Baye’s Theorem and Intuition

Last week, we discussed Bayes’s Theorem briefly. We used a simple example of walking into a classroom and observe three people wearing different shirts.

This week, we are going to utilize this same example, but we will examine the mechanics of what’s happening through the lens of Bayes’s Theorem.

To do this, we will take a quick look at Bayes’s Theorem and then use its predictive insights to shed some light on our previous example and provide additional understanding of our own intuition.

Read More

Extraction Part III: Agitation and Curiosity

Making coffee is a relatively simple process; coffee’s flavor compounds are extracted using water as a solvent. But, we can affect the extraction rate of a coffee through five variables: temperature, agitation, time, ratio, and grind size. This is the third in a series of six posts examining the factors affecting extraction in coffee and what they can teach us about the daily pursuits we engage in.

Agitation—the introduction of turbulence to coffee grounds, usually through stirring or pouring.

Increase the agitation to improve the circulation of coffee grounds and water. As circulation improves, coffee’s flavor compounds are more quickly and easily dissolved as each particle’s total surface area is constantly exposed to circulating water.

The extraction rate increases.

As we introduce or remove agitation during the brewing process, we either aid or inhibit extraction. Too much agitation constantly exposes each particle’s surface area to circulating water, continually aiding in extraction and potentially resulting in over-extraction. Too little agitation prevents circulating water from dissolving the flavor compounds of each coffee particle, as only a fraction of surface area is exposed at one time. This inhibits extraction and results in an under-extracted brew.IMG_4089

Curiosity—the strong desire to know or learn something.

Heightened curiosity provides a source of intrinsic motivation, increasing the rate at which we move through new material. This improves our ability to extract knowledge and meaning from the work we’re doing.

Just as agitation can aid or inhibit extraction, our level of curiosity affects our work similarly. A lack of curiosity might lead us to examine only the most accessible information haphazardly, resulting in work that lacks depth or value. Too much curiosity might lead us to lose sight of the overarching goal of our work, extracting too many undesirables from one thing.

Approaching a problem with a sense of curiosity can help us extract knowledge and meaning passionately, improving the overall quality of our work.scannable-document-on-jan-27-2017-9_54_21-pm

Extraction Part II: Ratios and Balance

Making coffee is a relatively simple process; coffee’s flavor compounds are extracted using water as a solvent. But, we can affect the extraction rate of a coffee through five variables: temperature, agitation, time, ratio, and grind size. This is the second in a series of six posts examining the factors affecting extraction in coffee and what they can teach us about the daily pursuits we engage in.

A brew ratio—the amount of coffee used in relation to the amount of water used.

Increase the ratio of coffee to water, and there are more water molecules than coffee particles. As the number of water molecules increases, they can now dissolve more flavor compounds from the coffee. This increases extraction because the water dissolves all of the flavor compounds, even the undesirable ones. Read More

Extraction Part I: Temperature and Focus

Making coffee is a relatively simple process; coffee’s flavor compounds are extracted using water as a solvent. But, we can affect the extraction rate of a coffee through five variables: temperature, agitation, time, ratio, and grind size. This is the first in a series of six posts examining the factors affecting extraction in coffee and what they can teach us about the daily pursuits we engage in.

Temperature—the intensity of heat present in a substance.

Heat water up and its particles begin to move much more rapidly. This increase in movement speeds up the rate at which coffee’s flavor compounds are dissolved into water.

The extraction rate increases.

Read More

What’s the use of assumptions?

We make assumptions hundreds of times a day. We make them when we enter a coffee shop. We make them when our paths cross. We make them when we receive an open-ended text from a friend.

The assumptions we make drive the decisions we make. Whether or not we choose to interact with someone is often based on the assumptions that we’ve made of them.

Flawed assumptions wreck our chances of meaningful connection, but accurate assumptions have the ability to help us wade through the seemingly endless number of choices we encounter.

We’re going to make assumptions, and understanding the role that assumptions play in our lives while working to improve the accuracy of those assumptions will lead us to more meaningful connections.

Read More

Anything is better than walking

My parents have been unbelievably influential in my life, but I often take their influence for granted. More and more, I find myself repeating their aphorisms and maxims as reminders to myself in times of stress and hardship.

My subconscious seems to be deeply rooted in these aphorisms used by my parents. Whenever I’m frustrated or upset I’ll hear one of my parents’ advice echoing in between my ears, without any deliberate attempt of my own to recall it. Most often, these phrases are linked with memories of an activity or an event in which I heard them.

Mountain biking with my Dad is an activity that has reinforced many of these aphorisms within my mind.

I’ve learned countless things from my Dad, but a lesson that has stuck with me stems from his reminder that “anything is better than walking.”

Scannable Document on May 20, 2017, 12_16_01 PM

Read More

Kendrick Lamar and the ability to unite the human experience

Kendrick Lamar is a phenomenal storyteller.

He understands that human emotions are complex, but he also understands how to elicit those emotions from his listeners. Kendrick’s song FEAR. is the epitome of his ability to employ his own story in an effort to help the listener better understand their own.

While the manifestations of our fears may differ, Kendrick illustrates three elements of fear that affect all of us, regardless of circumstance.

These elements bond the emotions that stem from our experiences; they illustrate the similarities in the human experience rather than the differences.

A closer look at the elements of fear presented by Kendrick can help us better understand each other and help one another embrace love rather than fear.

Read More