Thursday, December 11, 2008

#tmbg Undernet Memroids: Booga visits Kelly in some Salty Fishing Villiage

Went to visit Kelly Mendenpants in a tiny upstairs apartment in Bremerton, or some other salty pirate village near Seattle.  I waited at a gas station for him to pick me up, and went inside the convienience store to buy some beef jerky.
Half of my nutrition comes from the jerky.  The other half, lichens.
When Kelly finially arrived, I pretended to be polite and offered him some jerky, hoping he would decline.  He ate some of my jerky.  Rat-bastard.
From then on, I plotted my revenge.
In the drawing above, Booga lunging about a small table and two chairs, and Kelly be having hair.

Friday, October 31, 2008

The Bullshit that is "What Every Programmer Should Know About Memory"

Wired plug board for an IBM 402 Accounting Mac...Image via Wikipedia

This is bullshit. 114 pages! A revision history!
Obviously this is hardly "What Every Programmer Should Know About Memory". This is one guy's "Everything I Can Say about Memory In One Place without Contradicting Myself".
This is the usual "lambda-the-ultimate" "The Society for the Prevention of Programing" circle-jerk.
Fucktards...
For the sake of argument, lets say you refuse to play the "premature optimization" game. For the sake of argument, lets say you are satisfied with the length of your dick.
How do you in fact make programs with good performance?
(Step 1) Straight-forward & correct implementation
(Step 2) Timing tests and timing profiles under real-world loads. (Don't fool yourself, the best you can do is approach reality with profiling - you can never achieve perfect real-world profiling.)
(Step 3) Under Revision Control, hit the place in your code where you sense you will get the biggest bang for your buck
Repeat Steps 2 & 3 until you sense futility, until you sense rapidly diminishing returns.
(Step 4) Roll back some of the improvements! I am not kidding, you have to give back some of your hard won performance. You need to find a balance between Performance (Latency, Throughput, and Resource Use) and:
  • Readability
  • Maintainability
  • Portability
  • Testability
  • Ease of Understanding
  • Predictability/Stability
  • Fewest Lines of Code
  • and Validity is merely the "ticket of admission" - without that, nothing counts for shit.
You won't know what Performance you have to give back, until after you implement it and time and profile it. Sorry, that is the way it works. If your coding is so laborious that you cannot bare to think of throwing away even a single line of code, then the Universe is trying to tell you to stop. Programming is Hard, Let's Go Shopping!
(Step 5) Now that you have Performance, add at least one test of the Performance to your automated testing suite. Or else you will give it all back, and then some, with a single ill-advised change to your code in the future. If you don't care enough to Test It, then you don't really care, Period.
(Step 10000) As you write more code, your instincts improve. Your first 100,000 lines of code will be of poor quality, and your next 100,000 will be slightly better. You have to pay your dues, because nobody else is exploring your exact problem domain. You have to find your own road.

A photo showing refraction of light rays: a so...Image via Wikipedia

Any other approach is just sucking your own cock through a soda straw. While other people are getting results, you are still playing with yourself.
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Monday, October 13, 2008

Monday, September 29, 2008

Roger G. Johnston, Physical Security Maxims

Physical Security Maxims
Roger G. Johnston, Ph.D., CPP
The following maxims, based on our experience with physical security, nuclear safeguards, & vulnerability assessments, are not absolute laws or theorems, but they will be essentially correct 80-90% of the time.
Infinity Maxim: There are an unlimited number of security vulnerabilities for a given security device, system, or program, most of which will never be discovered (by the good guys or bad guys).
Arrogance Maxim: The ease of defeating a security device or system is proportional to how confident/arrogant the designer, manufacturer, or user is about it, and to how often they use words like “impossible” or “tamper-proof”.
Ignorance is Bliss Maxim: The confidence that people have in security is inversely proportional to how much they know about it.
Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid Maxim: If you’re not running scared, you have bad security or a bad security product.
High-Tech Maxim: The amount of careful thinking that has gone into a given security device, system, or program is inversely proportional to the amount of high-technology it uses.
Schneier’s Maxim #1: The more excited people are about a given security technology, the less they understand (1) that technology and (2) their own security problems.
Low-Tech Maxim: Low-tech attacks work (even against high-tech devices and systems).
Father Knows Best Maxim: The amount that (non-security) senior managers in any organization know about security is inversely proportional to (1) how easy they think security is, and (2) how much they will micro-manage security and invent arbitrary rules.
Huh Maxim: When a (non-security) senior manager, bureaucrat, or government official talks publicly about security, he or she will usually say something stupid, unrealistic, inaccurate, and/or naïve.
Voltaire’s Maxim: The problem with common sense is that it is not all that common.
Yipee Maxim: There are effective, simple, & low-cost counter-measures (at least partial countermeasures) to most vulnerabilities.
Arg Maxim: But users, manufacturers, managers, & bureaucrats will be reluctant to implement them for reasons of inertia, pride, bureaucracy, fear, wishful thinking, and/or cognitive dissonance.
Show Me Maxim: No serious security vulnerability, including blatantly obvious ones, will be dealt with until there is overwhelming evidence and widespread recognition that adversaries have already catastrophically exploited it. In other words, “significant psychological (or literal) damage is required before any significant security changes will be made”.
I Just Work Here Maxim: No salesperson, engineer, or executive of a company that sells security products or services is prepared to answer a significant question about vulnerabilities, and few potential customers will ever ask them one.
Bob Knows a Guy Maxim: Most security products and services will be chosen by the end-user based on purchase price plus hype, rumor, innuendo, hearsay, and gossip.
Familiarity Maxim: Any security technology becomes more vulnerable to attacks when it becomes more widely used, and when it has been used for a longer period of time.
Antique Maxim: A security device, system, or program is most vulnerable near the end of its life.
Payoff Maxim: The more money that can be made from defeating a technology, the more attacks, attackers, and hackers will appear.
I Hate You Maxim 1: The more a given technology is despised or distrusted, the more attacks, attackers, and hackers will appear.
I Hate You Maxim 2: The more a given technology causes hassles or annoys security personnel, the less effective it will be.
Shannon’s (Kerckhoffs’) Maxim: The adversaries know and understand the security hardware and strategies being employed.
Corollary to Shannon’s Maxim: Thus, “Security by Obscurity”, i.e., security based on keeping long-term secrets, is not a good idea.
Gossip Maxim: People and organizations can’t keep secrets.
Plug into the Formula Maxim: Engineers don’t understand security. They think nature is the adversary, not people. They tend to work in solution space, not problem space. They think systems fail stochastically, not through deliberate, intelligent, malicious intent.
Rohrbach’s Maxim: No security device, system, or program will ever be used properly (the way it was designed) all the time.
Rohrbach Was An Optimist Maxim: Few security devices, systems, or programs will ever be used properly.
Insider Risk Maxim: Most organizations will ignored or seriously underestimate the threat from insiders.
We Have Met the Enemy and He is Us Maxim: The insider threat from careless or complacent employees & contractors exceeds the threat from malicious insiders (though the latter is not negligible.)
Mission Creep Maxim: Any given device, system, or program that is designed for inventory will very quickly come to be viewed--quite incorrectly--as a security device, system, or program.
We’ll Worry About it Later Maxim: Effective security is difficult enough when you design it in from first principles. It almost never works to retrofit it in, or to slap security on at the last minute, especially onto inventory technology.
Somebody Must’ve Thought It Through Maxim: The more important the security application, the less careful and critical thought has gone into it.
That’s Entertainment Maxim: Ceremonial Security (a.k.a. “Security Theater”) will usually be confused with Real Security; even when it is not, it will be favored over Real Security.
Schneier’s Maxim #2: Control will usually get confused with Security.
Ass Sets Maxim: Most security programs focus on protecting the wrong assets.
Vulnerabilities Trump Threats Maxim: If you know the vulnerabilities (weaknesses), you’ve got a shot at understanding the threats (the probability that the weaknesses will be exploited and by whom). Plus you might even be ok if you get the threats all wrong. But if you focus mostly on the threats, you’re probably in trouble.
Mermaid Maxim:  The most common excuse for not fixing security vulnerabilities is that they simply can't exist.
Onion Maxim:  The second most common excuse for not fixing security vulnerabilities is that "we have many layers of security", i.e., we rely on "Security in Depth".
Hopeless Maxim:  The third most common excuse for not fixing security vulnerabilities is that "all security devices, systems, and programs can be defeated".  (This is typically expressed by the same person who initially invoked the Mermaid Maxim.)
Takes One to Know One Maxim:  The fourth most common excuse for not fixing security vulnerabilities is that “our adversaries are too stupid and/or unresourceful to figure that out.”
Depth, What Depth? Maxim:  For any given security program, the amount of critical, skeptical, and intelligence thinking that has been undertaken is inversely proportional to how strongly the strategy of "Security in Depth" (layered security) is embraced.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Tennis Day Camp Issues

