Saturday, December 22, 2018

Yellow Vests in France

I'm not in France, don't own a yellow vest, don't know anyone close to the situation.  According to Doc Searls, who I trust, and have followed on line for years, Buzzfeed made a good case that Facebook is to blame, in the traditional way those things are done. Doc also thinks it's more complicated than that, and I tend to agree.

As I don't have a strong situational awareness of the issue, I have to fall back on the things I can observe, colored by my own biases and previous inferences.

My opinion (subject to change) is that the story from Buzzfeed is a "hit piece", designed to transform emotional energy into anger directed at Facebook, and the individuals named.  I see a lot of ad hominem attacks, and emotive conjugation, trying to dismiss the reasons for the movement, and sweep them away as internet conspiracy theory.

They frame it as rage against rising prices, ignoring the large, arbitrary, and sudden increase in taxes on fuel that created the rise in prices.

They frame it as internet conspiracy, when it's just the openness of the internet that makes it easier to trace such links and get a better view of how things happened.

The people are angry, they have reasons for being so... and the French people happen to have a strong history of mobilizing resistance to authority gone off the rails.

I think there are many problems here... we've allowed civilization to become dependent on finite and unsustainable fossil fuel sources. The economy has been systematically distorted by the central banks. Advertising and tracking technology make it possible to directly target groups and people in new and disturbing ways.

It's a big mess.  We have to sort it out.  I agree on those things. The people have reasons for being angry, and they shouldn't be ignored, or it will only get worse.

"Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." -- John Fitzgerald Kennedy

It appears to me, that Buzzfeed is part of the oppression.  As for the rest, I'm still as confused as the rest of you as to the details.  Facebook has done much evil, but I won't lay this at their feet.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Self similarity of a TedX talk

I watched this TedX talk, and found it interesting.

I then wondered if the talk itself had interesting self-similarity... so after much bashing keys and trying to figure out python, I got the following image. The image shows white pixels where a word in the x and y position of the transcript match.

Here's the code that parsed the text and generated the image

with open(b'C:\Users\Mike Warot\Desktop\Pop Music is Stuck on Repeat - transcript.txt') as myfile:
    text = myfile.readlines()
# text now countains all the lines of text, including newlines

data = [];
for line in text:
# data now contains a list of all the words in the file

print(len(data),"words loaded");


from PIL import Image
a ="RGB",(len(data),len(data)))
for x in range(1,len(data)):
    for y in range(1,len(data)):
        if data[x]==data[y]:
            a.putpixel((x,y),(255,255,255));'C:\Users\Mike Warot\Desktop\Pop Music is Stuck on Repeat - transcript.png',"PNG")