Saturday, January 19, 2019

The Cerebellum Is Your “Little Brain”—and It Does Some Pretty Big Things

Scientific American

This article is about some ground-breaking research - everyone should know about.

It is interesting to me, because it shows this part of the brain, controls how we walk - and also how we interact with others. Two things I have difficulty with, when I have my seizures.

I have also noticed the same problems with others, having severe mental, and emotional difficulties. 

The Good and the Bad Computer People

I worked in the Computer Industry for twenty years, 1980-2000. and I am here to tell you that these were bad guys, almost entirely,

They knew computers was where the money was being made, and they were determined to get that money, And they succeeded, except for a few exceptions in the Nineties.

When Sun Microsystems tried to take on Microsoft with their Java programming language, and Microsoft shot them down. But not entirely - the basic idea of a program that could run anywhere, was too powerful to resist, and Microsoft tried to take it over.

But Oracle had bought Sun, took Microsoft to court over this, and won its case!

I should also mention Netscape, that produced the first free browser program. This was also shot down by Microsoft, when it produced its own free browser - Internet Explorer (IE).

This set the stage for good and bad Computer Guys - where the bad had always won. But the Good Guys had a advantage - they could make better products, much better products! And these always won in the marketplace. Especially if they were free.

Very soon (in the next twenty years, or so) a few companies took over the Computer industry - Apple, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft. But Microsoft was being forced to change - for the better. It had to, to stay in business.

Something else appeared, that changed the industry completely - the Cloud. That made computing cheaper, and even more powerful. And something else - free online training courses, anyone could take, to make them computer experts!

A new world had dawned, that most people could not comprehend at all. And they reacted violently, and tried to stop it.

The world had become divided into those apposed to all this change (most of the people) and those who benefited from these changes, and wanted more of them.

This smaller group contained all kinds of people, but they had one thing in common - the Computer, and its networks, the Internet and and the Cellular.

Or perhaps it would be more accurate to say these new technologies had them, and was not letting go of them.

Friday, January 18, 2019

History Repeats Itself

The history I have in mind here, was the Thirties in Europe - that ushered in WWII.

When the Germans, the most advanced culture in the world - succumbed to Hitler!

No one has been able to understand this, although many have tried.

To me, this effort is futile because, in any time of great stress - people turn to authoritarian leaders, to show them the way out of their problems.

The problem is not people's defective reasoning (which is often defective) - but the stress that causes this highly defective  reasoning.

The stress then was great, and the stress now is great.

The stress now, it is caused by the disparity between those who understand computers (who can program them,  and are rich) and those who do not (who are poor. at least relatively). The rich are making $100.000 (or more) contrasted with $20,000 (or less) for the poor.

It’s time for a new way to regulate social media platforms

The Conversation

While this may seem radical, remember other important elements of infrastructure — telecoms, railways and energy companies — have historically been publicly owned. Others, like banks, are very strictly regulated. If we’ve learned anything from 2018, it’s that industry self-regulation is a recipe for ongoing disasters.

We recognize that many are uncomfortable with the idea of the government imposing strict regulation or ownership rules on social media.

If You want to Keep Your Job, Keep your Mouth Shut

This was a fact of life I encountered on my first job, as an Electronic Engineer, in 1959. I didn't like it, but there wasn't much I could do about it. I had to have a job, so I would be a normal person, with a car - and even an airplane.

If I wanted this good stuff, I had to pay for it, by keeping the organization who provided my job, in power.

Sixty years later, not much has changed. The organization has changed - but its demands on us, have not.

What a Laptop Should be able To Do

 The Laptop I just bought cannot do all of the following, which I consider essential.

Support the installation on Git.

Support the installation of Anaconda, and all of the products that come with it. Especially Jupyter Notebook.

Most people consider these requirements as too much to demand. Because they do not use their laptop to do any programming. 

Those that do however, recognize the validity of these requirements - and gladly pay the price (about $1000) to get them.

This results in two kinds of people - those who are digitally aware, and those who are not. The first kind are rich, and the second kind are poor,

This gap in income. is greatly resented - and brings to power, leaders who promise to overcome this. If they are given all the personal power they need.

People Behave the Way they are Supposed To

This is hardly an earth-shaking statement - but for me, at least, a useful one.

If I want to see how the human world is working (or not working) all I have to do is look at how most humans are behaving in it.

But look at how they are really behaving, not how they say they are behaving. There is usually a huge difference.

In fact, this is the first thing to note about people - they usually behave differently than they think they behave.

And this is the first thing the Social Scientists have noted, and what people resent most about Science, It notices they way they actually are - not what they think they are.

This is easily noticed in the matter of Global Warming. This is happening, and cannot be stopped, but people are not noticing this. Or they will say it is not their problem, because its effects will not be obvious in their lifetime.

It is important, that we carefully analyze this kind of thinking. What is going on here, in the secret recesses of people's minds?

They have not recognized the problems of having a developed economy, one powered by the burning of fossil fuels. The gasoline they pump into their cars.