What Not to Do On a Date

The war on women never ceases. While people want you to pretend that such a thing doesn’t exist or want you to keep focused on wage differences – the reality is that men feel they have a *right* to women’s bodies.

After a few dates and meeting up on Tinder, this man decided that not getting sex was too much – and murdered his date and dissolved her body in acid.

She is no less of a combatant on a battlefield as anyone on an actual battlefield with an end result that you can expect.

On a battlefield, people call for revenge, retribution, justice against our enemies.

However, if a woman dies, and the person that caused that death is confronted about it – in this case the man simply shrugged it off.

Perhaps if the battle was more of a fight instead of a ‘these things happen, she probably encouraged him, she dressed provocatively’ kind of thing – perhaps he should be murdered the same way and dissolved with no one to remember that he existed.

The Return of Phrenology

This article on Futurism raises the question – can big data tell from a picture if you are a criminal or not.

It is just bunk, though, really.

Just because there is a correlation in data – doesn’t mean there is a causation. This is one of the basics of statistics and is a caution to anything determined on data only.

Perhaps, if you have committed a crime (or feel you have committed a crime) – you get a “look” on your face that matches their criteria.

The implications that the shape of your face – leads to a prognostication that you *will* commit a crime – is as preposterous as the debunked science of phrenology – measuring the head to determine personality traits.

Happy Christmas From Your AI Overlords

Happy Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

Happy Holidays!

Your AI overlords are here!

And they are coming for IT jobs, too.

There are hypothesis by people that creative jobs will survive the AI onslaught and so people should concentrate on these fields.  This is factually incorrect. Music, paintings, ability to determine a factual statement given human created evidence (Google’s AI Drawing Game) show that AI is not only able to be creative, but that it can be inferential on levels equivalent to humans.

However, being able to create art does not make an overload unless you are Hitler.

The first link is in regard to a company that is transforming the daily business activities by basically replacing middle management with an AI ratings system. In essence, it allows employees to rate and critique each other and stores and analyzes this data. This emphasizes the role of people as “cogs” in a machine or a clock. Like in the movie “The Incredibles“.

Bridgewater even reports that one-fifth of its hires cannot handle a year at the company, and those who do survive are often found crying in the bathrooms.

This statement in the article seems to indicate that crying in the bathroom of an employer is a result of AI management. I have seen management make people cry in the workplace – with no AI involvement at all. I have seen management bully people in to working excessive hours with no AI assistance.

I’m not sure I see a difference between a human manager making a person cry at work or an AI manager making a person cry at work.

As far as the creative arts are concerned – well, I think that would be an easy computer algorithm to “assist” artists to make better art. I’m envisioning a “Black Mirror” episode where people’s like rating directly impacted their daily life. Why not set up Facebook pages – and you’ll know if the next piece of art you create is better than the last – by the number of likes you get? Instagram and a little data analysis would work even better.

So, say hello to you AI overlords – they are already here – a bit earlier than expected.

Women Fight Back

There is nothing that should be honored more than women fighting back.

In Pakistan, a law is passed (which I have discussed previously) that creates a mandatory minimum 25 years of prison for “honor killings”. Not familiar with the term “honor killing”? Murder of a family member for not being ‘acceptable’ – is probably a good working definition.

The problem with murdering loved ones because they are doing things that are not acceptable is that it is deeply ingrained in the society. Many cheer when a popular social media personality Qandeel Baluch was killed by her brother and cheerfully defaced her Facebook page with threats (before she was killed), agreement that she was killed, and joy that a woman that had pride in her physical aspect was no longer alive. The page appears to have been taken down since her death.

The point is, that laws are great, but when police officers turn their backs or even aid the aggressors it will be a long time before those laws are effective.

Women in India have an organization that was started just to protect women. The Gulabi Gang trains women to fight back. It was formed when the women who started the organization got tired of hearing her neighbor being beaten by her husband. She picked up a stick and went over to their house and beat the husband.

This grandmother trains boys and girls in fighting techniques. An important quote in the article:

Physical and sexual assault and rape remain at crisis levels in India. 41% of women experience violence or harassment by the age of 19, new research by Action Aid found. Just as troubling, nearly three-fourths of women surveyed in the report say they were harassed or violated within the past month alone.

75% of women harassed in the last month alone – in one of the two most populated countries in the world. This isn’t to say that it doesn’t happen in the US.

In fact, the US could sorely use organizations such as the Gulabi Gang and this grandmother teaching fighting techniques. In the US there is an organization “slutwalk” which has done some good in raising awareness, but on the whole I don’t think it is as effective as teaching women to protect themselves.

In the end though, I suspect that none of these groups are yet willing to do what needs to be done in order to reduce rape. There is an imbalance. Women are killed, faces destroyed by acid, forced to marry their rapist (and basically sold in to slavery), sold for a dowry or sold to settle gambling debts or finally, tricked in to finding work that turns out to be sex slavery (as told in the opening story in the book “Half the Sky”.

