Data, so perishable an asset

As we stated earlier, data is not the new oil. Or gold.

In fact, data is not only perishable as in losing its value over time.
It is also not the definitive, runaway network effect-affected first-is-winner-takes-all. As displayed in this great piece of analysis.

Now, this would be manageable, workable into a ‘new’ ‘model’ if not from the link, I also read, quite in the distance, also a (very early) warning sign that the current Theory of Firm, which we critiqued before, may need to take into account that also internally, ‘organisations’ need to pay attention; at some point [oddly named such; it’s more of an n-dimensional vague area] size doesn’t matter.
Just can’t really pinpoint how this would work out, but Menno Lanting‘s Oil tankers and Speedboats is involved here, too.

In the hope that you help with the pinpointing, awaiting your illuminating comments …

Probably in vain [ heck that song is about me…! ].

But oh wait; there’s a moderation of the above. Pre-publishing, the idea of Seed Data came to me.
By which I mean that one can start any unicorn, if one has one’s hands on sufficiently large data sets to get off the ground. No bootstrapping without boots — only if one has at least sufficient data to train some neural net on basics, can one proceed with early adoptors (not adopters or adaptors ..!) to develop the system further, and by doing so gain both additional well-curated data and a close following that profits most – and hopefully will be vocal about your service(s). But you’ll need the Seed Data to do anything at all at the starting gate, you just can’t invent a system and train it on air.

But now I’m done, hence:

[Freudian, the Belfort at Lille … No I don’t have a horizon issue when photographing …!]

“Ik stuur wel een tikkie”

Tsja, het was in het spel tikkertje toch echt dat je ‘tikkie’ zei als je iemand uitschakelde.
Waarmee “Ik stuur wel een tikkie” betekent dat je, als rechtgeaarde mobster, een huurmoordenaar afstuurt op degene die je de melding doet.

Weet niet of dat de bedoeling was.

Nou ja, whatever.

Dus, behalve dat we met z’n allen inmiddels helemaal krankjorem zijn geworden van al die (malle) eppies, zijn we ook door de letters heen om ze te onderscheiden en verzinnen we (?) de bijpassende nonsens, c.q. laten we dat gewoon gebeuren alsof we diep in de DSM-IV zitten.

Nou ja, whatever.

[En dan stiekum ééntje losdraaien; Berlijn]

What did you just #include ..??

Back to the post from a week ago …

Where the issue was to know your data, and how that still is a problemo big time, if you can get any sufficient data of seemingly appropriate quality at all.
There’s a flip side, on the ‘engine’ side [ref of course Turing machines but why do I write this you knew that duh], where you #include just about anything of value [won’t link back to that post of mine again…!]; being standard libraries and some some times pretty core stats stuff of which you also don’t know the quality.
The standard things like printf() I guess will by now be hashed out. The stats stuff however … I’d say we’ll hear a lot again about bystanders using the stats but not seeing that there’s possibly some obscure shortcut in them that plays out in destructive ways many <time>s from now. It starts with no Bessel correction on RootMeanSquareError / Variance / StdDev calculations. As if degrees of freedom have no meaning — where on the contrary they ‘come from’ practice into stat mathematics…

Now, having taken you from universalia to particulars, let’s return. Have you checked the proper programming of what is asserted to be the functionality of the very stats / data processing / ML / Deep Learning / AI that you’re using for the edge-of-the-art übercompetitive hence most-profitable lab environment pilot plaything systems of yours..?

I’d think not.
At your peril.

‘Open Source’ doesn’t relieve you of your duties to see, to ensure, to prove to yourself, that at least someone else has falsified the code.
Now what ..?

Whereas, flip side, there may be much more pre-cooked functions out there that you just haven’t looked for hard enough but that are of top-notch quality. Like, in a similar field, I hear too little ‘use’ of this [ don’t just jump to 1:44+ ] and this [ 2:48+ ].

