My First Article Written (Almost) Completely Through Siri

I'm no stranger to the field of voice-to-text translation. Over the past decade, I've used several product iterations from a company by the name of DragonSpeak. Despite the claims of accuracy for anyone that takes the time to use the system long enough, I must be one of the outliers. Perhaps I speak too quickly or maybe I don't enunciate my words, because I found the error rates to be somewhere between five and ten percent no matter how much training I put in. As a result, the amount of time I spent correcting the many mistakes.

Solving the Right Problem

A person attempting to assemble a jigsaw puzzle with an off colored piece.

When a doctor misdisagnosis a patient, a tremendous amount of effort can be spent trying to fix the wrong thing. Example: trying to apply an antiobitic treatment for a bacterial infection when the underlying issue is caused by a viral infection, thereby rendering the antibiotics useless. It's important to note this isn't a fictitious or uncommon example. Evidence points to "wrong diagnosis" being a leading cause of death in the US.

Practicing Appreciation for "The Little Things"

Two kids with arms around each other while walking down a dirt path.

It was the most important Christmas present I ever received because it changed the course of my life forever. I remember the confusion that came over me as I opened the box and Uncle Warren had to explain to me that it was a Packard Bell Pentium 60, which consisted of top-of-the-line hardware for a consumer computer. I didn't know at the time that this would serve as the spark of my interest in technology, computer programming, and in open source software. And it would have never happened if it were not for the generosity and thoughtfulness of my uncle.

Lowering the Barrier to Entry

In getting from where we are to where we want to be (i.e. achieving our goals and dreams), it can sometimes feel like there is mountain between us. And usually these perceived barriers are enough to stop us from taking the first step.

An alternative approach is to assess the situation in more detail to find other routes. These alternatives may seem like a small hill, or even a straight shot downhill, by comparison.

How Real-Time Feedback Can Greatly Improve Your Performance

Before I sustained an injury that required 6 screws in my left foot, I viewed biking merely as a convenient mode of transportation, particularly during the 10 years I lived in Boston because it was far more efficient and affordable than a car. However, the injury severely limited the number of physical activities I could participate in, namely swimming and biking.

Reflections on My First Year of Fatherhood

Rick and Evelyn

Thirty-one million five hundred and thirty six thousand seconds. As of April 7th, 2015 at 2:16am, that is the exact amount of time my daughter Evelyn has been alive on planet earth. Of course most people would use different units of measure (31,536,000 seconds = 365 days = 1 year), but I chose seconds to emphasize just how massive that amount of time should feel. And yet the time has figuratively flown by so quickly that I sit here in shock that her first birthday party has come and gone.

Overcoming Learned Helplessness

A properly trained adult elephant, despite weighing several tons, can be restrained with nothing more than a single rope. Why? The reality is they have more than enough strength to break free. However, they learned at an early age (when they were smaller and weaker) that they couldn't break free. And as an adult, they still hold onto this restrictive behavioral pattern versus embrace a new, more useful one. In short, these powerful creatures are now exhibiting learned helplessness.