Bot framework, bot services, LUIS, and text sentiment
You can make a conversational chat bot in less than a week. It may not understand everything you say, but with some added intelligence, the bot can be very chappy!
Some progress on Sapiens, and my reading list expanded
programming blogs from a YC post
Julia Galen on how to argue better and change your mind more
(from: The Ezra Klein Show)
The first half of this podcast contained some thought provoking ideas on arguments and point of view. Biases can influence the way we view ourselves and learning about biases can make us more worse at fixing our our biases. It was discussed how paradoxes lead us to develop deeper labeling of people and ideas. For example, you say you are of one camp, but you fall into the other camp for certain things. The more you associate with the other camp, the more people will think of you as in that camp. I don’t think this is that bad, but we need to realize we are not so simple creatures. Black and white does not always tell the story.
(from: The Tim Ferriss Show)
Two of my three inspirational people on a podcast (throw in Ryan Holiday, and it would be quite the show)
Make it count. Always motivational, Neistat inspires me to write more, create more, do more.
The stupidest thing people can do with their money
(from: Freakonomics Radio)
I do not listen to Freakonomics much anymore, but this episode caught my eye. On the Marketplace Morning Report episode from this Tuesday, they talked about the risks of more people moving to passively invested, low cost index funds. I wanted to learn more about the downsides (as I am onboard with the upsides), and by chance, this week’s Freak podcast was all about the topic! Dubner interviewed John (“Jack”) Bogle, the 88 year old and founder of Vanguard. Definitely worth a listen or two. The contrast between Bogle and Buffett is both similar and remarkable.
Odds and Ends
- Went for a 10 mile run and made sure Strava was working this time before starting.
- Edited Iceland Day 2 for half a day. Final video coming soon! Watch Day 1 (which is really day 2)
Take the road less travelled to Öxarárfoss.
Relax. Be mindful of my breathing and body positioning. Rest my muscles and let all tension melt away. Start at the top of my head and slowly scan down how I am holding each part of my body. Relax the mind and loosen the neck and shoulders, slow my heart rate, expand my stomach, stretch my legs, spread my toes, and open my mind.
Over the next few days put your learning to the test. Along with over coming the fear of exposing yourself as an imposter, you will also attempt to keep you ego in check and build relationships with others. That sinking feeling you get when encountering a difficult social situation will be redirected to external action rather than receding inside yourself. Most importantly, you should remember to be yourself, live small, build up others, and keep learning. You’ll be great.
Passionate players will give it their all while winning, but play discouraged when losing big. Purposeful players will see the challenge as an opportunity to show determination, resolve, and sportsmanship. Displaying their grit to continue playing, even when all hope seems lost.
Passion inflates you. Purpose defines you.
While something may make sense in your head, you must work hard to have it click for others. Furthermore, you must create a space where others can feel safe in being vulnerable and asking questions. Don’t be angry someone doesn’t know certain things. Be happy you are able to teach them something new.
Bonus track: Something new at Somewhere New
Exploring a new city can be daunting at first. I knew little to nothing of how to get around and barely knew anyone here. I did all the research and tried to avoid routine for as long as possible to take advantage of all the opportunities. To expand my view of the surroundings I went on running tours of the area trying to uncover new places. This slower paced, in person exploration gave me a great feel for the city and where I wanted to venture next. Running out with no destination in mind, I used the few landmarks I knew to guide me back at the end of the day. Running, rather than driving connected me to the city first hand and exposed me to much of what the city has to offer. I noted restaurants, parks, concert venues, and trails to return to later. Physically exploring new areas instead of scrolling on a screen was a fruitful exercise, but I won’t let it stop. Build on my findings, explore more, and keep running.
Learn to control your biases and impulses around others. Stop and ponder “What are you thinking about? What’s going through your head?” Keeping these thoughts in everyday life humanizes others and allow you to better understand that we are all people with complex histories and emotions. Prodding with simple questions like “What do you think about? What are you thinking about? What do you mean? What are you working on?” Ground conversation on an emotional level and foster deeper connection. This is the type of conversation which brings us together and stimulates growth. It’s not superficial, but thoughtful, on a level helping us come to a better understanding of ourselves and others.
Video of the day
Alki Beach at sunset
I did not realize I was recording while setting up the drone. When I got back, I noticed the random 30 seconds of filming the ground. Instead of deleting it, I made a preview for the rest of the movie!
And the main feature. Enjoy!
You may be the average of the five people you spend the most time with , but more so, today, you are the product of who you were yesterday and the day before . “The difference between who you are now and who you were five years ago is largely due to how you’ve spent your time along the way.” 
So, who are you seeking to become?
If you like who you are today, keep doing what you are doing. But if you want to change, work to retool the habits which defined you up until this point. You don’t have to appease social norms of being the same person you were yesterday. Buck the tread and become who you want to be. (Do you believe people can change? ) Fight club and Tyler Durden show that resetting can be the impetus for your new, desired self to take hold. You don’t have to set fire to all your possessions, but find what brings joy to your life  . Don’t let your possessions own you . “If you can’t afford to lose it, you can’t afford it to buy it yet” . So as spring rolls around here in the US, what cleaning will you be find? How will you shed your skin to let your new self shine?
Just connecting some things I came across recently. Here’s a non-chronological list:
 “You’re the average of the five people you spend most of your time with.” – Jim Rohn
 Change Making Problem – Wikipedia
 Who are we seeking to Become – Seth Godin
 The Personality Myth – Invisibilia
 Life Changing Magic of Tidying up – Marie Kondo
 “The things you used to own, now they own you” – Fight Club
 Mr. Money Mustache – The New Yorker
Here’s a story from a TED talk on perspective:
A man walks into a bank in Watsonville, California. And he says, “Give me $2,000, or I’m blowing the whole bank up with a bomb.”
Now, the bank manager didn’t give him the money. She took a step back. She took his perspective, and she noticed something really important. He asked for a specific amount of money.
So she said, “Why did you ask for $2,000?”
And he said, “My friend is going to be evicted unless I get him $2,000 immediately.”
And she said, “Oh! You don’t want to rob the bank — you want to take out a loan.”
“Why don’t you come back to my office, and we can have you fill out the paperwork.”
Challenge your perspective and don’t make assumptions.
Quoted from Adam Galinsky: How to speak up for yourself