Ljubljana Python Meetup September 2019

In the September Python meetup, I had a trial for the PyConBalkan presentation. For some time, I was thinking of just ignoring it, because I was not that satisfied with the presentation. Even though the feedback that I got was relatively good.

Still, everybody should learn from their mistakes. So here are some of mine:

  • I picked the examples, that I thought will be interesting to the audience, and then I did not know what to do with them on the stage
  • I spend too much time introducing the topic instead of talking about the topic
  • Some of the buildup to my points was too long - for example the cooking example for explaining the role of preprocessing
  • Even though I had a long introduction, I did not actually explain, what I am going to be talking about

I also improvised a bit on the answering the questions, but here I am not sure what I could do better with preparation.

Here is also my presentation: https://sarajaksa.eu/content/presentations/2019/ljubljana-python-meetup-september-2019

The Importance of Knowledge

When discussing educational system, I sometimes hear an interesting opinion, that I don't really understand. It is that way of thinking is much more important then facts what we learn in school, so we should replace these facts with something.

Some at least admit, that maybe facts could be important, but they all seems to degrade it.

I can see it also with other people. When some problem is discussed, then then they ask me for my opinion. Even though I clearly am the person with the least amount of knowledge in the subject.

But every year I am more convinced of the importance of knowledge. I think the first good example was the Toastmasters. The reason, why I was at one point an important member was because I knew a lot. I was one of the people that knew when am I breaking the rules and why.

They say the same thing for writing. One needs to know the rules in order to know, when to break it. I am still far from this level, but I think it is the same principle.

And it is something that I am experiencing right now. At my job, I am constantly seeing where the holes in my knowledge are. And because of that, I lack creativity and problem solving that I would have, if I already knew some stuff. Which is why I really like my job, I have the feeling like I am improving fast.

In psychology, there is actually the principle of difficulty of transference. The skills or knowledge need to be at least on the certain level, in order for transference to happen. Which is why brain games usually don't really work that well, but speaking a foreign language can protect the brain from degeneration. In order to speak the language, it needs to be on quite some level, it is not enough to just know translations of some words.

In the same way, it is a lot easier to be creative, once I have at least the adequate amount of knowledge.

And this is something that I have forgotten recently. In the recent week, I have been slowly preparing the speech for my first programming conference. Before I had a practice run at our meetup, I was trying to came up with the examples, that would be interesting to other people. But in doing this, I ended up picking some examples, where I lacked knowledge (the topic analysis of PEPs was one such example). And these examples were then the ones that had fallen flat.

Which left me with not many examples left, but at least I made this mistake in front of a bit smaller crowd, that actually knew me from before.

Another point that I would like to make is, that more knowledge somebody has, the easier it is to acquire more. For example, when I am hearing people talk about the cars or something similar, it is hard to put the new facts in the right place. This is not true for facts about personality. Even if I find out about the next system of individual differences, I can find similarities with at least some of the ones that I already know. The same with language learning. When I started to learn German, I did it by watching BBC Sherlock in German. And I needed 15 minutes to understand the first word (langweilig). On the other side, if I do it now with Japanese or German, just by watching without subtitles, I can learn many more words from context in this time.

And yes, I can understand not everybody is interested in everything. As mentioned before, I am still quite unknowledgable about cars. The same could be said about many other topics. But I try to learn about the topics that are interesting to me or they are important for my life.

Also, one way of getting procedural knowledge, which allows us to act in the world, is through declarative knowledge, so facts. The procedural knowledge is the one that allows us to cycle, talk, dance, and act in the life. I guess one could say, that living minimalistically, or being self-disciplined is also a type of procedural knowledge.

So knowledge and facts allow us to be more creative, learn quicker and live better. Do we really need another reason to not bash them?

Slovenian Cuisine (Studying effect of Preprocessing on Topic Modeling)

When I have worked on my topic modeling of the cognitive science articles, I have noticed something. By using a different algorithms on the same preprocessed data, I would get relatively similar results. But I could get a lot more interpretative results, if I simply filtered out the noise. For example, filtering out the stop words or filtering out the verbs. For some reason, by including these in, I have more problems finding meaning in the topics.

