Sunday, December 28, 2014

In the Beginning, We Hold These Truths To Be Self Evident!

Hi! Happy Sunday!

Happy New Year! Happy New Year! Happy 2015!

In the beginning? How do we begin to upgrade the failed US government? In the estimable words of the great Yogi Berra, "You have to be careful if you do not know where you are going because you might not get there." Where do we want to go collectively as a country?

Should we:
  1. Convene a new Constitutional Congress and draft a new constitution?
  2. Draft a series of amendments to update the existing constitution? 
  3. Create new political parties? 
  4. Get rid of the Federal Reserve Bank? 
  5. Vote in a whole new slate of politicians?
  6. Repeal the income tax amendment? 
As an engineer the first thing we need are the requirements. What are the requirements needed? Oh! No! Not project management!

Sorry, I kid. In the software industry project management is a messy busy upon which there is little agreement on the ideal process. But the objective remains, what are the requirements? Here are the minimal initial requirements needed:
  1. What defines American? 
  2. What are our universally common ideals? 
  3. What defines a State? 
  4. What are our community reserved ideals? 
  5. What are our individual rights? 
Let me answer the above using our common understanding from our 1789 founding:
  1. Born within American territory or naturalized. Naturalized Americans cannot be President but are otherwise equal to those born here. 
  2. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Individual rights. A government that provides for the common defense and general welfare. A strong central government is to be avoided where the States should be the primary government power.
  3. Physical geographical boundaries.
  4. Anything not enumerated as universal  ideals are reserved for the community. These include such things as marriage, education, religion, police and zoning laws.
  5. The Bill of Rights that includes freedom of speech, religion, arms and trial by jury. 
My engineering perspective is such that we need to revisit these fundamental requirements using history to educate us on improvements that can be made. 

My contribution to this conversation is about scale so what about scale? When this country was founded the first census counted ten-million Americans. Today, the State of California has close to 40 million Americans and is four times the size of the US at its founding. Yet in 2015 there are still States with populations on the order of the what existed in 1789. Today a representative represents one million people where at the founding it was ten-thousand people. We have failed to scale. Today the Federal government spends annually double what all fifty  state governments combined spend. The Federal budget was nothing when this country first started and now the Federal government has overwhelmed and mostly made irrelevant state power by attaching regulations to Federal money. The States are no longer an effective check on the balance of Federal power. The scalable perspective is that checks and balances as originally conceived have failed and this failure has fundamentally undermined our universally held ideal that Sates are the primary government power. To whit, the Federal government is too big. The scalable objective is to realign government power such that the federal government plays only a supporting role in defense and general welfare.

So where to begin?

We need to keep in mind the one key scalable objective is trimming down the size of central government by orders of magnitude. The federal government size needs to be cut in at least half if not three-quarters just, just, just in budget alone so as to rebalance state and federal power. Another key scalable insight is that 380 million Americans should be approached more like thirty-eight different countries than one country when one considers this country started with ten million people. We also pegged the number representatives to 435 in the 1800s because we had no plan to scale.

So where to begin?

We, we the people, need to define what it means to be an American in 2015 when there are 380 million of us with worldwide diversity.

Here is my proposal for upgrading our government:
  1. A web site that acts as US constitution requirements clearing house for  answering the five requirement questions posted above. Each set of requirements should be allowed to be voted upon and subscribed too such that a total number of subscribers sets the top contenders for material consideration.
  2. A web site to promote US constitution requirements using the ideals promoted. This site hosts movies, art, books and all manner of cultural material promoting the ideals represented by requirements in the US constitution requirements clearing house. 
  3. A process for winnowing out or voting upon the US constitution requirements down to a final set as a people together. 
  4. A deadline.
We need to come together as a country as people, one-on-one, meeting each other square and agreeing upon what it means to be American and then what we want our representative governments to deliver. This time we replace the founding fathers with we the people using our shiny new technology, the Internet. We need to crawl out from under the spell of the founding fathers we have shackled ourselves too with respect to changing the constitution. If we the people decide then we the people are the founders!

Well come! and Well met!















Wednesday, December 24, 2014

We The People, When?

Hi! Happy Wednesday!

We the people...when?

File this under yee ole addage, "whenever you point a finger blaming someone else you have four 316  million pointing back at you."

When are we going to be we the people and take responsibility? At some point we the people need to look at ourselves and say, uh, we are to blame.

The latest, but by no means the least, is a case of yelling fire in a crowded movie house.

What sparked this blog post was an article where FOX news affliate yelled "Fire!" in a crowded movie house.  FOX affliate is clearly guilty manipulating the news and lying. When I grew up I took a radio and communications class in high-school in the 1970s. I went on to acquire both my second and third class FCC licenses. At that time it was made clear that lying and manipulating the news was illegal and one could be fined and lose ones FCC licence.

As a side note, sadly, folks who think that the police cameras are going to solve anything are going to be disappointed if this FOX affiliate news story is any indication. FOX affiliate deliberately changed a video about police brutality protest to "kill a cop", a protest that happened just prior to the shooting of two NYC cops. If this is any indication of things to come regarding police cameras then the police will be doing the editing themselves. And who is going to investigate the police if they edit the video? And since there is this perceived notion that video doesn't lie?

As slimy as FOX news is I think collectively as a people we are responsible. FOX is just an end result of we the people not being vigilant guarding our freedom. We need to take the ultimate responsibility upon ourselves that we the people have allowed our news to be falsified and we the people accept it and have done nothing about it.

Lying and manipulating news is not acceptable. We need to reinstate the notion I was taught, that existed back in the 1970s, of second and third class FCC licenses being required for reporting news. That should include cable news.

I find it hard to believe that anyone in these United States wants news agencies editing video with impunity to falsify news and incite violence, which is what FOX news affliate did. But that is where we are at today unless we the people decide to stand up and do something about it.

Happily it should be easy for us to come together as we the people, as an entire country and agree that the news should not be falsified.

Well come! and Well met! 
















Monday, December 22, 2014

Claims Made Without Evidence, Dismiss Them

Hi! Happy Monday!

Just a quick post today about scale and the news lately.  The understanding of scale and having a scale world view is to hold off on forming opinions without evidence. The understanding of life with millions and billions of people is to be very, very weary of your intuition and your own confirmation bias. One way to implement counteracting this confirmation bias, our principle of scale, is be disciplined in using the notion that claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. We call this the null position or the default position.

I cannot state this often enough when it comes to interpreting the news: claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence.  There have a been some serious news items recently without evidence.
  1. NYC police assassinations. The claim is that the person responsible/possessed/programmed/directed to do the killing was done so  by the protests/Obama/Al Sharpton/NYC Mayor. Got any evidence? No? Just trading on people's emotional confirmation bias is the worst kind of mob mentality propaganda exploitation.  I don't know then. Claims made without evidence? dismissed.
  2. North Korea hacked Sony. President Obama states his evidence is the FBI. The FBI does not provide any evidence, just implies "trust us". Claims made without evidence? dismissed.
  3. Oil prices destroying the Russian Ruble are a result of economic warfare. President Putin blames the west for economic warfare. Claims made without evidence? dismissed. 
  4. The torture report rebuttal that torture saved American lives. There is evidence on one side of whether torture works or not; the side with 6,000 pages that conclude torture produced no viable evidence. On the other side, however, there is no evidence. The only evidence being put forward that torture saved American lives is the word of the CIA. Trust us? Claims made without evidence? dismissed. 
  5. Police wearing cameras save lives.  This one is a better scale argument in that insufficient evidence is almost like having no evidence. There actually have been studies to show that police wearing body cameras save lives. At issue is that those studies are preliminary and not comprehensive. The FDA clinical trials starts with fifty local people for one year and ends with around 7,000 people from all over the world for over five years. That kind of rigorous scale of study has not been done with police wearing cameras. Claims made with insufficient evidence? dismissed.
Claims made without evidence is a null position argument. When claims are made without evidence then that means ones position is not changed due to the no evidence claim. When President Obama claims that North Korea hacked Sony and he does so without evidence transitively via the FBI then given you did not know before then you do not know after either.

