Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Recap, somewhat

Our first post was in 2007. It asked if truth could be engineered. We know what engineering is, for the most part. That is, schools of engineering abound with a curriculum that we can see. Too, though, engineering is large than that, in the sense of being applied science.

Engineers do, solve problems, make things, improve our lives, and an endless number of things. Too, they generate, whether by design or not, lots of experiments, from which we can learn.

Of late, engineering has been applied to finance. How is that, we have to wonder. On what science is such engineering based? Well, if you look closely, the views of this discipline seem to be searching for perpetual motion. The physicists running after money seem to have forgotten their basics.

Then, we have computation being put upon us pervasively. Everywhere. Many times, this is just due to some notion of youngsters who are looking to make money. You see, money has taken some type of prominence in the definition of truth.

Bigger pockets rule. Is that so? Essentially, we are at a crux, but that state of affairs is nothing new. It is that now we are dealing with the grand kids of the boomers, not the boomers themselves. Watch out, world.

There would be a lot more to say to make this a real recap, but being brief does have some appeal.

Remarks: Modified: 08/24/2016

08/24/2016 --

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Church of Hilbert Space

This has a nice ring. It is not new, however until now, I found no applicability. The advent of Deep Learning (DL)'s prowess is one motivation for looking again.

The "Church" statement (first attributable to John A. Smolin) deals with quantum information theory. DL is fostering both mania and hysteria related to the unknown, unbounded potential for computing and for us losing control of our artifacts.

One could think of several churches. Wouldn't that be fun?  

Remarks: Modified: 07/03/2016

07/03/2016 --

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Deep learning

A latest fad is deep learning which I characterize thus: sophisticated manifestation of fuzzy approaches abetted by numeric modeling and by Monte Carlo walkabouts. It is very expensive.

First some pointers to material:
Now, as a way of introduction, this approach supported AlphaGo's success. That is, a game that was supposed to be hard for computers was not. Too, people are lining up for jobs.

You know what? Many of these jobs are to pick people's pockets via the commercialism of the web/cloud.

Some think that they can get into this through a boot camp. But, realize, it takes a PhD level of work in order to know the guts. And, that takes time and effort.

Personally, for me, I am thankful. Finally, I see the world gaga about that which is the core of Truth Engineering's motivation.

Remarks: Modified: 07/03/2016

07/03/2016 -- Answer in Quora: What product breakthroughs will recent advances in deep learning enable?

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Content and context

Context: OfficeLiveContent, and all that.

This topic comes up again with my experimenting with an install of Windows 10. After going through the work and wait, I went into my personalization mode. So, then things looked like they did on Windows 7.

That was about a day. Of course, I didn't have to watch. Too, I was in and out, so it was not solid time.

Then, I tried to get to work. But, the thing was running hot. Let's say, enough to get my attention.

On a closer look, memory was about full. The CPU was maxed out. What? Well, the biggest culprit for the heat was was the memory manager that was compressing. After I got rid of some dinosaurs not being used, memory went down to about 50% usage (I have 6G).

But, the processors were at 100% (something chasing its damned tail). And, I have a dual set that was the latest four years ago.

All I was doing was typing a post like now. I multi-task, but I know how to balance things. I do not need the supposed smarts which are not very insightful.

Let this old guy tell how.

Anyway, I went back to Windows 7 until I can work a strategy to get the compression removed. If that is not possible, I'm stuck. Android? Linux?

I have been using this beast for four years now. Publishing. Computing. In my way which is not trivial. I know what the hell that I am doing. BTW, I had a BSOD the other day but now what was going on. Altogether, there have been only a handful over the past four years (as opposed to Vista/XP that seemed to like to barf). Too, Windows 7 has so many updates/installs accumulated that the tangle is a nightmare.

Finally, to the theme. We use computers to manage content within a context. Some of these are very much non-trivial. I'm not gaming. I'm not TV watching. I deal with intellectual items and use the computer as an assistant.

I do not need Cortara (whatever).

Listen up, folks. Of my generation and the leading edge of the boomers, we have people that know computing. They know what they want to do. We need to be able to configure a system that allows this type of work. Keep the flim-flam out.

If I want to do that, I'll get another system just for playing. Four years ago, it was the move from OfficeLive that opened up doors. Now, it's this. Fun times.

Remarks: Modified: 05/31/2016

05/31/2016 --

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

References and more

As the world moves, so does the universe of knowledge. So, one needs to keep an active eye. One way that we will do this is via collections of sites to watch.
Knowledge, nowadays, involves the cloud which entails the computational which is dependent upon mathematical insights. In short, STEM as the new type of sand (into which heads are thrust - not want to know type of thing).

Remarks: Modified: 05/31/2016

04/19/2016 --

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mania or hysterics

A few days ago, we did a quick summary, related to intelligence which is a poorly understood thing, to say the least. Truth engineering deals directly with this subject.

Some have touted artificial intelligence as a means to understand ourselves. At least, again, some part of ourselves. And, we have no issue with a lot of this. In fact, science needs this thrust.

But, artificial intelligence? Actually, we know "artificial" as it pertains to the mode and means, which is via computing (various ways). And, with regard to that, we have a whole lot to say.

Right now, though, we can see two types of reaction that are getting press. Say, I saw this being discussed on a national TV show (Sunday morning variety) with youngsters weighing in with gravitas. Well, it's nice to hear certitude being expressed. Except, and a big except, science is provisional.

Is that being lost in all of the mania and hysteria? What? The mania deals with strong AI (as in, suggesting that the artificial will trump humankind in significant ways - let's talk limits, there). Hysteria? At the same time, we have those saying things like "summoning the demons" as the reality in this situation.

