All Data is Dirty: Subjective Data, Likert Scales, and More

One of the things I like to point out in my Launching a Data Science Project talk is that all data is, by its nature, dirty. I figured I could get into that a little bit here and explain why. I'll pick a few common problems and cover why each is intractable. Subjective Data Lacks…

Become A Better Speaker

That's a big title.  Expect "(on the margin)" in tiny font after the title. What Other People Say Let me start off with some great resources, and then I'll move to a few things that have helped me in the past. Troy Hunt Troy is a master of preparation.  Check out his prep work he…

Upcoming Events

First, a plug.  The folks at Red Gate have re-published my Tribal SQL chapter as a standalone article.  If you like it, go out and get a copy of the book, as there are a number of excellent authors there. On May 16-18, I will be attending CarolinaCon.  It's hard to beat $20 for a weekend…

Continuity: Friend or enemy?

io9 has a great article about continuity and/or the lack thereof in the major contenders to the Marvel Universe. I begin this with the following preface: I did not and do not read comics. As a kid, I was fascinated by the Transformers comics (why? Because fucking robot dinosaurs, THAT'S WHY), but I never internalized…

Hire Fast, Fire Fast

Great advice for a startup.  Great advice for any company. One bad employee can be a cancer on an organization.  Keeping bad employees around means that you are essentially rewarding poor behavior, so good employees have less incentive to work hard.  Mark Suster focuses on startups, but this also applies to large companies as well,…

“Diversity Before Diversity”

Steve Sailer brings up a very interesting concept:  various Indian tribes were feared up until the early 1900s, and yet Robert L. Owen could be named Senator.  As Sailer notes, this behavior strikes a blow against the notion that white-black bigotry was hate-based, given that whites tended to hate and fear Indians far more than…

Next Time I Will

The Evil HR Lady has an awesome article in which she comes up with an application for employers.  This wouldn't go very far in real life as-is, but next time I plan on moving on to a new position, I'm going to create one of these.  I already have a spreadsheet with important details that…