People who will believe anything without evidence can be made to do anything without evidence. In a government by the people, for the people and of the people then evidence or transparency is a standard that allows people to settle differences of opinion. If people are willing to rally without evidence then mob mentality rules, mob tyranny rules. Having no opinion and admitting one does not know enough to form an opinion may in fact still require a decision, but at least one is making that decision admitting the unknown reality and not forcing an opinion because of a false dichotomy or false choices being presented in the news and propaganda.

Well come! and Well met!















Sunday, December 21, 2014

Roadmap

Hi! Happy Sunday!

Actions speak louder than words and this blog is not the end-game. The end-game is to scale politics using scalable processes. Blarney, what processes they be wee lad? Glad you asked, I have here me a roadmap with the words "now" on the bottom, "future" and the top and road going into the horizon of sun a shining.

Actions speak louder than words. <3 Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. <3 Social experiments have too many variables to control with high confidence root causes. <3 Put all these statements together and what do you get? 8> Experiments! Simulation! Messaging!


Action Plan/Roadmap
  1. Community. The GMU will bring online a cloud server with software dedicated to bringing together a scalable community.
  2. Air. I will begin work on the augmented intelligence romantic [Air]. Air is to be a front end for running simulations and managing data of social simulation experiments. 
  3. Youtube webcast. Bring up a Youtube webcast promoting the ideals of scalable politics. 
  4. Warren's Cube. A role playing world my brother and I ran for many a year. I will bring it out retirement as a teaching tool for role playing. People are not familiar with role playing and the notions of social simulation. The objective will be to have fun in a Lord of Rings type setting of classic AD&D and educate about the process of role playing and how to run social experiments. 
  5. Smuggle Verse. I'm working on this story to engage the following scale issues facing us today: nanobots, genetic engineering and mind-computer interface. 

Well come! and Well met!


















Monday, December 15, 2014

Silicon Valley Reflection

 Happy Monday! 

Today is the anniversary of the passing of the Bill of Rights. A laudable document that has in the last fifteen years been reduced to simply something to be laudable but mostly just a piece of paper. What happened?

In silicon valley we have a saying: your success becomes your failure. When something goes viral then the start ups are ill-prepared for the traffic and the money coming in. They grow too soon too fast. Netscape is the original boom then bust start up. At one time Netscape was hiring 700 people per month. This country had fortitude and character during WWII so as a country to sacrifice during war. Fifty years later we get told to go shopping. This country became a world power financially and militarily too fast and too soon. It did not scale well at all. As a result we have extremely poor management in all levels of government and are tracking the same course as Netscape. We have fallen into the trap of absolute power corrupts absolutely and our government is in a trap it cannot escape by its own efforts.

The solution? 

Disruptive innovation.

Yes! We take a lesson from silicon valley and we disrupt political systems from the bottom up!  The vote bank! Individual currency! Let us dismantle the corruption like a frog boiling in a pot! A piece here, a piece there. Let's get it on! Hey, I think I just saw Barry White walk by! 

Well come! and Well met!















Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Call to Action, Solutions

Hi! Happy Thursday!

Call to action! It is time to move beyond our collective lamenting the demise of democracy in this country and to promote solutions!

Call to action!

Below is a summary list of solutions we can do now to re-ignite a government of the people:

  1. Vote bank! No more election day! Bank votes! Increase voter participation using electronic ATMs of votes. 
  2. News Yelp! A news source review web site.  News sources and articles are peer-reviewed for journalistic objectivity standards. 
  3. Air! The augmented intelligence romantic software program! Air combines the best in artificial intelligence with a kick; the romance of a culture desired. Air represents our better angels interface on top of a world-wide public domain database. 
  4. Terran Sea Otter Academy [TSOA]! An Earth academy to collect all public domain data , especially in regards to human behavior. Manuals of child behavior! Now you will get a manual with your baby! No matter what your baby's age! TSOA also manages the implementation of Air, which presents the public domain data. 
  5. Data Center on the Moon [DCOM]! A public domain data center made available to everyone on the planet earth and hosting the data managed by the TSOA!
  6. Simulations! All advanced technical endeavors rely on simulation. We should do the same with politics. This simulation concept for people has a name: role playing. We should begin worldwide efforts to increase empathy and political process efficacy by role playing.
  7. Movies! We all make movies! Why? To define and describe the kind of world we want. How do our politicians know what kind of society we want if we do not tell them! We the people make movies en mass and then converge on a consensus of a society we want! Health care for all? Profit is the end game? What do we truly want on the aggregate? 
  8. Culture fun! Politics sucks. the. life. out. of. you. So, we need to make political systems cultural! Song, music, art and dance! Wrap our ideals and methods in new traditions and cultural trappings! Personally I'm thinking about starting a band, Distraction Destruction!
  9. Feedback Experiments! Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. Social experiments cannot isolate the myriad of human variables. We must rely on experience feedback. Start with simulation, then groups of ten, groups of one-hundred and so on. Feedback of all the experiment data goes into the public domain curated by the TSOA! 
  10. Scale! We need to break scale together. If we in the US had one representative for every ten-thousand people then we would 30,000 representatives. Impossible you say! Impossible I say that today one representative represents ten-million people. We have no democracy. The fact is we are scale. It is time to admit it and quit pretending 535 people can manage 300,000,000. We have the technology to elect 30,000 reps. Let's do it! But wait! Only after have we run simulations and full experiments first! The claim that 30,000 reps work is made without evidence! Let us start a computer simulation (game) with millions of users and thousands of reps! 
  11.  VERY! Virtual environment, reality you! Imagine a world-wide virtual environment anyone can join as themselves to meet anyone else on the planet earth! What opportunity!
  12. Public Vote! Mitigate human nature's corruption nature. We do this by casting public votes that can be bought with money combined with only voting for who you know.  The Republicans are right if we give every a million dollars then a million dollars soon means nothing. Reset currency with paid voting. Let the Koch Brothers just give us all the money directly! Give every one a million dollars for their votes! The catch is you can only vote for people you know. The six-degrees of separation implies everyone can vote for anyone using only a pyramid of six-levels deep. Bribes to the person at the top of a pyramid need to be trickled down or risk losing the pyramid altogether. Votes are money!
  13. Right to mint currency! Revolution by guns is out. No one can afford destruction of the technology infrastructure in place today. Revolution by currency is in. Thus every individual is given the right to create and trade in a currency of their choosing outside of government taxing. Governments are only allowed to tax and conduct business in the government managed currency.
  14. Fantastic! The invention that we all must, must, must start every paragraph with a Whovian, "Fantastic!" Fantastic! 
These are just some of the solutions invented to address democracy's demise due to world scale. Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence! All the inventions above need to be vetted via feedback experiments and scaled properly.  Can we join together and embrace a hug of solutions?!?

Well come! and Well met!



Tuesday, December 9, 2014

The Scale Impact of Torture

Hi! Happy Tuesday

As the torture report comes out the question must be asked, whatever happened to our humanity? George Washington refused to torture captured spies and his situation during the revolution was far more precarious than ours is today. Washington stated openly he refused to be involved in a country that engaged in torture, anything evenly remotely approaching it. That was not the kind of country, the character of a country he was fighting for. He risked it all if one believes torture has efficacy. How callous is it that we only apply the cruel and unusual standard to our own citizens as if non-Americans are not humans.  How callous is it to redefine POWs to enemy combatants just to void law. We are suppose to be a "rule of law" nation when we treat law so frivolously? One thing I can say for sure is that the politicians in Washington will not be able to carry on responsibly asking the question, what happened to our humanity? If we want that discussion it will have to come from ourselves.

<3

What character do we want as a nation? Any? What character do we believe the rest of the world has of us as we interfere internationally in some many countries? Do we care? Or is it okay with us to be  be just be seen like Russia and China are: as bullies.

Information Confirmation Bias

Hi! Happy Tuesday!

Humans fail at objectivity. Every single one of us. One of the traits of this failure is something that is referred to as confirmation bias. We all look to seek out news and information that confirms our world view.

A good education will train you to be aware of this bias and methods for managing that bias.

In the information age of instant communication and information overload this confirmation bias can be exacerbated and even exploited quite easily. Let's call this information confirmation bias.

This is truly a problem of scale we need to address because information confirmation bias is an increasingly easier trap to fall into in the information age. One can just Google the kind of news one likes and stick with it. If you are conspiracy theory person then there are untold number of conspiracy news web sites and so it goes.

