Tuesday, November 19, 2019

Spooktacular



Had to do this video for the old home town. Lots of work but also lots of fun. Halloween rocks. :)

Thursday, November 14, 2019

The most elegant experiment in physics

Hot, Hot, Hot


Peppers large and small have varying degrees of hotness but with Euphorbia, the hotness factor is literally off the charts. 

In Morocco there grows a cactus-like plant that’s so hot, I have to insist that the next few sentences aren’t hyperbole. On the Scoville Scale of hotness, its active ingredient, resiniferatoxin, clocks in at 16 billion units. That’s 10,000 times hotter than the Carolina reaper, the world’s hottest pepper, and 45,000 times hotter than the hottest of habaneros, and 4.5 million times hotter than a piddling little jalapeno. Euphorbia resinifera, aka the resin spurge, is not to be eaten. Just to be safe, you probably shouldn’t even look at it.

But while that toxicity will lay up any mammal dumb enough to chew on the resin spurge, resiniferatoxin has also emerged as a promising painkiller. Inject RTX, as it’s known, into an aching joint, and it’ll actually destroy the nerve endings that signal pain. Which means medicine could soon get a new tool to help free us from the grasp of opioids.

One never knows, do one? - Fats Waller

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Heading toward the abyss


Looking at this frightening picture, complete with a burning scale model of Hong Kong, says it all in terms of this conflict ending up in an abyss of violence and suppression as China tightens its grip on the former British colony no matter what the cost may be.

The other spasm of violence Monday took place on an overpass across town from the shooting. There, a middle-aged man reprimanded a group of protesters, accusing them of lacking patriotism for the Chinese motherland. He was set ablaze.

“Go back to the Greater Bay Area!” protesters shouted at him, using Beijing’s term for the region of southern China that includes Hong Kong and neighboring cities.

The Hospital Authority said that both the protester who had been shot and the man who had been set on fire were in critical condition.


Echos of Paris '68 n'es pas?



In transit

Sunday, November 10, 2019

This VERY rarely happens ... :)


This VERY rarely happens, AFAIK, as users tend to be relatively intelligent and don't accuse a vendor of imagined transgressions in such hilarious fashion but ... the notion of a software company actually calling you, let alone have a real person online able to help you, in today's age, goes beyond the realm of comprehension.

In yours truly's limited (thank god) experience with the help desk, there were just two vendors that stepped up, the first was an SGI (Silicon Graphics), software engineer who talked me through a nasty code problem with humor and grace and the other, an AWS network guru who saved the day for this old user getting access to a difficult AWS server environment. Without question, these two sessions proved that competency and wanting to help has not been totally extinguished in the year of our lord 2019.  :)

Thursday, November 07, 2019

Daydreaming ... or the art of thinking like a human


HAMLET
Do you see yonder cloud that’s almost in shape of a camel?

POLONIUS
By the mass, and ‘tis like a camel, indeed.

HAMLET
Methinks it is like a weasel.

POLONIUS
It is backed like a weasel.

HAMLET
Or like a whale.

POLONIUS
Very like a whale.

Cloud watching-AKA- daydreaming whereby having a purpose to dream is not the issue, (Save for Hamlet spoofing on Polonius) freeing the mind to think in new ways is, a notion becoming all too real in all things relating to AI.

Evolutionary algorithms have been around for a long time. Traditionally, they’ve been used to solve specific problems. In each generation, the solutions that perform best on some metric — the ability to control a two-legged robot, say — are selected and produce offspring. While these algorithms have seen some successes, they can be more computationally intensive than other approaches such as “deep learning,” which has exploded in popularity in recent years.

The steppingstone principle goes beyond traditional evolutionary approaches. Instead of optimizing for a specific goal, it embraces creative exploration of all possible solutions. By doing so, it has paid off with groundbreaking results. Earlier this year, one system based on the steppingstone principle mastered two video games that had stumped popular machine learning methods. And in a paper published last week in Nature, DeepMind — the artificial intelligence company that pioneered the use of deep learning for problems such as the game of Go — reported success in combining deep learning with the evolution of a diverse population of solutions.

In other words, the start point to thinking like a human.






