HarveyNick.com Musings of a professional nerd

Lapped by Fast.ai

Well. This is embarrassing. At the beginning of last year I was working my way through fast.ai’s excellent Deep Learning for Coders course. Then, around the time I was due to start the last module, my life got very busy and complicated. To be clear: it got very busy and very complicated, but in a very good way. More about that in a future post.... Read more

Shermer's Last Law

The Laundry Files is a series of books which include several subjects which are guaranteed to draw my interest, especially when combined: Computer related stuff; Espionage type stuff; Lovecraftey stuff. They’re very fun, but if I’m being entirely honest: somewhat forgettable. However in book 3, The Fuller Memorandum, author Charles Str... Read more

Dr John and Fat Tony

Let’s get this out of the way first: Nassim Nicholas Taleb is a… difficult character. He can be pretty… reactionary in public forums. Especially Twitter. You might not want to get to know him better. But that doesn’t change the fact that Fooled by Randomness and The Black Swan are both fascinating and thought provoking books1. Be warned: they ar... Read more

Platypus Categorisation

Robert M. Pirsig’s Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance is a book I recommend without hesitation, but with caveats. It’s an extremely difficult and heavy book. In fact I had to take a break in the middle of reading it for something a bit lighter. It’s less famous sequel Lila manages to be heavier still. In fact I have a confession to make: ... Read more

Suddenly, a Wild “Now” Page Appears

There’s a new page in the menu of this site. First of all I’ll make an admission: the idea is shamelessly stolen from Jacoby Young. Hopefully it’s meaning is fairly self explanatory. It’s mostly there for my own self reflection, which I’ve decided to do in public, apparently. My working plan is that I’ll update this page about once a month. I s... Read more

A Swing and a Miss: Trying to Reduce English Uncertainty in IMDB Review Classification

When I was following the natural language processing / recurrent neural networks1 section of Andrew Ng’s Deep Learning Specialisation, there was a detail which bothered me. Now, having reached the same subject area in fast.ai’s own deep learning course, the same detail is bothering me again. The structure of the fast.ai course is much more open ... Read more

Kaggle’s Yelp Restaurant Photo Classification Competition, Fast.ai Style: Part 2

Note: This post has a lot of javascript graphs, but if you’re using a feed reader or have javascript turned off you’ll just get basic tables. Sorry about that. With that out of the way: I’m going to assume that if you’re reading this you’ve already read Part 1. As such, I’m just going to dive right back in where I left off. Calculating the Per... Read more

Kaggle’s Yelp Restaurant Photo Classification Competition, Fast.ai Style: Part 1

Lectures 3 and 4 of fast.ai’s Practical Deep Learning for Coders MOOC focuses in part on multi-label image classification. Teacher Jeremy Howard uses the Understanding the Amazon from Space Kaggle competition for teaching purposes1, and sets homework to try other similar image classification competitions. The forums point to a template version ... Read more

A Short Word About GDPR

If you’re not dead and you’ve been on the internet recently, you’ve probably head about GDPR. Given the circumstances of you reading this article, I’m going to assume that both of those things are true. GDPR, which of course stands for Google Democratic People’s Republic General Data Protection Regulation, is a new law in the EU. The gist of it ... Read more

An iOS Developer’s Opinions of Flutter

Around a year ago I led a team which spent several months building a complete app using Flutter. For various reasons (none of which I can go into) this app did not ship, and I moved on to a different role. More recently, I spent a week participating in a hackathon. The team I was part of built a successful proof of concept inside an existing app... Read more