Sunday, January 31, 2010

I feel it, again.

Was it now possible to map the social intelligence era onto the engine? At the beginning of the project it was nearly impossible even to explicitly title these high level pieces. Each time they neared an appropriate label, it was preceded by a gut level feeling that new meaning was about to become available for understanding. This revelation, in turn, played a major role in building the imminent meaning detector that automatically called out pattern collections that were likely to be worthy of a title.

Meta-why, surely the most gratifying intellectual activity to date. The seeds seemed to just evolve rapidly out of the cognition aggregate. The nutrients were, primarily, active discussions supported by the best communications technology available at any given time. The synchronous field theory enjoying another life with the silicon extension now.

"When what we think becomes more consuming than what we think it with.", he whispered to himself. The personal executive had miraculously risen to every challenge put before it. But only when a critical mass of persons had the self-calibrating capacity to avoid most of the inevitable vulnerabilities of collaboration.

A Private Democracy

Consider the US Government structure, three branches of government - executive, legislative, judicial. In the early 21st century the implementation details showing their vulnerability. As the monetary incentive to work in the government grew exponentially the system started to fall victim to the self-interested people who could manipulate these factors, among others:

100 senators, two from each state - geographic bias
Senate Filibuster super-majority 60%
Perpetual campaigning crowding out responsible governing

But our forefathers had the presence of mind to embrace something far more flexible than a government which, by definition, is not held to account by competition. It is the liberty of making new organizations. 

The freedom to organize in the US too has succumbed to self-interested manipulators who took the easy and, frankly, most travelled path of gaming the rules for short-term gain. Favorite examples of this liberty among the political Left - corporations, certain churches. Favorite examples of the political Right - modern unions, our government.

Because of the enormous value we put on liberty in the land of the free, I am pretty sure that a hybrid is possible that could get the support of all three branches of government and a large majority of voting Americans.

What engine?
Lets call it, A Private Democracy. Who owns this democracy? Its constituents. Who govern's this democracy? A board elected by the constituents. Who author's the rules? Commitee's to the board appointed by board members. Who is subject to the rules the system agree's on. The aforementioned constituents. And when a constituent or a group thereof cry's foul? A recourse mechanism composed of appointed experts reviews the case in light of the intent of the organizations charter.

So much of this, perhaps all, should sound very familiar. It is the organizational structure we call government in the USA. The beautiful part of our country is that the best parts of the government can be combined into a brand new private entity that is not subject to short-sighted special interests that have so damaged not only the country that has led the world to a better place but the world itself.

Consider a prototype for this concept, Facebook. Already it has garnered a worldwide user population greater than the USA. Almost daily, it is improved in ways that benefit its constituents. It is a private corporation that is responsive to its end-user customers. What I am proposing here is to close the loop, where individual customers or constituents are owners.

The concept has been brewing in my mind since at least 1976 when I founded EyeDentify and later after reading GED suggesting an organization called Minds' I. I underestimated the time it would take to develop the technology and critical mass in society's awareness to make it all possible. Details of the concept, then and now, are not original to me. I too stand on the shoulders of giants and gratefully acknowledge them.

Now we have world-wide interactive connectivity. Fortunately it is not inordinately controlled by short-sighted interests and remains a flexible enough sandbox to try some extraordinary things. And this is so at very low cost.

Previous BuzzTheHill blog posts have talked about technology and ideas in both non-fiction and fiction forms that could make the vision of A Private Democracy doable in a short period of time.

It is important to note that another nation-state could do this by fiat. We have a head start though because we have an economically productive representative democracy that has been doing the fundamentals (most of it is documented in American English) for a long time.

PS: Sorry for the typos I have not caught yet … and thanks for reading.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Is this when?

"In this visualization we can see this normally covert technique exposed. Though the transition boundary between that which is hidden and that which hides is easy to visually detect, it is probably true we can choose the other dimensions in a more useful way.", she had stated matter-of-factly.

One could see that just rapid substitution and overlaying of other time based matrices might suggest a number of the alternatives to the two-dimension space vs. time in the example.

He was particularly enamored with frequency spectrum as one or more of the spare dimensions of late. The circular pattern of a life cycle seemed connected to natural continuity which in turn revealed the harmony of the free-will variety. Capable of highly optimized change sensitivity? It felt that way.

"Too abstract" he thought. A concrete example was in order. Take the coherent noise concept (for lack of a better name). If the creator of it could remain hidden it was conceivable that decoy vibrations in the form of visual and aural repetition could disrupt scrutiny. Accomplished by making the decoy similar to the target in a non-obvious way. Standard first-order counter-measure - reduce the data set to decoy plus target - start differentiating based on frequently occurring patterns in decoy scenarios.

Once again he was reminded of the time when she brought to his attention his propensity to apply a plausible pattern too soon. Was he doing that here? He would see her again tomorrow. Was that soon enough given the implicit deadline?

Friday, January 29, 2010

Public Property

Recalling the story of the electronic democracy movement's infancy just a short while ago, he contemplated the implications of the presentation he was about to make.

When the universal means of exchange paradigm started to fail it was not at all clear how a new value system would take its place regardless of its efficacy. A single unit of value measurement seemed for centuries to be the holy grail of prioritization scalable from an individual all the way up to the collection of all individuals.

