‘Where to begin with Charles Carrington (b. 1867 — d. 1921 of syphilis), who deserves an entire book devoted to his colorful character and career? Of Portuguese descent, Carrington, born Paul Harry Fernandino, was, arguably, the most notorious publisher of his generation. He began in London. Circa 1893–96 he skipped to Paris; deported from France in 1907, he fled to Brussels. In 1912, he returned to Paris, at times Amsterdam. In short, he operated one step ahead of the law. “Historical, Artistic, Medical, and Anthropological Works,” is certainly one way to characterize the books he published. Erotica, pornography, curiosa, and sexology are other appropriate descriptions. Often, the stated publication locale, publisher, and date on his books were false. Many if not most of his books were “for private subscribers only.” He was active as a publisher for twenty-six years and published approximately 300 books.’
“Some of the reasons that we keep seeing these types of exploits are that the “bad guys” are much smarter and more determined than we give them credit for, we’re much lazier and more ignorant than we take responsibility for, and security is difficult to manage properly. As we become more and more reliant upon software, it is imperative that security be taken more seriously.”
“It often sounds as though Perrow is faulting these organizations for defects that are inherent in all large organizations. But it seems more fair to say that his analysis does not identify a general feature of organizations that leads to failure in these cases, but rather a situational fact having to do with the power of business to resist regulation and the susceptibility of Congress and the President to political pressures that hamstring effective regulatory organizations. Perrow does refer to specific organizational hazards — bad executive leadership, faltering morale, inability to collaborate across agencies, excessively hierarchical architecture — but the heart of his argument lies elsewhere. The key set of problems spiral back to the inordinate power that corporations have in the United States, and the distortions they create in Congress and the executive branch. … It is specifics of the US political system rather than general defects of large organizations per se that lead to the bad outcomes that Perrow identifies. There are strong democracies that do a much better job of regulating risky industries and planning for disasters than we do — for example, France and Germany. …
There isn’t much public concern about these risks, and legislators are therefore free to ignore them as well. … So where will the political demand for strong regulation come from? Will we need to wait for the bad news we’ve managed by good fortune to have avoided up to this point?”
“Earlier this month, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) appeared on the FOX Business show Money Rocks to make the case for depriving the children of immigrants of their 14th Amendment rights. Gohmert claimed that on a recent airplane trip to the Middle East, one of his traveling companions had struck up a conversation with a grandmother who described her family’s involvement in a Hamas plot to send pregnant women to the United States. Gohmert summarized the lesson for viewers this way: “We’re bringing them over here on tourist visas, some illegally, letting them be born here and saying, ‘This is an American citizen. So come back in 20, 25 years when you’re ready to blow us up.’””
“What if all the bad things that media critics have been said about passivity for the past century or two are now equally applicable to all the demands to interact, to participate? What if interactivity is now one of the central hinges through which power works? In many moments today, the most compliant gesture we can make is to consent to interact on the terms presented to us by our software and machines. This pull is especially strong in those commercial platforms that celebrate their own difference from the so-called passive media of previous decades, and in the process monetize their users’ participation either directly or indirectly. What if—from time to time—we chose not to identify with the interactive promise of new media platforms or for that matter new media art? What if, when the new media savants lambast so-called old media audiences as denizens of passivity and ideology, we say, “yes, that’s me”?”
“But I think it’s clear what his real objection was: universal suffrage has the potential to advance socialistic causes, interfering with his laissez-faire project. From his autobiography: “Another extension of the franchise since made…will inevitably be followed by a still more rapid growth of socialistic legislation.” When he realized women’s equality could potentially interfere with laissez-faire economics, it was time for women’s equality to get cut from his overall theory of a better world. He would rather mutilate his intellectual project instead of allowing his enemies to continue to build their governance project.”