A very little girl drew this. With a Sharpie on a 1.5"x2" stickie note. Dang.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Four ideas, yesterday and today

Morality = emotion + cultural transmission + ability to abstract First, today, was listening to webcast... From EconLog, Arnold Kling:
"Moral Philosophy" "Will Wilkinson and Jesse Prinz. Highly recommended. You could easily spend four years at an Ivy League college and not have a class as interesting as this one."
Webcast on : bloggingheads.tv
  • @13:20 Jesse Prinz, "'Emotions are the middle ground between _action_ and _thought_"
  • @28:38 Jesse Prinz: "morality is inevitable, but morality is not universal
  • @45:00 Morality = emotion + cultural transmission + ability to abstract
OK, "Morality = emotion + cultural transmission + ability to abstract". Then yesterday was thinking about three things: Politics & Societial Prescriptive Morality:
  • what if you list the things that really disturb
  • if you confess that, people will say you are: elitist, practically an enemy combatant, wrong, unreasonable
  • you could lose your: livelyhood, carreer, friends, recognition
  • in Third World countries, you could lose your life, if you are on the wrong side of political conflicts
  • the end result - consider working outside of public politics
Fame & Publicity:
  • what if you contrast who does and who does not deserve positive fame and publicity
  • if you confess that, people will say you are: elitist, wrong, unreasonable
  • the end result - consider working outside of public notoriety
but then I was thinking, if morality is tied to emotion, it is not easy to control.

Mill believed law should create happinessImage via Wikipedia

You owe it to the world to be Progressive, Happy, Effective:
  1. Happy, Effective and Progressive
  2. Unhappy, Uneffective and Progressive
  3. Happy, Effective and Reactive
When we consider people who are Progressive, but also Unhappy and Uneffective, we are supposed to see that they just need help to expand their responses, and not to criticize them, because they are just doing the best they can. But don't people who are Reactive deserve the same understanding?
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"Lychee" "Litchi" - lets call the whole thing off...

"Disapproving Cat" disapproves of how I spell my frozen yogurt toppings.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Spheres of Direct Influence, Responsibility, and Concern

What is not shown in this diagram is that the three spheres wish to cover almost the same area. The "springs" shown are extension springs, growth in any of the three spheres allows the other two to grow as well.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Passport photo (pig eyes)

Wow, that is some Nixon caliber five-o-clock shadow. The poor girl at the visa office took the picture 3 times in a row, apologizing each time. I guess even she was appalled at my swarthy-ness.

(I am considering having my eyes surgically moved closer together. Why not turn that knob all the way to eleven, and have my eyeballs actually rub against each other in my skull?)

Monday, July 21, 2008

Toxic Waste

I once bought a wading pool full of toxic waste. I got it home without spilling a drop, just to fall into it in my work clothes. Toxic waste is a hard stain to scrub out.

All the King's Poop...


In days of old, when knights were bold, before the King ate any poop, he had his Royal Taste-Tester taste some of it first, to make sure it wasn't poisoned by sinister assassins.

This particular poop was drawn by my daughter, and she labeled it, so it represented me.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Lack of Faith

Ask Not



A very little girl drew this. Damn, the loose style and attitude of this drawing are good.

She draws fast too, like her old man.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

CARVER Matrix

wikipedia.org
I like the Navy Seal’s CARVER matrix, for effectively prioritizing objectives under conditions of greatly constrained resources and woefully incomplete intelligence and analysis.

There are six reasons for doing something (ahead of something else – it is a relative score – a prioritizing tool). CARVER stands for these six reasons.