Below is just one example, find as many as you like visiting right-wing news sites. Information confirmation bias exists everywhere and with all humans. I'm picking on right-wing news for one reason and one reason alone: the agenda of the right-wing to destroy the very concept of objective journalism. Liberal media also wantonly uses anecdotes inappropriately but there does not exist the open agenda to dismiss objective reporting.
A Virginia cop is kidnapped and murdered by several black gang members. Sharpton, where are you?! Such hypocrisy and reverse-racism is breathtaking. The brutal truth is Sharpton, Holder and Obama will never address this officer’s death because he was white and because they protect the black gangs out there.
In rhetoric and in journalism you learn the fallacy of the above argument. This fallacy is called a false equivalence. The false equivalence is that the story is an anecdote signifying of no trend. It is a tragic crime, but not a trend.

Here are the trends that Ferguson represents:
  1. Every 28 hours a police officer kills a black man in this country. There are most definitely guilty criminals resisting arrest being killed. But, the question is, are they being treated differently than white guilty criminals resisting arrest and being killed more often due to racism?
  2. This trend of police killing blacks has been documented going on sixty years now and most assuredly this entire country's history.
  3. The police are not indicted let alone convicted.
Now as an anecdote how does the Virginia cop being killed hold up as a trend? It doesn't, at all. The story is a false equivalence. For most any of us who think rationally the horror of right wing news has nothing to do with conservative vs. liberal and everything to do with the horrific butchery of reason and the process of rationality.

Those of us who are educated are too dismissive too easily of such irrational nonsense. It is nonsense.  So we avoid engaging each other to this country's detriment. There is a dismissive term out there that captures the problem statement; fly-over states. This country is squaring off in its respective intelligence quarters with the over-educated on the coasts and the under-educated in the middle. By sheer volume of the number of states being flown over  the Senate will soon be a permanent Republican majority if nothing is done about information confirmation bias. California has already become a permanent Democratic majority at the State level. Soon there may be no Republican office holders at all in California.

Show me a right-wing news source and I will show you a butchery of reason and rationality because the right-wing has sadly made it an agenda to destroy not only liberalism, but journalism. Journalism teaches discipline and objectivity to help manage human weakness and frailty of confirmation bias. We need *common* good rhetoric. The New York Times is fading fast.

The solution to information confirmation bias already exists. Journalism, logic, rhetoric and reason all are well established fields.  We need a common national registry of news sources rated by objectivity standards; a news Yelp! if you will but with peer-reviewed reviews and not dubious reviews like Yelp! The objective disciplines would need to be applied as they already exist before we can solve the problem of journalism converging on a liberals only club, the reason conservatives decided to destroy journalism.  We as a country need to bring back agreeing upon standards of journalism, objectivity, reason and logic to be adhered in order to bring any meaning to bias. Bias has no meaning using samples of one. A sample of one is a game that cannot be won. In a world of seven-billion people, a country of 300 million then the pool of samples is guaranteed to be bottomless. We are simply chasing our own tales in news today and preaching to the choir. Progress cannot be made in that environment.

Well come! and Well met!















Sunday, December 7, 2014

HOW TO: Passwords

Hi! Happy Monday!

The HOW TO for securing your passwords as well as your daily hug is below.

I'm going to cite a few fun facts first about our brains ability to scale.

Fun facts:
  1. Our brains: one size does not fit all.
    Secure password recipes exist a-plenty on the inter-tubes today. Why do you need this one? Because it works for me. Think of this as a cooking recipe. Humans respond to a variety of different food recipes. Technology is no different than food in that regard. You just may realize improved security in your life by using a recipe that fits you best. This is one that works for me.
  2. Our brain: ten chunk size.
    Studies have shown that the chunk size of the brain is 7-9. This is why phone numbers are nine digits and area codes are additional. Nine digits is optimal for people to remember.
  3. Our brain: 100ms clock cycle.
    If you watch a car wheel as a car starts pulling away eventually the wheel will appear to start rolling backwards. Why? When? Why is because your brain has a clock cycle where it only registers information for you to realize ten times per second. When is at a tire rotation rate of eleven times per second. Since you can only process ten-times-per-second then at a tire rotation rate of eleven-times per second the second frame will appear to be at a position going backward relative to the first. 
  4. Our brain: social groups of thirty miles.
    Did you know that until 1900 the average person never wandered and met people on the Earth in a radius greater than thirty miles? This is key to our understanding of socialization because from an evolutionary stand point your brain hasn't adapted to a scale of people greater than one would encounter in a less populated world...within a thirty mile radius in a rural setting. Most of our brains evolution was in an environment of only one culture and one language. The majority of people today tending towards living in high-density population cities with a multitude of cultures is also a recent phenomena that happened after 1900.
  5. Our brain:  social groups and one size does not fit all.
    One size does not fit all when it comes to social group scale as well. What does this scale mean? It means that any one person's empathy does not scale directly to billions of people and millions of social groups just like you cannot directly remember 100's of passwords. Expecting any single human being to have empathy for all humans is as ludicrous as expecting everyone to remember all passwords for all time where each password is distinct. Empathy for all, peace in our time, will require an indirect network of empathy where each node in the network has empathy for its immediate surrounding nodes and we scale out peace in our time by learning to manage networks of empathy, just as I am instructing you here on building out a network of passwords.
HOW TO: Secure Passwords

This HOW TO is in the tradition of a cooking recipe. A cooking recipe assumes you know some basics like how to boil water, chop vs. dice, etc. If you need to learn the basics of cooking that is done elsewhere. The same applies here. I'm going to assume you know how to password protect a ZIP file, use Google to find a password generating web site, etc. This recipe is not security optimal but it is easily doable, I use it every day. The recipe incorporates many best security practices. The security weakness is the length of 10. However, I choose 10 because of our ability to memorize 10. I also leave out punctuation to ensure ease of memorization.
  1. Time to prepare: 2hrs. I rather think that if you care very much about your identity then the time is worth it.
  2. Ingredients:
    • A text file with a name the ends in ".txt".
    • 100 secure passwords. The passwords should be 10 characters long and should not include punctuation. 
    • 2 USB keys. You want the kind of keys that are metal and that have no flanges. The width and height of the USB port should be uniform  end-to-end. The reason for no flanges is that a slim key can fit into any USB port. Many devices group USB ports closely and a flange may prevent a key from being inserted if other USB devices are also plugged in simultaneously.
    • Encrypted home directory on a laptop. 
    • Encrypted phone as desired.
    • Printing capability. Your own or go to Staples or other printing place.
    • Blank business card for your wallet. 
     
