Maths Hatred Wish Fulfillment

Gad, not only is it week out but it is decidedly WARM! I choose that latter term since it has a more subjective connotation than hot and minimizes my aversion to the boggery (and almost all of the geekery) engaging in the nonsense that is cold. In effect, hot and cold have become subjective attributes that are grating to anyone who knows a modicum of physics and has a revulsion for boggish word perversions. If you express all temperatures, as they should be, in an absolute scale, such as Kelvin or Rankine (?) degrees, the difference between winter and summer is not that great, 273 versus 323 (approximately.)

That being said, griping about subjective heat quantities is about all the relief that is about and one has to amuse oneself by reminding of Great Uncle George’s admonition that if you lead a horse to water, and the horse refusing to drink you opt for killing it, you still have to do something with the corpus lest the water revenooers come after you. All constabulary were revenooers to George, largely because of his hobby of distilling spirits for relief from the tedium, life, and the bogs. This same applies to bogs who say stupid things about heat and do it with appalling uniformity among the population.

Speaking of appalling, I noted some work down at U Bristol that indicates that STEM journal articles are cited inversely with the amount of maths. [Link] This was reviewed in Scientific American and happily they did only a minor amount of foot in mouth gymnastics. The conclusion was that STEMs don’t like maths any more than the no-algebra-after-high-shule bogs. I fear I find the conclusion specious. First of all, they failed to distinguish among disciplines. Some disciplines are populated by folks who dislike or cannot do maths. Biology, for example. It is well known that biologishs, and physicians, have to hire statisticians to run their stats for them and tell them what they have done. And then the statisticians get abused and ignored. One of the contemporary forms of slavery, I suppose.

Id we look at the disciplines that actually use maths, engineering and the physical sciences, then these disciplines are divided into two populations. In physics, the two are experimentalists and theoreticians. The names are sometimes different in the other disciplines, but the distinction of people who use maths to construct theory, and people who conduct experiments in labs is the same. The point is that, in the main, the theoreticians primarily read other theoreticians papers, and the experimentalists primarily read other experimentalists papers. Theoreticians’ papers are full of maths; experimentalists’ papers have relatively little maths. And in all instances experimentalists are greater in number than theoreticians. So the paper’s conclusions look like nothing more than a reflection of demographics and not about maths literacy.

Now, many experimentalists are not as adept at maths as are theoreticians. And theoreticians are notoriously klutzy at using tools and machines. I have known theoreticians who had to have three computers so that they would always have one working while the other two cycled through the IT support chain getting fixed. These folks had a computational black thumb. But that is somewhat to be expected with theoreticians.

But experimentalists do not talk much in maths because that is not what they are interested in. They are interested in machines, and technique and experimental results – data. They generally differ from biologists, and physicians, in either doing their own analysis or having a symbiotic relationship with a theoretician who help with their analysis and suggests new experiments. IT needs be emphasized that the relationship is symbiotic rather than parasitic.

There tend to be a somewhat disproportionate number of theoretical papers since theoreticians, while fewer in number, do not have to spend lots of time getting machines to work. Nonetheless, there are more experimental papers, with few maths, than theoretical papers, with lots of maths. And the preponderance of citations are of experimental papers by experimentalists and theoretical papers by theoreticians. The crossing ratio is order 1:10. So to first order, experimental papers, with few maths, have considerably more citations than theoretical papers, with lots of maths, and hence the findings of the article.

Not a result of maths hatred. However much thebogs may want to continue their no-algebra-after-high-shule propaganda. We do wish they would stick to something less obnoxious, like that Jews are the root of all society’s ills.

LOLcat Academics

Once more into the boundary between week in and week out and the nation may still be abuzz with yesterday’s perception of treason on the part of the Chief Justicers of the Yankee republic. So far as I can tell, the ruling satisfies almost no one, except possible the O’Bama. The liberals are incensed that the disciplining of the reactionary state governments was disallowed, and the conservatives are incensed that the mandate for requiring everyone to have medical insurance was upheld as a form of taxation. Both are asking if the tax applies to illegal aliens that the Yankee government of O’Bama refuses to enforce laws upon.

My question is what penalties are to brought against insurance companies who provide insurance but deny claims? Any firing parties for corporate oligarchs? And who is going to provide uniform medical care throughout the Yankee republic? Does this foretell the drafting of all physicians and medicalists?

So I expect the political impasse to deepen once the new congress of thieves convenes in the fall.

