"Close the shop of argument and mystery. Open the teahouse of experience."
Hamadani (12c. poet)
When I settled here sixteen years ago, there was an old roadhouse called the Mill Creek Inn up north of town. I remembered it from my earlier travels through this region, it was an isolated old inn at the end of a winter road, up at the Coalbank gate across Highway 550, beside a mountain stream. I had sometimes dreamed of running the place, of meeting, lodging, feeding and refreshing travelers, and of hearing their tales. I had dreamed of learning something about the way information travels, and of operating the highway gate as weather or occupancy dictated.
A year or so after I moved here the old roadhouse was burned down, in a VFD training exercise, to make room for the driveway of a mountain trophy home. I belonged to the local Volunteer Fire Department, the gate on the highway is still there, I don't know the gatekeeper. There used to be a great roadhouse north of Bernalillo, out on the old highway to Santa Fe; visiting blues bands would often play the night away out there, but that's another story.
More to the point, I once proposed that the reason printing was invented in Mainz was that the city lay at the intersection of old trade routes between the four corners of the medieval world, and that the invention of printing coincided with a confluence of knowledge, technology, and information in that ancient town. Further out, to the east, along the Silk Road, caravanserai could be found where other routes combined. In those places refreshments, goods, information, and songs and stories old and new, were traded and, I expect, ideas may have been fertilized. Before written books were invented, information could travel only in someone's head, which tends to make it idiosyncratic. It wasn't until printed books were commonplace that we really began to appreciate one of the fundamental properties of information: you can copy it without diminishing it. The principle of world-wide web technology is that you can make any information, anywhere, available to anybody, anywhere, at any time. Now ideas can grow throughout the world - fertilized by ubiquitous information.
The Teahouse of Experience is a personal, virtual establishment where my ideas, explorations and trade come together. Welcome, please make yourself at home, thank you for visiting.
Mulla Nasrudin was known to frequent teahouses,
exploring the impossible and asking awkward questions
Now the web gets answers for anyone from everybody. One of the things I like is that you can get what appear to be amazingly irrelevant results when you search. For example, I was running an Alta Vista search about web robots, those programs that work the web for you. I searched for bot +"web site" -botanical -botany,
and item number 3 of my results was a link to the Bank of Tanzania in Dar es Salaam. I find web search engines quite entertaining, they are descendants of the a href="http://www.dialog.com/about/history/pioneers2.pdf">Lockheed Dialog and SDC Orbit
I like how quickly the world-wide web has grown. The web is reaching more people at a much faster rate than radio or television did in their first years. I see that by the end of the year 2001 there were more than 40 million web servers, I estimate that the number of people the web reaches is approaching a billion. I expect tremendous aftereffects soon.
Web growth exceeds all expectations and most forecasts.
In 1999 I was using this projection (below) in training pages, the scale on the left goes up to $60 billion
By 2001 I was using this projection (above), same scale, but topped out.
Forrester Research forecasted, in 2003, that "U.S. online retail sales will grow steadily over the next five years, from $95.7 billion in 2003 to $229.9 billion in
2008"quoted at akamai.com.
The Internet Advertising Bureau reports that internet advertising generated $9.6 billion in revenue in 2004 … - reported at www.ebcvg.com.
A Forbes daily survey reports that 26% of all respondents would shop mostly online this year.
I revised my chart again, below, the $cale now useless.
These figures could put the web's growth curves into geometric space, beyond the reach of logarithmic and combinatorial scales.
The world-wide web is growing at a rate that is apparently unlimited in any direction. see Economic Ecology
September, 1998: The Starr Report: instantly infamous. Pornoticians conducting bidness as usual. Congress abuses the internet by publishing that stuff but it sure gets noticed!
Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
Seattle, Chief of the Duwamish, Suquamish and allied Indian tribes
* (Oracle Corp announces data host solution, September '98)
** (Japanese announcement of a portable videophone, May, 1999)
*** (Announcement of mandatory tracking devices in cell phones beginning 2002, March, 2001)
+I assume that the cost of most tele-transaction/authorizations will be paid directly by the consumer. Current rates run upwards from 25 cents per.
Intell announces integration of 9,000 microprocessors in Trillion-FLOPS achievement.
