Second, i’ll will be moving the frequency of Snake_Bytes  to every other Wednesday. This is to provide higher quality information and also to allow me space and time to write other blogs. i trust dear reader y’all do not mind.
Third, i noticed i was remiss in explaining a function i used in a previous Snake_Byte [ ] that of the Python built-in function called range.
Range is a very useful function for, well, creating iterations on variables and loops.
# lets see how this works:
How easy can that be?
Four items were returned. Now we can create a range or a for loop over that list – very meta huh?
Please note in the above example the list starts off with 0. So what if you want your range function to start with 1 base index instead of 0? You can specify that in the range function:
# Start with 1 for intial index
Note the last number in the index in order to be inclusive for the entire index.
Lets try something a little more advanced with some eye candy:
x_cords = range(-50,50)
y_cords = [x*x for x in x_cords]
We passed a computation into the loop to compute over the indices of range x in this case.
In one of the previous Snake_Bytes i utilized a for loop and range which is extremely powerful to iterate over sequences:
for i in range (3):
For those that really need power when it comes to indexing, sequencing and iteration you can change the list for instance, as we move across it. For example:
L = [1,2,3,4,5,6]
#no add one to each row
# or L = L[i] +1 used all
# the time in matrix operations
for i in range(len(L)):
L[i] += 1
Note there is a more “slick” way to do this with listcomprehension without changing the original list in place. However, that’s outside the scope if you will of this Snake_Byte . Maybe i should do that for the next one?
Well, i hope you have a slight idea of the power of range.
Also, i think this was more “byte-able” and not tl;dr. Let me know!
Second, as we head into the holiday season i was thoughting about an interview question i always ask people:
“What is it you want?”
i usually get either contorted faces or a blank stare. No i didn’t ask you to write a Markov chain algorithm to predict the next meme cryptocurrency or describe the differences between NATS or Kafka distributed processing systems or where do you want to be in five years type of questions.
Let me repeat:
“What is it you want?”
i usually have to prompt folks.
“Ok, like you want a G5 Gulfstream or an island? How about a puppy?”
“You want to be a writer? A painter, a musician, or a teacher?”
Invariably when they answer they want to be doing “something else” as the above profession if money were no object, i always respond, “Then why are you interviewing here? Go do what you just said you wanted to do in the first place.”
Unless you think you want a puppy or a plane. However, there is an unending number of ways to be compensated for your passion. You can have your proverbial cake and eat it as well.
This usually gets people pretty animated.
Then i ask:
‘Which would you rather be? Famous or Rich?”
You see most people truly don’t think about what they deeply truly desire and want in life.
So i am going to be taking the rest of the year in my non-copious free time to thought about and reflect on what i truly want and desire.
The reason i am using thoughting is that most if not all have thought about this very issue with no answers.
It’s very interesting at least from what i can tell in western civilization we are not taught to think about what we want when most if not all of what drives us is obtaining something.
Then i have a third question:
“Which is worse a lie or greed?”
None of these questions are as difficult as the first. However the last one i have people who i have hired in the past who have discussed this question with me for decades.
Most people are petrified of success. What do you do when you get everything you want?
Charlie don’t forget what happeneed to the man who suddenly got everything he always wanted… He lived Happily Ever After!
~ Willy Wonka
You have to reassess what you want – yet again.
Maybe you don’t really know what you want? It appears most folks just want predictability and control. Well if you could have that isn’t that living in the past because you already know what is going to happen? Just a thought as it were. Maybe you don’t like surprises. Then again the wonder of life is the unexpected.
Or maybe they want power. Power over what exactly?
So go give it some thought. In the meantime here is a great piece by Alan Watts. He even mentions a Klien Bottle which amazingly someone sent me one which i greatly cherish.
As always would love to see some comments on the posts.
Expose yourself to as much randomness as possible.
~ Ben Casnocha
First i trust everyone is safe.
Second it is WEDNESDAY and that must mean a Snake_Byte or you are working in a startup because every day is WEDNESDAY in a startup!
i almost didn’t get this one done because well life happens but i want to remain true to the goals herewith to the best of my ability.
So in today’s Snake_Byte we are going to cover Random and PseudoRandom Numbers. i really liked this one because it was more in line with scientific computing and numerical optimization.
The random module in Python generates what is called pseudorandom numbers. It is in the vernacular a pseudorandom number generator (PRNG). This generation includes different types of distributions for said numbers.
So what is a pseudorandom number:
“A pseudorandom number generator (PRNG), also known as a deterministic random bit generator, is an algorithm for generating a sequence of numbers whose properties approximate the properties of sequences of random numbers.” ~ Wikipedia
The important aspect here is: theproperties approximate sequences of random numbers. So this means that it is statistically random even though it was generated by a deterministic response.
While i have used the random module and have even generated various random number algorithms i learned something new in this blog. The pseudorandom number generator in Python uses an algorithm called the Mersenne Twister algorithm. The period of said algorithm is length 2**19937-1 for the 32 bit version and there is also a 64-bit version. The underlying implementation in C is both fast and thread-safe. The Mersenne Twister is one of the most extensively tested random number generators in existence. One issue though is that due to the deterministic nature of the algorithm it is not suitable for cryptographic methods.
