Sunday, June 23, 2013

Justify My Heart

The Readymade Mashup

- take Alicia Keys' "Listen to Your Heart" and Madonna's "Justify My Love"

-- (I have one open in a media player, the other in youtube, and toggle between them w a keyboard controller, as one shuts off, the other starts)

--- start Alicia Keys and have them both ready to toggle by 0:21 seconds, AK time (Alicia Keys)

---- at AK 0:28, switch to Madonna, and let it run for a bit
-------- at MD 0.27, switch
---- at AK 0.39
-------- at MD 0.37
---- at AK 0.48
-------- at MD 0.56
---- at AK 0.58
-------- at MD 1.15

- if done right, the Madonna 1:15 switch to Alicia Keys 0.58 comes out as "Justify My Heart"

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Predict This

Adobe Social gets predictive tool for hyper-targeting
Nancy Owano, Apr 27, 2013 

Predictive analytics technology offers predictive data for customers, to optimize the marketer's efforts to increase customer responses and clicks. The data analyses can be used to guide future actions that can produce best results. capability offers predictive analytics, historical data-driven recommendations, self-learning (the solution learns as it goes, with continual refinements to its recommendations) and social content optimization (best time to post).

"Traditionally, social posts are composed without a measurable, data-driven connection to how they will be received, and many marketers release big news or compelling content through social channels only to find that it falls flat in terms of engagement," according to an Adobe statement about its beta.

How it works: Customers open a widget showing an estimated range for the amount of Likes, comments, and shares a post will receive. They can identify other metrics, too, for tracking. Another key Adobe Social feature is timing. The tool will indicate if the post had best be delayed for posting later. Posts are not just targeted but (using Adobe's lingo) "hyper-targeted."

More information:

Scientists identify a mathematical 'crystal ball' that may predict calamities
Oct 28, 2013,

Neuroscientists have come up with a mathematical equation that may help predict calamities such as financial crashes in economic systems and epileptic seizures in the brain.

...measure of 'information flow' reaches a peak just before a system moves from a healthy state to an unhealthy state. Such 'phase transitions' are common in many real systems, and are often highly significant: epileptic seizures and financial market crashes are just two examples of transitions.

Lead researcher Dr Lionel Barnett says: "The key insight in the paper is that the dynamics of complex systems – like the brain and the economy – depend on how their elements causally influence each other; in other words, how information flows between them. And that this information flow needs to be measured for the system as a whole, and not just locally between its various parts."

Essentially this means finding a way to characterize, mathematically, the extent to which the parts of a complex system are simultaneously segregated (they all behave differently) and integrated (they all depend on each other).

Surprising results from study of non-epileptic seizures
Loyola University Health System, link

Study finds evidence that stock prices can be predicted within a short window of time
Feb 04, 2014
The study by researchers in the Tippie College of Business suggests that price movements can be predicted with a better than 50-50 accuracy for anywhere up to one minute after the stock leaves the confines of its bid-ask spread. Probabilities continue to be significant until about five minutes after it leaves the spread. By 30 minutes, the predictability window has closed. 

IBM researchers' algorithm explores tweets for home location cues
Mar 24, 2014

From July 2011 to Aug 2011, they collected tweets from the top 100 cities in US by population. They invoked the Twitter REST API to collect each user's 200 most recent tweets (less if that user had fewer than 200 total tweets). Some users discovered to have private profiles were eliminated. The final data set had 1.5 million tweets by 9551 users. 

In listing their contributions, the IBM researchers said, when tested using the 1.52-million tweet dataset from 9551 users from 100 US cities, that their algorithm outperforms the best existing algorithms for home location prediction from tweets. "Our best method achieves accuracies of 64% for cities, 66% for states, 78% for time zones and 71% for regions." 
More information: Home Location Identification of Twitter Users, arXiv:1403.2345 [cs.SI] 

[just to point at that is must be easier to predict timezone and region based on time-patterns (people sleep at the same time, for the most part, and this shifts based on time-zones; each region brings a particular vocabulary and vernacular, place names alone, in large enough quantities, can give a good sense of where a person is, regionally.]

