event for these three nations, as it marks the first time they have worked together to showcase their unique cultural heritage, stunning landscapes, and passion for football on the global stage.
The spirit of cooperation and unity among these diverse nations is reflected in this collaborative effort, which embodies not just football passion but also the spirit of cooperation and unity. Football's capacity to bridge borders and foster international friendships can be reflected by hosting the tournament jointly.
Combining the vibrant culture of the kingdom of Morocco with the rich traditions of Spain and Portugal, the World Cup 2030 will offer an immersive fusion of flavors, music, and festivities.
Morocco gives guests the opportunity to encounter the charming climate of the dynamic medinas, investigate the noteworthy engineering of cities such as Marrakech and Fez "Founded under Idrisid rule during the 8th–9th centuries CE," and enjoy within the country's delightful food. Fans will pick up a more profound understanding and appreciation of Morocco's social traditions through witnessing traditional music and dance performances.
Spain, on the other hand, brags a captivating blend of old-world charm and present day dynamic quality.Whether it's exploring the antiquated lanes of Barcelona, seeing the emotional flamenco exhibitions of Andalusia, or indulging in mouth-watering tapas and paella, fans will be inundated within the wealthy cultural tapestry that Spain should offer.
Portugal, known for its pleasant scenes, noteworthy cities, and warm neighborliness, includes another layer of social differing qualities to the World cup 2030 experience. Guests can meander through the cobbled roads of Lisbon, visit medieval castles in Sintra, and taste the popular Harbour wine in Porto. The captivating sounds of traditional Fado music, filled with feeling and energy, will transport fans into the soul of Portuguese culture.
All three nations have a profound cherish for football, and it is interlaced into their social texture.
The World Cup 2030 will be an opportunity for fans to witness firsthand the passion and fervor that football brings to these countries. From exuberant road celebrations to colorful pre-match customs, each viewpoint of the competition will be implanted with the social traditions of Morocco, Spain, and Portugal.
The joint bid of Morocco, Spain, and Portugal winning the organization of the World cup 2030 guarantees a genuinely exceptional social involvement for everybody included. From investigating noteworthy cities and reveling in nearby cuisines to drenching oneself within the traditions and music of each nation, the competition will be a celebration of social differing qualities and solidarity. Football fans from around the world can see forward to not as it were seeing top-class matches but moreover being portion of an immersive social travel that will take off enduring memories
Part 3/5: 9 Hilarious Truths Only Ph.D. Students Will Understand
Ph.D. Life: When Your Brain Expands, and Your Social Life Disappears!
- Coffee Transformation: You start to believe that coffee is a basic human right.
- Time Bender: Somehow, all your deadlines are 'tomorrow'.
- Lab Maze Runner: You know your lab better than your own home.
- Conference Life: You're there for the free coffee and snacks.
- Email Excavation: Finding an old email feels like a treasure hunt.
- PDF Collector: You have more unread academic papers than unread emails.
- Thesis Magic: Turning random experiments into a thesis feels like a magic trick.
- Jargon Juggler: You speak a strange language that only five people in the world understand.
- Nap Ninja: Mastering the art of napping anywhere, anytime.
"Supervised and Unsupervised Learning in 90 Seconds of Reading"
** Brief Definition : **
Supervised and unsupervised learning are two fundamental facets of machine learning, each specifically tailored to handle distinct types of data. In supervised learning, the machine learning algorithm is trained on a labeled dataset, where each data point consists of both input features and corresponding output labels. The goal is for the algorithm to learn the mapping from inputs to outputs based on these labeled examples. In unsupervised learning, the machine learning algorithm is trained on an unlabeled dataset to find hidden patterns, structures, or relationships within the data. Unlike supervised learning, there are no predefined output labels for the algorithm to learn from.
** Intuition 🙂 : **
In supervised learning, envision having a jigsaw puzzle featuring a picture of a dog, where each puzzle piece is labeled with its correct position in the completed picture. The model learns from these labeled examples, figuring out the relationships between the shapes and colors of the pieces and their correct locations.This process, often referred to as the training step, allows the model to internalize the patterns within the labeled data. Subsequently, after training, the model is adept at taking a new puzzle of a dog and precisely assembling it based on the knowledge acquired during the training process.
Now, imagine you have a bag of puzzle pieces without a picture or labels — just a mix of colors and shapes. In unsupervised learning, the model explores the characteristics of the puzzle pieces without any predefined labels or information about the complete picture, identifying groups that share similar colors, shapes, or patterns. The model doesn't know what the complete picture looks like, but it discovers that certain pieces belong together based on shared features. These groups represent clusters of similar puzzle pieces.
In this puzzle analogy, supervised learning entails constructing a model with labeled examples to tackle a specific task, while unsupervised learning involves the model autonomously uncovering patterns or relationships within the data without explicit direction.
Rock Lined Pockets
See the alarm in the shark’s cadence,
Hear the sharp seagull’s cry:
The merling king has come! The merling king has come!
Jellyfish floating around his cloudy crystal crown
Like translucent passive thoughts of aggression.