Let us delve down into some code into the various random module offerings, shall we?
i like using %system in Jupyter Lab to create an interactive session. First we import random. Lets look at random.random() which returns a uniform distribution and when multiplied by a integer bounds it within that distribution range:
for i in range (5):
x = random.random() * 100
Next let us look at random.randrange(start, stop[, step]) which returns a randomly selected element from range(start, stop, step). This is equivalent to choice(range(start, stop, step)) but doesn’t actually build a range object.
Optional. An integer specifying at which position to start. Default 0
Required. An integer specifying at which position to end.
Optional. An integer specifying the incrementation. Default 1
for i in range (5):
Now let us move on to some calls that you would use in signal processing, statistics or machine learning. The first one is gauss(). gauss() returns a gaussian distribution using the following mathematics:
Gaussian distribution (also known as normal distribution) is a bell-shaped curve (aka the bell curve), and it is assumed that during any measurement values will follow a normal distribution with an equal number of measurements above and below the mean value.
the standard deviation
a random gaussian distribution floating number
# import the required libraries
import matplotlib.pyplot as plt
#set the inline magic
# store the random numbers in a list
nums = 
mu = 100
sigma = 50
for i in range(100000):
temp = random.gauss(mu, sigma)
# plot the distribution
plt.hist(nums, bins = 500, ec="red")
There are several more parameters in the random module, setter functions, seed functions and very complex statistical functions. Hit stack overflow and give it a try! Also it doesn’t hurt if you dust off that probability and statistics textbook!
As a last thought which came first the framework of entropy or the framework of randomness? As well as is everything truly random? i would love to hear your thought in the comments!
M. Matsumoto and T. Nishimura, “Mersenne Twister: A 623-dimensionally equidistributed uniform pseudorandom number generator”, ACM Transactions on Modeling and Computer Simulation Vol. 8, No. 1, January pp.3–30 1998
Muzak To Muzak To Blog By: Black Sabbath – The End: Live In Birmingham
There is geometry in the humming of the strings, there is music in the spacing of the spheres.
First, i trust everyone is safe.
Second, this is the SB. We are going to be covering some basics in Python of what constitutes a string, modifying a string, and explaining several string manipulation methods.
I also realized in the last Snake_Byte that i didn’t reference the book that i randomly open and choose the subject for the Snake_Byte. I will be adding that as a reference at the end of the blog.
Strings can be used to represent just about anything.
They can be binary values of bytes, internet addresses, names, and Unicode for international localization.
They are part of a larger class of objects called sequences. In fact, python strings are immutable sequences. Immutability means you cannot change the sequence or the sequence does not change over time.
The most simplistic string is an empty string:
a = “ “ # with either singe or double quotes
There are numerous expression operations, modules, and methods for string manipulations.
Python also supports much more advanced operations for those familiar with regular expressions (regex) it supports them via re. Even more advanced operations are available such as XML parsing and the like.
Python is really into strings.
So let us get literal, shall we?
For String Literals there are countless ways to create and manipulate strings in your code:
a = `i w”ish you water’
A = “i w’ish you water”
Even triple quotes (made me think of the “tres commas” episode from Silicon Valley)
A = ```... i wish you water ```
Single and double quotes are by far the most used. I prefer double quotes probably due to the other languages i learned before Python.
Python also supports the liberal use of backslashes aka escape sequences. I’m sure everyone is familiar with said character `\`.
Escape sequences let us embed bytecodes into strings that are otherwise difficult to type.
So let’s see here:
s = 't\nc\nt\njr'
So here i used ‘\n’ to represent the byte containing the binary value for newline character which is ASCII code 10. There are several accessible representations:
‘\a\’ # bell
‘\f’ # formfeed for all the dot matrix printers we use
‘\r’ #carriage return
You can even do different Unicode hex values:
‘\Uhhhhhhhh’ #32 bit hex count the number of h’s
With respect to binary file representations of note in Python 3.0 binary file content is represented by an actual byte string with operations similar to normal strings.
One big difference between Python and another language like C is that that the zero (null) byte doesn’t terminate and in fact, there are no character string terminations in Python. Also, the strings length and text reside in memory.
s = 'a\0b\0c'
So what can we do with strings in Python?
Well, we can concatenate:
a = "i wish"
b = " you water"
c = a + b
i wish you water
So adding two strings creates a new string object and a new address in memory. It is also a form of operator overloading in place. The ‘ + ‘ sign does the job for strings and can add numerics. You also don’t have to “pre-declare” and allocate memory which is one of the advantages of Python. In Python, computational processes are described directly by the programmer. A declarative language abstracts away procedural details however Python isn’t purely declarative which is outside the scope of the blog.
So what else? Well, there is indexing and slicing:
Strings are ordered collections of characters ergo we can access the characters by the positions within the ordering.
You access the component by providing a numerical offset via square brackets this is indexing.
