San Bruno Mountains — South of San Francisco

tread lightly but not too lightly

stir things up

leave a mark

a footprint

a handprint

leave something broken

a vase, a phone screen, a heart

no one ever followed the path of one

who left no path at all

the dead tread the lightest of all

to live is to

tread hard

but not too hard

Nice work, Banksy.

The field of Data Analysis and, more specifically, of Machine Learning (DAML) is a field that is primarily pushed forth more by its applications to other fields than by anything intrinsic within the field. This is not to say that there aren’t technical advancements in the techniques used, but rather that these advancements are motivated by an improvement in the application of the techniques to accomplish tasks within other fields. Examples of these applications include bank fraud detection, language translation, content recommender systems, online target advertising, medical diagnosis, and drug discovery, just to name a small subset. …

[Written for a school course titled ENV222: Interdisciplinary environmental studies. Given an 800 word limit, explaining the brutal brevity.]

I like to think of myself as an environmentally friendly person: I recycle, I minimize waste, I minimize water usage, I walk nearly everywhere, I try to buy/sell used items whenever possible, etc. However, despite my best efforts, there always exists a small but not insignificant gap between my environmental values and my behaviour: I don’t always buy local foods, I own a many products with questionable manufacturing, I still eat meat, etc. I have drastically reduced this gap as I’ve…

[Written for a school course titled ENV222: Interdisciplinary environmental studies. Given an 800 word limit, explaining the brutal brevity.]

Humans have already affected between 20–100% of the Earth’s ice-free land [1]. Our population has gone from 550 million to approximately 7.5 billion within 400 years [2]. We live longer lives during which we use more resources and connect with more humans from places further away. The story of humanity is a story of more, of progress, of development, and most importantly, of power: power which can be exerted over whatever we see fit. Sometimes we exert power over each other…

[Written for a school course titled ENV222: Interdisciplinary environmental studies. Given an 800 word limit, explaining the brutal brevity.]

The environmental problem is immensely complex, with many different elements all interacting together to shape how the problem evolves and is addressed. This sets the environmental problem apart from many other subjects as is it concerned not only with an entire system, but with one that is complex, leading to a futility with which its nature can be fully understood in the same way other subjects are understood. Physical, moral, and policy elements are just some of the elements that participate…

Our modern financial system is largely based on the concept of trade, specifically that which takes place in exchanges/markets. The trade that takes place in these exchanges can vary in nature but it is the trading of stocks (a percentage ownership of a corporation [1]) in stock exchanges, and how this is being done unfairly by some, that will be considered in this article.

High-frequency trading (HFT) firms have recently emerged as one of the most prominent parties involved in the trading of stocks and their tactics have profoundly changed the nature of trading [2]. …

Guess who doesn’t think about what money is? This puppy. This puppy will probably never think about what money is.

We use it nearly every single day. It’s what keeps us alive — day in, day out. It governs how we spend our time, both as individuals and as a society. Money, moolah, dough, cash: it is at the heart of modern life. And yet, people rarely have any clue what it really is, not even Michael Moneybags, one of the managing directors of Bank of America. This article is in fact about a real person, but I decided not to name them, so Michael Moneybags it is.

Following a very broad and interesting talk from Michael discussing the world…

The act of reading allows one to explore many other worlds and lives and, in doing so, provides a more pervasive understanding of one’s own personal world and life. In reading George Orwell’s Down and Out in Paris and London, I was given a brief but very informative and emotional glimpse into the life of a man struggling to cope with poverty and misfortune who was able to write with a prose uniquely capable of conveying his experiences.

People tend not to think much of the homeless and most even force themselves to completely ignore those in poverty — going…

The concept of the corporation as we know it today is one that has arisen only in the last 150 years but has nevertheless managed to radically transform nearly every aspect of our society for better or for worse. Our entire lives are now unavoidably dictated by the actions of corporations and, as the author of The Corporation, Joel Bakan, puts it, “[Corporations] determine what we eat, what we watch, what we wear, where we work, and what we do.” From being able to stroll through aisles upon aisles of seemingly endless bounties of food from around the world, to…

[Original article written on July 27, 2015]

As much as we all seem to be moving towards ordering everything we need online, there’s just something about spending a few hours at a physical, brick-and-mortar bookstore trying to find that perfect book which sites like Amazon simply can’t replace. Better yet: spending a few hours at a physical, brick-and-mortar bookstore with prices at half of what they would normally be elsewhere. Used bookstores have a certain charm to them which is hard for anyone to deny and present an opportunity to discover something unique which places like Chapters fail to replicate…

Nart Barileva

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