Eienstein was on to something when he said, "Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler". In hindsight it was not hard to understand why our valuing system had become simpler than optimum. Like so many long-lived procedural patterns, the nuance of its meaning was lost to habit. People were unaware that the underlying assumptions no longer applied, their simply was not sufficient consequence to ignoring the rationale for automatic activity. Sure, the signs were there when clever but short-sighted folks started exploiting the flaws. For the most part the consequences were minimal because the holes could be easily plugged.

As complexity started yeilding to technology mediated consensus the simplicity of the value system (a single unit of value) was less important to efficient transactions. The first clear illustration of this was trying to value along a single dimension, friendship.

So, in this new environment and using this insight, how might he present the advantage of rethinking ownership of intellectual objects? He logged on with the Level VII protocol and began to document his current stream of consciousness.

Quick Consensus

Apple's iPad platform may or my not yet include the technology disclosed in Patent #7,653,883. If it does then the product could be the ideal device to act as a proxy for signed documents in everyday transactions. For example, signing a contract. The signee first reads the document by interacting (and therefore touching the screen) to run pages, scroll etc. These gestures are recorded along with finger geometry and speed to use as an identification protocol. At the end of the document the signee acknowledges that he/she has read and understood the document and then does the signing gesture by signing with a finger or stylus (wherein he/she is positively identified). the iPad or other device encrypts the message and sends it to the cloud for secure storage and access by appropriate interested parties.

The above is not fiction as in other blog entries here, it is an invention public disclosure.

Because this person said so.

Using the technology disclosed in the patent assigned to Apple Inc. (see link below) encode fingers and/palm into 3D fourier frequency domain descriptions (is there a wavelet version?). Watch a subset of them over time and discover what is unique about them over the duration of a gesture when compared to a different user. Implication: that positive identification could be transparent to an interactive use of a given application such as viewing a "for your eyes only" document. No need to allocate extra time to positively identify the observer or controller - it is integral to the process of interacting with the document on the device (iPad in this case).

iWho or iWhom?

Another biometric possibility for the iPad. Use the proximity detection to see the shape of fingers and/or palm to identify who's hand it is. Use dyanmics plus shape of finger to recognize the owner's identity when gestures (including writing signature with finger). Dear reader, please consider this entry a public disclosure of the invention, iPad Biometric Identifier.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Life Span

The working handle for this part of the project, "Draw them out" pattern. The key vulnerability of the the obfuscation while anonymous pattern is the schizophrenia it causes in interactive discovery. Identity for some time has been known to be one of the best methods of organizing at a high level of abstraction. Anonymity is antithetical to identity. Seeing clearly without filters and post-processing the data is most conducive to extracting the essence of a domain. Obfuscation is antithetical to unbiased data acquisition since its intent is to introduce artificial noise for the precise purpose of obscuring essence.

Many organizational mechanisms fall victim over time to the entropy of static modeling. As growing self-serving ego skews data the illusion of the data's value becomes more entrenched. Ego projection is the dark under belly of repeatable patterns that are initially useful. Manufacturing is a goood example here. We manufacture a product that solves an immediate, say, agricultural problem. The initial good news is that we have more food. An infrastructure builds up around making the product more efficiently. More food less cost. Long after the efficacy declines the things that made the manufacturing successful take on a life of their own. It is not until actual visible damage clearly outweighs the benefit do we start to undo this originally good idea that has turned into not such a good idea.

Combining these two key concepts and feeding them to the heuristic engine was the next step. Two members of the team came online to tell him they were ready to oversee the next run. When the remaining two became available he was fairly certain this machine assisted effort would yield tangible results. His only concern was the gender makeup of the overseers. More and more, this question seemed critical to the project. And this was so even though nothing so far in the decoding process explicitly pointed to it.

He had developed a deep reverence for what she advocated and the methods she would use to gain a useful perspective to the inquiry. This was not to say, he understood her methodology or even her motivation. And perhaps that was the most important element of their collaboration, acceptance that reverence is not necessarily dependent on detailed understanding.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Signing on your iPhone and the new Apple tablet is the beginning of a far more effective system than login and password. It will happen because there is a large pent-up demand for something a lot more reliable and convenient than passwords and the usual login, username or account number etc. This patent, US Patent # 7653883 assigned to Apple will enable a very friendly signature biometric on its devices starting tomorrow and, of course, many other user interface goodies. Others will follow suit in an attempt to ride Apple's coattails. Medical and legal applications alone represent a huge potential market. Documents stored in the cloud will be MORE secure than in the safe in your home.

High Wire Act

Blue splotches of varying size in a red field. The islands of blue surrounded by violet and/or brown halos. When layed out geographically it was immediately evident what they meant. This new and different layout had a strong intuitive attraction. The question was why.

Backing up a causal chain in a highly complex progression was always full of surprises. Meeting organizational resistance meant that someone or some group had gone this path before. Based on what they had learned so far, the pioneers apparently had made a conscious effort to cover their tracks. 

Once again he pulled up the list:

1) equal vs. meritorious
2) objects vs. subjects
3) concentrated vs. free range

Campaigning as governance, could they be combined? Do it to circumvent the viscosity of a system designed too long ago? Governance in this democratic republic is campaign of one type converted to another type at the conclusion of the current election.

The second type is much more vulnerable and capable now. Such is the impact of new communications modalities. Buying public opinion is offset by inexpensive transparency. Who has both the inclination and sufficient resources to hold a privately held communications infrastructure accountable?

