Causal Impact, Not so Much

GABF Medals Bolster Reputations but not Search Interest

Intro The Great American Beer Festival (GABF) is the premier beer festival and awards competition in the United States, possibly the world. Breweries and brewers display their wins proudly and for good reason, especially with the explosion in the number of breweries, entrants, and the subsequent competition in recent years. The GABF is no fringe occasion as it may have been from 1983-86, when just three places were awarded in a sole category, compared to the 288 award winners across 90+ categories in 2016.1 Despite the steady growth of craft beer by volume, revenue, establishments and new adherents if search engagement is any indication the medals remain a niche interest. That is one of several hypotheses... [Read More]

Data Guide for the Beer Perplexed IV

Part IV - Graphs and Paths

Motivation If handed a pale ale and in the other hand you hold a stout it should be simple enough to identify differences.1 These observations would be fairly common and not overly informative. Being introduced to beers in this ham handed manner would not be productive to identifying similarities instead of differences or trying to get from one beer style to another in an instructive way. It would be more helpful to home in on a style you enjoy and branch off steadily from there. There will be some jumping around to test the boundaries for sure, but if we stretch too far we can be reassured of a foundation to return to. Additionally, it is the... [Read More]

Drought, Draughts, and Decency

Bar Stool Pontifications on Singer's FAM

Data Source: danielgaudard Neither Ignore nor Deny the Suffering in the World Can we justify drinking beer, even quality fantastic beer, in a world of suffering or does this mark us out as negligent and indulgent people?1 I’ve had thematically similar questions come to mind from time to time but only recently has the idea of suffering coupled with drinking good beer come to a head. The reason being threefold, my enjoyment of good beer, a recent reading of Singers essay “Famine, Affluence and Morality” (FAM), and the very real starvation of approximately 20 million people today (see World Food Program). As many a... [Read More]

TED2 - It's okay to start freaking out about AI, like yesterday

Keyser Söze Derails a Constructed Debate Around AI & Makes Things Emotional

Intro AI development has reached a point where it is no longer the concern solely of researchers, this paper being a case in point. The impacts of greater information processing, robotics, automation and autonomous systems have far reaching consequences that extend to all present societies and likely all future generations. The ability of citizens to inform themselves and speak intelligently on the matter is crucial for devising inclusive policy responses to changes in economics, politics and culture. Consider this just one more crank’s foray into an increasingly fashionable field (Bostrom 2014, 376). Two presentations with different conclusions on the level of concern we should harbor regarding superintelligence got me thinking, which one should I trust. Really, which one should... [Read More]

Another Summer Bummer?

A Look at NYC 311 Calls re Drankin'

Whatchya got in that cup? Man, whatchya got in that cup? Everyone likes a drink now and again. You can’t help it if others don’t always appreciate the difficult week, new promotion, recent break up, or birthday celebration of the moment that has brought on a little imbibing. Apparently, some people can be so bothered by this form of expressiveness that they feel the need to have someone step in. That is where a “friendly” 311 call comes in. With summer officially starting today I looked to last year’s numbers to see what we may expect to deal with. I was expecting far more calls and far more variety.... [Read More]

Why are there no brothers on the wall?

Forget the Images, Let's Own the Wall

I am a boxing fan, someone who appreciates beer, and a lover of books. I could not tell you why it has taken me such an inexcusably long time to do a piece on books. Maybe I’m just fashionably late, even to my own party. This comes as no surprise to myself or anyone who knows me. ‘Better late than never’ will be my next tattoo, if i ever get around to it. Be that as it may we are here now. An intuitive approach to analyzing books might deal with something text or natural language related but I am leaving that for another time. Instead I am going to do a simple feature analysis of certain titles. Two separate... [Read More]