When I have been preparing the PyConBalkan speech (which will happen this Friday), I have tried to find the examples to present. One of the things, that I am interested in is cooking. And I figured that everybody eats, so the topic of food would be at least familiar to everybody.

So what I did was downloaded over 18000 recipes from one of the Slovenian recipe sites. The code that I eventually used could be found on my GitHub. I though to include them in my presentation, but when I practiced it on Python Meetup, I realized that 12 different food categories is too much. So instead, what I am going to do, it present the results here. I also rerun the analysis, while the pictures that I drew were from the first run. The results should at least be very similar, but I did not check that.

I will first present the 12 groups, that I got without preprocessing. This means, that none (actually just most) of my biases or decisions are included here. But I find these groups to be less representative. I have put down the 10 most representative words for each group, excluding punctuation and numbers. Still, feel free to peruse them.

Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3 Topic 4
izbiri (choice) sladkorja (sugar) bio (bio) kocki (cubes)
lastni (one own) moke (flour) le (only) marinada (marinade)
ste (are) za (for) gusto (coffee) pesta (pesto)
noč (night) mleka (milk) milfina (Milfina - brand) paličice (sticks)
agar (agar) v (in) okus (taste) pesti (fists)
vsaj (at least) masla (butter) natur (natural) pekač (baking tray)
namočeni (soaked) smetane (cream) aktiv (Aktiv - brand) bele (white)
jajc (eggs) ali (or) piranske (from Piran) kakav (cacao)
občutku (feeling) sladkor (sugar) iz (from) česnom (garlic)
podlaga (grounding) prahu (powder) soline (salters) močno (strong)
Topic 5 Topic 6 Topic 7 Topic 8
začimbe (spices) bananinega (banana) janež (anise) vodke (vodka)
kis (vinegar) grobe (rough) mandarin (mandarin) polenovke (codfish)
omaka (sauce) gre (goes) smarties (Smarties - brand) blue (blue)
sojina (soya) kruhki (canapes) francoski (French) topi (blunt)
solate (salad) nimamo (not having) luskic (little scales) losos (salmon)
zelenjava (vegetables) marsale (wine) čaj (tea) zrno (grain)
file (fillet) soka (juice) žlico (spoon) dimljen (smoked)
česen (garlic) poljuben (optional) marcipanove (marzipan) dan (day)
olje (oil) solata (salad) lan (flax) zamenjamo (exchange)
koruza (corn) ostali (other) fine (fine) trda (hard/rigid)
Topic 9 Topic 10 Topic 11 Topic 12
sol (salt) ki (which) ravna (flat) so (then)
poper (pepper) ga (him) mu (him) je (is)
česna (garlic) jo (her) kupljeno (bought) da (that)
olje (oil) kavo (coffee) polovičke (halves) led (ice)
ali (or) semen (seeds) orehovo (walnuts) pri (at)
čebula (onion) domači (homemade) žafranke (saffron) ga (him)
po (after) puding (pudding) sardelinih (anchovy) toliko (this much)
olja (oil) sami (on our own) sirova (cheese) bedra (leg)
in (and) domač (homemade) rastlinske (plants) kot (like)
sol (salt) kakija (persimmon) nescafeja (Nescafe - brand) ker (because)

One thing to keep in mind is, that if topic modeling is done without preprocessing, then some of the topics are noise. But here a lot of them seems like noise to me.

I also drew the picture of these twelve groups. See it below:

Then I did the preprocessing. Since I have now structured the model more, I might get different result. So I will first add the picture (and the rest of you can see from this, how much can very small personal decisions in filtering effect the result):

Because here are supposed to be only ingredient words, I am only going to describe each topic with 5 words:

Topic 1 Topic 2 Topic 3 Topic 4
limona (lemon) jabolko (apple) oreščki (nuts) soja (soya)
sok (juice) banana (banana) muškat (nutmeg) sezam (sesame)
sladkor (sugar) breskev (peach) ingver (ginger) buča (pumpkin)
pomaranča (orange) ananas (pineapple) klinček (clove) sončnica (sunflower)
voda (water) jogurt (yoghurt) maslo (butter) ohrovt (Brussels sprout)
Topic 5 Topic 6 Topic 7 Topic 8
sadje (fruit) marmelada (jam) sladkor (sugar) sol (salt)
vino (wine) jagoda (strawberry) jajce (egg) poper (pepper)
cimet (cinnamon) marelica (apricot) moka (flour) olje (oil)
hruška (pear) sliva (plum) mleko (milk) čebula (onion)
sladoled (icecream) borovnica (blueberry) vanilija (vanilla) česen (garlic)
Topic 9 Topic 10 Topic 11 Topic 12
liker (liqueur) med (honey) sir (cheese) voda (water)
oblat (layer/wafer) mandelj (almond) testo (dough) moka (flour)
pivo (beer) kokos (coconut) mascarpone (cheese) sol (salt)
marcipan (marzipan) kosmiči (cereal) kava (coffee) maščoba (fat)
ribez (currant) cimet (cinnamon) piškot (cookies) ajda (buckwheat)

For some reason, when I looked at the original groups, they seems to make more sense then these ones. But these still make sort of sense. At least for some of them, I can imagine how it came together? So topic 8 is probably the group of specific way of making vegetables and meats (we say it "na čebuli", which would be directly translated on onions). Topic 7 is basic baking. Topic 10 is probably breakfast. Topic 1 in juicing. Topic 5 would be Christmas, if not for ice cream. And so on.

Still, this shows that filtering can have a huge effect on the results. On the other side, I have no idea how to interpret the results that I got.

And I guess the results of the 4 group solution is only going to go into my presentation for PyConBalkan.

Creativity Test

I have found a pretty interesting creativity test on the internet. I uses words associations, and it tries to see, how disconnected are the words. It uses LSA difference between all preceding words as a measurement. And the results of this test seems to be connected to creativity.

Here you can find the test and the article describing it.

Needs in Communication

I have finally deleted my Facebook account. I have only created it, because it was the main communication channel for my cognitive science studies. And then there was always another reason, why I did not deleted, usually because this was the one way to communicate with one or two people. But now I have decided to screw everything and deleted it.

Instead, I prefer to simply meet people in person. This has been this way since the end of the primary school when the email and MSN Messenger has become popular with people in my school. I never really liked using it, and I stopped bothering when a friend of mine told me, that my personality changed when using it.

In reality, I have never experienced communication through these medium as more positive than face-to-face communication. At first I though it was because of the content and quality. There are many place on the internet, that has the chat room problem. But eventually I figured out that this can only be part of the explanation. The best readings on the internet were about on the same level than the average conversation.

Even if I only take the content that is not on social media, but on the websites owned by people (check IndieWeb, if you want to know more), the feeling was better than social media, but worse then real life.

This can also be seen in the other things. I feel better, after reading a book for two hours, then reading the internet articles for two hours. In the first place, I feel like I either enjoyed the story or actually learned something new or started to think differently about something. And it happens almost every single time. On the internet, this feeling is a lot less frequent and in majority of cases. Is it because I am choosing the books myself, instead of the algorithms? Or it is because I can be more focused on the ideas and go deeper into them? I actually don't know.

On the other hand, I am still writing this blog, and I do still sometimes read blogs. Unlike the social media, which I get bored in 5 minutes of spending time on them (which is why I ended up deleting the last one). But now thinking about it, maybe I should start changing this as well. But some of the things I am interested in - like minimalism - it is hard to find the books for here in Slovenia. And if I want to order them from abroad, then I need to find out about them from somewhere. I maybe I am way too much of a thinker instead of a doer, but even that is slowly changing to a more doing direction. And eventually, I will not need a constant support of other people's ideas - or at least not that much.

Plus, most of the blogs of people that I know and follow don't actually publish much. So even if I would check once-per-month, I still would not get a lot of reading material.

Because the personality did not give me the definitive answer either. I though that maybe the low extroversion, low agreeableness and maybe high openness could explain that. As low extroverted person, I don't get as many positive emotions out of the social status. So there is less emotional reaction on likes and readers, as least in theory. Which makes me worried for all the people, that feel this more acutely than me. And low agreeableness make me less interested in people than acreage, and most of the content there was what people were doing. And maybe openness wanted something more unusual? I don't know.