S = "i wish you water"
print (S, S, S[-1])
i s r
Since we can index we can slice:
S = "i wish you water"
print (S[1:3], S[2:10], S[9:10])
w wish you u
Slicing is a particular form of indexing more akin to parsing where you analyze the structure.
Python once again creates a new object containing the contiguous section identified by the offset pair. It is important to note the left offset is taken to be the inclusive lower bound and the right is the non-inclusive upper bound. The inclusivedefinition is important here: Including the endpoints of an interval. For example, “the interval from 1 to 2, inclusive” means the closed interval written [1, 2]. This means Python fetches all items from the lower bound up to but not including the upper bound.
What about changing a string?
Let’s try it:
S = "i wish you water"
S = "x"
TypeError Traceback (most recent call last) <ipython-input-67-a6fd56571822>
in <module> 1 S = "i wish you water" ----> 2 S = "x"
TypeError: 'str' object does not support item assignment
Ok, what just happened? Well, remember the word immutable? You cannot change it in place.
To change a string you need to create a new one through various methods. In the current case we will use a combination of concatenation, indexing, and slicing to bring it all together:
S = "i wish you water"
S = 'x ' + S + S[3:17]
x wish you water
This brings us to methods.
Stings in Python provide a set of methods that implements much more complex text processing. Just like in other languages a method or function takes parameters and returns a value. A “method” is a specific type of function: it must be part of a “class”, so has access to the class’ member variables. A function is usually discrete and all variables must be passed into the function.
Given the previous example there is a replace method:
S = "i wish you water"
S = S.replace ('i wish you water', 'x wish you water')
x wish you water
Let’s try some other methods;
# captialize the first letter in a string:
S = "i wish you water"
'I wish you water'
# capitalize all the letters in a string:
S = "i wish you water"
'I WISH YOU WATER'
# check if the string is a digit:
S = "i wish you water"
# check it again:
S = "999"
# strip trailing spaces in a string:
S = "i wish you water "
x = S.rstrip()
print("of all fruits", x, "is my favorite")
of all fruits i wish you water is my favorite
The list is seemingly endless.
One more caveat emptor you should use stings methods, not the original string module that was deprecated in Python 3.0
We could in fact write multiple chapters on strings by themselves. However, this is supposed to be a little nibble of what the Snake language can offer. We have added the reference that we used to make this blog at the end. I believe it is one of the best books out there for learning Python.
Contrariwise, continued Tweedledee, if it was so, it might be, and if it were so, it would be; but as it isn’t, it ain’t. That’s logic!
First, i trust everyone is safe.
Second, i am going to be pushing a blog out every Wednesday called Snake_Bytes. This is the second one hot off the press. Snake as in Python and Bytes as in well you get it. Yes, it is a bad pun but hey most are bad.
i will pick one of the myriads of python based books i have in my library and randomly open it to a page. No matter how basic or advanced i will start from there and i will create a short concise blog on said subject. For some possibly many the content will be rather pedantic for others i hope you gain a little insight. As a former professor told me “to know a subject in many ways is to know it well.” Just like martial arts or music performing the basics hopefully makes everything else effortless at some point.
Ok so in today’s installment we have Comparison and Equality.
I suppose more philosophically what is the Truth?
All Python objects at some level respond to some form of comparisons such as a test for equality or a magnitude comparison or even binary TRUE and FALSE.
For all comparisons in Python, the language traverses all parts of compound objects until a result can be ascertained and this includes nested objects and data structures. The traversal for data structures is applied recursively from left to right.
So let us jump into some simple snippets there starting with lists objects.
List objects compare all of their components automatically.
%system #command line majik in Jupyterlab
# same value with unique objects
A1 = [2, (‘b’, 3)]
A2 = [2, (‘b’, 3)]
#Are they equivalent? Same Objects?
A1 == A2, A1 is A2
So what happened here? A1 and A2 are assigned lists which in fact are equivalent but distinct objects.
So for comparisons how does that work?
The == tests value equivalence
Python recursively tests nested comparisons until a result is ascertained.
The is operator tests objectidentity
Python tests whether the two are really the same object and live at the same address in memory.
Ok, what just happened? We need to be very careful here and i have seen this cause some really ugly bugs when performing long-chained regex stuff with health data. Python internally caches and reuses some strings as an optimization technique. Here there is really just a single string ‘water’ in memory shared by S1, S2 thus the identity operator evaluates to True.
The workaround is thus:
StringThing1 = "i wish you water"
StringThing2 = "i wish you water"
StringThing1 == StringThing2,StringThing1 is StringThing2
Given the logic of this lets see how we have conditional logic comparisons.
I believe Python 2.5 introduced ternary operators. Once again interesting word:
Ternary operators ternarymeans composed of three parts or three as a base.
The operators are the fabled if/else you see in almost all programming languages.
Whentrue ifcondition elsewhenfalse
The condition is evaluated first. If condition is true the result is whentrue; otherwise the result is whenfalse. Only one of the two subexpressions whentrue and whenfalse evaluates depending on the truth value of condition.