“My approach is different. Poster presentation, like conference presentation, belongs more to the area of dramatic arts than to marketing. It is information/entertainment, and that is the main thing you have to bear in mind when preparing for the session. Plus, while at a conference you have the full attention of your audience (shared, of course, with email, Facebook, plus the 10% that are simply speaking) in a poster session you have to first attract the attention of the people wandering around a hall shared with other 20 to 100 posters, then keep them there for the duration of the spiel and while you start a new one, and then, of course, convey the information you want to share with your poster. ”
“Some Individuals of our Countrymen, by the Smiles of Providence or some other Means, are enabled to roll in their four–wheel’d Carriages, and can support the Expence of good Houses, rich Furniture, and Luxurious Living. But, is it equitable that 99, or rather 999 should suffer for the Extravagance or Grandeur of one? Especially when it is consider’d, that Men frequently owe their Wealth to the Impoverishment of their Neighbours.”
“In fact, one approach is to intentionally over optimize a local optimization. This will often make apparent to management (or even to you) where the true bottle neck in the system is. We shouldn’t worry so much about doing the wrong things righter, but we should be aware that that may be the case and always work to be doing the right things.
In the end, showing improvement and building momentum can lead to exciting changes. In fairness, it can also come crashing to the ground if the right kinds of changes aren’t made at some point, but this should not deter anyone who thinks something can be made better from trying to do so and it certainly should not be a reason to do nothing!”
“…A WHINYYOUTHE cam nexte, barleye a man,
With yelwe haire, tunique, and farmeres tan.
But aquaculture litel did he love,
He wolde been a pilot al above
And bullseye oump-rattes yn a nimble craft.…”
“The knitr package was designed to be a transparent engine for dynamic report generation with R, solve some long-standing problems in Sweave, and combine features in other add-on packages into one package (knitr ≈ Sweave + cacheSweave + pgfSweave + weaver + R2HTML::RweaveHTML + highlight::HighlightWeaveLatex + 0.2 * brew + 0.1 * SweaveListingUtils + more).”
“A set of polyominoes is interlocked if no subset can be moved far away from the rest. It was known that polyominoes that are built from four or fewer squares do not interlock. The project of Dhawan and his mentor was to investigate the interlockedness of larger polyominoes. And they totally delivered.
They quickly proved that you can interlock polyominoes with eight or more squares. Then they proved that pentominoes can’t interlock. This left them with a gray area: what happens with polyominoes with six or seven squares? After drawing many beautiful pictures, they finally found the structure presented in our accompanying image. The system consists of 12 hexominoes and 5 pentominoes, and it is rigid. You cannot move a thing. That means that hexominoes can be interlocked and thus the gray area was resolved.”
“This is the first internationally published paper (it was previously published in a Spanish conference of a series that deals with a system, intended for volunteer computing, that uses a pool for implementing distributed evolutionary algorithms. The basic idea is that the population resides in a pool (implemented using CouchDB), with clients pulling individuals from the pool, doing stuff on them, and putting them back in the pool. The algorithm uses, as much as possible, CouchDB features (such as revisions and views) to achieve good performance. All the code (for this and, right now, for the next papers) is available as open-source code.”
“If the major publishers switch to selling ebooks without DRM, then they can enable customers to buy books from a variety of outlets and move away from the walled garden of the Kindle store. They see DRM as a defense against piracy, but piracy is a much less immediate threat than a gigantic multinational with revenue of $48 Billion in 2011 (more than the entire global publishing industry) that has expressed its intention to “disrupt” them, and whose chief executive said recently “even well-meaning gatekeepers slow innovation” (where “innovation” is code-speak for “opportunities for me to turn a profit”).
And so they will deep-six their existing commitment to DRM and use the terms of the DoJ-imposed settlement to wiggle out of the most-favoured-nation terms imposed by Amazon, in order to sell their wares as widely as possible.
If they don’t, they’re doomed. And all of us who like to read (or write) fiction get to live in the Amazon company town.”
“The digital humanities are a part of the open humanities to the extent that those same values are held, though of course the purely digital elements (the code, the markup, the hardware) are unique to the digital humanities and live largely outside of OH. That being said, much of DH—the commitment to open source, the collaborative nature of the field, the interdisciplinarity—is open.”
