The Living Thing

Here are my public notebooks.

This means: these notebooks concern topics I do not necessarily understand, but wish to inform myself about. All conclusions are provisional, all ideas are half-baked and nothing, at all, has been reviewed. Typos, spelling errors and bad edits abound. Youโ€™re welcome.

Much of this information is digested from the blogs on my blogroll, or the papers on my reading list.

These are rated on the 3 point scale of Usefulness (๐Ÿ”ง), Novelty (๐Ÿ’ก), Uncertainty (๐Ÿคช) and Incompleteness (๐Ÿšง)

Also, I just moved all these from livingthing.danmackinlay.name to danmackinlay.name which ended up being rather complicated, so if there are any broken URLs please let me know.

Academic writing workflow Minimising the friction of of advertising my thoughts in order to maximise the chance a clever thought makes it out there. 2014-10-04 โ€“ 2020-01-14
Economic inequality Return to capital versus return to labour versus return to state of nature 2014-10-29 โ€“ 2020-01-14
Comfy Ubuntu Various bits of setup for a research machine 2014-10-14 โ€“ 2020-01-14
Editing images Chinks in my armour of learned photoshop helplessness 2018-10-16 โ€“ 2020-01-14
Fonts 2016-01-11 โ€“ 2020-01-10
Cloud machine learning Cloudimificating my artificial data learning intelligence brain clever science analyticserisation 2016-08-23 โ€“ 2020-01-09
Wikis plus also CMSs 2020-01-03 โ€“ 2020-01-02
Shells That alternative to GUIs by which you replace clicking-on-the-wrong-thing errors with typing-the-wrong-thing errors 2014-10-03 โ€“ 2020-01-01
Packaged apps for Linux On having 3 extra suggestions for installing that app on top of the existing 12 2019-08-09 โ€“ 2019-12-31
Trains #Gunzellyf 2019-12-30
Jupyter The least excruciating compromise between 1) irreproducible science, and 2) spooking your luddite colleagues 2017-02-09 โ€“ 2019-12-29
Email Doing email better, or better, not doing email at all 2015-01-13 โ€“ 2019-12-29
Browse the internet for me Introducing modern automation to the ancient craft of serfing the web and tilling the clickfarm 2016-06-17 โ€“ 2019-12-27
Rhetoric Argumentation, descriptive and prescriptive 2017-06-07 โ€“ 2019-12-27
Browser hacks Castor oil for your webshits 2017-04-20 โ€“ 2019-12-26
Tip me 2016-09-06 โ€“ 2019-12-24
FFMPEG 2019-11-11 โ€“ 2019-12-23
Covariance functions Mercer kernels, positive definite operators, spare reproducing kernels for that Hilbert space I bought on eBay real cheap 2019-09-16 โ€“ 2019-12-22
Nerdview 2014-12-27 โ€“ 2019-12-22
Backups Breaking things safely 2015-01-02 โ€“ 2019-12-21
pytorch #torched 2018-05-04 โ€“ 2019-12-18
Free energy Fancy analogy for understanding cognition 2011-11-27 โ€“ 2019-12-11
Controllerism Making thing happen by waving your arms about on stage 2014-11-17 โ€“ 2019-12-10
Hardened mobile Trusting the computer that follows you around all day 2015-02-15 โ€“ 2019-12-07
Markdown An itemised list of the esoteric difficulties of bullet points 2019-07-17 โ€“ 2019-12-07
Terminals More realistically, terminal emulators, because the world is standards lock-in all the way down 2018-10-11 โ€“ 2019-12-05
PDF Portable Document Format, how we may use a thousand dollar computer to simulate a one cent piece of paper with zero day exploits 2018-06-03 โ€“ 2019-12-03
Linux audio Making sound by banging rocks together 44 thousand times per second 2018-04-23 โ€“ 2019-12-01
Audiobooks Long form podcasts 2014-11-11 โ€“ 2019-11-30
Laฮคeฮง โ€ฆand ฮคeฮง, and ConTeXt and XeTeX and TeXleMeElmo 2014-09-08 โ€“ 2019-11-30
Clojure 2015-01-05 โ€“ 2019-11-30
Tensorflow the framework to use for deep learning if you groupthink like Google 2016-07-11 โ€“ 2019-11-23
Music gear Digital amps and mics for the prissy yet broke 2014-08-26 โ€“ 2019-11-22
Bitwig The DAW I hate least 2016-11-26 โ€“ 2019-11-22
MIDI The near-adequate compromise for digital music that we are stuck with 2015-10-03 โ€“ 2019-11-20
Sleep Pathologies and hacks 2017-04-19 โ€“ 2019-11-19
Fish shell A command line shell that does not think that the problem is you 2019-03-30 โ€“ 2019-11-19
