Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Computing Surface Workouts

Sunday, July 28, 2019

Energy Slaves

The meme "energy slave" sounds very not-PC and against the grain of current engineering best practice.

It's from the 1940s as was meant to remind people, depressed about the industrial age, that all of this power working for each of them, was also a potential source of higher living standards.

Without the exploitation of actual slaves.  "Look ma!  All these robots make life easier" (more household conveniences and appliances would come after the war).

This last one rounds out the Polyhedron class implementation, adding more subclasses in the concentric hierarchy.

Saturday, July 27, 2019

Summer Camp 2019

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Project Renaissance

My long term readers will likely have run into Project Renaissance at my website, which this Youtube scans in to video memory. I've been doing such backups, with overvoice narration giving more context.

Here I'm talking about a synergy twixt R&D divisions and front-line field-testing not-for-profits, where you get a lot of scientists committed to advancing knowledge and standards, more than building up earthly goods. Engineers need some dare devils and are occasionally the same person (hence the "mad inventor" stereotype).

Case in point: any new stadium-shaped city on the model of Old Man River would need to document its flaws and failures, as well as its many wins, so that coming generations could improve the designs. This is hardly a new need. Scientists keep lab notebooks. Goes with the territory.

In Project Renaissance, we pay ourselves to do what's needed, versus funding a lot of expensive soaps. We still have dramatic lives, as how could we not. However we also get more work done healing the ecosystem. That would be the goal anyway. Trial and error, along with the element of surprise, have not been ironed out by "machine learning" or anything like that. On the contrary, the predominant storyline is VUCA-esque (life's chaotic).

We're experiencing what Alvin Toffler presciently called "accelerating acceleration" (or "future shock" in his vernacular).

Sunday, July 21, 2019

A Black Mirror Episode?

From Facebook:

Asylum City was my overture to screenwriters to bring an alternative positive futurism to our screens. Americans in detention camps is a nightmare, so is Gaza, but do we have the engineering capability to handle refugees on a massive scale?

Engineers would rather we look at politicians as the ones in charge. They're the professional scapegoats after all. Yet Alphabet is planning new cities (Sidewalk Labs).

Big tech has the smarts and money. DC sells mercenary services and the tools of mass murder for a living. Yet we look to DC for solutions? Go figure.

Why don't kids in cages even get to watch cartoons on Netflix? Because they're being punished for daring to pursue happiness, life, liberty.

The soulless zombie corporations, engineered by lawyers long dead, will gladly kill us all in pursuit of profit. English (the language) encodes their personhood. No wonder they call it Voodoo Economics, the namespace of the walking dead (zombie corporations: we eat your brains).

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

Thinking Out Loud

Given my recent Youtube mentioning Operating Manual for Spaceship Earth, which focuses on hyperspecialization as a species threat, you can bet I'm able to nurse those worries at OSCON, given this is where we preach about "open" and yet we're siloed in our many professions.  A lot of us are "cloud native" these days, which might as well be closed source in so many ways (or should we call it it "inner source")?

When I come to these professional geek conferences, I get overwhelmed on several levels.  For one thing, I'm aware that a lot of people are wanting to be inducted into this world (or "space" as we sometimes say).

The current speaker is from South Africa.  He thinks we're in a dire time, at a tipping point, and change is needed. Like the speaker before, he's putting a lot of eggs in the blockchain basket.

If I'm on a team going around in a bizmo, working at saving the bees, will viewers monitoring me through a video series be able to send me funding with proof of impact?  They see the beehives they're helping to save.  Instead of investors wondering where the money went, they see in micro detail how it was used.

I'm seeing consensus developing in a kind of science fiction language.  "Programmable capital".  The ixo platform I'm currently learning about has a fairly mature vision, expressed in software, for staffing up worthy projects.  React, MongoDB, Ethereum, Tenderman, cosmos... Humans, sensors, any IoT device, are "ledgistered" to transact on the blockchain.  The goal is to localize the "impact economy" and bypass slow-moving bureaucracies.

Politicians have no hope of keeping up to date on all this stuff, but then who does?  How do we pay people to stay home and learn, which is not the same as only watching fictional TV.  They always say democracy depends on an informed citizenry.  The idea a few years of schooling towards the start of one's life constitute an "education" (after which comes "a career") comes across as quaint in this day and age.

Something I learned from the sociologist lady:  the quality of attention we're able to give is declining, whereas the demand for our attention is increasing. Here at OSCON, the speakers are fire hosing dense and technical content, while listeners look at their laptops and smartphones, vaguely listening. I'm a case in point, tapping away on this Asus Tablet with attached keyboard, with a mouse pad that's driving me crazy.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Dimension Again

Two similar presentations.  Compare and contrast.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Ethereum Tutorial

We're deep in the thick of things.  The tutorial leader gave us really quick instructions for grabbing some fake Ethereum after setting up a MetaMask wallet.

I got lost right away.  I was supposed to tweet a request to Rinkeby.  I used a hex number MetaMask gave me (I thought), but that doesn't appear to be my account.  It's fake money anyway, not real Ethereum.

The geeks are asking questions about crypto-currency in general.  Bitcoin swings thirteen standard deviations, says the professor, meaning it's considered high risk.  Is it really a store of value?  Ethereum swings by twelve standard deviations.

Libra, Gemini and some others try to limit volatility by pegging their value to something supposedly less volatile, such as a fiat currency.

We're doing more meta discussion of crypto stuff than coding.  Geth is the golang implementation of the full Ethereum node.  That's not something most people should run.

We get a lot of science fiction about crypto-currencies these days.  People have a lot of hope in their future.

Smart contracts in Ethereum are written in Solidity.

0xB4824D11AddB0c0a6f63ddb30ff601Fb9AB912b3 appears to be my account.  I sent a tweet with it, requesting fake Ether, but I sent another request earlier.  What was that?  I deleted both tweets.

Want to send me some Ethereum, a few wei?  I named it OSCON 2019.  Then email me maybe?  We're experimenting.

My ears are perking up as we're doing a marriage contract in Solidity, for a "decentralized city".  Asylum City?  That's science fiction I've invested in.  Science fiction is an umbrella term for me, that covers any kind of actual planning for the future.  Investment banking would be a subcategory.

I'm thinking of a currency that is meaningful within a city.  Lots of things won't work unless fueled by city crypto.  Dollar bills don't go in the slots; wallet cards do.

Is this a case of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.

Tokens cost nothing to create in Ethereum, and mean nothing in particular by default.   Don't confuse them with crypto-currencies.  Tokens are basically keys to a hashmap.

Tokens are fungible or non-fungible.  The fungible tokens have "face value" we might say.  NFTs include CryptoKitties.  They might represent credentials or merit badges.

Companies that recorded a lot of video about blockchain might be in trouble right now, because everything is changing so fast.  This ecosystem is very fragile.  I think I'll call it a day.

Wednesday, July 10, 2019

More On Current Events

At the time of this posting, all eyes have turned to the sex trafficking circus, which I'm not saying doesn't deserve attention. We have the bandwidth for lots of threads.

However, before that Tucker Carlson rant fades from memory, I want to add my two cents.

Saturday, July 06, 2019

It Takes a Village

Friday, July 05, 2019


Tuesday, July 02, 2019

Bridging the Two Cultures