Street sytems: P-300 cpu with 128Mb RAM and 20Gb HDD, 17" display, 56Kbps modem $1,500
I assume that e-commerce is an enabling technology for webTV and that online retail transaction processing will be hooked to every webTV commercial.
InternetWeek Newsletter - July 29, 1999:
"Jupiter Communications predicts (internet) ads will top $400 million by 2002."
This is spite of a recent television network news report of a study that found internet advertising ineffective - survey said people don't really mind ads on web sites but rarely click 'em. I wonder how much self-interest Jupiter and TV have in their respective reports.
December 10, 1999
Sun Gives up on Java
This week's announcement by Sun Microsystems to the effect that they are no longer pursuing efforts to make Java the pervasive language of distributed computing reflects commercial as well as technical issues (see Economic Ecology.) Networking came from distributed commercial computing -- in the 1970s -- as a way to pre-process main-frame bound applications data. 'Intelligent' terminals paved the way, as it were, for the flood of desktop PC's, and the big www bang was a result of providing network connections to a vast number of relatively powerful computers. Old farts love to marvel at the fact that today's desktop computer is 'more powerful' than early mainframes. I can relate, my first CPU was the old Carnegie Tech CDC 6400: 64Kb RAM running several hundred instructions per second. Within five years it will become possible to transfer applications data to a mainframe, process it, and return output to a client faster than doing it on a standalone desktop machine.
April 12, 2000
Online Banking: Is It A Bust?
Today's InternetWeek Newsletter, April 12, 2000, got me thinking again. Paula Jacobs' assertion that Online Banking "has failed to win the favor of the masses," is a like saying, in 1972, that the ATM had failed to win favor. Online banking through ATM bankbots has won wide acceptance but its taken more than 10 years and it has required the development and interoperation engineering of hundreds of systems and millions of machines. Banks themselves now conduct almost all interbank transactions online. Web Banking has been available to consumers less than 4 years now, barely time enough to identify relevant technical issues, but not enough to draw conclusions about its overall success, except to say that it is inevitable.
All current personal bookkeeping systems have an online component, it won't be long before banking is included; whether people use it or not depends more upon how secure they feel than how easy it is. Other factors are relevant, too - ubiquitous integration of online shopping, trading, and messaging with credit and transaction processing, for example, but the most important thing, it seems to me, is that today's online banking and personal financial management services all require that you give your data to them. I'd be more likely to use a service based upon my own Quicken software, a service that obtains transaction acknowledgements and bank records online, directs the bank to pay certain items, and posts memo transactions to the bank. Of course, web browser-based solutions (today's online banking services) in fact provide better security and reliable data storage but that's not what motivates people to adopt a new method.
August 29, 2000
Intel announces the Pentium IV Gigaherz processor chip.
Collision Course! This item from the Fri, 20 Jul 2001 InternetWeek update
Well I'm encouraged, if the B2B payment standards shake out to two it won't be long before there's only one, plus of course, whatever Micro Soft decides to do, and personal mobile banking will be up all over.
Sunday, March 02, 2014
Payment by phone coming of age
Anick Jesdanun, Associated Press as published in the Durango Herald
Barcelona, Spain – "Many people use their smartphones to watch video, play games and wake them up in the morning. Some even use them to generate digital boarding passes to fly. So why not use phones to buy stuff at retail stores as well? A variety of mobile wallet systems store credit or debit card information on phones in encrypted form, offering more security than standard plastic cards with magnetic stripes. To make a purchase, simply tap the phone on a card reader or wave a bar code over a scanner".
Hang up and walk!
Windows now runs on cell phones, the Stinger platform Samsung SPH-I300 having arrived on the American Market, the integration of garage door openers and TV remotes cannot be far behind.
Watch where your going!
We're now well into the picture phone wave. The advantage, of course, is that if not not sending a picture, you can watch where you're going.
Street Systems: 4 G Hz cpu with 256Mb RAM and 160Gb HDD, 17" flat display, 56Kbps modem $500
Now I'm anticipating ubiquitous, broadband digital radio telephones using VOIP, in addition to a full range of IP services.
I see where the bandwidth of the web page is creeping up. For years I've advocated a 100 Kbyte maximum transfer for any one page, but that broadband is making people see the web faster. In spite of the XML efforts of W3C, larger plugins and browser extensions are creeping into web page source.