ssh 2014-12-27 โ€“ 2019-11-18
Tunings 2015-10-29 โ€“ 2019-11-18
Classification labelling losses, fitting classifiers etc 2017-02-20 โ€“ 2019-11-13
Probability divergences Metrics, contrasts and divergences and other ways of quantifying how similar are two randomnesses 2014-11-25 โ€“ 2019-11-12
Javascript audio Every program will expand until the point that it can generate cheezy techno 2011-11-25 โ€“ 2019-11-08
Presentations Slide decks and other stylised academic dominance displays 2015-06-01 โ€“ 2019-11-08
Phase retrieval Iโ€™ve got the power. / Like the crack of the whip/ I snap attack/ Front to back 2017-01-16 โ€“ 2019-11-07
Weaponised social media Trolls, bots, lulz, infowars and other moods of the modern networked ape 2019-10-21 โ€“ 2019-11-05
Sparse coding How to make big things out of short lists of small things. 2014-11-17 โ€“ 2019-11-05
Wasserstein GANs Fancy regularisation for tricky fakes 2019-05-21 โ€“ 2019-11-04
Academic reading workflow The continuing ascendancy of using piles of dead tree products for understanding cutting edge digital informatics 2016-04-11 โ€“ 2019-11-03
Conference posters Comes the time when a student must spell the eldritch symbols for this occult rite of great but inscrutable importance 2018-07-19 โ€“ 2019-11-01
Gamification โ€œBelated Blogging of a Buzzwordโ€ achievement unlocked 2019-10-27 โ€“ 2019-10-31
Fit 2015-01-17 โ€“ 2019-10-31
Oh, Newcastle Newcastle, Australia, not that weird copy in England 2019-10-31
Aksara Sunda แฎƒแฎŠแฎชแฎžแฎ› แฎžแฎฅแฎ”แฎชแฎ“ 2015-10-08 โ€“ 2019-10-30
Scientific writing In which style tips are given for the projection of status through nominal phrases and passive voice 2014-12-31 โ€“ 2019-10-30
Survey modelling Adjusting for the Lizardman constant 2019-08-29 โ€“ 2019-10-30
Timeless works of art The efficient arts hypothesis and artbitrage opportunities 2015-01-12 โ€“ 2019-10-29
Status the original karma system 2019-10-25 โ€“ 2019-10-28
R The statistical programming language, not the letter 2011-08-07 โ€“ 2019-10-28
Nowhere to hide A catalogue of terrifying surveillance methods I encounter 2019-07-13 โ€“ 2019-10-27
Ableton Live The de facto standard for techno 2015-01-06 โ€“ 2019-10-24
Containerized apps Doing things that previously took 1 computer using 0.75 computers 2015-11-05 โ€“ 2019-10-22
Text editors The best thing since punchcards 2014-11-11 โ€“ 2019-10-22
Printing Offline backups that do not need batteries 2018-10-03 โ€“ 2019-10-21
QR codes Subtitles for robots 2019-10-30 โ€“ 2019-10-21
Solarpunk A tomorrow worth retiring to 2019-10-29 โ€“ 2019-10-20
Bayesians vs frequentists Just because we both get the same answer doesnโ€™t mean neither of us is wrong 2014-11-25 โ€“ 2019-10-19
Diagrams Of the kind I need, a practical guide to the creation thereof 2015-03-02 โ€“ 2019-10-17
Subordinators Non-decreasing stochastic processes with a funny name 2019-10-14 โ€“ 2019-10-15
Python A programming language whose remarkable feature is working how you imagine, if not how it should 2011-04-18 โ€“ 2019-10-15
Climate crisis The conspiracy of those malign incumbent powers, the laws of physics, against the plucky underdog, coal megacorporations 2011-12-13 โ€“ 2019-10-14
Cluster models a.k.a. cascade distributions, Galton-Watson models 2019-10-11
Time management Akrasia, gamification, hyperbolic discounting, quantified self and voluntary blackmail 2017-06-18 โ€“ 2019-10-08
Innovation on the invention of self-moving goalposts 2014-07-27 โ€“ 2019-10-08
Bounded rationality and miscellaneous non von Neumann-Morgenstern rationality postulates 2012-01-13 โ€“ 2019-10-05
Voting Systems Mathematics and economics of ballots 2014-09-22 โ€“ 2019-10-05
Social psychology Which of those NPR-friendly studies actually replicated? 2017-02-20 โ€“ 2019-10-03
DJing On making people listen to your living room playlist by demanding that they pay for it 2015-02-02 โ€“ 2019-10-02
Data sets Questions for answers looking for questions 2015-06-26 โ€“ 2019-09-25
Correlograms Also covariances 2018-08-08 โ€“ 2019-09-22
