The (subtle) war on Science

Outside of the blatant Anti-Science attacks like Sarah Palin’s War on Science! There are more subtle attacks, a smearing of Science research that undermines Science such as this article; The world’s smelliest magnets I call BS on these sort of studies, any farmer knows that cows face away from the Sun when grazing. No Magnets involved. But the assertion is that this is what constitutes ‘Science’. The attempt is to make a mockery of more Hard Core Scientific Research. Science has a hard enough time getting funding, but to allow anyone to point at magnet cows as an example of ‘Fundamental Scientific Research’ undermines all scientific research. So the next time you muse at a ‘Scientific Study’ of why Men find red-clad women hotter you will know that you are being manipulated against Science.

A sheep in Wolfs (Windows) dressings

If I were managing Microsoft, I’d announce a new Operating System (OS) and prepare copies to hand out of Windows 7 “pre-betas” at PDC, WinHEC which consists of a slightly re-skinned Vista OS which no one wanted when it was called Vista.

And you know, no one will notice, or care that 99.9% of of the new OS is just the same as the old OS and relabeling it will make all the difference in the world!


Why did all the politicians believe that a constitution that had been voted down by the French, could be rename and sold to the Irish?

Why do Politicians now try to pass off the Irish No vote as not representative of the rest of the population of Europe who didn’t get to vote?

Why did the Politicians believe that a childish ‘Because it’s good for you‘ argument that doesn’t work on children, would work on the Irish Adult population?

Big questions. Questions that will never be answered by the current crop of Politicians because they don’t know any part of the Why in these questions.

I can think of a few, here’s one

A) It was only good for politicians

Obama to be assassinated

Or at least that is the desire of some. I’m afraid there is a massive movement of miss information underway to undermine the Obama presidential campaign. Emails and messages are being passed throughout the American South and the Bible Belt that such things as Obama being a Closet Muslin and that he intends to swear into the Presidential Office on the Koran (Quran) rather than the bible. I personally thought this was silly until I saw this video God and Politics in Lynchburg Tennessee It’s amazing the ignorance being spoken here. But the more interesting is the indications that the source of the information is an ‘information artifact’ where there is no defined source for the ‘fact’ being quoted. But the the ‘fact’ carried such emotional weigh that it is believed because it falls into one’s own belief structure. This is dangerous, as Anti Obama information carrying such emotional power, evokes powerful reactions, like assassination.

Pattern Matching vs Prediction

I stumbled upon this article about Who Will Win the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election?. And realized that what they we claiming here was not a predictive method, but merely these people’s attempt to fit, to pattern match, ‘Presidential Electability’ factors to winners of elections. And making a half hearted attempt to apply these historical factors to up coming election. I’ll give you some examples, these are the factors they used in a previous ‘prediction’ Who Should Win the 2004 U.S. Presidential Election? they used factors like

if the candidate served as Director of Central Intelligence (e.g., George H. W. Bush), was a four- or five-star general officer in the United States Armed Forces (e.g., Dwight D. Eisenhower), or ordered the combat use of nuclear weapons (e.g., Harry S. Truman),

as you can see such ‘factors’ could only be applied to demonstrate why Truman beat Dewey, not as a general rule that proves the model.The factors used in the 2008 ‘prediction’ only suggest combinations of Presidential candidates , but can not predict them, because the factors are based on historical artifacts as part of the pattern matching, factors that can not be predicted in advance.

With that in mind there are no factors for emotional content, or future historical events.

They further go on to make this statement, We assume that major party primary voters are rational and will understand the empirical power of our algorithm. and we all know that voters for both nominees or candidates are not rational. And with a model that does not factor the level of ‘rational’ or irrationality of the electoral process, they can not forecast or predict. In other words, they can’t put their money where their mouths are.

They make another bold statement Readers of this paper could make a lot of money at if our assumption that major party primary voters are rational is correct. but you don’t see them making money.

The old adage is this, never take investment advice from a poor broker.

Politically incorrect Truths

This article on Ten Politically Incorrect Truths About Human Nature is very interesting, and I love some of the resulting answers that you can derive from them.

To ask why the President of the United States would have a sexual encounter with a young woman is like asking why someone who worked very hard to earn a large sum of money would then spend it.

Fully explains why Bill Clinton had an affair while in the WhiteHouse. But the real question is even better. How is it that George Bush has NOT had an affair, or maybe he has and hasn’t been caught.

And this statement that terrorist are really just sexually repressed virgin males that think suicide bombing is a great way to get girls.

