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Joe McCarthy
Helping people relate.
Interests: People, places and things ... and the relationships among them.
Recent Activity
@LH: Wise words, indeed. I am fortunate to have friends - like you - who have helped fill some gaps in modeling the kind of father I want to be with my children.
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@Robb: thanks for sharing your story. I can relate to the hard work of stripping myself down in the process of determining how best to be a constructive father to a son who does not always act or react in ways I would prefer. The stripping down is necessary, in part, because my son knows me so well ... a consequence, perhaps, of my desire to be as open and honest as possible with him. I am glad you are making evolutionary progress with your own parenting. I'm reminded of Stephen Jay Gould's notion of punctuated equilibrium - periods of relative stasis, punctuated by bursts of rapid change - which is how I would characterize my own experience in parenting ... and I would not be surprised if that is how my own parents would characterize their experience.
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@Scott: thanks for the [additional] encouragement. The courage and vulnerability that you and John Hagel demonstrated in revealing some of the challenges you've faced played a big role in giving me implicit permission to publicly process a fragment of my family of origin issues. Your observation about not being alone reminds me of another one of the benefits I gleaned from 12-step programs. Even though the specific manifestations of addiction and other harmful behaviors vary across several spectra, there are significant similarities in their effects on loved ones (especially children). As Carl Rogers noted, "what is most personal is most general". I look forward to reading more about what you write about fathers and children!
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So many of the feelings I had about myself weren’t really mine, but feelings I learned to have to try and fit into his world. ~ Scott Berkun, Why Fathers and Children Don't Get Along Part of the story I... Continue reading
Posted Jul 6, 2014 at Gumption
@Michele: Thanks for the recommendation of hypochlorhydria (aka achlorhydria) as a potential diagnosis and Acerola (aka malpighia emarginata) as a potential treatment that may be consistent with these symptoms.
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I am further inspired by your expanded personal narrative here. In your last post, I was uncomfortable with the question "How could others help me to achieve even more impact and what's in it for them?", as I interpreted this as being somewhat narrowly cast as a call to leadership [of others]. Through the further details you've shared here, and re-reading your earlier post, I now see this as more of a call to interconnectedness: how can we help each other address our respective needs in ways that are mutually supportive ... a theme I find more resonant (so perhaps this is simply a projection). I share your belief in the power of personal narratives, or as I sometimes think of them, the stories we make up about ourselves, and yet I've been languishing between stories for a while now. Your two recent posts are motivating me to re-engage in more personal reflection, with an enlarged perspective ... an edge perspective, perhaps. Thank you for that.
@Natalie: thanks for your kind words. It does seem that the ability and willingness to consciously direct focus toward - or away from - certain things is a valuable asset on the journey. Best wishes on your own journey!
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I am grateful for the openness and vulnerability you've embraced in sharing your early personal narrative. I can relate to retreating into my mind, and disengaging from my emotions, in response to the challenges of growing up in a dysfunctional family. I can also relate to becoming focused on others' needs and wants, to the exclusion of my own. I find your current narrative personally inspiring, and your invitation to reflect on - and possibly change - one's narrative is deeply resonant. However, I also see a projection bias here - one that is often reflected in the narratives of those who have achieved a measure of success - which I would articulate as "I did it, so you can do it, too". The projection bias I see in - or project onto - your current narrative involves leadership, and specifically, leadership of others. In my own experience of the dance of leadership, I find that there are times and places where I am inspired to lead others, and other times and places where I am willing to be lead by others. I have experienced good leadership and bad leadership (in myself and others). I have also worked with people who do not appear to have any aspirations toward leadership (of others), and while I believe we should all take responsibility for leading ourselves, I'm not convinced that everyone should (or can effectively) lead others. My concern about making leadership of others a criterion in composing a personal narrative is that it may not work for everyone ... but perhaps everyone is not your intended audience. In any event, thanks for yet another thoughtful and provocative post.
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Yesterday, I encountered some great instructional posts on programming, Python and the IPython Notebook. How to more effectively teach the concept of recursion (by Gustavo Duarte) How to use the web-based PythonTutor to learn Python (by Philip Guo) How to... Continue reading
Posted Apr 12, 2014 at Gumption
@Laura: figuring out digestive issues can be quite the odyssey. Thanks for sharing some of your experience here, and best wishes as you continue your journey.
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In my last post, I was waxing poetic about an IPython Notebook demonstration that was one of my highlights from Strata 2014: "this one got me the most excited about getting home (or back to work) to practice what I... Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2014 at Gumption
@Rodrigo: I can't determine what might have happened from your comment. If you copy and paste your session - removing or masking any passwords - I might be able to suggest a course of action.