Independence Day ... for real. :)

Saturday, November 02, 2019

full of sound and the fury ...



"What's happening?" encapsulates The Donald's incessant tweeting to the degree that any rational human being must ask the essential question, how the hell can this man do anything of consequence in terms of governance while raging against the machine 24/7?

To whit ...

Such is the frenetic life cycle of conspiracy-driven propaganda, fakery and hate in the age of the first Twitter presidency. Mr. Trump, whose own tweets have warned of deep-state plots against him, accused the House speaker of treason and labeled Republican critics “human scum,” has helped spread a culture of suspicion and distrust of facts into the political mainstream.

The president is also awash in an often toxic torrent that sluices into his Twitter account — roughly 1,000 tweets per minute, many intended for his eyes. Tweets that tag his handle, @realDonaldTrump, can be found with hashtags like #HitlerDidNothingWrong, #IslamIsSatanism and #WhiteGenocide. While filters can block offensive material, the president clearly sees some of it, because he dips into the frothing currents and serves up noxious bits to the rest of the world.

It gets "better".

By retweeting suspect accounts, seemingly without regard for their identity or motives, he has lent credibility to white nationalists, anti-Muslim bigots and obscure QAnon adherents like VB Nationalist, an anonymous account that has promoted a hoax about top Democrats worshiping the Devil and engaging in child sex trafficking.

To yours truly, Trump's non-stop ranting reminds one of Shakespeare's iconic phrase ...

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

Macbeth, Act V, Scene 5


Any questions?

The answer is ... :)



The answer is ... :)

Wednesday, October 30, 2019

The size of space | time killer to the max :)


The Size of Space is a time killer to the max showing us rubes just how enormous space truly is.

Enjoy.

Had to add another


And we haven't even reached galaxy size in any way, shape or fashion. :)


Except now. :)


What lies beyond? No one knows, do one? - Fats Waller 

Tuesday, October 29, 2019

3 Times greater ...


2050 portends a world radically different from the one we see now based on new projections of the extent of water level rise never thought possible until now. The NYTimes Vietnam image, in particular, simply stuns yours truly given just how intense GW will become as man movers further into the 21st century.



We are so screwed.
Bangkok & Alexandra goes away as well.

Warms the cockles of one's heart doesn't it.


Addendum ...

The US also gets hit.


Miami Beach in 2050



Miami Beach/2050 - Vertical view



New Orleans, like southern Vietnam, is basically gone. 

Any questions?

Happy Halloween/NASA Style :)

Close encounters ...

Friday, October 25, 2019

The Telescreen ... looms


BRT has written a great deal about AI with one segue leading to the telescreen, the infamous device used by Big Brother to track the Winston Smiths of the world in Orwell's masterpiece ... 1984.

Behind Winston's back the voice from the telescreen was still babbling away about pig-iron and the overfulfilment of the Ninth Three-Year Plan. The telescreen received and transmitted simultaneously. Any sound that Winston made, above the level of a very low whisper, would be picked up by it, moreover, so long as he remained within the field of vision which the metal plaque commanded, he could be seen as well as heard. There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live -- did live, from habit that became instinct -- in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.

Now, in 2019, one can see the telescreen writ large whereby said tech not only watches one but also tracks emotion using one's webcam to make it happen.

Levenson decided to base his next film project on this idea. “I thought, given all this access we’ve given them to our faces, what is the most hypothetically awful thing they could possibly be doing to harm us?” he says. He imagined companies potentially analyzing users’ photographs to determine their emotions in each one, then combining this with other data to draw sweeping conclusions about people’s thoughts and preferences. “What if they correlated [the emotional analysis] with other inputs: your location via GPS or maybe the content you’re consuming,” he says. “They would know something about the way you felt about some place, some thing—or maybe even someone, if they examine your text history.” Then the tech giants could turn around and sell these data about your behaviors and opinions to other parties.

It gets better.

So Levenson began researching emotion recognition technology—and quickly realized its use might not be entirely hypothetical. “When I started googling around, I discovered the patents revealing that the tech companies had kind of beat me to it,” he says. “They had clearly been thinking about precisely the same thing for at least like five years now.” He incorporated this research into his new “interactive documentary.”