Will he forgive your primate indiscretion?
In his court of slime and rock sublime
He beckons you with open tentacles
to join his circle of hedonistic companions.
The mermaid is a murderous creature.
The dolphins are wanton and wild.
What’s that in your pockets? The inquisitive mollusk asks.
Of the precious kind?
His soft limbs curl back in plain disappointment.
From under a shell a faint voice cautioned,
Do not trust in the soft bodied rogue’s trade.
Down here the written word is as fleeting as the spoken one.
Part 2/5: Humor in the Halls of Academia: A Light-Hearted Look at PhD Life
Here are some humorous and light-hearted "PhD" abbreviations:
- Permanently head Damaged (PhD): A playful nod to the intense intellectual effort involved in earning a PhD.
- Piled higher and Deeper (PhD): A humorous take on the depth and complexity of PhD-level research.
- Patiently hoping for a Degree (PhD): Reflects the long and often uncertain journey towards completing a PhD.
- Probably half Delirious (PhD): Acknowledges the stress and mental strain that can come with pursuing a doctorate.
- Pizza hut Delivery (PhD): A fun twist, imagining a PhD as something entirely different.
- Project half Done (PhD): For those times when it feels like the thesis will never be completed.
- Philosophically Disturbed (PhD): A witty take on the deep and often complex thinking required for a PhD.
These are meant in good humor and to bring a light-hearted perspective to the serious and commendable pursuit of a PhD.
Part 1/5: Why You Should Apply for a PhD Regardless of Your Background
Less than 2% of the world's population holds a doctorate degree. Do you aspire to be part of the average, or will you strive to join the ranks of these distinguished individuals?
- Expanding Knowledge: Deepen expertise in your chosen field, enhancing critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Gain unparalleled understanding and push the boundaries of what's known.
- Personal Growth: Develop resilience, independence, and management skills through challenging research projects. Cultivate self-discipline and adaptability, crucial for success in any endeavor.
- Career Opportunities: Opens doors to advanced roles in academia (research, teaching) and industry (R&D, consultancy, management). Elevates your professional profile and broadens career prospects.
- Networking: Connect with professionals and academics for future collaborations and career advancement. Build a valuable network of contacts that can support your career for years to come.
- Contribution to Field: Make significant contributions to your field, influencing both academic research and industry practices. Your work could lead to new discoveries, innovations, or methodologies.
- Inclusivity and Diversity: Encourages a mix of perspectives, challenging stereotypes and promoting inclusivity in academia and industry. Contributes to a more diverse and equitable professional landscape.
- Professional and Personal Transformation: A PhD is a journey of both professional expertise and personal development, beneficial for all backgrounds. It's an opportunity to grow intellectually, professionally, and personally.
- Leadership Skills: Develop leadership abilities by guiding research projects, mentoring students, and collaborating with various stakeholders.
- Global Perspective: Gain exposure to international research communities, broadening your understanding of global challenges and solutions.
- Recognition and Prestige: Achieve a level of recognition and prestige in your field, establishing yourself as an authority and thought leader.
"Understanding Overfitting and Underfitting in a Quick 90-Second Read"
Overfitting and underfitting represent two common issues in machine learning that affect the performance of a model. In the context of overfitting, the model learns the training data too precisely, capturing noise and fluctuations that are specific to the training set but do not generalize well to new, unseen data. Underfitting, on the other hand, occurs when a model is enabled to capture the underlying patterns in the training data, resulting in poor performance not only on the training set but also on new, unseen data. It indicates a failure to learn the complexities of the data.
**Analogy : **
Intuitively, returning to the example of the student that we presented in the definition of the machine learning concept, we discussed the possibility of considering a machine learning model as a student in a class. After the lecture phase, equivalent to the training step for the model, the student takes an exam or quiz to confirm their understanding of the course material. Now, imagine a student who failed to comprehend anything during the course and did not prepare. On the exam day, this student, having failed to grasp the content, will struggle to answer and will receive a low grade; this represents the case of underfitting in machine learning. On the other hand, let's consider another student who, despite having a limited understanding of the course, mechanically memorized the content and exercises. During the exam, when faced with questions reformulated or presented in a new manner, this student, having learned without true comprehension, will also fail due to the inability to adapt, illustrating the case of overfitting in machine learning.
This analogy between a machine learning model and a student highlights the insightful parallels of underfitting and overfitting. Just as a student can fail by not grasping the course or memorizing without true understanding, a model can suffer from underfitting if it's too simple to capture patterns or overfitting if it memorizes the training data too precisely. Striking the right balance between complexity and generalization is crucial for developing effective machine learning models adaptable to diverse and unknown data. In essence, this educational analogy emphasizes the delicate equilibrium required in the machine learning learning process.
Part 5/5: 8 Inspiring Quotes on Leadership from Visionary Minds
Quotes can inspire visionary thinking, apply them wisely, and you'll witness the changes they bring about.
