Book 2: Essays

From the Diaries of John Henry


Depending on whether you’re reading these books in chronological or inverse order, this book may either be the second or the next to last. Will approach this introduction assuming the former.

In book 2 I started spending more time on these musings, approaching and I believe never exceeding about a week’s worth of focus on each, which was a pattern I maintained going forward. Is was in this collection that my machine learning studies became more intentional, although really there’s probably as much here on the quantum side as on machine learning. I owe a lot to the Kaggle platform for helping me to understand some of the fundamentals of tabular learning, and the three day opening sprint was my first python project.

I think one recurring pattern in this book was that I was not yet very competent in maintaining consistent conventions with respect to citations and copyright, as evidenced in essays like Quantum Machine Learning and Information Theory. This realization was what led me to strike the first Quantum Machine Learning presentation, although a condensed version of the same material was included in the second essay of the same name. In later books I started adopting more common forms of citations, at this point I had never written an academic paper.

It was early in this time that I participated in a group discussion with a US congressman on the subject of wind power and renewable energy, and his concerns about our industry adequately communicating our value proposition was what inspired me to collect some thoughts in the essay Wind Power in America.

I had a great experience this year attending a workshop by the New England Complex Systems Institute, and I owe a thank you to the researcher Yaneer Bar-Yam for allowing me to include a transcript of one of his lectures in the essay Making the Complex Coherent. Tackling the subject of Kelly Criterion was inspired by discussions in a different workshop offered by the Real World Risk Institute.

The essay on Bitcoin turned out to be exceptionally well-titled.

Many of the machine learning related essays I think are some of my best creative work, such as A Toddler Learns to Speak, A Sight for Obscured Eyes, Differential Privacy, Subtractive Adversarial Networks, and The Choices of a New Generation. In each of these I tried to balance creative aspects with grounded technical discussions, and I think the creative elements were inspired.

The Aphorisms collection turned out to be the first of several more to come in subsequent books. I am happy with how it turned out. I still laugh when re-reading the Monty Python tribute.

The closing essay came at a pretty tumultuous time. Life is long if you know how to use it.

Book 1: Explorations

August 2016 — July 2017

Book 2: Essays

August 2017 — August 2018

Book 3: Entrepreneurship

August 2018 — June 2019

Book 4: Everything

September 2019 — July 2020

Book 5: Etcetera

August 2020 — August 2021

Book 6: Endurance

September 2021 — August 2022

August 2017

Photo taken after completion of a long run.


For more essays please check out my Table of Contents, Book Recommendations and Music Recommendations.



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Nicholas Teague

Nicholas Teague

Writing for fun and because it helps me organize my thoughts. I also write software to prepare data for machine learning at Consistently unique.