29 June, 2015

Technology as cure for a world on a Demographic precipice

This is a deeply informative set of projections on the current trends in population but as is often the case it seems to leave out the development of technological solutions applied to the social space that could radically modify the projections.
For example, the rising dependency ratio in the America’s and Europe and Asia over the next 50 years assumes that the current requirements of economic support for human survival will be the same in 50 years. However, with the development of extremely efficient means of production comes the ability to vastly improve the production levels of necessary resources (including fresh water which can be made on demand using solar powered desalination technology) while radically reducing the cost of producing and delivering those resources to where they are needed.
50 years, with the development of advanced green technologies for harnessing energy (from the sun and wind primarily) will come a collapse of the traditional fossil fuel industries. This collapse will negatively affect economies that are dependent on fossil fuel production and export IF they are still relying on them to drive their economies but in 50 years that is very likely given that radical reduction of costs for green technology to points that beat fossil fuels of all kinds are already projected for 10 to 15 years away let alone 50. Nations that are not trying to diversify away from such fossil driven economies are asking for a fiscal nightmare today.
That said, production of efficient energy coupled with the pending rapid advances in the distribution of things produced as well as services rendered due to the shift from a fossil driven transportation infrastructure to an electric driven one that is autonomous will again crush costs dramatically.
So even as these population centers in Africa balloon, the ability to actually fuel and feed the growing masses will be radically improved from what we have in place today.
So Energy production and distribution and transportation will effect major reductions in price that will forstall much of the economic gloom that would other wise occur under a growing population scenario in these centers what else can slow down this trend?
The major reason for the massive growth in non western or Asian populations comes from the entrenched cultural and religious mores that see it as a gift of God to have many children, unfortunately it is a potential curse to the planet in actual fact and is something that we need to strongly retard.
The continued distribution of information via the information conduits of the internet and the mobile web stands as a potentially powerful mollifying force against these backward views that to have more children is an inherently good thing. Education enabled by a distributed system of teaching tools and virtual universities, coupled with the development of increasingly intelligent systems for educating people could significantly slow the rate of growth by inoculating these new populations against the ignorance that has their growth rates projected at what they are.
Efforts by major corporations to expand access to information like Google’sproject Loon provide more than just a moon shot view into means of allowing them to get their services into other hard to reach parts of the world where wired infrastructure does not exist….it stands as a powerful means of enabling the access to knowledge that rapidly erodes the ignorance that would keep populations growing at unsustainable rates.
Another pending innovation not factored into the equation is enabled by increasing access to information coupled with rapidly developing artificial intelligence. Technology designed for workforce emancipation and global autonomous work routing , like the Action Oriented Workflow paradigmwill allow an increasingly knowledge based workforce to maximize value landscapes enabling people to work across multiple areas of their interest for multiple employees even as the availability of manual labor jobs dwindles away. Such technology is a critical piece in slowing the rate of economic discord in the developed nations and also of enabling a faster transition to a knowledge economy in the developing ones.
In the meantime we can expect a lot of discord to happen if African nations are not quick to recognize these problems and effect solutions today which given the strength of belief in religion and other forms of superstition seems like a daunting task.
On the other side of the growth equation the European and Asian nations may not have population deflation to the levels shown in these charts. The rapid introduction of gene editing technology applied to the problem of aging will give rise to revigoration technology and an age of oscillating senescence that will artificially sustain many populations without the requirement of new births. When death rate itself starts going down, population growth will still happen…so the next 50 years will see a shift in growth rates as the current apparent plateau in many nations begins to rise after such technologies are widely available, in my past analysis of the effects of this technology I’ve estimated this to be the case by the mid 2030's.
So there is a lot of work to do, technological pieces need to be put into place in Africa to reduce ignorance and religiosity, expand access to contraception and reduce population growth rates while making access to information and resources more efficient. In the first world or developing first world, work needs to continue reducing ignorance (as every where else) building the first energy efficient networks for lowered costs of production and delivery and for those nations with negative population growth, revigoration technology will emerge to allow population rates to continue rising or even be made to stay constant.
I’ve written in my posts on the need for building a self healing infrastructure (SHI) utilizing technological tools that I’ve felt some what less optimistic at our making it out of this century without major discord, I still feel discord is likely as though much technology will be available it will not be distributed evenly which is a major problem that must be solved …especially if we are to avoid having pockets of economic instability or religious regression or both throw entire regions into turmoil (see Isis).

