People who focus…..

Warren Buffett has to say this about people who focus:

The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything 

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Machine learning: Thou aimest high.

Was reading the book Why Nation fails by by Daron Acemoglu and found this anecdote. This reminded me of similar thoughts, many have advocated about artificial intelligence and machine learning.

In 1583 William Lee returned from his studies at the University of Cambridge to become the local priest in Calverton England. Elizabeth I (1558–1603) had recently issued a ruling that her people should always wear a knitted cap. Lee recorded that “knitters were the only means of producing such garments but it took so long to finish the article. I began to think. I watched my mother and my sisters sitting in the evening twilight plying their needles. If garments were made by two needles and one line of thread, why not several needles to take up the thread.”

This momentous thought was the beginning of the mechanization of textile production. Lee became obsessed with making a machine that would free people from endless hand-knitting. He recalled, “My duties to Church and family I began to neglect. The idea of my machine and the creating of it ate into my heart and brain.” Finally, in 1589, his “stocking frame” knitting machine was ready. He travelled to London with excitement to seek an interview with Elizabeth I to show her how useful the machine would be and to ask her for a patent that would stop other people from copying the design.

He rented a building to set the machine up and, with the help of his local member of Parliament Richard Parkyns, met Henry Carey, Lord Hundson, a member of the Queen’s Privy Council. Carey arranged for Queen Elizabeth to come see the machine, but her reaction was devastating. She refused to grant Lee a patent, instead observing, “Thou aimest high, Master Lee. Consider thou what the invention could do to my poor subjects. It would assuredly bring to them ruin by depriving them of employment, thus making them beggars.”

Crushed, Lee moved to France to try his luck there; when he failed there, too, he returned to England, where he asked James I (1603–1625), Elizabeth’s successor, for a patent. James I also refused, on the same grounds as Elizabeth. Both feared that the mechanization of stocking production would be politically destabilizing. It would throw people out of work, create unemployment and political instability, and threaten royal power. The stocking frame was an innovation that promised huge productivity increases, but it also promised creative destruction.

I am not smart enough to know if the apprehensions are right or wrong, but as a machine learning enthusiast, I am fascinated with the field. 

Deep learning, AI, ML are tools like knife and hammer that we are now beginning to understand better and put them to practical use.
Exciting times.

Knowledge work…..

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Was looking though some old notes on my iPhone and found this beautiful passage on knowledge work.

Records 214 days ago in October, have lost the source but I suspect this might be from the blog studyhacks!

Knowledge work is not defined by quantity. Neither is knowledge work defined by its costs. Knowledge work is defined by its results. -Anon

Investing in yourself

You can never go wrong with investing in yourself.

A couple of days back while browsing, stumbled upon these lines.

They resonate with what I believe in, so here you go.

“You can never go wrong with investing in yourself – that way, everything that you learn and have can go with you.

You can invest in three ways – your health, your network, and your knowledge, and all three are necessary to be successful”

While studying or training or in your job, investing in yourself is the best thing you can do!!

And the best thing is that this investment only needs your commitment and an hour a day.

So are you giving yourself that one hour?