Inspired by Derek Siver’s suggestion on keeping a “now page” updated, I have decided I will do one a month. The now page will stay in the navigation above and will be transformed into a post once the month switches, leaving room for the next month’s one. This way it’ll be useful to me to have a better idea of things I do and get interested in, and their progress; I’ll try to be disciplined with this process. So here’s what I’ve been up to in May 2021.
The weather in Edinburgh is being pretty disappointing for May (even for Edinburgh, yes). There’s been much gloom, which I don’t need after a gloomy, indoor, pandemic-stricken winter. Anyway, can’t complain too much, there’s also bene some spells of sun.
Data science, science, and career
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about what data science means (if you monitored the previous “now” pages here you would have noticed this). I’ve been thinking about this specifically in relation to science. Which triggered lots of questions to myself as to where I really want to go with my career. I don’t have a clear answer to everything, but I think I’ve figured out a few steps towards some answers at least, and they’re good steps - there’s been lots of thinking. More on this soon.
The last thing I’ve watched, as a series, is Snowpiercer (Netflix). I found it pretty good, It’s interesting as it throws themes of democracy, equality, human rights and generally what does it mean to be human. And the main focus triggering the plot is climate change. It’s arguably quite stretched (but what dystopian show isn’t?), but very interesting. It made me want to measure how many pieces of entertainment like shows and movies, and possibly literary fiction have been produced in time on the theme of climate change - did we start progressively doing more and more, after “the day after tomorrow” in 2004?
Out of a friend’s suggestion, I’ve started watching “Mr. Robot” - it’s pretty good. Depressing, but good. I particularly like the choice of soundtrack (there’s a lot of classical music) and how it creates a stark contrast with the content. It’s an interesting show, very many themes are treated: from freedom, to technology, to mental illness and pain. I may write something about this once I progress some more.
Data & Drawing
These days, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is in full swing yet again. I’ve asked myself what is, historically, the proportion of Palestinian victims each time there’s an escalation. It’s 88%, so far, averaged in time. I’ve done a data card about this, with data taken from B’TSELEM, an Israeli humanitarian organisation that is the only place reporting fatalities data systematically and since 2001. My card was not meant to take any sides, it was, as per my mantra, just aimed at looking at facts and it’s a way for me to try and understand things more, as I do much reading about the topics I try to put down in vizzes. On Twitter, the post with my card yielded what I think has been the highest number of likes I ever got. A lot of them came from accounts that advocate for a free Palestine, unsurprisingly, but there’s not been much discussion. I’ve been asking myself and debating with friends: what should we do about all this, what would be the best course of action? I only have data since 2001, but this bloody trail has been going on for 50 years and more.