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Showing posts from 2011

Abiogenesis and Exoplanets and photosynthesis...so many little details..

A friend on Facebook posited:

The existence of other Earth-like planets depends on their microorganisms developing photosynthesis -- not a sure thing by any means. There are lots of chemical ways of making a living. So if only our bacteria evolved photosynthesis then Earth is the only planet in the 'verse with an oxygen atmosphere. I provided the following explanation of the subtleties that attended the invention of photosynthesis during Earth's history....

"The existence of other Earth-like planets depends on their microorganisms developing photosynthesis."

That's mostly true, though it depends on how you classify "Earth-like" do you mean as it is now? Or as it was say 3 billion years ago when the atmosphere was devoid of oxygen, or a billion years later where it was very different from a billion before but still devoid of oxygen...or 300 million years ago when Oxygen percentages were significantly higher than they are today? But that's not the …

Social networking is really AOL's innovation...

In a recent post on Facebook, a friend posited a question I have seen posed a few times in the last few years but usually answer individually. It is:

"I wonder sometimes, how did Zuck think that this site of his would get so popular even if MySpace was waay popular back then?
What made him keep doing things?"

My answer is simple, it's based on historical knowledge of what was happening (or not happening) in the space circa 2004. It also is based on what had happened in the critical 5 years prior to 2004 that enabled the shift to a new type of social networking to be possible.

My first answer was:"Novelty, what is scarce has inherent value....doesn't matter what it is. Find a piece of 20,000 year old fossilized human shit (coprolite) and you'll understand what I mean."

To elaborate, there was nothing new concept wise about what Zuckerberg was doing....what was new was the technology he was using to do it. Almost every feature we have here on FB we had i…

How does an idea form? Autonomics + Memory + Emotion..

Love that first question and I think it is very important, secondary to me is how we process sensory information ....the mechanisms for that are present from what we know about pattern recognition, we have simulated (using neural networks and more recently neuron-less statistical learning approaches) that part of brain function going back to the early 90's. We even have been able to do it virtually using computer programs but what of intention? drive? What unseen force drives the shift of thoughts?

It is pretty obvious when we think backward in time, imagining that our homonid brains could be de-evolved with each second accounting for 100 years in evolutionary time. In 10 seconds we'd only be at 1,000 a.d. not much changed biologically, in 100 seconds we'd be at 10,000 years...still not a major shift, 500 seconds and we are at 50,000 years...now things are starting to get interesting....for we don't see any evidence of formal writing systems, 1,000 seconds in our trip …

The more we earn the harder it is for us to deploy that value to boost innovation.

I've made this argument before and to me it seems trivially true but alas...

More or less people have a relatively fixed value scape. A value scape spans the total number of skills that one has that one can put to earning a pay check. It also includes being able to use those skills indirectly to pick winners in their space of expertise (such as an ex. engineer being better at picking companies in the space she once worked due to her expertise and knowledge of the space).

We all tend to have our set of things we do well and don't expand them much through our lives. Now depending on how well we are doing one or another of these things (extracting value from the skill) we can come to earn wealth...which we deploy into providing for ourselves and our families and as well redeploy into either businesses (in the areas in which we have expertise) or just save away for a rainy day.

What should be obvious is that as we gain more and more wealth from having deployed our talents and acqu…

Action Oriented Workflow : Emancipated Worker sourcing allows people to maximize their value

The key advantages of action oriented workflow have been specified in this post and the identification of ways in which it can be used to both enable businesses using it to emancipate their workforce and as well enable the emancipated workers to maximize their value should be clear.

