Thursday, 3 October 2019

Offsetting the carbon emissions of the blog, and then some.

Worrying about climate change is wearing down my sanity, and I'm know I'm not alone. I wanted to find a way let others reduce the amount of CO2 and methane in the air that didn't cost them money. One way is to buy carbon offsets with money from advertisements, like the ones that roughly 10% of you see at the top and side of this blog.

Is that futile?

How much carbon emissions are produced by a visit to a website like this? How does that compare to the cost of offsets? This is going to be a rabbit-hole of citations and unit conversion, so buckle in.

Sunday, 29 September 2019

Tips to successfully web scrape with a macro

Recently, I updated the cricket simulator that I made in grad school, which entailed gathering four years of new T20I, IPL, and ODI cricket data. That's about 1000 matches, and the website ESPNcricinfo has been dramatically updated since I first scraped it. For that matter, so have the tools in R for scraping.

However, for one part, the play-by-play commentaries, nothing was working, and I ended up relying on recording and repeating mouse-and-keyboard macros. It's crude, but the loading-as-scrolling mechanic was just too hard to deal with programmatically, even with otherwise very powerful Rselenium.

Using macros to scrape pages is a trial-and-error process, but with the following principles, you can drastically reduce the number of trials it takes to get it right.

Alternatives to cryptocurrency for seasteads

Frequently, cryptocurrency and blockchain technology (crypto for short) is cited as a necessity for a functioning seastead. In the long term, when or if seasteads are large enough and economically important enough to fight for sovereignty, having your very own currency makes sense.

However, Cryptocurrency works best in places with a robust internet infrastructure to back up digital transactions, and where there is a critical mass of people in an area willing to trade their goods and services for the currency. In the early days of floating hamlets though, better alternatives to crypto exist.

Friday, 6 September 2019

Making Crossword Entries from Jeopardy! Before and After Clues

Before and After clues in Jeopardy! are clues pointing to two answers in which the last part of one answer is also the first part of the second answer. For example, "Supernatural kids' cartoon meets Star Wars prequel" could be a clue to both "Danny Phantom" and "The Phantom Menace", which would be shortened to "Danny Phantom Menace". 

These are a weak spot for me in Jeopardy, so I tried to make some more crosswords using only the 'before and after' clues on from Jeopardy! as found in the J-archive. It worked, sort of.

Thursday, 5 September 2019

Book review: Big Data by Timandra Harkness

I picked up Big Data by Timandra Harkness solely on the testimonials of Hannah Fry and Matt Parker on the front and back covers. The 2017 printing that I read is a 300-odd page general interest book about recent advances in big data.

"Big data" starts off pretty boilerplate for the topic – with a lot of definitions about what makes data "big"; volume, variety, velocity, and the like. It also gives some historical context about the growth of data over time, through early censuses, primitive computers, to today. The rest of this book is the result of interviews across the world with people working on different big data projects.

Monday, 26 August 2019

Seasteading Economic Opportunities Overview

This is an attempt to start a conversation about different means of making a living while seasteading. From chatter online, I've heard many of the same intended sources of income: bitcoin and other crypto mining, playing the stock market, tourism, and freelance software engineering.

These strategies won't work. Not because they are bad ways to make a living, but because the supply will quickly outsize the demand, no matter how good each worker is at programming, or how amazing each oceanic hotel is. Somebody has to grow the food for all these service and knowledge workers.

In short, we need economic diversity.

Below are some seasteading-based economic opportunities, arranged by their distinct advantages.

Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Replication report: Multilevel-Linear-Models using SAS and SPSS for repeated measures designs

The following is a report on the reproduction of the statistical work in the paper “Differences of Type I error rates for ANOVA and Multilevel-Linear-Models using SAS and SPSS for repeated measures designs" by Nicolas Haverkamp and AndrĂ© Beauducel at the University of Bonn.