Wednesday, May 29, 2013

To computational hell and back

Moral: Wherein we pause our look at foundations and consider a collateral subject: the mess that we are in.

What mess? The DOW hit a record recently. Isn't that special?

Well, as Ben knows, such milestones don't really put any bread or butter on the table of a whole lot of folks. Rather, the game enriches the few (comparatively --- to those who would quibble, ever look at the 60-percent level -- more or less -- and below?).


And, to hell? Yes, let's hope that we can get back.


Business offloaded customer support, with a process that started a long while ago. Any idiot (such as myself)  knows when there is more to communication than a common language. I got to the point where I don't talk to the person unless I perceive some understanding of the American way (we'll go into this later, at detail).

Now, some of the better businesses have been bringing things back. For American consumers, that would be a good thing. As, that means jobs.

Along with the off-shoring, business have been spawning off computational processes (and apps) without any feedback from the users, except ex post facto. I'm talking specifications here, folks, But, the elite might say that such thinking is out-moded. As in, let the money drive things (we'll get into this, too -- Note: 05/30/2013 - people say that we're being driven by machines (which are out of control); one way that this happens is that the big software people (you know who you are) push out changes to which we have to adapt - the notion is that it's a market-type choice - nothing could be further from the truth).

Doing systems correctly would create American jobs. We can discuss this. And, doing them as is really needed will be costly. The trouble is that the market (which is what? little players (meaning, character - they have bucks galore) who must have their training wheels in place - put there by Ben, of course) and its apparent success seems to work against the reality. Until, there is a crash. But, then, the same old crap starts again (Note: 05/30/2013 -- not only are people supposed to bend to the whims of systems, and their purveyors, we're to pick up the crap when they fail -- and building giant sucking machines upon quaky foundations leads us (always) to just that: regular clean-up of the diapers).

I'm talking from a framework that is outside the crappy part, folks. The financial industry does not want to look at matters from that perspective - it's too much fun rolling in the dough as is happening now with Ben's input (and largess).


That lead-in touched on one type of hell. Others are there and abound. One example is the credit handling via the Big-3 (Equifax, et al). Just recently, I ran across a case where someone is seen as dead by these Big-3 (idiots?). The reason is that one creditor reported the guy as such. What had happened is that the guy's wife died. In the process of notifying creditors of such, one of them took the person who was deceased to be the guy, not his wife. From that little thing ensued turmoil that has lasted months.

I talked to one of the Big-3 today. They can see that they're getting reports monthly from this guy's creditors about his activity. The account at the one who has him dead had been inactive for a long while; so, there was no activity to report there anyway.

In terms of process for the user, this Big-3 member ought to be able to let the guy dispute the error on-line. But, they won't do that without him proving who he is (soc sec card, et al). You know why this is stupid? The guy is a Viet Vet, was born here, lived here, paid taxes here, raised his kids here, and so forth. Too, he's  getting a Soc Sec check every month. The bank that gets that deposit knows this. Do they help the guy? No, they say that the Big-3 drive things.

Okay, Big-3, and bosses thereof. If you are going to be so central, should you not do it in a user-friendly manner that is fair, secure, and robust? (Now, all of you wags that are rolling on the floor, behave yourselves - they, the Big-3, cannot be total idiots - after all, they did get themselves a shared monopoly) Where the heck is the Consumer Financial Protection Agency (Note: 05/30/2013 - they never responded to me on FB -- usual government modus operandi?)?


You see, the whole thing harks back to the time when people believed what the computer said. That went on for awhile. Computers don't error, was the thought. Then, there was the realization of garbage in/garbage out. That is, junk begets junk. Don't laugh, folks. That forward step took awhile.

Now, it seems, that we're back to the belief stage. As in, the computer is the reality. It's a map/territory problem. Why this fall back? Complication, essentially. This will be a central theme to expand upon here. As things mix up, it causes so many to put their heads into the sand (do what the "man" says).

Aside: If it is not obvious, note that I've been in this industry for awhile in roles that were multiply varied, multi-disciplined, and, for the most part, of highly technical focus - with some back slapping as is the want of the likes of Jamie, and his ilk. We're in deep doo-doo, now. The kids (Zuck and the like - keep putting out things that flash - what is their basis? -- oh, I don't need to know, you say?) are perturbing things in ways that will have future implications. Singularity potentials are piling up (see Remarks 05/21/2013).

Mind you. There has been real progress (we'll go into that, too). After all, a lot of good comes from the networking methods, the cloud, and such.


For many, all of the flash and toys are entrancing (hence, zombies and more). Yet, you would expect, for these, some maturing event, at some point, unless they're completely washed out (possible as we have seen with drugs that alter the body's workings too far). Others have already seen, and experienced, the hell.

But, we could say that it's more like purgatory (look it up) at this point. The hell will result if matters continue to de-evolve as they are.

What do I mean? You know why the web was labeled wild west early on? What was the wild west? You know, too, that it's the largest-held romantic view of the US's history. Who doesn't seem to want to be a cowboy? Not all of us; we ask for acknowledgement the rights of the Natives who were here before. The thing was that misfits, a lot of times, from the east came out here and shot up the place. Law and order was not the norm. It took awhile for this to be established.

