Make Science Fun.

A comical guide to Reinforcement Learning; Bayesian Statistical Updating & the Exploration vs Exploitation Paradigm.

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So you’re the kid who got 100 for every math & physics test, you’ve read Hagel, you compose like Bach, you think in machine code, life is easy, thinking is fast (& slow), tasks are simple.

But there’s a problem… Girls don’t seem to care?!

So, if you’re growing tired of winning the olympiads but not having anyone to celebrate with :( ... At last! I have the answer for you my present-day progressive Picasso.


A message to a dear friend — JH, embarking on a new journey.

#Poetry

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Run in the forest.

Run fast.

Alone.

Faster & further than you thought you could.

Sprint until your legs give way, you slip and fall & your knees bleed. Look around & realize where you are — in the forest, alone. And the forest doesn’t care about your bloody knees — so you’ll get up & run again.

Without your knowing, nor your consent, the world of things will recede around you & you’ll be left with nothing but the metaphysics of being.

Your mind & heart race as fast as blood pumps through your veins. Now you feel…


Religion & God are so deeply entwined with — & in fact, inseparable from — the human condition. The origins of which possess an ambiguity & opacity that escape logic. Here we examine a plausible premise on which Religion & God may have arisen: perhaps nothing more than a function of evolution.

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Evolutionary Primer

Evolutionary thinking is a fundamental tool for logic & reason. From biology to culture to everything in between — things are only truly understood in the context under which they originate & the pressures that drive them. Here I detail evolution, not for biologists & geneticists — but rather as an abstract framework for problem-solving.

To this aid, I wrote an evolutionary primer: explaining the basic mechanism, advanced & shortcomings in evolutionary theory. It’s available here:

Evolution of Religion

Now that we have our evolutionary primer, we can apply…


Evolutionary thinking is a fundamental tool for logic & reason. From biology to culture to everything in between — things are only truly understood in the context under which they originate & the pressures that drive them. Here we detail evolution, not for biologists & geneticists — but rather as an abstract framework for problem solving.

Here we detail the natural elements of evolution, not for the sake of biology but rather as an intellectual framework to apply to other phenomena (ideas, culture, trends, technology, whatever you like).

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It’s foolish to analyze anything statically, systems are dynamic. Let's give a succinct example:

Suppose you wish to analyze something arbitrary: like work culture:

Where does this come from? A naive, static investigation would explain how it fits into contemporary society well, or that it’s a natural structure inherited for its optimality. An Evolutionary explanation would, instead…


Thinking about the brain as an emergent computational engine.

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This article, heavily inspired by Robert Sapolsky, details one way of thinking about the brain as a dynamic, computational engine — from which arbitrary complexity can arise. Thinking about cognition as a Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS), or decentralized networks, can yield insight into some of what makes us human.

Here’s a basic neuroscience/neuroanatomy primer to set the framework for this type of thinking.

1. Neuroanatomy

Here we outline some core ideas in the neurological literature that will provide a necessary…


#opinion piece

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We live in a computational world, with ever-increasing importance of mastery of all digital domains. There’s no need to preach the importance of digitization & efficient data use — it’s not 2005. Software Engineers & Data Scientist are in hot demand.

This is the latest craze, foundationally it will last, emotionally it will pass. Now go beyond the need for great engineering/data talent & consider a wide spectrum of roles available at the finest &…


A New Paradigm of Thought

Coauthor: Luka Beverin

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See this simple pattern? What if it could change the way we think?

What could this 7-bit binary string have to do with your consciousness? Or the very fabric of spacetime.


#Philosophy

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Alone in a beautiful room, it’s not so beautiful. Submerged in chaos, fruitful chaos. The world around — buzzing, the world within — decaying. I begin to sink, give in to my thoughts. I begin to spiral, succumb to my insecurities, succumb to my dread, succumb to my fears.

This will come to us all, at different times, in different magnitudes — but sure as your existence, it will come. For this is to suffer from thought, to suffer from our inner complexity — and thought is the human condition. Though individuality can reveal itself in our reaction to…


#Poetry

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Every day you change the sheets,

you scrub your hands, you scrub your feet.

Every day you change the sheets,

you drive the trucks, control the fleet.

Every day you walk a mile,

Boldly bear that broken smile.

Exert more effort than any CEO,

banker, lawyer, or NGO.

Your tasks are many, your minutes are few,

Perhaps a blessing in disguise too,

For if you had the time to think,

you might collapse when you make the link.

What is it then? That keeps you alive?

So little reward, so great a strive.

Noble sure, but more than that,

Zach Wolpe

Statistician, scientist, technologist — writing about stats, data science, math, philosophy, poetry & any other flavours that occupy my mind. www.zachwolpe.com

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