Stylistically you want to palace parentheses around the whole expression.
Example of operator this was taken directly out the Python docs with a slight change as i thought it was funny:
is_nice = True
state = "nice" if is_nice else "ain’t nice"
Which also shows how Python treats True and False.
In most programming languages an integer 0 is FALSE and an integer 1 is TRUE.
However, Python looks at an empty data structure as False. True and False as illustrated above are inherent properties of every object in Python.
So in general Python compares types as follows:
Numbers are compared by the relative magnitude
Non-numeric mixed types comparisons where ( 3 < ‘water’) doesn’t fly in Python 3.0 However they are allowed in Python 2.6 where they use a fixed arbitrary rule. Same with sorts non-numeric mixed type collections cannot be sorted in Python 3.0
Strings are compared lexicographically (ok cool word what does it mean?). Iin mathematics, the lexicographic or lexicographical order is a generalization of the alphabetical order of the dictionaries to sequences of ordered symbols or, more generally, of elements of a totally ordered set. In other words like a dictionary. Character by character where (“abc” < “ac”)
Lists and tuples are compared component by component left to right
Dictionaries are compared as equal if their sorted (key, value) lists are equal. However relative magnitude comparisons are not supported in Python 3.0
With structured objects as one would think the comparison happens as though you had written the objects as literal and compared all the components one at a time left to right.
Further, you can chain the comparisons such as:
a < b <= c < d
Which functionally is the same thing as:
a < b and b <= c and c < d
The chain form is more compact and more readable and evaluates each subexpression once at the most.
Being that most reading this should be using Python 3.0 a couple of words on dictionaries per the last commentary. In Python 2.6 dictionaries supported magnitude comparisons as though you were comparing (key,value) lists.
In Python 3.0 magnitude comparisons for dictionaries are removed because they incur too much overhead when performing equality computations. Python 3.0 from what i can gather uses an in-optimized scheme for equality comparisons. So you write loops or compare them manually. Once again no free lunch. The documentation can be found here: Ordering Comparisons in Python 3.0.
One last thing. There is a special object called None. It’s a special data type in Python in fact i think the only special data type. None is equivalent to a Null pointer in C.
This comes in handy if your list size is not known:
The output makes me think of a Monty Python skit. See what I did there? While the comparison to a NULL pointer is correct the way in which it allocates memory and doesn’t limit the size of the list it allocates presets an initial size to allow for future indexing assignments. In this way, it kind of reminds me of malloc in C. Purist please don’t shoot the messenger.
Well, i got a little long in the tooth as they say. See what i did again? Teeth, Snakes and Python.
Reading is a basic tool in the living of a good life.
First, i hope everyone is safe.
Second, i decided to write this blog based on two unrelated events: (1) as of late during the pandemic i have been reading commentary “online” of varying degrees such as “I want to read more books” and “Can you recommend some books to read?” (2) i was setting out to write a technical blog on a core machine learning subject and whilst putting together the bibliography i realized i wasn’t truly performing or rather obtaining “level four reading” as outlined in the book i am going to review and by definition recommend.
i also am an admitted bibliomaniac and even more so nowadays an autodidact. i contracted the reading bug from my mother at an early age. i read Webster’s Dictionary twice in grade school. Still to this day she sends me the first edition or rare books to read. Thanks, Mom.
As part of this book review and hopefully subsequent blog on a technical subject within machine learning, i decided to read the book a third time. Which for this blog and review is an important facet.
As i was thinking about the best way to approach this particular book review i was pondering reading and books in general. Which i came yet again to the conclusion:
There is much magic and wonder in this world. Reading to me is a magical process.
It’s a miracle a child learns to speak a language! It’s a miracle we can read! It’s even more of a miracle given the two previous observations that Humans are such astounding language generators (and authors)!
What an astonishing thing a book is. It’s a flat object made from a tree with flexible parts on which are imprinted lots of funny dark squiggles. But one glance at it and you’re inside the mind of another person, maybe somebody dead for thousands of years. Across the millennia, an author is speaking clearly and silently inside your head, directly to you. Writing is perhaps the greatest of human inventions, binding together people who never knew each other, citizens of distant epochs. Books break the shackles of time. A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.
i consider a book a “dual-sided marketplace” for magical access.
“How To Read a Book” by Mortimer J. Adler was originally published in 1940 with a re-issue in 1972. The 1970s were considered the decade of reading in the United States.
In the 70’s the average reading level in the United States for most content speeches, magazines, books, etc was the 6th grade. It is now surmised the average reading level and reading content is hovering around the 4-5th grade.
This brings us to the matter at hand the book review.
The book’s author Mortimer Jerome Adler (December 28, 1902 – June 28, 2001) was an American philosopher, educator, encyclopedist, and popular author. As a philosopher, he worked within the Aristotelian and Thomistic traditions. He taught at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, served as chairman of the Encyclopædia Britannica Board of Editors, and founded his own Institute for Philosophical Research.
There is no friend as loyal as a book.