"A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way." - John C. Maxwell
"Success is not final, failure is not fatal: It is the courage to continue that counts." - Winston Churchill
"Lead from the back — and let others believe they are in front." - Nelson Mandela
"If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." - John Quincy Adams
"Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things." - Peter Drucker
"Leadership is not about being in charge. It is about taking care of those in your charge." - Simon Sinek
"A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don't necessarily want to go, but ought to be." - Rosalynn Carter
"Be the change that you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi
Part 4/5: Understanding Personalities for Leadership in Academia and Industry
Know yourself, understand others, and watch life's opportunities unfold.
- Recognize Individual Differences: Acknowledge and appreciate the diverse personality types within your team, understanding how these differences can contribute to a rich, dynamic work environment in both academia and industry.
- Adapt Communication Styles: Tailor your communication to suit various personality types. This includes being aware of how different people prefer to receive information and feedback.
- Foster Inclusive Environments: Create a workplace culture that respects and values different personalities, encouraging open dialogue and collaboration in both academic and industrial settings.
- Leverage Strengths: Identify and use the unique strengths of different personality types. In academia, this could mean assigning research roles based on individual strengths, while in industry, it might involve delegating tasks that align with team members' innate skills.
- Manage Conflict Sensitively: Understand how different personalities might clash and develop strategies to manage conflicts effectively, keeping in mind the distinct environments of academia and industry.
- Encourage Diverse Perspectives: Promote an environment where varied viewpoints are welcomed and considered. This is essential for fostering innovation and critical thinking in both fields.
- Personalized Mentorship: Offer guidance and mentorship that resonates with the individual personalities of your team members, helping them grow and develop in their respective roles.
- Embrace Learning Styles: Recognize that different personalities may prefer different learning styles. Adapt your teaching and training methods accordingly in both academic and industrial contexts.
- Promote Self-Awareness: Encourage team members to understand their own personalities and how these impact their work and interactions. This self-awareness can lead to more effective collaboration and leadership.
- Balance Team Dynamics: Strive for a balance of personalities in teams to ensure a harmonious and productive work environment. This involves understanding how different personalities can complement each other in both academia and industry.
Part 3/5: Observational Learning for Effective Leadership in Academia and Industry
Paying close attention to the details teaches you a lot!
- Observe Leadership Styles: Focus on the behaviors and decision-making styles of leaders you admire in both academia and industry. Understand how they approach challenges and interact with their teams.
- Learn from Mistakes: Pay attention to the errors made by others. Reflect on these mistakes and contemplate alternative solutions or approaches you would adopt in similar situations.
- Seek Feedback: Consider feedback as a crucial learning tool. Use it to refine your strategies, communication, and leadership techniques.
- Study Communication Methods: Analyze how leaders effectively communicate complex ideas in academic settings and practical solutions in industry. Notice the clarity, tone, and engagement tactics they use.
- Understand Ethical Decision-Making: Observe how leaders handle ethical dilemmas, ensuring integrity and moral responsibility in both academic research and industry practices.
- Adaptability to Contexts: Learn how leaders modify their approach when dealing with academic theories versus practical industry applications. Understand the nuances and requirements of each sector.
- Collaboration and Team Dynamics: Watch how successful leaders foster teamwork and collaboration in both academia, where research projects often require interdisciplinary cooperation, and in industry, where cross-functional teamwork is key.
- Innovative Problem-Solving: Notice how leaders in both fields use creativity and innovation to solve complex problems. See how academic theories can be applied in practical industry scenarios.
- Mentorship and Development: Observe how leaders nurture talent and encourage growth in their teams, both in academic environments and in the workplace.
- Continuous Learning and Adaptation: Recognize the importance of ongoing education and staying abreast of current trends and research in both academia and industry to inform effective leadership.
Part 2/5: The Power of Listening: A Key to Enhancing Your Leadership Skills
Listen more than you speak, and watch your world transform.
- Building Trust and Respect: Leaders who actively listen to their team members cultivate an atmosphere of trust and respect. This approach demonstrates that the leader values their team's opinions and insights, fostering a more open and collaborative work environment.
- Enhancing Decision-Making: Listening provides leaders with a broader perspective and more information, which is essential for informed decision-making. By understanding the viewpoints and concerns of their team, leaders can make decisions that are better aligned with the needs and goals of the organization.
- Conflict Resolution: Effective listening is key in resolving conflicts. By listening to all sides of a disagreement, a leader can understand the underlying issues and work towards a solution that addresses the concerns of all parties involved.
- Encouraging Innovation and Creativity: Leaders who listen are more likely to hear and encourage new ideas. This openness can foster an innovative culture where team members feel valued and motivated to contribute creatively.
- Improving Team Dynamics: Listening helps leaders identify and address issues within the team, whether they are related to workflow, interpersonal relationships, or resource allocation. Addressing these issues promptly can lead to a more efficient and harmonious work environment.
- Personal Growth and Learning: Leaders who are good listeners continuously learn from the people around them. This not only enhances their leadership skills but also keeps them connected to the latest trends, concerns, and opportunities within their organization.
- Employee Motivation and Engagement: Employees feel more engaged and motivated when they know their voices are heard. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, lower turnover rates, and a more committed workforce.