  1.  Directions:

    • Create a text password file with your 100 secure passwords on your encrypted home directory of your laptop. If someone steals your laptop and copies the data off of your drive your passwords are protected because the directory with the file is encrypted. This is not protection against the NSA but thieves. 
    • Create a desktop shortcut such that you will always have your text password file always open on a click.
    • Create a password protected ZIP file of your text password file using only your ATM PIN as the password. The security here is that you should always be able to remember your pin and that you treat your USB key like your car keys. If your physical car keys are ever lost or stolen you'll need change keys and locks. If your physical USB key is ever stolen you will need to change passwords. 
    • Copy the password protected ZIP file to one of your USB keys. 
    • Have both USB keys on your physical key ring. The second USB key is for data transfers. Never use the USB key with your password file for data transfers. The USB key with your password file is only for your passwords. 
    • Begin changing your passwords on the Internet moving the passwords in your password file from the list of unused 100 to a new entry in your text file with a new heading for a web site. Create a new paragraph in the password text file with web site URL as the first line.  On the next line add the account name and password. If there are any security questions continue the paragraph.  Your list of available passwords should get shorter as passwords are moved from the available list to the various paragraphs containing the used passwords. 
    • Answer all security questions with different passwords and add those Q&A security questions and passwords to the password fie under the appropriate paragraph.  Do not answer security questions with actual answers. Banks and other web sites do not care if you type in a garbage answer of a randomized password as the response to your favorite movie, for example. Much identity theft happens not because of password cracking or password theft but because of easily guessed security questions. Use passwords to answer all security questions.
    • OPTIONAL: Copy the password file created earlier to your encrypted drive on your phone. Make sure the file is not backed up to the cloud, just on the phone. Be sure to have a service that wipes your phone if the phone is lost or stolen. If it is unclear how to ensure the file is not stored on the cloud or you do not have a service to wipe the phone remotely then don't use your phone.
    • Print out a copy of your password file and keep it in a safe place at home on an ongoing basis. I keep that print out with my will. When I die my passwords are with my will.
    • Regularly update the password file on your USB key, on your phone and your print out.
    • Every password you choose must be unique, taken from the original list of 100 that continues to grow shorter.
    • When the list of one hundred is exhausted then you will then need to add 100 new passwords. Be sure to print out that list and update the USB ZIP file especially when you add 100 new passwords.
    • At work, copy the passwords from your file to a business card you keep on you at all times. Do not copy anything but the passwords, such as the account names, web sites, etc. If someone gets a hold of your password business card they only have the passwords on that business card and not what they unlock. If someone steals your wallet or purse you'll need to change your passwords on that business card.
Things to consider.
  • The most important thing you do is the creation of the 100 passwords upfront, copying that password protected ZIP list to your USB key and printing that list out keeping it in a safe place. The protocol above requires backing up your password file on a regular basis. The most important backup is the one where your 100 passwords are initially created. If you ever lose your password file completely and have forgotten to backup your password file then you have all the passwords possible in the initial file.
  • Cut/copy/paste of your password is preferred. Malware in the form of key logger will only be able to log the key strokes of cut/copy/paste and not your password. Some web sites do not allow cut/copy/paste of passwords but most do.
  • Answering security questions with passwords is also most important.
  • Having a unique password for each web site is also most important. Three things are most important. If any one password is compromised then only one web site is compromised.
  • In a pinch at work then memorize one of the 10 length size passwords. This is why 10 as a length size was chosen.  Do not put your password file on any work property. If need be then use the business card to write down just the password or memorize a couple. 
  • Use any 10 length size password you have memorized as a common root for other passwords at work. I typically will use a 10 length password plus the business name itself. The 10 random characters provide the core of a secure password. Prepending or appending common words to a secure password does not make that password any less secure. I personally have two 10 character length random passwords memorized at all times.
  • Never use the same password twice, especially on web sites you may only use once. This is because passwords are stored   on computers that can hacked or copied. That password's security is only as secure as the company that stores it. Never use the same password twice. 
  • Some sites require punctuation in passwords and the ones in the recipe call for no punctuation for ease of memorization. In these cases I recommend you pick a single punctuation character and stick with it. 
Well come! and Well met! 














The Brain is a system that fails, "comply or die" makes no sense.

Hi! Happy Sunday!

We need more conversations of about systems. Why?  To bring it down a notch when it comes to folks squaring off in their respective corners. In this blog post the topic is "comply or die" as it regards to mental health, not racism. I think compassion for those who have mental health issues is a topic we can all agree on where given someone resists arrest due to mental health problems then this should not just result in death, free and clear. There has to be standards of responsibility by police to de-escalate and so if the standards are not followed result in penalties. The mentally ill don't deserve to die with impunity.

The brain is a system. The brain is not a blank slate where there only exists free will.

Here a couple of comments I pulled off of the Internet that assume the brain is a blank slate; always healthy and never impaired.
1.) If he'd complied, he'd be ALIVE.
2.) Stop resisting, it's that simple. If you don't resist arrest, nobody gets hurt.
Mental health, having mental health problems, should not be an automatic death sentence because 0% risk to a police officer is the only acceptable level of police risk in our society.

People who have impaired brain systems, mental health issues, do not react rationally. Their judgment is impaired. The two comments above do not reflect impairment and are cold and callus...they do not reflect the kind of society I think most Americans would like to live in.

The brain is a system. That system fails. When that system fails oft times it is law enforcement who are our first responders before any thought of mental health treatment can be applied.

The above two, sample blank-slate statements taken to their logical absurdity would have law enforcement just shoot on sight any drug addict high on PCP; such drug addicts always violently resist arrest and never comply. Law enforcement officers deserve to go home alive so let's just always kill all the violent druggies.  Just comply with a police officer's lawful orders and you'll live. It's that simple.  Is that what we want on as a society? To kill people with mental health problems because they are out of their minds? The mind is not a blank slate, always rational. How sad is it if our moral position as a society is to "comply or die", no risk to the police. This is not a mental health solution. It solves nothing and just condemns those who are already disadvantaged to extreme prejudice of death. Consider: over half of the homeless people living on the streets have mental health problems. These folks regularly encounter law enforcement. "Comply or die" just breaks my heart because I'm sure many of the homeless do not comply with law enforcement when being arrested. Are they now more at risk?

Further consider: if people start believing the police are going to kill anyone who resists arrest then will the public now hesitate to call the police on a loved one gone mad? Over half of all murders are crimes of passion. That hesitation of calling police could easily now result in more dead.

I need to repeat that this is a systemic blog post and this is a post about the system of the brain and us having compassion for when it fails. This is not a reflection in any way of the relevance of racism. All I'm saying is that I do not believe that the majority of Americans want a law enforcement system, small or large scale, that is death prejudiced against those with impaired brains that resist arrest; either because of a temporary fit of passion, drug addiction, or permanent brain damage.

I'd like to close with a story about an arrest of a neighbor of mine back in 1988. At the time I had no money, just having moved to California from Indiana. My brother and I lived in a cheap apartment with at least  two drug dealers that I know of. People coming and knocking at doors 24/7.

This particular neighbor resisted arrest with three factors that could have gotten him killed by police:
  1. High on PCP. He never complied and resisted the arrest physically for hours before being subdued.
  2. Beat his wife who called the police. 
  3. Waving around a knife.  
The arrest took the better part of two hours. There were four police cars in the street.  After about an hour the wife started a physical altercation with the police given the screaming noise coming from below. All-in-all a very difficult situation for the police to manage.

After a couple of hours the fellow was brought out hog tied. By hog tied I mean he had zip-ties on his hands behind his back; zip-ties on his feet and then both sets of zip-ties were also zip-tied together with his feet and hands behind his butt.  He was only dressed in his tidy whiteys. They carried him to the back of the police car in that position. He didn't die.

Given all the circumstances in that situation I  can't help but contrast that image long ago of a very dangerous arrest to the low danger arrest video of five officers taking down a guy for an infraction and then killing him. Further, at no time has there been any police discussion about different tactics used because someone may have unknowing health issues when an arrest is made; albeit heart conditions, diabetes, asthma or mental conditions. From all the media that the police are presenting of themselves about themselves, media by the police in favor of the police, there has been no nuance of condition. I find that troubling. The police had many previous encounters with this fellow and could have easily known he had asthma. Maybe we should consider pulling up "people plates" before making arrests just the same as CHP does with cars. Maybe they would have known he had asthma before choking him.

Arresting people who have mental health impairments and who resist arrest puts an officer at risk. A police system that accepts 0% risk by the police with respect to mental health problems, just comply or die, is a cold-hearted, uncaring society that I do not believe any one truly wants to live in.

Well come! and Well met! 












Thursday, December 4, 2014

Stop! "In The Name of Law!", Innovate America!

Hi! Happy Thursday!

Stop! "In the Name of Law!"
Before you break the Law!
Think it o-o-over!
We need to innovate America!

Irreni: [I]nnovation [R]eplaces [R]evolution, [E]ngineering [N]ot [I]deology!

We are rushing people! Stop it!

Putting body cameras on every cop in America is a revolution, not innovation!
"The White House announced Monday that President Barack Obama will sign an executive order meant to improve training for local law enforcement agencies that receive equipment through federal grant programs. Among the proposed initiatives is a 3-year, $263 million investment package, of which $75 million would go toward covering half the cost of 50,000 officer-mounted cameras -- a technology that has been widely cited as a necessary police reform following the death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black teenager shot and killed by Ferguson, Missouri police officer Darren Wilson in August. Yet with almost 630,000 police officers working nationwide, it's not clear how much of an effect even 50,000 cameras would have."

We, as a country, need to get beyond instant gratification, knee jerk reaction  fixing things. Imagine if you had a race with only one horse. It wouldn't matter how fast that horse ran, it wins! There is no competition! Maybe cameras will work but how do will we know if cameras could work so much better with only one large government, contract camera in the race?