Originally posted in medium.

18 June, 2015

Neopolitan people and Rachel Dolezal

So the idea that Rachel Dolezal is in some way a fraud by taking the risks that she has to embrace a black identity to me are absurd for several reasons.

I've seen all the analysis from various people of color on this, trying to paint Rachel as some kind of fraud by "appropriating" black culture...but this makes sense only when you realize that the perpetrator is actually is NOT giving up their primary identity.

Elvis was appropriating African American culture ...he didn't identify with it beyond his use of the music...he didn't want to BE black.

Yet here comes Rachel, a woman who has actually embraced the identity of being black by going so far as to accept the label of being black when it is levied *against her* based on others perceptions of her appearance.

This is the critical piece, when she decided to identify as black is completely irrelevant....the fact is she really feels that she is black (in terms of experience) and is willing to suffer the thorns that come with *being black* by definition of that association.

Nothing else matters from that point, she was able to "pass" as black and by doing that, she immediately suffered everything of what it means to be black (as perceived by every one who saw her who was NOT black but assumed that SHE was black...such is the power of white entitlement)  She tanned herself, she curled her hair...people (some non zero percentage) saw HER as black and thus TREATED her that way.

She's been confronted and is not giving up her appropriation....rather, like Jesus she's choosing to wear the crown of thorns. Either she is suffering a deep psychosis OR she really feels a strong affinity to black experience to such a degree that she chooses to experience the pains of being black even though she does not have to.

That perception of treatment is enough....so now the question is how much of an experience of being black must a person have to be "black".

Is Beyonce "black "enough?

Is Vanessa Williams "black" enough?

Is Haile Berry "black" enough?

Is Jennifer Lopez "black" enough?

As a Latino (yes, Hatians are Latino) I am very well aware of the weird middle zone that one is fitted into as a result of the binary tendencies of African Americans (twisted by the pathology of their unique experience, granted) ...in a very similar way people of Haitian descent have been put into a limbo of ethnic experience....distinct from English speaking Caribbeans by virtue of language and culture, distinct from Spanish speaking Caribbeans by distinction of language...yet with no ability to "appropriate" either group as an identity because of phenotype association that exists for most Haitians. (They tend to "look" clearly, "black")

Ultimately Dolezal (mental illness or not) has a genuine perception of herself as "black" and the question is not weather or not she's being authentic...but rather, why is it that we can't accept that how she defines HERSELF is how we should accept her??? She is it appears a Neopolitan person.....she has chose to embrace the rainbow, sure it is the case that blacks lack that choice...but that is irrelevant to the fact that once she chooses to be black, once others see her as black....then the full weight of what that means falls on her in a very similar if not identical way to those "born" black.

The hypocrisy that stands out here from those who have attached Rachel for claims of "appropiation" is that if they feel Rachel can't choose to be who she claims to be....then neither can any one else, I can't embrace being "latino" because others think I don't "look" latin enough, a person who claims being born female in a males body can't either (yes, there is an intersection here....the math is clear). Another person who is half Asian and half Jewish and attends ceder can't either...it goes on and on.

And thus now we can look at what this all boils down to....when we consider what technology is doing  at the moment.

In my chapter in the book The future of business, I cover the cosmecutical industry that I predict will be a billion dollar industry in the next 10 years. The ability to utilize gene editing technology to precisely modify genotype and phenotype will open up an entire new vista of possibilities particularly with regard to the pesky intersection of identity and race that the Dolezal event marks.

Within the next 10 years, Rachel will actually BE able to change her hair and skin color to phenotypes that are part of "black" dominant perception. Assuming she does this.....what level of experience does it take for her experience to be authentic? If a blonde Nordic person lives as a black person for 2 decades and suffers the various types of discrimination that entails fully aware of its existence why should we not recognize the embrace of that identity?

