Focus Too Much On the Big Picture, Get $10k In Dental Bills When I found out baby teeth fall out, I realised the futility brushing them. The teeth are temporary, but those extra 5 minutes of playing Pokemon are forever. So I quit brushing my teeth. This wouldn’t have been too big a problem for a normal kid, but I also refused to drink water. A strangely pervasive problem in our family that started young (my brother was weaned off breast milk using chocolate Breaka) and lived into adulthood.
Is The Problem The Parents or the Kid? As a child, your parents are seen as deities that can do no wrong, that is until you are doing a first aid course 10 years later and learn that a broken arm is not an “I’ll take you to the hospital tomorrow if it still hurts” level emergency. Growing up I started to realise my Dad’s life lessons were somewhat unorthodox and below are some of my favourite quotes.
My Experience with the Legal System I have had my fair share of run-ins with the legal system. Probably more than someone my age should have. Here are my three favourite interactions so far:
A guy on acid threw a rock through my window at a music festival and they found him an hour later running around a field and screaming “I’m the richest man in the world” My landlord snapped when he was at our house doing maintenance, jumped the fence and assaulted our neighbour who now has a restraining order against him My parents tried to sue my high school after I was expelled for giving a speech about the private school system at a public speaking competition The point here isn’t to talk about my interactions with the law, but rather to show that I have seen a police officer at least once, so I’m definitely well versed enough to critique our complicated legal system.
A Conspiracy Theory is Like a Bad Model A few years ago my mum became very susceptible to suggestion, and made friends with a guy who was really good at speaking about nonsense with the authority to make it sound true. Listening to him sent her down a conspiracy theory rabbit hole, of which I had to experience second hand. Our interactions ended up boiling down to mum sending me a 20 minutes Youtube video about aliens building the pyramids, then I would wait the appropriate amount of time and send a text that said “Wow, what an interesting perspective”.
This is The Blog of a Mario Party Master In pre-COVID times, my friends and I would gather around for a fun activity called “lets ruin our friendship by taking Mario party way too seriously”. The night always starts with laughter and few drinks, and ends with me standing on a chair, pointing at my closest friends, and screaming “I’m going to make you cry tears you thought were reserved for the death of your mother”.
Creative writing has never been my forte, however, no attempt was worse than my 5th Grade NAPLAN test. My score was so poor I suspect the examiners were concerned I would never turn out to be a functional adult capable of basic literacy. Unfortunately for my school, typical sample metrics like averages and standard deviation can be heavily skewed by a single student who thinks spelling is a waste of time, and writing out the plot of last nights fever dream makes for good literature.
The season of the bachelor is upon us, and what better way to celebrate my love of drawn out reality TV, than to use it to explain permutation variable importance in the random forest model. For those who are not familiar, The Bachelor is a dating show where each week female contestants are eliminated when they do not receive a rose during the rose ceremony. The winner is famously difficult to predict, and many complicated factors (screen time, number of dates, ect) mean our variables are ever evolving through the season and difficult to use in analysis.
When we are building a machine learning model you have a choice of a simple, which would be an inflexible, model vs a complicated, or very flexible model. We need to decide how flexible the model should be to work well for future samples. An inflexible model may not reflect a complex underlying process adequately and hence would be biased. A flexible model has the capacity to capture a complex underlying process but the fitted version might change from one sample to another enormously, which is called variance.