On a little sidetrack, most studies done in the first years of social media showed, that openness predicted the activity of people. So the higher the openness, the more likely they were active on social media. Now I have a hypothesis, that the trend is changing. That people with more openness are the ones more likely to leave it behind.

Then I have recently started going into the non-violent communication. One of the important concepts there was to understand and then express one own needs, without expectation that they must be addressed. But here is the problem, I am using other people as sort of exploration of the opportunity space, so I am not sure what my needs are in this case. Or maybe my need is to be pushed to do something more? But then, I also enjoy conversations, where I don't get to express it.

This reminds me of a exercise, that we needed to do in the university. I remember writing, that I am afraid of asking people for things, because I was afraid, they will say yes, without wanting to. This might be a consequence of reading to many marketing and selling books before university. Inside of them, they hammer on the point, that people generally don't like saying no. This is why I really like being in the company of people, that I can trust will tell me to go fuck myself, when they have enough of me.

But that still leaves me with the problem of what need am I addressing with face to face communication, that is not addressed with the other forms of communication? Is it simply that we evolved to be social? Do I prefer the synchronicity of it? Do I want to feel heard? What do I want from it? I don't think it is safety, or being heard or respect. But knowing what it is not does not make it easier to realize what it is.

Which might be a reason, why I have problem with directing the social energy intentionally. Since I can't conceptualize what I really want from it. I just know, that whatever it is, I can't get it from the internet or SMS-ing or anything other similar, and these things should just stay for information sharing.

Recipe: Tiramisu

I remember, that I made tiramisu once. It is one of the sweets, that I really like (the creamy texture is usually so good), but I don't really make or order it that much. But for some reason, I don't usually make it. Which is a shame.

I created my recipe by mixing the two recipes together. It is not really perfected. What it is missing is a more creamy structure and more light taste. But maybe this will motivate me, to make it more frequently.

Ingredients: * at least 1 box of baby cookies (so around 250g?) * Coffee * 2 eggs * 500g of mascarpone * 2 spoons of rum or other alcohol (Cognac) * 2 spoons of cacao * 100 dag of sugar

  1. Make coffee
  2. Mix the whites of the eggs until firm
  3. Mix egg yorks with sugar, mascarpone and alcohol
  4. Add egg whites to the mixture
  5. Drown cookies in coffee
  6. Put coffee-soaked cookies in the pan followed by cream. Can be repeated multiple times.
  7. Put cacao on top
  8. Cool in in refrigerator for 1-2 hours at least

Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions

I am interested in the individual differences between people. A lot of time, the differences can also be on the cultural level, not just on the personal level. And one of the theory dealing with this is Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory.

The theory recognizes 6 different dimensions: Power distance, Individualism, Masculinity, Uncertainty avoidance, Long Term and Indulgence. So for practice, I wanted to see if I recognize these dimensions in the countries that I lived in. For me, these were Slovenia, Germany, Hungary, Austria and Slovak.

In order to help me with this (and in case it helps somebody), I created a interactive graph to help with comparing countries. There does exist the site which already does this, but there one can only compare up to 4 countries: https://www.hofstede-insights.com/product/compare-countries/. To tell the truth, the point of the blog post is so I have an excuse to show this graph. :)

The first dimension is the power distance. This describes how much people (especially the less powerful) accept unequal distribution of power in institutions and organizations. So the higher the country is on that, the more acceptable to people is that some people are more powerful than the others. Comparing the countries I lived in, the Slovakia is the highest, then Slovenia, followed by Hungary, then Germany and ending up with Austria.

It is interesting, that in Slovenia we talk a lot about inequality, and how it is something we don't want. But nobody does anything to actually move us in this direction. On the other hand, there was no talk like that in Austria, and almost none in Germany.

The second dimension is individualism. This describes in how big is the circle of people, to whom we generally adapt out actions to. Countries with high individualism only look after themselves, while in the countries with low individualism think about themselves as 'we'. The most individualistic is Hungary, Germany, Austria, Slovakia and then Slovenia.

I would say, that Austria and Germany would be above Hungary, but the explanation might me that I was in a small town in Hungary and in the city in Germany and capital in Austria. Slovenian think a lot about what other people will say and we act in accordance to this. But I did not feel that in Germany or Austria. The Hungary was between them, but probably closer to Germany-Austria group.