When China's mercantilism (old formula, works well for awhile) and financial instrument manipulation conspired to tweak the natural balance, the freedom and empowerment of modern communications came to the rescue.

Encoded in each free-willed entity is the capacity to understand at a gut level things that will advance life. Such capacity is subordinated to the will to survive. Those who would manipulate have a vested interest in keeping some segment of the population below or near the survival threshold.

The next day's address has the potential to keep the dream alive. Like poles holding the wires of transformation they need to be close enough in time to keep them from touching the ground and short circuiting the hope the wire carries.

Monday, January 25, 2010


"Inductive Discovery. Is this the one we have been working so hard on?", he asked himself. Several weeks of organizing a project with the explicit goal of not having one? Letting the news feeds and, more importantly, the backstories to them guide activities was a bit like setting sail for we knew not where.

Defining a protocol for inquiry a prescription for bias? If so, what in the world are we to do? Is doing the thing for which we came? The trite answer was no, we have come to live. And what exactly made that seem trivial? A paranoid burst of activity from an ego out of touch with its larger self? Don't tell anybody, I am pretty sure that is me too.

No wonder explaining meditation, faith, prayer et al. was so full of unpleasant stuff. The last thing the standard issue ego wants to hear is that it is not in control, that it is not the center of all that matters here and now.

But those boring, are-we-just-wasting time rituals were all about acceptance of the major paradox of consciousness, letting go is the source of liberation and therefore happiness?

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Not all that long ago a similar thing happened. Global power was the goal by manipulating electronic networking to circumvent archaic organizational structures in three main sectors:

1) large organization governance.

2) money changing and counterintuitive nature of banking activities

3) privacy exploitation

Exposed - containing those who would resist by promoting a debate about what methods are justified to achieve the greater good. The witches brew of covertly dissonant vibrations that ensued became legend when the heart of civilization was threatened for the second time in less than a century.

But the plan started breaking down when competing egos struggled for control because the right questions were asked in the right venues ...

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Soup, four centuries ago?
A curious euphoria came knocking in the form of visual patterns.  A prescience phenomena repeating. Happening more frequently as time progressed. Emergent, for no explicit plan was at play.

The baggage of a 'scientific paradigm' - that all obstacles would yield to reductionist logic.

Coded emotions seemed to interfere with an underlying ... symmetry. A pattern of patterns. Recursive induction. Something in there somewhere ... it felt true. Reminiscent of his observation of the 'intuitive' gender.

He walked quickly back and became known to to the gateway using the Level VII procedure.

In a confident tone, he summoned the others, "Come at your earliest convenience, we have found a strong candidate. It may be what we have been looking for."

Friday, January 22, 2010

What is Going On?

The frequency of this handle that, quite often, was associated with conflict was particularly noteworthy. It seemed to permeate all globally accessible communications regarding the executive function within the system.

Only when seeing it with the advanced graphic in the context of other base handles did it look anomalous. This handle, a verb, often but not always transitive. On the readout it looked like punctuation to an organic field with one important distinction, it pervaded the concept from its inception and was not visible until the rendering was virtually complete. Further, it did not reveal its role unless the observer knew to look.

Re-scanning the reports in light of the new discovery he could see how the unintended baggage of this handle or label was being propagated along with its more useful dynamic adaptable meaning.

How large a roll did this hitchhiker of sorts play in the counterproductive wrangling of the usual dissemination channels? He still felt a bit of residual resentment at how unpleasant the inter-personal dynamic had been the last time they discussed their differences. Baggage too, he suspected. Welcome to the new opportunity, he chucked to himself and then smiled at the prospect of making things better soon.

Timely Pattern

The view from the conference room was especially conducive to understanding the topics being discussed. Why would seeing snow covered mountains through broken clouds of varying shades with occasional burst of sunlit detail overlooking a bustling city create such an experience? One explanation - the detail connoted both natural and social order but did not interfere with the discussion because it was in no other way relevant. A nice place for the subconscious attention to rest when it was time to process a comment in the conversation?

Adversarial system, inadvertently or malicously applied - was this the case here? The competing parties vigorously advocated a highly partisan view of their respective positions. The assumption to the visible parties was fairness was served by doing so. Perhaps this made sense for the resolution of conflict. Was its application to anticipating areas of potential conflict a good thing too? Was a hidden interested party manipulating?

This was just such a test. Practical considerations of legal methods suggested that if one was adept at understanding a friendly relationship over time ... with changing circumstances and subject to the same scrutiny as, say, a relationship with a competitor. What if one is not sure how to adquately characterize the participant in the transaction yet? Better to be safe? But at what cost?

The message seemed to hint at just what kinds of methods were appropriate in the friendship discovery process. And, further, what actions to take based on interim results. The training was clear on this point. The context is virtually always critical. The degree varying as a function of the conceptual distance from the explicit (usually) issue.

Yes, the many variations of the friendly pattern ... they all seemed to put a smile on his face. Even when he did not understand one, the mere formulation in his mind's eye was satisfying on some level. He thought out loud in their presence, "Can facts be friendly?" Facts are not a direct product of volition. Or are they?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010


There it was, right in front of them. A smoking gun of sorts. Evidence that some highly resourced party with a motive to 'acquire' assets at low cost using sophisticated tools and a vast network and doing so with a complete disregard for accepted norms of international property rights.