We need to innovate cops wearing cameras, dashboard cameras, drone companion cameras, etc! Enough of "we need it now, right now"! We should roll out small experiments of many kinds of cameras over years and gradually scale out as winners become apparent and refinements are made. Law enforcement dysfunction has been decades in the making. Cameras are not going to fix this overnight. We need the patience of years. Rolling out 50,000 cameras without competition, without research, without controls for experiments is high risk. What if this experiment fails? Does that mean body cameras are a failure? No, it just means we ran one experiment that failed. Even if the experiment succeeds do we know if we could do much better? No! Not with one vendor.

Enough revolution! We need innovation! Take a hint from Silicon Valley where competition is fierce. This kind of big 50,000 camera roll out legitimises government program critics. There is no competition when the government operates in this fashion of one size fits all, big government scale contract of a single source.

What should happen is that the government should fund studies by universities, fund camera research by universities and give grants for pilot programs in police forces around the country. Let peer reviewed research over the course of seven years do its thing.

And most importantly? Let the public know this is being done in a well thought out, well reasoned, scientific fashion with the best chances of success and level of success.  The American public is mature enough to hear a conversation of patience for the sake of success. Instant gratification for a program like this is a vote of no-confidence in the American people to engage in well thought out process. This camera program is every bit as pandering and as feel-good as "shop as usual" right after 9/11. Americans deserve better from its political parties.

Rushing cameras to market is revolutionizing law enforcement with high risk on two sides: cameras failing and when failed never being used again. Innovation is a process of competition where many kinds can compete. How many MP3 players existed before the iPod?

Stop! "In The Name of Law!"
Before you break the Law!
Think it o-o-over!
We need to innovate America!

Well come! and Well met! 













Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Quick Thought: Think Culture Scale

Hi! Happy Tuesday!

M.A.S.H.! This guy is channelling Alan Alda! I swear! His voice...his shoulder shrug: dead ringers. Alan Alda is a trauma surgeon! Woot! He's a lot of fun to watch as a speaker.

Enjoy your culture scale moment!

http://fora.tv/2008/04/02/Former_Surgeon_General_Dr__Richard_Carmona


Former Surgeon General, Dr. Richard Carmona

Well come! and Well met! 















Sunday, November 30, 2014

How to Think Culture Scale

Hi! Happy Sunday!

The power is out so I thought I would write another post given my laptop is now pretty much it.

How do you think in culture? I find it interesting that of all the legal defences for committing crimes saying "my culture made me do it" has never come up as far as I know.

What is it about your behavior, or anyone's behavior, that is culturally derived? Geez, all my neighbors decided to take showers since the power is out. What's up with that? Anyway...

Let me tell you how to think in culture scale...right here.

We don't know. Got cha'!

Seriously, we don't know.

This is why in my previous post I called for more research into culture. We need to understand the programming of culture if we are going to scale.

When I say we don't know though, how bad is it? Well we do know some things. Then again, there are some scientists who argue that culture is a physical entity outside of humans. I'm not making that up. There are anthropologists in 2014 claiming that culture is its own thing. This is reminiscent of the calor where we once thought heat was its own entity called the calor.

So we are just getting started. But that is not to say we don't know anything. Not at all.

First thought about thinking in culture scale:
  • It is probably bullshit.
You should be inoculated with a healthy dosing of skepticism is the first lesson. Whatever claim someone is making about cultural influences it is a pretty safe bet those claims are probably bullshit and being made on bad evidence, no evidence or wishful thinking. My claims in the previous post were mostly self-evident. Conservatives do blame liberals and not themselves for the failure of education and have been doing so for decades seemingly with their hands tied behind their backs, impotent to do anything. Conservatives don't believe in social programs (except religious one), leaving liberals to run amok. The black community is in a cycle of poverty and racism still very much exists in America.

However, my self-evident truths posited are not very enlightening. My point was simply this: conservatives are caught in the same culture trap as the black community where some cultural force is holding them back from fixing something they know needs fixing. The conservatives can't seem to find it in themselves to fix education due to an individual-accountability-centric world view and blacks are in a cycle of poverty due to slavery.

What that sub-culture force is or how to model it is not well understood. Liberals have tried various social programs and failed in so many ways. Conservatives have used these failures to lambast liberal programs for being the cause of black poverty and black poverty's ongoing perpetuation. Liberals failing and then conservatives blaming are both symptoms of the same underlying problem: cultural forces are not understood.

Liberals just go way too far and too fast in implementing social programs on massive scales such as with ACA or affirmative action when the underlying causes are unknown. When the causes are unknown then experience is key, innovation is key. Conservatives have latched onto these liberal failures and gone so far as to label them as the root cause. Now we have a new cultural cycle feedback loop to break. Ugh.

When it comes to culture though I would still count myself a liberal before a conservative because of one important fact: they try. Conservatives have this bizarre notion that spaceships design and build themselves and societies do to without any effort. Conservatives see no reason to fix a social problem because they don't believe in social fixes, only individual accountability.

So, it is no surprise when it comes to climate change which side the conservatives are on. It is also no surprise that liberals are suggesting rolling out experiments at the global scale without first going through proper innovation scale. Our liberal/conservative cycle of culture dysfunction continues. 

All of the above discussion was imparted to get a single point across: be skeptical. Demand innovation for social experiments where trial-and-error is being used, the root cause is unknown. Demand solutions and not criticism when it comes to conservatives bellyaching all the time.

Second thought about thinking in social scale:
  • Anecdotes are only for illustration purposes. 
So many white people were posting anecdotes of black-on-black, black-on-white crime screaming "where is the outrage?" Hello? I saw the movie "Do The Right Thing" by Spike Lee back in like 1990.  In that movie the last scene is of a black neighborhood rioting and the first scene is police injustice. See a pattern? Then there is the following by James Baldwin in 1960. My friend Gregg posted this on Facebook after the Grand Jury chose not to indict Darren Wilson:
"The white policeman... finds himself at the very center of the revolution now occurring in the world. He is not prepared for it -- naturally, nobody is -- and, what is possibly much more to the point, he is exposed, as few white people are, to the anguish of the black people around him.......
One day, to everyone's astonishment, someone drops a match in the powder keg and everything blows up. Before the dust has settled or the blood congealed, editorials, speeches, and civil-rights commissions are loud in the land, demanding to know what happened. What happened is Negroes want to be treated like [humans]." 
James Baldwin, 1960
Black dysfunctionally albeit poverty or black-on-black crime is a symptom of a culture that is stuck, both the black sub-culture and the greater American culture. Michael Brown is just the latest in a long line of black bodies stretching all the way back to the first American slave.

Ferguson as an anecdote is emblematic of a problem going back hundreds of years of oppression, mistrust and institutionalized indignity we label racism.

Don't use anecdotes to generalize but only for illustration of known patterns.

Third thought on thinking in culture scale:
  • Correlation is not causation. 
It is true in the social sciences that correlation is accepted in lieu of causation as a kinda weak tea. If you are going to use correlation admit it, correlation is not causation and any remedy based upon such correlation is a guess.

My favorite place for watching massive logic failures when it comes to culture scale and correlation failing is gun violence.

Correlation fail number one: concealed carry weapon permits (CCW) reduce crime in states that have it. Correlation fail number two: countries like Great Britain and Japan have much lower per-capita murder rates because citizens are not allowed to own guns.  They are both failures because correlation is not causation. Cultures are big, gooey messes with lots and lots of variables and factors and isolating a single one is nigh impossible. All of the studies relating to gun violence only factor into those studies guns. Crime has been going down in every state in the Union for years now. The correlation of CCW with reduced crime rates never factor out the general trend or take into account tougher crime laws that get passed at the same time CCW permits are enacted. Great Britain and Japan do not have a second amendment and a culture steeped in owning guns.

My final thought on thinking in culture scale:
  • Intuition fails. 
People are not like you. The golden rule is problematic with culture scale in that people too often fail to get outside themselves to realize people have different ways of thinking and different mind sets, different emotional compositions.

I wrote a blog post about Freguson to point this failure of intuition out where I ponder what was Michael Brown's motive for murder? Going for a cops gun is either a suicide by cop or an intent to murder. In that blog post I speculated that Michael Brown had no motive to murder and if he did then he may have previously known Darren Wilson. My point was not to make a strong case about suicide by cop or any motive for murder. It was to point out that people's intuitive claims that Michael was some angry monster thug has no more basis in reality than a claim he previously knew Darren Wilson or was looking to commit suicide. Darren Wilson's testimony is heresy and Michael Brown is not around to dispute it. Yet people believe their intuition. They are wrong for believing their intuition as fact. Knock it off.

