There is an excessive number ChatGPT screenshots littering social media right now, and not nearly enough critical thinking about feeding data into this novel new chatbot. An anecdotal survey of my timeline includes people asking ChatGPT to solve math equations, write emails for them, create short story prompts, identify bugs in code, or even generate code for them. Behold, the power of AI!
Welcome to my blog where I write about
development, cycling, and other random nonsense. This is not
the only place I write, you can find more words I typed on the Buoyant Data blog, Scribd tech blog, and GitHub.
The holidays are the time of year when I typically field a lot of questions from relatives about technology or the tech industry, and this year my favorite questions were around AI. (insert your own scary music) Machine-learning (ML) or Artificial Intelligence (AI) are being widely deployed and I have some Problems™ with that. Machine learning is not necessarily a new domain, the practices commonly accepted as “ML” have been used for quite a while to support search and recommendations use-cases. In fact, my day job includes supporting data scientists and those who are actively creating models and deploying them to production. However, many of my relatives outside of the tech industry believe that “AI” is going to replace people, their jobs, and/or run the future. I genuinely hope AI/ML comes nowhere close to this future imagined by members of my family.
One of the many things I learned in 2022 is that I have a particular knack for understanding, analyzing, and optimizing the costs of data platform infrastructure. These skills were born out of both curiosity and necessity in the current economic climate, and have led me to start a small consuhltancy on the side: Buoyant Data. Big data infrastructure can be hugely valuable to lots of businesses, but unfortunately it’s also an area of the cloud bills that is frequently misunderstood, that’s something that I can help with!
A friend of mine learning how to code with Python was complaining about the
myth that “there’s a Pythonic way” to do things. The “one true way” concept
wasn’t ever taken seriously in Python, not even by the standard library.
Practically speaking, it’s impossible not to have multiple ways to accomplish
the same outcome in a robust programming language’s standard library. This
flexibility jumped out at me while hacking on some Rust code lately: how many
ways can you turn
Endurance athletes have a misconfiguration in their brain, one that compels them to pursue increasingly foolish goals, for me the Death Ride was as foolish as it was ambitious. The course is 103mi, starting at ~5k feet elevation, with a total of about 14k feet of elevation gain. It is not a race per se, though I’m sure somebody is “first” back to the finish line. What is celebrated are completions. If you can survive all six passes, you’re a winner! The mountains are steep, the road largely exposed, and the heat is oppressive, but hey! Good luck! Have a great ride!
I never really paid attention to the calories burned during cycling until recently, and it’s still somewhat shocking when I look at it. With my love of cycling rekindled by AIDS/LifeCycle I have spent a lot more time in the saddle this year. Between short criterium races, my longest at 140mi, or the most elevation with the Death Ride, I have needed to be very mindful of my nutrition before, during, and after these rides. In short, cycling can burn a lot of calories.
Waking up on the last day of big gay summer camp is always a downer. In the warm and muggy air of Ventura, the love bubble starts to pop and you’re left with one last bike ride before returning to the real world. This year was my second AIDS/LifeCycle, and I was not excited to wake up for day seven. Once the tent and gear were dropped off, my breakfast consumed, there was nothing but a measly 70 miles remaining for ALC 2022.
After Red Dress Day it’s easy to think “we’re almost to LA!” This part will be easy!” and then BAM you wake up at 4:15 and realize that there’s almost 90 miles until the next camp. Lompoc to Ventura is one of the most beautiful days along the route, taking us through Goviata pass, Goleta, Santa Barbara, and down the coast line towards Ventura. Beautiful but not easy.
Roughly 275 miles ridden in the past four days and it’s time for a rest day of only 43 miles. Only. The things cyclists say sometimes never cease to astound me. Day Five on AIDS/LifeCycle also has the honor of being Red Dress Day, a day which brings out make up, costumes, and of course dresses.
Most of my training and cycling has been solo, but today was so much fun because it was all about teamwork. The day starts with a good steady climb known as “the evil twins”, includes a gorgeous and long descent to the coast, and finishes outside the town of Santa Maria. For one reason or another I found myself cycling in largely small groups of 2-4. Teamwork means coordination, communication, and speed.