Forecasting future may one day become as practical as predicting weather, thanks to Big Data advances
Jun 27 2014,

Early Model Based Event Recognition using Surrogates project, or EMBERS—Virginia Tech

In the past year, the team has used such an approach to correctly forecast many important events such as the riots after Paraguay's president was impeached, the Hantavirus outbreaks in Argentina, and the recent mass protests in Brazil and Venezuela. 

One thing this particular program does is read images of parking lots outside of health centers and hospitals to monitor upticks in "fill rate."  

Anil Vullikanti, a panelist and an associate professor of computer science, had many anecdotes regarding the role of human intervention in data forecasting.  

"You will always have people intentionally trying to clog the system with misinformation to throw you off course, but we are trained to separate the signal from the noise and minimize distractions." 

Interestingly enough, the spread of an idea is not so different from the spread of an illness. 

"Let's say you can predict the future and you intervene to prevent an uprising," Parikh says. "How can you be sure that an uprising was actually going to happen?"

[quantum theory?]

Just four bits of credit card data can identify most anyone, Jan 2015

Monday, June 3, 2013

Robo vs. Bot

"Robo-" means the technology mostly responsible for the robot is like a physical thing: the flying robot mimics an actual fly (or flying insect)

"-Bot" means the technology is predominantly akin to a mental process, an algorithm, or simply something that mimics what humans do with their brains: Social-bots pretend they are real people via textual conversation, Copy-bots scan YouTube for infringing material, Photo-bots take pictures - and it is not the camera that makes the photo-bot special, it is the fact that it can recognize that you are a person, and thus "take a picture of you"

So, inversely, a regular camera (sans face-recognition algorithm) would be a robo-eye?

BBC News - Robotic insect: World's smallest flying robot takes off
2 May 2013

Robo- is hardware, and -Bot is software

Seeing Red

(append to Cultural Evolution of Basic Color Terms)

Why Isn't the Sky Blue?
Radiolab [listen]

tl;dr: Homer was 'colorblind', as were most humans circa 0 BCE, and the only color they could see was red. Listen to the broadcast, taste the rainbow.

The joys of a comments page (archived for personal entertainment)...

Nicolas Collignon from copenhagen
Before the modern period, Japanese had just one word, Ao, for both blue and green...In 1917, the first crayons were imported into Japan, and they brought with them a way of dividing a seamless visual spread into neat, discrete chunks. There were different crayons for green (midori) and blue (ao), and children started to adopt these names. But the real change came during the Allied occupation of Japan after World War II, when new educational material started to circulate. In 1951, teaching guidelines for first grade teachers distinguished blue from green, and the word midori was shoehorned to fit this new purpose.'
Jul. 25 2012 05:46 PM

Yes, we do refer to the green light as the "blue light", and when the trees are full of very healthy green leaves, we say the trees are very blue. We see green and we have a word for green, but for certain items, we use the word blue, even when they are green...
Jun. 10 2012 03:02 AM

There's a Korean word that describes both green and blue as well, but it's the opposite of what was mentioned in the podcast as they're both considered 'bluish' instead of green. The five traditional colors are Black, White, Red, Yellow and Blue, and there is no native word that's specific for 'green.'
Apr. 09 2013 07:11 PM

Tani from Canada
It's also interesting to me that Russian has two words for blue, ??????? (goluboi) which is light blue and ????? (sinii) which is dark blue, but they don't think of them as the same color, which of course is how English speakers think tend to think of them...
Oct. 05 2012 12:09 AM

Misti Wudtke from Ohio
...while reading Snorri Sturluson's Edda, was struck by the description of the rainbow bridge Bifrost (called Bilrost in other sources):
"You must have seen it, maybe it is what you call the rainbow. It has three colours and great strength and is built with art and skill to a greater extent than other constructions..."...the same term was used both for blue and black...
Sep. 06 2012 01:22 PM

