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Showing posts from 2013

A skyfull of drones: Expect it.

The main gripes I've heard and neutralized are:

1) "Oh but it's so dangerous!! what of drones falling out the sky! what of accidents??"

2) "Oh the government will never allow it, too many laws..too many regulations."

3) Doubts about scale but these are coming from a fear place not a technical place, as an Engineer I can tell you *now* they are moot.

4) Doubts like my brothers which was that people would fear their adoption, that one was easy. We've got a 150 years of new technology being feared and yet still being adopted eventually once all the paranoia was neutralized.

We can start with the hilarious madness of the current wars during the late 1870's, we can move up to the late 19th century in the 1890's to see the same hilarious paranoia said about the forward yet again just 10 to 15 years and see the same hysteria go up about airplanes.  The same data devoid and fear based arguments were put up then....all absolutely moot…

AOW Textbook, the book that may never need to be.


A few months ago I was thinking about one day writing a book that would describe the best practices that those who implement Action Oriented Workflow or use a framework that implements it could refer to. It would provide an extensive history of how I discovered the action landscape and in my implementation of Action Oriented Workflow sought to model it using an efficient distributed computing framework. A thread on Facebook in which I mentioned casually one day needing to "write a book" on the subject led me to play a bit in photoshop and produce the image shown above.

This is a virtual textbook cover of what I'd imagine the book to look like...complete with fake reference to a real publishing company (an inside joke given I once worked there) but the book cover itself may reference something that will never need to be in terms of a formal set of best practices for workflow modeling, as explained below.

On the path to the action landscape...

Though I was working …

Dynamic Cognition in babies, in the abstract

A recently published article  reveals a truth about the cognitive powers of young human babies relative to their primate equal aged cousins but also revealed another tantalizing truth, that the babies had more developed powers of abstract reasoning than children just a few years older.

As I read this I was immediately struck with a possible explanation for this which comes out of what has been theorized about how the brain encodes information in neuronal and other connections and how the current field of artificial intelligence is proceeding apace to try to classify various types of identification and categorization problems using algorithms of various types.


First, what is classification? In the machine learning space classification is the process of gathering and sorting by specific attributes of relatedness any given bit of information along some dimension of salience. Classification algorithms take samples of the given data and attempt to make sense out of that data…

A view to a day of Autononous consensus on mechanized wings

Fast forward:

The year is 2432,

Sergeant Dunning Spitz is thirsty, he's been on patrol in this  God forsaken hell hole for 6 weeks now and the heat is the one thing he simply can't take.

Africa is hot, a kind of hot you remember like no other but Dunning was still thankful...thankful that most of his reconnaissance was being done by proxy of his swarm. See, Dunning is a field Covert Operations specialist (CoPs), he uses his active camo. gear to appear as little more than a shimmer on the soil to those no closer than 10 yards away and he's got a nearly silent robo carrier upon which he is riding...and riding he must....the terrain in this part of Africa is a twisted mess of wet rocks and roots that would have ones feet feeling like they'd been beaten intentionally after only a few hours.

But damn there is that heat, as he takes out his canteen to get a sip of Peltier cooled water h…

Salience theory of dynamic cognition and consciousness.

I recently watched this video interview of MIT researcher Noam Chomsky:

It's an interesting interview but my interest was most piqued when he opines on the progress he feels has not been made with regard to language translation. He claims that the current methods are "brute force" methods. It turns out he's completely wrong about the way that language translation works at least as done by Google using their translate tool. Google does not use brute force to do it's translation...instead it uses an iteration about ideas that are exploding in machine learning. In particular statistical learning approaches.

Peter Norvig has written a lot (of words and code) explaining how statistical methods can lead to very elegant solutions to extremely human like learning heuristics that come out of code.

As lead researcher at Google his approach is quite clear in the function of their translation algorithm which is basically the …

The singularly...important ethical quandary.

These articles chopping up the so called ethical issues of more autonomous systems are often very silly. Every new technology brings with it new patterns of human behavior around those technologies that probe different aspects of human interaction.

It has been so from the invention of fire onward...the question is are the new set of questions worth dealing with compared to the old set that existed prior  the invention of the new technology?

