Ben Birnbaum

Hi, I'm Ben.

I'm a software engineer and data scientist. I lead the Machine Learning Team at Flatiron Health. This website is for side projects (like Cortado) and random thoughts.

Latest Posts

When you find out you’re the copycat

When you find out you’re the copycat

It was a rollercoaster of a week. It began when my side project, which I’d been quietly building for seven months, unexpectedly made it to the number two spot on Hacker News. It ended with me considering whether I should give up on the project completely.

Contingency and the Cold War

Contingency and the Cold War

I recently read the 2013 book Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety, a well-sourced account of the Cold War by the journalist Eric Schlosser. The book makes it clear what a miracle it…