How would that be measured??

Anyone in my view who is willing to jump into the fire is some one whose view should be respected (even if it inspires confusion).






10 June, 2015

Cosmecuticals: The trigger to an injection of innovation in fashion to come?

A recent post posits that the time for Men in the Western world to give up the embrace of the beard is nigh. The author of that article probably hasn't noticed something interesting about the last 20 years of fashions evolution.

It is safe to say that starting around the turn of the century we haven't created any fundamentally novel innovations in fashion. Everything is some type of remix of what came before...I see this clearly when I walk down a street in Brooklyn or Manhattan or the Bronx.

Different people freely wearing what ever style era clothing they feel comfortable with, there is no clear distinction to clothing of 2015 as distinct from clothing of 2010 as distinct from clothing going back I'd say to about 2005. 10 years of relentless remixing of what came before rather than anything really new.

thick tie or skinny tie, fitted shirts or loose shirts, skinny jeans or bell bottoms...just walk through Williamsburg to see what the hipsters are wearing.

Everything. From every Era.

Over here some guy wearing plad!

Over there some girl in a hoop skirt.

Over here some guy in baggy 90's like grunge jeans.

Over there some girl in super colorful tights.

Same with hair and makeup...tons of mixing. thick eye brow on one girl, pencil brow on another sitting next to her on the train. Big 80's hair on one girl , next to short pixie crop from 90's (or mid 60's if you paid attention) on another girl. Now I am sure that depending on where you are population density varies the variety of fashion forms that can be found (a small town is likely to have very homogeneous fashion trends) but it is clear that the trend in large cities has moved toward any style as the norm, a rainbow mix of fashion from eras going back to Victorian times in some cases.

It's all rather fascinating ...I wonder if this is just a intermediate period before some sudden break into something completely unique and different emerges....possibly enabled by radical injection of technology into our fashion?

As I've written in the cosmecuticals chapter in the Future of Business book, the ability to change our hair texture and color will be a huge industry that there is a ton of demand to embrace, interesting novelty will be possible that is currently not possible once we can modify those genes in various non natural ways...and those will shape what designers come up with to compliment the new combinations of humanity that we'll be providing them as inspiration.

So that's my bet....that we are just at a point before a state transition occurs as enabled by this technology to come. Links: http://sent2null.blogspot.com/2014/02/cosmecuticals-are-closer.html http://sent2null.blogspot.com/2014/07/tyras-cloudy-fashion-crystal-ball.html

19 April, 2015

The end of the Hegemony of time, how the AOW paradigm allows us to unlock and present our creative potential.

This article makes the case that brainstorming is an ineffective means of inspiring creativity or innovation. It is yet more evidence to support the dominant reasons behind my inventing the Action Oriented Workflow (AOW) paradigm. A quote from the article above confirms what drove my intuition:

Claims about the success of brainstorming rest on easily tested assumptions. One assumption is that groups produce more ideas than individuals. Researchers in Minnesota tested this with scientists and advertising executives from the 3M Company. Half the subjects worked in groups of four. The other half worked alone, and then their results were randomly combined as if they had worked in a group, with duplicate ideas counted only once. In every case, four people working individually generated between 30 to 40 percent more ideas than four people working in a group. Their results were of a higher quality, too: independent judges assessed the work and found that the individuals produced better ideas than the groups.

One of the guiding hypothesis for my invention of the action oriented workflow paradigm was the insight that ultimately people are not their most creative when they are saddled with any kind of pressure to perform, it is true that many seem to be less troubled by various stresses under the need to perform but that is not the same as saying that they are unbothered...just better able to deal with them than others.

The ideal performance environment for the generation of creativity or performance of a type desired is actually thus one of ultimate peace.

In business, pressure looms like a giant across multiple levels. Employers are under pressure to perform their daily or monthly acts to achieve some (usually arbitrary) company , department or division goal. Managers are double pressured by possible dissension in the ranks of those they manage or pressure from  upper management. The ability for people to optimally create or perform is compromised by default.