- Modeling Positive Behavior: When leaders demonstrate effective listening skills, they set a positive example for the entire organization. This can lead to a culture where everyone listens to each other, improving overall communication and collaboration.
Part 1/5 : Acquiring Self-Development and Leadership Skills: Beyond Innate Abilities
Becoming a great leader can transform your life, making you not only productive and satisfied but also widely admired.
"The Power of Listening"
- Practice active listening by giving full attention to the speaker.
- Avoid interrupting and ask clarifying questions to show engagement.
- Reflect on what is said and respond thoughtfully, demonstrating that you value their input.
- Observe leaders you admire and note their behaviors and decision-making styles.
- Learn from mistakes made by others, and think about how you would handle similar situations differently.
"Navigating Team Dynamics"
- Pay attention to the unique strengths and weaknesses of each team member.
- Facilitate open and inclusive discussions to allow diverse perspectives to flourish.
- Resolve conflicts by understanding the underlying issues and motivations.
"Emotional Intelligence in Leadership"
- Work on self-awareness to understand your emotions and how they affect others.
- Practice empathy by putting yourself in your team members' shoes.
- Develop your social skills, like effective communication and conflict resolution.
- Study basic personality types and traits to better predict and understand behaviors.
- Be adaptable in your approach to different personalities, customizing your leadership style as needed.
- Show genuine interest in the personal and professional growth of your team members.
The Limits of Science and Skepticism
Skepticism is generally regarded as the ineffectuality of reason and observation against the givenness of the world, yet for science, reason and observation are taken as primary mechanisms for uncovering truth.
Science, or scientism as an ideology, is widely regarded as the ideal mechanisms for uncovering truth of the world. Disregarding any faults of scientific institutions, it is generally believed that good science can uncover previously unknown truths of the world.
As for science and epistemology, science assumes much it is unable to demonstrate itself. As an extreme example, science assumes the existence of an external world without addressing whether we may or may not be a brain in a vat. Or, even more damning, that memories themselves are legitimate or not. It may very well be that you, the reader, were spawned into this world moments ago implanted with a lifetime of false memories that are completely ignorant to the facts of reality. It may seem like a silly idea to someone who has placed complete faith in their lived experiences, but by abandoning that lived experience, the odds become 50-50, either that you have real memories, or you don't.
For those still unconvinced, let's assume you have lived experience. Do you suppose your memories at all resemble the truth of that lived experience? Surely you have been wrong before, or so you must believe so. You can't much then argue that you're not wrong about all lived experiences. You may elevate some knowledge of the past to some superior ontological status, but in doing so you may be making a critical mistake still.
Any statement of fact is hubris and ignorance. Even that one and this one.
Many scientists have been aware of these issues or similar. For this reason, a scientific fact is regarded as a theory. The existence of atoms, for example, not so sure. See atomic *theory*.
As for philosophy, a philosopher is just one who tries to fool themselves using foolproof reason.
Grasping the concept of machine learning in just 90 seconds of reading
Machine learning is a branch of the artificial intelligence domain that encompasses various methods relying on learning from data to solve problems such as prediction, classification, dimensionality reduction, etc. Learning from the data means that machine learning systems can analyze patterns, extract insights, and make informed decisions without being explicitly programmed for a particular task. Instead of adhering to predetermined rules, machine learning methods adapt and improve their performance over time. The process involves training models, validating their accuracy, and testing their generalization to new, unseen data.
Intuitively, we can envision the machine learning model as a student in a classroom. The teacher imparts knowledge to the student during what we refer to as the training step for the machine learning model. After the session, the student undergoes a quiz to solidify the concepts, representing the validation step for the machine learning model. Finally, the student takes a comprehensive final exam to test their understanding of the entire course. All of these stages occur gradually over what is termed as epochs in the context of a machine learning model.
In this analogy, each epoch corresponds to a complete cycle of the training, validation, and testing phases. It's like the student attending multiple class sessions, quizzes, and exams to reinforce and assess their knowledge. With each successive epoch, the machine learning model refines its understanding of the data, enhancing its ability to make accurate predictions or classifications in real-world applications. Just as a student becomes more adept through repeated study sessions, the machine learning model becomes increasingly proficient with each pass through the data.
One day the biggest ape was walking a lonely path leading to the top of a hill when he saw an emaciated man sitting bellow a dead tree. His clothes were in tatters and yet his eyes glew with the intensity of emptiness. "Strange", thought the biggest ape.
- "Come", said the man as the biggest ape came closer to him. "I have news for you."
"Let me tell you of the dreadful place called life", continued the old man. "Dreadful indeed it is, and full of sorrow, for life is suffering. I know for I have been cursed with intellect and discernment. I teach it for I hold compassion into my heart, and suffer for it dearly for I am but compassion.
Happiness is the glow of the feeble minded, the madness of the blind. I know, I know, because..."
-"Hum.", grunted the biggest ape without skipping a step. He was busy.
