Time travelers and historians are bemused by culture norms between the 2nd and 4th Industrial Revolutions

the pendulum swings from one extreme to another.
the pendulum is always swinging… momentarily finding a center point, but always drifting to the opposite extreme before returning to center again.

what was once acceptable and commonplace is forbidden and inappropriate. consider a book like Nabokov’s Lolita, a story about a forbidden relationship between a 12 year old girl and her stepfather. Originally meant to be erotica, it was later classified as one of the greatest novels of 20th century. a story about sexual predation of a minor. Call it morals or ethics, this book could not have been published in our current time, yet in the 50’s it was allowed to exist, and has morphed into something greater then itself.

here’s an interesting post of some weird sensibility in advertising spanning the 20th century. Using an underaged model (coiffed and madeup) to promote a line of cosmetics is reminiscent of Lolita and more recently of JonBenét Ramsey. It feels wrong or at least akward, but there was a time when it was acceptable enough to use as a concept in an advertisement.

Maybe it’s just the stupidity of the creatives creating the ad campaign… I like Dr Pepper as a soft drink, but i dont associate DP with Dr Pepper. The “I heart DP” campaign probably needed a little more oversight/QC (or common sense) before it was released.

Lorem Ipsum

Need some dummy text while roughing out a design?This will general Pulp Fiction/Jules text for you. http://slipsum.com

got os x? open up a terminal and paste this:

curl -s https://baconipsum.com/api/?type=all-meat |say

Or go to the site to generate the text when mocking up your page layout https://baconipsum.com

 

AI might be better at playing Angry Birds then humans in the next 7 years

This academic paper is basically a road map to show our robot overlords (or evil scientists) what is required to eliminate humans. Some milestone tasks are likely quickly achieved, such as learning how to play Angry Birds better then a human, which is a virtual achievement(all in software), where as others are a bit more difficult to achieve, such as beating a human in a bipedal 5k race(software and hardware, balance, stereoscopic vision, image recognition, etc).  Curious that AI researchers have the longest viability in the human job market…

The 2 most interesting section of the paper are in the Supplementary Tables, specifically S5: Description of AI Milestones, and curiously S3: Demographic differences between respondents and non-respondents, show most of the respondents(90+%) were male. Unfortunate for the respondents, AI based sex skills are not listed in the AI milestone list.

When Will AI Exceed Human Performance? Evidence from AI Experts

Bow before me!

An invasive species in the Great Lakes, the round gobie is a mixed bag. Bottom feeder, competes with some native species, but provides sustenance to larger fish. But it’s consumption of zebra mussels might increase its own Hg contamination, which goes up stream to its predators.

Took this little guy (males darken during spawning season) away from my dog before he ate it. Didn’t know the species, so I took a picture for identification later. My photo shoot took  a slight diversion into a quick diorama.

Zoom and enhance!

We’ve seen this in movies and cop show…

The fuzzy surveillance camera capture a perp in the commission of a crime, and the detective asks the IT guy to zoom in to a certain area and enhance the picture. The result is a sharp image that without a doubt identifies the perp, and off they go to catch the criminal…

Working with digital images, you soon learn that zooming in on an image will eventually show you the actual pixels, and increasing the resolution/pixels doesn’t add any detail, it only increases the number of pixels that were formerly represented by a single pixel. Granted there are image manipulation techniques to blend/soften/sharpen/edge detect to enhance an image, but never to the level of the fiction we’ve been exposed to.

That is, until google brain. This AI algorithm attempts to (intelligently) guess what detail to put into place when increasing the pixels. This is actually a super interesting application of AI, but also scary ass shit.

An immediate application that comes to mind  would be for improving the quality of surveillance photos and videos. But what if the AI gets it wrong? Would the enhanced image be admissible in court? Maybe the enhancement was 90% accurate, but it wasn’t you but your doppelgänger?

I’m sure with with testing and practice, AI enhancement algorithms will get more accurate… but where do we draw the line? Eye witness accuracy is fallible. AI Enhanced photography could have similar failure rates as well.

Slingshots!!!

slingshots are cool.

Not the sling (David used a sling to defeat Goliath), but a truly modern tool: a hybrid of modern materials and primitive technology. It’s more like a catapult, yet it’s design is pretty basic and similar across the various iterations. but check out some of these designs… retro cool, useful, cool idea (but stupid execution), stupid idea (but cool looking). not something that shows up on the radar frequently, but when it does, it’s neat to go down the rabbit hole…

For the record, I think the scout2 from simple-shot.com is a nice slingshot.

Linux File System Hierarchy

it’s alway nice to see an infographic for file systems, like on this site.

YMMV based on distro, FHS foundation specifications found here.

Seminal films

Link

Here’s a few films worth watching, not necessarily for the story telling, but for pure taste of imagination. Some of the imagery continues to be influential. A Socratic ciné moment perhaps…

Un Chien Andalou


L’ Age D’ Or

Metropolis

City Lights

My mind couldn’t simulate a convincing internet experience…

Dreams have the ability to simulate life experiences and mental states, but sometimes it falls flat on its face.

I can’t recall how the dream started… but someone, Bob, that I worked with years ago was involved,  and a conflict resolution event occurred in the form of hailing a taxi, arriving at our destination and exiting the taxi and getting all the luggage took place.

Once we got settled with the taxi, we’re standing on a street corner talking, and Bob comments on a hat that a Japanese woman is wearing. It’s brimmed sun hat of sorts. The woman overhears our conversation and tells us “it’s a Japanese hat gourd hat. It’s a hat made from from the Japanese hat gourd, and is literally shaped like a hat.”

We’re really interested in this, so we start to google for more info. While I’m browsing for results, I can’t get over the weird music and strange search interface. The more I try to make sense of it, the more bizarre it becomes until I wake up.

My brain couldn’t simulate a convincing internet search experience, so its haphazard attempt created a situation that resulted in my brain rejected the scenario.