Sunday, November 13, 2016

US Elections 2016: Trick or Treat?

This is a little bit of retrospect for me as well, but all of this post-election introspection by just about all and sundry in the US and everywhere else, including the Republicans happy though they may be, has left me thinking about what just happened.

Firstly, a good plan translates into exactly what was planned. No better, no worse, not early, not late, in exactly the expected format, etc. But, stuff happens and you never know in what form, from which direction nor whence it comes.

So, there was an election in the US. Someone had to win. Someone did. So what! who won? Unexpected outcome. So what? With that out of the way..

A democracy is election by the majority (OK, adjusted by the Electoral College in the US) most of whom happen not to be highbrow nor the most prosperous segment of the nation and are usually overrun by spiffy looking upper-class articulate intelligentsia. So what is the point?

In the 2016 US elections for POTUS, apart from Vladimir who Putin a good word, Donald Trump was clearly the smartest person in the election. He won by appealing to that section of the populace by speaking the "right" language, being down-to-earth, consistent and therefore trusted, and so on; irrespective of the vitriolic and his apparent idiotic utterances.

(He seems to have made a bet with someone, and won, that he could put out all his insults left, right and center, and get away with it. And, he has, and seems will continue to do so. And, probably sure likes it when a plan comes together.)

Apart from the people being transfixed by her past, Hillary Clinton didn't win simply because she was addressing the wrong people in a manner that was inappropriate such that it could not be inadvertently heard by the right people i.e. sufficient of those who could have swung the vote in her favour - those downtrodden forgottens but with equal voting rights.

Talk above people, and you tend to miss a lot of them. Hill, you Billy, you sure seem to have.

Even the current US President must have thought: "Barack! O bama, how did we get Trumped like this?"

Stuff happens, we have to deal with it.

Unintended Verbiage  Lost in Translation

Earlier this year, in an work e-mail I unthinkingly indirectly asked for someone to participate in resolving an issue by using the words "please oblige".

I guess this cavalier use of colloquial language was not appreciated. The reply was "As you know, English is not my mother tongue, can you speak Xxxxx?"

While putting my request in plainer English in my reply, it occurred to me that, should I have encountered a similar unfamiliar phrase for the same reason, what would I have done?

While finalizing my reply, I broke off to I copy the text "please oblige" into Google Translate, and translated the phrase from English to Xxxxx. Then I inverted the translation for a return effect i.e. that it worked both ways. The result seemed clear enough to me (at the time), but as the originator of the phrase I couldn't be sure of the idiomatic effect in that language.

This I outlined in the tail of the e-mail, screenshots and all... from English to Xxxxx and from Xxxxx to English.

The language was in fact Japanese, so unfamiliar script and all, if I was able to do this, why couldn't he?

However, since then, having repeated this exercise, it would appear that the inverse translation has been tweaked, and no longer computes.


At the time
"Please oblige"   à "義務付けるしてください。"   à  "Please to oblige".
 "Please oblige"   à "義務付けるしてください。"   à  "Please be obliged".

The first seemed clear enough to me at the time, but now the second not so much ... This is probably one of those things that you should do offline to get it off your chest; and then should keep it offline.  L

Original Mar 5, 2016 20:27

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Artificial Intelligence

It should come as no surprise that strides in the development of Artificial Intelligence is inadvertently under way already.

With the development of so-called machine learning i.e. microprocessors together with data storage and retrieval on mindboggling scales both in microscopic size and lightspeed handling using improbability theory to render life-like but far superior processing and execution.

Science is full of surprises on the basis of which no prior theory was proposed. The reality of AI popping into existence once a certain threshhold is reached and event comes to pass.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Learning: Deep Hole Drilling or Layer by Layer

In the first, you spend every waking moment learning deeply everything about a very specific subject.

In the second, you start with a very wide aspect and gradually by brute force increase a deeper understanding of areas of significance or special interest layer by layer; retaining a contextual overview of the subject at large, while simultaneously appreciating the deeper context and meaning.

I tend to be a proponent of the latter as a generalist, while the former tends to be that of a specialist, equally important to be sure.

For example, on, I have and still am spending time covering topics such as "How to Use Git and GitHub" to "Developing Android Apps" to "Design of Computer Programs", each of which is a multimonth endeavour in a matter of days. (Mental breaks are necessary from time to time.) When ready, industry recognition in the form of a Nanodegree is attainable at an affordable monthly price, 50% refundable if completed in less than 12 months.

Sort of 3D learning, pass by pass. Mind-bending to be sure, especially in the longer more intense courses. But, at first getting a speedy overview of a population of related subjects, then getting a more lucid memory retaining understanding of each subject at an increasingly deeper level. Pass by pass. One has to be selective, of course, so as not to be inundated by the plethora of subjects and aspects.

(PS I'm not a programmer, so this really is brute force, pushing something into my brain that I have no prior experience with in the deeper sense of the meaning. Also, I'm little old so I have to speed things up a bit to beat my expected expiry date.)

#learning   #udacity 

Saturday, October 3, 2015

A Good Speech

A good speech should be like a woman's skirt: long enough to cover the subject, but short enough to create interest.