Sunday, October 16, 2011

Harvard, again

Moral: Wherein we re-look at the esteemed institution (375 years old) that is (will, ought to, be) a focal for many things.


Earlier, we had harped about Harvard and raised, no doubt, some hackles and may have confused some things. So, it's time to restart the dialogue and, for now, here are some of the themes that pertain to the necessary discourse.


Harvard is a collecting point for the best and brightest. Who are the best and brightest? Those with mental acuity who, unfortunately, are not plagued by innumeracy (poor dears, those numerants, or poor us for being subjected to the outcomes). As such, they (not only those from the big H) have led us all astray through the mis-use of mathematics.

That is, they see the field in an operational sense leading, of course, to exploitation as motivation. Ah, our beloved mathematics, trashed.

Aside: What talent determines membership within the best-and-brightest set? Well, some of this is measurable using standardized tests, as we have seen develop (note the early interest by the U.S. Army -- there are analogs galore) in the past century or so. Some of the talent may (can) not be (subsumed under a metrical ontology); for instance, we see plenty high scorers who flunk out of life (but, then, we all know just how complex this issue is). Why the difference in scores (or what appears to be shown by scores)? Acuity was mentioned above. But, there would be energy, to boot (as in stamina to finish -- and, as well, trying to answer how perpetual motion is not assumed -- what? think about it!); also, patterns, and recognition thereof, are an important fact. It's an open-ended issue, folks (we'll get back to that and what it might (does) mean). And, preparation, as in S.A.T. tutoring, does NOT overcome innate issues (remember, as said above, that which is measurable is founded upon the very mathematics that is being mis-used -- so, suspicion is in order).


The image came from BING which likes to put out an interesting bit every day with comments. This particular one celebrated the 375th of the big H and got more of the blogger's attention than usual. What's this about the H-bomb (Lord, what does that smell like?)? Perhaps, their opinion is that anyone who doesn't bow in their direction is too stupid to know better (or something similar -- these types of things (egoism) are inherent and inflict even the, supposedly, best-and-brightest types -- many of whom never scored high on any type of ethics scale).


So given how higher-order education has kissed the behinds of the moolah'd, motivations related more to greed than not come to fore in those who pursue such achievements. What games are played by those who are possible candidates in order for them to be even considered by the institution? And, folks, not being accepted there does not make one a failure. Far from it.

Oh yes, being in Cambridge raises one's IQ (Institutional truths?)?


Why is greed mentioned? Harvard decided to leave the Lord's work and become secular (and elitist). From whence, then, will come any direction? But, have we not seen others (meaning, of course, non-big-H) who tell us that they are serving the Lord and then founder under their greed, too?

Aside: Lord? Yes, early on it was that One about Whom the Protestants (even amongst themselves) and Catholics fought. Then, it was (and still is) the One at the core of the battle between the Muslims and the not. ... But, there are many more from which to choose, from the modern view as expounded by big H. In fact, that there is NONE is considered (without any rational support) by many. Why that assertion? Modern theorem proving techniques show that Anselm's view on the matter reduces to one premise. Does that not say that it's an either-or choice? Yet, the blogger mentions the Lord. Why so? Again, given the basic choice, one can pick what label to place on that which is beyond what one knows (even in the sense of the total). Why not 'Lord' for this reason? There are many, many connotative attachments (call them memes, if you would) that can make it more interesting and emotionally appealing. Except, there will be those who would prefer anti-Lord. You see, has the big-H ever followed through reviewing the consequences of their secularism especially since it has bled over to our culture and times (leading to massive indentured-ness at the personal, institutional, and national levels)? Another aspect to this is whether or not the Lord is embodied. Some have a long tradition of saying so (too long to mention). What 'Lord' is there for the best and brightest (see above reference to moolah'd)? Too, whether it's known or not, the Lord is there!