Now, on a positive note:

[Easily recognisable and known to all, right? Bouvigne, Brabant of the North flavour]

Biasin’ -out.

Yes, yes, there’s still discussion about biases and how ‘Ethical AI’ should be pleonastic.

1. Though it isn’t, and inherently can’t be. For one, since ‘ethics’ is (factually) about discussing and debating dilemmas ad nauseam without providing a clear-cut decision – whereas human behaviour of the non-pathological kind is about something else… For another, any ‘ethical’ decision is completely and utterly individual or (as in ⊻ !) some moral judgment by some other(s – usually group with identification < 1) imposed upon the subject-not-free-agent; certainly when as should be the case each and every time the context (i.e.,complete and utter physiological and mental history plus present circumstances) is individual beyond knowing (being beyond symbolic descriptions).

2. The bumrush to some form of ‘ethical neutrality’ is impossible for the same reason, and may also not be enough, or too much, since what is described in this piece: All training is from mere pre-AI live situations, one by one, but new tools bring amplification. So the Longread isn’t just correct; its title understates the problem. Yes, the amplification as mentioned may seem minute, but the subliminal programming [that takes place for a fact] of the Longread will be persistent enough to loop back into the data and into the nnets/algorithm(s). Self-sustaining, -increasing separation of classes; creating barriers (mostly non-explicit but why care?) that governments have been created for to outlaw.

3. Not that I’m happy about the above. But now what? This:

[Lift the bottom, not suppress the top, in living quality; Rotterdam]

Friction kept Tech in control, and humans able to cope. No more of that.

It crossed my mind [remember, this post was drafted/scheduled over two months ago why am I adding this I don’t know] that all those new ‘innovations’ like switching to non-cash money, will not only have to be ‘repaired’ with all sorts of weird gizmos/apps and what have we. They will also, by reducing ‘friction’ indeed, make the economy [! As if there is such a thing ! Yet another construct of apparent emerging existence which when studied, is not] more efficient.

But that’s not the purpose of Humanity. It’s only the mere purpose of Technology. Friction is naughty, we learned from ‘science’ when that got a foothold in peoples’ minds – during the Enlightenment which may seem like a wry joke designator now. Hence, we should do away with friction.
But friction is also what kept humans in the loop, and all of them; making it possible to slow down the creep of Technology through all that human life is, to a speed of societal(+) change that could be understood by the vast majority, so all could evolve (i.e., have time enough to adapt or (humanity-wise) gracefully disappear to be replaced by born- / grown-up more modernly [should be a word]) into knowing the world as it was (‘is’) found, and controlling the world as such. These were close enough to linear times to keep track. [I know, at closer inspection, it’s just that time still stretched the exponential function wide enough to be proxied by linears but then, that’s how it was so why bother claiming that “it actually was exponential already then but nobody noticed” – yeah, so? That changes history ..?] Friction thus slowed individualism and detachment. Which seems to be the phase of development that the Enlightenment / Industrial R(??)evolution brought, though punctuated by setbacks. Now, we’re onto the ‘Second’ industrial revolution or did I miss some subspecies? where things are speeding up so fast that one cannot cope. Only native- or born-digitals will, or ..?

A side note: The whole idea that only digital natives can fully grasp the new world, is of course nonsense, without any evidence. Having a solid foundation in the pre-[any]development world, gives a sound basis for grasping what’s new and what’s not. See social media: Only those that know a world without them, have a clue about their pros and vastly outnumbering, swamping-away-with cons. More youth than ever, seem to be unable to deal ‘correctly’ with new stuff like social media. ‘tIs more that generations after the ones that meet new developments first, aren’t all hyped up about them as they’re just there, duh, and what’s all the fuss about – hence need not dwell in it but can lay them away as mere tools in the pool of many w/o too much FOMO or need for self-actualisation through me-too’ing of the desperate-for-the-tiniest-sign-of-affection/tiny-group-attachment kind [edited to add this; a quite different angle, into the same]. Yes I already noted that e.g., those that understand and have actual experience with coding and cabling, understand the intricacies of new tech that seems to be so far abstracted from those. Yes the fraction of the pop that is that group (every generation has them), dwindles over time. But the reliance on the ‘lower’ layers of the stack grows ever further; squared with the understanding-group dwindle, this bodes not well:

Now that friction is declared the enemy — by whom, may I ask, and with what right do you claim to represent humanity? what track record of representation and wise stewardship would you be able to show ..?? — will Technology be controllable in the near future, or have we (gradually already) lost control and is Tech (in its widest sense, naturally – huh accidental contradictio) beyond control as in the philosophy-of-science sense? And this, getting worse as Tech developments are beyond human adaptability capabilities? Maybe not for a few, not necessarily outside tech (undercast) – Law #2 of this –, but for the masses. When they can’t follow, adapt, remain in control; who will …?

All this, to be multiplied (outer-poduct sense) by this (is Seth‘s) post on scarcity (if it’s mine, it’s not yours; the physical natural-world reality) versus (?) abundance-through-sharing. The latter hinging on inifite zero-loss copyability. I guess, until copying is found out to not lead to physical quality loss but to ‘value’ loss, like, a secret is worth something to someone but not when everyone already knows [some FOMO value may remain but only temporarily]; what if someone made an investment and cannot recoup the least? Only attention remains as ‘currency’ then, not something to look forward to. A mix it will be.

Ah. No dystopia at:

[Barcelona harbourfront; if this disturbs you (which can be in a positive, negative, or confusing way), that’s what art is about so it succeeds]

Don’t try this at home, kids

Despite their popularity back in the days, and despite that not being sustainable clearly, I still wonder what happened to this show that portrayed some innovators to today’s common youth++ mental maturity.
That gave us hosts of these and thees. That was unintentional. And this was recent (??), and a good explanasummary.

The point being; they were ahead of time. Now everyone has followed suit. In politics, qua composed mindsets. Can we not have The Movie of that, please?

Cheers, mate:

[Interesting. Maybe not (long-term) clever. But interesting. Madrid]

You included what ??

Now that Summertime is upon us, the time is there, to consider what you have been up to. And what your New Business Year’s Resolutions are for when people … sorry I mean co-workers, return from their well-deserved holidays away from you. So that next round of business activity, you’ll do better.

We need to have a talk.
I mean, qua data processing the new way, as in ML. In the global data swamp, how come good data is hard to come by? Why do we still struggle to get the right data, in sufficient quantities?
[Let alone the biggo problem of integrating the developed system’let into the landscape of old monolithic operational systems, that actually do something.]
We blogged earlier about WEC. Which assumed one has the right data, in the right quantities; only the quality per data point needed tweaking.

But then, what happens when one doesn’t have quite the right data, but a couple of proxies here and there… What will you be doing …?? And what will you do with the outcomes …?
Like, this: Your time series will (sic) have massive distortions unless you watch your step very, very carefully. And this, even worse.

But worst of all, … being in a tunnel qua vision, and not seeing the wider context. Then, biases and other total system distortions like too-weak-proxy errors will occur. And not only render your efforts much less useful if at all, but also will discredit your work/methodology and that of all others in the field as well.

So … Are you feeding your quants the right info? Qua context and (relevance of) data? Qua relevance of the system altogether [beyond mere fitness in the IT landscape]?
Reconsider … In the end, They‘ll find the one common factor among all fail factors re your AI project(s), being You.

On the cheerful side:

[With a vast collection of things that also didn’t work (anymore); Edinburgh]

DARPA to the rescue

There’s a possibility, i.e. chance > zero, that AI can be deployed to undo biases that we humans, used as we are to patterns and stereotyping due to evolutionary advantages of that though we’re also prone to type overly long sentences again, are prone to.
Mostly, AI is still seen [at time of scheduling of this post, which is over two months ago] as perpetuating such biases, because being trained on datasets that include biases, they [‘it‘?] will focus on reproducing these the best they can. Or even find efficient proxies for causal factors that sharpen the divide. Still supposing that some of the divides found, are societally unwanted.
The latter may be IYIs’ point of view rather than the census opinion, though. IYI as per Taleb’s notion, much applicable I think in this ethical-AI field of which we speak.