Your intuition fails when it comes to cultural scale. You don't know Michael Brown or his cultural influences.

To recap about thinking of claims of cultural scale:
  1. It is probably bullshit. Be skeptical first and foremost of authoritative cultural claims. 
  2. Anecdotes are only for illustration purposes. No trend no anecdote.
  3. Correlation is not causation. Own correlation as weak tea if being used to promote a cause. Correlation alone is weak science, don't promote it as absolute or even good enough.
  4. Intuition fails. The golden rule is problematic at the culture scale level. Social studies should be sought after that challenge your intuitions.
Happy culture scaling!

Well come! and Well met! 
















Why is it conservatives promote racism has ended?

Hi! Happy Sunday!

This is really long, but rest assured your hug awaits at the bottom!

Ever wonder why it is conservatives promote an idea racism is over? Why not liberals?

Let me also assure you this blog is still about scalable solutions of systems and not ideology.

Here is the scalable systemic solution:  we need more research on cultural transmission and how social groups control individual behavior.

Conservative culture is fundamentally focused on behavior of the individual, individual accountability. Conservatives have a huge gap in understanding behavior as having social contributions, social motivation and assigning any credibility to a person's behavior as a result of social systems. If person A is a racist that has no correlation with person B who may or may not be a racist is conservative thinking. Ideas are arrived at by individual on an individual, case-by-case basis. To conservatives we are all blank slates that cannot be influenced by society. Personal accountability is the primary and sole dimension of behavior conservatives recognize; ergo their strong belief in the criminal system of individual punishment and disinterest in social programs.  Racism has no social mechanism transmission to conservatives because conservatives do not admit any social transmission mechanisms exist. This idea then that racism is over is not limited to racism as it is systemic to conservative thinking. Individual accountability is all there is to conservatives. In other words racism to them has ended because there is no social transmission across generations or people.

There is one glaring exception to this of course and that is religion. This is a Christian country to a conservatives point of view and that is the only social transmission mechanism they recognize. Why? Because religion is a social transmission establishing the exclusivity of individual accountability. Religions do not promote social programs,  that a society must reach a certain saturation point of homogeneousness to establish viability or the society as a whole is punished. Religions promote apostate exclusively and individual punishment only. Punishments and actions are not to the entire social group but only to the individual. Religions were all invented long before we humans had any understanding about the social influences and so conservatives are stuck in that mind set.

It is not just racism that Conservatives do not acknowledge then when it comes to blacks: but also black poverty. Conservatives believe people are just individuals in this country and so any individual should just get an education, get a job and game over. Racism is over. Conservatives do not believe there is any social responsibility by the culture at large for black poverty. None.

Is that true? We need to separate out the ethical from the systemic here. As Thomas Jefferson among many others have said: the living owe nothing on behalf of the dead morally and ethically. The living are not guilty for the atrocities of the dead. Black reparations by the living on behalf of dead slave owners of the past is not ethical on that count. One person cannot be directly held into account for the actions of another just due to proximity and social group membership, past or present.

But is there a count for which black reparations should be made? Yes and that would be cultural transmission. As Thomas Jefferson put it, we should do so to the full extent the public can stomach.

To better illustrate let us consider for a moment how this gap of not understanding social transmission fundamentally undermines conservatives at large: education.

Education.

Conservatives have been lambasting liberals for years for the demise of public education. Conservatives take zero responsibility for our education failures and they lay all of blame on liberals. And yet? Ever since polls have been taken conservatives outnumber liberals in this country. What? How is this possible?

This is possible because conservatives do not believe in social influence and therefore would not have any motive to enact education programs with objectives of socially transmitting ideas. This explains a lack of motivation to get in involved with education as something other than job training or religious teaching of individual accountability. Now when they see the end results of failed education, results they do not like, now they complain. Only because the effects of social transmission are staring them back in the face and reality has set in. Here's the thing though. That narrative has been going on for decades and conservatives have not changed their behavior. What's astonishing is that the pattern of conservatives complaining about liberal education has been going on for decades without change. Why?

To be fair though, social transmission gap is not the only thing that holds back conservatives from getting involved in education.

Fear of change also factors into it. Conservatives by their very nature want to continue to use what exists and not embrace the new. A trivial example is the history of Washington and the cherry tree where he could not tell a lie. This was pure fabrication made up by some historian in 1836. To the winners go the spoils and one of those spoils is writing history. As America has matured the liberals and not the conservatives have begun to correct inaccuracies of our history to the extent the facts allowed. Where facts have only been collected about the winners liberal historians have slowly progressed over time to telling the stories of the losers of history; the slaves and the native Americans. This results in cognitive dissonance on behalf of the conservatives where on one-hand they do not want false history and yet on the other hand they do not want to undermine the credibility of a Christian nation narrative either.

Systemically then conservatives being unable and unwilling to engage in social behavioral programs has left conservatives exposed both politically and socially. Conservatives cannot acknowledge that any poverty, any black poverty and any racism are socially transmitted ideas across generations. Therefore there is no social program as a solution for poverty and crime. However, this very same mindset undermines them from engaging in education because it would require understanding  the social influence of behavior that education has. Education is clearly social behavior influence that challenges conservatives, a challenge they have been unable to meet for decades and decades.

Cultural transmission that gridlocks poverty is the same cause that gridlocks the conservative community in regards to education. We need to break the dysfunctional barriers of both poverty and education. We need the blacks to no longer be poor and in prison, we need the conservatives to engage education and take responsibility as a social group.

The solution for this country is to better understand social and cultural transmission in both real-time and across generations. Where conservatives might have to painfully acknowledge that they have been wrong on poverty and crime not being socially systemic, they would more than reap rewards enabling their thinking to participate in education armed with social behavior understanding.

I mentioned earlier that there is a count where black reparations can be made.

That reparation has to do with understanding an ideal or just society and defining the kind of society we are want to be.

In a letter to Jefferson someone once asked him how much, if any, charity the federal government should engage in. Jefferson's reply was, "as much as the public can stomach."

Appropriate black reparations is not about debts of the past, but rather fixing systems of the present "as much as the public can stomach."

To this end affirmative action was created. Affirmative action came about here in California where a California judge ruled in favor of it. His very liberal view point was this: what took four-hundred years to entrench will take an equal four-hundred years to unwind. He surmised this is not fair to the blacks of this country and so affirmative action was ordered.

This kind of reparation is appropriate: opportunity today to break the cycle of poverty across generations.

The reason affirmative action failed in its implementation is that the judge was only one piece of the experiment puzzle. He had no control over what came next, and no expertise in social experiments even if he had. Acknowledging that we need social experiments is not enough and not that same as having the program itself.

Affirmative action was doomed to fail because in the beginning its success rate would be low. In venture capital a 90% failure rate is acceptable because the 10% that succeed more than pay for the other 90%. Yet we did not take that approach with affirmative action. Conservatives time-and-time again beat up on the failure rate of affirmative action and it eventually has been dismantled.

Affirmative action should be reinstated.  Affirmative action should be a social experiment to change of the systemic course of the cycle of poverty. However, like all innovations I have presented in my previous blog posts, affirmative action should be not rolled out, carte blanche, across the nation. Claims made without evidence can be dismissed without evidence. We should take what we've learned about affirmative action and start over but with smaller groups expanding over time using an innovation approach.

In addition to more research on cultural transmission and how social groups control individual behavior we also need to better understand how to run social experiments as innovations. Affirmative action was implemented nationally way too soon just as ACA was. ACA will most likely follow affirmative actions demise. The experiment was implemented too large too soon. We need to start small, gather data, make incremental changes and so on. In other words, we need to innovate. As part of that process of enacting any social experiment going forward we need to educate ourselves on how to innovate and how to experiment responsibly.

We need more research on cultural transmission and how social groups control individual behavior. As we do these experiments we need to refine the innovation process itself.


Well come! and Well met! 















Saturday, November 29, 2014

Top 3%

Hi! Happy Saturday!

Today's blog is about economics and the top 3%.

We hear a lot of talk today about the top 1%. So what's up with the top 3%?

I am the top 3%. Not financially. Financially my net worth is like debt++.