But what really amazed me was an article [Link] on some economics graduate student who submitted a dissertation on LOLcats. Well, actually, it’s a thesis rather than a dissertation, even though the document says disertation, because it’s submitted as fulfillment of a master’s degree in media and communications. So if we interpret that as being on the luvvie side of things, this may be nothing more than another rich darling getting a useless arts degree who lacks talent even to compose an original work of art. Possibly can’t even glue macaroni to card stock?

Two things strike. This is what the world has come to. Here we are rushing on to extinction of the species and we wast resources on a student who writes a thesis on LOLcats? Can this student have any more worth than her subject? I hope so. But the thesis does not demonstrate such.

Second, I have long had my worries about economists. They misuse maths in a most incompetent fashion. Most of them cannot distinguish a rate from a sample. And now the whole of the London Shule of Economics has suffered mind rot? Patently demonstrated, apparently.

So the eminent demise of the human species via stupid silliness will not surprise me.

Mixed Grill

Let me see if I can grasp this. The Chief Justicers of the Yankee government have decided that the Yankee government does not have to arrest criminal (illegal) aliens but it can force citizens to have health insurance?

Has the constitution been changed to mandate that the Yankee government is responsible for protecting the rest of Tellus from its own citizens?

Lane Blocked

Yesterday was a joyous day of drudge in Nawth Alibam’s Shining City on the Hill. It started with me rushing about rather madly to get time critical things done culminating with me arriving at the dentist’s office unlate. Then I got to endure the Listerine experience of tooth cleaning, which is an euphemism for taking the same tools that archaeologists and paleontologists use to unearth fossils and artifacts from the body of Tellus and using them to remove all the gibble that has accumulated on my teeth since the previous iteration three months ago. The discomfort is multidimensional and never really crosses the boundary into actual pain but there are times when I should express myself except for my mouth being encumbered with at least two hands, two tubes, and an instrument of intense discomfort.

The individual involved is a superbly competent technician and human of wonderful temperament. Her greatest fault is abiding me. On the positive side however, I have not, to my knowledge, ever bitten her. And the mundane medicalist bits – the absence of cancer and the proper shortness of distance between bone and gum edge were substantiated, much to my relief. When I was a kid I dreaded to be told that I had cavities because of the filling process. I should have been happy with that little if I had been told of the joys of gum treatments.

After that, I wobbled my way out to my motorcar. The dental treatment chair is the world’s most expensive furniture lacking ANY lumbar support and after the better part of an hour with my legs clenched against pain and bladder, it takes a bit for the cramps and wobbles to work out. And off to the organic supermarket for all sorts of goodies. Also the intense joy of driving across Nawth Alibam’s Shining City of the Hill – in the words of Andy Griffith – “withing getting knocked down, or stepping in something” at least in motoring terms.

Needless to say after such an excursion little was done yesterday afternoon so I ended up with several emails asking me to do something expeditiously. Disappointments issued like ration packs. And this morning I finally got to read an article on the desktop by a fellow named David Lane. [Link] Mr. Lane writes that he predicted a couple of years ago that the desktop would be the cell phone. I find the statement unpleasant and even odious. For several reasons.

First of all, I have a desktop. It is located on top of my desk, which is a piece of furniture. My cellular telephone is not a piece of furniture. I am not sure what it is, but it is not furniture. Mostly it is an appliance that masquerades as a tool. Sadly, many bogs, and a few geeks, apparently including Mr, Lane, think a cellular telephone is a tool.

I have several desktop computers. I do not really like the name but I put up with it. It is a box with electro-mechanical widgets inside. That I like better. Hence deskbox. A monitor is connected to the deskbox via a video card, the former an electro-optical widget and the latter an electro-mechanical widget. The OS, via the widgets, displays a thing called a desktop on the monitor. It is not a desktop. It looks like no desktop that I have ever used but the computer oligarchs at MegaHard dubbed it a desktop and it has become part of the language. I suspect this image on the monitor is what Mr. Lane is describing.

My deskbox is also a container of tools and some appliance thingies. They include things like browsers and LaTeX editors and symbolic algebra engines and compilers and …. I use these things on the desktop on the monitor to do what I need to do. I do not know how I would use them effectively on my cellular telephone. The screen is too small and my monitor is too large for me to carry about, even if I wore BDU trousers with balloon pockets. The cellular telephone screen is also too small for my old eyes to read well, and it does not do all the fonts I need for maths and such. And its keyboard is a mental torture.

So in any of several usages of the term desktop I find that I, personally, disagree with Mr. Lane. He has been, however, gracious enough to leave me an out so that I may continue to appreciate his wit and writing. I quote:

“I argue that in a typical enterprise environment, the 80/20 rule applies when you look at application use and processing power. 80% of the people are using only 20% of the computing power in their machines. If you have any experience in large enterprises you are snorting because it is unlikely they are even using 20%, but let’s use this for illustration. The majority of worker bees are doing simple tasks. They are writing documents, whether in a word processor or in email, they are preparing or delivering presentations, which really is only specialized word processing. They are surfing the web, administering systems, working or submitting tickets, or reading. None of these tasks is particularly computationally taxing.