Clark from Newcastle Australia
In English we have plenty of Black, White, Brown, Grey and Green surnames, but there aren't a lot of Blues around. This topic interests me since my surname is derived from the Gaelic word 'gorm' for blue. However, when I looked into it, 'gorm' can mean blue or green.
Sep. 06 2012 01:22 PM

to from Raleigh
what is lapis lazuli and indigo? Two highly prized "blue" things of the ancient world.
Oct. 04 2012 12:34 PM
ultros from Oakland, CA
There are two blue-ish words used in the Hebrew: sappir (5601) and tekeleth (8504). Sappir is used almost exclusively in reference to the actual mineral sapphire or lapiz lazuli. It's often used in lists containing other minerals like diamond, turquoise, or chalcedony. Tekeleth is used almost exclusively to refer to dyed fabric. Misha's link to wikipedia gives a good explanation about how this is a very specific dye made from shellfish. As far as I can tell, neither the sky nor the ocean is ever called sappir or tekeleth.
Jun. 23 2012 06:31 PM
Arlo from PDX
To those of you citing the blue things in the Hebrew Bible. The question at issue is not whether blue things appear, but that an actual word like blue is used to represent ALL blue things!
Jun. 07 2012 04:07 PM

SURFERS (and neolithic outdoorsmen)
glassgirl from seattle
when people are in the sun a long time (like surfers) their corneas go "yellow" and lose the ability to see purple and blue hues...the problem of ancient scholarly manuscripts - the author is most likely an adult and after years of exposure have gotten a yellow tint in their corneas and thus a filter that blocks blues and purples.
Jul. 18 2012 01:18 AM

Elan' from Los Angeles, Ca.
And after you notice what blue looks like, what that color really is, you can't go back.
May 28 2012 09:51 PM


In response to the perplexing question of why the sky is called "black" in some cultures (p67-68): Perhaps qualities usually associated with black things such as "deep" voids or "empty" shadows are what make the bright blue sky "black" for these people.

Color Naming: The color of a thing in abstraction from the particular thing itself.

Color-Making: The interest in color as an abstraction is likely to develop hand-in-hand with the artificial manipulation of colors, when color comes to be seen as detectable from a particular object. ... Blue is extrememly rare in nature and is very difficult to make...
(p92, referencing Gladstone)

regarding the naming of colors/cultural evolution etc.:
"smells, unlike colors, do not have names of their own: they are always identified by what they are smells of."
-The Art Instinct, Denis Dutton, 2009, p211

Guy Deutscher, Through the Language Glass: Why the World Looks Different in Other Languages, 2011
Linguistic relativity and the color naming debate, link
Gladstone, W.E. (1858). Studies on Homer and the Homeric age. London: Oxford University Press.
William H. Durham, Coevolution: Genes, Culture and Human Diversity, 1991, link

Second Skins et al

(1) Human beings owe their first skin to biological evolution.

Misha Gordon, Crowd_18, 1987-1991, via 

The perception of the second skin, in its relevant functions, is based on scientific achievements. It is (2) the atmosphere of planet Earth, a product of the biogeochemical processes during the past 4 billion years. The properties of the second skin, together with the given astrophysical boundary conditions and the terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems on the planet’s surface, determine the climate.

In the cultural evolution, one can distinguish two main steps of designing new “skins”. The biological skin, a heritage of the primates, was expanded in a first step with (3) clothing, the third skin, serving not only as protection against coldness, mechanical wounds, and sun radiation, but also eventually as embellishment and status symbol in social communication.

The second step was the building of (4) houses. This fourth skin is a technical extension of the third, offering a better protection, moving toward an optimal inner climate independent of the changes outside of the house. Analogous to the clothing, the house has become a medium for the status of its residents. The house gives signals of attraction or repulsion to the viewers. (p235-6)

Metabolism of the Anthroposphere, Second Edition
Peter Baccini and Paul H. Brunner