Again, as we have said before, Harvard can extract itself from its mire by opening up to fostering the autodidact (perhaps, even pushing public service). Of course, their argument is that their students are self-directed. But, we want them to look at the talents beyond those amenable to numerant manipulation and to help these progress as needed to save humanity.

Again, they'll say that they do this in a sense. We'll see, if they can show this.


One has to ask, are not some of the best and brightest out there with the OWSs?


Now, when you consider the roles of the aristocratic over the complete history of us (the people, who else), what were these roles and how did they get to play them? Well, the types were smarter (see above about the best and brightest), in a way (or several ways). They were dumber in many others (this deals with being which is something still to be discussed). Yes, particularly the royals. What we have now is the means to measure to try to identify these types early on.

A perpetuating scheme, at the least. Then, we pave their way. As the crap of the recent downturn shows (and the big pockets of those who let loose the young'uns without supervision -- heck, the big pockets cannot even supervise themselves, how could we expect them to help others to be better? --- mind you), money as value is not much more than crap (who will lead toward a proper definition of wealth?).


One could picture a world in which the Harvard area would be where the dynamics related to those who rise (or can rise) come into play, even doing so in ways that we have not thought of. Are we talking sandbox?


Too, as we would learn things, we would improve situations such as preventing things like the most recent downturn that came about from the gaming of the idiots/geniuses (yes, computational mathematics is at fault, for one thing, since it empowered the a**es) in the finance world (our, as in OUR, beans). There are so many other ways that we will be at this for awhile.


Yes, the real princes and princesses (of all types) would be in that New England area having gathered from around the world. Highly endowed responsibility, indeed, would be accepted by the institution.

Actually, one could argue that it could not be replicated elsewhere (ye olde country?), except that we don't want to deny that internationalism will be imperative at some point (before the little green men show up?).


09/19/2013 -- All's not lost. Some accountants see a change that is problematic. But, first, savers are more than just risk averse; they put their actions where their mouth is by being prudent. Now, that was once considered a virtue; in fact, one could argue that it was expected for fiscal responsibility. However, some claim that accounting has removed prudence in lieu of theoretical nonsense leading to annual reports that are incomprehensible. Actually, the computer can make things such, too, so the whole bit that underpins our world seems to have been given a shaky basis (on purpose, to allow rooking the people? - or, through stupidity?). Of course, the side that argues that prudence is quaint (well, it seems to be for quants) is vocal, too. But, we have China asking prudence of Ben and the Fed?

08/15/2013 -- Nice viewpoint. Farce, indeed (chimera). Buyers and sellers are Investors (sometimes). Many elites see their gifts as carte blanche to screw over those less gifted (in essence, a main cause of the continual strife that humans face -- Harvard, at one time, may have had an ethical edge - can it get it back?). Who is the fairest of the elite, so to speak? For sustainability to come about, those of the highest quality need to be of the service mentality (yes, perhaps we could find someone at Harvard Divinity to explain this to the gifted in their neighborhood). Service? Try military without being of the O-series, for instance. But, a national service would allow many types of contributions. Foreigners? Yes, they would have to do it to boot.

03/22/2013 -- GW at ESPN (see image on right) has a nice point of view on the madness (and related comments). We ought to have something similar for the financial folks, using play money, with prizes. That's the sandbox, folks. Then, the real stuff would be handled by mature, stable adults (not the greed ridden - and similar ilks -- okay?). The madness has to do with animal spirits just like the market (ala Adam). Too bad that one loss gets one out the door. Perhaps, at the final four level, there ought to be a round robin, like college baseball. --- Now, having just written the above, this glorious bit of madness is really a sham (see comment at madness, 03/12/2012). The whole madness pits kids against each other, who are playing for naught (comparatively), being coached by millionaires, with big buck media behind the affair, and a bunch of other lucrative ploys benefiting from the labors of the few. If one looked at qualities (as in, abstract out a truthful look at this), one could find parallels (many, many) all across history (these things being not consider our best behavior). Granted some (as in, not all) of the kids go on to big bucks. Others find glory in their endeavors (what would be be without school spirit?). Yet, besides the commonality with historic events that aren't looked at as being our (humankind's) best moments, there are all sorts of analogs in business (which we've seen of late, in glorious detail, as being problematic at its core - the heart that is supposed to be related to finance). By the way, see the below comment (madness, 02/08/2013); that particular team ended up with a #1 seed. Also, Harvard Crimson made it out of the Round of 64.