The other 20% are doing tasks that are computationally taxing. Advanced data analytics, audio/video/graphical composition, CAD/CAM, data or event modeling, even some local compilation to ensure builds will work. These people have need for some serious horsepower.”

I am not sure what a “typical enterprise environment” is but I suspect it is not a Yankee government R&D center with 0.8 STEMS and 0.2 admins. So in that regard Mr. Lane’s ratio is reversed in the workplace I frequented for 32+ years. This does not matter. The ratio of states is not immediately relevant except to complicate Mr. Lane’s pontifications. What does matter is that the workplace is a mixed state.

And the conclusion that follows from it is that the enterprise bogs, the ones who are wasting CPU cycles playing Solitaire or whatever wasting of the organizational substance it is that they are doing, can indeed get by with a lesser device. And if we can make their cellular telephone that device then we can get them out of sight and maybe out of building. So they aren’t detracting from those who do real work. On deskboxes.

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It only Hurts When You Leave Home

I have commented previously about the mental models of security folks. Hence the only surprise in a Scientific American article [Link] declaring that the security measures of the Yankee government’s Transportation Safety Agency are ascientific, arbitrary, chaotic, ….. and just plain evil was that Scientific American, which has been pretty good the last year or so, had to become so derivative and demonstrative of common knowledge. And not only is TSA not scientific but SA didn’t bother to do any more than announce this. No supporting references or discussion.

Hack Work.

Both of them.

Anyone with a modicum of understanding of risk assessment and basic (post algebra) maths has know since 9/11+ (a few months) that the post-twin-towers security measures were pure facade to create the biggest snow job since Potemkin took Katherine of Russia on a boat trip. And he did it with the Moscow opera company which is considerably smaller than the hordes of myrmidons who now take the taxpayer’s shilling and no nothing productive with it. Not that almost all of them are to blame. The root of this farce is clearly political.

Admittedly, the opportunity to inflict pain, suffering, and irritation on honest (?) citizens does attract a few sociopaths and creeps but at least the TSA performs the service of siphoning these folks away from other, productive federal agencies such as the Veterans’ Administration, and the Bureau of Indian Affairs (e.g.) So in that sense the TSA may be considered to contribute to the overall productivity and effectiveness of the Yankee government and hence improve the utilization of the blood draw from the citizenry’s privy purses.

What is not clear is whether this is an actual “profit” or a “loss”. It certainly is a loss for those who fly on airplanes. On the other hand, Sturgeon’s Rule comes very close to applying to airplane/airline passengers, at least in the aggregate. That is, 0.9 of all the poeple who get on airplanes are stercus. This is not uniformly distributed, of course. The fraction of flight attendants and infants that are of this state is O(1). The fraction of people traveling for vacation that are of this state is 1.000000000. On the other hand, the fraction of people who are traveling on business are O(0.5) or so, and that’s because half of everyone in any office is a poohead.

I shan’t comment on furriners and pseudo-furriners.

One of the joys of being retired from the service of the Yankee government is that I don;t have to get on an airplane or go to an air port. If I can’t get somewhere by walking or motoring, I don’t go. Having traveled for the Yankee government for 30+ years and had their travel rules and torture imposed as well as the nastiness of airline greed and FAA rules. And the other passengers, most of whom should have been treated like Chinese (or Classic Greek) girl children and exposed at birth, were always a deligt of pain and irritation, with too few notable exceptions.

There is a special Tartarus area reserved for airline magnates, airplane staff, rental car magnates and desk personnel, and the folks who run hotels in big cities where driving is impossible and know that anyone who stays there is a food captive. I am not sure what the environment of that area is but it is enough to foster a deep desire that there is a just deity.

But then that grasping for revenge is akin to what the TSA does. It’s like Listerine at causes cavities. It’s still just as unpleasant, but it has no positive value. But that’s just an analogy. The TSA does keep the sociopaths and  psychopaths off the streets, much as the shules keep the students.

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Morality Gestapo

I note [Link] that the supreme justicers of the Yankee government have done their bit for improving the fortunes of television magnates. They have cramped the Yankee government’s communication constabulary from arbitrarily restricting stuff like obscenity, nudity, and reproductive activity.

