"Of Machines Learning to See Lemon", a project that "aims to materialise the way machine learning algorithms categorise and assign value to the data they are trained on".
Of Machines Learning to See Lemon“, a project that “aims to materialise the way machine learning algorithms categorise and assign value to the data they are trained on”.

I am in data analysis stage in my Ph.D. research at the moment. While every phase of doing doctoral research already feels like an immense challenge by itself, data coding and analysis — to me — requires a whole new level of dedication and focus. There I am, hunching in front of the computer, scrutinising over 30,000 Twitter posts, coding every tweet according to themes. You could easily get frustrated, maybe not distracted (perhaps also distracted) — and most dangerously, burned out.

Here’s something you should know about me. I am what you could call a radical organiser. I am very, very organised. I see my world as a chessboard, full of strategies and opportunities. I like to help people. I like to make things easily accessible to people who asked for help and sometimes I go the extra mile to provide as much information as possible for them. I do not normally have problems working on tasks that need a huge amount of research, crunching information, and possibly some presentations. I am, by my own standards, and probably at the risk of tooting my own horn, good at my job.

When I was a project manager and a strategist, I had a team who we could sit down and make things happen together. A doctoral journey, unfortunately, can be quite lonely. Despite having an incredible support network from my mother, friends, and my advisor, only I know my research very well, and sometimes to the point of obsessively too much. This is something all doctoral students know and could relate to very well.

Now here’s the real point of the post: I am on the brink of burning out. Like a lot of doctoral students, I do not have the luxury of time to take a long break. Yet, I want to consume as much information as I could, and reading seems like an insurmountable task at the moment. So three things I am thankful for today: audiobooks, podcasts, and email newsletters. I subscribed to a lot of newsletters on tech, AI, and some bits of Southeast Asian news.

Also, I learned a new word today: voldermorting — an online tactic on evading algorithm where it involves not mentioning words or names in order to avoid a forced connection; and screenshotting, or making content visible without sending its website traffic.

What is something new that you have learned today?

(P/s: This is the first post I submitted to Write Together, a writing community where we help cultivate writing habits every day, 300 words a day, together.)

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