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
meanwhile, back on the frontier,
Microsoft Places $250K Bounties On Hackers. lets' just hope they don't mistake those open systems and linux types for hackers.
Monday, January 03, 2005
AMD unveils a processor designed for portable media players. The Au1200 chip integrates media handling facilities on the silicon to keep power costs to a minimum.
||LANGUAGES I HAVE KNOWN
Speaking of languages, a friend asked me if I was doing much Java programming, I'm not, really, apart from a couple of plug & play toys.
I've been at least 3 years behind the programming languages curve for 30 years now, but his question got me thinking about languages I have known.
I know nothing about FORTH or FIFTH,
LANGUAGES I HAVEN'T KNOWN: THE LESSER-KNOWN PROGRAMMING LANGUAGES
# 11 -- FIFTH
# 13 -- C minus (C-)
# 62 -- BREW
# 17 -- DOGO
# 42 -- WYNOT
I have known
I have known
THE USUAL OBJECT OF PROGRAMMING BEING THE FULFILLMENT OF SOME PRACTICAL REQUIREMENT,
I'VE ALSO COME TO KNOW SEVERAL DIFFERENT DESIGN METHODS, OR 'METHODOLOGIES', AS THEY ARE VULGARLY CALLED.
|Methods I have applied|
† Steven W Hawking A Brief History of Time. New York; Bantam Books. pp. 167 - 168.
Stupid Fluid Dynamics
Recent research reports about traffic congestion in the US reminded me of my participation in unpublished work on Stupid Fluid Dynamics, a quantum engineering discipline founded in Los Angeles, in traffic, in early 1994.
umefirst Perceived unit urgency index:
the eigenvalue of a traffic unit's occupants' urgency index matrix.
the number of moving units arriving in the same space.
LEMMA 1: If and only if h' (time left before unit is due at destination) and go to work time are both greater than zero squeezage approaches zero asymptotically as the perceived unit urgency index approaches zero :
Other factors affect squeezage, for example:
There are also independent variables, for example:
This just in:
Ed. Sauer's work on Stupid Fluid Theory includes Stupid Fluid graphics illustrating contention, plugs and other relevant phenomena, and an absurd new traffic flow paradigm invoking Chaos and non deterministic behavior.
All original Stupid Fluid Dynamics fieldwork and theoretical development by myself and Ed. Sauer,
with important contributions by John Strabala (he drove). Comments welcome.
Relativity and the time crunch.
Albert Einstein is popularly supposed to have said that 'the faster you go the slower your clock runs,' giving rise to the improbable conclusion that a person who travels, say, out into space, at an appreciable fraction of the velocity of light, and returns, will find that much more time has passed on the earth than on their journey.
What Einstein actually said was "the rate of a clock is accordingly slower the greater is the mass of the ponderable matter in its neighborhood."‡ Indeed, spacecraft clocks run slower the farther they are from the earth.
Which is to say that the amount of time between two beats of a 'standard clock' equals, in beats:
The combination of this finding and the famous observation that e = mc2, and its implication, that as objects go faster they get more massive, leads to the conclusion that there would be a longer amount of "time" between ticks of a clock on an object traveling at an appreciable fraction of the speed of light, by virtue of its proximity to that object's greater mass. This effect is known as time dilation.
Time dilation is, in theory, only measureable at great velocities, but, just for argument's sake, say that travelling 100 miles every day, at 50 miles an hour, for 10 years, dilates time by 15⁄1000 of a second††. By commuting, you have experienced 15⁄1000 of a second less than those who didn't. You have actually had less time than if you had stayed, relatively speaking in one place, wouldn't you?
‡ Albert Einstein, The Meaning of Relativity. The Stafford Little Lectures of Princeton University May 1921. Princeton University Press; Princeton, New Jersey. 1955. p.92.
†† If you travelled that entire 365,000 miles at the speed of light it would take you at least 1.962 seconds. If you could make that journey in our vicinity, the time dilation would be about (0.017 ÷ 25.13) x (186000 ÷ 7500) = .0168 seconds.
Descriptions, Examples and Definitions always help, here's a few:
I think these are aspects of the mystic:
Then there's the business with the sufis, Sherborne, Gurdjieff, Ouspensky, and Bennett.