So polygyny increases competitive pressure on men, especially young men of low status. It therefore increases the likelihood that young men resort to violent means to gain access to mates. … The other key ingredient is the promise of 72 virgins waiting in heaven for any martyr in Islam.

And maybe this is what Bush is doing,

Societies in sub-Saharan Africa and the Caribbean are much more polygynous than the Muslim nations in the Middle East and North Africa. And they do have very high levels of violence. Sub-Saharan Africa suffers from a long history of continuous civil wars—but not suicide bombings.

He likes to start violent wars because he’s not getting sex in the Whitehouse 😉

So for this reason;

Men like blond bombshells

Id’s be looking for some blond under Bush’s bed, maybe named Ann Coulter?

Perceptions of the Stockmarket falling

I love this quote from Jose Vistan of AB Capital Securities from World stock drop hits second week

“You throw away technical and fundamentals out of the window,” he explained. “Emotions are the ones driving share prices right now.”

The stock market has ALWAYS been about emotions. The entire market is all about perceptions, one’s perceived value of a stock or commodity. If this is the first time Jose has learned this, he should go back to school until he learns this.

Republicans are making Democrats

Prior to World War II, Americans were, much like they were before 9-11, mostly isolationist, self centered and generally ignorant of the world outside of the United States. The former, because they were turning away from Bloody World War I, and were trying to forget. The later was a forced ignorance of the world engineered by the Mass media owned and controlled by conservative big business, mostly sympathetic to GOP motivations. Years of manipulation with of the Idea that the media was ‘Liberal’ has convinced Americans that the isolation and selfishness was an American Ideal.

As an unexpected outcome of WWII, millions of Americans were introduced to the rest of the world, troops stationed all over the world, and even prisoners-of-war brought to the U.S. for internment influenced the population that there were people living in the rest of the world. People who did not share the american way of life. And Americans learned and gained an understanding, even a desire to know other cultures.

The current situation is a bit different, just as Pearl Harbor was different than 911, an unexpected difference is the decision to keep prisoners far away from the general population, partly to keep them from becoming ‘human’ and partly to keep them away from the U.S. Constitution, and the rights that it confers.

With control of the media the republicans have attempted to prevent interaction both with the truth, and any element that might make ‘foreigners’ less than the ‘evil’ monsters that the GOP needs to continue the war on the U.S. Constitution, for Iraqi oil, and to boost the Defense Industrial Complex. But keeping troops in enclaves (to prevent interaction with the Iraqi population) has lead to the uncontrolled situation that troubles Iraqi security, that prevents the Iraqi from learning about Americans, and from American troops from learning that Iraqi people are human also.

This isolation hasn’t worked, and soon American troops will be returning to the U.S. with a deeper understanding of the outside world, something the GOP did not want. And just as the U.S. became more democratic, more liberal, dare I say more international after WWII, so it will after Iraq. The Republicans are making Democrats out of Republicans, my father, a lifelong republican, is now thinking of voting Democrat. So will the pendulum swing from the GOP to the democratic party. Time will tell, the sooner the better.

Al Qaeda, the Propaganda wing of the GOP

This new message Al-Qaeda calls on US to convert and Qaeda urges Bush, non-Muslims to embrace Islam could not be better GOP propaganda than if Carl Rove wrote it himself. If the goal is to instill fear that Al-Qaeda wants to take away Christianity from the GOP base of Christian fundamentalist this is the best way to fire up them up. Scare the Fundies, upset the moderates, and paint all others as anti-Christian terrorists.

Makes you kind of wonder who wrote this, first the Fox reporters, forced to convert to Islam as a trial balloon, then get the GOP propaganda wing, Al-Qaeda to publish a new threat. Sounds like a plan to me!

UPDATE: “…Republicans are hoping for some outside event that would show the president and their party in a better light — a spate of good news from Iraq, a foiled terrorist plot …” a letter from Al-Qaeda?

What are we loosing, when terrorist assault air travel

I’ve been thinking too much lately, and I can’t help but think that the use of airplanes in terrorist plots have a deeper significance, or not, you decide.

One element of Islamic reaction is a more or less a conservative reaction that even conservatives in the west can identify. One of the greatest features of the western world is mobility, most dramatically represented by air-travel and airplanes. One of the most active agents in change is mobility. Change in a culture that suppresses individual initiatives and freedoms, in favor of religious dogma and enforced religious rituals would have to resist any mixing of ideas and people, mobility is the enemy. This is exactly the same for both the west and islam. The funny thing is neither side understands this. And reacting to this, or even trying to prevent this mingling of cultures is the one change in the world that neither side can prevent.