The book states upfront that there is great inequality in reading with respect to understanding and that understanding must be overcome. Reading for understanding is not just gaining information. There is being informed and there is being enlightened when reading a book. How To Read A Book (HTRAB) is precisely concerned with the latter. If you remember what you read you have been informed. If you are enlightened from a book you know what the author is attempting to say, know what he means by what they say, and can concisely explain the subject matter. Of course, being informed is a prerequisite to being enlightened.
Professor Adler mentions in the book via Montaingne where he speaks of “An abecedarian ignorance that precedes knowledge, and a doctoral ignorance that comes after it.”
Let’s first deal with Abcederian: It essentially means dealing with alphabetized, elementary, rudimentary, or novel levels. Ergo the novice ignorance arrives first. The second are those who misread books. Reading a ton of books is not reading well. Professor Adler calls them literate ignoramus. The said another way there are those that have read too widely and not well.
Widely read and well-read are two vastly different endeavors.
The Greek word for learning and folly is sophomore. From google translate sophomore in Greek: δευτεροετής φοιτητής
This book pulls no punches when it comes to helping you help yourself.
HTRAB is in fact just that how to gain the most out of a book. The book explains the four levels of reading:
Elementary reading, rudimentary reading, basic reading or initial reading. This is where one goes from complete illiteracy to at the very least being able to read the words on the page.
Inspectional reading. This is where one attempts to get the most out of a book in a prescribed about of time. What is this book about?
Analytical reading places heavy demands on the reader. It is also called thorough reading, complete reading or good reading. This is the best reading you can do. The analytical reader must ask themselves several questions of inquiry, organizational and objective natures. The reader grasps the book. The book at this point becomes her own. This level of reading is precisely for the sake of understanding. Also you cannot bring your mind from understanding less to understanding more unless you have skill in the area of analytical reading.
Syntopical Reading is the highest level. It is the most complex and systematic reading and it makes the most demands on the reader. Another name for this level is comparative reading. When reading syntopically the reader accesses and reads many books placing them in relation to one another where the reader is able to construct and an analysis of knowledge that previously did not exist. Knowledge creation and synthesis is the key here.
This is what i realized i wasn’t doing with respect to the machine learning blog. Yes, i ranked and compared the references against one another but did i truly synthesize a net new knowledge with respect to my reading?
The HTRAB goes on to dissect the processes of each of these four steps and how to obtain them and then move on to the next level. This reminds me of a knowledge dojo a kind of belt test for readership.
The book also goes on to discuss how to not have any predetermined biases about what the book is or is not. This is very important i have fallen prey to such behaviors and cannot emphasize enough you must proceed into the book breach with a clear mind
Further, the author took their valuable time to write the book and you took the cash and time to obtain the book.
Give the respect the book deserves.
Some books are to be tasted, others to be swallowed, and some few to be chewed and digested.
The book goes in-depth about how we move from one level of reading to eventually synoptical reading and the basis for this is reading over and over whilst at every read the book is anew and alive with fresh edible if you will information.
To read and to ruminate is derived from the cow. From Wikipedia we have:
“Ruminants are large hoofed herbivorous grazing or browsing mammals that are able to acquire nutrients from plant-based food by fermenting it in a specialized stomach prior to digestion, principally through microbial actions.”
So to chew the cud or re-chew if you will over and over – ruminating upon the subject matter. The book states in most cases that it takes three reads to obtain synoptical reading levels. Thus my comment previously about reading this a third time. Amazingly it clicked.
The folks who need self-help books don’t read them and those that don’t need them do read them.
The book further explains how to read everything from mathematics to theology. With very precise steps.
i recommend this book over and over to folks and i usually get online comments like “so meta’ or “LOL”. In-person i get raise eyebrows or laughter.
This is not a laughing matter oh dear reader.
The two following lectures deal with HRTAB from the son of someone who worked directly with Professor Adler. His name is Shaykh Hamza Yusuf. Professor Yusuf is an American neo-traditionalist Islamic scholar and co-founder of Zaytuna College. He is a proponent of classical learning in Islam and has promoted Islamic sciences and classical teaching methodologies throughout the world. He is a huge proponent of HRTAB and recommends it in many of his lectures and uses it as a basis for his teachings in many forms. In no shape or form am I endorsing any religious or political stance with posting these videos. i am only posting for the information-rich and amazing lectures alone. He covers several areas of academics as well as several areas of religion and even pop-fad behaviors with respect to reading.
Here are both parts of the lecture:
Get the book to learn how to arrive at chewing and digesting your beloved books to the level of syntopical nirvana. Your mind and others’ minds will thank you for it. Here is a link on Amazon:
Second i’ll am writing about something off my usual beaten path and that is a movie review. Yes once in a while i watch ye ole “boob tube” as they used to call it back in the day.
