Back in the office today after being satisfied that I won this round with The Cold. Fueling up before I get started today with an Egg McMuffin duo. On the agenda today is getting everything implemented and in-place for an important client progress demo later this afternoon. Fortunately, the paper describing the technique we're replicating (and extending) engaged in a good bit of, let's say, rhetorical puffery, and the technique is much more straightforward and less esoteric than the description would lead one to believe. That said, if anyone can provide a good reference on Boltzmann sampling (or "Bolzmann", as alternatively spelled in the paper), I'd appreciate it. The cited reference doesn't even mention the process. I'd appreciate a description that uses English Words as opposed to Math Greek, since my fluency in the latter is lacking.

On to the links! (Updated throughout the day.)

How to get rich quick in Silicon Valley (The Guardian)

I get asked often why I'm a technologist in Chicago, as opposed to relocating out to the Bay Area. It's the general insanity described in this excerpt from an upcoming book that keeps me away. HBO's "Silicon Valley" is about as close as I want to be to that culture.

The Supreme Court Is Terrible at Hiring Diverse Law Clerks, but Neil Gorsuch Is Surprisingly Good at It (Slate)

Starts out as commentary on Gorsuch's clerk hiring practices, but ends up as a much better article describing clerkship across the Court. Was surprised how interesting this was.

Watch Wrigley Field’s renovation in mind-blowing timelapse (WGN)

Looking forward to visiting the updated Friendly Confines next month!

Jordan Peterson takes a stab at Adam and Eve (LifeSiteNews)

In his interpretations of the biblical stories, Peterson shows the enduring power of a classic way of approaching the text. From at least the time of Origen of Alexandria, readers have distinguished various senses of scripture. The literal sense of scripture is what the human author intended to communicate, such as history, metaphor, poetry, or parable. The allegorical sense is how the passage is related to Christ, the eternal Word and the son of Mary. The moral sense is how the passage can help guide human behavior. And finally, the anagogical sense is how the passage relates to the ultimate human destiny of heaven or hell.

While I'm unsure of my commitment to atheism, I am one of the folks who have raved about Peterson's Biblical lecture series. While the lecture series has done nothing to bolster my belief in the supernatural prerequisites for being a believer, Peterson's interpretations of the Old Testament have convinced me of the value of the Bible not so much as a text authored by God, but instead as Christianity (or more accurately, Judaism in this case) as an extremely robust medium for which to transmit cultural information through thousands of years while weathering changes in information environments (esp. languages). To what extent this idea is True is extremely debatable - we only have the media itself and not the intention of its authors available to us, but if I needed to transmit an idea into the future in a form that would be unambiguous as possible, I can think of fewer approaches that are more successful than starting a religion (with the appropriate divinity who punishes corruptors of the medium).

Viewed in this light, I've really enjoyed Peterson's lectures and attempts to "mine" the Truths out of the classic Bible stories.

(For folks who expect a Kleinian disclaimer around any discussion of Peterson, stay tuned as I have an entire Jordan Peterson post percolating that will tackle this topic. Look for it in the upcoming weekend, assuming my scheduling does not go completely insane.)

How Domino’s Pizza Drove a 90x Increase in Stock Value by Acting Like a Tech Startup (Product Habits)

My own purchasing habits are evidence of Domino's stellar execution.

The Irreproducibility Crisis of Modern Science (National Association of Scholars)

I'm skeptical that this will be fixed until there's a much-needed realignment of incentives in the Sciences (and other fields of inquiry) that ceases to compensate scientists for publications that are difficult to "price" effectively for actual importance. Also, we need to get over the human bias favoring positive results and place (innovative) negative results on the same playing field.

This post will be updated throughout the day with other links I find interesting.

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