The common practice of using gatherings of people to discover solutions to existing problems mixes together the sources of social pressure and coupled with cost and time constraints leads to short cuts to completion that otherwise would not be taken and by being taken only lead to the slow build up of increasingly inefficient processes that ultimately fail as addressing a companies given market while leading to workers who are over taxed, over stressed and incapable of giving their best work.

I saw in 2003 when I started building the code for AOW that leveraging the potential ability for people to be most creative when they were at peace would lead to a potential revolution in how companies recruit work from their employee base...more over I saw it as a tool that could potentially help them recruit work from any potential provider of that work...so long as a degree of confidence in their competence could be determined...but how to do this automatically?

Realizing that decoupling work or action execution from executing agent was the key, coupled with a large volume of potential performers ...the tyranny of large numbers would actually be inverted ...the more potential agents the more likely that any given action can be done by some one both willing and competent at performing it.

By 2005 this "explicit" workflow version of AOW was completed...it wasn't until 2011 that I would extend it to allow an "implicit" workflow...which would gather historical data of action performance from agents and use that to predictively route future actions to agents discovered in real time. This is done using a statistical learning approach that I codified into the term action delta assessment or ADA.

Together AOW and ADA present a brand new way of thinking about harnessing the work potential of people by enabling them to be emancipated of most of the traditional pressures of performance indicated above. The hegemony of time now broken an "emancipated workforce" could not provide continuous quality in their performance as requested from a global pool of potential but not necessarily "on call" workers.

In the years since I've been talking about this technology more openly...others have voiced similar views on the future of work. I recently read of the work of a British creator of a system that tries to approach AOW but doesn't quite hit the mark as it lacks the critical work routing elements, as the deployment of technology continues to benefit the rentiers and upper classes already flush with cash the need for a way to leverage the power of knowledge in free labor pools will continue to rise and AOW enabled systems will become the dominant ones. The simultaneous realization of these ideas by other technologists is a  comfort to the value that is inherent in the approach.

People want to work across their value landscapes, to maximize their inherent values ability to derive compensation...and on their own schedules...yesterday I did art, today I write code...tomorrow I build a pc...the optimal system would be one that can find my desire to work when I am most willing to commit some action from my set of skills....it is by dynamically harnessing this truth over all available workers...that we simultaneously improve the efficiency of companies and the people they employ. AOW as implemented in AgilEntity​ is that system. I'm still evangelizing my solution but find solace in the direction of the future with more and more people stumbling into what I saw as clear as day a dozen years ago and started building the future I wanted to live in, that future is now.


14 April, 2015

Commercial Drone future, why the skies will not fall.

So the other day a few Luddites opined in one of my Facebook threads that they felt that the upcoming drone revolution would not be practical in cities. This short video shows exactly why they are wrong:


As a technologist who has built complex distributed system I had to chuckle at the doubts being described. People who don't work in technology have no clue of the large reduction of complexity and errors that attends having a good design. Consider the internet we are using...designed to ensure that our communications find their way to the desired destination...even with constant breaks in the communication channel across the internet...magic ? No, good design, expected packet loss and routing via  tcp/ip , udp at the low level through routers and switches and what seems like a hopeless problem is routinely done trillions of time per second across the whole globe.

The video above demonstrates in a few seconds why those Luddites are wrong, consider first that planes today are mostly human driven still...and thus prone to the machinations of humans as well as their errors. Then consider the incredible density of flights...over a short 7 hour span with zero failures.

Now make them all robots and you can get even more dense while not increasing the failure rate at all since unless a systemic problem asserts (a nightmare scenario Luddites like to mention with no real reason to assert it other than playing "what if") they'll just continue to fly getting from place to place...just like the packets being routed variably around the internet to convey this message to you. Now the analogy is not exact since the internet in fact does factor in "dropped" packets and a real route system can't exactly do that since material costs are finite unlike information being transmitted electronically which can be regenerated if it doesn't reach it's destination but good design will virtually eliminate the equivalent of "dropped" packets in dense areas.