01/23/2013 -- Things are looking up: Read free or die.

12/16/2011 -- Elizabeth Warren changes the opinion, somewhat; imagine, what if we got beyond situational ethics?

12/05/2011 -- It's interesting how idiotic the supposedly smart can be. The real issue: the failings of an idiot have a small influence; the failings of the 'real idiots' has wide impact (and, in so many ways). Somehow, we muddle through.

10/18/2011 -- How many of the 99% end up at this institution? Not fair? We know for a fact that not all of the 1% are related to the place. By the way, it's not always that ratio (1, 99); the ratio's use is effective in stirring up the pot, though.

10/17/2011 -- Finished the text on this old topic and added links (there may be more).

Modified: 09/19/2013

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Reflections on Steve Jobs' work

Moral: Wherein we look back at our computing history, a little.


Mr. Jobs' work was central to several themes that will continue (such as, truth engineering). He'll be fondly remembered by many, for a long time.

The below reflection is not to be considered as critical, in any sense. Rather, it is meant to be the start of several posts that deal with the evolution of computing and with what might be needed to bring the genie back into the bottle (impossible in practice, but nice to think about).


The blogger saw Steve Jobs in person before the blogger saw the first Mac.

The blogger was working on a project, based in Cupertino, that was trying to attain wafer-scale integration. As you would expect, the computational modeling requirements were enormous (as in, there was no possible way to print out the circuity on paper, let alone try to compute properties) and pushing the envelope. Of course, things may have been a little too risky from a business sense (but, that's another story).

That project was 30 years ago (Mr. Jobs wasn't the only former-hippie in the area); the idea was fairly progressive at the time. It was definitely too early for the desired scale. Mr. Jobs was interested in technological aspect, as were many, at the time.


It was a mere few months later that part of the world went crazy over the little Mac. Mind you, it was cute. But, it could not be, at the time, compared to what the blogger had as a workstation (which you could not lug around, of course) that was needed to handle the demands for large-scale modeling. Yes, the workstations were networked (early use of the local internet facilities), had large memory and storage, and were somewhat fast.

In the early days, it was the non-technical ones who were enthralled with the Mac. Or, those who were not fortunate enough to be working on projects that could (had to) shell out $100,000s (in multiples) for networked workstations (see Remarks 05/02/2012 for some details) and their software (very fat clients, essentially).

Later, the blogger was able to use enhanced Macs. That is, we put special purpose cards into the little guys to make them capable to support the work demand.

Unfortunately, after that, the companies that the blogger worked for went with the IBM/MS thing (if you type 'win' you lose -- type of deal). So, Bill Gates, too, will be another part (much later) of the story.


Now, of course, a device that fits into your palm is as capable, somewhat (cannot, as of yet, make any comparison of what are now termed 'apps'). Mind you, it takes banks of these devices to perform the types of tasks that we were attempting with workstations (needless to say, a lot of the speed-up is due to trickery, trimmings that may very well come back and bite us on our collective behinds).


In the past thirty years, the computing world has changed; yet, the underlying pinnings are no more sound. In fact, one might say that Mr. Jobs' work exacerbated the problem. Mind you, that is not a criticism. It means this: in the hands of about everyone is a whole lot of computing power, much of it wasted, and all of it can potentially contribute to an increasing amount of mayhem.


Of course, Mr. Jobs' outputs and devices have been crucial. For instance, his NeXT work was important in carrying forward several modeling technologies. Again, the blogger was involved with applying this capability.

There will be much, much more to look at.