A recent set of events have gotten me to thinking a bit more deeply about what role automated inferring systems should play in organizations. From the perspective of some it would seem that AOW based businesses will be responsible for the elimination of many tasks which currently are performed by several layers of humans in the organization who's task it is to run analysis on metrics gathered from their managed teams to determine how to redirect the execution of failing projects or direct the execution of planned new ones. This view is true in so far as such tasks are far more efficiently performed from the business perspective by an automated learning process. Such processes are able to behave in ways…

Love post Super mortality...

by now you should be convinced that the Science Fiction we all grew up with is mostly completely wrong. Wrong about when we are going out into space, wrong about *what* is going out into space, wrong about how we will change on this planet in the next half century, wrong about the ways we will truly effect all living things on this planet in intimate genetic ways.

Here we are in the midst of building the detailed tools that will allow us to continue to modify organisms and create organisms from scratch.

Here we are decoding the book of DNA and finally understanding how it's secrets have been organized.

Here we are discovering how the book is organized beautifully into chapters and sections that enable specific production of entire tissues and organ structures and simultaneously guide their developmental projection over time.

Here we are, knocking on the door of the mutational and structural break downs that lead to the condition called aging, which we know KNOW for a fact does not…

A revolution in living....

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/11/111103120605.htm


It's difficult to preface the development indicated in the link above without getting emotional. For those who have been closely following the steady and rapid set of advances in the areas of cell biology and genetics over the last 10 years or so, the pacing has been exhilarating and remarkable. From the invention of iPSC by Shinya Yamanaka in 2006 to the demonstration of clear ability to restore a youthful state to senescent cells in only 5 years is amazing. In that time dozens of teams across the world have contributed additions to the race that have enabled the culmination of the success indicated above. These cofactors will go down in history as the beginning of the new therapy of revigoration. The restoration of life states to youthful points of operation using periodic treatments.

I prognosticated about this ability over several posts in the last few years, but in my wildest optimistic projection did I think we…

The 10 Commandments of Efficient Coding.

I was recently asked for advise on how the manage a development project and decided to make it into a 10 commandments of efficient coding. This is ideal for any team size and if followed diligently leads to efficiently written code. Have any more that you would add to the list? Feel free to indicate yours in the comments below.
 Thou shalt spend at least 50% of ones time thinking about a problem before actually beginning any code. Conceptual design is critical to properly grounding the code in the ballpark of the problem being solved such that the solution spans the problem space as much as possible. Not attending to this stage could lead to spectacularly bad choices of solution for the scope of a problem. Thou shalt document everything. Every single thought on the development, ideas of implementation should be written down. I keep multiple "to do" lists in .txt files and as well in the memo field entries for my source control tool when I am checking in new code. Documentati…

The Return of the Space Cowboy, for Facebook

Because Facebook share widget refused to post this directly I had to "cheat". Apparently the video above contains a reference to the file sharing service "piratebay" in the video header and that prevented the Facebook link widget from allowing the share to embed. The reference is a solicitation to download the album at torrent bay and I agree such solication is wrong....but that is what the poster of the video intended...not what I intend. I just want my friends to listen to "Return of the Space Cowboy" the song I was humming this morning and thought...to find on youtube.

So, in a few seconds of being denied I figured I'd just embed the video in a blog post and link the post to facebook. My friends get to see the video as I intended and all is well with the world...of course I could have found another video reference to the song that didn't include any reference to PirateBay but then the question of "could it be done?" that sprang into …

Self Healing infrastructure means the end of a compensation requirement...

In a post I submitted to Facebook regarding the rise of automation and robotics and the fear of mounting unemployment a discussion occurred in the comments and the question below was asked by Bill Davidson:

"There will have to be a revolution in how we "compensate" people. "

In response I wrote the following hypothetical scenario in the vein of this post and this post that I've written that paint the possible future in a story. The gist being here that over time the *need* to compensate will become obsolete since the agents that we would be getting services from won't require payment. We like wise won't *need* to be performing work to get payment the self healing infrastructure that we construct would just provide it for us.

