A warning on reading

Every book is a gift,

but every book is dead.

Reading is a waste of your short life

If what results is only thinking, or worse, talking,

And not action.

Reading is about resurrection.

Philosophy is about living.

Only adaptation separates us from death.

There is no substitute for experience.

Understanding Natural Language

Often when I engage in dialogue, I get stuck on the meaning of words. I generally spend way more time than socially appropriate insisting on laying out their definitions. It may seem trivial, but it is not. Language is very powerful. The words we use give us the ability to transcend space and time, manipulate and organize the world, and represent reality as Truth or bend it with lies. Words are the cornerstone of civilization, so I desire to choose how I use them carefully.

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Facial Emotion Classification

A gif of the classifier predicting emotion in real time from a webcam.

Emotionally perceptive AI is likely going to have huge positive and negative implications on our society. Regardless of how you feel about this technology (I’m both excited and terrified), it’s inevitable and it’s important to understand how it works. Whether you’re looking to get started in building emotional AI or if you want shed some light into black box of machine learning, this is for you.

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The Personality of a Nation

An estimation of extraversion by state using personality score data. Darker blue = more extraverted, darker red = less extraverted.

Those people. The others. Them.

In recent years, this has become the fashionable way to address those with ideological views that oppose our own. Instead of looking at those we disagree with as individual people trying to do their best (hopefully), we sort them into dehumanizing categories.

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Books in a Sentence: 2019

I find life confusing and I have a lot of questions, so I turn to books. I find this pursuit very meaningful. The goal of this project is to whittle down the essence of each book to a single sentence. Because a book is like great fish whose brilliant color fades after being taken from from the sea, I’ve written these lines to hold on to that color just a little longer. They are definitely not reviews, but a shimmering object at the bottom of the ocean that with particular lighting, may catch a particular eye. If that eye is yours, I encourage you to read the book to experience its brilliance. Maybe afterwards we can talk.

Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious

Carl Jung

The deeper we tunnel into the individual psyche, the wider the passage becomes until we fall into an expansive and visceral darkness, filled with symbols longing to be illuminated, faceless creatures, and forgotten artifacts from time immemorial.

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A Machine Learning Approach to Dream Analysis

Dreams separated into categories using a multidimensional t-SNE plot.

Humans dream. Sometimes our dreams are as touching as visiting a deceased loved one. Sometimes they are wild subconscious utterances drenched in symbolism. Sometimes they are as mundane as eating a sandwich. Regardless, as mysterious as the content of our dreams are, even more puzzling is how across cultures, humans often dream similar dreams.

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Training machines to hear our emotions


Human and machine interaction is becoming increasingly foundational to our society. From highly efficient automated call centers to surprisingly intimate companion machines, learning how to conduct life along side machines will be one of the major advancements and challenges of the 21st century. One of the principal components of fostering this cultural transition will be building machines that can predict our emotions, however irrational and incomprehensible they may sometimes seem. We generally understand machines, so it would be good if they generally understood us.

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