Now, there’s this thing called TAILOR, a self-admitted backronym. By @DARPA no less, in:

that points to:
A call for proposal (apparently) on third wave AI – I may have missed the 2rd and 3st ;-] waves; what are they (about)? – that will actually not see noise as hinderly stuff but as an option to do better, qua human and AI performace. [Am I reading this right? The agency concerned may DM]

The program seems to have a specific direction. I’d say maybe some systemic will be found to not only narrowcast the results on learning, but on building systems that either counter bias without humans even being aware, or includes the noise as something positive, to be able to mass personalise the systems’ outputs. Customer-centrically, treating each individual as unique [though your mileage may vary as here].
My guess is: We’ll see a fuzzying of systems type classifications first, by which I mean the divide between pure program/data divided and expert-systems imputed-logic, and logic-discovery ML, and solution-discovery evolutionary systems, will diminish. Hybrid systems, not by the set-up of mixing varying-type-systems outputs at will but by the set-up of after-the-fact unclassifiable-intricate system inner operations. Add a dose of quantum computing and off you go.

[Edited to add, a week after write-up/schedule: this, another exepelenationn.]

I know, this may be a bit hard to follow due to ellipsis. Hence, I’ll stop.
But would want to continue the discussion on classification with like-minded individuals and TLAs.

Until then:

[Oh! Do you have any idea about the classification options and choices here? V.N. de Gaia yes; I’d suggest Vasconcellos [no website… but here] or Vascos de Carvalho [also not; here].]

Either way, or both; the Information in ‘AI’

When some old pyramid of ‘information’ needs updates…
As we all have this old-school pyramid in mind when discussing the Data–Knowledge–Information-or-was-it-Information–Knowledge–Intelligence–Wisdom classifications. Which, foremost if not first, miss a lot or almost everything of this and this.
But also, may not be useful ‘enough’ when discussing what it is, actually [some pun popped up unintentionally here, at quite a huge (huh) associative distance hence is left here intentionally], the classifications of the things that go in and out of ‘AI’ systems. Yes, yes, it’s ML, and it’s not ‘systems’ but ‘-driven or -enhanced systems’ mehhh we could talk about this all day and I’m not into that, too much as I have a couple of these to work on, in an hour or two [as I write this, and since this proves the five o’clock trope].
So, let’s go for a slightly renewed thing…

Intermission: a pic

[Somewhat relevant, perhaps; Prague (here, with better but edited pics where the photographer was obviously allowed to work in peace at spots where visitors aren’t)]

Because bottom-up, there;’s a divide. Like:

The interesting part is of course where the lines are dotted from left to right and from right to left. Where the “uninterpretable” AI-ish neural networks interface with the symbolic, shall we say, Expert System right side. Where blitz conclusions mingle with ‘hey I want to know how you came to that conclusion before I accept its truth’. Where also, filtering takes place, both in time and in attention value.
This all creeps close to Kant’s interpretation of the Vernunft et al., of course yes. But it also facilitates the thought on where ‘AI’ is, at the moment, and how it might progress. E.g., where Level 3-6 (six, sic) of ‘autonomous’ driving may go about. Where this would be easier to grasp.

Where also, e.g., in this, one sees ‘coding’ popping up. In the ‘pyramid’, from right to left … and from left to right. Yes. Here, consciously (or at least, consciously acknowledging it happens), but maybe up there it happens in the same way [politicians excepted, as we may not have certainty anything happens up there. Could this explain how humans, early in their training stages, seem to learn so much faster than neural nets, or is that a misinterpretation of what’s happening on both sides? What about dreams ..? And this, and this. And this.