Wirtinger calculus Itโ€™s not complicated / Itโ€™sย complex 2019-05-08 โ€“ 2019-09-10
Informations Entropies and other measures of surprise 2011-11-25 โ€“ 2019-09-10
Sneakernets Intermittent connectivity, mesh networks and the Honda protocol 2015-10-03 โ€“ 2019-09-09
Secure chat systems Optimising back channel interjections into other peopleโ€™s meetings 2015-02-15 โ€“ 2019-09-09
Decentralized net services Peer-to-peer services, plus other things that people will mistake for blockchain 2017-09-18 โ€“ 2019-09-09
DNS On asking strangers for directions 2017-10-13 โ€“ 2019-08-26
Hierarchical models DAGs, multilevel models, random coefficient models, mixed effect modelsโ€ฆ 2015-06-07 โ€“ 2019-08-19
Sandboxing apps Upon letting strangers into your house, just so long as they donโ€™t open the door to that one forbidden room 2019-08-09 โ€“ 2019-08-18
Causal inference Confounding! This scientist performed miracle graph surgery during an intervention and you wonโ€™t believe what happened next 2016-10-26 โ€“ 2019-08-07
Git GUIs 2019-02-08 โ€“ 2019-07-09
Sequential Monte Carlo also โ€œParticle Filtersโ€ and a profusion of other simultaneous-discovery names 2014-07-25 โ€“ 2019-07-08
Neural nets designing the fanciest usable differentiable loss surface 2016-10-14 โ€“ 2019-05-27
Making and its discontents Also repairers, innovators, maintainers, disruptors and sustainers, but not passive consumers 2018-09-24 โ€“ 2019-05-24
Natural language processing Dave, although you took very thorough precautions in the pod against my hearing you, I could see your lips move. 2018-01-11 โ€“ 2019-04-22
Research discovery Has someone solved the problem you have not worked out how to ask yet? 2019-01-22 โ€“ 2019-04-08
Artisanal poverty On the decreasingly relevant business model of cool 2018-03-26 โ€“ 2019-03-14
Hollow states Skim government when fat cats drank the cream 2019-03-13
Particulate masks for my morning commute through heavy industrial districts. 2019-01-18 โ€“ 2019-03-11
Signal sampling Discrete representation of continuous signals and converse 2017-05-30 โ€“ 2019-03-08
Oh, Sydney The rum corps in New South Boomerstan 2019-03-05 โ€“ 2019-03-08
Csound a less irritating audio programming language 2017-03-06 โ€“ 2019-03-07
Change of time Stochastic processes derived by varying the rate of timeโ€™s passage, which is more convenient than youโ€™d think 2015-08-05 โ€“ 2019-02-18
3d data A grab bag of point clouds, volumetric data and photogrammetry 2019-02-15
First aid If you are checking this webpage while your colleague bleeds out, you are doing it wrong 2019-02-12
Sunda 2015-11-07 โ€“ 2019-02-12
Inner product spaces The most highly developed theory of squaring things 2019-01-01 โ€“ 2019-02-11
Databases structured data storage for completists and โ€œdata scienceโ€ 2015-03-04 โ€“ 2019-02-09
Bikes Especially bikes where I live, which means Sydney at the moment 2014-11-10 โ€“ 2019-01-29
Meditation Socially-mandated zoning out 2016-01-05 โ€“ 2019-01-22
Naming things Hashes, UUIDs, deep and inscrutable singular Names 2016-06-07 โ€“ 2018-12-31
Learning on manifolds Finding the lowest bit of a krazy straw, from the inside 2011-10-21 โ€“ 2018-11-16
The right words That which I substitute with the long words 2017-06-15 โ€“ 2018-11-07
Atom A text editor I seemed to be using 2017-06-19 โ€“ 2018-11-06
Free will A matter about which I voluntarily admit I donโ€™t care, but feel constrained to have something to link to when eliding 2012-03-16 โ€“ 2018-11-06
Signal sampling Discrete sample representation of continuous stochastic processes 2017-05-30 โ€“ 2018-10-29
Sauna sweating, deliberately 2017-04-06 โ€“ 2018-10-25
Newcomb-type decision problems I know that you know what I think you know about what we all know about people who write about strong AI online. 2018-10-24
Nootropics The struggle to find a drug that makes you so fast that you save more time taking it than you lose reading about it 2017-08-07 โ€“ 2018-10-24
Ergodic theory / mixing For things that probably happen eventually instead of just probably 2011-10-17 โ€“ 2018-10-23