C-A-R-V-E-R stands for CRITICALITY, ACCESSIBILITY, RECUPERABILITY, VULNERABILITY, EFFECT, RECOGNIZABILITY.
  • Simple to Understand, no chance of confusion during the action (RECOGNIZABILITY)
  • Easy to Complete (VULNERABILITY)
  • Can begin now – few or zero prerequisites to actions (ACCESSIBILITY)
  • Urgent – Maximum benefit arises from completing quickly, or benefit arises because this is a prerequisite of future successful actions, or makes future successful actions more likely (EFFECT, in a military/adversarial context, this would include debilitation of the enemy today that will allow greater chance of successful strikes in the future)
  • Important – key to attaining highest goals or securing highest values (CRITICALITY)
  • Quick Payoff – total effort will be repaid in shortest amount of time (RECUPERABILITY, in a military/adversarial context, you may also consider the inverse of this, making the enemy require a lengthy recovery time)
For each task, for each criteria, you assign a number from 1 to 5, with 5 meaning the task rates highest in that criteria, and 1 meaning the task rates lowest in that criteria, and 2 through 4 being measures between.
These six numbers are then added together to give a total (the total will be between 6 and 30). This is the CARVER rating of the task. Higher rated tasks should be completed before lower rated tasks, and the lowest rated tasks should not be done at all.
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Friday, July 4, 2008

Zig Ziglar's Goals, work in progress

Still listening to Zig Ziglar _Goals_ audio program. With the list of goals, I know I will rewrite them, as I remember more that I developed earlier. You need to write done the answer to "Why"? Ol' Zig says that. But also, rewrite it as a learning and teaching exercise, to be presented in a form conducive to pedagogy. (Pedagogy is a terrible sounding word. Paging Chris Hanson...) Also, use this technique: imagine having the goal accomplished today, because of work begun 10 years ago. Now the goal is to redo it. The insight to be gained is "What was built and made strong with the use of the Gap between Stimulus and Response"? The person who began the work 10 years ago, and is not merely re-doing, has built up capabilities in the Gap between Stimulus and Response. Use the Satir model to make explicit:
  1. Sensory
  2. Meaning/Representation
  3. Feeling
  4. Feeling about Feeling
  5. Self-Defense (if perceive threat to self)
  6. Rules for Response
  7. Response action
In the steps 1 through 7, in the linkage between the steps, the person who began work 10 years ago developed some capabilities, some things were made "Cool" and brought into the realm of the deliberative, some things were made "Hot" and brought into the realm of the automatic. Along with the goal proper, we also have the identification and development of these capabilities in the Gap. OK, now off to my Mom's house to fix her TeeVee, then return to this. I am glad I remembered it now, make the goals feel more "Do-Able", even if it doesn't make the goal any easier.

Bertrand Russell - Conquest of Happiness

Reading Russell's _The Conquest of Happiness_, I am guessing the book has not aged well. He is hammering nails in the coffin of Victorian morality. Time and geography make the book old fashioned. The other thing is that some of the most basic research into human happiness is less than 5 years old. Yeah, I am disappointed (so far, at page 72) that I found nothing to improve Little Moe inside my Head, Sphere of Direct Influence. (Which is a terrible title for the post...)

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Be or Do or Have, and Congruence

Because the issue is that if what I am doing is not consistent with what I have stated that I want to Be or Do or Have, then I have a little problem. Where this is going to lead me is to a more thoughtful place, with more intention, and really thinking about my internal mental sphere of direct influence.

Zig Ziglar: Goals

Been more frustrated with myself, about distractions, about wasting time managing my moods, about having scarce motivation to rise above a funk. So will finally do the Zig Ziglar _Goals_ program, which start by writing down everything I want to do, or be, or have.
  • Want a programming system in 12 years
  • Want to have a constructive mathematics system in 16 years
  • Want to run 10 for-profit corporations in southern California in 9 years
  • Want to paint the house in 1 year
  • Want the garage cleaned out in 8 months
What I really want is something to return to, to have always available when I am wasting time with distractions for managing my moods, or prone to indulge a blue funk. Will come back to this, will work over the next 36 hours, then ready for the next step.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Little Moe inside my Head, Sphere of Direct Influence

I was thinking about:
I will work towards _short term victory condition_ with Grace and Intention, both in Action and Thought, with Gratitude for my circumstance and the Positive Expectation that this will take me towards my long term goals and highest aspirations.
Has it, in fact, been a big bucket of awesome? Well, not quite. Then I was thinking about:
Viktor Frankl's distinction between Liberty and Freedom. Liberty is a description of the external environment, Freedom is a description of the ability to choose how to respond, instead of simply reacting.
Where it hasn't been a big bucket of awesome, I really felt the lack of Liberty, and, so, needed to strive for Freedom. Why am I now tying it all together with:
The "Extension Spring" connections between the Sphere of Direct Influence, the Sphere of Responsibility, and the Sphere of Concern.
Why? Well, because of challenges. I am feeling my depression strongly the last few days. I know that depression is a "heavy" word, and I know to break down the depression I feel into the exact components, because there are specific techniques for countering each component. I am feeling:
  • Fatigue, resting in a napping pose is so delicious, as a way to make it all go away
  • Irritation coming easily and creating pain
  • confusion from overwhelm
  • loss of hope from overwhelm
  • strong, steady stream of impulses to manage mood
  • strong, steady stream of impulses to distract self with time wasters
OK, I have some challenges here. So it all goes back to the Spheres of Direct Influence, Responsibility, and Concern. I will put the whole of the solution inside my sphere of responsibility, and use that to grow the size of my sphere of direct influence. It really does feel like a little Moe inside my head, who has a limited sphere of direct influence, against the issues listed above.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Said Goodbye, Goodluck to Sumiracle

Off Sumiracle goes to Germany then Scotland then England, he promised to post his public Google Calendar with dates of performances. We talked about a lot of stuff. Wanted to blog the best stuff before I lose it. "With Grace" - Short term intention anchored to food or drink:
  • Before eating or drinking (or smoking, in Sumiracle's case), use the opportunity to anchor, to contemplate short term goals, form pure intention, have the intention to the goal, not the method, and strive to do it "with grace".
  • I think I will go so far as to press palms together, head down, in prayerful state.
Creating, Trying, Testing, Choosing Rituals
  • Religion has ritual. If you don't prescribe to a religious affiliation, you can make your own rituals.
  • Again, this is about intention, and anchoring the physical self to higher goals, spirituality, gratitude, positive expectation.
Scientifically studying my "Falling in the river" I have the definite frustrating feeling of "falling in the river".
  • I see a short term goal ahead of me, I see the path to it, the path runs by a river.
  • I am walking along the path...
  • the next time I am in full possession of consciousness and awareness, I feel "I fell into the river, and tumbled and washed far downstream", away from my goal.
I feel that I fell back into managing my mood, placating myself with distractions, yielded to mere base coping. Now I am further from my goal, and I am demoralized.
  • "Falling into the river" was due to a lapse of concentration.
  • "Falling into the river" was the result of yielding to old harmful impulses.
Sumiracle suggested viewing the whole situation as "magic" and scientifically probing the "magical" aspects of it.
  • "I suddenly lose concentration" -> "Why and How did you lose concentration?" "What circumstances make it more or less likely to lose concentration?"
  • "I drift downstream" -> "How far downstream?" "How fast?"
  • "Demoralize" -> "How great the demoralization?" "Quantify it."
  • "The river is close to the path" -> "How close?" "How far?" "Is there another path?"
  • and so on...
I can clearly picture this scene of Path, and River, and Challenge, and Loss. So, this scene has "magical" aspects, the power of me is quite "magical". OK, probe. Study this "magic" with cold precision. And in this way, cause it to vanish into predictability, or at least minimize its power. Meditation, for short time, to bring specific emotion into reality Sumiracle said he had success with brief mediation, 5 minutes or so, to recall a specific emotion. He began with happiness. He experimented with the idea that he could, through force of will and intention, recalled a time of happiness, and guarantee that for 5 minutes every week, he could feel the emotion of happiness. He also tried anger. He got a grip of the tail of anger, based on his ability to call it into existence by meditation and recalling a time of anger. I believe that covers it. I can sleep now.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Plomin et al's Heritable IQ Study

