Saturday, November 28, 2020

Mappers vs Packers, now with StoryTelling!

 Long ago, about 1997, I learned about "mappers and packers", which is a theory that there are two main ways of remembering things... as a map of how everything works, where you really need to keep everything consistent... or as a pack of things you really need to know about X.

I'm a mapper... but I worked with packers... they were great as long as you could give them a list of unambiguous instructions that always worked (computers aren't consistent, even though people think they are)

So, today I decided to see if anything new was out there... and I find that there as a new way of thinking to be added... Story Telling... 

Whereas mapping and packing is all about how you organize your own ways of thinking, story telling is about tying it together in a package that can convey a set of facts, in spite of the different ways the listener might hear the details

I found this article about it quite interesting.

Friday, November 27, 2020

The tool I want

 I would like to store ALL actual text I ingest from the world, it wouldn't be that big. It would be immune to the unreliable nature of the web. I'd trigram index it as it went in to enable better search. (I read somewhere yesterday that's the way to do it)

I'd also like all the audio and video I hear/see to have a transcript of any spoken words, with a recording, and timestamps. Video is huge, so that would need to be managed a bit.

Given these requirements, I can see a need to start riding along with Moore's law again. Text is well within our capabilities, we can't read that fast, so it should be quite feasible to store it all. The need for more storage and processor than my laptop has comes in to play with audio and video, especially transcription and storage.

Having stored this content, I want to be able to search it. I want some form of content/sentiment analysis to allow search by concept and association.

I also want to be able to rate it, not just in a single dimension, but in an arbitrary number of them. Something can be funny, insightful, literally false and metaphorically true, a bit racist, somewhat political, and in English. The thumbs up/down or limiting to a single 1-10 scale works well for forcing into a single database field, but not for actual real world use.

Every single piece of stuff fits into multiple orthogonal hierarchies, you can't store that information in any single rank system without information loss.

As for sharing, it has to be something I pay for, or host myself, with possible federation. Ads corrupt.


Implementation - The first step is to simply tap the stream of web traffic I see in the browser, and train a classifier to recognize text/not text. It is important to link it back to the source.

Once I have a reliable stream of text, I think the rest starts to align.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

The day that changed the country forever.

 57 years ago today, a Senate hearing was scheduled to investigate Bobby Baker, an associate of the Vice President of the United States, for influence pedaling, in the afternoon.

The previous day, Richard Nixon, of the opposing party predicted that same Vice President would be dropped from the upcoming Presidential Ticket. The morning paper read "Nixon Predicts JFK May Drop Johnson"

Plans changed forever that day, as the President of the United States was assassinated.

The previously doomed Vice President was suddenly thrust into power. The investigation was paused, and did not expand to include the newly installed President.

That influence pedaling has only grown and taken over both parties and continues to this day.

Friday, November 20, 2020

On Truth, Reconciliation and the 75'th anniversary of The Nuremburg Trials

Beau points out that today is the 75's anniversary of the start of the Nuremburg Trials. He then makes the case that perhaps it is time for Truth and Reconciliation in the US. I think he's right. I suspect I might be willing to dig a bit more into history that he was intending (or maybe not?)

There are sooooo many things I'd like to know the Truth about, and address...

The Tuskegee Airmen

Plutonium experiments on people

The Radioactive Reserve

Agent Orange and the treatment of Veterans

The Viet Nam war, and why were were there

WTF really happened with the CIA, Kennedy and the Bay of Pigs

The Senate hearings about LBJ and corruption that were scheduled for the afternoon of November 22, 1963

The Assassination that took place on the morning of November 22, 1963

Nixon's drunk tenure at the White House

The Petrodollar, is it moral?  I think not

The lies that lead to Irag and Afghanistan

The numerous countries we've overthrown

The systematic dropping of people off of welfare

The corrupt influence pedaling Duopoly that infests DC with the revolving door between government, and industry

Why the US doesn't have socialized medicine

The Swamp that so poorly represents the US population they elected Trump to try to drain it, even though they knew it was a Hail Mary plan, at best.

Why do cops so often shoot first and as questions second?

The 500+ kids who have no parents, WTF?

That's off the top of my head, I'm sure there are a few hundred more things that need attention.

Monday, November 16, 2020

Building a better Social Media Platform - a flurry of ideas

 The solution is obvious, build a better platform for connecting to friends and families and things you find interesting.

Support the fact that we all have multiple identities and personas and roles in the world.

Support the fact that any given piece of content can be judged in an infinite number of dimensions... not just a few emoticons.  Especially relevant these days, truth, politics, humor, cute are all orthogonal. Let the user make up their own ratings.

Support the fact that we don't want to share everything with everybody all the time.  In fact, we don't want any new friends to automatically be able to dig back decades to stuff we shared with our friends back then.

Do NOT ever show me a photo of my dead pet, friend or relative in order to try to get me to recycle old posts.

If you really want to be ambitious, support capabilities... so I could give you a pass to look at photos of a project I'm working on, and you could forward that pass to whoever, and they wouldn't even need an account to see it... the pass is the key.  The pass could be revoked at any time, if abuse happens.

Just some ideas... I'll build it, if a sufficiently large interest appears.

[Edit] Bonus points: Build a set of APIs that allow it to be accessed like imap folders are in email... with a number of clients and a federation protocol.

Sunday, November 08, 2020

Covid-19 is far worse than you think.

Something like 80% of people who have had Covid have long term health effects, even if they were asymptomatic. Let's assume, in a way similar to smoking, we estimate it takes 5 years off your life, on average.

In the United States, we've had about 10 million cases. This means we've already lost 50 million years of potential human experience.  If we let it keep going to the point were the 330 Million of us all get it, we're talking about giving up more than 1.5 BILLION years of life.

Stay at home
Wear a mask
Wash your hands.

Saturday, November 07, 2020

Detecting Anisotropic Speed of Light by measuring ballistic trajectory of photons in Vacuum

Derek Muller of Veritasium posits that it is not possible to measure the speed of light in one direction only. I believe it is possible, but just barely.

Here's a thought experiment/grant proposal that I think might settle the question.

Assume a laser and a mirror in perfect alignment in vacuum, 20 Kilometers apart.

Travel to the center of the experiment, examine the relative position of the two beams, they should be co-linear. If the speed of light is anisotropic, the time of flight would be different from the left or right portion of the beam If the time of flight is different, the ballistic drop is different. The drop of a photon on the surface of the earth in 10Km is about 5 nanometers, so detecting a 10% shift in the speed of light would require finding an offset of 0.5 nanometers. It's possible... but outside my budget.

Thursday, November 05, 2020

The medium is the message... it's also a choice.

I missed this post last year by Doc Searls.  I missed it because it was s behind a paywall. I've started cross posting my comments that grow into mini-essays from here onto my blog, and twitter... so that they don't disappear into the Facebook memory hole, and so that I have a place to point to later if the subject comes back up, and so that I can find it again, and save myself the work.

I think this type of cross-posting is an adaptation to social media, I see it as the "survivalist" way of preparing for a collapse, not of society, but of any given social network. It is my theory that if enough of us old school bloggers did this, it wouldn't cost us much in terms of time, but it would help keep the blogs alive, as a viable backup, and way to route around social networks.

What do you folks think?   I expect to get replies to this across time, a slower, but more meaningful web of replies in opposition to the quick "like" of social media.

BTW: Here is the Facebook post by Doc that kicked off this thread.
Sad: The Internet Archive capture of the above post by Doc also blocks you until you sign up for Facebook.

For what it's worth here is a screen shot of the Facebook post in question.