German 2014-10-17 โ€“ 2018-10-23
Anomaly detection I donโ€™t define what is normal, but I know it when I see it 2015-10-06 โ€“ 2018-10-22
Surviving bash The flagship product of modern unix is certainly better than any other 80s shell 2018-08-10 โ€“ 2018-10-19
Gender Political and/or empirical engagement therewith 2017-08-13 โ€“ 2018-10-16
Contemporary neo-feudalism King Bannon, Jester Trump, and the Strange Case of the Fate of Billions 2017-02-04 โ€“ 2018-09-27
UIs in Python interacting with an app, a python app, without too much dicking about 2017-06-03 โ€“ 2018-08-10
Getting along Tolerance, ghettoisation, xenophobic panic; Causes, pathologies and consequences of and suggestions for 2017-02-19 โ€“ 2018-08-08
Linear algebra If the thing is twice as big, the transformed version of the thing is also twice as big. {End} 2011-04-06 โ€“ 2018-08-07
Sundanese music Karawitan, Ketuk Tilu, Jaipongan, Gamelan Degung, Death Metal and similar 2014-11-11 โ€“ 2018-07-13
Gym togs On getting fancy activewear in Sydney at a competitive price 2018-06-03 โ€“ 2018-07-12
Python caches The fastest code is the code you donโ€™t run 2018-07-02
Asynchronous Python It canโ€™t be premature optimisation if it took 20 years to start, right? 2018-03-24 โ€“ 2018-04-27
Cooperation Using the vast global technological infrastructure of blogging to notice the self-demonstrating fact that people occasionally work together 2014-11-04 โ€“ 2018-01-31
Signal processing That which you study for 4 years in order to design trippy music visualisers 2015-03-18 โ€“ 2018-01-05
Matlab A method of charging you licensing fees to use the CPU you already bought 2016-06-13 โ€“ 2017-12-13
Publication bias Replication crises, P-values, bitching about journals, other debilities of contemporary science at large 2016-08-30 โ€“ 2017-12-09
Restricted isometry properties Plus incoherence, irrepresentability, and other uncertainty bounds for a sparse world, and maybe frame theory, whatโ€™s that now? 2017-06-12 โ€“ 2017-10-19
Embodiment Itโ€™s easier to teach a robot to walk if it has legs. 2015-01-02 โ€“ 2017-10-14
Dimensionality reduction Wherein I teach myself, amongst other things, how a *sparse* PCA works, and decide where to file multidimensional scaling 2015-03-22 โ€“ 2017-10-13
Quantum probability and quantum information, noncommutative probability 2016-10-16 โ€“ 2017-09-18
Bandit problems Also reinforcement learning and stochastic control 2014-11-27 โ€“ 2017-09-18
Semantics compressed representations of reality for syntactic agents; also, what stuff means 2014-12-29 โ€“ 2017-09-09
AutoML hyperparameter selection with the use of yet more hyperparameters 2017-07-17 โ€“ 2017-08-30
Brains Neural networks made of real neurons, in functioning brains 2014-11-03 โ€“ 2017-08-15
Model averaging On keeping many incorrect hypotheses and using them all as one goodish one 2017-06-20 โ€“ 2017-07-04
Institutions Stable orbits in human systems 2014-10-29 โ€“ 2017-06-20
Models of computation Turing machines, ฮป-calculus, term-rewriting and other models of what may be computed. 2017-06-18 โ€“ 2017-06-18
Machine learning for physics Turbulent mixing at the boundary between two disciplines with differing inertia and viscosity 2017-05-15 โ€“ 2017-05-25
Financial markets Descriptive engagement with reality of 2015-03-14 โ€“ 2017-05-15
Learning of manifolds Also topological data analysis; other hip names to follow 2014-08-19 โ€“ 2017-04-05
Flashcards Spaced repetition systems 2015-01-02 โ€“ 2017-04-01
Scala 2017-02-11 โ€“ 2017-02-28
C++ 2011-04-06 โ€“ 2017-02-10
Statistical learning theory Eventually including structural risk minimisation, risk bounds, hopefully-uniform convergence rates, VC-dimension, generalisation-and-stability framings etc 2016-07-06 โ€“ 2016-08-16
Lua 2014-07-25 โ€“ 2016-08-12
Syntax 2015-01-18 โ€“ 2016-06-22
Art LISP 2015-01-13 โ€“ 2015-12-20
Visuals 2015-03-24 โ€“ 2015-11-26
Colour 2015-04-07 โ€“ 2015-07-15
Altruism 2014-08-05 โ€“ 2015-06-18
Flocking 2011-04-19 โ€“ 2014-11-20