From Bryan Caplan EconLog "How Family Environment Works"
If the only result from this study had been the "IQ is heritable," it would have been just another study. But its special methodology - studying adoptee's development from birth to adulthood - confirmed a shocking finding: As children grow up, the heritability of IQ rises, and the influence of family environment on IQ literally vanishes. ... ... We naturally think about the effects of family as cumulative: The longer you're in a family, the deeper the impression. At least for IQ, though, this "natural" thought turns out to be wrong. Family affects the very young, then fades out.
Commenter "eric":
That study was featured prominently in Judith Rich Harris's book, the Nurture Assumption.
Commenter "Tim Lundeen":

Re: Why does the coefficient rise with age for the control group?

Because the controls are more similar genetically to their parents than the adoptees, and there is a genetic component to IQ. Cognitive ability develops in fits and starts (just as physical ability does); a child may be ahead or behind of the curve at younger ages, so has lower correlation at younger ages.

I am trying to make sense of heritable IQ. How do we model this?

Is heritable IQ best modeled as a:

  • _necessary_ to act at a certain level of effectiveness
  • a _multiplier_ that increases or decreases effectiveness
  • a factor that is best teased out by a _feed-back loop_, where successes are built upon towards larger successes, ad infinitum, and failures lead to larger failures, ad infinitum, based on higher or lower heritable IQ
  • is it even clear that heritable IQ is _sufficient_ for a certain level of effectiveness?

What model can explain some of the confounding problems of IQ, like that IQ scores have risen from generation to generation?

Commenter "Chuck":

It would be intersting to know if, as IQ migrates to a heriditary value from the family value, is it predominantly increasing or decreasing.

To put it another way, does the family environment cause IQ to predominanty deviate lower or higher than the nominal hereditary value.

I would guess that family environment has a bias to suppress hereditary IQ. My hypothesis is that stress interferes with learning, and that most parents are 'mean' authoritarians. (As a point of distinguishment*, there is a differece between authoritarian and disciplinarian.)

So, the idea is that in the authoritarian home, our IQ is suppressed until we finally leave it, at which time it rises to it's inherited normal value.

I would be surprised to find that it was elevated in childhood and then dropped.

* I'm not positive I invented that word, the preznit might have beat me to it.

Karl Smith via commenter "TGGP":

...I am sticking a flag in the sand and declaring my hypothesis that the genetic component of intelligence is preference. That is, smart people are people who like intellectually stimulating experiences. My guess is that they are more sensitive to the pleasure chemical released when successfully solving a hard problem. Thus they solve more hard problems. ... For those who have trouble seeing how this might work consider this: Obesity has a strong genetic component. Obesity like IQ has been rising over time. However, does anyone believe that obesity is not completely determined by your food consumption and exercise patterns? Genes can modify that function, in particular they can modify your equilibrium levels of food consumption but they cannot act outside of the environmental regime.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

tolerance of catastrophic failure, when groups of people work on complex problems

Comment on Arnold Kling's blog Econlog: "My Ideas on Health Care Delivery"

> The autonomous, self-directed doctors produced by our medical schools are not suited to treating complex patients. Instead, what we need are team players, implementing consistent corporate policies.

This is a _hard_ problem. I am management for a engineering design and manufacturing company. Even with the authority to fire for insubordination, people enjoy being "autonomous, self-directed", and do so against rational self-interest.

Complexity, handled by groups of people, is regularly punctuated with catastrophic failure. Catastrophic failure is only avoided by systematically eliminating _EVERY_ excuse for _ANY_ failure (to the extent you can). This kind of discipline is in very short supply, because it is not usually rewarded in human society.

Human being are _very_ tolerant of catastrophic failure, when it happens to others. And it usually happens to others, and, so, they are usually _very_ tolerant.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Heckman on Inequality

via Arnold Kling "econlog" - _Heckman on Inequality_
Schools, Skills, and Synapses - James J. Heckman - May 2008
Heckman:
"...interventions early in the life cycle of disadvantaged children have much higher economic returns than later interventions such as reduced pupil-teacher ratios, public job training, convict rehabilitation programs, adult literacy programs, tuition subsidies or expenditure on police."
Kling interpreting Heckman:
"An important inference to draw from the paper is that trying to reduce economic inequality by, say, subsidizing more young people to go to college, is likely to be very ineffective. Even interventions at the primary school level are mostly too late." "One of Heckman's themes is that while IQ is difficult to change with intervention, it is possible to affect what he calls socio-emotional skills, and those in turn will affect performance on test scores and overall achievement."
Heckman:
"Programs that target the early years seem to have the greatest promise... Programs with home visits affect the lives of the parents and create a permanent change in the home environment that supports the child after center-based interventions end. Programs that build character and motivation that do not focus exclusively on cognition appear to be the most effective."
Kling discussing Heckman:
"In the conclusion to his paper, Heckman stresses making sure that these early interventions "respect the sanctity of early family life and...cultural diversity." It is not clear that the basis for this concern is practical, or whether it is because Heckman is experiencing queasiness over promoting state intervention into family life. I can appreciate a libertarian concern with having the state take a large role in child-rearing. I am less persuaded if the concern is one of political correctness, where you want the state to intervene but then fret about the self-esteem of the families or groups where the intervention is undertaken."
My aside: Kling has a readership obsessed with _The Bell Curve_. _The Bell Curve_ is a dead end, if you are interested in the genetic component of life success.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Compensation, Management, Motivation (Again)