I was introduced to the I Ching about 1972, soon after I'd first heard of it, by an imperial Chinese bishop, episcopal style, who had retired to Butler, PA, after being run out of mainland China by the Communists, almost 60 years ago now. He had a 3 storey pagoda in the back garden, built as a tribute by his fellow refugees. In his top floor library was a two volume first edition of Wilhelm's translation of the Book of Changes, which caught my eye. We chatted, in that tiny room, for a few minutes, my looming size perhaps transgressing his personal space, but his Imperial manners gave him patience with me.
The idea that everything-which-changes follows understandable patterns probably arises from a cognitive phenomena involving recognizability and remembering. The I Ching's summation of the patterns of change in 8 x 8 odd/even combinations of 2 simple differences taken 3 at a time is elegantly complete. One of the first insights that Wilhelm explains is that the changes of the Hexagram - the 64 different hexagrams, can be viewed as a cube in 8 dimensions. About the right number to be cognitively related, I'd say.
The drawing on the right, above, illustrates, in two dimensions, a cube viewed in Ø, 1, 2, and 3 dimensions, acording to the number of sides of it you can see: 0, 1, 2, and 3. Its almost possible to illustrate a cube in viewed in 4 dimensions but the very thought of illustrating a cube viewed in 5, 6, 7 or 8 dimensions is more easily entertained by thinking of the number of faces, out of the 6 possible, you can see at once: the 8 changes in the combinations of the hexagram.
Which brings me back to Sherborne, a place I'd first seen in a 1973 National Geographic article about Sufis, at the beginning of my interest in human potential and realization. In 1980 I visited my grandma at Fairlight before setting off to the west country, to see Sherborne. Grandma had rambled on about Earl Dutton and the shabby way the family had cut her off for marrying my grandfather, a welsh banker, in London. So, I find Sherborne, walk in the back, and say to the first person I see, "Hello, I'm a seeker of the heart." To which he said, "Well, you'd better come in and have a cup of tea." I spent 10 days among those people, technical masters of the fourth way. After a few days of spirited discussion I fasted and weeded the gardens, after which I was invited to an upstairs demo of the circle turning. I had prowled the halls of that old house, and was surprised to find portraits of the Earl of Dutton, Sherborne, and the family, going back hundreds of years. Its taken me 25 years to find that I'd stumbled across the remanants of the School of Continuous Education, the school that Bennett had established, and at which Gurdjieff, Ouspensky and Idries Shah had taught, years ago. I learned too, that Bennett had died, of a surprise heart attack, in the very gardens I'd tended. I see that Sherborne House is now a condominium.
& see Economic Ecology
. . . a digression into behavioral learning theory. . .
Learning and thus teaching is most often evaluated by testing. Tests in a typical course of instruction for example, measure a learner's skill level - on a scale from novice to master and are administered twice: once half way through (midtem) and once at the end (final.) People learn at different rates as shown by the "Learning Curve" illustrated in digression figure 1. cf. Learning Curve in Helpful Defintions
Some will learn a new skill pretty quickly - on curve β, some not so fast - on curve α; everybody else will learn at rates between curves α and β. The quick usually have a better chance of learning all the requisite skills before a course ends.
Notice that administering midterm and final tests at times T1 and T2 respectively, with 'Good' and 'Poor' criteria as shown, can be expected to produce the normally distributed results shown in digression figure 2. the notorious 'bell' curve.
A normal distribution of skill levels will include both satisfactory and failing levels of participant performance at any point in time before Tn - when everyone achives mastery.
Some courses now administer an 'entry level' test too, at time T0 with the expected results illustrated in digression figure 3. - most people have not mastered the 'exit' skills.
Now, suppose you used enough time for those on the lower learning curve α in digression figure 1. to achieve mastery; you would expect the results shown in digression figure 4. - more people mastering the 'exit' skills.
Figures 2., 3. and 4. all represent distribution functions on the lines between the curves in figure 1.
For learning that is largely a matter of instruction and practice you can provide efficient and effective support with computers.
So, can a machine teach? No, but a machine can certainly help you learn.
It being the proportion of a happy pen
not to be invassall'd to one monarchie
but dwell with all the better world of men(sic)
whose spirits all are of one communitie
whom neither oceans, desarts(sic), rocks nor sands
can keep from th'intertraffique of the mind.
- Samuel Daniel, 1603. Upon publication in England of the Essays of Montaigne.