The third dimension is masculinity. The higher the masculinity, the more is the country competitive. And the lower the masculinity, the more likely the caring is an important value. The most mascular country is Slovakia, then Hungary, followed by Austria and the Germany. The least mascular country is Slovenia.

Not surprised by the position of Slovenia (no matter how much I think we are a bit extreme in caring). But it is interesting when comparing the use of foreign language in a country for foreigners. In Slovenia and Germany people adapt and they talk in English, if any foreign is present. In Austria it depends on the situation, but it still happens. Hungary and Slovakia are a lot less adaptable in this regard. A lot of time, even when seeing that one is a foreign, they will just continue in their language.

The forth dimension is uncertainty avoidance. This one describes how much people try to avoid uncertainty and create processes and institutions for this purpose. The highest in this is Slovenia, then Hungary, Austria, Germany, and the last Slovakia.

I think this is shown quite well in the university system. In Slovenia, just taking the class in another faculty requires a lot of bureaucracy. Everybody should be doing the same study. In Austria, they rules are more flexible, but they still don't want students to go outside of them. Germany, they are becoming more flexible. And in Slovakia, it already depends more on people's good will, then what the rules are saying.

The fifth dimension is long term orientation. The cultures with high values encourage thrift, while the ones with low values encourage going with traditions of the past. The highest is Germany, then Slovakia, then Austria, Hungary and on the end Slovenia.

Well, Slovenia being low on this one is again not that surprising. We spend too much time arguing about the past and no time thinking about the future. We are not even capable of planing the change in laws for a couple of years in advance.

The last one is indulgence. So, whenever the people do what they want to do, or show some restraint. Austria is the highest, the Slovenia, followed by Germany, Hungary and Slovakia.

Well, people are a lot more likely to take a afternoon off and go for a drink in Austria and Slovenia, then any of the outer countries.

Do you Want to be Famous

Just today, I had entered into the debate about the personal image, perceptions and information on the internet. The debate started with the case, that I did not know beforehand. The gist was, that there was an applicant to Harvard, who was accepted. But then the Harvard retracted the acceptance, because of something that person posted in the private chat when they were 16 (I think?) years old. But then the backlash came, when people stopped giving Harvard donation. I don't know how the case ended, but this was how it was presented to me.

The argument behind that story was, that people can be ruined by what is posted about them on the internet. So it is better to be private. So that nobody can unearth any 40 years old pornographic movies. I don't agree with the point completely. But I did not research this specifically, so here are just some of my thoughts.

It is true, that we now have more information about other people, that we had most if not all of our evolutionary history. So we are not very adapted to this. For most of our evolutionary history, we spend a lot of time getting information about other people, because this was a valuable decision making tool and commodity. That is why gossip and things like that are so widespread. It is also why we don't want to be rejected by the people, we consider a part of our group. And this can again lead to some other anomalies. For example, in deliberating about a problem in a group, people are much more likely to share the information, that is already know to other members. And we also like people that share information that we already know more. So people are unlikely to share new information, even though the aggregation of all information leads to better decisions.

And this is not likely to change. Evolutionary speaking, we don't change that drastically that quickly. It is going to take quite a while. But I think culturally, the change might not be that slow. The reason, why information like that can have a drastic effect is because the people making decisions did not grow up with these technologies. And our memory is so, so, far from being reliable. The people on the highest positions right now no longer reliably remember, what they were like, when they were that age.

But the people growing up with these technologies will have a very different experience. They will be reminded again and again about the things that they did. So when they will be older, there will be a lot of people on the highest positions, that will have something embarrassing in their history, that they will know it was true. And I think this will allow them to be more open to dismiss the surfacing information about a person, if it does not pertain to what they know them for.

It is also true, that disagreeable people are more competitive. That means, that they will want to be in the higher positions in the society. And they are much less likely to take other people's considerations into account. I remember reading about a doctor, that figured out how to cure one of the children's caner with high mortality rate. What he was trying to do could be considered torture. We are talking about blood letting and having multiple needles stuck in them for hours. But for these children, he was also the only doctor, that tried to do something about it. And because of him, these days mortality for this cancer is minimal in the Western world.

