Saturday, June 27, 2015

Q&A - 27/6


In the movie Swordfish you said Thomas Jefferson is made to look like having shot someone on the White House lawn for treason. How?

Very expertly

The scene is like this: a rogue government puke (played by Travolta, portrayed as some sort of international vigilante, doing "what's right", making "though choices" as in bombing innocent civilians so forth) was in bed with a rogue US senator, who was the agent's patron. But the rogue agent caused some headaches for him, so the senator wanted to take him out, the agent finds out, now wants to kill the senator, in this scene he is about to shoot him. This is where he says "TJ once shot a man on the White House lawn for treason", the senator tries to reply in exasperation "now wait that's different", before he has a chance to finish, agent shoots him dead.

Now the movie did not officially lie, but the way the conversation is presented leaves the viewer thinking (who has no idea of this historical event I am sure), TJ probably did, in a little different way, but still, shot a man for treason, deciding on his own. Little they know Jefferson was simply performing a firing squads' duties.

These neocons are sneaky.

Twitter User

After so many attacks based on Islam shouldn't Islam the religion be blamed now?


Muslims are tired having to apologize whenever a few idiots do something stupid. Do Jews around the world have to apologize everytime Israel's right-wing government engages in acts of terrorism against Palestenians?

Twitter User

But Israel's government does not quote their religion while doing so, but these [so called] Islamic guys quote their religion for these actions.


Because the guy who learned it through Islam for Dummies book is the final authority on religion.


Here Asimov talks about a big discovery such as natural selection. In other posts you talk about "pathalogical incrementalism" and it is something to be avoided. But what Asimov presents sounds like an incremental thing.. What is the connection?


Here is the deal: the dirty little secret is, discoveries, new products, etc. no matter how influential, or how big, or based on incremental advances. Here is the distinquishing factor though: these big findings are incremental in action / implementation, but revolutionary in outcome. Darwin reads Malthus, he researched species' differentiation, connecting them might take a big leap in terms of mental reorientation, but it is, semantically speaking, an incremental leap in terms of information / knowledge.

So, in order to make big discoveries, find big products, you are looking for some incremental advance in action (which they all are) that will give you the maximum revolutionary output. That is the right wording for it.

Self-driving cars: [geek] SLAM was solved probabilistically -the only solution- [/geek], laser sensors were around, accurate GPS info for street data was taken from Street View project, make some incremental advances in all, combine them, you get the Google Car.

This is obviously extremely hard to do. For any domain there might be hundreds of ideas that can be advanced and combined incrementally to give that revolutionary output. If it was easy everyone would do it, right? Creativity, willingness to look at things differently (so a multitude of combos can be judged and tried), starting from first principles [1] would be prerequisites IMO.

What we do not want is stuff that is both incremental in action, and also incremental in output. That is what people usually mean when they criticize "pathalogical incrementalism".


Go Dutch


[1] Starting from first principles is necessary bcz let's imagine for any given subject there are hundreds of ideas that are in various stages of advancement that form the information landscape of that subject. But the end points of some these ideas / advancements may not be in the right place, even based on what is currently known. They are at where some idiot thought they should be. The inventor should be able to sniff these out (because garbage in means garbage out), then, if necessary, starting from first principles, brings the endpoint to where it should be. Then, incrementally advancing that, combining it with something else, he can create the new product / new idea.