Forgetting the conflict with the Natives, when did law and order get set here in the West? Pinpointing around 1900 would be pushing it. We could probably point to the period after WWI and before WWII. Now, at what point is the "wild west" of the web? I don't see us further than right after the Civil War. In fact, have we not even had the Civil War (if you must, think of the free vs not conflict as an analog)?

From whence would come some type of structure and security?


With the Big-3, we have them pulling together stuff on us. For those of us who can, we can monitor their activity. Many cannot. Too, though, they do idiotic things like this deceased error. Actually, they ought to offer the guy a membership (30 days would do - or more until errors were properly handled) with which he could challenge their errors.


07/26/2015 -- This has had some recent reads. Lots going on, including poster boys coming out of the woodwork. We intend to get back to this topic: consumer as central to things economic (metaphysically sound).

10/20/2013 -- As of a couple of weeks ago, Equifax seemed to have caused another problem. Idiots. This type of thing, folks, foretells dire consequences for the ordinary populace. That is, entrapped by stupidly developed and released systems will be a common state.

07/08/2013 -- The bank responded to the CFPB query and changed their database. In June. The Big-3? For this little error, they say 90 days. Let's look at what needs to be done with computationally driven systems and processes.

06/04/2013 -- Last week, when the Big-3 problem was first looked at, I sent a note to the bank, Elizabeth Warren, and the CFPB (which is a new organization). I heard from the bank's PR people fairly quickly which is to be expected. Just today, a week later, heard from the CFPB. They sent information about their complaint process. Elizabeth? Nary a peep, yet.

06/03/2013 -- There is a log of activity the past week, on FB.  It's funny about Equifax. I've been trying to raise them via FB, but they haven't made a peep. You see, they could override the death entry and allow the guy to get on-line with their system. We tried this the other day. On result? The Equifax computer system sent a notice about a credit card being renewed after we tried to sign in the guy as a new member. That is, the database sees the activity; the humans only look at the fact of the death. Why? Well, they do have their jobs on the line if they make an error. Too, the process might be too rigid; that is, where some common sense (experience?) might understand an error and suppress it, then it ought to be allowed. Of course, with suitable documentation to allow re-trace (and further correction, even a back-out). Methinks that those who do logic, and mathematics, many times have an unrealistic belief in their prowess (if only they knew --- by the way, singularities, again, are the key item in this and related cases). And, their poor users bear the cost and the pain. ... We'll get back to this (if you're so smart, why aren't you rich?).

06/03/2013 -- On Friday, it was determined that Capital One/ HSBC has sat on paperwork for four months. That is, the error was done by HSBC in Oct, 2012 (erroneous reporting to the Big-3); the error was noticed in Jan, 2013; the error was brought to the attention of Capital One (by mail) in Jan, 2013. It was the end of May before the error was noticed by HSBC, via to a phone call.

05/31/2013 -- The focus might have to be on the Big-3. In cases like this, they ought to allow an override that is quick, as is necessary for the computational age. For some reason, they like to lumber along. Did some bureaucrat lead them to believe this? Now, quick changes can create a hellish situation. Yet, many times, an override by a human will resolve a hellish situation. Both a paradox and a dilemma. The irritating thing is that a little bit of garbage in a database in having real world effect. An override (are you listening Equitfac, etc.) would allow change of that piece of crap, with an explanation, and rationale. Okay? In my case, I'm a member of Equifax (have been since 2005). They know who the heck I am. If I say that someone is next to me and is undead, then my word ought to be taken (verified later, okay?) so as to free up the bottleneck. Sheesh.

05/31/2013 -- When one considers the cost of the necessary framework, that would allow security and sustainability, people have kicked the thing around (WSJ talked about how to control the idiot of North Korea; what about reining in the financial manipulators?). However, the minds are so entrenched in this illusion about which Marx laughed (fictitious capital, for one), it's hard to express a rational stance on the matter. You see, people are experimented with big time. It's really analogous to that concept so familiar from warring, namely cannon fodder. We have our great leaders mouthing platitudes about how they want to help the little guy; most of their efforts seem to move more toward entrapment; take droning (in other than a defensive mode) if you need something to grasp here).

View from 2008 
05/30/2013 -- A case in point about off shoring, saw yesterday that some mortgage foreclosure work was being sent to India (Tata was one contractor). It was said that this work was too tedious for Americans. Now, these foreign brains weren't going to make judgments (Tata's words, paraphrased). No. The thing was to get all the paperwork together, verified, and provided to a banker in the US who would do the dirty deed. That whole rationale was bothersome. For one, those there in India only need to look outside their office (even if it's isolated in a privileged environment) to see their 3rd world fellow citizens. Of course, doing American work lifted out a few. But, the majority? Besides, these types of roles could very well be performed by people here. ... Not anti-outhousing, rather putting this here as we'll have to address the whole phenomenon while looking at foundation'al issues.

05/29/2013 -- Singularity? Yes, this will be an important subject. You know what? I don't think that Jamie (and his ilk -- who, by the way, was vindicated according to the WSJ) would understand the concept. The fat whale (whatever) was a small incident compared to that which we need to put our attention.

Modified: 07/26/2015

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