Bayesian Images

Graphs to accompany my poster presentation. The data set The generated data is plotted below: Metropolis Hastings Algorithm This visual explanation of the Metropolis Hastings algorithm shows the proposal and the true density along with the Metropolis Hastings step. It was inspired and adapted from code by Balazs Torok. Diagnostic Plots for Beta 2 via Gibbs Sampler Autocorrelation Plot The autocorrelations are negligable, suggesting good mixing. Running Means Plot The running means have settled. Read On →

Thirteen hours in Rotterdam

Oscar Wilde once wrote: “Whenever a man does a thoroughly stupid thing, it is always from the noblest motives.” I bought a bus ticket from London to Rotterdam. I did this in order to save what effectively amounts to the price of a handful of beers in London prices. I needed to get to Budapest, and I already had a flight leaving from Rotterdam booked. I spent 8 excruciating hours on a bus from London Victoria to Rotterdam Centraal, to in Rotterdam at 5 am in a cold winter morning. Read On →

You are wasting your time with spreadsheets

This week I had an interesting conversation (as interesting as these conversations can get) about the use of spreadsheets in business. I am still a little bit surprised by how often they are used for things they are not really good for. Now, I don’t want to write about how there are better alternatives to spreadsheets. Instead, I’d like to illustrate how powerful non-spreadsheet tools are by describing a task I completed this week using R. Read On →

How to get your Facebook messages into R

It is a truism that we live in the information age, yet on a day to day basis we engage remarkably little with insights on the personal information we create. Sure, Netflix shows you films you want to see, Amazon offers books you want to buy and Facebook shows you pictures of cats with boobs or whatever it is you tend to click on, but explicit purpose of that is to get your money. Read On →

Alphabetically inspired anecdotes from Cuba: 58 years after 1958

Aviacion de Cubana There was no toilet paper on the Russian-made Antonov 158 plane which took me and 15 other passengers to Havana. The Cuban state airline, Cubana de Aviacion, clearly does not need have to meet profitability targets. Even the dry sandwich they served tasted of an iron curtain. Not unlike the other living political museum of China, immigration and customs is relatively straightforward. If you had to guess the political system of a country based on the border control procedures you’d probably guess the United States is authoritarian. Read On →

How I made this website - tutorial

Theory As our activities are increasingly organised online – from business through voting to leisure time – knowing how to write (or even just understand) code is an increasingly coveted skill. Its benefits range wide; if you can code you will get a better job, improve your analytical skills, make work processes easier and cheaper. These reasons led us – Dora and Boaz, authors of this article – to set up our websites as a means of learning and practising a bit of coding. Read On →

Boaz's Review of Books: Violence, elaborate lies and a literary journey through China and Africa

The books I finished reading recently that I thought might be interesting to comment upon were Steven Pinker’s The better Angels of Our Nature, Mo Yan’s Big Breast’s and Wide Hips, Kapuscinski’s The Shadow of the Sun, Robert Mazur’s Infiltrator and David Maurer’s Big Con . Steven Pinker, a psychologist at Harvard, wrote a (way too long) book to argue the world is becoming less, not more violent. What about ISIS, Ukraine, gang warfare and mass shootings? Read On →

Donald Trump and Zuckerberg's Matrix

Prediction markets have the Republican nomination for President of the USA going to billionaire reality TV host and megalomaniac Donald Trump. On the other side of the aisle, self-described socialist Sanders is making Hillary Clinton’s campaign sweat. This isn’t “politics as usual” for anyone except the writers of The Simpsons. According to the party decides theory (or at least my interpretation of Nate Silver’s interpretation) the party, as a loose coalition of opinion forming individuals, can heavily weigh in on who gets nominated. Read On →

Boaz's Review of Books

A few books I recently finished reading are Ben Bernanke’s Courage to act, Dr Philip Tetlock’s Superforecasting, Peter Thiel’s Zero to One, an unofficial biography on George Soros, and collection of druggie short stories titled Acid House by Irvine Welsh. I do not expect to do justice to the arguments in the books (read a real book review if you want that), I’m just sharing the lessons I learned from them as a little exercise. Read On →

What I read in 2015

I bought my Kindle slightly over a year ago, and since it has accompanied me everywhere I’ve been. It has provided me with entertainment on long journeys and education in subjects where I had none. I would like to share some of my favourite quotes. I have sorted them based on when I started reading them, with some slight editing. December (2014) The Prince (Niccolò Machiavelli) Besides, pretexts for taking away the property are never wanting; for he who has once begun to live by robbery will always find pretexts for seizing what belongs to others; but reasons for taking life, on the contrary, are more difficult to find and sooner lapse. Read On →