At the top of the hill he heard a strange noise from behind and turned back. Instead of one old man, they were now many around the dead tree. All in tattered clothes, with glowing eyes looking at each other, backs turned to world. "Let me tell you of the dreadful place called life..." he heard them say to each other.
"Fools. I am busy."
Thus spake Apathustra.
The nomad developer setup #1: A guide for beginners
Fun fact, I first wrote this article on another platform when working on Bluwr in a train. No matter the distance, it is always nice to be able to work from anywhere you want. All you need for this setup to work is an access to a web browser.
In this article I will share part of the setup that I am using. It is the first one of a series where I will be covering the whole setup I am using.
This first article is about how to set up vscode to work from any device with a web browser. Visual Studio Code is a text editor by microsoft. It can be customized with an almost infinite number of plugins. We will be using vscode in a client/server mode. The vscode server will be running on a virtual machine hosted by a cloud provider, the client can be any web browser. We will use the browser to connect to the vscode server. The interface inside the web browser will be identical to the standard vscode interface, and you will be able to edit any file on the virtual machine.
So first you need a host. Any cloud provider will do, the only thing you need is an IP address and a user that can ssh to the host. Side note here, I almost exclusively use ssh keys, never user/password to connect to cloud hosts as it is way more secure.
Once the ssh session started, install docker if not already available on the host. the execute the following command:
docker run -d \
-p 8443:8443 \
-e PASSWORD=”1234” \
We could basically end this article right now. However, there are a few more things I want to talk about. These points took me a bit of time figure out and I thought I’d share them with you:
1. How to make sure you don’t have to re-install all your plugins every time you start a new code server instance
2. How to make sure your settings stored, so you don’t have to manually re-enter them every time you restart your docker container
3. How to set a custom working directory where all your code will be stored
These are all technically achieved using the same principle: bind mount a folder of your host to a dedicated folder in the docker container.
If you look at the container folder structure, you can see that all plugins are installed in the /config/extensions folder. Vscode configuration in the container is stored in /config/data/User/settings.json. If you have been using vscode for sometime and would like to use that same configuration, you can take that existing settings file and put it somewhere on your virtual machine. Finally, to get a defined workspace, you can bind mount the folder where you usually put your code to the one that is dedicated to it in the container.
The full command is :
docker run -d \
-p 8443:8443 \
-e PASSWORD="1234" \
-v "/home/username/vscode_extensions:/config/extensions" \
-v "/home/user/vscode_settings:/config/data/User/" \
-v "/home/user/workspace/:/config/workspace" \
To save money, I only start and pay for cloud resources when I need them. Of course, I don’t repeat all these steps and re-install all the tools I need each time I start a new virtual machine. I use a packer/ansible/terraform combination to create a snapshot that I can use as a base image each time I create a new host. This will be the subject of my next article.
Now, working from anywhere as a digital nomad is really nice and convenient, but does not mean you should work all the time. I made this setup originally only to be geographically free, I still make it a point to have a healthy work/life balance. I have many hobbies and would not trade them for more hours of coding.
Automation existed long before the advent of AI.
Automation, the process of leveraging technology to perform tasks without human intervention, has a rich history that long precedes the rise of artificial intelligence.
The textile industry, in the early 1800s, witnessed the introduction of automated looms that could weave fabric without constant manual operation. Before the Jacquard loom, weaving complex designs required workers who manually operated looms for long hours. The Jacquard Loom laid the foundation for the development of modern computing concepts like binary systems and programming, as its punch cards served as an early form of programming instructions
The mid-20th century brought forth the development of programmable computers. These machines facilitated automation by executing predefined instructions, enabling the automation of complex calculations, data processing, and control systems in various industries.
While AI has undeniably transformed automation, introducing powerful capabilities such as machine learning and cognitive reasoning, it is crucial to recognize that thoughtful application remains key. When used judiciously, AI significantly enhances automation and innovation, ultimately leading to a promising futur.
How Bluwr is optimized for SEO, Speed and Worldwide Accessibility.
TL;DR: Bluwr is Fast & Writing on Bluwr will help you get traffic.
These choices allow us to have a lighting fast website and have great benefits for our writers. Because most of Bluwr appears as static HTML, articles appear first, readers never have to wait for them to load, and search engines have no difficulty indexing what's on Bluwr.com. This makes everything you write on Bluwr easier to find on the internet. It also means that Bluwr.com loads fast even on the worst of connections. Something noteworthy as even a slight delay in loading can significantly reduce the chances of your article being read.
Our goal is to make Bluwr accessible to anybody on the internet, even on a limited 3G connection.
"Violently in Love"
It was written on her, the poetry of beauty, prose holding struggle and experience
Buried in night, wrapped in warm arms
Empty space gone and air escapes two sunken bodies
An embrace lost in time, I am yours and you are mine
The warmth of your skin burns, turns me to ash
The sight of you makes my thoughts bleed
Your hands dissolve me slowly
The taste of you poisons my senses.
You have made me bare-boned and raw, I am endless
Your existence creates standing water that runs deep in my soul
Will you come to me? I will wait. How soon is now?
With you is a place where time does not exist.
