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Showing posts from February, 2019

Anti-Aging Research: Science, not Hype

Last updated November 2021 Q: "How is aging a disease?" A: "It's a dynamic system that veers away from its homeostasis (normal equilibrium point): hence a form of slow-progressing illness. Labeling it as 'natural' is a surrender to our traditional state of ignorance and powerlessness, which fortunately is beginning to be changed!" The above is my standard answer to an oft-asked question. The science of aging is by all evidence very misunderstood by the general public.  Hype, misinformation and unquestioned assumptions often prevail, unfortunately. Aging as a systemic breakdown of the body, rather than a series of isolated events and conditions. This 2013 diagram from NIH is a good way to jump-start contemplating the big picture: The diagram originates from the Cell journal: The Hallmarks of Aging   Telomere shortening is perhaps the one most talked about - but just one of several processes.  As stated in the above paper: Each

RDF Triple Stores vs. Property Graphs : How to Attach Properties to Relationships

Time for the opening shot of a series about Semantic Technology , and in particular contrasting-and-comparing the opposing (but perhaps ultimately complementary) camps of:   RDF Triple Stores , aka Triples-Based Graphs.   For example, Blazegraph or Apache Jena   (Labeled) Property Graphs .  For example, Neo4j or Blazegraph (For this article, I'll assume that you have at least a passing acquaintance with both.  Here is background info on Triplestores and Property Graphs ) It’s my opinion that modeling in terms of Subject/Predicate/Object triples (aka RDF ) might be appealing to mathematicians or philosophers for its minimalist foundation (though a lot of baroque add-on’s quickly come out of the closet!) Modeling in terms of (Labeled) Property Graphs might be appealing to computer scientists, because such graphs appear more usable and less clunky once you start actually doing something with them. Perhaps because I straddle both the Math and CS camps, I’m currently on t

Online Courses: (Often) Free and Just Awesome!

“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel.” -Socrates.  [UPDATED Mar. 2021] Acquiring knowledge has been a hobby of mine since 4th grade, so it's no surprise that I'm the proverbial "kid in the candy store" when it comes to online courses!   As of writing, I have followed over 20 so far, and trying to decide what the next one will be... Utopia or Dystopia? You ever find yourself imagining the future, and wondering whether it'll turn out to be “utopian” or “dystopian”? Well, the state of higher education in the United States is decisively dystopian , with its absurdly ballooned costs and runaway student loans (a “bubble” that may burst sooner or later, mark my words!),  BUT there’s a counterpoint that is decisively utopian , namely the explosive rise of free online courses 😊 Here’s a brief 2012 Ted talk about the rise of free online courses , dated but still of interest. The gist of that TED talk is that online learning has com