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chasing movement

Month: October 2015

From something to nowhere

I’m literally in the middle of nowhere. I just moved to Natal, northeast Brazil, for a gig at the laboratory of the most polemic  Brazilian researcher ever. I’d describe his appreciation as a very skewed bimodal distribution.

Adaptation has been tough tho. Job hasn’t started yet and I’m still airbnb-ing. My host has a cat – friendly but quite demanding – and a parrot. Yes, a parrot. I had to remind myself how common and even funny this is in a South American context. But when he vocalizes ‘amigo’, it’s just so bizarre and odd. Not bad just so so bizarre. Even more for being posted at the Boston Iron Blog. So, I decided that the cambriville folks deserve to see a pic of him.


If Natal is a state capital and it didn’t realize yet (there is little to do over here), our offices are in a lost land that indeed exists. As controversial as it might sound my current messy mindset about this place, the curious facts didn’t finish yet.

Natal is one of the capitals that were once upon a time part of Dutch Brazil. It was known as New Amsterdam, title attributed to NYC nowadays – at least for some. The Portuguese took it over when the Dutch realized Natal was not a good market colony anymore. And there we are, Brazilians, embodying our Portuguese heritage of being fulfilled with little – both in good and bad aspects of it. Oh, comfort zone, were you lost on the graving of the ancient Portuguese endeavours that launched their chance over seas?

By the way, I started reading Zorba, by Niko Kazantzakis, and it brings me so much about the faith and roughness of lost sailors. Am I one of them? For sure, leaving home behind and loosing the concept of it makes one as tough as sailors’ hands. The rope is there and I’m with it. Strings attached everywhere  but one has two eyes: one for the wheel, the other to the rope.

“Dutch Brazil” on @Wikipedia:

Pre something

Upcoming days will be wild. New  city. New culture. Old way of doing things buried. 

pinterest: a sexist social network service

I created an account on pinterest these days, as soon as I knew that Jure Leskovec, a big name on big data is the new pinterest’s chief scientist. I was excited to see how his work would progressively change a platform.

My first impression was horrible, not to say terrifying. There was an entry selection for gender, as soon as a click on female, suddenly all these images of clothing, fashion, cooking, marriage poped up on my screen. I felt so disturbed that for a second I didn’t know what to do, I even felt embarrassed for something I didn’t do (horrible socially constructed feeling). I searched for a place where I could select my interests and among the list of things they offered me in this search, I couldn’t find engineering, science, physics. Yes, I found dance and ballet there. It was something. Scrolling down, again, again, and again, and nothing. I had to use the search tool and type engineering, science, etc, one by one.

Well, I was confused and disturbed but finally my feed looked like something I could relate with. But, one of these days, I receive, by e-mail, a suggestion of trends supposedly design for my interests and (again) supposedly using tools of data science. The results was this:

pinterest

Tips for cleaning, recipes etc. Don’t take me wrong, as an independent human being, I do like those things but I do not consume them as information.

If in the beginning I was curious about the results of Jure’s work on it, now I wish him good luck. Whatever data processing they have there, it’s garbage, it’s gender centered and sexist. I’m mad. I think I won’t wait improvements to come, even if I love the street art pictures, science anecdotes, ballet pictures etc.

We need better data science! All technical decisions are also political, therefore we need to keep discussing privacy and respect, otherwise we will end up in a fugazzi cloud of information, which will require new spam detection tolls to filter them out. (uhh… looks good… data science creating the next generation of data science jobs, now I get it). And yes, by the way, we should finally design tools that do not require gender definition whatsoever.

Liberation

They started making out as usual those days of ovulation and fire. She came down on him but in her way, she couldn’t control her compulsion. 

It was huge and its colors were hard to ignore. She could almost feel her hands on it, the explosion in the moment of the liberation. She could not control herself, she ignored him completely and went for it. 

After the intensity of the explosion, he couldn’t keep up with the sexual act, his ingrown hair was now released but he was down to sleep. 

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