Wednesday, January 15, 2014


As we said in an earlier post, Big Daddy Data, everyone is hot after analytics. These are framed computationally, you all know, bringing out little gremlins from the tracings that we leave of ourselves. Okay?

Much ado about nothing, to boot. The commercial analytics are the clearest way to perdition, people.


So, the other day, in a conversation, on a Sunday, so that gives me the right to be philosophical (actually, I don't need any permission, motivation, or whatever - it's always there), a conversant makes note that it's interesting how I can relate "analytics" (of course, IT milieu) to philosophy. Now, in the guy's favor, I was broaching upon the topic of truth engineering.

Say what? I thought. Then, I said, you know, philosophy was into analysis way before the latest craze which is the result of oodles of years of work by many people all culminating now with idiots misusing knowledge (say it isn't so - MBAs are the worst of the bunch).


Earlier, I wrote about algorithms in the context of apps (a big load of stuff to weed through and potentially a big source of errancy - in terms of opening one self up to manipulation). The term is used loosely now. Of course, if it's in the analytics framework, it does have a mathematical basis.

But, and it's a big butt, tell me analytic'ers, what say you about the quasi-empirical (to be discussed) issues? Well, that will be one focus henceforth. Firstly, bring up the topic in this discussion so that there is recognition of its reality. Then, look at the issues and at how they're important to our computational future.

Lord knows that the term was used continuously since the beginning here (44 of 200 posts) and in other blogs (FED-aerated - 25 of 211, 7oops7 - 38 of 248). Mind you, it was my oversight to not go into it further, just as I assumed too much about near-zero's recognition (still need to address that in depth). At least, these topics are sufficiently complicated to keep me busy for awhile.

Remarks:   Modified: 02/10/2014

01/16/2014 -- The recent Communications of the ACM had several stories on big data. Their claim is that the loads of data collected within the past five years or so is a sufficient set to make claims. Well, actually, the idea is to generate predictions, thereby getting a slap on the back from science. However, all sorts of things come to mind which I'll get into. First of all, that parallel universe of data that comes along with internet trafficking and just plain use tells us what? No matter its size, and the duration in which it is collected, the stuff, by no means, describes a person except for some small aspect of themselves. It does not subsume the being. And, even if someone is wrapped by the collection and analysis of this secondary data, it's not real. But, more on this. ... And, mathematics does come into play, misused (ah, the worldview of the MBAs gone mad).

01/16/2014 -- After starting the above example, complications started to lurk that we could ignore for awhile, but, at some point, these would have to be addressed. Say, after a few items were sold by the one who had them first (arbitrary boundary situation, here), those who bought would look at how they could, perhaps, make more than illusory money by selling at a higher price. The value determination then would become some type of functional problem bringing in difficulties that have been long the domain of the mathematicians (the ultimate abstraction'ists, somewhat, but, analytics would be involved). While looking at pedagogic material that would be of interest, I ran across this web site (Intuitive guide to exponential functions). I have not read this yet, but the fact of the amount of comments that have ensued, plus those who commented, got attention. Too, John von Neumann said that we don't understand mathematics (higher-order types); no, we get used to it. However, there must be an intuitive aspect if we are going to appeal to truth and people's place in its determination. So, that usage resonated with my thinking. Too, though, we have a class'ist split that is happening under our noses. In one sense, it relates to numeracy. But, the more insidious part deals with overlays (computationally enhanced) becoming more real than the reality itself (we'll get into that ad infinitum).

02/10/2014 -- Put a comment at this post: of-g-o-d-and-god-concepts.html We said that we would raise meta issues (as in, big T), at some point. It's been two years since we had the first of a sibling collection depart.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Truth engineering, revisited

Note (11/18/2022) -- FB, now Meta, is following predictable tracks. We'll be observing and commenting more closely, from outside the monolith, of course. See Remarks, below. Also, the posts that get references in this work will be cleaned up (normal little typos, stale pointers, etc.). 


For the past ten years, or so, I've been struggling with how to describe what I see as the need for "truth engineering" as well as look at the operational aspects. I realized, today, that two recent events add some clarification. Firstly, I've been complaining about what Facebook (saying it's a metaphor, but we'll get into what that means) represents, mostly from the position that it grates on years of experiences and that it is an example of power being in the pusher (God grows His own, people) rather than in the user (not a mis-use of the concept; please consider the growing zombie-hood that we see all around).

Aside: some idiot, even had gray hair, almost hit me, a walker, within my legal rights, by the way (as in, not Jayhawking - er jaywalking), as he was coming out of a parking lot, he then slowly accelerated to the street (now, if I did not know better, I would have thought that he was either timid, a new driver, or impaired), as if driving was not the thing to which he was to pay attention, ..., long story short: the arse had his old nose in a mobile device. As we all know, that type of thing is more commonplace than it out to be.

