Random Link ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Jan 15, 2022 » Software Engineering Journal Reviews 5 min; updated Jan 26, 2022 Formal Software Design Alloy is an open-source language and analyzer for software modeling. An Alloy model is a collection of constraints that describe a set of structures, e.g. all possible security configurations of a web application. Alloy’s tool, the Alloy Analyzer is a solver that takes the constraints of a model and finds structures that satisfy them. The Alloy Analyzer leverages a SAT solver, and this precludes Alloy from analyzing optimization problems.... Oct 4, 2021 » Journal Reviews on Fairness 7 min; updated Jan 25, 2022 Meta Instead of changing the data or learners in multiple ways and then see if fairness improves, postulate that the root causes of bias are the prior decisions that generated the training data. These affect (a) what data was selected, and (b) the labels assigned to the examples. They propose the $$\text{Fair-SMOTE}$$ (Fair Synthetic Minority Over Sampling Technique) algorithm which (1) removes biased labels (via situation testing: if the model’s prediction for a data point changes once all of the data points' protected attributes are flipped, then that label is biased and the data point is discarded), and (2) rebalances internal distributions such that based on a protected attribute, examples are equal in both positive and negative classes.... Nov 14, 2020 » Software Dependencies 3 min; updated Jan 25, 2022 Bloated Dependencies A bloated dependency is one which is packaged in the application binary, but is not needed to run the application. There are two levels to this: (1) a source file declares a dependency on foo but never actually uses foo, and (2) the application as a whole never uses foo. An optimal de-bloating solution would first address (1) and then tackle (2). Some languages may have better tooling than others when it comes to automatically de-bloating their dependencies.... Dec 17, 2021 » 01. The Case for the Scout Mindset 6 min; updated Jan 25, 2022 Two Types of Thinking Soldier Mindset Reasoning is like defensive combat. Finding out you’re wrong means suffering a defeat. Seeks out evidence to fortify and defend your beliefs. Directionally motivated reasoning. When we want something to be true, we ask, “Can I believe this?” When we don’t want something to be true, we ask, “Must I believe this?” Scout Mindset Reasoning is like mapmaking. Finding out you’re wrong means revising your map.... Jan 23, 2021 » Research on Privacy Enhancing Techniques 2 min; updated Jan 23, 2022 Journals note that prediction services can still make accurate predictions using a fraction of the data collected from a user device. They propose Cloak, which suppresses non-pertinent features (i.e. those features which can consistently tolerate addition of noise without degrading utility) to the prediction task. Cloak has a provable degree of privacy, and unlike cryptographic techniques, does not degrade prediction latency. Using the training data, labels, a pre-trained model and a privacy-utility knob, they (1) find the pertinent features through perturbation training, and (2) learn utility-preserving constant values for suppressing the non-pertinent data.... Jan 2, 2022 » 05. Rethinking Identity 6 min; updated Jan 21, 2022 How Beliefs Become Identities Didn’t have priors on this. In retrospect, I could have asked: how can I differentiate between a belief and an identity? What are the consequences of a belief becoming an identity? Feeling under siege from a hostile world may crystallize a belief into an identity, e.g. formula-feeders feeling judged as bad mothers; evangelical christians feeling alienated by legal and cultural changes like legal abortion, gay marriage and sexualized content in the media.... Jul 13, 2021 » On Becoming a Better Point Guard 9 min; updated Jan 15, 2022 Objective: Learn to read the game and make smart predictions. Reaction times are overrated; perception and prediction rule . Offensive Playmaking and Scoring tracks the following play types: transition, isolation, pick & roll ball handler, pick & roll roll man, post up, spot up, handoff, cut, off screen and put-backs. At least these categories provide a baseline for what search terms to use. also has a miscellaneous play type section, so it’ll be interesting to see if a new play-type pops up in the future.... Jan 11, 2022 » Journal Reviews 5 min; updated Jan 15, 2022 Link Prediction Given network-structured data, predict whether a link exists between two nodes. General types of prediction tasks on graphs: graph-level (e.g. will a molecule bind to a receptor implicated in a disease?), node-level (e.g. what is the identity of each node?), and edge-level (e.g. does this edge exist; what value does it have?). Applications include: predicting drug-drug interactions (common in treating patients with complex/co-existing diseases) as they may cause changes in the drugs' pharmacological activity .... Jan 27, 2020 » Tech and Democracy 5 min; updated Jan 7, 2022 Political Ads Cambridge Analytica (CA) paid people to take in-app survey; mined FB profile data including friends' data; crafted tailored sensitive ads to sway-able voters. Elections are about emotions, not facts. Data science and social media can help us make sense of and manipulate the chaos. An alternative argument. Political misinformation is: Weak in high profile partisan races because pre-existing beliefs hardly change Strong when people don’t have string pre-existing opinions, e.... Jan 2, 2022 » 04. Changing Your Mind 6 min; updated Jan 2, 2022 How to Be Wrong found that experts were barely able to forecast better than random chance. However, a small subset of people (coined “superforecasters” ) were better. In a competition, they beat teams of top professors and CIA professional analysts. These superforecasters were not smarter than everyone else nor did they have more knowledge/experience, they were great at being wrong. Change your mind a little at a time. Seeing the world in shades of grey is less stressful, as the experience of encountering evidence against one of your beliefs is not high stakes.... Dec 28, 2021 » 02. Developing Self-Awareness 8 min; updated Jan 2, 2022 Signs of a Scout These Don’t Make You a Scout Feeling objective. The more objective you feel, the more you trust your own intuitions and opinions as accurate representations of reality, and the less inclined you are to question them. Being smart and knowledgeable. It’s not a case of “if people were smarter and well-informed, they’d realize their errors”. For example, found that polarization (on political fronts) on anthropogenic climate change increases as scientific intelligence increases.... Jan 1, 2022 » 03. Thriving Without Illusions 3 min; updated Jan 1, 2022 Coping with Reality This chapter felt a bit vacuous with its use of anecdotes to advance points. Criticism of studies that argue that self-deception makes us happier: conflation of positive illusions and positive beliefs; unfounded definitions of what counts as self-deception; results that can be equally well-explained by something else. There are alternative coping strategies that don’t involve self-deception: making a hypothetical plan about some unpleasant and unavoidable thing; noticing silver linings but not to the point of sweet lemons; admitting that things could be worse.... Oct 7, 2020 » Fables in Service of Capitalism 4 min; updated Dec 29, 2021 Environmentalism Over the last 70 years, less than 10% of plastic waste has been recycled - it’s uneconomical. Recycling shifts attention from the environmental impact of plastics and their overproduction to the consumer’s willingness to recycle. Reducing and reusing is a much better environmental strategy. Betting (and Gambling) I’m seeing more prominent gambling sites and ads compared to when I was growing up. Based on my peers, SportPesa made lots of headway in Kenya (few companies can claim to sponsor English Premier League teams).... Jul 4, 2021 » Rage Against the Algorithm 4 min; updated Nov 6, 2021 The lack of explanability is a common theme. Higher-ups claim the machine is unbiased, while the workers on the ground say, “It’s not me; it’s the computer”. Automating Inequality: How High-tech Tools Profile, Police, and Punish the Poor should be an enlightening read. Computers Can Solve Your Problem. You May Not Like the Answer The algorithm had four guiding principles: Increase # of high school students starting after 8am Decrease # of elementary school students dismissed after 4pm Accommodate the needs of special education students Generate transportation savings Unprecedented opposition to the algorithm’s solution....