Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Trojan hardware

With so many things and events being reliant upon computers now, and with more dependencies being built (and added on) all the time, one has to wonder if anyone has really looked at how good the basis might be.

I know. Several have stuffed their pockets with money (almost beyond calculation) through offerings in these realms. But, we hear the horror stories all the time (genies let out of the bottle?).

On the other hand, there is a seemingly never-ending demand for more and more. How far can we go before we find ourselves entrapped so as to not be able to extricate ourselves?

A recent IEEE Spectrum article looks at one potential area of concern. How much trust can we place in the current methods and the products?

Mitra, S, Wong, H-S, Wong, S. "Stopping Hardware Trojans in Their Tracks" (February 2015)


Concern about obtaining compromised hardware has received some attention (see Wikipedia, for example). The IEEE Spectrum article describes some methods for proving that hardware is not problematic and, at the same time, itemizes limitations.

Questions remain: How can we place such unquestioning trust? Who is involved in helping to tackle the problem?

Well, truth engineering has had this focus from the beginning, albeit from a broader scope.

It is nice to see that the NSF has their trust-HUB effort. As well, advanced research (IARPA) under the auspices of national intelligence has been working on ways and means to handle the related problems.

Remarks:   Modified: 02/24/2015

02/24/2015 --

Tuesday, February 3, 2015


Not being disrespectful, here. Rather, I think that this family ought to have the stature as do those Bernoulli people. Why don't they? Perhaps, it's because abstract algebra can be seen as more of a nerdy thing. The Bernoullis help us fly (as does the underlying framework) and more.

In particular, Emmy was going to be one of our foci. And, specifically, the work that relates to conservation principles was to be recognized. For one, quasi-empirical arguments, it seemed to me, could revolve around this notion and its demonstration. Too, either/or issues may settle, a little.

I have seen Noether's work mentioned, in many places along the way, but, finally, have gotten into a deeper look. Her influence is very broad. But, I was taking my time getting around to the synthesis issues.

And, ran across this today: Ontology after Quine (Where? UHamburg's site.) sponsored by the Emmy Noether Programme. In the sense of the hierarchy of needs, we would expect "meta" issues to come to fore with the maturity of ideas.

Enough said, for now, as we have danced around the subject long enough.

Remarks:   Modified: 02/03/2015

02/03/2015 -- 

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Mathematical universe? So what?

The discussion on this Wiki page (Mathematical Universe Hypothesis) is very much apropos to what we need to discuss and to do. Tegmark's book precipitated the discussion.

We mentioned him earlier: Truth Engineering, anew (consciousness as a state of matter).


We have brought up the quasi-empirical concerns, often, over the years. There looks to be a new framework with which to address these, one more time (recurrent theme).

Some issues:
Slogan: At the core, issues abound that are overlooked for several reasons. Say, with HFT and other manipulations of market events: hubris and money override the proper concerns (too, the taxpayers pick up the tab when the diapers get too dirty and the crap spills out on the populace); say, automated systems that trod over human rights (oh so many, where to start?); say, big daddy data which trample the human soul through improper categorization (optimization via "their" models) that is based upon information that was collected without consent; ...

Remarks:   Modified: 01/26/2015

02/03/2015 -- We're talking more than limits beyond those things that tend to the center. Our trouble is that we try to force things into a mold based upon data (even big data is not large enough to support some decisions that have imposed hardship (yes) on people -- as in, for one, willy-nilly bastardization of the mathematical via the loosey-goosey web/cloud (oh yes, plenty are filling their pockets) - we can only hope that things improve going forward - yes, some type of maturity, folks, say Zuck, you and Sheryl, too). ... So, we are going back to the basics (normed rings being one) and will cover the bases but only touching here and there. Sloughing is not necessary and can be counterproductive.

... Ah, the woman Dr says of another Dr (M.D., what else?): confirmation bias. Sure. A solution looking for a question. Is that not the web/cloud?

Friday, January 23, 2015

As a driven leaf ...

For now, in the context of normative mathematics, let's look at some thinking from the 1930s, albeit that the story is from earlier times.

Today, I finally got around to reading a stack of WSJ book reviews. In one early January 2015 issue of the paper, the book, Milton Steinberg's As a Driven Leaf, was the topic. While reading the review, two things stood out that got my interest. Here they are:
  • “It is not in our power,” a dictum of the Jewish sages runs, “to explain either the happiness of the wicked nor the suffering of the righteous.” (Ah, so much to say here but will not. The discussion would look at juxtapositions, especially those related to the next bullet.) 
  • “Their success, I am convinced, followed from the fact that they started from the foundations. We, on the contrary, have always tried to bolster a pre-established case.”  (This quote is from the main character in the novel. He, a Jewish scholar, become apostate. Why is this of interest? Well, we can look around to see how all of the various belief systems handle their apostatic brothers and sisters - we do not have to go far to find violent (criminal) reactions. ... In any case, this does apply to truth and its engineering.) 
Aside: This review came around the year start; The Economist, too, has remarkable articles in their year end edition. Transitions, like those related to the calendar, do give pause to the thoughtful.

So, now that I have run across this book and see its usefulness, I went to look for the other opinions. And, found out that there are plenty. So, bear with me, as here is another list (just a sampling):


Now, before proceeding, we'll pause (How long? Remember our comment about time). Let us just say that it is nice to see either/or being prominent (about which we'll weigh in). As in, too, being concerned about subjects other than whose pocket book is fuller (ah, saw, today, some gigantic arse, jetting around (to Davos - whatever), yet telling the lowly people to not live above their means - as in, do as I say, not ...).