I've explained variably in my responses to these Luddites but here's the meat of it.

1) Once Commercial Drones are given multiple ways to sense their environments (Intel is releasing a chip set that allows cheap 3D sensing of environments) they'll be easy to build so that they can fly autonomously and engage natural collision avoidance heuristics.

2) Once enabled with communication radios they can provide predictive data to nearby drones allowing yet another reduction in the possibility of collisions by adjusting courses from further off to avoid them...even while navigating in close proximity to near by drones.

3) Drones should be designed with redundant rotors...taking out a rotor on a drone should not make it catastrophically fail (fall from the sky). Good design will assume a rotor can die at any time and the drone can then initiate an emergency redirect to ground, ideally at known land zones for drones that experience such failures.

4) Drone rotor power in my design would be independent, if using a battery the battery system would take 4 independent cells, each feeding independent circuits to the rotors and thus preventing a catastrophic failure of any one battery from bringing down the entire drone.

5) Delivery logistics to final destinations in apartment buildings will be handled by simply having packages delivered to the roof of such buildings or designated delivery platforms placed out side windows or common areas for buildings. Surveillance cameras will continue to be widely deployed and will be far smarter than today, so fears of theft are again more fear than fact.

:All of these are base constraints that the lucky engineers working on building commercial drone delivery at Amazon and other companies would be wise to put into practice if they are to avoid the Luddite fears of drones falling from the sky mentioned above.

Looking at this chart of humans driving air planes over a 7 hour period and considering the difference in susceptibility to errors that automated systems are compared to humans..makes it pretty clear to me that these folks are wrong.

I made a wager that 10 years from now we'll see a large US city with some level of commercial drone deliveries happening. I stand by that statement.

07 April, 2015


Prologue 2:13 am:
{A dimly lit room in a dusty and crowded apartment complex, the hum of several computers and the buzz of a couple of desktop sequencers the only noise in the room besides the click and clack of typing...}

Amir peers at the screen, his eyes strained from several hours of coding. Just a few hours earlier he had an epiphany regarding the right way to encode a genetic sequence that would allow the proper replication behavior to be triggered. He'd been working on this code for about a week and was hoping with the help of Allah that he could figure out the riddle.

Turns out the problem was not as difficult as he first surmised, as builders of code often encounter when attacking a touch challenge. As a 21 year old he'd encountered quite a few challenges but he was still some what unsure of his abilities despite the fact that those around him believed with the help of God that he could succeed.

He was working on this project for them, for his mother who at 47 still worked her hands to nubs grinding grain to sell in the market, for his little sister Amara who helps their mother sell grain in the market,  for his Mullah who during Mosque was so eloquent in describing the importance of the work to Allah and the critical nature of timing. Amir, like many Yemeni in this part of San'a was born in quite steep poverty. The discord that has attended the country since the early 2000's continued on a simmer boil for the last 30 years...all he's known are the bombings and assassinations. Actions that in his mind and by all accounts of all those who he cares about are a direct result of the United States intervention in the region during the Iraqi conflict of 2003 - 2012. He holds an especial anger toward American's and the west in general for the way it appeared that all their actions were focused on carving up the middle east like a turkey in order to get at it's oil resources.

Yet the middle east had been more or less left out of the great transition that happened in many parts of the west since then, the rapid advance of solar technologies led to grid parity solar blanketing most western countries by the mid 2030's. The advances also of machine learning and artificial intelligence led to the explosion of the autonomous robot revolution by end of the 2020's which enabled many cities to rapidly convert to autonomous road ways and dramatically reduce delivery costs for many goods.  Over night the value of petroleum based fuel dropped precipitously, retaining potential for a time in the production of various types of polymers but these markets were obliterated by the other big technological advance of the last 50 years.