Lovers love the faint blue sea, bluer than blue, like the aftermath of a bended knee
Readers read the words that paint you through my eyes, the words they whisper, all of them lies
Doers do, the deeds that have proper morals and wronged righteousness, the priest and politicians, never are missed
Kissers kiss the lips of lovers and poets, creating fire in ones own heart, the more you kiss the hotter it starts
Killers kill the authenticity of life and art with their normalized judgments for what they cannot do
So, please remember to love, read, do, and kiss as your life will be almost through
"The hard truth of loving"
I am this love to you
I’ll pick you up all the times you are blue
I’ll shelter you from the rain, wipe you tears and absorb your pain— never waiving in front of you- conquering, ambitious, risky, poetic, passionate, sexy and raw, I’ll ask you to enter but then you crawl
But I say for these ideals and truths of us to last, what is your love to me when you take off that mask?
What is your love, you offer to me? For the days and nights to set me free.
What is your love that takes me from this place?
What is your love that opens up me?
What is it you have to offer, average love will not due because we are not the love common for two
I ask you again, what is your love that is my end?
What is your love that cannot bend?
Africa, the share of sport in the economy
It is difficult to assess the true share of sport in GDP across the African continent, as it is clear that this share varies greatly from one country to another. In Morocco, for example, this share is estimated at 1%.
The study of market shares in the sports business also shows that Africa only picks up crumbs. Africa is barely present in global statistics. The continent is undergoing globalization but benefits very little from it. Africa only plays the role of talent reserve; a kind of nursery.
The weakness of Africa's weight in the world economy is glaring here. The continent benefits little from the financial windfall from sport, just as it benefits little from the fair value of the wealth it “generously” offers to the world economy.
The very nature of sporting activity generates this anachronistic situation. Sport in America or Europe and increasingly in Asia as well, lives in part thanks to the talents that only Africa can provide on a genetic and phenotypic level. Many sports, particularly the most popular and economically promising, require particular qualities and human potential that fit perfectly with the type of young people Africa abounds with. It is almost the only continent to offer this particularity.
There is also the informal economy which has established itself as a saving palliative for young people since it allows them to benefit from cheap sports equipment. Even counterfeit or second-hand, this particularly individual equipment still allows a certain practice at a certain level. This informal activity, if encouraged and guided, can constitute the basis of a local sports economy and move into the formal sector.
Angry, lost, and afraid- in world I never made
Raging, sadness, and rotten- I, in a world, time has forgotten
She gave peace, mind, and strength
She holds me tight and gives my darkness the kindest light- to be happy with such happiness
You are the good that goodness gets to be
"Dancing in the Rain"
She reminded him of no one
He was trapped in a dream he wanted
He had demons that danced with perfect vulgar in her night that never ended
Je suis es noir- he is the black
Je suis es blanc- she is the white
She needed him like she needs the light
She hides from him in the shadows, but he owns the night
He was all she never wanted, emotionally complex, and couldn’t understand
He was barbed wire on a bloody heart
She was all he never wanted, complex emotionally, and understands couldn't
She was an anvil made of glass
It wasn’t anything but everything, like beautiful demolition
The life that breaths life
The good that makes bad feel good
These words that could not be said, only seen in stares with my eyes
Dancing in perfect laughter until we see the sun rise
Revival and Revolution of Platonic Mysticism
Mysticism in the Western philosophic canon is considered antifoundational, but here we discuss and interpret mysticism in Platonic thought; we identify Platonic mysticism in relation to the development of Michael Oakeshott's conservative philosophy
For a skeptic, human reason is counterassertive to reality's material facts. Plato was in a broad contexts, a skeptic. Plato's Theory of Forms  tells us the facts of the material world are of an inferior ontological status to eternal forms; Plato's *degrees of reality*  tells us eternal forms are more real than their counterpart. In *platonic dialogue* , Forms are considered primary to particulars, which are viewed in the mystic sense, in part, beyond human cognition, i.e., counterassertive to reality's material facts.
For Michael Oakeshott, a 20th century skeptic philosopher, "[dialectic] discussion is spent ... when all simultaneously discover that each has been right all the time" (6, B). To Oakeshott, transmission is diluted by the ambiguity of language, and the dialectic is the developing of the subject as susceptible to multiple and contradictory conceptual phenomena.
Plato's *degrees of reality*, for Oakeshott, in his book Experience and it's Modes, becomes a modal reality, whereas human experience is comprised of distinct modes, e.g., the scientific, philosophic, historic, etc, each with their own rules and criteria for truth. For Oakeshott, philosophy is a distinct mode of experience, one that critically examines the presuppositions of other modes.
Brand Blanshard, in his book Reason and Analysis, published in 1962, wrote "there has been no period in the past two thousand years when [Rationalism has] undergone a bombardment so varied, so competent, so massive and sustained, as in the last half-century" (26, A). In attacks on Rationalism, mysticism got a new heartbeat, retrospectively identified in the work of Plato.