This movie is a special movie to me as it is about the life of Frank Zappa the rock and roll guitar player, the composer, the artist, the movie maker, the recoding engineer, the American representative to Czechoslovakia, (or Czecho-Slovakia) and most importantly a man who fervently fought for free speech. Mainly at least for me it is a testament to someone who was constantly creating and recording that creation as well as documenting and saving those creations. While i’ve been into Zappa since a teenager i really started trying to understand the magnitude whilst in graduate school at the University of Miami where i was lucky enough to engineer and work with a group called the Zappa Ensemble. The musicianship and complexity blew my mind and it was hilarious all at the same time! It finally clicked!
Alex Winter was the main creative force behind Zappa with Frank Zappa’s oldest son Ahment Zappa producing.
One of my greatest enjoyments is being part of making or being in deep active listening of this thing human’s call music and Frank Zappa to me is one of the greatest composers of the 20th century of which this movie showcases. His ability to meld performance, musician ship and lyrical satire i believe will never be seen again in my time or possibly anyones time.
lf you’re going to deal with reality, you’re going to have to make one big discovery: Reality is something that belongs to you as an individual. If you wanna grow up, which most people don’t, the thing to do is take responsibility for your own reality and deal with it on your own terms. Don’t expect that because you pay some money to somebody else or take a pledge or join a club or run down the street or wear a special bunch of clothes or play a certain sport or even drink Perrier water, it’s going to take care of everything for you.
The movie deeply focuses on the extreme drive Zappa had to create and duplicate the sound that he heard in his head transferring it from paper to little dots of which we call musical notation then taking it to the studio and attempting to reproduce it as accurately as possible to the sound being heard inside his head. The recording process to me is truly astounding. It’s what i term “a perceptual to parameterization to physical transform”. He was self taught in all aspects of his creative pursuits of which he was what i consider to be an ultimate autodidactic.
This movie starts off with Frank’s last guitar performance then cuts to him in his Vault of recordings and VHS tapes identifying original master recordings. I was awestruck.
You’ve got to be digging it while it’s happening ’cause it just might be a one shot deal.
Through my research on the film i found out that alex Winter was Bill in the “Bill and Ted” films although i have no idea what those are as i haven’t seen them only heard about them. Evidently he has been making documentaries for a decade. He approached Zappa’s widow Gail (the film is dedicated to her as she died in 2015) for permission on the project. The result is a a cacophony of a life lived loud with constant feeding the disease of composition and creativity.
Winter was given complete access to the Zappa family archives which as i mention above was called The Vault. There are many shots of The Vault which is a treasure trove of both audio and video recordings all shapes sizes and formats.
There is also a ton of footage of his family and how he grew up. Initially his family completely opposed him getting involved with music and Zappa also notes that they were extremely poor. They also note Zappa was interested chemistry at an early age and tried to blow his school up.
The illusion of freedom will continue as long as it’s profitable to continue the illusion. At the point where the illusion becomes too expensive to maintain, they will just take down the scenery, they will pull back the curtains, they will move the tables and chairs out of the way and you will see the brick wall at the back of the theater.
There is a great section of Frank “On The Hill” testifying before the senate during the PMRC hearings on album and music lyrics which he definitely as i do consider censorship. The movie then details his pursuit of anything that looks or smells like censorship. If it weren’t for him doing this at every turn i believe things would be very different even a much a it is now. Then i wonder, today in this environment, he probably couldn’t publish a lot of the music he wrote.
The salient point i was reminded of in this movie is don’t waste your time go make a dent in this thing we call life and create at all costs even if no one – not one person – views, listens or uses the creation at least one person will and that will be the person of You.
Never compromise and always choose quality over quantity and remember give “them” a good laugh. They might not get the joke but at least you can laugh.
Why do you necessarily have to be wrong just because a few million people think you are?
To give you an idea of the sheer output and dedication to the art while alive Zappa released 62 albums. Since 1994, the Zappa Family Trust has released 54 posthumous albums as of July 2020, making a total of 116 albums/album sets.
This dear reader should remind you of one aspect of your life: Find your passion and dwell on it deeply, daily, hourly, minute by precious minute.
Personally i hope The Vault is all mined, uncovered, reformatted and converted so that the world knows about the volume and creativity.
If you think that Zappa was all about raunchy lyrics, complex poly rhythms and symphonies most ensembles and orchestras couldn’t play i urge you to listen to this song that ends the documentary. The documentary ends with amazing shots of his house and uses a live version that is recorded in 1978 as the back drop. Below are several versions including the studio version from Joe’s Garage album because the comments by the “Central Scrutinizer” are hilarious and are juxtaposed against what i consider to be one of the most amazing pieces of guitar work ever recorded. The sadness and lamenting of the piece is deafening. However at the same time as someone who i have met in the land of suspicious coincidence said it is intoxicating.
For completeness here is the live version in 1978
And here is a version in 2013 by his son dweezil zappa crying while he is playing.
There is a four “disc” set on itunes of the documentary soundtrack here: Zappa Soundtrack.
Frank Zappa died on December 4, 1993 of prostate cancer. He is survived by his four progeny: Moon, Dweezil, Ahment and Diva Zappa.
The joy of coding Python should be in seeing short, concise, readable classes that express a lot of action in a small amount of clear code — not in reams of trivial code that bores the reader to death.