Sure, these stories spreading on the internet could effect the type of patients that kind of doctor would get. A lot of parents would decide not to go to him. But I would prefer this kind of doctor for at least myself.

And this brings me to the next point. There are a lot of individual differences between people. I remember once reading a blog post about the different expectation of American and Europeans in the bar. How Europeans would complain, that the American waitresses were all smiley and they would constantly interrupt them. And the Americans would complain that waitress in Europe were mean and that they sometimes they had to wait 10-20 minutes for the waitress to get there. But there are a lot of differences inside the country as well. I know that I have problems working in a groups, that they can't handle the honest feedback. Because eventually something will bother me enough, that I will say it out loud.

But the one that get a much more attention recently is the political divide. The people on different ends of the political spectrum have different personality. The right wing are more ordered and industrious. The left wing more open. The people for political correctness are more agreeable. But they also don't read the same books, don't read the same news, they don't hang out with each other and so on. One fan fact that I read today in book Infotopia is, that blogs are a lot more likely to cite somebody that is on the same side of political spectrum.

If it would be easy to convince everybody in the same way, then there would be no point in niching oneself. The society would still benefit from people specializing, the people themselves maybe would not. Yet, it seems that people always want to put you in a box. If you make it easier to do it, they are much more likely to give you opportunities. Again, they are people, that act differently, because of individual differences.

But it is hard to not offend anybody. It also means, that some opportunities get closed when one specializes (though they open on the path of specialization). This can be clearly seen in how people in Slovenia take education. I always confuse them, because I work as a programmer, but I studied economics and cognitive science. It is even worse how some study programs are taken. If people can not think of a job, that these people could do with this knowledge, then the whole program is worthless. The professor of that subject does not count for them. But in my opinion, the education can be useful, even if the specific knowledge is never again used by this person. I act differently in the world, because I studied economics and cognitive science.

So we all make decision, that will allow people to make judgements about us. But apparently some information on the internet has a lot bigger effect than all of the other informations? That I somehow don't really believe. And I know, that people are irrational. I have studied economics, but I am also cognitive scientist. I know that there are informational cascades. I know that people have many, many biases. And I do believe, that for first impression all this information can have a huge effect. But because of the conformational bias, I don't believe, that it can have a huge effect once the person is already know personally.

I also find it a bit weird, that I would go research the people I know (not that weird), but I would then be influenced by what would I find (that I find weird). I mean, I had checked the personalities of a couple of people that I know, if I had enough text. The IBM gives the possibility to do this. But I have never changed my opinion based on that.

I mean, I remember my last interview for the job. I was asked about a couple of things, that could be found on the internet. My results of the mathematical tests in the primary school and my karate participation. And my GitHub account, but this one was not surprising at all, since it was a programming job. But this was because they did not know anything about me. I would feel very weird, if somebody that already knows my would have done the same thing.

I also don't think that being private is the best way to do this. There is a reason why the advice for correcting the online image is the way it is. The advice is, to bury the unflattering information with other information. So the way to make this information more prominent, is to have a lot more information about oneself on the internet. This can be simply achieved, if one has a lot of active social media accounts (which I don't) and their own website and then post on other websites with their real name. I guess the way to do it would also be to be a guest on lot of podcasts.

Also, here is where network comes into play. The information about a person is something that evolutionary is important. But it is even more important, if it comes for the person one knows.

On the end, public perceptions can also provide a pressure to confirm. Not to the society, but to the image, that they have of you. Somebody that has always been know about their opinion of something, it is quite hard to change it. For example, there was a group of people, where I was quite vocal about the importance of negative feedback. Something that I still believe in. But it would be harder for me to argue for the opposite, if I ever change my mind.

The only point to mention is, that people also differently define, what for them is private information. What would be something to keep private for one person, it would be something to share for another. Some people prefer sharing their thoughts, some what they did and some who they know. And I am sure I missed something. Also, for me my thoughts are a lot more intimate things to share than what happened to me. That is why there is a lot of my thinking, that I am not sharing. And the reason that I am not sharing what is happening to me is boredom. I don't live objectively interesting life. Not a lot of interesting things happen to me. So I don't say anything about it.

