In magic (data) we trust?

A short comment on an article published by Professor Matt Melvin-Koushki. In Magic helped us in pandemics before, and it can again he argues that resorting to magic or spirituality is not that irrational specially in times of crisis.

He draws on historical sources…


I will just leave these quotes here …

Carbon emission

Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, explained that many polluting particles have a “masking” effect on global warming, reflecting the sun’s rays, canceling out some of the warming from greenhouse…


Troubled times. But we live, we breathe, we write.

Recently I translated a poem from Dutch into Bangla.

The poem — “Vogels, vissen” — is by Ingmar Heytze. He is a prominent Dutch poet and writer who was the first to be officiated as the Utrecht city poet in 2009…


In this post, I describe how to use Python to compare two DNA sequences from two different databases. This is not about any specific scientific use case. I am primarily interested in the details of different APIs and data structures that deal with sequences. I am also interested in data…


In this post, I want to continue the thought process regarding event-driven architecture (see my previous post on event-driven digital object architecture). This time add Blockchain to the mix.

https://dilbert.com/strip/2018-06-06

Below is an example using easychain (a set of python scripts) that does a brilliant job in explaining the fundamental concepts…


On a sultry summer afternoon, I said goodbye to my first car.

It was a light gray 1990 Ford Taurus, and I took possession of it in 2003. At that point, the Taurus was already in its advanced age (110,000 miles!). I responded to a Usenet classified ad posted by a Chinese graduate student who was going back to his country after…


In this post, I want to share some of my initial thoughts about building a service with the event-driven and event first approach. Below I use examples that are related to the biodiversity, natural history collection, and the museum world. I also use the concept of Digital Specimen — a…


Excited about these two recent acquisitions.

The fact is that not sure how much I will be able to tackle Lucy Ellmann’s Ducks, Newburyport but I could not resist. I first saw and learned about her and this book when I was visiting Dublin a few months back. And last few weeks it has been prominently displayed at my local bookstore (Mayflower Bookshop Leiden, The Netherlands). And Nate Chinnen’s book was discovered at the cool Mondriaan Jazz Festival last week.

I also recently started using git to track my finished reading list. Check it out!


Recently I have been exploring different kinds of R packages that deal with biodiversity and ecology data. This is partly to understand the fragmented and distributed data landscape that we are tackling in DiSSCo. Our goal is to build a new world-class Research Infrastructure (RI) for natural science collections. …


In this post I want to talk about how user stories can help us during the conceptual design of a large, distributed data infrastructure. …

Sharif Islam

Data Architect@Distributed System of Scientific Collections (https://dissco.eu). PhD in Sociology. Bachelor's in Math and CS from the University of Illinois.

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