On Programming Languages; Why My Dad Went From Programming to Driving a Bus

In Data Science from Scratch, a book introducing data science using Python, Joel Grus said the following about R (pg. 302):

Although you can totally get away with not learning R, a lot of data scientists and data science projects use it, so it’s worth getting familiar with it.

In part, this is so that you can understand people’s R-based blog posts and examples and code; in part, this is to help you better appreciate the (comparatively) clean elegance of Python; and in part, this is to help you be a more informed participant in the never-ending “R versus Python” flamewars.

Continue reading

A Political Cartoon and a Markov Chain

Pat Bagley is easily my favorite political cartoonist, period. For the politically aware in Utah, he is almost legendary, enjoying superstar status. I’ve been aware of him since I was a kid, and I always loved his cartoons. Not only does his artistic style appeal to me, he has a way of illustrating a situation in politics that explains it more clearly than a thousand words. His cartoons are humorous, though darkly so. And with every one, you can’t help but feel he’s had the last word.

Continue reading