In essence, Mr. Jobs' life and work was central to an expanding theme; of course, many have made money (extreme amounts) on the back of this development; too, many have suffered (the latest? I-Phone/IPAD suicides).

We need to look at the whole picture; Mr Jobs' (and his zen-mind) would appreciate that.


And, given that the recent protests are about what essentially is an exploitation by the best-and-brightest of computational frailties, the theme is very much apropos.


So, the coming posts will have more of a technical focus, as the blogger reflects on the changes that were concurrent with Mr. Jobs' life.


10/05/2012 -- In hindsight, Mr. Jobs' foresight looks pretty good (if only we could understand 'reality distortion' a little better -- and how we can observe effects). Talents come in many shapes, but being able to see around the corner (never 20-20) can be useful (if one can keep from being overwhelmed by the possibilities - lesson there? computability issues). The truly independent mind would have its own model that would be, perhaps, immune to energies related to phenomenon like Jobs' persuasive ability (this battle is age-old, folks -- to wit, the little ones on your shoulders leading you left-or-right [meant as facetious, during this muck-raking season, that is, thankfully, over in a matter of weeks] - Zen is one of many disciplines related to the theme). One adage I remember, from my long years, is that you get a bunch of managers together, and, before you know it, water runs up hill.

09/28/2012 -- Nice little issues continue to be ignored.

05/02/2012 -- Need to add a few comments about the technology alluded to earlier in terms of workstations. For one, the Lisp Machine (Xerox, Symbolics, LMI, ...). These workstations were quite capable and expensive. In fact, embedded within a couple of the modern approaches are the improvements gained from developing (and using) these machine. Too, about the same time, Unix-based machines were becoming more capable. Of course, SUN stands out, but it was much later. ... During those times, object modeling was maturing. C++? Infancy. Java? Not even a glimmer. ... Numerically, FORTRAN was still king and would be for awhile. Databases. The relational modeling that made some so much money? Being born. ... In essence. Work, at that time, was pushing new methods for creating algorithms and heuristics. Some of the approaches continued until the mid-2000s for the reason that they were still effective and, by that time, had not been duplicated by other approaches. ...

01/17/2012 -- I've been slowly reading his authorized bio; at some point, more reflection will be forthcoming, especially when we look at equity (private and otherwise).  

11/04/2011 -- Tech Ticker asks a good questions about the darker side of Apple. Are any of the other tech companies any better?

10/20/2011 -- We still need to follow up. USAToday on Mr. Jobs.

10/17/2011 -- There is so much to cover, however look at Rick's latest post. Of course, Turing's test doesn't deal with the 'being' issue (what test would?).

10/11/2011 -- Weathermen reminisce about what the Mac meant to them. These are interesting and relate to a couple of points that need to be addressed: function/presentation, metrology/close enough (of course, they're trying to solve a hard problem, yet, flashy graphics do not 'truth' make).

10/09/2011 -- The prior Remarks will bring in issues related to the 13th Amendment. Aside: do employer-driven non-disclosure agreements tread on rights pronounced there?

10/09/2011 -- Kings have sovereignty over their dominion however large it may be. There, currently, is no king of the world of this type. CEOs have sovereignty over their companies. Now, many of these have domains that are larger (measured many ways) than geographical types of kingdoms. BUT, each has sovereignty over themselves (or ought to), ideally (constitutionally, if you're in the U.S.A.).

Now, being able to exhibit sovereignty requires talent of various sorts. Throughout history, those who ruled others may or may not have had this talent. From all of the turmoil over the millenia, one has to just marvel at the stupidity of these types, exhibited, in the modern age, by the CEO MVPs.

Our task is to foster that which enhances one's self-sovereignty and diminishes others' influence on oneself. Oh wait. The social media seem to be antithetical to this notion. Also, all of those issues related to mature interactions (of a peaceful manner) must be resolved (philosophers have long been involved with that dilemma).