The genetic revolution, initiated by the Century beginning achievement of sequencing of the human genome...now in 2036 was the first step in a rapid set of advances....advances that paralleled but eclipsed the formation of the home computer industry 25 years prior....sequencing of the genome revealed the reality that genetics was going to be a bit more complex to figure out than previously thought...the "central dogma" held by most geneticists up to that time was shown to be wrong, one gene did not code for one protein....the reality is a complex dance of genetic expression, coupled with RNA modulation factors and cytoplasmic modulation was responsible for the dynamics of converting some genotype into some dynamic expressions of phenotype.

It at first seemed rather depressing as the work to unravel how gene networks interacted to create various proteins, enzymes and then under some then unknown timing process guided the construction of entire organs or the evolution of particular developmental processes was unknown.

This is all academic history to Amir, a poor boy from a dangerous section of a city still steeped in the discord of 30 years earlier...it's people left with no one to blame but the western countries that seemed bent on causing trouble in their part of the world.

Why had Allah seemingly forsaken them?

The advance of biotechnology coupled with the advance of advanced solar provided a particularly nasty one two punch to the economic and political and religious dynamics of the region. The first punch was the decimation of the petroleum market, which led to plummeting valuation in the currencies of many of the Arabian and South Asian countries that heavily relied on it's production and export. Even Saudi Arabia suffered greatly, to the point that the great northern country that had gleemed for decades ...was now itself embroiled in civil war emerging from the collapse of the economy after the petroleum industry was broken.

The second punch was the rise of the aforementioned genetics and biotechnology industry. The timeline read like an approach to a horror show for middle eastern economies based on petroleum.  The supplemental production of plastics and other polymer based products for a time allowed the slow destabilization in the petroleum markets. This was induced by the emergence of global parity solar production, but when synthetic biological methods rapidly came into the for the need to use petroleum products was lost as the expense relative to either bio conversion directly from plant matter or simply biosynthesis using custom bacteria, fungus and viral agents obsoleted what was an already decimated market throwing any such economies into the abyss.

Amir ran all his technology using a few graphene based panels that he hung outside of his window like sheets to dry, these were connected to a portal battery collector unit ...also utilizing advanced nanotechnology to store extraordinary amounts of charge density ....even given the some what shadowed light he received on this portion of the street that his apartment complex faced. He had more than enough energy for his work, you see Amir had been playing with biotechnology and genetic since he was a child....he was fascinated by the underlying Science and had read and seen the ways that its application had changed people and animals of affluence for the last few years.

Affluent people had been "revigorating" themselves for nearly two decades, leaving those without the money to purchase such treatments to age and die. This year was an interesting one as the west saw rapid reductions in the costs of revigoration and more of the middle class in many western countries engaged the process. The middle east for economic reasons mentioned...wasn't so lucky...save for the few remaining rich who didn't themselves move into the west...but the biotechnology itself...like the access to computing resources 65 years earlier continued to fall in price and become ubiquitous. This ubiquity led to many conflicts ...the Russian - China incident of 2028 stands out in global memory as a particularly terrifying example of what could happen with intentionally crafted biotech.

This is what most intrigued Amir and guided by the support of his Mullah put him on the path to his current work. See Amir has been working on crafting a viral agent with particularly unique properties, building using the tools that have now been available for several decades, fast sequencing, molecular genetic construction, comparative genomic analysis utilizing induced pluripotent stem cells and the follow on techniques to the 2013 innovation of the CrispR-Cas9 process.

These were the paint brush, paint and easel that Amir would use to design a virus that could be deployed to the west via infected drinking water and then perform a most insidious act, the virus would silently replicate in the host once ingested by vectoring to tissues in the small intestines lining, they would then silently replicate in the host for 5 days...during this time they'd mask their presence to the host and thus not give up the standard warnings of pain or inflammation that would indicate that an infection had taken place...once the virus had fully replicate to a point that a given density had been reached...the viral agents would trigger stage two of their attack....this would involve the genetic modification of the lining of the intestine such that the standard process of carbohydrate and enzyme amino acid absorption would break down...this would lead thus to an inability for the host to derive sustenance from ingested food....it would all pass out of their system.