You are Paid, Managed, Motivated by:
  • Results
  • Future Results
Obviously, nobody has a perfect handle on future results. Mistakes will be made. The principal is:
  • Salary
  • Other forms of compensation and motivation - all you have is Trust and Commitment - the watchwords are "Avoid Violating Trust and Commitment" - so under-promise and over-deliver.
If you risk losing people because you under-promise, then raise the salary, or raise the committed monies to make sure the commitment is delivered. Because if you have a Violation of Trust and Commitment, then you wipe away all the good will built up before, and you will have to deliver double in the future to get half of the good will. People are very slow to forget a Violation of Trust and Commitment. OK, lets go over this list again - these are the components of Compensation, Management, and Motivation:
  1. Results - Historical evidence of meeting objectives: like bookings of a salesman
  2. Data on activities that have a "causal" relationship to the desired objectives: like number of meetings and follow-up activities with decision makers
  3. Data on activities that have a presumed, perhaps tenuous causal relationship to the desired objectives: like hours spent researching a possible new product offering. There is a significant chance of complete failure with a new product offering - that is why the causal relationship to the desired objectives is tenuous.
  4. "Positive" human factors: I sometimes eat at a cafeteria salad restaurant. The cafeteria trays are handed out by a handicapped man. Part of his salary is due to the restaurant living its stated values. (But it isn't all "altruism", he brings value, he is the voice of the restaurant's handicapped patrons). Note - What isn't a "positive" human factor - keeping someone in a job because you feel sorry for them is not a "positive" human factor - it has everything to do with a manager who finds it easy to be generous with other peoples' money, who cannot deal with the anxiety of terminating someone for cause, and who would not hesitate to terminate that person during an economic downturn, which is the exact time they would find it hardest to find a new job.
  5. "Negative" human factors: the percentage of salary that is based on kissing up, is another example.
  6. Market Forces: if the work is directly or closely aligned with pricing in an economic market, a component of compensation/management should be based on the market price: like a "free-agent" in baseball, or upper management in a publicly traded company, some component of compensation/management has to be based on the market price
  7. Relevant Sub-Categories of Market: "inter-market based compensation" - If the whole market sub-category goes down, but inside that sub-category, market share and profitability goes up, the compensation should reflect that. You will be in a good position when the sub-category reverses the downward turn, compensation, today, should reflect that, or you risk losing good people.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Pownce is still still down

OK, time for bed also, thinking about overwhelm, I problem I have what if you imagine winning the lottery, and a team of personal assistants helicopter in, as well pick a time in the future, where you minimize the things you need to do to a single post-it note, without the need for a second not too close in the future, or the post-it note will be blank not too far out in the future, or it all will not fit on a post-it note basically, pick your unit of zero overwhelm (comfort zone) and imagine a perfect solution helicoptering in, so you don't have anything besides the unit of zero overwhelm begin the "Getting Things Done" exercise, but put everything else in a much lower category

Pownce is still down

Today was rough, domain controller bit the dust it really only took down DHCP, no biggie, somewhere along the way it looks like we had a redundant DNS i have half a mind not to use the Microsoft DHCP, it is stupid but maybe don't really have a choice

Pownce is down

So I type here! Was reminding myself, that things I learn, I am just not ready to apply it all right away. I am coming back to "Getting Things Done" David Allen talks about "Mind like Water": water reacts perfectly in proportion to the stimulus, no over-reaction, no under-reaction.

Friday, June 6, 2008

The Basic Limited Resources of Humans

  • short term health
  • long term health
  • memory (short term, long term, random access (readily accessible), serial access (accessible in proper / specific context)
  • emotion
  • ability to give love
  • ability to withstand stress
  • ability to withstand uncertainty/confusion
  • ability to withstand complexity
  • capacity for linear / rational thought
  • capacity for contemplate large amounts of data
  • time
  • attention
  • focus
  • energy
  • self-control
  • ability to ignore impulses
  • action - physical
  • action - mental
  • ability to withstand ethical violations
  • ability to withstand violations of personal value
  • ability to withstand violations of fundamental understanding
  • ability to withstand loss
  • ability to withstand violations of hope

More on Free Will

Also, actions should be statistically unlikely (based on typical behaviors of humans in general, or the socio-economic group belonged to, or historical -- typical behaviors of person before made change in prescriptive personal morality code) if not somehow statistically unlikely, not free will I think I am filling in the cracks, have it pretty much there, put down

Against Disclaimers - Robin Hanson

Against Disclaimers - Robin Hanson

Hand axes from the Acheulian periodImage via Wikipedia

Blog posts are short and have a broad audience. One of the worst things about writing them is having to make disclaimers. Not just legal disclaimers mind you – those are only the tip of an iceberg. Writing is hard in part because words have many associations that vary among readers. Even when we use carefully choose our words to signal certain associations, we know some readers will instead hear other associations. So in addition to saying what we do mean, we sometimes have to say explicitly what we do not mean.
True, but these pleadings usually come from people who habitually engage in the Art of Controversy. People who are really working to communicate usually don't mind adding qualifiers on request. I will put it more strongly: adding qualifiers or providing qualifiers on request is loathed by people who are just interested in swirling up controversy. It is a shame that everyone is penalized into adding unnecessary qualifiers, but, until "mind-meld" technology is perfected, it is part of the effective use of human languages.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

More notes on Free Will

Free Will and Consciousness -- emergent properties. Yeah, best understood as emergent properties. But, yeah, doesn't help that people regularly mistake for Free Will things that are strictly and demonstratively deterministic on outer causes. Just admit this from the start, say what we are most interested in is studying Free Will as an emergent property, and define it as the mixture of (A) capriciousness and (B) obedience to the consequences of internal moral state. (Definition of "moral state" -- ask them some questions about optimal prescriptive ethics, ask them about the implied actions based on those prescriptive ethics. Just ask them -- and record the answers. Get them to talk about optimal prescriptive ethics and the implied actions. Nobody is philosophic enough to lie to deceive here -- the tremendous urge to avoid cognitive dissonance prevents answering completely falsely.) Last note: consider the hierarchy of desires, goals, wants, needs (with automatically satisfied impulses on the bottom of the hierarchy). Free Will presupposes this hierarchy. Yeah, just figure out the least amount of free will I need for my arguments, knowing I can easily demonstrate the immense difficulty of proving away that small amount of free will.