It is this type of notions that are behind a lot of what motivates the current protests. Those who could (LT 1%) have exploited (and have been allowed to exploit) the rest (GT 99%).

We need to discuss how much Steve's work may, or may not, have helped those who want to achieve self-sovereignty. Zombie-like attachment to an idiot box (yes, including the so-called smart phone) provided by technology (owned and ruled by another) is probably one of the worse types of enslavement.

See Washington Post article (link, next Remarks): kids won't glance up from their IPhones. They'll never need to. (Ah, we'll bring them bed-pans? Wait on the little zombies hand and foot?).

10/9/2011 -- And, the Washington Post weighs in.

10/8/2011 -- Interesting essay, at WSJ, that bears some response, at some point. Technology, in this sense, provides rose-colored glasses and puppet strings to be pulled by the wizard? Ah, ironic that the Mac appeared in '84. What conversations are George and Steve having?

10/8/2011 -- These Remarks are, in part, collecting themes for the future posts related the subject. The genie is out of the bottle, as noted above; we cannot go back (the time arrow is forward -- for all that we know, now); therefore, resolving 'truth' issues will be central (not unlike the need for defensive mechanisms -- albeit, we would like to think that peace and love are the norm -- not succumbing to Dick's paranoia). The context requires a technical focus, but a whole lot of intuition is in order, to boot. That is, trained intuition. Do we know how to do that, yet? Somewhat, Steve's work was directed toward this.

10/07/2011 -- Steve's efforts raised two essential ideas to the fore such that they had to become part of the milieu: usability and object-orientation. The two (and a few others, to boot) will be looked at further in additional posts. Usability, especially the touch-click notions assisted by graphical displays, is central to certain types of human-computer interface. That interface can get in the way, though, from a technical focus (we'll define this further). The whole notion of entities with behavior (we'll look at the history of this development) that are accumulations of disparate (not disjoint, necessarily) attributes is at the basis of a whole lot of modeling. Too, though, it can lead to confusion (computational vertigo). Again, this is not criticism, but, rather, it is an attempt to discuss the evolution of computing using the effects of Steve's participation.

There is a sort of dichotomy involved here. Apple allows an intuitive interface that enhances creative efforts, of a sort. That type of interface can inhibit others (we'll get into that). At the same time, though, this whole evolution has favored those who have numeracy (with the effect of reducing (or trying to) the innumerant set into the corner of eternal dumb-ness. Ah, no wonder things are so awry as the best-and-brightest are numerant and are exploiting the game.

One can argue (zen) that numeracy is more idiotic than not. Got that, smart folks? We'll be explaining why. Hopefully, the protesters of Wall Street do not lose their sense of urgency.

10/07/2011 -- Steve believed in his own intuition. We'll have to look at that a little, in this sense: mathematics and science have denigrated intuition (many examples of the counter-intuitive being correct - to a certain point) yet we know that we need this in order to be creative. Those two poles, or seeming poles, are at the crux of the computational problems of today.

Modified: 10/05/2012

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The public's heart

Moral: Wherein we mention a couple of items related to the public's view (that is, the other 99%).


Protests about the best-and-brightests' gaming? This emerging scene is reminiscent of several that the blogger has seen personally, including early civil rights sit-ins, anti-war demonstrations, and even the be-ins from four decades ago.


In reading about the Wall Street event, I ran across a news source that is of the new media and seems to have a fairly broad coverage (, though the Kochs think that it is 'subversive.'

Aside: Yes, though it might seem beyond belief, the blogger just ran across this site a couple of days ago.

Another thing about the protests is that the abstracted views of theory (economics, political, ...) do not consider the 'heart' of the people. Who looks at that large source of power?


We'll have to go back to discussing the need for a Magna Carta equivalent for busyness, among other things.


07/06/2012 -- Today, we have the one-year remembrance of George Edward Kimball III (GEK III)

06/25/2012 -- Washington Post on Congressional non-ethics.