The capability that made the covert operation possible had many potential applications, including its own defense. And indeed, that was how this plan was first discovered. A deliberate effort to impair any who would expose the social price of its operation was inadvertently discovered.

Encouraging hyper-vigilence as a diversionary tactic served well for a number of decades. It worked well until a critical mass of highly motivated free-thinkers gave up active visibility in the mainstream and moved to the woods (so to speak). In existence for many decades to preserve accumulated knowledge through the predicted catastrophe, it became apparent that even it could not survive the new threat. It was, in a very tangible way, naive to assume that value could or would live apart from its living infrastructure.

With the advantage of hindsight the message's preamble became increasingly clear ...

Guard Your Queen

The variation on the King's Bishop Pawn gambit executed with aplomb. The risk was real but the odds still favorable enough. Once drawn in, the opposition was at least one move behind where they would have been had they detected the strategy earlier.

The chess metaphor fit well here. The big difference was the asynchronous relationship of the moves as opposed to the taking-turns of the classical game. If there was anything they learned from the output of the last statistical run is that a tactical retreat with the right strategy was nearly as beneficial as best move with the first mover advantage.

What the opposition was probably unaware of was just how much they had been drinking their own Kool-Aid. When one depends on obfuscation to keep the troops from knowing the self-serving agenda, that party also has to be extremely careful not to see its opponent through the same foggy lens they have created for their pawns.

The counter-strategy was to get the opposition to reveal much of their arsenal in a battle that merely seemed to be theater critical and just before they became aware that it was a red herring. Let them have a symbolic victory and in the process further obscure how they had been tricked into using their best for a mostly illusory gain.

The guerilla advantage is when one has not much to lose, nearly all the battles in this situation have the potential to be highly efficient learning experiences. Soliciting sponsorship is then catalyzed by the sheer growth efficiency implicit in a low risk venue. Many a breakthrough has come as a result of well-managed asymmetrical competition. We all know the story of David and Goliath - not as many understand the "small and nimble advantage" pattern in a way that can be flexibly applied.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

On the Wings of Intention

Again, he looked at the data accumulated at the last summit. He now knew that letting his mind wonder was not a failure of discipline. In fact, there was an aspect to the project that required it. When this could happen in collaboration at some future date held great promise. He began the now familiar journey to a subtle plane ...

Open the dark book and let it consume you and in a reasonable period of time, close it with the same effort. Inside there is a mysterious power that permeates everything in its wake. A dark cave at the bottom of a barren valley that seems to radiate the power to end meaning. What or who should go there? Surely nothing and no one of value? Perhaps it is just a bottomless pit where less useful things can be discarded with nary a second thought?

Should anything be discarded with such abandon? Let me make a case that just such a thing not happen. Our ability to fully evaluate would necessarily entail a imaginary and productive capacity far beyond our wildest imaginings (today). Unwise to venture to a place of such absolutes?

Some ancient memes suggest there is no single ended transaction. That seeking such a transaction goes toward darkness or comes from there and is akin to a denial of value. So if one is to choose, would it not make sense to embrace the concept of circuity in all things? Or perhaps, only consider those phenomena that cycle?

I say yes, and I say so because it does away with the messy end effects. Create byzantine-like theories to accommodate yet another convenient 'universal' theory? Or do so because it has some mathematical appeal that appears timeless only to the degree that the theoretical beginning and/or ending are beyond current relevance?

He took a deep breath, these journeys were often both exhilarating and exhausting. Lately he had gotten used to the idea that he need not document them externally. Their value would be naturally, organically integrated with the project's discovery function.


The event had all the trappings of a diplomatic social event. Humans are best able to sincerely articulate their accumulated wisdom and, just as importantly, listen to a differing but informed perspective when they are comfortable being human. In short, the drill was anything but trivial.

Acknowledging another culture's customs is a step to becoming aware of how our automatic responses can skew and therefore diminish our objectivity in a plan to collectively synthesize something new.

Her nervous responses to the uncertainty preceding the event were highly visible to him, for he had arranged the get together. He wondered now what his nervous behavior looked like to her. He felt anticipation, indeed trepidation before it occurred, but how would this person he had known for a couple of decades see his altered behavior in this context?

Very little in his relationship to her to date was predicated on the decoding/interpreting part of the project. "Wait a minute", he thought "careful what verb really applies. So often his explicit thoughts were only as deep as his conscious awareness. More and more of late, he realized how shallow this really was (and that he was not alone in this regard).

A notification signal just arrived. He looked at its content. Something about a very high level activity that had nearly universal appeal. Timely that it arrived at the moment, he thought. Conscious awareness, an executive function in his view, was a key component of being a human. The signal's message backed up the notion of the primacy of this top layer of human cognition. Engaging it is key, another puzzle on this ... ok, let go ... magnificent mission. Regarding it as such gave it even more life. He smiled, deeply.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Great Music

One thing seems clear from our political past. Long lasting value is generated by embracing popular principles rather than fads and moving on that spirit out of the public eye until the public's support of a cohesive plan that is ready to implement. When the red and gold meets the tie in private there is no pandering to consituencies. What transpires can be human to human, not leader to leader. Humans breathe the same air - leaders, not necessarily. Then, only the bridge remains to be done, the foundation on each shore is in place.

May I take a moment to dream? If such a secret meeting bears fruit, can an effective deterrent to terrorism be far behind? Security and friendship are highly correlated. More money for friendship, less wasted on weapons?

