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.

Tuesday, January 12, 2021

A fleeting winter


A fleeting winter


Reflections


 Night for day


Ice Lines


Nature finds a way/rev XX



Nature's approach to ingenuity and design never ceases to amaze as seen by the Venus Flower Basket, a seemingly delicate deep water sponge whose skeleton is made of glass.

Euplectella aspergillum Okeanos.jpg



Closeup of the basket.


 The design still mystifies researchers. :)

Read the entire Quanta piece to see why nature finds a way ... always. :)

Monday, January 11, 2021

It takes just 6 ...


It takes just 6 atoms to enable any system to exhibit a phase transition akin to that of the surface of a pond to ice over whenever the temperature goes below 32 degrees Fahrenheit. To find out the absolute lower limit of an environment transiting from quantum to classical behavior required scientific creativity of the highest order plus building exquisitely delicate tech touching the very fabric of reality.


The tech ...




How cool is that. :)

The art of the lie


We all know what happened on 1/6/2021 but how this disgraceful event happened was based on the art of the lie, fueled by tech and encouraged by Agent Orange as gullible people or those who have little or no real education become the perfect  petri dish for disseminators to spread misinformation 24/7 to the great unwashed.

To whit ...

Friday, January 08, 2021

$460 millon ... & counting


1/6/21, a shit show for the ages, not only performed by the idiots inspired by Agent Orange but also from the massive failure of the Capital Police's inability to control these people in any way shape or fashion even though they are flush to the max, have complete knowledge of the small area they cover and are supposedly the most experienced of all the nation's polices forces in terms of handling large crowds. 

NOT


It gets better ...




Last but not least ...


To yours truly, this incompetence points out the fact YOU DON'T SOLVE PROBLEMS BY THROWING MONEY AT IT, a skill set the politicos have perfected as art form whether it be the bloated 740 billion dollar 2020/21 defense budget or HC costing over a cool 3.4 trillion a year while COVID-19 runs amuck in the US. Not acceptable. Seems Sortition is the right way to go regarding the art of governance as the "elected" government we have right now is useless, kinda along the lines of tits on a bull.

End of rant for now.

Addendum: Read the entire Politico piece as you will learn a lot. I know I have. 

Sunday, January 03, 2021

Parsing Data ...

Parsing Data ...

parse

/pärs/

 Learn to pronounce

See definitions in: All - Language - Computing

verb

analyze (a sentence) into its parts and describe their syntactic roles.

“I asked a couple of students to parse these sentences for me”

noun COMPUTING

an act of or the result obtained by parsing a string or a text.

        a failed parse was retried”

Definitions from Oxford Languages

Hence Parsing Data - A book being written to show how individual seemingly unrelated concepts relate to one another in interesting ways. :).

Energy can neither be created or destroyed, only transformed. - 1st Law of Thermodynamics

Entropy is a measure of the number of possible arrangements atoms in a given system can have. Its a measure of uncertainty or randomness. i.e. Information. Isolated systems spontaneously evolve towards thermodynamic equilibrium, the state with maximum entropy/disordered information. 2nd Law of Thermodynamics https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Second_law_of_thermodynamics In other words, we all die ... the same way. :)

We are but temporary arrangements of the quantum foam, experiencing the passage of time via the 2nd law hence ... The arrow of time & The law of initial conditions rule. 

The Blade of Time, infinitely thin, forever separates the past from the future. - Robert E

Physics gives rise to observer-participancy; observer-participancy gives rise to information; and information gives rise to physics. - John Archibald Wheeler

“Look into a microscope with one eye and a telescope with the other.”  – Blake Deutsch

The Sphinx’s riddle. “What goes on four feet in the morning, two feet at noon, and three feet in the evening?” 

Looking at history through the lens of money forever changes how one views history as it’s all about the money. Always has been, always will be. - Robert E. Ergo ... quid pro quo - Who wins, who loses.

Take my wife ... Please. - Henny Youngman

3/19/1945: Yours truly comes into the world at 4:30pm.

5/8/1945:  WWII in Europe ends.

8/6/1945: 8:15am, the atomic era begins ... with Hiroshima. Little Boy, a 20 kiloton U235 driven device, carried by the Enola Gay, a Boeing B-29 Superfortress bomber, kills approximately 125,000.

8/9/1945: 02:47 Japanese time, Bockscar, another B-29, drops Fat Man on Nagasaki, 75,000 die. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atomic_bombings_of_Hiroshima_and_Nagasaki,

9/2/1945: Japan surrenders, thus ending WW II.

Friday, January 01, 2021

Questions, Questions ...



Creativity/Rev I - Seen above is Darwin’s first depiction of the evolutionary tree, drawn and written shortly after the 2nd Voyage of the Beagle ended, the only time this extraordinary naturalist ever traveled outside of England during his long life. When looking at his sketch, one sees just how intimate the creative process truly is as Darwin struggled to understand the profound implications of evolution and how it applied to life on earth years before writing his seminal work On The Origin of Species in 1859. In essence, it was his undiscovered country, being discovered in real-time by a charming and decent man who was a genius in every sense of the word.

To yours truly, the word genius is all too often connected to IQ tests but this description seems too narrow as there are many people who are visionary to the max without astronomical IQs. Genius, to me, is the ability to make connections, to see relationships and to be able to articulate how these relationships apply to the task at hand. Newton had this as did Jobs, Einstein, Miles and ... without question, Darwin.


Creativity/Rev II - Melville's Moby Dick, besides being existential, is also analytical and scientific as Melville was an acute observer trying to understand how reality works, in this case ... “Why does a Sperm Whale look so strange, being all head ... and, how does a whale navigate in the ocean when it’s eyes are on the opposite sides of it’s head?” Good questions are they not? Melville tried to answer but failed because back in 1851, the notion of sound, let alone, sonar, was not part of the equation nor did whalers even conceptualize why spermaceti existed in the head of a sperm whale in the first place. 

Questions, Questions indeed ...