It’s really 20190917…

Last night my sleep score was probably terrible. My Fitbit will not sync right now so the exact score remains a mystery. In typical troubleshooting fashion, I rebooted the Fitbit and after that did not work the phone is getting a reboot. Naturally, after the sync occurred following a reboot of both devices an update was available, “Updating Your Fitbit Ionic,” is the only message I’m seeing right now. If you do not know about the speed of Fitbit updates, then let me share with you that they are like Windows 95 updates. You watch them go and wonder if things are going to be ok or not ok without any control outside of hope. It has been several minutes and it just says, “Installation in progress…” At this point, I just try to stay positive and hope that the good folks at Fitbit wrote an updater that will not nerf the device. Obviously, my time was not a key consideration during the design of this update process. Fitbit clocked my sleep score at 81 last night. Apparently, I just had a really hard time falling asleep, but things went well enough after that.

2019 Speaker Video Questions

Earlier this week, I got sent a set of interview questions to help make a short speaker video for a conference I’m attending later this year. The questionnaire included a ton of different topics. I thought it might be good to just write out my thoughts real quick here and then try to distil the best of that brainstorming into a 3 minute video later today. My plan is to give the questions a quick once over and then circle back to each of them a couple times to really make sure they get all of the consideration they deserve.

Answer all of the following:
Introductory Questions

Q: Name, company, job title
A: Dr. Nels Lindahl, a fortunate 10 company, Director – Clinical Systems

Q: A bit about what you do
A: Every day I work to help solve meaningful problems in the healthcare space.

Q: A bit about your AI background
A: Thanks to my quantitative background including Ph.D. level statistics I was able to jump in and start taking advantage of all the open source software available. That quantitative background helped me feel comfortable to jump in and do any training I could find to help learn how to apply AI to everyday business problems. I’m well over 40 certificates or badges at this point 😉

Answer 2-3 of the following:
AI-related Questions

Q: What excites you the most about AI?
A: Possibility. Opening the door to new insights and data driven decisions is so powerful. The open source community has really democratized the first push and made it easy to breakdown the barriers that would have prevented AI at scale.

Q: What are you most looking forward to at Ai4 Healthcare?
A: Talking to people and learning about what inspires them to push things forward.

Q: What does AI mean to you?
A: AI to me is the applied application of programing to problems where intelligence, learning, simulation, or modeling benefit the process. That is probably a more nuanced answer than building or modeling human type cognition with a digital space.

Q: Who is the ideal person to attend your talk?
A: Anyone who is thinking about how to apply machine learning concepts to real world problems. Anybody that is daring to wonder how do we scale this up in an applied way to start solving problems.

Q: How do you interact with AI on a day-to-day basis?
A: My entire day is spent around huge data sources and data streams that face challenges and provide opportunities to really dig in and understand problems in meaningful ways. All my spare time is spent digging into TensorFlow notebooks and learning python.

Q: What sparked your interest in AI?
A: Back in 1998, I started learning LISP and wanted to do amazing things that just were not possible at the time. Now the power of open source libraries have opened the door to all those things that seemed out of reach.

Q: Where do you see AI bringing the Healthcare industry?
A: It is entirely possible that AI is going to drive the Healthcare industry to highly customized applications of drug therapies and away from formulary based management. That change toward customization in the pharmacy world will fundamentally change clinical trials and how we think about applied medicine. Imagine treatment based on a mapping of your specific genome resulting in custom printed tablets vs. treatments that generally worked at a specific strength during clinical trials.

Q: What impacts do you think AI has already had on the Healthcare industry
A: Speed to market for new treatments is facing real public pressure. All of the news reporting around how AI can be used to speed up drug development creates pricing and speed pressures within a marketplace that was already tightening.

Answer 1-2 of the following:
Fun Questions

Q: What is the best vacation you have ever taken?
A: One of the first vacation I had to Rocky Mountain was just really fantastic. The weather at the time combined with the beautiful scenic views of mountain trails was really majestic.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do outside of work?
A: Reading. It is ok to make reading your hobby today. I give you full permission.

Entry #12 – Deep

Welcome to Friday. Today happens to be an exciting Friday. It happens to be a day I took off work to engage in writing and do a little cleaning up around the house. During part of my morning, I spent some time thinking about the book “Deep Work” by Cal Newport (2016). Getting time to focus in and really work deeply is increasingly challenging. The number of things that beep, alert, and draw attention are forever increasing despite our best efforts to reasonably silence and control the ones around us.

That made me think about my top 3 favorite business books at the moment. It was pretty easy to figure that one out and it only required a couple seconds to type them up on the screen here.

  1. Deep Work by Cal Newport (2016)
  2. Measure what Matters by John Doerr (2017)
  3. Executing Your Strategy: How to Break it Down and Get it Done by Mark Morgan, Raymond E. Levitt, and William Alexander Malek (2007)

To me the Executing Your Strategy book is full of timeless pearls of wisdom and should be read by every student before graduating college. Seriously, that advice might be offered for free, but that does not mean it is not valuable.


I went down the guitar effects rabbit hole today on the web and YouTube.

  • Orange OR15H 15-watt Tube Head
  • Orange PPC212 V 120-watt 2×12″ Cabinet – Orange
  • EarthQuaker Devices Palisades
  • EarthQuaker Devices Sea Machine
  • Walrus Audio Deep Six


Entry #11 – Deciding

Today I organized my collection of Crane & Co. note sheets and note cards. Earlier this year I started to look for a nice stationary box. Currently, I am still using an old Sony VAIO neoprene laptop case to store all my stationary equipment. However, I have yet again managed to lose my address book. That small address book as been in my possession for over 10 years. It has been lost a number of times. This time it seems to be lost a little more than usual. It is probably sitting underneath something. That is typically what happens. I end up sitting it under something or it gets knocked behind something.

I’m going to need to engage in some deciding. Some direction has to be taken here shortly to drive all of my attention and energy to building and creating something. Instead of just switching from thing to thing it is time to begin to be devoted to something. That might sound rather simplistic and it should be a rather easy thing to commit to doing, but it turns out it is much harder than expected.