Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Channeling Jeremy Bentham


11 years ago, yours truly wrote about ...  a most ingenious "device" to keep prisoners in check by making it impossible for any of the denizens of such prison to see if they were, in fact, being spied upon via a visionary approach to surveillance known as the panopticon

To whit ...


Fast forward to 2012 & beyond where Palantir's digital version of the panopticon is alive and well, not only operating in Afghanistan but also now in the states as surveillance and the art of tracking behavior is big business 24/7 due to Palantir's unique ability to sift through vast amounts of visual and textural content to enable the military and police, among significant others, to find specific skeins of data impossible to locate by any other means.



It gets better.



The question to ask here is ...


The best toon ever ...


The best toon ever ...

End of Empire ...



Empires, at their zenith, present themselves to the world in grand fashion as seen in the Thomas Cole painting depicting why this is so but this illusion doesn't last forever ...


With this in mind, channel 2021 and the state of America with yet another Cole work.



The inevitable decline starts with inequality and corruption, the two headed construct
 that leads every empire to decay without question.

To whit ...




And this


Read Rebecca Gordon's detailed piece titled The Rubble of Empire in its entirety as it delineates why the US empire is crumbling as we speak. 

Saturday, January 16, 2021

99.5% ...


Had to do a quick return to Surrey Nano Systems, the creators of Vantablack, a carbon based nanotube  paint that absorbs 99.5% of light, something high end imaging companies of all stripes are flocking 
to in order to enhance sensitivity to all things related to light as seeing how this 
amazing material works shows why this fact rings true.


Friday, January 15, 2021

Fleeting Winter

 CT winters are no longer the same. Cold snaps in early January are but a memory with little snow and thin ice but one can sense winter is still around but now it's a fleeting winter without question. Enjoy.


We have lost control/rev II


Photo by Natasa Grabovac on Unsplash


BRT has talked copiously about AI and the inherent dangers said tech has as its open ended and evolving at rates far beyond the kin of man thanks to the marriage of analog neural nets to real time genetic algorithms. Seems yours truly is not alone about this given just how fast AI is gaining ever greater smarts 24/7. 


8 steps to control AI ... we hope.

Such an “ethics engineering” approach has been very useful in the design of systems that make autonomous  decisions  on  behalf  of  human  beings.   However,  their  scope is  not  suitable  for  the problem of controlling superintelligence (Yudkowsky, 2007).

In other words, we don't know how neural net driven AI works and ... real time evolving code must be written by code, not humans, this is why we have lost control. 


Thursday, January 14, 2021

It tastes like veal ...


A deliciously long and wonderful piece from Wired discussing the finer points of cannibalism, points out the advantages of being old, sick and lazy in trying circumstances vs being young, vigorous and hard working, is both a hoot and a teaching tool, not only in terms of learning more about the Donner Party but also about cannibalism and how it became a taboo. Thank Polyphemus and Odysseus for that one. :)


The Donner Party saga




Winter bites ...  and the lack of knowledge will kill you




Best be old & sick and do nothing ...

Regarding cannibalism ...


Blame it on the ancient Greeks ...


If you're gonna ...


Lastly ...

Finally, if you’re considering best prep methods or pairings, then according to the journalist William Seabrook, who claimed to have partaken in ritual cannibalization in the 1920s, you can expect for it to taste like veal.


Migrations 101 :)



We all know animals, large and small, fliers and swimmers, make trips to find water, food, breed and better habitats in order to survive but man doesn't know just how far and what routes they take to do something they have done since the beginning of time, until now.


By doing so, ICARUS could fundamentally reshape the way we understand the role of mobility on our changing planet. The scale and meaning of animal movements has been underestimated for decades. Although we share the landscape with wild species, their movements are mostly obscure to us, glimpsed episodically if at all. They leave behind only faint physical traces — a few paw prints in the hardening mud of a jungle path, a quickly fading arc of displaced air in the sky, a dissipating ripple under the water’s surface. But unlike, say, the sequence of the human genome, or the nature of black holes, our lack of knowledge about where our fellow creatures go has not historically been regarded as a particularly pressing gap in scientific understanding. The assumption that animal movements are circumscribed and rare tended to limit scientific interest in the question. The 18th-century Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus, imagining nature as an expression of God’s perfection, presumed each species belonged in its own singular locale, a notion embedded in his taxonomic system, which forms the foundation of a wide array of biological sciences to this day. Two centuries later, the zoologist Charles Elton, hailed as the “father of animal ecology,” fixed species into place with his theory that each species nestles into its own peculiar “niche,” like a pearl in a shell. Such concepts, like modern notions of “home ranges” and “territories,” presumed an underlying stationariness in undisturbed ecosystems.

But over the last few decades, new evidence has emerged suggesting that animals move farther, more readily and in more complex ways than previously imagined. And those movements, ecologists suspect, could be crucial to unraveling a wide range of ecological processes, including the spread of disease and species’ adaptations to habitat loss.