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Jonathan Rocher
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I have watched this american election closely, and I don't want to spend anymore than these past 48h to be sad and stunned. Being sad is exhausting! So I am going to share 1 lesson I have learned... and the assignment I am giving myself to learn from it.

Even though I wasn't voting in this election, being a political junky, I have spent many many hours listening and reading about candidates, their programs/ideas, and how they were doing. I spoke with my circle of friends, and family, and was so convinced Trump had no chance. I even felt sorry for Republicans, for having chosen such a weak candidate, because democracy needs debate, and a diversity of opinions. I was too blind to realize Democrats had chosen an even weaker candidate.

Being so surprised, and realizing that most of this country's news organizations were surprised too has taught me a lesson: an important one. In the age of internet, custom searches on Google (meaning that results to you are different based on what you like/know/are), social media and easy communication, we think we are well informed, but we are not. Because of our busy lives, twitter/facebook/g+/... circles, and the way our cities/neighborhoods are, we talk to people like ourselves: same level of education, same social class, ... We read from journals that think like us, because we just don't understand the other ones. We end up living in bubbles that always reinforce us in our opinions and it becomes completely impossible to understand why someone would vote differently. If we were Republican, we watched and read all day long about Clinton's emails. If we were Democrat, we watched, and mocked all day long that video of Trump talking trash about women, or discussed how silly some of his comments were.

We are blind. Worse, we are blinding ourselves. That's so much more comfortable! But if we believe in democracy, we have to get off our couches, stop looking for comfortable places, and find ways to connect with people who are different from us and think differently. So that we have a chance to understand truly their point of view, and feel less dumb/stunned, when you realize that 200+ million people think similarly, and elect someone you hate. There is a politician in France that I respect, Francois Bayrou, who has said: "If we all think the same thing, then we are not thinking at all.". When was the last time, you took the risk of having a respectful debate with someone on opposite side of the political spectrum? When was the last time you read, say, the NYT, Fox News and a foreign news paper/radio?

For example, despite all the time spent reading about the election, it took me until a month ago to hear someone explain to me how Trump should be a model for future candidates. Not just for his ideas but also for his style. When I heard that (from a conservative newspaper editor in Phoenix IIRC), I fell off my chair. And he was right! On the front of the ideas, Trump has for example been able to make certain people who had given up on politics and on voting the desire to vote again, by telling them they were not forgotten or ignored. And there are a lot of people who felt left behind. If regular politicians don't give them a voice, they will give up on democracy, or vote for the most outrageous candidate to break the system. And on the style, you will ask? Of course a lot of things were outrageous about his style. But he was talented enough to be the only candidate (with Bernie maybe) who didn't feel like every sentence he said had been copy-edited by 5 communication consultants before coming out his mouth. That's something politicians might want to reflect on.

I am not happy to see Trump in the white house (can't begin to describe how sad I have been for 2 days), but I am not going to march in the streets of Austin saying that I don't accept the result of this election. And we can't pretend to believe in democracy and not accept the results when they don't align with our views. We can't believe in free speech, and refuse to listen to a supporter of the opposite candidate.

Instead of marching in the streets (though I am sure I have a lot of sympathy for the people marching), and to learn my lesson, I am going to give myself, and anyone else who wants, an assignment. 2 in fact:
1. Expand your network to people different from you. And I mean different. I am not going to spend another year and a half "watching" an election, to realize the day after the election that I was too lazy to understand the other side(s).
2. Find causes you think are worth fighting for, find neighborhood/local/state/national/international organizations to get involved with, and ACT. And you will have made an impact once you can convince someone from your assignment number 1.

I am thankful to this incredible election and this incredible country for having taught me so much...

Time for change in my professional life! After being a scientific software developer for 5.5 years at Enthought, and having learned so much from so many people there and in the Scientific Python community, I have decided to move on. I will take what I have learned and my curious mind to a new company in the drug manufacturing industry, something complete new to me. The company is called KBI-Biopharma ( and does drug manufacturing for various players, large and small, and help cure patients! I will become their scientific software architect for the R&D team there. I am very very excited to have an impact on KBI and learn from my future team and the scientists there, and truly make a difference for patients in the future. This change feels to me like a logical continuation, as I will continue to push science forward using python based software and to continue to be part of the Scientific Python community. Exciting times...

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Found a wonderful video about growing yourself to have an impact on your life and the world:

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If you are new to python, and wonder what the easiest way is to speed it up when NumPy cannot be used (non-vectorizable problems), #Cython is your guy, and this book by +Kurt Smith is a great way to get up and running with it...
Congrats to @enthought's Kurt Smith on his new @OReillyMedia book #Cython: A Guide for #Python Programmers #C #C++

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I have been meaning to check this package bcolz out for a long time. Now I want to even more... Congrats to +Francesc Alted  for the cool things you are always up to...

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Interested in knowing what the consequences of the new Planck data have on early universe cosmology? Just found lots of nice discussions around that at

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Pretty awesome: ipython in google docs...
Over the last year I've worked with some awesome folks (+Kester Tong  +Mark Sandler, +Corinna Cortes , +Matthew Turk,  +Gideon Mann  +Arnaud Sahuguet, +Adam Berenzweig) to understand how people collaborate on data analysis and to build better tools to support them. Yesterday, with the help of +Fernando Perez and +Wes McKinney we revealed this work at PyCon APAC.

We've created an interactive, collaborative analytics tool by integrating Google Docs, Chrome, and IPython. You can open a notebook from Drive. You can share notebooks like you would share a Google Doc. You can comment and edit collaboratively, in realtime. There is zero setup, because all the computation happens in Chrome. You can even quickly and easily package your analytics pipeline into a GUI for folks that don't want to program. In effect, you can go from zero to analytics with little impedance.  

What's even better is that you can build on our work. It will all be open source on top of public Google APIs. We'll have a larger Google Research blog post about this work when we release the code and the Chrome application.

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There are only a few days left before the deadline to submit an abstract for giving an oral presentation or presenting a poster at #SciPy2014. Check out

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Want to use Python to drive Excel? Join us for a live webinar demo of our Python for Excel solution on March 6th.  Register today at

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Just back from a very nice Python Symposium as part of the +ams2014 conference. I taught a 2 day "Advanced Python, from NumPy to parallel computing". We had a blast! Then, we had 2 short days of talks with several excellent presentations. That includes one from Jeff Whitaker about his incredible contributions for the AOS community as well as Al Danial of Northrop Grumman about the challenges of building multi-gigabytes videos from TB of incredibly large images from +NASA's NPP sattelite .  Check out the AMS page for slides or for information about the future editions...
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