Guido van Rossum
Hi all first always i trust everyone is doing well and safe.
Second i had started writing another blog on some first principles design issues in machine learning but this morning while i was just browsing i came across a python library called Pyforest. Pyforest claims to have 99% of your import library woes solved.
At one of my previous companies, we created this flow from the time you walk in get your rig and sit down you have access to a superpack.tar.gz with all of the necessary python dependencies in fact even any bash scripts that you might need once you got your rig to start doing PRs the same day you started work. This was pre-anaconda days so it worked well then most moved over to dependency management via anaconda. However, this didn’t solve one of the main issues. What when and how do you import?
i am sure if you are like me i keep the proverbial “untitled.ipynb” sitting around just for a notepad of sorts for the main imports (just don’t click and press X accidentally!).
Which is where pyforest comes into the reptilian purview.
The github is funny it says:
“pyforest – feel the bliss of automated imports.”
Then it goes on to say:
“Writing the same imports over and over again is below your capacity. Let pyforest do the job for you.”
Being this isn’t supposed to be tl;dr blog (only a little nibble from a reptile) lets get started.
You need to have python version 3.6 or above. The github is once again funny (we like f-strings).
The human body resonates at the same frequency as Mother Earth. So instead of only focusing on trying to save the earth, which operates in congruence to our vibrations, I think it is more important to be one with each other. If you really want to remedy the earth, we have to mend mankind. And to unite mankind, we heal the Earth. That is the only way. Mother Earth will exist with or without us. Yet if she is sick, it is because mankind is sick and separated. And if our vibrations are bad, she reacts to it, as do all living creatures.
i have been considering writing a series of blogs on the coming age of Cybernetics. For those unaware Cybernetics was a term coined by one of my heroes Dr. Norbert Weiner. Dr. Weiner was a professor of mathematics at MIT who early on became interested in stochastic and noise processes and has an entire area dedicated to him in the areas of Weiner Estimation Theory. However, he also is credited as being one of the first to theorize that all intelligent behavior was the result of feedback mechanisms, that could possibly be simulated by machines thereby coining the phrase “Cybernetics”. He wrote two seminal books in this area: (1) “Cybernetics” (2) “The Human Use of Humans”. This brings us to the present issue at hand.
The catalyst for the blog came from a tweet:
More concerning Ted is how long before people start paying for upgrades. What effects will this have when you have achieved functional immortality?
We believe that before 2045 an artificial body will be created that will not only surpass the existing body in terms of functionality but will achieve perfection of form and be no less attractive than the human body.
Now for more context. I am a proponent of using technology to allow for increased human performance as i am an early adopter if you will of the usage of titanium to repair the skeletal system. i have staples, pins, plates and complete joints of titanium from pushing “Ye Ole MeatBag” into areas where it did not fair so well.
There are some objectives of the movement of specific interest is Number Two:
To create an international research center for cybernetic immortality to advance practical implementations of the main technical project – the creation of the artificial body and the preparation for subsequent transfer of individual human consciousness to such a body.
This is closely related to Transhumanism which is more of a philosophy than an execution. The way i frame it is Transhumanism sets the philosophical framework for cybernetics. The contemporary meaning of the term “transhumanism” was foreshadowed by one of the first professors of futurology, a man who changed his name to FM-2030. In the 1960s, he taught “new concepts of the human” at The New School when he began to identify people who adopt technologies, lifestyles and worldviews “transitional” to post-humanity as “transhuman“.
Coming from a software standpoint we could map the areas into pipelines and deploy as needed either material biological or conscious. We could map these areas into a CI/CD deployment pipeline. .
For a direct reference, i work with an amazing practicing nocturnist who is also a great coder as well as a medical 3D Printing expert! He prints body parts! It is pretty amazing to think that something your holding that was printed that morning is going to enable someone to use their respective limbs or walk again. So humbling. By the way, the good doctor is also a really nice person. Just truly a great human. Health practitioners are truly some of humanity’s rockstars.
He printed me a fully articulated purple octopus that doesn’t go in the body:
Building upon this edict and for those who have read William Gibson’s “Neuromancer,” or Rudy Ruckers The Ware Tetralogy: Software, Wetware, Realware, Freeware “it calls into question the very essence of the use for the human body? Of the flesh is the only aspect we truly do know and associate with this thing called life. We continually talk about the ‘Big C Word” – Consciousness. However, we only know the body. We have no idea of the mind. Carnality seems to rule the roost for the Humans.
In fact most of the acts that we perform on a daily basis trend toward physical pleasure. However what if we can upgrade the pleasure centers? What if the whole concept of dysphoria goes away and you can order you a net-new body? What *if* this allows us as the above ponders to upgrade ad nauseam and live forever? Would you? Would it get tiresome and boring?
i can unequivocally tell you i would if given the chance. Why? Because if there *is* intelligent life somewhere then they have a much longer evolutionary scale that we mere humans on earth do not and they have figured out some stuff let’s say that can possibly change the way we view life in longer time scales ( or time loops or even can we say Infinite_Human_Do_Loops? ).
i believe we are coming to an age where instead of the “50 is the new 30” we can choose our age – lets say at 100 i choose new core and legs and still run a 40-yard dash in under 5 seconds? i am all for it.