11/30/2011 -- Need to respect the bottom up. Will the computer finally let that come about?

11/29/2011 -- Ah, Big Ben helped his friends more than he said, at the time.

11/04/2011 -- Tech Ticker asks a good questions about the darker side of Apple. Are any of the other tech companies any better? The OWS can find all sorts of examples like this to use.

10/18/2011 -- Hopefully, the OWS will bring this type of thing to public awareness.

10/15/2011 -- The recognition goes global. Banking ought to be handled by those whose greed is close to nil.

10/14/2011 -- One thing that has always concerned the blogger was the trickery that finance did with student loans which ought to be as straightforward as mortgages. Yet, some play games with those needing the support and, in doing so, made oodles (atrocious, in essence). Some of have this in mind as they join in the protest. Yes, it was turned over to bankers of whom there are many types; and, do not bankers exist for the purpose of filling their pockets?

10/13/2011 -- It is our economy.

10/11/2011 -- Topics related to this theme have been addressed here from the beginning. One example: shattered dreams. Busyness has stunk to the high heavens for some time now.

10/10/2011 -- If the OWS wants specifics, there are plenty to list, such as this one. We can only resolve this with an amendment (like the 13th) for the rights of workers (folks, employment is not unlike indentured servitude in many ways) plus a Magna Carta equivalent to give the big pants (egos) something to think about.

10/10/2011 -- The new media in action. The best-and-brightest who are behind the faults that trashed the financial world (early 2008 finger pointing) were good at playing the issues (exuberance plus fairy dusting) seemingly without any repercussions (where were the clawbacks? -- zombie, indeed).

10/09/2011 -- Kings (and Lords) have sovereignty over their dominion however large it may be. There, currently, is no king of the world of this type. CEOs have sovereignty over their companies. Now, many of these have domains that are larger (measured many ways) than geographical types of kingdoms. BUT, each has sovereignty over themselves (or ought to), ideally (constitutionally, if you're in the U.S.A.).

Now, being able to exhibit sovereignty requires talent of various sorts. Throughout history, those who ruled others may or may not have had this talent. From all of the turmoil over the millenia, one has to just marvel at the stupidity of these types, exhibited, in the modern age, by the CEO MVPs.

Our task is to foster that which enhances one's self-sovereignty and diminishes others' influence on oneself. Oh wait. The social media seem to be antithetical to this notion. Also, all of those issues related to mature interactions (of a peaceful manner) must be resolved (philosophers have long been involved with that dilemma).

It is this type of notions that are behind a lot of what motivates the current protests. Those who could (LT 1%) have exploited (and have been allowed to exploit) the rest (GT 99%).

10/07/2011 -- See Remarks, this day, about innumeracy. Those who are numerant think that they are the smarter (smartest) -- even science has trended toward reinforcing this notion. But, the jury is still out, folks. We'll go into that. Go, protesters! Keep it legal, though.

10/07/2011 -- Magna Carta, the celebration thereof. We need one of these for business. What would it look like?

Heard, from others, that the Wall Streeters jeer: we cannot help that we are good at what we do, find a job you lazy protesters. Oh, yes, Wall Streeters, you are good at what, exactly? Oh, yes, having defined the shell game, then you keep it running so that monies are sucked out of the pockets (no fair deal) of the hapless.

10/06/2011 -- It seems like old times, almost reminiscent of the late 60s and early 70s. Notice that the tea party seems to be the favorite of the rightmost (Republican) minds. Labor and the left seem to be on board with the Wall Street protests. Great play on the major stage; ought to produce a whole lot of material.

10/05/2011-- We need to appreciate the dedication of the protesters and their supporters. The site in NY has an infrastructural basis, in a sense, with its medical, legal, and other support. Now, who would have thought that the requirements for, and recognition of, 'morals' related to money would play out in this type of fashion? Somehow, there seems to be a different tone about the whole thing.

10/04/2011 -- Dedicated to GEK III.

Modified: 07/06/2012