Yes indeed it seems to make sense of re-interpretation of the info pyramid.
Which isn’t a pyramid nor a full-on ziggurat [heh, got you there], since a pyramid would suggest it’s all too lonely at the top [though it is, I can attest] but all can achieve it and a ziggurat has stepwise changes whereas here, fluidity in many directions is the point.
Also, this, but that’s just a humble self-plug. “I’m always humble” but: Rather arrogant with reason than feigning humility.

Belated advice

Since the Summer’s on its way quite allright already here on the N hemi.

An advisory note with its own wiki: this. Which for the intended audience was put into a vlog post here. And despite the warning to not take this too seriously.

For the others, the written notes after the pic for viewing pleasure, and after noticing this:

Ladies and Gentlemen of the class of ’97.
Wear sunscreen.
If I could offer you only one tip for the future, sunscreen would be it.
The long term benefits of sunscreen have been proved by scientists, whereas the rest of my advice has no basis more reliable than my own meandering experience…
I will dispense this advice now.

Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth; oh nevermind; you will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they have faded.
But trust me, in 20 years you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked…
You’re not as fat as you Imagine.

Don’t worry about the future; or worry, but know that worrying is as effective as trying to solve an algebra equation by chewing bubblegum.
The real troubles in your life are apt to be things that never crossed your worried mind.
The kind that blindside you at 4pm on some idle Tuesday.

Do one thing everyday that scares you.


Don’t be reckless with other people’s hearts, don’t put up with people who are reckless with yours.


Don’t waste your time on jealousy;
Sometimes you’re ahead,
Sometimes You’re behind.
The race is long, and in the end, it’s only with yourself.

Remember the compliments you receive, forget the insults;
If you Succeed in doing this, tell me how.

Keep your old love letters, throw away your old bank statements.


Don’t feel guilty if you don’t know what you want to do with your
The most interesting people I know didn’t know at 22 what they wanted to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40 year olds I know still don’t.

Get plenty of calcium.

Be kind to your knees, you’ll miss them when they’re gone.

Maybe you’ll marry, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll have children, maybe you won’t, maybe you’ll divorce at 40, maybe you’ll dance the funky chicken on your 75th wedding anniversary.
Whatever you do, don’t Congratulate yourself too much or berate yourself either.
Your choices are half chance, so are everybody else’s.
Enjoy your body, Use it every way you can… Don’t be afraid of it, or what other people Think of it,
It’s the greatest instrument you’ll ever own…

Dance… even if you have nowhere to do it but in your own living room.

Read the directions, even if you don’t follow them.

Do NOT read beauty magazines, they will only make you feel ugly.

Brother and sister together we’ll make it through
Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there
For you.
And I’ll be there, just tell me now, whenever I can.
Everybody’s free.

Get to know your parents, you never know when they’ll be gone for good.

Be nice to your siblings;
They are the best link to your past and the people most likely to stick with you in the future.

Understand that friends come and go, but for the precious few you should hold on.
Work hard to bridge the gaps in geography and lifestyle because the older you get, the more you need the people you knew when you were young.

Live in New York City once, but leave before it makes you hard;
Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.


Accept certain inalienable truths, prices will rise, politicians will Philander, you too will get old, and when you do you’ll fantasize that when you were young prices were reasonable, politicians were noble and children respected their elders.

Respect your elders.

Don’t expect anyone else to support you.
Maybe you have a trust fund, Maybe you have a wealthy spouse; but you never know when either one might run out.

Don’t mess too much with your hair, or by the time you’re 40, it will look 85.

Be careful whose advice you buy, but, be patient with those who supply it. Advice is a form of nostalgia, dispensing it is a way of fishing the past from the disposal, wiping it off, painting over the ugly parts and recycling it for more than it’s worth.

But trust me on the sunscreen…

(Brother and sister together we’ll make it through
Someday your spirit will take you and guide you there
I know you’ve been hurting, but I’ve been waiting to be there
For you. And I’ll be there, just tell me now, whenever I can.
Everybody’s free.)