There are a lot of things, that I did not touch upon. The EU has a legal framework to remove references to information from the internet, if the information is outdated, misleading and could hurt a person, but it is not in public interest to be knows. Something is this direction. Privacy itself is also another topic, that I only touched upon, and could be greatly extended.

But on the end, hearing about a couple of stories does not mean, that this is something simple to try and solve, even on the personal level.

What's the Deal with Agreeableness?

I have never really understood the agreeableness. When starting with the very short descriptions, it seemed that the agreeable people are nice and cooperative and empathic. Disagreeable people, in contrast, were hard, and competitive and direct.

When I take the personality test, I always score low on agreeableness. No matter what norms am I compared to. But actually, comparing gender, the women tend to be more agreeable on average (with quite a lot of overlap). So I should understand, why disagreeableness is like. What I did not understand is, what the other side looks like.

So I tried to figure out, what is the difference. And one of the models explaining that was based on the me vs. other difference. So the agreeable people put others higher then themselves. While the disagreeable people put themselves above the other people.

So that have additional effect. The agreeable people are more likely to be interested in other people. Because they put other people more highly, they are more likely to be cooperative and more empathic.

Alright, so they put other people above themselves. But if that is true, why are they always upset with my actions? Why are they always resentful about people getting what they want. Why are they a lot of times about being fair? I could not understand it.

I still remember giving an evaluation at the Toastmasters. My evaluations were not for the weak. I was asked to not evaluate the newcomers. But I was evaluating one of the older member and I was looking at the person I was giving the evaluation to. That person was listening, but while I did not feel like we have a conversation, I also did not see any negative reaction to it.

But then a couple of days later, I get an email for them, where they are asking me, when am I going to apologize. I remember looking at that email, wondering what was it about. So I wrote back that I have no idea, what was I supposed to be apologizing for. Well, the answer came back, saying that I should know that I emotionally wounded that person or something is that direction. I wrote back, that if that happened I apologize, since this was not my intention. But in my head, I was screaming 'WTF!?'. I could not process that reaction at all.

Thankfully, I recently had an opportunity to talk to somebody who was very agreeable, but who also aware of these theories. So we did not have to spend a lot of time figuring out what vocabulary to use. And there was a lot of interesting tidbits taken from that conversation, but one story stuck to my mind.

There he was explaining, how he sometimes he would forget an umbrella. And that there is a person, who said something like: 'You are always forgetting an umbrella.' And he said, in that moment I felt deeply wounded, like this was an emotional attack.

There the light went off for me. I sometimes say things like that, but these are just sentences. The words, where the other person was not taken into account at all. Overgeneralized observations. In a way a person would say that it is always raining. The people constructed my words as an attack, when I did not even think about them at all.

The difference in the me vs. others is a more general one. Because they are always putting the other people in front of them, they assume that other people also think about other people in the same way. That is why they assume that everything a person does is connected to other people in some way. So things, that are some for some completely different reason get constructed as things that are done for their sake or as attack on them.

Puts a part of my childhood in a different perspective. :)

This is also why not saying everything that I want to say works. Because if I simply don't act, then it can not get misrepresented. I can't act the way people want me to, if it goes against my thinking or feeling, but I usually don't have problem with not doing something (just don't stab me in the back, because I will retaliate :) ).

But even knowing a bit how agreeableness work now, I still don't think I really get it.

I presented the same topic and point at the Ljubljana Python Meetup in July 2019.

Presenting UExperience on MyData Meetup

Today, I am having a presentation on MyData meetup. It is a weird feeling, because for the first time I am actually presenting something, that I am getting paid to do.

What I am presenting today is UExperience, an app to allow people to study their experience. What do I mean by that? Well, let me ask you, how do you feel right now? Are the feelings strong? Are you experiencing your body? What are hearing anything? Do you feel your personal state?

This is what I mean by experience. And I made an app, that allows you to study the parts of experience one is interested in.

There are some interesting studies done with experience. In the decision making, there is an interesting article. It is something that I recommend as reading to anybody interested in decision making.

My presentation can be found on https://sarajaksa.eu/content/presentations/2019/mydata-july-2019-uexperience/.

Some more information about the app can be found on GitHub or my very disorganized and incomplete documentation or the original site.

Added 2019-07-29: A friend of mine was kind enough to record me. You can download the video here (100 MB).