In Oakeshott, we see a postmodern skeptic philosophy, where philosophic knowledge is regarded as mystical, in clear relation to platonic philosophy. Indeed, in Michael Oakeshott's Skepticism, by Aryeh Botwinick, he writes "[Oakeshott] did not require more than Plato in order to arrive at what nowadays is usually regarded as an antifoundational position" (6, B).
** Plato's Theory of Forms:**
The *theory of forms* is the metaphysical theory that true reality consists of abstract and ideal entities. Plato's theory of anamnesis tells us learning is the process of remembering the eternal forms before we were incarnated into the physical world.
** Plato's Doctrine of Degrees of Reality:**
The *degrees of reality* doctrine set forth by Plato suggests that Forms are, in the proper sense, real, while particulars are between existence and non-existence.
** The Platonic Dialectic:**
The *platonic dialectic* is the theory of platonic dialogue, for which the impetus is exercised when participants resolve their subject to an eternal form.
**[A]** Blanshard, Brand. Reason and analysis. OPEN COURT, 1991.
**[B]** Botwinick, Aryeh. Michael Oakeshott's Skepticism. Princeton University Press, 2010.
Welcome to Bluwr.
We are glad to see you here, we promised that Bluwr would be released on the 13th of November 2023 and we delivered. Bluwr is unique, we took inspiration from times far before the internet. Bluwr is a bridge between the past and the future, a conduit for thoughtfulness and inspiration.
We built it with maturity and foresight, striving for beauty and perfection.
A text-based platform for times to come, the past and the future seamlessly merging into something greater.
"" - Bluwr.
You are leaving Bluwr.
We cannot garantee what's on the other side of this link:
"Finding the Sun of My Sky: Bloom's Journey" [1/2]
Within the intricate tapestry of our vast world, a hidden sanctuary emerges—Nighthaven, an expansive and mysterious forest veiled in an impenetrable cloak of darkness. The towering timbers, reaching skyward, appear to consume light itself, casting an everlasting twilight where neither the sun's rays nor the gentle flicker of flames dare to breach. In this realm of perpetual night, its inhabitants come into being shrouded in the absence of sight.
Nighthaven, a world crafted in a myriad of black hues, denies the very existence of color. Its denizens, oblivious to the visual spectrum, are born strangers to the concept of sight. In their world of four senses—touch, taste, smell, and sound—they navigate through an awareness confined by the limitations of their senses. Deprived of the gift of vision, they form mental images based on the tactile, auditory, olfactory, and gustatory dimensions of their surroundings. Here, in this secluded enclave, the canvas of perception is painted not in the vibrant strokes of color but in the subtleties of their restricted senses, creating a narrative woven in the depths of eternal night.
Yet amid the prevailing shadows of Nighthaven, life unfolded in a chiaroscuro of exceptions, and there emerged Bloom, a luminous anomaly in the tapestry of monotony. The solitary scion of his lineage, his eyes bore an otherworldly luminescence, a radiant emanation that divulged his extraordinary endowment. Unparalleled among his peers, Bloom possessed the rare faculty to apprehend light itself, unraveling the ineffable intricacies—the play of shadows, the nuanced contours of moonlit silhouettes, and the elusive ballet of starlight. However, Bloom's revelation confronted a formidable resistance within the hallowed precincts of his own kin. Initially steeped in skepticism, his progenitors summarily dismissed his extraordinary visions as mere phantoms birthed from the forge of imagination. They adamantly proclaimed the nonexistence of such phenomena, driven by a latent fear of consequences yet unknown. In dread of potential ramifications, they vehemently dissuaded Bloom from sharing his unique gift, their warnings laced with the ominous threat of retribution should he defy their authoritative directive. Consequently, Bloom found himself adrift in solitude, the solitary candle flickering in the profound darkness that enveloped him.
In the velvety obscurity, however, a contrasting brilliance endured—an effulgent soul named Sky, a paragon of unwavering faith in Bloom's extraordinary faculty. Though akin to the sightless denizens of Nighthaven, Sky perceived the world not through ocular perception but through the luminosity residing within her heart. Persistently beseeching Bloom to articulate his visual marvels, she regarded his narratives not as mere tales but as resplendent tapestries woven from the uncharted hues of the unseen. Thus, Bloom spent the entirety of his childhood years regaling Sky with the enigmatic wonders that unfolded before his unique gaze, the duo carving out a sanctuary of shared illumination in the all-encompassing murk of their world. As the years passed, Bloom's abilities continued to evolve. His descriptions of the world gained depth and nuance, revealing the beauty that eluded the senses of his fellow inhabitants. Sky, in turn, became a conduit for this hidden world, translating Bloom's visions into a language of emotion and imagination that resonated with the hearts of those who listened.
In the shroud of night, Bloom discerned a distant enchantment bathed in an unfamiliar radiance, a luminosity that eluded his grasp. He attempted to articulate this elusive spectacle, likening it to the gentle glow of moonlight yet marked by a luminosity distinct and enigmatic, as if the very essence of radiance had taken on an unfamiliar form.