So, in a sense, the zombie attraction deals with truth, or, at least, a popular notion of it. It? Well, like "what is is?" was prominent on the public's mind for awhile, truth has been our problem forever. And, the computational age has drastically changed the matter. That change and how it unfolds needs attention beyond people lining their pockets (there are all sorts of discussion of that in this blog).


Now, back to Zuck, he is allowing ideas to be expressed, groups to use his means for their medium, and helping tie disparate milieus. So, thanks, Mr. Zuckerberg. However, sir, you (and your cohorts, to be named) are missing a big piece (which will be explained in time - and greed is not it).

Now, if one looks at all the arguing about truth, we see emotion and dream of Spock (Trek sense, okay) type of people to lead us from ourselves. Science and engineering? Ah, how many ways have those led us to perdition? However, science is now recognizing that emotion is part of rationality (sorry, guys, you have been as emotional as the little women that you berate). Truth's expression to us is about as murky as are our emotions. But, something like a computational platform (don't restrict this to a physical entity, please) can help bring in objectivity (are you listening, NSA?) that can be a boon (gift of God).

But, it is problematic, too. Oh how many ways have we seen this manifest itself of late. Banes galore.

We'll get back to this.


On another note, a very emotional arena deals with guns (er, weapons as my drill sergeant - Korea vet, POW- pounded into my teenage'd head). Some want them. Others only want them in the hands of power and control. The Forefathers? What did they think?

You know, the Puritans, those (some anyway) who stripped women to the waist and dragged them through the streets (but, then, whose ancestors were saints?), took guns away from people who didn't sign up for the Church (we'll get back to that and those) or the loyalty oath (to the King, of course, and his minions here). You also know that guns were used for obtaining food and for protection. In the latter sense, they were necessary for the Minutemen to get things rolling, so to speak.


reflective rather than
Those are only two of many subjects, but I wanted to used this photo (thanks Wendy Yost Elliott - requires FB access) as a basis for a long story. My brother died a couple of years ago. He was buried at a National Cemetery in Kansas. He was one of seven boys, so that left six of us. We were all at the ceremony. Then, for various reasons, we ended up doing our own salute using the weapons (see above - albeit these were of a former time). All six of us were veterans and knew how to handle the things. Too, it seemed appropriated at the time. But, truth engineering might show us different opinions on the matter, all rationally framed. We'll get more into this, but for now, and, for the record, the U.S. Service of each, starting at the left: Marines, Army, Marines, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard. All Vietnam era. The honored had served in the U.S. Navy.

Now, the thing is this: how many families could, or would, be able to, do this? There was a mention of the Puritans (others were there, too) since they were an early group involved in the formation of our great nation. In fact, most New Englanders have this ancestry. These six? From a family that is post Civil War. So, therein we might find a juxtaposition that has some basis for framing truth engineering's need to bridge lines, temporal or otherwise.


Aside: Written without the usual number of links which will appear within a day or so. In the meantime, there is search (with labels) for browsing.

Aside: In a discussion of the Chromebook (Toshiba's - we'll do a post on this), some one took exception to their using the Pawn guys to talk about the pros and cons. The statement was that an 80-year old wouldn't know. Well, I've been in advanced computing for a long time (longer than the life of the commenter, no doubt). And, I'm only nine years from 80. And, when I look at Chrome (C++) and Linux (Unix as the motivator) and more, I see things that I've dealt with way before they were known to a broader group (namely, those spawning off apps willy-nilly - in the hopes, probably of finding the killer one). So, I expect, given health continues, that I could talk this stuff at 80. The problem, young folk? Try talking to someone like me (who may have some insights that would apply to you - yeah, Zuck, Google), but, you would have to do it in other than the mode of maximizing the monetary aspects (sheesh, I would drag you down to the truth - actually, in some cases, let me lift your sight). Be that as it may, I'll continue to map out what is essentially a core issue to resolve if we are to continue sustainable'ly (yes, we'll make up words as we go along - ain't English grand for that).

Remarks:   Modified: 11/18/2022

01/08/2014 --  This has a GEK III label since George was one mentor (peer to peer) that I encountered along the way. 

01/11/2014 -- We'll close this and get on to some technical preliminaries. For one, the Twit limit of 140 characters seems to have taken over, even in discussions. When you think of it, that's not all bad when applied to the verbiage produced by some. But, on a more positive note, looking at a discussion where these limits apply, one could think of a poetic metaphor. However, in-length exposition is still needed for clarity and depth. The character-reduced is more a Rorschach prompt where we can fill in the spaces as we see fit. Now, in-length, above, ought to be considered to be like we see with a theorem (or a program, in which all logic is exposed and not encapsulated (which was a big step forward) via abstraction).

02/08/2014 -- The event of the photo was a burial rite, military style, for Clement Thomas Switlik, Jr. who died on 02/09/2012, two months after Hitchens.

02/09/2014 -- Two years (02/09/2012), more on Truth Engineering (and, the hombres).

08/03/2015 -- George as inspiration of computing and existentialism.

11/17/2022 -- See Quora, Psychether for a discussion that will use these concepts as point-in-time observations.