Sunday, January 17, 2010


As futile as measuring violence only by the number of hearts that quit beating. Mindless formulas instead of mindful communication. All lies and jest or all lies in jest? Can a man hear more than just what he wants to hear and not disregard the rest? Is there an alternative to fighting, to oppression, suppression, lying, subjugation, domination and a million other stupid things?

The authors of a book of patterns might know or at least attempt to help us know. Regard such with suspicion for there may be an agenda there? Worse, an opposing world view? Dare we upset the accepted order? The casualties are maneagable, trust me?

"No, I don't think I oppose such a book and yes, I choose a better course. How about you"

Saturday, January 16, 2010


Before him a collection of snippets that were likely connected. But if so how they were connected was not apparent ... yet. Since many made reference to either a sequence based pattern or a representative scene they could not be considered an 'equal' class. The snippet icons lay on the table before him in a random pattern.

If the effort to abstract the snippets into icons had worked well, an underlying structure candidate might emerge by re-arranging them in two dimensions. If not, the information gleaned would likely shed light on how better to iconically represent them in the context of each other. Even the discovery that a simple structure was not underneath would be valuable to know now.

The insight from the songwriter he considered the poet laureate of modern music was relevant. It related to the issue of tension in relationship bridges when fusion was appropriate. If not, it seemed useful to view it that way.The undercurrent of communication between the genders was much more evident when it was just two and non-verbal. Architectures of an entirely different nature brought together for the purpose of continuity would likely be subject to an explicit uncertainty. On the more subtle plane though ...

Friday, January 15, 2010

Me, change?

A freedom fighter and articulate warrior and a loose cannon. In the propaganda department the passion was a good thing, the loose cannon part was not overly relevant. The new task though was much different.

A compassionate guy quick to rationalize what others would consider inappropriate application of violence. Whoa, you say, how can he be compassionate if he could condone violence much less support it?

The risk is to go astray on the role of violence in a peace loving society in the generic sense. This is an issue that occupies much of the public's attention thanks to the current desperate state of global media. Violence in the protection of an innocent family member seems much more acceptable than murdering someone who disagrees with you.

What was at play for him in this regard was a very traumatic event at an earlier time that weighed heavy on his reasoning compass. Things he took as given turned upside down by the mass hysteria of the time coupled with the event that could not be closer to home. Like the magnetic interference that causes high level apps depending on a magnetometer to act in a very bizarre manner - the cell phone running a Feng Shui program.

Yet his potential contribution in this new realm was quite palpable. Self calibration seemed the most desirable pattern to bridge where he was to where he could really help. It was clear from his present passion and the need to seek meaning from the trauma of his past he wanted to.

Solution Patterns?

Who is behind this thing we don't like? More often than not it is somebody with 'deep pockets'. So the wisdom of Deep Throat may apply here, "Follow the Money".

Bear with me a moment while I speculate. One of the clues of where to look is at those who vigorously point the finger of suspicion. I am thinking those who rage at lobbyists whose function is to influence government processes.

This process directs attention away from other money laundering channels. Take, for example, terrorism financing. By calling attention to Wall Streets secretive money changer methods, oil money can be used to support the very cost-effective, asymmetric war technique we call terrorism, without a lot of attention.

So, it seems to me, that behind the louder voices proclaiming injustice is a level of indirection, so to speak. Sponsors of an agenda. Further to be effective the sponsors need to remain anonymous so as not to call popular attention to there self-serving plan. To accomplish this, sponsors will often mask their real intention with an attention diverting mantra to be shouted in public to the cameras.

The patterns are decoy and anonymous sponsorship. Detecting these patterns seems advisable. The illumination pattern, turning the bright lights on while looking under the log of seeming intractactibility applies also.

A classic 'intel' operation. The magic new ingredient this time? Openness. Go Google.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Sophisticated Obfuscation

Back very close to home, the political polarization in this country is so severe that the small minority in the political extremes have an asymmetrical power arrangement with regard to political influence. It is so efficient that even Facebook users (370million strong at last count) are easily manipulated by them such that fighting distracts consensus building. This even though the world's largest communications system is essentially non-partisan, secular, largely apolitical etc.

Who benefits? A small number of individuals in small groups cornering the world's free market. As the Klieg lights get closer and closer to their HQ their desperation goes critical. Secrecy and/or obfuscation are breaking down, quickly.

Take a look around at, say, the very deep pockets that brought you news fused with entertainment and manipulation. A belligerent totalitarian regime co-opting free markets and our very humanity. Bigots in the very deepest sense of the word. But like other nefarious parties putting on a very good show because they have been told by their sponsors that perception is as good as food to those they will let live.

Obfuscation has taken another major turn. Confuse the targeted audience by exploiting abstracted remembrances of terrors past. Clever, misinformation taken to a level not easily exposed by sound bite media. "Can the public media be bought?", they ask in private. "Can our largest client's paranoia be exploited again?"

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

No, that is not good.

If Google says no to China will others too? Or will they just pick up the slack and put up with the constraints imposed by the host country's top down government?

Some say we should mind our own business when it comes to openness. After all, China being the largest country on the planet with a rapidly growing economy can't be all bad.

And with respect to not being all bad, the same could be said for the US. But on closer analysis China's rise has been a spectacular success for certain US investors. These investors do not necessarily identify with the US, though this country may be their primary residence.

