On December 8th, 2017, I noticed that my Twitter feed was blowing up about the new changes coming to Patreon. The big change that has people nervous is this: starting in late December, Patreon patrons will have to start paying for credit card service fees. This is a change over the previous system where all fees were taken out of the amount the creator received directly. While overall a switch to charging the patrons the transaction fees doesn’t seem like a huge change, the deeper change of interest (to me) is the disaggregation of the transaction fees.

Recently, I came across a blog post by Tony Hirst on computational essays and how they can be used to facilitate learning. Hirst was reflecting on an earlier blog post by Stephen Wolfram on what defines a computational essay. Computational essays are, as paraphrased from Hirst and Wolfram, a mixture of plain language, computer input, and computer output allowing the user to interweave narrative with code and the output from that code.

Back in September I finished the Data Scientist (with R) career path from DataCamp. This career path is a series of 23 online courses that start with a general introduction to R, introduce the important functions and packages for modern R usage, and give a sampling of machine learning techniques. Along the way, these courses introduce data analysis concepts that go beyond the specifics of how to code in R.

Welcome to the latest version of Simply Approximate! Over the the last few years I’ve had grand plans to make use of this site. Alas, work and other concerns have prevented me from posting anything and getting this blog off the ground. But now is the time! To give the blog a fresh start, I’ve decided to re-build the site and re-launch it using Blogdown. Blogdown is package for R created by Yihui Xie that allows for the creation and maintain of a website inside of R Studio.