When a person watches Stealing Ur Feelings (available here) online, the viewer’s own face—frequently festooned with virtual sunglasses or other digital stickers—appears onscreen at the same time as stock imagery such as cute animals, pizza and random humans. These visuals speed by as a narrator cheerily discusses how emotion recognition works and how tech companies could use it. To demonstrate what this technology can do, the video applies it to viewers: Levenson adapted open-source code into a program that uses a device’s Web cam to analyze the viewer’s face as it reacts to the other on-screen imagery.

In other words, as you watch this video, it watches you right back.



The Telescreen ... looms.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Burnin Down the House ...


Burning down the house by Talking Heads is not the raison d'ete of this blurb but rather the gathering storm known as global warming and the increasing impact it's having on the world, in this case, California, the dry land of brush and scrub forest, complete with intense winds, a Petrie dish made for devastating fires of the wild kind.

SAN FRANCISCO — Facing down 600 wildfires in the past three days alone, emergency workers in California rushed to evacuate rural areas of Northern California on Thursday and warned residents that the high winds currently propelling an out-of-control blaze could become even stronger in the coming days.

Remember, it's just the beginning of a long term disaster of our own making.

All this is happening after three straight years of record breaking fires that researchers say are likely to continue in a warming world and which raise an important question: How to live in an ecosystem that is primed to burn?



Interesting question without question is it not?

Surrounded on All Sides :)


Another gem from Dinosaur Comics. Enjoy. :)

The Singleton


Mirror Beach | a piece by yours truly, depicts, in indirect fashion, the looming spectre of AI and what it means for mankind as neural net driven technology is open-ended and intrinsically unknowable as this code learns about its domain independent of the creators who built it in the first place. With this in mind, the notion of a singleton governing the world is no longer fantasy given just how pervasive AI is becoming due, in large part, as to just how much money is being made on an evolving tech that is no longer under our control.

To whit.



The question to ask ...


Something to consider without question.

Click What is a Singleton? to learn why Bostrom's take on civilization 's possible future rings true. 


Future Tense ...


Bubbles of a different kind :)


Yours truly has written copiously about Quantum Foam and how it relates to reality, a take on same that actually seems to be relevant given that said writer's ability with math is limited to say the least. :) With that being said, I must say this Vice article supports, in part, what this rube has written over the years BRT has been in existence.



It gets better ...






Ain't science grand? :)


Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Avian Soundboards



And of course, the Superb Lyre Bird :)



Nature never disappoints. 

Non Sequitur or ... Once in a Lifetime :)


In a very odd way, Once in a Lifetime | Talking Heads, applies.



[Verse 1]
And you may find yourself living in a shotgun shack
And you may find yourself in another part of the world
And you may find yourself behind the wheel of a large automobile
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house, with a beautiful wife
And you may ask yourself, "Well... how did I get here?"

[Chorus]
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

[Verse 2]
And you may ask yourself, "How do I work this?"
And you may ask yourself, "Where is that large automobile?"
And you may tell yourself, "This is not my beautiful house"
And you may tell yourself, "This is not my beautiful wife"

[Chorus]
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money's gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground

[Bridge]
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was
Same as it ever was, same as it ever was

Any questions?

Invisibility cloak becomes real ...



Harry Potter's invisibility cloak becomes real. Hyperstealth rules ... for now.

Here's another clip. Metamaterials and AI, a heavy combination without question.


Hyperstealth Invisibility Cloak 9 Minute Promotional Video from HyperStealth Corp. on Vimeo.

Any questions?

Saturday, October 19, 2019

Night Walks


Patterns


Archway


Night for Day


Open for Dinner


Red Moon Rising

Fractured Geometry


Fractured geometry, with yours truly's feet purposely left in, shows, in indirect fashion, how tech is generating uncontrolled feedback loops and reality distortions fields to the max, thus driving the US populace into the madhouse as uncontrolled recursions can make one mad, especially when viewing the never-ending regurgitation of news 24/7 with particular emphasis on politics and what it means for America. 

To whit ...



Read the rest of Kunstler's piece to see the ramifications of a looming Constitutional Crisis of biblical proportions as we move ever closer to the year of our lord 2020.