Profitability in the world can be divided into at least two categories: 1) short-sighted and 2) long-sighted. The first exploits vulnerabilities in the system's checks and balances to make a quick profit. The second recognizes that short-sighted approaches backfire as often as not and create mythical wealth that is short lived.

It is interesting to note here that there is a school of thought that attributes much of the US decline on its large military focus. One could argue that the military capability that won the second world war has outlived it usefulness.

I am old enough to remember a time when the industrial capacity of the US that built up for war was second to none even when the war had come to an end. I remember the time following WWII when much attention was payed to applying the technology to peacetime uses.

Some 'baggage' came with war machine being no longer of use. The propaganda engine that helped first our enemy to harvest social anger for perceived injustice turned into the allies response, using the same propaganda tools. Propoganda survived the war - maybe that was not such a good thing.

I suggest we look deeper into both these phenomena some six or seven decades later. And look anew at what it means to repeat history without deeply understanding it. Unity creates joint purpose and the ability to move a mountain ... in one direction. If that direction is efficacious over a very long term then it would seem to be a very good thing.

But any single direction is seldom good for a long duration. At least if it is specific enough to be an overarching principle that guides societal behavior. Cutting-edge communications hold the promise of directly addressing this deep opportunity. I would argue, few companies in the world are as capable in this area as Google. The news regarding Googles stance vis a vis China is a watershed event in this regard. I would be glad to share why I think so with anyone friendly enough to discuss it.

Mission Ready

Her default behavior returned. Asking questions but not listening for the answers or hearing them incorrectly. As if the question and answer dialog was running inside her head and she needed to engage her voice and at least try to use her listening ability to hold on to some sense of protection from it. One would assume the dialog was exclusively hers and unpleasant.

Another aspect of the behavior was the obsessive need to perform lists of actions. A rigid list often too long for the time available. A way to fill the time, once again to suppress internal chatter that was disturbing?

The challenge was to gently wake her up from that default mode. Shocking her out of the trance was not effective. In fact, various defensive reactions ensued that made the situation worse and even harder to deal with.

To date, this mysterious modality was essentially just accepted. It did not pose a threat to the daily lives of those around her. Now with the discovery mission imminent and her having a major role in it, the risk was no longer acceptable.

What had been learned so far was this: to the degree that one did not respond as if paying attention, she would eventually find a new equilibrium and would be back to the engaging intellect so appreciated by the team.

What concerned the team is emergency situations, the ones whose probability would rise sharply in the upcoming phase of the operation. If the steps of the mission could be clear, many a training method would solve the problem. But the dependence of the steps on each other meant that there were simply too many unique permutations to train for.

Recruiting her had been haphazard. Deep in the throes of the conflict some years ago ...

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

At the Edge

Her friend asked, "He was climbing a mountain?". It, in turn, begged the question "Why ask such a thing." Literally it could be a reference to a document not long ago alluding to ... actually a number of documents on the subject of expectation and whether or not a given level of speculative interest was justified.

The thin air teaches conservation in the most primitive of terms. Sufficient air is not an option, scope of the mission is. Dynamic update of the mission scope, is it cheating or in any other way disingenuous? In training, no. In the mission ... maybe.

Pursuit of rigid hypotheses are often a waste of investigative resources. But there is much nuance in the definition of rigid. And if a definition is subject to a bias bering on its use?

When there is little air, focus (attention) to essentials is mandatory. The consequences are dire for indulging denial when the entire system is at risk. The value of such ventures that test limits is to discover what really is essential and to discover priority in a list of tasks.

This 'mountain', while formidable, could be thought of as practice in the sense that mastering it, for any reason, tests the validity of prioritizing patterns.

"Not a mountain, the high steppe that surrounds our presumed destination."


A chill ran up his spine. He knew now not to ignore this signal just as he knew how unwise it was to make quick assumptions about what caused it. Given recent events it would be easy to assume that the alert was an unconscious shudder in essence summarizing the status and the peril it implied.

But on deeper analysis, several thoughts popped into his head. Certain environments and the players in them had associations with ... deep fear or downright terror. The players roles in this process ranged from complicit exploiters to naive pacifists. And when fear was the response it was hard to tell just where each player lay on that continuum.

Calm in the face of the storm, it is a pattern that applied here. By leveraging the rapport with adjacent friends, calm was the overwhelming consensus. It is perhaps better to enter this domain from there rather than the emergency entrance, Panic Not. That is, of course, if there is time. There was time and just enough.

The summit just hours away he checked messages and went through the preparation routines. The break in the dark clouds outside with leafless winter trees silhouetted against them seemed an intriguing background for what was about to happen.

Monday, January 11, 2010

... what it is.

This person was a study in power. She could rivet initial attention. A skill honed over decades. She, a second born, was subject to the lost syndrome. Interests subordinated to the system in an unhealthy way. Surely there was a cultural component. It was amplified by the circumstances of her historical time and place and how her significant others coped.

Confusing a declaration and its inverse was a repeating response to stressful situations (perhaps a key lay here). Secrecy playing a special roll in undermining creativity and adaptation, a seeming waste. Middle children were ostensibly more suggestible than their siblings, this held true for her.

Misunderstood by those that wanted to be close to her, she had developed a remarkable capability to parrot the connection protocol. Coupled with an engaging smile she was liked, even loved - but only to a certain degree. When the 'chips were down' she did not count on the presence of others.