Notes on Free Will, Rescued from Pownce

What about Free Will? (I have to work in what is meant by "Choose". But, basically, a pragmatic take on Free Will -- people who act as if they have and believe in Free Will are measurably more Effective than those who act as if they lack or otherwise disbelieve in Free Will.) ((Hmm, yes, the people who most stridently deny Free Will are pretty sorry creatures.)) Is that it? Do I tie the definition of Effective with Free Will (by definition, you are Effective if you (A) Believe and Act as if you have Free Will, and (B)...) Yeah, it isn't encouraging that the people who demonstrate the most energy spent to deny free will are some sad and sorry creatures. Also, those that deny free will only consider very short time frames in their arguments. I have held discussions in my head, over decades. Even the most fleeting sparks of free will would have had the ability to influence dozens or hundreds of times, in that span. Choice, Volition, Desire -- mixed together -- over a long span (at least a thousand eye-blinks) -- can create a mixture of uncertainty & certainty, morality & immorality, fickleness & steadfastness -- that is indistinguishable from free will. If the argument against free will is so strong, why do the people use all the tools of the art of controversy, and consider the trivial and the fleeting, instead of the significant over long periods of time. It is like arguing that there exists no large pile of leaves -- because one leaf is not a large pile, two leaves are not a large pile, three leaves are not a large pile... and adding a single leaf to a small pile cannot make it large... QED (Obviously, if the argument is strong, why not directly attack the existence of "the large pile of leaves". If the argument against free will is so strong, why not assert that Melville writing Moby Dick demonstrated nothing you could call volition. Or a human constructing a personally prescriptive ethics over a lifetime demonstrates nothing you could call volition.) Similar people in similar situations (as similar as we can try to make them) exhibit complex behavior over long stretches of time that are a mixture of (A) capriciousness and (B) obedience to the consequences of internal moral state. (Definition of "moral state" -- ask them some questions about optimal prescriptive ethics, ask them about the implied actions based on those prescriptive ethics. Just ask them -- and record the answers.) We call this mixture "Free Will". (Note: this turned out stronger than I expected. Is this my argument for free will? I have an argument, not based on work-a-day pragmatics?) (Back to my original train of thought...) This might be the whole of my argument to not deny free will. My argument for free will, is purely practical. It is demonstratively effective (helpful for a person to achieve goals). (I gotta think this out more, my quick edit turned out stronger than I expected. I wasn't expecting to type out such a good definition of Free Will so quickly.)

Is Day One really about Iteration?

Maybe Day One for everything should be about Iteration. We like Iterative solutions, where this is one cycle of the iteration:
  1. Informed by Goals, Standards, References (regarding External or Internal)
  2. Observe Situation, Environment, Available Resources (External or Internal)
  3. Evaluate
  4. Choose Action
  5. Act
  6. Observe Effectiveness of Action
  7. Invitation to Re-consider Goals, Standards, References
  8. Repeat
Another point: we don't take anything to be so fundamental that we do not regularly schedule re-evaluation, perhaps to replace it. Because we want to avoid treating something deficient as fundamental, particularly when it only becomes deficient as the situation changes. (I have to work in what is meant by "Choose". But, basically, a pragmatic take on Free Will -- people who act as if they have and believe in Free Will are measurably more Effective than those who act as if they lack or otherwise disbelieve in Free Will.) ((Hmm, yes, the people who most stridently deny Free Will are pretty sorry creatures.))

How do Developers Rank Themselves?

Developers can be in it for different things:
  • Providing Human Value through Information Automation
  • Rent-Seeking (think Database Administrators, there are more than their contribution to human value would suggest)
  • Feeling of Importance (think Xah Lee, their development decisions are based on what they can use to stoke their ego)
This is why you have to be a little skeptical of any ranking of fitness of developers. If it is based on rent-seeking or ego, it may be more about destroying human value, not creating it.

Information Automation, Day One

Projects compete for scarce developer hours. A project can have failure modes as a project, or have failure modes specific to attracting sufficient developer hours. (obviously, if a project fails as a project, the developer hours it will be able to attract will go to zero) Also, not all development hours are equal, because not all developers are equal. There are many ranking of fitness of developer that are demonstratively faulty. Be careful. Make sure the ranking of fitness matches concrete results.

What are the paths to be developed?

Management; Business; Personal Effectiveness; Information Automation; Effectiveness Modeling; Teaching Personal Effectiveness OK, got Day Zero, what would be Day One? Business: singular, consistent source of increasing value, at lower total cost; or else, race to the bottom Management: if considering a group of more than one person, either Value the Differences, or Continually Fight the Differences, until 100% of the effort, attention, focus is spent fighting the differences, and nothing of value gets done

Diagram of w:Maslow's hierarchy of needs.Image via Wikipedia

Personal Effectiveness: Everything you do satisfies a need, or desire, or impulse. There is a hierarchy of needs and desires (impulses are on the very bottom) Information Automation: The chair has ??? (many) legs --
  • Throughput
  • Latency
  • Sustain Increasing Bandwidth
  • Integrity and Correctness
  • Respects Rules of Trust Relationships
  • Respects Rules of Security
  • Reliability
  • Availability and Accessibility
  • Scalability (and Distribution of Working Instances)
  • Economic use of Limited Resources
  • Timely Implementation with Available Resources
  • Satisfying Human Value
  • Not Violating Human Sensibilities (including Regulatory requirements)
  • Iterative Development
  • Ability to be Sustained by Attracting enough developer hours
  • Distributed Development
(Why the heck so many? The absence of any one is a failure mode that is almost always fatal, if we consider projects in competition for developer hours.) Kick out one of these legs, the chair falls down. Sorry. Wish it was different, but it is not. (I got to think about this more.) (Oh wait, contemplating projects in competition for developer hours is the real Day One) Effectiveness Modeling: We consider, as a fundamental pair, the distribution and a measure of certainty. In competition, respectful of the Violation Criteria, several sources yield distributions and measures of certainty, as pairs. (LIAR: this is several days packed together, day one is -- We assume the existence of at least one Violation Criteria) Teaching Personal Effectiveness: Possess something that might be mistaken for Success, and document the method by which it was obtained. (Might be mistaken for Success, only from a great distance, and through fog, but somewhat resembles Success, none the less.)
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Day Zero: The Many or the One

The Many or the One? THE MANY! Hedgehog or Fox? A small pack of foxes riding inside of a mechanical hedgehog, that they modify/upgrade/re-build from time to time. Building on this, why do we reject "The One" (The One Big Thing that explains everything... why do we reject it, why do we laugh at people trying to find it?) The Dictionary Paradox:
At some point or the other, nearly every young schoolboy comes to wonder how it is a dictionary is able to define words without falling into circularity.
Imagine a dictionary of 250,00o words. You can easily write the definitions of all 250,000 words, only using a pool of 50,000 words. Some of your definitions will be long and repeat parts of other definitions (you lose some ability to be succinct), but you will not need to sacrifice clarity. Those 50,000 contain some pretty important words. Can you do the same trick with those 50,000 Important words? Can you write definitions of all 50,000 using only 10,000 words? (And thus, write definitions of the original 250,000 with only 10,000 words?) Probably. So now you have 10,000 Very Important words. Are there 2000 Very Very Important words, that you can do the same trick? 200 Very Very Very Important Words? 75 Very Very Very Very Important Words? Can you bring it all the way down to One Word? I guess, but only if you use that word in very peculiar ways. Maybe your definition of AND using only the One Word THE might be: "tHe THE the tHe tHe THEthethe the T-H-e the THE" At this point "THE" (the Ultimate One Word) is a very different thing than "the" (the definite article). You are cheating. We reject this game altogether. We are interested in The Many. (We do value smaller sizes of Many. We put some effort to bringing down in number the fundamental points. Not too much effort -- we do not lose too much sleep if we might have a Point that is expressible in terms of the other Points -- we are pragmatic.)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Dr. Virginia Satir, and the Gap between Stimulus and Response

