I play at the crossroads of technology, health and art. Broadcasting from: www.mrdbourke.com

I went on date with a girl studying to be a paramedic.

She told me of a lesson she’d learned recently.

Sometimes the patients we go to don’t need an ambulance. When I first started, I wondered why they called. I mean, we could’ve gone to a patient who really did need an ambulance.

But then my mentor told me, sometimes people call just so someone can hear their story. All they’re after is someone to listen and to show them they care, let them know someone is there for them.

And I realised what a privilege that is. To be able to care for someone, to listen to their story, whatever it may be. …


What do you have without your health? Five questions to ask yourself everyday. The optionality of life. Using time and boredom to guide your decisions.

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Take more baths in nature. Photo by the author.

11:58pm — Shit.

1:09am — Shit.

2:14am — Shit.

3:27am — Shit.

4:44am — Shit.

I started tracking how many times I’d visited the toilet during the night by messaging myself “Shit.”

That morning Brooke and I talked about her upcoming streak of working 10-days in a row. I told her that sucked and she agreed. I’d reveal more about the conversation but I can’t remember much. My insides were going weapons hot and distracted me to the point of committing little to memory.

Did you know symptoms of the typical campylobacter infection take 2–5 days to appear and can last 1–10 days? …


A beginner-friendly approach to learning the fundamentals of data science and machine learning with Python

a person studying at a dual monitor setup in a dark room
a person studying at a dual monitor setup in a dark room
The author nerding out at his non-cable managed work station. Thank you Sam Bourke for the photo.

When I worked at Apple, we had a system. If you had a device with an issue, you could walk-in, tell us the problem, then we’d either let you know how to fix it on the spot or take your name down so we could book you 1-on-1 time with a technician.

I was a technician so once I’d finished with one customer, I’d look at the list of names and go to the next.

One day a girl came in for help with her iPhone. …


Speed testing a (nearly) top-spec Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro versus the new Apple silicon MacBook Air and 13-inch MacBook Pro

intel macbook pro alongisde two m1 macbooks
intel macbook pro alongisde two m1 macbooks
From right to left: an Intel-based 16-inch MacBook Pro, M1-powered 13-inch MacBook Pro, M1 13-inch MacBook Air.

I watched the keynote and saw the graphs, the battery life, the instant wake. And they got me. I started to think, how could one of these new M1-powered MacBooks make their way into my life?

Of course, I didn’t need one but I kept wondering what story could I tell myself to justify purchasing another computer? Then I had it. My 16-inch MacBook Pro is too heavy to carry around all the time. Yeah, that’ll do. This 2.0 kg aluminium powerhouse is too much to be galavanting.

Wait… 2.0 kg, as in, 4.4 pounds?

That’s it?

Yes.

Wow. It’s not even that heavy. …


Principles for using math, code and data to seduce Mother Nature into revealing her secrets.

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Coding can get a little grey. Surround yourself with colour. Photo by Sam Bourke.

The terms commandments and self-taught are not to be taken lightly. One must be in charge of their own education and enlightenment. Ignore this and someone else will choose it for you.

1. Math, Code and Data are your holy trinity

Any effective machine learning pipeline leverages the crossover of mathematics, code and data. Each is only as effective as the other.

If your data is of poor quality, it does not matter how elegant your mathematics or efficient your code is.

If your data is of the highest quality but your mathematics is off, expect your results to disappoint, or worse, harm.

If your data and mathematics are world-class but your code is inefficient, you will fail to reap the benefits of scale. …


Notes, feelings and body measurements from my first five day fast

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Photo by Alla Hetman on Unsplash

Last year I did 4 days, this year it’s 5 days. Who knows, maybe in 25 years I’ll be going a month at a time (probably not).

Thinking about trying your own extended fast? Well, you’re about to dive into the article/diary/question and answer style documentation of my first 5 day fast.

I’ve started by answering some of the questions I would’ve liked to have known before starting a 5 day fast and then finished with a day by day journal entry and some extra resources you might want to check out to learn more.

Disclaimer: What you’re about to read is not medical advice, only anecdotal stories from my experience during my first five day fast, I am not a doctor. If you’re unsure about anything, seek professional medical advice.


Advice on writing words worth being paid for

iphone 12 pro promotion picture with “it’s time to get paid.” text
iphone 12 pro promotion picture with “it’s time to get paid.” text
The new iPhone 12 comes out this month. And people are going to line up to pay for it. Imagine if the same thing happened with your writing. Source: Apple iPhone 12 Pro homepage, edits by the author.

Ceramic shield glass, blazing fast, two cameras, three if you’re a Pro, look at those curves, oh baby… do I want one? Yes yes yes. Do I need one? No no no. But you know what? A crazy idea dug itself into my head this morning. I could write myself a new iPhone.

How?

You know there are sites now which let you spill your ideas out for cash now right? I’m talking Medium, Substack, Ghost, Gumroad, hell, you could even make your own site and add a link to a Patreon page.

The point being: if you want to create something of value, which scales infinitely, you can. …


…to start, make, create, ask, think differently, lead, become, be.

person in crowd of faces with their hand up and an idea
person in crowd of faces with their hand up and an idea
You could wait to be picked. Or you could put your hand up.

It’s impossible to get stuck when you’re listening to yourself.

How many thoughts go through your head every day?

All of them are potential ideas. Most crap, some good, a handful great. You never know until you latch onto one and see where it goes. And anyone who claims they do is full of it.

I’ve noticed a trend, in others and myself and especially in the new creator: getting in your own way.

And the usual solution to this self-imposed roadblock is typically to seek approval of others before embarking on whatever journey it is you’re thinking of.

Some quotes of the fearful…


Luckmaxing. You were born to adapt. Earning your dopamine. The “It is done” mindset. And the power of the follow-up.

man writing on laptop with feet up on table sitting amongst trees
man writing on laptop with feet up on table sitting amongst trees
There aren’t many more activities that give me a better high than sitting and writing. Photo by Sam Bourke.

I remember being 14 and thinking 27 sounded old. Well, look what happens.

I’m convinced my years now feel like 6-month blocks. By this rate, when I’m 50 a year should feel like a season. Time flies when you’re having fun.

Anyway, I love birthdays. One of the main reasons being birthday’s in the Bourke house usually involve plenty of good food. Another reason being because growing up I always felt special that my birthday was the first day of Spring. Catch ya later Winter, bring on the singlet weather.

For the last couple of years, I usually use the backend of August to reflect on what I’ve learned in the past year. And after doing it for five years, I’m starting to notice a trend: how much I don’t know. …


Do you hunt to eat? You’re probably already ready. Avoiding human-marshmallowitis.

pathway leading to the top of a hill
pathway leading to the top of a hill
One of my favourite local hills. The cherry on top is it gets steeper towards the top. So when you think you’re almost there, it gets little harder.

This morning I did seven hill sprints, not five, not ten, seven.

Why?

Because I felt like that was enough.

80% on the first one and by the second one, you should be hitting full tilt and holding it there.

The beautiful thing about doing hill sprints?

Things should be plural because there’s more than one.

  • You get out in nature.
  • You challenge yourself.
  • You expand as much effort as you can in a short period of time (high bang for buck).
  • People walk past and say “wow, that looks hard.” …

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