No, I am the top 3% academically. In any school I attended from K-12, community college and finally culminating to a Masters in Computer Science at U.C. Berkeley, I am in the top 3% with a top labor profession of software programmer. My future is secure independent of the amount of money I have in the bank on any given day. Risk for me is not the same as risk for people of less ability. I will always bounce back, no harm no foul.

My labor worth goes up every day because the bar of intelligent ability for getting a job is rising. The higher the brain-power bar for job requirements of education and capacity then the more assured is my position. The intellectual requirements for labor are increasing every day as automation rolls out. My intellectual education and capability will remain well above the minimum required for labor in my lifetime. Will yours? Imagine you are the opposite. Imagine you test in the bottom 3% as you go through K-12. Your labor worth goes down every day. What opportunities do you have? A person at the bottom 3% of educational testing is guaranteed a minimum wage job indefinitely. No amount of hard work will ever change that. Skilled labor is a waning enterprise. Think of skilled labor as the music industry does. Someone like a skilled glass blower may invent an awesome technique...only to have computers replicate that intellectual property for next to nothing. The glass blower, like today's musician, is then left with meager pennies on a sale; except, perhaps the same way musicians have live performance, having some glass blower novelty market.

We talk about class warfare between the top 1% of the wealthy but the real class warfare going on is brain power for jobs. People who happen to be born average and below average brain power are being left out. If you lack brain capacity at birth, education during childhood, then your future prospects are grim in the employment market. Oh you may have other exceptional talents like a voice or a sports skill, but these skills must be exceptional and unreplicable by computers.

Blue collar, low brain power jobs are being reduced in quantity daily even as the world population increases. What happens to the blue collar workers with no blue collar jobs now?

Hold that thought and let us move to economics for a second.

Nick Hanauaer has an engaging talk about economics, the fallacy of trickle down economics. I can sum up Nick's talk in one sentence: don't kill the goose that lays the golden eggs. We learn this simple parable as kids.
A cottager and his wife had a Hen that laid a golden egg every day. They supposed that the Hen must contain a great lump of gold in its inside, and in order to get the gold they killed [her]. Having done so, they found to their surprise that the Hen differed in no respect from their other hens. The foolish pair, thus hoping to become rich all at once, deprived themselves of the gain of which they were assured day by day.
Killing the middle class is a foolish move by the 1% and the redistribution of wealth in this country shows just how foolish the rich are today relative to most other times in America's history. What happened? Answer: a trillion dollars.

So what changed? There are many counter argument's to Nick's talk, which is the point. Here is one quoting economist Mark Skousen , entitled "The Myth of Consumer Spending":
Granted, personal consumption expenditures represent 70 percent of gross domestic product, but journalists should know from Econ 101 that GDP only measures the value of final output. It deliberately leaves out a big chunk of the economy — intermediate production or goods-in-process at the commodity, manufacturing, and wholesale stages — to avoid double counting. I calculated total spending (sales or receipts) in the economy at all stages to be more than double GDP (using gross business receipts compiled annually by the IRS). By this measure — which I have dubbed gross domestic expenditures, or GDE — consumption represents only about 30 percent of the economy, while business investment (including intermediate output) represents over 50 percent.
Thus the truth is just the opposite: Consumer spending is the effect, not the cause, of a productive healthy economy.
Insight into understanding today's economic scale is perhaps best illustrated by an atheist world view. As an atheist there is a world view we hold dear that can be applied here: a world view of "I don't know". The answer to who created the Universe and economics are the same, too big to scale. Both universe creation and economics today are concepts that are too big for us to currently model. However, as humans we don't want to hear "I don't know". Humans in general find the unknown emotionally disturbing. That's why atheists are a minority and the institutions of religion and economics have both proven we the people will accept any answer over admitting we don't know. Humans are insecure. :-)

From "I don't know" as a world view then the obvious becomes clear: no one understands the feedback loop of $1 trillion dollars. No one. So what should we do? So now what?

I posit that the rich haven't necessarily gotten so greedy they've lost sight of the golden egg; it is just that no one understands the golden egg. Therefore anyone can find some economic preacher man that one wants so as to advocate one's favorite personal position and then get to claim that position is helpful to the middle class. If one is rich then investment is king of GDE. If one is poor then the consumer is king of GDP.  Both are right, both are wrong. No one understands a $1 trillion dollar feedback loop.

This blog is about scale and answering these kinds of questions.

How do we do it in computer science? How do we manage trillions? There are many ways to manage scale but I will talk about one the very first ones we learn in computer science: divide and conquer (quick sort).

I've already mentioned clusters in a previous blog post. A quick recap is we re-establish a representation cap of ten-thousand voters per representative and establish a total legislative branch size of 30,000 representatives. The trillion dollar budget is then divided up between clusters of 500 representatives spending only their 500/30,000, or approximately $20 billion dollars. Yeah, $1 trillion dollars is that large.

Another possible approach would be to spread the budget out amongst the various States.

There are many possible ways to divide and conquer. Which one to choose? This is where "we don't know" comes in. When you don't know, you innovate. That means 1.) simulation, 2.) small groups, 3.) years of time. We literally generate a market place of ideas. This is required because life is a feedback loop. The only way to validate the feedback loop is experience, innovation.

When we don't know we innovate. We do it with clinical trials and drugs. We do it with computers. It is time we innovate with politics.

We put the topic of the top 3% on hold, previously.  Let's put both concepts discussed here together. How does economic divide and conquer play into top 3% job brain power? The answer is we need to adjust our expectation of jobs at the same time we adjust economics. In other words we do not have the luxury of holding jobs as a constant as we learn to manage large economies. We can no longer hold to a simple, single model of a job economic engine. We need to innovate in tandem many new ideas and parallel track innovations to keep up with the changes happening every day. These innovations are going to take place over many years and we need to adjust the feedback loop in real-time by running many other experiments in parallel. Wow. That's complicated. But that's what is needed.

And to make things even more complicated we need to adjust the flip side of a jobs economy engine as well, spending. Spending and consumerism are not sustainable just as jobs are not scalable.  We need to adjust all these things together. And climate change too! Together, you and I.
 
Keep reading this blog to better understand how to run massively parallel innovations.

Well come! and Well met! 



















Friday, November 28, 2014

Anecdotes, Spaceships and Economics

Hi! Happy Friday!

What do anecdotes, spaceships and economics all have in common?

Read on, dear read, read on!

Ferguson. Lots of anecdotes flying around of stories of black crime and stories of white crime not being treated the same as Ferguson. There are also statistics of black-on-black crime rationalizing police profiling of blacks, hey its okay because statistics say, don't ya' know? People use self-selected anecdotes and not solely anecdotes illustrating general statistical trends when they want to represent groups. Then people also use statistics for not treating individuals as individual when they want to justify profiling. For example, two black people have nothing in common based upon their skin color, nothing. Same was white folk having nothing in common based upon their skin color. Black-on-black crime is as meaningless a statistic as white-on-white crime. There is no meaning. Quit saying it. Black profiling by police though is very real because police over simplify. They profile. Joan Fedor said, "The biggest threat to Democracy to day is over simplified solutions to complicated problems." Nothing is more intellectually lazy or over simplified than using skin color. Police need training not to over simplify and do the hard work of meeting each individual with sophistication of a world mixed.  Face it we suck at using math and reason. What to make of all this? and spaceships, and economics?

Let's take a different approach of systems and scale.

Image you live in a spaceship. Imagine. What are the characteristics?
  1. Housing provided.
  2. Food provided.
  3. Nothing to build. 
  4. Free time is virtually 100%.
  5. Does having a job make sense on a spaceship? Money?
  6. Your primary occupation is using your mind.  
  7. Zero sum game. There is a fixed set of resources. Supply and demand do not apply to physical things.  
Further, imagine you live in a space port and are building a spaceship. You live on the spaceship as that ship is built out. Your life would be such that you would be gradually transitioning from a global economy to a spaceship economy; from unknown and renewable levels of resources to fixed.

The fact is that jobs today require ever increasing capabilities of the mind leaving more and more people behind. Education cannot impart capability. As automation and computers ever increasingly take over the menial, the repeatable and the well defined mental tasks then humans are left in a virtual spaceship like setting. Every day fewer humans are employable even if you educate them every single day. 