Remarks:   Modified: 01/23/2015

01/23/2015 -- I would be remiss without adding a very much related topic. You see, this book came out of one of several threads that we can see on the planet. That is, the culture of the 12 (or so) tribes whose remnants are still with us today as a small collection of threads. At the same time, we can pinpoint other threads. For one, there is a collection of those who this year celebrate the 800th of the first Magna Charta (MC) sealing; that is, these folks are descendants of the players on that scene, whether of John, himself, or of the Barons or of others who were there. Then, we can pick many other threads. For instance, several come from the Orient. Then, we have the other continents. BTW, there is no attempt at doing an enumeration. The MC event was several 100 years after the setting of the "as a driven leaf" tale. In any case, if we only went back half of that time between then and the MC, everyone here would have trillions of ancestors (reduced by intermarriage, of course - whatever the case, it's a very large number). That is, throughout the whole of the time span, there were generation after generation of ancestors without a gap.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Normative mathematics

To be defined. After reading of the constructive approach (at Wikipedia - much better now than a few years ago - see also, Scientific method), it's time to do this work.

Last time, we mentioned normative economics as this is one of the areas of application. Too, we looked at this at Fedaerated.

The excluded middle will play a part. Too, quasi-empiricism will be central.

Remarks:   Modified: 01/23/2015

01/23/2015 -- Truth deals with theorems, in part. That is, a theorem is a rigorous type of demonstration; demonstrations can be of many varieties and of various levels of rigorousness. That something is of rigor may, but not by necessity, make it to repeatable and acceptable. The former means that anyone, anywhere can do the demonstration (the possible need for provisional restraints is acknowledged). This repeatability is part of the public face of a demonstration which removes it from (sets it above) the subjective (no denigration intended). Science, as we have seen, has found success with this aspect of mathematics.

Acceptableness comes from convention and by agreement (all arguments otherwise will be noted). Quasi-empirical efforts in mathematics allow us to look at the issues.

No less a talent than Gauss, though, said this: through systematic palpable experimentation. When? On being asked about how he came up with his theorems.

What does this mean? Lots, especially, to us. We like the use of palpable. For one, from this, we see support for our peripatetic leanings (to be discussed).

Sunday, January 11, 2015

About normative economics

And, normative computing (all that such entails).

Before we get to that, The Atlantic had an article about the U.S. military this past month that is worth a read and that you can get to from this accompanying article by Joseph Epstein: How I Learned to Love the draft. Joseph was in Fort Leonard Wood in 1958. I was there, as a 17 year old, in 1960 and found it nice to read his story.

Especially this with regard to his sergeant's directive to the recruits: “It behooves all Christians among you,” I recall his bellowing out on our first night of training, “to get your sorry asses to church services on Sunday. As for those of you of the Hebrew persuasion, it is mandatory for each and every one of you young troopers to get his swinging dick to Friday-night services. Am I clear?”

What I learned early from the Army experience was to keep things neat and clean. In fact, I recall to this date the sergeant saying: Alright, I only want to see a**holes and elbows. God, if only we had that "norm" in a society that litters willy-nilly even to the extent of [people] discarding trash by dropping it where they are without regard to others or the ramification.

For those who might wonder, the command was for us to "police" up an area, as in pick up any debris that was not of a natural source (even those if they were unsightly). In those days, smoking was a norm, but the rule was to field strip the butt (which would be almost the whole cigarette if the smoke was interrupted). However, even tearing down the residue still left visible remains.

A**holes and elbows! I think that every time I see someone drop litter, even if by accident (which can be anticipated with proper review of potentials -- as in, if the person really cared about the risk of leaving something -- what about not wanting to be seen as a litterer?).


All of that? Yes, the normative focus will be one thing. See the Fedaerated post.

Remarks:   Modified: 01/23/2015

01/15/2015 -- At last, a series that will establish the basis and extensions, as required. We are going to go back to something simple and come forward to the modern, complicated economy. Why? My long chain of ancestors (inherited via Prof. Lucio Arteaga) is one motivation.

01/16/2015 -- Related to the theme would be normative mathematics, of course. What? Yes, with all due respect to the old gal (remember, Queen) and her court, things have gone awry precisely from decisions on the wrong side of this wall. Part of the problem deals with a misunderstanding of the necessity to not allow hubris to get in the way of a proper quasi-empirical approach.

01/17/2015 -- Will revisit the quant issue.

01/23/2015 -- So much fun. Now, bankers are wanting their own dark pool in order to separate themselves from the front runners (who? yes, HFT, what else?). Our next post on this will show how such dealings (block trades) pull value from the other holders of equity (or whatever else might be the focus of a market). In other words, we see, with this, the proverbial skimming the cream (leaving, over time, less fat for the rest) or the butchers thumb on the scale (I showed that type of thing to the FEDS and was told to, as an individual and an old guy who sees, sue the perpetrators).

Friday, January 9, 2015


Part of tru'eng is handling source, trust and a lot more. Of course, Wikipedia can feature in the discussion for many reasons. Quartz provided a look at most-read articles by day for 2014. Interesting. Expect some post related to this. One think might be to look at what motivated the reads.

But, for now, consider that some of the most-read articles had a series of consecutive days. And, some of these are technical. One long series was "Ethernet frame" which brings up several questions. Then, we see "Line integral convolution" getting attention for three days (say what?).
Now, my thoughts about big data notwithstanding, I find this page to be an example of the types of reports that can mean something.

Remarks:   Modified: 01/09/2015

01/09/2015 -- Lots of possible subjects, related to the theme of this blog, abound.