Categories
TLDR

First… kill all the algorithms.

Article:

TLDR:

Big tech algorithms can’t be “tweaked” or monitored by humans… instead just ban them.

Ken’s Take:

A variant is for the user to be able to select their algorithm, and to have that algorithm provided in an open marketplace by non-platform players. My algorithm would be chronological + family + these friends + “major” things from people I know + local news – anything political – anything else. And if I ask for it, show it to me. No censoring.

Ultimately, though, a platform is the problem. Once network effect levels are reached the temptation to abuse it overwhelms those driven by quarterly profit reports.

I’ve achieved network effect in a niche called “practical shooting”. Most of practical shooting uses a set of tools and a website that my team created and maintains. We are regularly asked to abuse this position in various ways by businesses, sports, and even regular people. That we don’t isn’t necessarily a testament to us, but more that we do this as a side-gig and it isn’t financially critical to us. If it covers its expenses, I’m happy.

If my wealth was tied to it, or the wealth of my investors, then I might not be able to resist.

The nut of it is that “network effect” = needs to be regulated if on a national or global scale. Everybody needs a boss and, right now, Facebook, Google, and Amazon do not have an effective one.

Breaking up their monopolies might not follow the traditional path of an AT&T or Standard Oil breakup – instead consider breaking up the core danger… their algorithms.

#bigtechdangers
#tldr

Categories
Photos

Tree by the trail in early morning light

Categories
Programming Quotations

Quotation: Algorithms

I am worried that algorithms are getting too prominent in the world. It started out that computer scientists were worried nobody was listening to us. Now I’m worried that too many people are listening.

Donald Knuth
Categories
Programming

Donald Knuth

Sometimes I don’t TLDR an article, because you should read it. (-:

Ken’s Take:

I’ve used his book(s) a lot. And recommend them frequently as well. I’ve not used TeX very much, but have dabbled (long ago) in LaTex, which is how most people use TeX. Now, though, I just let Word handle it.

What impresses me the most is the combination of doing amazing work but also being a humble, warm and happy person.

Categories
Quotations

Schools

“In the twenty-first century, we use a nineteenth-century school model with twentieth-century values. There’s clearly something wrong with this picture.” 

― Zander Sherman

Categories
Photos

Water pipe with iPhone 11+

When I have time to kill, I could just read my phone. I prefer, though, to use it as a camera. Here is a water pipe laying in a parking lot of a storage facility where we were picking up a used freezer.
Categories
TLDR

Game Stop Squeeze Truth vs Spin

Read the article and find out what is really going on with the short seller squeezes done by /r/WallStreetBets.

Interesting tidbits:

  • Robinhood is free because YOU pay more for the stock than it really costs.
  • The market makers love this action – they get paid by the trade.
  • Most of the trading was NOT retail investors, but large firms going in / out for quick profit, or large funds using the higher stock price for other reasons (debt to equity conversions, for instance).
  • Most of the Reddit crowd will lose their investments

The article defends short selling as a market cleanup tool. The clout of those massing up leverage worries me – they like to keep the up, and give us the down. But that isn’t really a fault of short selling, but politicians helping out short sellers that own them. Neither is fixable, at least not until our election systems magically become uncorrupted (which I don’t hold hope for).

Categories
Photos

Jeep rigged for work

I usually haul around mountain bikes on a rack. Today, though, I hooked up a trailer and carried an upright freezer home.