Face it, human brains and bodies are being made obsolete at a time our world population is increasing. If our brains and bodies at an aggregate level are obsolete then what are we suppose to do?

We need to admit the reality: there isn't enough work to go around and mental capacity for work is growing. If you are not born smart no amount of education can change that.

This is a fuzzy logic problem. As we take more-and-more bites out of the apple we are getting to the core. We are building out the Earth. From a fuzzy perspective we are transitioning from a world unknown to a spaceship existence.

The seven characteristics above are more applicable every single day to all of us. We are converging on spaceship Earth.

What does this mean? First, it means that even the rich are left holding a bag. Not all the rich folks are rotten to the apple core and some I believe would like to provide viable solutions to the masses. But they have no solutions.

That is because we need to change our world view. We need to transition from world unknown with seemingly endless new horizons to spaceship Earth with all land accounted for and resources quantifiable. Human labor is obsolete.

When I worked at Coherent back in the late 1980s the company had a program to give makeshift work to folks who wouldn't otherwise mentally or physically work. That's where its at today when 100% of automated farming comes online and  housing provides for the entire worlds population and so on.

What meaningful rewarding job can you do? That's the trillion dollar question that the richest of rich have no answer. Even if they have good intentions. We are becoming spaceship Earth.

The problem with Ferguson can be described as anecdotes, spaceships and economics. We do not understand scale. We do not understand statistics. Even the smartest of the smart have not identified the transition of scale, moving from labor to automation.

We need to start a new value system where people who have 100% free time are not denigrated. Because that 100% free time model is going to continue to become more common place; a new norm. We need to start educating people not for just for jobs that can easily be automated and replaced.

Today, 2% of the world's population can feed 100%, where previously 100% were engaged in feeding 100%. Take the previous sentence and replace the occupation of feeding with the occupations of transportation, health care, service and so on. Every occupation is being automated against a backdrop of increasing world population.

The era of the job is coming to a close but for a few required for necessity of survival. It is a reality we need to admit and move on from there. Consumerism for the sake of a job is going to strip the Earth. We need to stop. We need to understand and figure out how to manage ever increasing amounts of free time, and not demean those who do not have the luxury of a life-survival job. For that demeaning practice of putting down the jobless I could never be a conservative. The bar of mental capability required to acquire a job is rising every single day and leaving our education system behind. The smug value of "get a job or you're a loser" needs to change, conservatives, unless you can show the education system is sufficient. Automation is replacing jobs faster than education can hope to keep pace. Enough.

We are spaceship Earth.

Well come! and Well met! 














The Smuggle Verse, Scene 2, Nanobots

Gregg (Jayne), "You know, what are you going to do if anyone pops the question? We are running dangerously close to exposure, what us taking a security job and all."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "I've covered my tracks very well. We are prepared for the close encounters."

Gregg (Jayne), "What, your impenetrable disguise that all the money ever paid to you has to go to Central Intelligence to keep your past hidden, all dark and mysterious like smuggler persona? Even that coat rack that your lack-of-information disguise hangs on can only hold hats of so large. It makes a nice excuse though for smuggling.  You not having to be all altruistic and mushy like Wash."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "Wash did do a bang up job back there. It is not just my cunning disguise."

Gregg (Jayne), "Or mine. You think anyone will notice that the nanobot nest my mother knitted me is the real threat and not the seven-thousand pound monstrosity? I hope the burning flame colors of yellow, orange and red don't set off any plot alarms. She always did have a sense of humor out of control."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "We hate nanobots, remember? We have 7,000 lbs. of monstrosity to prove it."

Gregg (Jayne), "Yeah, but you're not just running one game. Nanobots, genetic engineering and mind-computer interface. Three high profile games if the public ever finds out you are not only playing both sides, but you are both sides they'll lynch you faster than a nanobot bites."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "It'll be fun."

Gregg (Jayne), "Seriously, Mybrid. What if the question gets popped?"

Mybrid (Malcolm), "We just covered the topic of 'bots. That leaves genetic engineering and mind-computer interface for me to choose from. Care to lighten the load?"

Gregg (Jayne), "Neither, I'm talking Verner Vinge."

Mybrid (Malcolm), looks down, annoyingly annoyed, "What about him."

Gregg (Jayne), "What if some reporter gets the bright idea, carefully planted by one of your many galatic IQ enemies on all six-sides, that you claim Verner Vinge as your favorite author and yet here we geniuses are, in dumbed-down Firefly. Verner Vinge is just a nano step from jumping to nanobots and my ass. I don't feel like getting lynched this week."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "I have no idea. If I try and lie every micro-expression, remote lie detecting computer is going to sound alarm bells the whole damn verse can hear. The entire game of running games these days is to be so subtle no one thinks to ask you questions. Lying is damn near impossible with 100% video. So I have no idea."

Gregg (Jayne), "No idea. Now that's a new one. A master mind of engineering both sides of, not one, but three identity issues that go to the heart of what it means to define human, and you, you, Mybrid, have no idea."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "I know my name, dumbass."

Gregg (Jayne), chuckles slightly, "A movie line? You must be scared shitless."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "He didn't beat me up. Nobody said that."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "This risk has been there the entire three years of this operation. Why is now any different than yesterday?"

Gregg (Jayne), "You don't know? Anakin's a big Verner Vinge fan."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "No, I must of overlooked that fact. Damn it."

Gregg (Jayne), "When I'm not on maintenance over half of my awareness is constantly managing a nanobot swarm and I get distracted. As far as we know, only River has more of her awareness plugged into a computer so I am right with the Lord. But you, you're absent-mindedness though, that defies your brain."

Mybrid (Malcolm), flash smiles, "All of my circuits are busy plotting?"

Gregg (Jayne), "Seriously, Mal."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "River says he's tacit."

Gregg (Jayne), "So he knows what we are up to? ...and he just doesn't happen to have an opinion or an agenda about any of the big three? That's kinda thin ice for us to skate on, don't cha' think?"

Mybrid (Malcolm), "River says he has a 40% chance of being a big player, and a 0.03% chance of being the player. With River on board he knows we have calculated this.  Exposing us exposes himself. He won't take that risk."

Gregg (Jayne), "That's hard to believe. A guy who runs a 100% entertainment ship with no other source of revenue? I find that hard to believe."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "Which is why Buttercup is the target. Why is a millionaire vote block on that ship? Also, Anakin has body hopped multiple times."

Gregg (Jayne), "Really? well, I leave the  plotting and scheming to you and River. I just thought I'd point out our shared, Verner Vinge, fire upon the sky exposure that is burning...'cause I know you forget things."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "We ready? I mean the nanobots?"

Gregg (Jayne), "The new nest my Mom knitted works well enough. The bulletproof fibers double as a nice 'bot nest than can solidify on a current as well as kinetics. The 'bots are communicating and practising swarm manoeuvers just fine. River says the new empathy triggers are strong. We should be able to do more than make someone twitch away from a bullet now. Maybe even drop to the floor."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "What if we made the floor slippery? Perhaps Vera can pull a Bond and spray silicon on the floor."

Gregg (Jayne), "Maybe, but that's not the actions of a killer robot."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "Yeah, maybe we should start deploying the silicon floor spray in chases to set expectations."

Gregg (Jayne), "Seven thousand pounds of momentum? on a silicon floor?"

Mybrid (Malcolm), "Can't you make the silicon, you know, weight dependent?"

Gregg (Jayne), "Maybe, I'll look into it. I might have to add a new set of wheels with a specific coefficient of friction that deploy only when the silicon is sprayed. Gonna cost ya'."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "Add it to the running bill against my permanent 'zero balance' account. Our reputation as smugglers is we leave the guards alive. Our would be law-enforcement officials being alive is key to getting nanobots accepted. What viewers we have like to see the bad guys embarrassed due to gun misfires, not dead. Weapons of peace. If only people knew how well nanobots work as grains of sand, gumming up the works and causing guns not to fire. And now we have split second, empathy controlled, electricity reflex inducement nanobots to help dodge bullets. Hot stuff."

Mybrid (Malcolm), "You ready to go back on line?"

Gregg (Jayne), "Almost, writing a letter to my Mom. Gotta thank her for my cunning hat and the clever fire sky coloring. Let's just hope that's the only fire upon the sky we meet up with tomorrow."


Well come! and Well met!