What if you choose a body that is younger than your progeny?
What if you choose a body that isnt a representation of a human as we know it?
All with immortality?
i would love to hear folks thoughts on the matter in the comments below.
“What we’re doing here will send a giant ripple through the universe.”
I have an old mac laptop that was not doing anyone much use sitting around the house. i had formatted the rig and due to it only being an i7 Pentium series mac you could only roll up to the Lion OS. Also, i wanted a “pure” Linux rig and do not like other form factors (although i do dig the System 76 rigs).
So i got to thinking why dont i roll Ubuntu on it and let one cat turn into another cat? See what i did there? Put a little shine on Ye Ole Rig? Here Kitty Kitty!
Anyways here are the steps that i found worked the most painless.
Caveat Emptor: these steps completely wipe the partition and Linux does run natively wiping out any and all OSes. You WILL lose your OS X Recovery Partition, so returning to OS X or macOS can be a more long-winded process, but we have instructions here on how to cope with this: How to restore a Mac without a recovery partition. You are going All-In!
On that note i also don’t recommend trying to “dual-boot” OS X and Linux, because they use different filesystems and it will be a pain. Anyways this is about bringing new life to an old rig if you have a new rig with Big Sur roll Virtual Box and run whatever Linux distro you desire.
What you need:
A macintosh computer is the point of the whole exercise. i do recommend having NO EXTERNAL DRIVES connected as you will see below.
A USB stick with at least 8 gig of storage. This to will be formatted and all data lost.
Download your Linux distribution to the Mac. We recommend Ubuntu 16.04.4 LTS if this is your first Linux install. Save the file to your ~/Downloads folder.
Download and install an app called Etcher from Etcher.io. This will be used to copy the Linux install .ISO file to your USB drive.
Steps to Linux Freedom:
Insert your USB Thumb Drive. A reminder that the USB Flash drive will be erased during this installation process. Make sure you’ve got nothing you want on it.
Open Etcher Click Select “Image”. Choose ubuntu-16.04.1-desktop-amd64.iso (the image you downloaded in Step 1). NOTE: i had some problems with 20.x latest release with wireless so i rolled back to 16.0x just to get it running.
Click “Change” under Select Drive.
Pick the drive that matches your USB Thumb Drive in size. It should be /dev/disk1 if you only have a single hard drive in your Mac. Or /dev/disk2, /dev/disk3 and so on (if you have more drives attached). NOTE: Do not pick /dev/disk0. That’s your hard drive! Pick /dev/disk0 and you’ll wipe your macOS hard drive HEED THY WARNING YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED! This is why i said its easier if you have no external media.
Click “Flash!” Wait for the iso file to be copied to the USB Flash Drive. Go browse your favorite socnet as this will take some time or hop on your favorite learning network and catch up on those certificates/badges.
Once it is finished remove the USB Flash Drive from your Mac. This is imperative.
Now SHUTDOWN the mac and plug the Flashed USB drive into the mac.
Power up and hold the OPTION key while you boot.
Choose the EFI Boot option from the startup screen and press Return.
IMMEDIATELY press the “e” key. i found you need to do this quickly otherwise the rig tries to boot.
Pressing the “e” key will enter you into “edit mode” you will see a black and white screen with options to try Ubuntu and Install Ubuntu. Don’t choose either yet, press “e” to edit the boot entry.
This step is critical and the font maybe really small so take your time. Edit the line that begins with Linux and place the word "nomodeset" after "quiet splash". The whole line should read: "linux /casper/vmlinuz.efifile=/cdrom/preseed/ubuntu.seed boot=casper quiet splash nomodeset --
Now Press F10 on the mac.
Now its getting cool! Your mac and Ubuntu boots into trial mode!
(Note: at this point also go browse your favorite socnet as this will take some time or hop on your favorite learning network and catch up on those certificates/badges.)
Double-click the icon marked “Install Ubuntu”. (get ready! Here Kitty Kitty!)
Select your language of choice.
Select “Install this third-party software” option and click Continue. Once again important.
Select “Erase disk and install Ubuntu” and click Continue.
You will be prompted for geographic area and keyboard layout.
You will be prompted to enter the name and password you want to use (make it count!).
Click “Continue” and Linux will begin installing!
When the installation has finished, you can log in using the name and password you chose during installation!
At this point you are ready to go! i recommend registering for an ubuntu “Live Update” account once it prompts you.
One side note: on 20.x update there was an issue with the Broadcom wireless adapter crashing which then reboots you without wireless. i am currently working through that and will get back you on the fix!
Executing the command less /proc/cpuinfo will detail the individual cores. It looks like as i said the i7 Pentium series!
Happy Penguin and Kitten Time! Now you can customize your rig!
Screen shot of keybase running on my ubuntu mac rig!
And that is a wrap! As a matter of fact i ate my own dog food and wrote this blog on the “new” rig!