At the heart of capitalism, actors in a system compete with one another to attract the most revenue through value creation. Value creation is determined by the customer’s wants, needs and desires.

Obviously, this is not how the US and other nations that adopt capitalism work since there are competing interests that make the system murky which, in turn, have plenty of unintended consequences we are all aware of.

But let’s go with it for now.

So — we have been given this high-level system to play in. And I would say, as a whole, this system has played out…


I often find myself needing to fill my to-do list when I know I will have several hours by my lonesome.

This is typically completed toward the end of the week as I anticipate the feeling of time slipping through my fingers and my desire to grasp the time and for me to derive something from nothing. Lists are created, time is accounted for, and a sighs of relief are had as the future is filled in.

And I’ve realized that through this process over the last year that: 1) yes, this is a bit compulsive and driven by anxiety/fear…


I have been immersed in the data science world for going on to 4 years now. I am by no means an expert, but I do have some tidbits I would like to share to give back to the community that has given much to me!

Here are some tips that I found out or that were given to me by my mentors and colleagues — and I hope they are helpful to you in your data science journey.

Hardcoded Variables

I have a pretty bad habit of going straight into finding the solution/answer to a question I have about my data…


I was hanging out with a friend, and I specifically ordered a vegan burrito at this Korean-Mexican fusion joint near us that looked good.

Tofu, no sour cream, no wasabi (didn’t even know that could be non-vegan), and a bunch of different subtractions/substitutions that were made to my current palette. Crazy to even think how much the world has advanced to get to this point but I digress.

Basically, I got a heavily stripped-down version of what people typically order there with some added flavoring to make the meal worth the ca$h. Bought some fries of course.

My friend comes…


In many ways, on an individual level, we are brittle creatures. We require ample sleep, food, shelter, and human connection.

Once we get those (which is not necessarily easy for many), we need to make enough money to live, we aspire to improve our human relationships, all the while trying to maintain mental health. The list goes on and on on what we need to “improve”.

Sure — many of these things may be self-inflicted or inherently designed by society. But fundamentally, we require things to live/thrive and to be satisfied in the current moment. …


The pandemic has presented a vast array of problems for the world at large, how we live our lives, and how we sustain ourselves during these times where we are forced to find peace and normalcy in a sea of change.

One of the problems that has grown with the pandemic is the arduous task of finding work, and I spent the last 3 months doing just that.

Coming fresh from graduating with my Masters degree into a new city that I had no ties with proved to be a unique and challenging problem for me during my job hunt.


Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash

It is well-known and established that current strides in artificial intelligence can be summarized as narrow or domain-specific.

This means that we train our algorithms to be tuned to solve and/or represent a specific problem. That could be credit card fraud detection, facial recognition, brain lesion segmentation and countless other tasks thousands of practitioners are working on.

Essentially, these are standalone algorithms that can really only understand what they have seen, and they fail to generalize on adjacent and far-away problems.

And as we move toward algorithms that get better and better at a group of related tasks to semi-related…


Photo by Joel Filipe on Unsplash

After watching Ad Astra on a long flight, I was reminded of the power of a good story and was pleasantly surprised that movies can still retain the concept of love, yet not have it be between a man and a woman.

Don’t get me wrong, I love a good love story.

But this time it was between a son and his father. A sad one at best. These types of relationships should be explored more, as we sometimes fail to reflect on the relationships that pervade our lives.

Another underlying, yet important relationship was explored in the movie —…


Photo by Christian Fregnan on Unsplash

I am a bit tired of the term “black-box” when referring to deep learning-based networks. It has become a way for people to pre-judge and not have an honest conversation about the advances the AI community is making.

Look — I get it — we truly do not understand what every little neuron is, in fact, learning or why wildly overparameterizing your problem seems to give us performance comparable or better than humans.

But, at the same time, the mystery that is embedded within these weights should spark something inside of you. …


Photo by Zach Betten on Unsplash

Today — I spent seven hours driving through the roads of Houston with my mother. In Filipino terms, we spent the day “pasyal” — or going around town, doing various, random activities to kill time.

That could be simply driving, talking to one another about nothing in particular, window shopping, getting coffee and pastries and the like.

Simply chilling and immersing oneself in the outside world. Observing and sometimes interacting with it.

Also, today I watched several episodes of The Therapist, where this therapist talks to pretty famous, relevant artists about the struggles of their past and present.

One thing…

Danilo Pena

My life and brain in word-form ~||~ Views expressed are my own

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