What lay underneath this qualified 'charm'? A constitution of steel, he was to discover. A remarkable ability to tie an interested party in knots at will even in her second language. But she seemed to regret doing so, needing considerable time to 'settle down'. It was as if she was responding to a battle routine she did not understand and did not support ... with her heart. Seldom crying or showing anything but a steely strength she was often jealous of those who could really feel in the presence of their friends.

And yet, here they were, highly dependent on this woman of considerable potential. Several things had worked to a degree in penetrating the hard shell. She was a mother and had a nurturing capacity that betrayed her naked power.

Powerful and suggestible. Now there is a combination, and all too familiar. So when the new opportunity arrived in the form of a deeply intelligent but inexperienced young female it was all hands on deck, so to speak. For all the right reasons, this was the time to break through that steely shell. The foundational bond was as natural as nature had to offer.

Sunday, January 10, 2010


This person's creative performance roots showing through again decades later, the serendipity seemed particularly fortuitous on this occasion. When the techniques used to create the elements for the aural medium were transparent the message entered unfettered by the metaphorical receptionist and security guard. The pattern was useful for all but the most unique incoming signals. And just because they were unique did not give them, necessarily, a value such as 'good' or 'bad'.

Many tracks, much potential and a chance at a good theme, maybe a very good theme. But the content much less the overarching meaning had yet to come into being. Should such powerful resources allocate bandwidth without a tightly defined goal? If there is anything the project had learned so far is that the tighter the definition (beyond a certain threshold) the less relevant to life it became.

It is the argument against over-specialization and open-ended incentives to go there. Many a blind spot arose from just such a causal chain. The economic meltdown of the first decade certainly answers that "About what?" question in this context.

Knowing that the mission would likely consume all the remaining fuel, he did not have the luxury of procrastination. Leadership was passing quickly between members and held out the hope that the ship's end-of-life would not extinguish the mission. The ship was his with all the implicit responsibility. It had a role to play.

"Another attack, regard it with the calm of reasoned motivation and urgency of the real thing. I will see you on the other side.". He explicitly closed the channel.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Ave Maria

Stumbling away from the console, his head swimming in the aftermath of the sensual assault, he breathed deep. An epiphany had transpired just as the ship's fuel was now critically low. To have taken such a risk under the circumstances required a faith far beyond what he had been able to muster only weeks before.

The day before yesterday, pushed beyond the reasoning threshold the systems were systematically shutting down. The circumstances so dire that emergency routines were executed to save what value the vehicle had generated since its deployment.

One would think that the foregoing summary was indicative of an end, of sorts. He was to find out quite the opposite was true in all respects that mattered. Made more vivid, perhaps necessarily so, by the stark terror that went just before.

He entered the air lock and pressed the button to speak, "Yes, yes ... every bit as significant". and confirmed the authenticity of the transmission with the usual code.

Above the Fray?

Condescension and pragmatism are best distinguished from each other. The "Ivory Tower" argument is about the failing of certain academic societal solutions. Better results come from those institutions that reach out beyond passive detached study (and whose methods are presumed to be sacrosanct). Instead, actually experience and record positive change while it is happening then abstract it in an open collaborative manor and share it with all.

Vetting authority continually is essential for life. This is because life is change. We codify successful methods so we can re-apply them. But as the data underneath is morphed by these formulas the methods themselves become obsolete. Continuos vetting, it seems to me, is composed of some essential elements. Chief among them is defining a life horizon that takes the inescapable obsolescence into account.

There are patterns that apply to the dynamic vetting in general. They include multiple layers of indirection and suffer from the "About what?" communications dilemma. But like so much in life, projects of great value are often difficult but worthwhile.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Bridge to where?

Not much question that time was running out. But that was always the case. Often that message implies that the time interval's end is imminent. Two problems that immediately came to mind 1) what is the meaning of imminent in this context? 2) how would one define the now-to-finish duration?

Clearly, the context was quite important here. Useful patterns, at times, employ multiple levels of indirection. Early on, she would frequently ask, "About what?". When that happened, he would be frustrated by the risk of changing the subject in an attempt to provide an example. But that indirection was hidden from conscious awareness and seldom communicated as a result.

Music and humor are bridges between detail on the one end and useful high level patterns on the other. His background as an on-air-talent in a time when an electronic medium was in a highly symbiotic relationship with popular music provided the clue. From it he got a visceral feel for 'high-bridge' connection.

One common word would connote the feeling well but the components of that abstraction could be re-used, he speculated. A feeling of revelation came over him. So this is what the context of the last decoded segment was about. The subtle meaning of the cloud's lining.

"I have got it."

"Are you sure."

"At least, something as significant."

"Good, lets tell the others"

Now What?

He knew he had something they wanted. The trouble was he did not know what it was. If they knew he did not know what it was, it seemed they would be less inclined to treat him as an equal. In fact he may be in real danger.

It was one thing to get in, it was an entirely a different thing, once in, to know how to navigate an environment likely to be hostile to an unexpected intruder. Even with the pall of uncertainty he felt confident this was the best decision, get inside and use the training to discover quickly how to proceed.

The training, or at least the subtle part of it, was about those omnipresent patterns. Calm in the face of uncertainty came from the ability to recognize applicable patterns quickly.