There is in states such as India and Pakistan (among others) tribal courts. These courts often give daughters away or have women raped to settle wrong doing or gambling debts . There needs to be the equivalent of these by women in these countries. It needs to be done in secret as the males would view this as a challenge to their authority. In fact, if the existing tribunals order the rape of a woman, sale of a woman to settle a debt, or marriage absolving a rapist for his crime – those tribal “elders” are up on the block.

Sometimes, in courts, the death sentence is recommended. Honor killings result in the deaths of women. I don’t think the men who have these attitudes are going to stop until they start dying for acid attacks, honor killings, rape (which ends a woman’s honorable life and chances for a good future), selling women in to sex slavery, etc. There are often no repercussions to the (mostly men) who commit these acts. Sometimes, the men who do these things go free and taunt their victims as the justice and legal system do nothing.

Technology Progresses Even When You Are Not Watching

There was a time when I was avidly into building my own desktop computers. My oldest son and myself built his first desktop computer. It was always exciting to me and I saved a few bucks over say buying a Dell and gave the satisfaction of having built a device that does a huge number of tasks (computers, not just for the internets).

Shortly after we built my oldest son’s computer I stopped really paying attention to computer component parts. At some point I’ll build a computer with my daughters and my younger son – but I suspect those will be tablets with Raspberry Pi motherboards.

Today, my hard drive (1TB) is out of space! It is a bit unreal as we always come in to new high capacity hard drives with the attitude “well I’ll never fill that up” even though we know we said that the last time we had multi-gigabyte hard drives, gigabyte hard drives and look at that snazzy 200MB hard drive on that 286.

So, it is not time to buy a new desktop computer, yet. This one is plenty fast enough to crunch through hundreds of millions of records in my SQL Server database that it just doesn’t make sense.

So, I went to Amazon to find a new larger hard drive.

Sticker Shock! Despite me analyzing data and making predictions sometimes you take a step back for two or three years and find…. wow, 5TB hard drives for $125.

I’ll never fill that up.

It just brings to mind the things I have been predicting about Watson level computing in the home, codops (Computerized Doppelgangers) and when it will be achievable, and the idea that one day there may well be billions more codops on Earth than there are physical humans.

If we want to admit it or not – we are definitely in the part of the curve where advances are coming ever quickly and soon to enter the singularity.

Hopefully, I will live long enough to see it.

Hopefully, humanity doesn’t screw itself up before we get there. Whatever that ‘there’ might be.

Waze, Big Data, Machine Learning and the “man”

Waze is most likely sitting on a huge amount of data of when, where, and how long police officers stay in locations waiting to trap unsuspecting citizens for speeding on the nations roadways.

However; with machine learning, a lot of data, and some number crunching I don’t see why Waze couldn’t just incorporate into their application the probability – like a “sixth sense” that there is a police officer in a specific location.

Police officers can do all they want to randomize their appearances; however, there are only so many places for an officer to hide their police car to act like a predator and attack innocent civilians.

In fact, if they did a really good job with it – it could impact the budgets of cities and states that rely on robbing people that pass through their territory to “donate” money.

It is wrong for budgets to depend on speeding tickets to run their jurisdictions. It is wrong that people that can least afford it are the ones the get pulled over, can’t pay the fine, end up owing more money, and then are threatened with loss of driver’s license and in fact, their work and their lives.

This is one way that we can fight back.

Our Batshit Crazy World

Once, I had read long ago about a criticism of a science fiction book that the world didn’t have an even application of technology. One group had certain technology and another group didn’t.

Turns out the world building of the author was more accurate than the world building of the critic. Our present world contains many layers of uneven application of technology.

An airplane crashed and it is indeed a horrible event. All lives were lost in the crash.

The appropriate action is to ground the fleet, inspect the aircraft, understand the cause, rectify the cause, and finally return the fleet to service.

Except that the minds of the people who maintain the aircraft and the crew that help the aircraft operate still have minds – oh several hundred years in the past.

So, they determined that the appropriate action was to sacrifice a black goat.

No really. They killed a goat because they screwed up an aircraft and it crashed and killed people.

I have encountered people here in the US that are not too far off from that mentality. People who won’t read Stephen King books because “demons might come out of the book and infect their mind.” Or people who don’t want their kids to read Harry Potter books because it supports the use of magic.

Now, a number of people in the world made fun of these people – ignoramuses – is what I would call them. Ignorance – we all suffer it in various topics. But you can’t be ignorant about aircraft maintenance and work in aircraft maintenance. That is a life threatening combination.

Worse, though is in the back and forth about the aircraft someone supports the sacrifice of the goat:

Meanwhile, one Twitter user by the name of MisBis spoke for many when she wrote: “There’s nothing wrong in giving Sadqa [sacrificial offering]… Sadqa bari balao se bachata hai [it hedges against many troubles]… stop making it a joke”.

I’m sorry it is a joke. It needs to be joked about. This is another case of “my ignorance is equal to your highly technical knowledge of the operation of aircraft and technology”.

And in this case, I have been as a member of the US Air Force Reserve – 8 years of experience maintaining aircraft. In no place in the Top Secret documents on maintaining the aircraft did it say, “Bribe the gods with a sacrificial goat to ensure safe operation.”