Last night, this morning, thinking about the way Dr. Virginia Satir broke down the gap between stimulus and response, and thought about how that related to the pace of change in a life.
  1. Sensory
  2. Meaning/Representation
  3. Feeling
  4. Feeling about Feeling
  5. Self-Defense (if perceive threat to self)
  6. Rules for Response
  7. Response action
Breaking it down like this, you can see the opportunities for effecting a change in your life, going from one set of likely behaviors and responses (remember, emotions, impulses, transitory thoughts can also be stimulus, doesn't have to be strictly external), to another set of likely behaviors and responses. Each is an opportunity to make a change, because of the strictly linear flow from one to the next. (not talking about: changing your environment (even your inner metal environment), which changes the set of likely stimulus, which is another way to effect a change) The difficulty is that these steps happen so fast, they are practically hard-wired in the brain. It can take close to a decade (with consistent hard work and evaluation) to change some of these. That has been my experience. It is nice to have it broken down, anyway, so you can see the possible routes of attack to make a positive change.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Paying the price for your desired goals

If you want something, you have to pay the price. Your objective evidence of paying the price shows how much you really want something. (Not really...) You can work on your ability to have your desire for a goal, and your objective evidence of "paying the price", be congruent. Less congruent now, more congruent later, with time and effort. This goes in line with the concept of some "hardwired" things in the mind, taking 10 years to change. I am on a 10 year project to have my objective evidence of "paying the price" be congruent with my stated desire for different goals, outcomes, values, etc.

Components of Compensation and Management

Thinking more last night about components of compensation and management (and motivation). There is Intrinsic and External motivation. You need a mixture of both. Men are judged by their salary compared to their brother-in-law, but, also, money alone cannot effectively motivate. A healthy percentage of motivation has to be intrinsic (the problem with intrinsic motivation is that it can be irreparably damaged by a violation of trust (I will write more about this some other time). (How the heck does Intrinsic and External motivation relate to below? Beat me. Still puzzling it out.) Anyway, I remembered that I should add "Market Forces" to the compensation and management factors. Exact components of compensation and management you would desire.
  1. Historical evidence of meeting objectives: like bookings of a salesman
  2. Data on activities that have a "causal" relationship to the desired objectives: like number of meetings and follow-up activities with decision makers
  3. Data on activities that have a presumed, perhaps tenuous causal relationship to the desired objectives: like hours spent researching a possible new product offering. There is a significant chance of complete failure with a new product offering - that is why the causal relationship to the desired objectives is tenuous.
  4. "Positive" human factors: I sometimes eat at a cafeteria salad restaurant. The cafeteria trays are handed out by a handicapped man. Part of his salary is due to the restaurant living its stated values. (But it isn't all "altruism", he brings value, he is the voice of the restaurant's handicapped patrons). Note - What isn't a "positive" human factor - keeping someone in a job because you feel sorry for them is not a "positive" human factor - it has everything to do with a manager who finds it easy to be generous with other peoples' money, who cannot deal with the anxiety of terminating someone for cause, and who would not hesitate to terminate that person during an economic downturn, which is the exact time they would find it hardest to find a new job.
  5. "Negative" human factors: the percentage of salary that is based on kissing up, is another example.
  6. Market Forces: if the work is directly or closely aligned with pricing in an economic market, a component of compensation/management should be based on the market price: like a "free-agent" in baseball, or upper management in a publicly traded company, some component of compensation/management has to be based on the market price

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Friendship, Trust, Interest, and Reciprocity

Very interesting post from Moshe Z: What is Friendship?

Model (person)Image via Wikipedia

Basically on how Friendship, Trust, Shared-Interest, Entertainment-Value cannot be conflated, and, even considered separately, are not always reciprocal. (But does that in fact cover the whole range of positive relationships in social networking? Maybe we get a pretty good model if we also add that people wear different "hats": hobbyist, professional, political, fan, activist, ...)
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Dr. Deming, and the Folly of "Management by Objectives"

Dr. Deming takes a dim view of Management by Objectives. And he has a point. It seems logical to emphasize the meeting of objectives, but managing by them has difficulties. Your objective evidence of meeting objectives is historical data, so you end up "managing" much like if you painted your car's windshield black, and drove simply from the view in your rear-view mirror. You would be able to make progress, slowly and with many fender scrapes, but it would hardly be satisfactory. You need to have some kind of "forward-looking" metrics. Now, any "forward-looking" metrics will carry some risk, perhaps a great deal of risk. Imagine a windshield heavily smeared with Vaseline; you would lose all depth perception because all objects would image as smeared, flat blobs of color. But you would do better than driving with the rear-view mirror alone. "Forward-looking" metrics are based on some model of causality, based on incomplete knowledge and a simplified model of the world. It may not be any better than "viewing through a Vaseline smeared sheet of glass". But how much more satisfactory than managing by historical data alone. So last night I thought about what the exact components of compensation and management you would desire.
  1. Historical evidence of meeting objectives: like bookings of a salesman
  2. Data on activities that have a "causal" relationship to the desired objectives: like number of meetings and follow-up activities with decision makers
  3. Data on activities that have a presumed, perhaps tenuous causal relationship to the desired objectives: like hours spent researching a possible new product offering. There is a significant chance of complete failure with a new product offering - that is why the causal relationship to the desired objectives is tenuous.
  4. "Positive" human factors: I sometimes eat at a cafeteria salad restaurant. The cafeteria trays are handed out by a handicapped man. Part of his salary is due to the restaurant living its stated values. (But it isn't all "altruism", he brings value, he is the voice of the restaurant's handicapped patrons). Note - What isn't a "positive" human factor - keeping someone in a job because you feel sorry for them is not a "positive" human factor - it has everything to do with a manager who finds it easy to be generous with other peoples' money, who cannot deal with the anxiety of terminating someone for cause, and who would not hesitate to terminate that person during an economic downturn, which is the exact time they would find it hardest to find a new job.
  5. "Negative" human factors: the percentage of salary that is based on kissing up, is another example.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