What it means to us, the public who have to live in the real world, and not some religious fantasy of a pure ethnic nirvana. Is that all the elements that make our modern world work are under attack in the misbegotten belief that change can be stopped. The one thing the rest of us can do, remove the conservative fanatics on both sides of the equation.

What means is that the West and Islamic moderates will have to eliminate their respective far right fundamentalists from positions of power. And start talking to their opposite number.

Digitized life and the human mind

Often when we talk about digitizing something we make reference to how accurate that becomes. We assume that qualifying and abstracting our analogy world with an arbitrary numeric precision that we have encapsulated reality in a reproducible and consistent manner not previously available in an imprecise world. We talk about digital cameras and CD music as if they are the hight of accuracy when they are merely an imprecise abstraction reduced to digital form. We can have all the Mega-pixels in 24, 36, 48 bit depths cameras in the world and still only capture a poor semblance of our world. The compromises we make to the almost good enough CD quality sound to the crude compressed noise of MP3 has affected extensively how we think about everyday life. We make decisions every day in a binary this or that product, my way or your way. However we are forever forgetting the initial compromise of our digital choices. There is a world of values between one and zero, and there is a world of difference between “the perfect product” and one that’s “almost the right product” The world of the tailors custom made suit and the cobblers hand made shoe have been lost to digital one size fits all product mentality.

This applies to the world of software where vendors of CRM and ERP claim to have the definitive answer to everyones problem. The customize in custom is no longer available. When doing business with anyone, is the same for everyone, what happens to delineation of value. A CRM is the same for every business, and forces it to conform it operations to the design of the CRM. It no longer provides a custom solution for a business to provide a custom experience to the customer.

One of the missed opportunities of the internet bubble’s collapse, and a missing aspect of the Web 2.x, is the ability to provide an entirely customized experience to the customer. To even provide a customized product to customer specs. This was in some aspects part of the success of DELL in the computer world. But it has not provided, as full an experience, as could have been provided.

This is part and parcel connected to the compromise we make in a digital choice. No tailored answers, no personalized perfect solutions. Dell and the CRM vendor, are in the business of narrowing the selections and reducing the choices to a qualifiable numeric.

Just like the digitized stair-steps of an analog wave of music, something is missing in-between, we are loosing unique for digital normal. And while many can live with CD’s there is that niche still holding out for their vinyl, and there are still tailors.

The tailors do not strive to be millionaires, they are making a living, providing custom solutions.

Web 2.x should be about custom solutions.

A path less taken, a chosen road

I have just given notice with the intentions of changing jobs. Knowing that this is a stressful thing, I’ve managed to do this more frequently than I ever would have imagined. I have, in a humorous way, always described my profession as “High Tech Migrant Worker” But the moves, always seem to happen in sequences not always of my own choosing. Call it fate, Karma or just blind luck it has always been a path less taken, and usually a grand voyage of discovery and learning. I have always profited, sometimes, but not always in a monetary way, but in retrospect every step a joy and a road I would have chosen had I known where the road lead. Such is the future, it’s what you make of it, not what it makes you.

Pumping up the Terror Threat.

It has begun, the pumping up of the terror threat just before the fall elections in the U.S. The GOP has no other weapon to combat the bad press about the corruption’s, voting scandals, the illegal wire taps and the lies about the Iraq war. From here till the end of the year, we will be inundated with terrorist threats and fear mongering. The next step will be a bomb, or some shootings, and more apparent links to al-Qaeda. US fears home-grown terror threat will be the theme of the the news when ever the Bush White House is faced with falling Poll numbers, more scandal and threats of investigations.

Religious Pigeon holes and mixed metaphors

If someday we could loose the religious pigeon holes we place the behaviors of others into, we would soon reach a point where individuals could be treated fairly and equally, but I wax utopian here. While polls like The Great Divide: How Westerners and Muslims View Each Other will continue to categorize people by their religion, or at least the religion in which they are raised up in, they are missing the mixed metaphor in their report that many Muslims are raised in the ‘West’ and hold different elements of their morality differently. In other words they are simplifying and pigeon holing vast groups of beliefs in an effort to separate people into opposing mindsets. Classifications that while on the surface seem significant and meaningful, merely mask a more complex issue of beliefs and behaviors and does an injustice to everyone, and worse seek to divide people who might otherwise work together to solve the bigger issues of our world. There I go waxing utopian again.

In logic the term is ‘fallacy by bifurcation’ or best illustrated as something must be either “Black or White”, and put into those term, you can see clearly the problem such thinking brings to an issue. “Your either with me or against me.” Such logic it the logic of politics, not of societies, and does nothing to bridge the differences each of us possess as individuals one from another.