Once inside it was crucial to get high level attention. This was somewhat insured by the anomalous nature of the surprise entry itself. In more friendly environments it was often called the 'back door'. Perhaps a suitable metaphor here also, he thought.

The strategy he learned was engage in diplomatic discovery with a view to having his adversaries reveal detail that he could leverage without them knowing that was what was happening. He was, after all, on offense (Trojan Horse style).

"When will you give it to us?"

"First things first, was my arrival kept confidential?"

"Yes ... excuse me a moment". The guard stepped away as he busied himself with his handheld."

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Sun After The Storm

The day after the red alert. What have we learned? Which patterns were involved? How do those patterns help our understanding of the mission in the message?

He looked at the list of questions and unlike just the day before when the metaphorical gunfire was virtually continuous, the words came easily.

The lesson of the cells working in concert with no direct connection to the abstraction center was simple. Redundancy and adaptation were remarkably adept at overcoming outdated 'auto-pilot' routines.

The age of these useful patterns meant that they had been tested in real life many times over. Recalling how the concept of faith had been co-opted by short-sighted interests, he felt the steady hand of a nurturing entity and heard her words, "Lets not throw out the baby with the bath water".

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

We have been hit, Captain

Systems were shutting down intermittently. The fragile piping ruptured again accelerating the apparent damage. I say apparent because it was clear that, at times, what appeared to be happening was only a visualization of what could happen.

Hypervigilance was just as frightening as denial for the same reason. Both were a misapplication of predictive resources. The pattern repeated over and over and was remarkably capable of covering its tracks. This stealth capability was useful at times but its dependence on subordinating other functions proved costly. And now, too costly. As we might have heard on the starship, "the cloaking device uses too much energy for ..."

The crew was 'shell shocked'. It was not the first time, for from it. But this time, the urgency was not lost on him. Denial works only as long as it works. If the ship is going to sink its no longer relevant that the ship was designed not to do so.

Some ancient wisdom would have us believe that embracing the cycle is enlightenment. And this was the biggest test, according to most. Hands at the controls with light from the displays animating his stone rapt attenion, he sighed, "in theory ... in theory".

She put his hand on his shoulder and he suddenly realized he was not alone.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Patterns of Imagination

As a child he loved to make things. Unencumbered with the requirement that things work well under real world conditions, success was more about imagination than rigor. If it seemed plausible there was reason to rejoice and move on to yet bigger ideas.

One could make a case for the hard work it takes to test, implement, replicate, make sustainable etc. each idea. But it seemed not quite right that ideas should be subordinated to implementation's management. The bias, if that is what it was, was likely in response to the creative stifling effect of betting on incremental improvement to the exclusion of quantum jumps in making life better.

Confronted now with the fine line between productive brain-storming and escapist day-dreaming he came to an important agenda item for today's meeting: what pattern do we apply for measuring productive flights of fancy? The research data tended to show that this pattern could be empirically derived if, and only if, biases of a certain type could be effectively mitigated. These biases often were at small angles to primary dimensions in the creative opportunity space making them easy to study.

With the latest candidate list of the dimensions before him he once again noted the special temporal dimension which often had a unique relationship to the others. In this case, reversal and rate variation were more key considerations than was the norm for patterns of this class.

"Leap of Faith" was a useful concept when deciding on a new direction. To the degree that such an action was based on automatic execution of sequencing patterns, one could expect a large connected data base and the ability to navigate it quickly would yield very large benefits indeed.

He felt the mild panic that highly accomplished artists describe just before a performance. There was an element of leaping when choosing to interact with ...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Is there anybody in there?

Why should it be so difficult to write for machines then write for humans? I can hear it now, some techno-fobe will say, "Silly boy, humans are a special case. If you stoop to writing to your machines you have lost the essence of what it is to be conscious. You have lowered yourself to the level of the machine."

I have to admit there is something to that argument ... as far as it goes. But isn't there an element of lying to the mirror? That is to say, deliberately misrepresenting 'the truth' played back in real-time exposes one to the substance of communication. It is a choice. Is so-called truth that much different than a lie when told to a mirror?

And so it goes, analysis of values requires that we go to where the absurd ostensibly lies as a matter of course. Because all we perceive is infused with values? It is the way the information we remember manifests as relevant?

Anomalies take on an implicit urgency that is sometimes unjustified. What a quaint term for it, overreaction. By whose measure? When should it be applied? What if there is not sufficient time to carefully consider an anomaly's relevance?

Conceptually now, juxtaposition the man-machine and friend-not friend interfaces. Most of the world we live in has analog characteristics - phenomena are on a continuum. It really has a feel like, zero vs. one and two but not two.

Are we any closer? That I could write this now does give me hope. Let's see if the journey back to the language of those 'lesser' entities is as easy ...

Saturday, January 2, 2010

When my heart ...

When my heart would no longer rhythmically beat to the whims of my ego, I was terrified. When my heart raced frantically out of that fear, I started dying, over and over. When my heart discovered its existence beyond fear, wisdom came calling. Wisdom from Tensin, from study of the science of human biology, from the subtle manifestations of heuristic action over millennia. Trust underlay everything that mattered and was obscured by an ego to full of itself.

As if that ancient trust has a mind of its own, it rose up. It grabbed my attention in a way I could not ignore. Looking into the face of anti-life with nothing more to lose, I said, "No. You have played your whole card and have nothing left. So, I choose to regard this as meaning and what I will do next as purpose. What can you do, kill me twice?"