Archive for November 16, 2010

An Example of CGI: Nov 16, 2010

November 16, 2010 1 comment

This is an example of what CGI by a couple of skilled artist now looks like. I first saw it here – Prepare For the Most Mind Meltingly Realistic CGI You’ve Ever Seen

Can you see what I see? What is reality, anyway.


The Systemic and Limiting Flaw for All Intelligence Agencies

November 16, 2010 2 comments

All intelligence that exist, have existed or will ever exist have had to contend with a peculiar and systemic flaw.

The ratio of false positive to real leads.

This issue is well understood in the field of epidemiology and testing for infectious diseases. Let me use an example-

Let us say that a news HIV test has a false positive rate of 5 per 100. Now assume that it has an accuracy of 99.9% (almost every real case is picked up). Would you recommend this test for widespread screening? If your test population had an HIV+ve rate of 1%, 4 out of 5 positive tests would be incorrect. Given that AIDS patients may not have symptoms in the early stages, you are misidentifying 4 uninfected people for every infected person.

Once the infected persons are identified and isolated- your next batch of tests will, almost exclusively, tag uninfected people. Repeated rounds of testing will only cause more and more uninfected people to be identified as infected.

The efficacy of any intelligence agency, however grand its budget and technology, is ultimately dependent on that ratio- false positives should not overwhelm real positives. While poorer countries can tolerate inferior ratios, a dynamic productive economy cannot tolerate ratios significantly worse than 3 false leads for 1 good lead. More adverse ratios make the intelligence produced by such agencies useless and their actions counterproductive.

The amount of data produced also has a bearing on this ratio. In previous eras, it was possible to read all letters, tap every telephone conversation for a small percentage of the population. Now, the sheer volume and diversity of data along with various protocols, embedding techniques and encryption technologies combined with the need to have a human make the final decision makes that effectively impossible.

So why not dispense with human review? The answer is that we do not have algorithms good enough to replace human perception, analysis and reasoning for the final step.


This Is What Totalitarianism Looks Like: Nov 16, 2010

November 16, 2010 6 comments

Most people think that the face of totalitarianism is an aging guy in a ill-fitting suit (stalin, mao, kim jong etc) or a leader making impassioned speeches to an adoring audience (hitler). Let me show you an alternative, courtesy gizmodo.

Talking at Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Napolitano said that TSA’s body scanners don’t violate passengers’ privacy rights. She also said that “if people want to travel by some other means,” they have that right.

Maybe I am naive, but don’t the people who handle luggage, maintenance or work at the airport pose a bigger security threat via infiltration than 80 year olds, small kids and your average passengers. This is security theater, and not only is it ineffective against any real threat but is also expensive and therefore worse than useless.

and before anyone says it, CONservatives would not have done a better job than LIEbrals. They are two sides of the same ineffectual parasite- an outmoded and corrupt worldview that has little connection to reality. It is also unlikely that private contractors will make this any better. The problem lies in the mind, not the tools.

Another issue: What is the idea behind screening pilots? I mean, it is not as if they require anything extra to crash the planes they are flying.


NSFW Links: Nov 16, 2010

November 16, 2010 Leave a comment

These links are NSFW.

Masked Angel from Amour-Angels Normal nekkid angel- now with a mask.

Self Shots: Nov 15, 2010 Used to be little angels.


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