New Zealand



Among these cities,
  • London
  • Paris
  • New York
  • The Capital Place of New Zealand (*)
which has the highest density of sheep with human faces and hands? The answer will surprise you! (No it won't)

(*) New Zealanders have not yet invented the idea of giving places names. To signify different places in their country, they hold up a different number of sheep with human faces and hands, until their arms get tired. Trüe Story!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Women get Upset

Women enjoy being unhappy. However, if you are a man and suffering from the symptoms of Asperger's Disorder, you can be cured of most of the pathologies by having a shrill female threatening you with removal of your face and eyelids, for the tiniest infraction. Frankly, I was, in my youth, unhealthily detached from the outside world. Now, that world, in the person of a Small-Form-Factor Female-Type, abuses me into awareness. To my eternal gratitude. (I have been so sarcastic, so long, that even I forget exactly when I am being completely sincere. A risk of sarcasm.)
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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Un-subscribing to "Overcoming Bias"

Win Ben Stein's MoneyImage via Wikipedia

Un-subscribing to "Overcoming Bias". What drove me over the edge was Robin Hanson's agreeing with the "Darwinism"-Nazi link pushed by "Expelled: No Ferris Bueller Allowed", starring Ben Stein. But it was a gradual slide down in quality, and a greater realization what a tiny contribution "Overcoming Bias" was going to have in fulfilling my personal goals and aspirations. What is "Overcoming Bias"? I cannot see it as more than Libertarians and Trans-humanists joining together to help each other in the "Art of Controversy". The point is: we don't want Rationality, we want Human Effectiveness. If there was some way to achieve your highest held goals, requiring you to dispense with all Rationality, dispense with Rationality you should. Imagine a malicious God, omniscient and omnipotent, causing you to stub your toe, or suffer other indignities, every time you attempted a Rational analysis. All evidence suggests that Rationality is a large component of Human Effectiveness. But it is not the whole thing. Like the parable of the two frogs in a bucket of cream. Both are swimming furiously to keep atop and keep from drowning. The first frog surveys the situation, realizes that his swimming will give out eventually, realizes that drowning is inevitable, and gives up and sinks to the bottom to die. The second frog, an irrational optimist, keeps swimming furiously, keeps swimming, keeps, swimming, the cream turns to butter, and the frog is able to hop on top, and hop out of the bucket. Which frog was Rational? Which frog was Effective? You can conflate the two (if it makes you happy to do so), but the distinction remains in reality. OK, we have Human Effectiveness and Rationality. Rationality is a large component of Human Effectiveness. What are the failure modes of Rationality, as practiced by humans or groups of humans? Well, there are a lot. Consider the list of logical fallacies. Consider the examples in the book Predictably Irrational. Consider Robert Cialdini's study of human influence, beneficial and malevolent. Each failure mode has the potential to deprive you of successfully achieving your goals and aspirations.

FallacyImage via Wikipedia

So, I don't see the point of studying "bias" outside of the context of:
  • a human identifying what they believe to be their highest goals and aspirations
  • a human having to accomplish this goals and aspirations with limited resources; the most important of which are time, energy, attention, focus.
  • with goals and aspirations identified, and limited resources acknowledged, the human can now proceed acting like a stakeholder: observation of situation; leading to analysis; leading to identifying choices; leading to decision; leading to action; leading to evaluating effectiveness; leading back to observation.
  • critical analysis of the soundness and ranking of the goals and aspirations identified earlier. Were some chosen simply from social pressure? Are some simply impossible? Are some harmful?
  • We expect goals and aspirations to augmented, to be tossed out, to be raised or lowered in relative importance.
Without this context, judging the value of anything claiming to be "Rationality" is pointless. Is it a tool for helping human achieve goals and aspirations? Does it work? And this is where "Overcoming Bias" leaves me cold. There is absolutely no interest in integrating these tools of rationality into a framework of human achievement of goals and aspirations. But the tools of the art of controversy are constantly leaped to, when there is a chance of harming the relative standing of Libertarianism or Trans-Humanism in the world of ideas and notoriety. It happens too often for an observer to miss it. So, I gain little for the cost of my limited attention.
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Firefox, Eclipse - User Defined Spell Check Dictionaries

Mozilla FirefoxImage via Wikipedia

Want to add words to Firefox's text-box spell-checker? On my Windows 2K Pro it is located at: C:\Documents and Settings\MANUEL_G\Application Data\Mozilla\Firefox\Profiles\6qcueeru.default\persdict.dat (What the hell is "6qcreeru"? Is my own computer calling me "6queen queer"? OUTRAGE!) So the wonderfulness starts with "persdict.dat" I have it as a "Favorite" in UltraEdit, so I can add words at will. UltraEdit has a very large dictionary, so it is a fine way to double check the spelling before adding the word (and to verify I didn't accidentally add a misspelling to Firefox's spell-checker). (((

A picture of a dictionary viewed with a lens o...Image via Wikipedia

Spell-checker for Eclipse? Glad you asked! Set the file at: Window | Preferences... | General | Editors | Text Editors | Spelling | Dictionaries | User defined dictionary (Whew!) )))
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HTML prettyprint, cont.

Came to realization that I am trying to anticipate browser failures from lack of whitespace, but I would know nothing about it until I start rendering a few dozen pages programmatically. So skip the whitespace tom-foolery. Trim all the whitespace, normalize all to spaces, just use "textwrap" to wrap nicely. The idea, since the general algorithm has the potential to be exponential, is to use heuristics at the tips of the branches and the base of the tree, then clean up. Then use recursive algorithm, but with checks before descending if a computation is deemed to be "likely expensive". Going to add "minimum_total_charlength", because easy to calculate. Why did I forget to clean "tail" along with "text"?

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

more work on HTML prettyprint

today did not have chance to work on HTML pretty print was going to first lay out all the "text" and "tail" in a line seperated by the "whitespace preserving" tags
text tail text tail text text <whitespace preserving> text tail <whitespace preserving> text tail
then we have the: 1) empties 2) only whitespace 3) printing characters 4) printing characters with some whitespace at ends we only care about the whitespace that seperates printing characters, for the most part, printing characters in the "text" and seperating whitespace in the immediately following "tail" might be too much work, but, I would not be surprised if ran into issue later (all this work is not in vain, also I will need such stuff when I start programmically generating Python code, to compare my Python bytecode generation against Python's own, against the same algorithm, because of the work I am planning to do with AST, either Python's own in 2.6, or my own form)

Cats and Coffee



I do not endorse placing cats into giant cups of coffee. I think that is so wrong. It is an impractical way to flavor-enhance, and it aggravates the cat, usually. This particular cat seems to enjoy coffee immersion.