In a world of self driving cars, few drunks who drive consistently due to alcoholism will be able to cause the deaths of others on the road...the elimination of that landscape of possibility due to the new technology far out weigh in my view any other issue that is pointed out by those attempting to analyze ethically a world filled with  such vehicles.

The same I am sure was asked of the use of electric power during the build up of the nation to bury hot lines in the streets and hover them on pole after pole all over the world. I can imagine the di…

Code Evolution: An AOW approach to building a smart app.

What I am about to do is a chronicle of a pattern of thought that encapsulates in one idea among many that I've had how I'd go about using an autonomous learning process to solve using computer code what otherwise would be an extremely hard problem with out applying the methods I will employ.

I am going to do it by introducing you to a problem I pondered yesterday while sitting on the Manhattan bound 2 train. The problem?

How would I reliably create an application that can be given only the starting station and the direction of transit, can reliably indicate all the subsequent stops along the path of a given train line???

It is an idea I've often pondered and solved using the obvious answer, which is to ensure that the subway has wifi access and enable each station to report it's information via an application designed specifically to pick up the report and relay that to the user OR a bit more involved but still effective, allow some sensing of the geographic location …

An engineering analog for the function of astrocytes and their implication in attentional awareness: A theory

A few days ago I was thinking about our brains amazing ability to switch focus on features within an incoming sensory data stream. It has always fascinated me when I probed it in a biological mind frame but I realized this morning after waking a new idea that may explain how attention is performed in the brain.

The idea inspires this article now after I read a post by a friend on Facebook regarding the startled behavior of his cat when ever he takes the vacuum cleaner out of the closet. I realized in that example how my dream could explain its behavior. I assert that when we finally understand the mammalian brain fully we'll be able to prove that the cats brain has an unusually long attentional neuronal pathway.

Recent research in the area of explaining how mammalian brains switch attention seems to implicate a critical role for glial cells in the process of allowing us to keep our attention on certain things in each of our sensory dimensions....for example, your ability to tune i…

Broken Encapsulation, how hacking is really just finding ways to play middle man to component systems.

The annual black hat and defcon conferences are well known events where hackers and crackers of all types of systems come together to demonstrate their latest "exploits". These range from ways to snoop data or voice off of open cell or wifi networks to ways to modify the function of various hardware systems. In this years Defcon conference a team of hackers introduced some exploits of the computer systems inside a modern automobile. You can see a video of some of their results here, the interesting thing about hacking though that goes beyond the FUD generation that the media seems intent on producing by publishing such stories is that they aren't really that surprising.

Engineering systems is about learning to cleverly use abstractions and functional encapsulation to built extremely complex systems. In object oriented programming the concepts of encapsulation are a fundamental aspect of good OO design principles and I've written extensively on these ideas in posts in …

Action Oriented Workflow, workforce emancipation, maximized value landscapes lead to the future we must have.

A recent article indicated in a chart some serious issues facing the American economy specifically but the global economy in general. It focuses on the short term maximization that is the inherent pull for corporations and how that mantra leads businesses to take a relentless approach to cost cutting which includes cutting costs in terms of the salary and other compensation given to employees.

 In a response to a thread started to discuss this article I posted the following that described again from some new angles why Action Oriented Workflow technology allows people to maximize their inherent value and work across their value landscapes. I felt it was worth transcribing into a formal blog post so here it is: What AOW does is it allows performance evaluation to be properly modulated by social cues only so much as needed to complete initiatives begun.

Ideally merit and performance evaluation are linked 1 to 1 and the couple are linked to one simple concept "action", humans …

Edison versus Tesla?? ...your comparison is invalid.

Today is a special day to an army of internet geek followers, proud champions of the en vogue practice of putting up anything technical as something "awesome!" simply because it is technical and people that work in that space are cool for reasons that can't otherwise be distilled. Yet another day where I get to grit my teeth at the dozens of posts upholding the "unbelievable" genius of Nikola Tesla and how he's been so wronged by history.

I am here to strike a contrarian chord.....Give it a rest. Tesla was indeed a great engineer, he devised some really cool technologies, alternating current and wireless transmission technologies being the two best by far....but he was only an engineer. The fact that he died penniless is direct indication of his lack of *grander vision* for the technologies he created and that's the most sad thing of all.

The much maligned Thomas Edison was also an Engineer (contrary to what theoatmeal had to say about that truth here)…