Tippling with Randomness

Flip ya, flip ya for real.

Whether currently in a rut or not one can imagine being bored by having the same thing over and over. Variety is one of the things that makes drinking craft beer great, but even with plenty of options it is common to fall into a predictable pattern, if not with a specific beer then at least a style (I am looking at you IPA). It is worthwhile giving yourself an opportunity, even a chance (“so you’re telling me there’s a chance”), of trying something new. Glomming on too quickly to a style may leave a lot of good experiences on the table, or more accurately behind the bar. If you have not had your taste challenged or changed in... [Read More]

On the Hume-ility of Beer Taste

The Amiable Scottish Skeptic says 'Choose better beer'

Every person wishes to know and to know more. We are creatures that came to dominate and step outside of the food chain not as a result of our strength but our intelligence and social coordination. We cannot outrun most animals, have pitiful claws, short teeth, and weak muscles. We can strategize and work in groups. Our knowledge, its accumulation, is the greatest advantage over the rest of the animal kingdom. People too often take for granted that we stand outside and apart from other animals but taking the time to observe a newborn and imagining a small society, a tribe with none of the technological knick-knacks we possess, it would take little effort to appreciate how defenseless and vulnerable... [Read More]

Causal Impact, Not so Much

GABF Medals Bolster Reputations 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]