Saturday, November 9, 2019

The day Web search engines such as Google start to understand the meaning of content such as text, they will covertly censor or demote content that's critical of them

Even though Google / Bing / Yandex can currently translate text content, this doesn't mean that these Internet search engines "understand" the "meaning" of whatever text they work with. The translation happens using lifeless algorithms, on a statistical basis, and doesn't involve "knowing" what's "being said" in the content.

Looking this way, it seems like there are some parallels between the related concepts of [ knowing / meaning / understanding ], and the close concepts of [ awareness / consciousness / sentience ]. A super-smart robot or computer program isn't self-aware the way humans are, and similarly an excellent language translation tool such as Google Translate doesn't know an iota of what's the intent and meaning of the text it works with.

Anyway. There could / will come a day when computers actually start to capture the broad meaning of text [whether this capturing takes place in a dumb/lifeless computer or a self-aware/sentient computer is irrelevant actually]. When this happens, private search companies such as Microsoft and Google will have every incentive in the world to censor and/or demote that content which criticizes these companies, exposes their crimes, or otherwise makes them look bad [or makes their competitors look good]. This is a scary prospect, and one that's within the realm of what's possible - and it's not too far into the future either. Worst of all, this censorship will happen covertly, quietly, silently - there's hardly any practical way to prove that an engine such as Google is hiding some type of data from its users.

Sunday, October 13, 2019

It should be possible to travel at a speed faster than that of light, even if we may not be able to measure that speed

What does it mean to travel near or at the speed of light? Does it mean "actually" traveling near or at that speed? Or does it mean that whenever the measured speed is near or at the speed of light, it's sufficient to say that the object is traveling near or at the speed of light [even if it "actually" is not]? What does "actually" mean? Does "actually" mean the speed that "God" sees? Can there be a divergence between the "actual" speed of an object and its measured speed, without us having to call it a measurement error? If yes, what's the relevance or value of such an measurement then?

Anyway, the point here is that it should be possible to travel at a speed faster than that of light. Why shouldn't it be, after all? Keep increase the quantity of energy and force and there's no reason why an object's speed shouldn't keep increasing. It isn't like once the value hits c, suddenly more energy and more force stops having an incremental effect. But how do we measure such a faster-than-c speed? Do we even have to bother with measuring? And just because we can't measure, should we conclude that the speed isn't faster than that of light? Does an object placed in a completely dark room become nonexistent and irrelevant just because we can't see it? It still is there, just that we cannot see it.

Those are some half-cooked thoughts in my mind.

OTHER TAGS= ALBERT EINSTEIN, PHYSICS, SCIENCE

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

It may be correct to say that fractions are not numbers but are instead sentences written in a shorthand notation [COMPACTIDEA]

Fractions have intrigued me since my school days. Why are we able to represent certain values, or rather shares, precisely as fractions but not as whole numbers or decimal numbers? This can sometimes get irritating. Today a thought occurred to me which could be correct [could be wrong as well - need to think more]. Perhaps fractions aren't numbers at all. Instead, they're perhaps a quick/shorthand notation to write sentences [or instructions]. Might sound weird, but the fraction 2/3 is basically the same thing as the sentence:

Two parts out of three.

Now, the sentence - two parts out of three - definitely is not a number but is a sort of rule telling us how many parts out of how many are we talking about. A compact way to write this sentence is to write 2/3, because we've been taught from childhood that the "/" is to be interpreted as "parts out of". Just because we're all using a certain notation to write these sentences shouldn't mean we should start treating 2/3, 3/7, etc., as numbers.

Or it could very well be that due to inherent limitations of our base-10 decimal system, we aren't able to represent 1/3 precisely as a number, so we've started taking 1/3 itself as a number.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Response of American technology giants to scandals - should've communicated better or should've responded faster, rather than addressing the root problem, or making major changes to software or to business model

I've seen this type of "response" from people like Facebook's Sheryl Sandberg a few times, so I believe this is more of a pattern that can be stated. When it was revealed in 2014 that Facebook was secretly conducting psychological experiments on a few hundred thousand of its users by manipulating their emotions to observe their reactions, Sheryl Sandberg's response wasn't to apologize for these actions of Facebook. Instead, it was:
  • Facebook chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg is sorry if anybody was made angry by the whole "we're going to make you sad and see what happens" experiment, disclosed last week, that alarmed many of the service's users.
  • Speaking in New Delhi Wednesday, Sandberg said the study was a routine practice in the commercial sector — echoing some defenders of the social network — but that the nature of the study was "poorly communicated" to users.
  • "And for that communication we apologize," said Sandberg, according to the Wall Street Journal. "We never meant to upset you."
Bullshit. Evil monster this Sandberg creature is. I've made some text bold above. Total bullshit. Calling it "routine", and that "if anyone was offended then I say sorry" apology, and "we need to communicate this better", and so on. As if merely communicating better can make a wrong right.

Actually, if you think really carefully, she's being honest here. She isn't sorry, so she isn't giving out fake sorries. She doesn't think that there's any problem with such experiments/practices, so she's not apologizing for these. She really thinks and believes that such experiments and other anti-user stuff needs better packaging and spinning, so she's honestly saying that FB needs to better "package" this stuff into better language that its foolish users will believe.

*****

9-May-19

Similarly, as Boeing is facing a crisis related to its 737 MAX plane, it has mounted a full-blown media and public relations [PR] campaign. These American companies seem to think that by aggressive, "360 degree" communication/PR, they can actually solve the underlying technological issues in their products. Fortunately, science isn't affected by PR and spinning.

*****

17-Jun-19

"Boeing Max 737 jet crisis: we should've been more open, says CEO"

"Boss says aircraft maker failed to communicate properly with regulators and customers"

Boeing's CEO isn't admitting that their aircraft is poorly designed. He's not admitting that due to commercial reasons, MCAS was deliberately/knowingly not put in the manuals and not discussed with airlines/pilots. He's not admitting that they changed the software without certifying it again. He's laying the blame on poor communication. What a loser.

*****

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Superpower nations need complete self-sufficiency in all spheres - food, medicines, technology, raw materials, currency, minerals, military, etc.

  • China, and not just China, but also other current/aspiring/future superpowers such as Russia, USA, India, and maybe Europe, each of these needs complete technological independence. Which means owning the entire stack - the instruction set architecture (ISA), the code inside microprocessors, the raw materials to make chips, manufacturing fabs, operating systems, all of the software programs that run on the systems, and so on. Nothing can be such that a superpower is dependent upon the mercy of a foreign power. Because as the Huawei case has clearly shown, adversaries can and will cut-off technological connections/dependencies in order to cause crippling, instant, and irreplaceable harm to the companies and people of nations.
  • Huawei should drop American courier / package / logistics providers such as FedEx worldwide as much as possible, and give priority to Asian and European providers [in that order]. Just like sensitive digital data cannot be carrier over untrusted digital lines, physical objects shouldn't be transported over adversary-owned physical lines.
    • Do the same in the whole of China. No need to send $$$ to US firms.
  • A coordinated effort is required to simultaneously deprive the USA of the vital ores/minerals/metals its economy and people need. China's restrictions on exporting rare-earth elements to USA alone isn't the ideal response. Simultaneously, Russia should announce restrictions on titanium exports to America [remember how America simultaneously makes multiple countries support its foreign policy moves - whether it be expulsion of Russian diplomats, or the recognition of Juan Guaido as Venezuela's President]. If America's other similar critical dependencies/vulnerabilities can be discovered and can be simultaneously announced, all the better. A sudden, unexpected and crippling ban on multiple essential raw materials will quickly and immediately bring America to its knees, and also damage its invulnerable global image.