"Finding the Sun of My Sky: Bloom's Journey"[2/2]
Bloom's extraordinary gift began to spread beyond the secluded enclave, reaching curious ears and stirring a longing in others to perceive a world beyond the confines of touch, taste, smell, and sound. Nighthaven, once bound by the limitations of its inhabitants, now found itself on the cusp of change. The once impenetrable cloak of darkness began to shimmer with the possibility of a broader spectrum of understanding. Yet, as whispers of Bloom's gift reached the ears of those who held power in Nighthaven, a shadow of fear and resistance descended upon the enclave. Leaders and traditionalists, wary of disrupting the established order, sought to suppress the burgeoning awareness that Bloom's revelations ignited. They viewed his ability not as a gift but as a threat to the stability of their world, fearing that the introduction of a new sense could unravel the delicate balance that had endured for generations.
In a solemn decree, the leaders of Nighthaven, cloaked in the weight of tradition, banished Bloom from the confines of their nocturnal sanctuary. The solitary flame, once revered for its uniqueness, now flickered on the outskirts, an exile from the embrace of the towering timbers. Bloom, with the weight of his visions and the alien radiance clinging to him, stood on the precipice of an unknown realm. Yet, in the face of exile, Bloom was not alone. Sky, the stalwart believer who had traversed the tapestry of his revelations, chose to stand by his side. Together, they ventured into the uncharted territories beyond Nighthaven, a tandem bound by shared curiosity and a refusal to succumb to the shadows of fear. The luminosity that had sparked the upheaval became their guiding beacon. Bloom, once a pariah, now found purpose in unraveling the mysteries of this newfound radiance. Their journey led them to the discovery of beings possessing extraordinary capacities, beings akin to humans but with abilities that transcended the norm. The first encounter revealed individuals who could glide through the ocean depths like ethereal fish. Mesmerized, Bloom and Sky listened to vivid descriptions of the hidden beauty beneath the waves: schools of iridescent fish, exotic herbs swaying with the current, and a realm untouched by the limitations of Nighthaven. For Bloom and Sky, these encounters transcended the realm of mere tales; they served as portals to a world previously confined to the realms of their dreams. The allure of the unknown propelled them forward, their senses intoxicated by the promise of a reality that extended beyond the familiar boundaries of touch, taste, smell, and sound. Each revelation acted as a brushstroke on the canvas of their perception, infusing new hues and expanding the tapestry of their understanding.
As their odyssey unfolded, they crossed paths with a multitude of beings, each possessing unique capabilities. From those who communed effortlessly with animals to individuals who could decipher the very fabric of ideas, and even those who wielded the power to materialize and dematerialize at will. These encounters were not merely diversions along their journey but revelations that reshaped the contours of their comprehension. In the recurrent pursuit of understanding, Bloom persistently sought answers about the celestial mystery—an enigmatic luminous object resembling the moon but adorned with a distinct glow. Yet, with each inquiry, precision eluded him, leaving the cosmic puzzle suspended in the vastness of uncertainty. Unfazed, Bloom and Sky pressed on, their footsteps echoing in synchrony with their unyielding curiosity. Suddenly, the atmosphere underwent a subtle transformation. Bloom, attuned to the nuances of his surroundings, noted the gradual clearing of the weather and the dissipation of the once-pervasive darkness. A glimmer of clarity emerged, paving the way for the revelation that awaited them on the horizon. Unexpectedly, the duo encountered beings with wings, soaring gracefully through the sky. The spectacle unfolded before them like a living tapestry of celestial elegance, leaving Bloom and Sky entranced. Inquisitive as ever, Bloom approached these winged entities, seeking not only an understanding of their aerial prowess but also answers about the elusive luminous object that had stirred his curiosity. With smiles that mirrored the radiance of their flight, the winged beings responded, revealing the cosmic secret. "It is the sun," they declared, the words resonating like a celestial anthem. The sun, the universal illuminator, held sway over the vast expanse. Bloom, captivated by this revelation, sought further guidance on its whereabouts.
The winged entities, ever gracious, gestured towards the horizon, assuring Bloom that the sun would manifest on its own as dawn approached. As the first rays of dawn began to kiss the horizon, a soft luminescence painted the landscape. The winged beings, their silhouettes now outlined by the burgeoning light, gracefully guided Bloom and Sky towards a vantage point. There, amidst the serene ambiance of the approaching dawn, they would bear witness to the revelation of the sun. Time seemed to hold its breath as the horizon transformed into a canvas ablaze with hues unseen in Nighthaven. The air shimmered with the promise of a new day, and as the first sliver of the sun peeked above the edge of the world, Bloom felt a surge of emotion. He finally saw the sun. He finally sees the sun, and turning to Sky, he exclaims, "I've found the sun of my Sky." Sky smiles, basking in the warmth of the sun, and asks Bloom to describe the view so she can etch it into her memory.
Bloom and Sky, at some point, harbor a desire to return to Nighthaven, but they can't find a way back. It's as if the path home is vanishing with the light of the sun. Bloom is disturbed by this, but Sky, with a serene smile, reassures him, saying, "We should go forward and discover the mysteries of this universe."