That is not to say that I do not engage in all of these, every day. I curse – in one of six languages – daily when something goes wrong and I need an outlet for emotion other than smearing myself with woad and going berserk. I get into he shower daily in the nude. I also bare my buttocks several times daily to ascent the throne. And I think about reproduction every day although I do not have congress every day.

That is not the issue.

Issue number one is whether a broadcast service should be permitted to transmit content that is undesirable or objectionable, or worse, to a segment of the population? This does not apply to a content service that is paid for, only to the ones who force themselves on the public. The sub-issue is how much of the population, what fraction. is sufficient to merit any ban. If 0.5 of the population objects then it is pretty clear that this behavior needs to be restricted to the paid sources. If 0.05 then the clarity is disproportionately less. To what extent do minority rights extend?

A complication of this is whether other, comparable, but sanitized content is also available. IMHO this is the means for the matter to be resolved, especially with digital encoding. All publically transmitted sources should be required to transmit two channels of almost equivalent information; one with profanity, nudity, perversion, and reproduction; and the other without. The programming has to be exactly the same otherwise. No substituting cartoons for drama. With the sate of computer aided editing these days this is not a difficult or even expensive requirement. And it removes the FCC from the ambiguity.

Issue number two is whether the Yankee government should be in the business of dictating “morality”. The argument for doing so is that it reduces the instance of other difficulties like prudes and whoopees having street fights over the matter.

Issue number three is when is the Yankee government going to open the gates to other objectionable content? Like worthless athletic competitions and religionist fanatics? And broadcasts in some language other than Amerikan?

Someone got lard? I want to grease the slope.

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Off Key and Painful

Back to gym with week in and summer seems to have set in in earnest. The only difficulty is the return of the summer seniors who switch to early visitation because of the heat quantity later in the day and generally make the gym a nuisance of social nonsense, detracting and distracting those of us who want to get done and get gone.

The podcast this morning was an episode of the CBC’s “Best of Ideas” dealing with the use of video teleconferencing to give violin lessons and it was horrible. This piece of stercus was more boring than preparing (cooking) grits. So my attention strayed and I noted on the audio-visual electromagnetic receiver that the Los Angeles museum of “art” has placed a rock on display. Now given the interest in cave craft or rock art the last couple of weeks I gave this some attention and my disappointment was deepened. Do not mistake me. There are lots of beautiful rocks out there, large and small. I have several. Whenever I had to go to White Sands I would stay in Los Cruces so I could drive by the Organ mountains. But this rock is not beautiful and IMHO, not art. It’s just a piece of rock and unless you’re a pantheist and have some sort of religionist mania about rocks, not particularly notable as anything more than a swindle on the part of the “artist” and the museum.

On the positive side however, this does enhance the consideration that neandertals may have done those hand outline cave craft ‘paintings’ since compared to this chunk of mass that’s a lot more lookable and enjoyable.

On which note, one of my colleagues, Magnetic Inductance Force, sent me a link to an article that reports on a survey of New England Journal of Medicine statistics on discorporation causes over time. The actual report is linked but they presented this teaser graphic

The article calls the deaths per 1E5 a “rate’ rather than a period fraction (which we may think of as a probability over a years period?) but then we can’t expect journalists to understand technical stuff, can we? Evidently they can’t be bothered to properly explain what they are talking about either. The underlying information, especially on the journal web site is sound.

I was taken, first, by the decrease of almost 0.5 in only 110 years. The differences are pretty clearly a list of what can now be cured or postponed. Because of that, and the reduced probability of discoporation over a years time, which translates into a greater time to discorporation (RV), indicates the increase in the instances of cardiac, chaos (cancer), and senility (Alzheimer’s). I was also pleased to see suicide on the list. Given the backsliding of medical treatment with mutation and climate change, voluntary discorporation has to become socially acceptable.

Next, I ran across an article [Link] about MegaHard’s imperial conspiracy to lock out Linux from future computers by exchanging the BIOS for a complicated lock that they will sell keys to. And likely none to Apple or Linux competitors. The article dealt with the Canonical and Fedora responses to this which struck me as even worse kludges intended to make life easy for the bogs they keep hoping to attract away from Winders. Let’s see now the idea is that Winders 8’s tile GUI system “METRO” will be so alien that the Winders mindserfs will rush out to embrace the tile GUI “UNITY” of Ubuntu? And MegaHard will prevent this by locking out all other OS but MegaHard’s? Except the lock can be hacked. So why aren’t the distro developers developing hacks instead of caving to MegaHard’s lead? Something smells like rodent.

Lots of off key today. Violins really aren’t very pleasing musical instruments and medical capabilities are going to pot and now we’re going to have to buy computers designed to run Linux? Must be Monday.

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