“…Narratives are better than thumps, is the message; and in the field of human relations this might well be so, but here’s the rub. Nature’s not a person. Nature’s not a mother. We are not fighting it but living it. The industrial landscapes pursued with such terrific thoroughness, the agricultural deserts as well as the suburbs, the minefields as well as the wind farms, the cities themselves, are the outcomes not of rage but of stories, narratives in the dream of the human domination of the world. That’s why I hug the boy’s head. It’s good that he sees himself as a particle of nature, a being rather than a human being, and his life as fundamentally consumptive. He knows if he holds his breath he will die. He knows he must live in the present. So now I must try and teach him this: the bolt-ons and band-aids of the sustainability movement that try to manage our fear of the future are but another chapter in that book of domination. It will not, in the face of the red giant, ultimately sustain. And nature as we know it now, in this snapshot of human time, will not stay as it is, however we try to preserve it.”
“Anonymity does not mean without deep contact, it means that the contact has no preempting ceremony. Collaboration, likewise, is the proof of itself. It exists neither before or after the moment it takes place, except in how it inflects your character. Inclusiveness and partiality are symbiotic, too. If partial is a move taken to outflank hegemony, the inclusive works to recombine differences. The paradoxes implicit in such terms are part of what makes them interesting. I’m trying to elucidate a thinking that is not dialectic, no longer dependent on oppositions, not looking for the right way. As one of the directors of Themepark, a London based fashion-architecture-photography-landscape combine said to me: “we are interested in showing content in its pure form.” At first I thought it was a joke, more of that London-Thing irony, but then I thought, what else is the material world but content in its pure form? Today’s photographers, who mistrust the Magnum generation’s point-and-shoot realities, who set up every shot elaborately, who treat landscape, portrait, action and spectacle as the same thing, are not being minimalist. They are positing the velocity of the image.”
“This is where the design professions are increasingly feeling some discomfort. Designers like to design. They like to be in charge of all aspects of what they create. Many designers are notoriously control freaks. And rightly so: being in control is their raison d’être. Traditionally, designers “authored” objects and “authorized” their production, reproduction, or modification. Their signature had (it still has, by the way) binding, legal value–implying authorial privileges protected by law, and all the liabilities resulting from that. But once again, digital technologies do not work that way. When so many people can work together, who is in charge? Who reaps the honors? Who pays the damages?”
“The political implication, which has drawn some flak in the comments, but which I think is correct is that there is no point in political engagement with authoritarian conservatives. In a political environment where they are concentrated in one party,politics is going to be a matter the only strategy open to liberals is to outnumber and outvote them by peeling off as many peripheral groups (for example, those who deviate from the approved cultural identity in some way) as possible. Obviously, that’s an unpalatable conclusion in all sorts of ways, but I think it’s a valid one.”
‘Furthermore this seems to me to play once again into the view that ‘economics’ is technical and has right answers, while ‘politics’ is emotive and contested, so students of the EU don’t have to talk about it.’
We consider the problem of building detectors for high-level concepts using only unsupervised feature learning. For example, we would like to understand if it is possible to learn a face detector using only unlabeled images downloaded from the internet. To answer this question, we trained a simple feature learning algorithm on a large dataset of images (10 million images, each image is 200×200). The simulation is performed on a cluster of 1000 machines with fast network hardware for one week. Extensive experimental results reveal surprising evidence that such high-level concepts can indeed be learned using only unlabeled data and a simple learning algorithm.
Many natural processes occur over characteristic spatial and temporal scales. This paper presents tools for (i) flexibly and scalably coarse-graining cellular automata and (ii) identifying which coarse-grainings express an automaton’s dynamics well, and which express its dynamics badly. We apply the tools to investigate a range of examples in Conway’s Game of Life and Hopfield networks and demonstrate that they capture some basic intuitions about emergent processes. Finally, we formalize the notion that a process is emergent if it is better expressed at a coarser granularity.
We propose a nonlinear voter model to study the emergence of global consensus in opinion dynamics. In our model, agent $i$ agrees with one of binary opinions with the probability that is a power function of the number of agents holding this opinion among agent $i$ and its nearest neighbors, where an adjustable parameter $alpha$ controls the effect of herd behavior on consensus. We find that there exists an optimal value of $alpha$ leading to the fastest consensus for lattices, random graphs, small-world networks and scale-free networks. Qualitative insights are obtained by examining the spatiotemporal evolution of the opinion clusters.