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I attended my first Strata conference last week. The program offered a nice blend of strategic and technical insights and experiences regarding the design and use of "big data" systems. Atigeo was a sponsor, and I spent much of my... Continue reading
Posted Feb 16, 2014 at Gumption
@carolyn:Thanks for confirming that others feel the pain, and for introducing the perspective of a conference speaker into the equation. A few years ago, I posted a related rant about the dark side of digital backchannels in shared physical spaces, in reaction to danah boyd's reaction to having conference hashtag tweets posted on a screen behind her while she was giving a presentation, which proved to be rather disruptive. I believe we can all benefit from the more judicious use of shared resources, digital & physical.
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@Una: I am sad to learn that your 6 year old is experiencing severe pain. Although we no longer believe Amy has fructose malabsorption, she still occasionally experiences related symptoms, including episodes of severe abdominal cramping. Yoga, meditation and other mindfulness practices seem to help during some episodes. The most severe episodes still require analgesic opioids (Dilaudid, or hydromorphone hydrochloride) administered via IV in an emergency room. I am at a loss for what to suggest for a 6 year old, but I hope you and your daughter are able to find relief!
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@Tim: glad to have provided a tipping point for reading the book; your blog & tweets have provided similar tipping points for me in the past. The challenges for "success" on the edges are especially burdensome for someone in graduate school or in a tenure-track (but pre-tenure) appointment, two of the most vulnerable career stages / paths I know of. Whenever one must gain approval from "the powers that be" - to be awarded a degree or a lifetime appointment - those powers are formidable ... and often rather traditionalist. I'll be interested to see what your PhD student uncovers ... and hope he/she is able to succeed in studying the edges and their impact.
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Any sufficiently large number of signals is indistinguishable from noise. I suspect this principle does not figure prominently in the consciousness of people who are live-tweeting from conferences or other physical world events, or participating in purely virtual tweet chats.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 9, 2013 at Gumption
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I didn't physically attend Strata NY + Hadoop World this year, but I did watch the keynotes from the conference. O'Reilly Media kindly makes videos of the keynotes and slides of all talks available very soon after they are given.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 4, 2013 at Gumption
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Stuart Firestein brilliantly captures the positive influence of ignorance as an often unacknowledged guiding principle in the fits and starts that typically characterize the progression of real science. His book, Ignorance: How It Drives Science, grew out of a course... Continue reading
Posted Oct 28, 2013 at Gumption
@aaron: I'm glad you've found some relief through the avoidance of FODMAPs. I had not encountered a reference to sodium cromoglycate before, but have read about a wide variety of medications (often typically prescribed for other conditions) that seem to work for some people. Although we no longer believe Amy has (or had) fructose malabsorption, intermittent gastrointestinal trauma and PTSD are significant factors in her ongoing health challenges. @Dennis: Thanks for sharing your experience with this multifarious and multifaceted disorder. I am glad to read that your symptoms have been eliminated. Given our own experience with a [self-proscribed] misdiagnosis of FM, and having read so many stories about others' experiences with related symptoms and idiosyncratic salves and solutions, I find it difficult to interpret the generalizability of any claims of a cure. @Liz: we similarly found it very useful to pay close attention to the fructose:glucose ratio of any and all foods when Amy was symptomatic. I'm glad you are able to successfully manage your symptoms through supplementing your diet with glucose pills.
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O'Reilly Media is my primary resource for all things Data Science, and the new O'Reilly book on Data Science for Business by Foster Provost and Tom Fawcett ranks near the top of my list of their relevant assets. The book... Continue reading
Posted Oct 13, 2013 at Gumption
Robb: nice to read from you! I agree that just making a decision can often be challenging. I'm reminded of yet another segment on David Whyte's CD collection where he quotes a passage from poet Antonio Marchado: When anyone moves on, no matter how little, it is like Jesus walking on water. Here's to moving on!
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I recently accepted an offer to assume the role of Director, Analytics and Data Science, at Atigeo LLC. This career transition mostly marks a shift of title and status, as I've been consulting at Atigeo as a Principal Scientist for... Continue reading
Posted Sep 29, 2013 at Gumption
@rob: Thanks for the information about possible linkage between FM and depression via serotonin, and sorry for the delay in responding (somehow, the comment notification email escaped my notice). There is a 2011 article on Fructose Intolerance and Depression at LiveStrong.com which references a 1998 study on the linkage between fructose malabsorption and depression. I wonder if that is what you are thinking of. In any case, I wish you all the best on your journey! @Alison: thanks for sharing some of what you've learned. FM does seem to promote (and even require) a great deal of experimentation with - and attention to - what is ingested in any modality.
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I've been using the Delicious social bookmarking web service for many years as a way to archive links to interesting web pages and associate tags to personally categorize - and later search for - their content [my tags can be... Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2013 at Gumption