What would look at first like a gift to the host would soon reveal itself to be a nightmare...as without any absorption of carbohydrates the host would quickly develop extreme fatigue, with lack of absorption of amino acids from protein sources the host would rapidly start shedding muscle weight, the virus also resisted water osmosis through the small intenstine walls and thus forced dehydration...most would be dead within 3 days of noticing the "symptoms" which would to them appear only as a little bit of unexplained weight loss.

Amir was in Love with the technical elegance of his particular approach, independent of the fact that it would indeed kill tens of thousands if not millions before it was discovered as the culprit and means to combat it devised.

For him this was a holy mission, his reason d'etre to punish the west for the destruction and abandonment they engaged on his part of the world. Of those whom he loved only the Mullah and several other members of the mosque who provided some of the resources knew what he was working on but the world would soon know that he was God's instrument in righting the wrongs of the West against Islam.

Epilogue Monday July 24th 6:35 pm:

Amir was excited to meet and deliver his work to the courier from Turkey who would ensure that it would get to London where another brother of God would take it to a European costal desalination and bottling plant. Since energy was virtually free, desalination facilities could run using energy captured via solar panels and could do so 24 hours a day, the irony being that such technology had not been deployed in a manner of its need. Yemen for example only had one such plant and it was used primarily to supply the more affluent areas of the country and via bribes to also supply affluent peoples in the region in other neighboring countries with much trade coming across the Red Sea in Eritrea...all that didn't matter, Emir knew it was the best place to interject his new creation.

 He'd also met with a contact from North America days earlier and had delivered a collection of the agent to him as well to use in eastern and western coast water extraction plants. He knew the fastest way to spread his creation was using this means. It also had a significance to him to use water as in his mind as a culmination of the technology that destroyed his part of the world it made sense that Allah's wrath would come in the form of water, that God in essence would provide a sustenance of tears to the enemies of Islam...and so on the tiny bottles of the agent that he careful dispensed a single white label presented with the phrase:

(Gods Tears)

02 April, 2015

Slash that...Google wallet wasn't the problem.

Update (Friday April 3, 2015) !!

It turns out I wrote this article on the wrong information. Google it turns out is not to blame for the delay the authorizing bank is the source. For what ever reason they flagged the transaction for review (likely the fact that the investor was in Europe when she initiated the request) and that is why the fund transfer to her Google Wallet account and to mine has been delayed. I thus retract the bulk of the comments made below with the mistaken belief that the hold was an internal matter on Google's part. Still the fact that their customer service were unable to clearly specify the source of the block is a big issue that they should address the integrity of their system for review is not relevant as it was not their system that was the cause of this issue. I keep this article up only  as public record of the affair.

So the month starts anew and with it I receive a transfer from my investor at least I am supposed to via Google wallet as initiated by her action…usually this process happens instantly but not this time.

The transaction remained in a permanent state of “pending” for most of the morning and then not wanting to play the role of a nag I asked my investor if she could call Google and check to see what the issue was. This is *after* I called them and confirmed that the issue was not due to a block placed on my account.
She called Google and was told that the reason it was blocked was due to a *random* flag for review that their automated security service engages.

This makes sense and is normal for many banks to provide but what stuck out was the use of the world “random” which my investor confirmed was stated by the rep. It should be clear to any one that having a random review process would make no sense…as it provides a non zero probability that one flags for review a transaction that is completely 100% on board, the optimal process for flagging should apply some type of filter to the criteria of transactions in order to trigger a flag….for example it turns out that my investor is in Europe at the moment and though she has transferred funds from outside of the nation before, that *may* be a consideration in a security flagging heuristic (many banks employ them to ensure fraud is not happening).

However the transaction was not flagged due to any consideration other than a random one which is a failure of the business process, it simply should not work this way…it’s bad design.
Things get more convoluted, apparently the items flagged for review on this random schedule hijack the funds for up to 9 days of review.

Considering that many of these transfers involve fulfillment of contract payments between vendors and customers this is *unacceptable* for any running business to tolerate. Yes, Google indicates that this is possible up front in their terms of service but it is STILL unacceptable as it undermines the very action that many people are using the service for that it was PRIMARILY designed to engage.