Now the hysteria can be thought of as a paranoid mania. So, we are talking sides of the same coin.

Per usual, there are those in the middle where the real rational minds venture, in just about anything.

Given our technical focus, we can look at limits on technology and natural constraints on modeling as important items to know more about. Too, there are capabilities that humans can exhibit if given the chance. The main problem is that the quantifiers have had a field day.

In some cases, they have accumulated almost uncountable amount of wealth. Yet, to what end? And, how is it that we need such for determining truth?

Remarks: Modified: 04/17/2016

04/17/2016 --

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Boomer lessons

This post continues the look at Beans and such. In short, we are all of a cohort. By collection and analysis, we (the collective) have sufficient data that can be reasonably useful.

So, we can produce a chart like this that shows an expectation for the number of years one might plan for. Of course, we could all plan to live to 150. Would that make sense?

The top chart is for the early boomers. Then, we look at the situation during age 75 to age 85. Taking the top one first, notice that the 30-year view vanishes about the age of 70. Essentially, some will live to 100 and beyond. But, based upon data-to-date,  not many.

5 year look? It is quite rational. In fact, in the below, we would expect that one would plan for five years at a time. Then, the plan would be updated yearly.


Notice, that the green line runs down quickly. It, basically, says that, after age of 83, one ought not put much thought into planning for 20 years. Now, that does not say take no thought. As the line does not go to zero (see below). The red line is for 10 years. At 93, there is some noticeable chance of going for 10 years. But, at 93, the likelihood of another 5 years is more than one might imagine.

Aside: The IRS gives one a couple of years, each year, as one goes beyond 100. Also, there is this adage: live like there were no tomorrow; plan as if there were to be many.

And so, the issue of outliving your money is not to be taken lightly when planning. For this, we have all sorts of things, like long-term care insurance, etc., to think about. However, note, too, that some of these insurance companies are now telling their customers to not expect the agreed-upon payout and to belly up to the bar with a higher premium payment. That is, many of these contracts (some from years ago) are being re-written.


Now, we have some expectation of duration that can quantified. But, what about the flow? Well, first, let's consider that there is income and expenses. For income, many of the advisers like to push people toward the higher risk types of things. Sheesh. Sacrificial lambs is how we ought to see these older victims.

The top chart shows (bars) how a constant return can be used for planning. Now, lots of people are going to try to argue that the higher the return, the more you can spend. True. But, the higher the return, the higher the risk.

Planning ought to be conservative. Then, if there is gravy (home runs), great. However, if done right, this type of planning is an almost perfect hedge. As one also needs to consider the time involved. Of course, with a short time frame (and spending down to the last penny), one can be extravagant. But, we are talking flow over the longer haul.
In and out
65 and 75

Flow? One thing that anyone of normal situations ought to do is have a budget that looks at income and expenses. If not that, at least, have some idea of where the money comes from and goes (and whether one is getting further into debt).

There was a thing called zero-based budgeting that was the rage for awhile. It can work for those who are planning their future, at any age. The nearer one is to retirement, the more one ought to know in this regard.

Aside: I have 15 years of spreadsheet (several sheets per year) details, by category, that started prior to retirement. This is very easy to do and can be enlightening. For those who travel, a few months of daily doing the equivalent of an expense report for a trip ought to be easy. If you are traveling, there are extra expenses; however, some of those at home continue.

In the top chart, we are looking at the inflow and outgo (as a function of number of years expected). "dly" means that the flow was normalized to a day. This type of discretization is not that hard to do. And, it is very useful when you are looking at any type of outflow in relation to income or just in its own right. Sometimes, outflow can get heavier than normal.

Of course, "#yrs" relates to the possible number of years (with probability) that one can expect.

What the bars indicate is that the number of years does influence flow. If you want to spend your money with no control, then, expect it to not last (or look for bailouts).

BTW, there is a scale on the flow here that is immaterial. The notion in this case is comparative looks at the future states. However, does this imply that there would be a residue left for those who may or may not misuse the gift? Sure. That is another subject to address.

And, there is only one rule to success. Spend less than income (over all, the ins ought to outweigh the outs). If one cannot do so now, one ought to try to plan to get to that state of affairs. In this case, the out-flow is actually less than the 30 year figure (net savings situation).


So, expenses (and incomea) ought to be reduced to a daily average. With this view, one can relate the outs and ins so as to have some notion of whether one is bleeding or not. That is, when outs are high, they can be normalized to something that is consistently comparable.

For times of heavier outflow, there are considerations of category that come into play. For instance, staying in a super expensive hotel for 10 days averages out to less than the per night charge over a 30-day period. Trick? No, how one trickles out from one's bucket (and income) is a matter of choices. Too, major things (appliances, vehicles, etc.) would be handled in a manner so as to recognize the service life (etc.).

By doing this type of exercise, one can look at flows (out and in) by category. Which, then, gets back to some thoughts on inflow. Of course, one might like (or think that they might want) to hit a home run (no envy of Zuck or the like - see near-zero, below). But, think of the risk. Even the young ought not be too loose with risk, if they are thinking of the future. I know, the horizon can be a long way off depending upon age. We'll get back to that in future posts.

Right now, the older folks ought to think of near-zero. That is how our economy runs. That is, for those who make it big, legions (very many) lose (lose and lose and ...). Thanks to John Nash, et al, we have a very warped view of reality that has crept into acceptance. And, near-zero suggests, strongly, that the older folk be wise and not let old (or young) advisers get them into trouble. Those advisers will not bail the old folk out when things collapse.

Sheesh. Just read today of a mania. ETFs related to leveraging against the Janets of the world. Does the craziness never cease?

Remarks: Modified: 04/13/2016

04/13/2016 -- We also covered beans in the oops sense.