Imagine this scenario:

You go to bed at 11 pm and promptly at 7 am your robotic assistant raps at your door bidding you to wake. The assistant has already prepared breakfast which is waiting hot in your kitchen. You open the bedroom do…

Power to the Pad: Why the revolution of these devices will make them more ubiquitous than phones.

In a recent article at Business Insider the acceleration in the pad device market is discussed. In a blog post from January of 2010, just prior to the release of the Ipad I explained why the pad device was going to be the hottest consumer electronic device of the next 5 years. Now, nearly 2 years later my prediction has become more than validated by the market. The fastest growth rate of any consumer device by far Pad devices are finally taking off in the mind of the consumer and many players are itching to get in the game. I had been wondering of the ways that the form factors of these devices constrain manufacturing and price conditions and decided to write those out in this blog post. The premise of the BI article was that Amazon had no clear line to profitability but that analysis leaves out what costs will be like for such devices even two years down the line. If Amazon can gain market share now they'll make profit when production costs are far lower than they are today but t…

Meat production local versus export and why SHI will make it not matter any more...

From this blog post an interesting quote highlighted is:


it is twice as energy efficient for people in Britain to eat dairy products from New Zealand than from domestic producers. It is four times more energy efficient for them to eat lamb shipped from the other side of the world than it is to eat British lamb.
The main reason for this is one simple phrase from the economics of manufacturing:

Economies of scale.

New Zealand pretty much has defined industries around the lamb, they have massive herds and it is a big part of the economy as a result locally lamb is very cheap to produce. It is also over abundant there for the population, we means demand is low and that in turn means local pricing is low...local producers would have a glut if they don't export. Exporting is profitable since local producers can tie the price of export into the final distributor fees and those are padded on a bit before sitting in English meat stores, where lamb is much more rare...is not in abundance …

Action Oriented Workflow : Maximize your Value.

As I approached the problem of creating a distributed web application platform I found it necessary to construct an efficient workflow and business process foundation that would enable any applications built on the platform to enable fluid collaboration and interaction between the agents responsible for designing, building, maintaining and using the created applications. Around 2004 as the critical aspects of the architecture were being finished I began to think about how to build this workflow tool. It turns out that choices I'd made in the architecture pushed me to think about the concept of "action" in the context of a business application and business process workflows.



Action is all that matters

A common business consists of a group of people separated into specific roles and responsibilities over business related objects, products or services working together to serve the business goals with regard to those objects, products or services. We can look at each functio…

Google's plan for Google+ is not to steal you from Facebook....now...

This is a response I posted to a thread on Facebook regarding Google+, I'd been reading from some who think that Google is trying to swipe users from Facebook and that is not only a failing strategy it is not the strategy that their actions indicate. Read:

Google is not interested in pulling you and your massive network over to their service primarily. They want to allow people who are using their distinct services to create a social networking home on G+.


The point is often made that many people who go to Google+ from Facebook come back. I've read many formerly very active users here with big networks go and stay there. They have much more to lose by switching but went anyway...yet still they aren't the fish Google are trying to catch. Those fish are mostly not even American's for the most part they are people in foreign countries using mobile devices for accessing google services...where FB penetration is still low (the numbers of people fitting bill hover in the billi…

How an approach to Self Healing Infrastructure solves the jobs problem....eventually.

In this series of articles on the robot revolution, popular science writer and founder of howstuffworks.com Marshall Brain does a great job of explaining the technological factors of automation that are fast eliminating manufacturing jobs world wide and are contributing to rising unemployment in the human work force as an automated work force ascends.

I wrote a blog post in July that explains why eventually the robot workforce will completely remove humans from the production loop. Once humans are no longer required to either design or build the machines that othttp://www.blogger.com/img/blank.gifher humans use to build and farm the world around us, the costs of production will virtually collapse. Marshall paints a gloomy scenario of a future with rising numbers of unemployed humans that suddenly appear due to specific automation events, for the most part he is correct. The events have been happening, the last great one occurred after the dot com bomb of the early aughts and led to i…