Their TOS is akin to having a car manufacturer telling you in the purchase contract that the car they just sold you is likely to lose wheels in mid transit down the road and that the car company is absolved of responsibility …this is absurd and any law that enables such madness is a flawed one (looking at you USG). That said from a business perspective having your funds delayed up to 9 days is just the start of the issues….the funds are in a limbo where neither the SENDER or the RECEIVER has access to them.
How do I know Google isn't making money off of that money in the churn gap (they likely are but aren't paying either of us jack squat for it).

This stinks to high heaven….it is beyond EVIL which Google has expressed is their charter, “don’t be evil” …well Google you have fucking failed on an epic level with this rule.

So what can Google do to aleviate themselves of this evil practice they are currently engaging in??
Well the delay for review is almost certainly due to the fact that what ever automated system they have performing the “random” flags is populating some common queue of transactions and those are then fed to live human agents who then are tasked with making sure that the transaction is valid and not fraudulent…this takes time…however it is very easy for google to set the rate at which such flags are performed (since they are as they say “random”) so as events fill the queue the review team knows the rate at which they are clearing the incidents and for what ever reason set a 9 day max limit on time to review from first entry to system…as I mentioned earlier this is *unacceptable* as users rely on the transactions happening as soon as possible….1 day would be potentially troublesome , 9 days is absolutely absurd.

A single days delay could mean the difference between an on time payment and a late fee assessed for being one day beyond. A single days delay could mean that an account goes into collections….Google has every responsibility to get this done inside a 24 hour cycle…so they can:

If they hire more reviewers then they can shorten the maximum wait time from delays they can arbitrarily hire the numbers required to get the review time down below a day…and solve this problem.
If they reduce the rate at which the random selection is happening they can solve the problem as well.

 As mentioned earlier there is NO reason why the flagging is “random” in the first place that is a flaw that needs to be removed from the system…but beyond that reducing the selection rate would reduce the review rate for customers and that can get it below 24 hours wait.
If they stop random selection entirely and only trigger reviews for transactions that have unique signatures (like a request that comes from a foreign country when a previous history of request were not) they reduce the load of flagged items in the queue and again reduce the time to review.

All of these things can be done by Google NOW to alleviate themselves of these *unacceptable* delays incurred on their users for a service that promises the opposite of what they are delivering when they hold funds hostage for more than one day.

I am hoping some one at Google gets this and puts plans into motion to fix this major flaw in their service. I otherwise enjoy Google Wallet it has replaced a good deal of my banking and I’d love to provide additional advice on how it can be even better but the first is to actually make the service work as people are expecting any banking service to work….anything else is:
The other side of the coin…
So the customer service side of things was some what reasonable…save for the fact that they could not expedite the solution to the problem.
If it is the case that items from a given day need to be cleared by a given day in the future (up to 9 days in current flawed system) then it means that unless a user calls up to COMPLAIN when they get their money can fall any where in that 9 days…
If I am a pissed off customer and I need that transaction to go through ASAP and I take time out of my busy day to call your customer service to express the fact that I need that review expedited then it should be done …
without delay
without excuse
it should be done.
After all the queue of items for a given day is already KNOWN (if it is not known then there is another FLAW in the system design that needs fixing) and it is on this basis that the 9 day guarantee can even be made (think about it) so to then tell me that you can’t reorder my transaction for execution before others who are oblivious and accepting of the delay is basically absolute bullshit.
So when my investor called Google Wallet and told them she needed the transfer to go over they gave her some nonsense about it being still considered for early review….which is again unacceptable. This should not be a decision that any one is reviewing….at this point the users money is in limbo some quantum mechanical state of alive and dead that neither the SENDER of the money nor the RECIEVER can access…how this entire situation is even legal is beyond me….but it is definitely Evil , it is definitely non Google and it definitely needs to be fixed NOW.
If Google needs technical help figuring it out I am a software engineer, I’ve build very complex systems and I can help guide the process give me a ring…or email…or text. I just want my money.
Let me know when you stop being evil in this regard Google and I’ll update this article with new information.