REBOUND is a new multi-purpose N-body code which is freely available under an open-source license. It was designed for collisional dynamics such as planetary rings but can also solve the classical N-body problem. It is highly modular and can be customized easily to work on a wide variety of different problems in astrophysics and beyond.
Matching dependencies (MDs) have been recently introduced as declarative rules for entity resolution (ER), i.e. for identifying and resolving duplicates in relational instance $D$. A set of MDs can be used as the basis for a possibly non-deterministic mechanism that computes a duplicate-free instance from $D$. The possible results of this process are the clean, “minimally resolved instances” (MRIs). There might be several MRIs for $D$, and the “resolved answers” to a query are those that are shared by all the MRIs. We investigate the problem of computing resolved answers. We look at various sets of MDs, developing syntactic criteria for determining (in)tractability of the resolved answer problem, including a dichotomy result. For some tractable classes of MDs and conjunctive queries, we present a query rewriting methodology that can be used to retrieve the resolved answers. We also investigate connections with “consistent query answering”, deriving further tractability results for MD-based ER.
This article analyses a game where players sequentially choose either to become insiders and pick one of finitely many locations or to remain outsiders. They will only become insiders if a minimum distance to the next player can be assured; their secondary objective is to maximize the minimal distance to other players. This is illustrated by considering the strategic behavior of men choosing from a set of urinals in a public lavatory. However, besides very similar situations (e.g. settling of residents in a newly developed area, the selection of food patches by foraging animals, choosing seats in waiting rooms or lines in a swimming pool), the game might also relevant to the problem of placing billboards attempting to catch the attention of passers-by or similar economic situations. In the non-cooperative equilibrium, all insiders behave as if they cooperated with each other and minimized the total number of insiders. It is shown that strategic behavior leads to an equilibrium with substantial under utilization of available locations. Increasing the number of locations tends to decrease utilization. The removal of some locations which leads to gaps can not only increase relative utilization but even absolute maximum capacity.
Stencil computations, involving operations over the elements of an array, are a common programming pattern in scientific computing, games, and image processing. As a programming pattern, stencil computations are highly regular and amenable to optimisation and parallelisation. However, general-purpose languages obscure this regular pattern from the compiler, and even the programmer, preventing optimisation and obfuscating (in)correctness. This paper furthers our work on the Ypnos domain-specific language for stencil computations embedded in Haskell. Ypnos allows declarative, abstract specification of stencil computations, exposing the structure of a problem to the compiler and to the programmer via specialised syntax. In this paper we show the decidable safety guarantee that well-formed, well-typed Ypnos programs cannot index outside of array boundaries. Thus indexing in Ypnos is safe and run-time bounds checking can be eliminated. Program information is encoded as types, using the advanced type-system features of the Glasgow Haskell Compiler, with the safe-indexing invariant enforced at compile time via type checking.
It’s wrong to think of Ron Paul’s racism and his libertarianism as two distinct parts of his political persona, when in fact they are deeply tied together. White supremacists understand what Glenn, apparently, does not; the absence of Federal authority makes it easier for private actors and local governments to repress the civil and political rights of minorities. Paul’s libertarianism emerged in a regional and cultural context that was deeply hostile to Federal efforts at integration. The newsletters give strong indication that none of this is lost on Ron Paul. A notional President Paul is just as likely to use the powers of the office to gut Federal enforcement of a wide range of civil liberties protections as he is to do any of the things that Glenn would like him to do.
The Economist – despite its unerring judgment about books on crime control and drug policy – cannot be justly described a Democratic or liberal publication; it identifies itself as “pro-business, right-of-centre.” But, unlike the friends of plutocracy on this side of the Atlantic, the folks at The Economist believe in principles other than deregulation of enterprise and low taxes on the rich. Moreover, they remain largely reality-based, eschewing wingnut postmodernism.