Monthly Archives: January 2010

3rd street, Brooklyn


Sent from my iPhone


What Demand Media actually does


here is one of their sites. the text is straight from Wikipedia.

Hunch now has 2 dogs!


Sent from my iPhone

Is there a theoretical limit to wireless bandwidth?

Presumably at high enough frequencies you get interference, stuff
starts blowing up etc. Also there are limits to encryption,
directionality etc.

It seems like everybody just assumes we can all run around with devices that have our own HD video stream someday, but is that really true?


peretti: @cdixon maybe we call it #flowmaxing after the 1st
self-conscious example? e.g. dude @jason keeps #flowmaxing Mahalo

cdixon: @peretti i think we need a word for when you shorten the wrong
url, eg. @cdixon can’t wait for the apple tablet

warren buffet on the gold standard

It gets dug out of the ground in Africa, or someplace. Then we melt it
down, dig another hole, bury it again and pay people to stand around
guarding it. It has no utility. Anyone watching from Mars would be
scratching their head.

Gold Standard

Supporting the return to the gold standard (as, say, Ron Paul does)
depends on two assumptions:
1) it’s bad to let currencies float – they should be pegged to something
2) the best thing to peg them to is gold, because gold has “intrinsic” value
I think reasonable people can debate 1). Economists seem to like
floating currencies as they tends to balance trade surplus/deficits,
but floating currencies also leave lots of room for manipulation by
speculators etc.
My biggest problem is with 2). Gold has no more intrinsic value than
dollar bills. Things people want have value, period. I suppose you
could argue that certain value is more resistant to major cultural,
political, environmental upheavels, but in that case I’d say guns and
bread would probably have the most durable value. Beyond jewelry,
gold is good for stereo wires and a few other niche things. People
who think it has some magical intrinsic value just don’t understand
the basis of value and therefore economics.

ps. testing my first posterous email from gmail


War is among the greatest horrors known to humanity; it should never be romanticized. The means of war is force, applied in the form of organized violence. It is through the use of violence, or the credible threat of violence, that we compel our enemy to do our will. Violence is an essential element of war, and its immediate result is bloodshed, destruction and suffering. While the magnitude of violence may vary with the object and means of war, the violent essence of war will never change. Any study that neglects this basic truth is misleading and incomplete.

Warfighting, official training guide of U.S. Marine Corps


In 2005, the online chess-playing site hosted what it called a “freestyle” chess tournament in which anyone could compete in teams with other players or computers. Normally, “anti-cheating” algorithms are employed by online sites to prevent, or at least discourage, players from cheating with computer assistance. (I wonder if these detection algorithms, which employ diagnostic analysis of moves and calculate probabilities, are any less “intelligent” than the playing programs they detect.)

Lured by the substantial prize money, several groups of strong grandmasters working with several computers at the same time entered the competition. At first, the results seemed predictable. The teams of human plus machine dominated even the strongest computers. The chess machine Hydra, which is a chess-specific supercomputer like Deep Blue, was no match for a strong human player using a relatively weak laptop. Human strategic guidance combined with the tactical acuity of a computer was overwhelming.

The surprise came at the conclusion of the event. The winner was revealed to be not a grandmaster with a state-of-the-art PC but a pair of amateur American chess players using three computers at the same time. Their skill at manipulating and “coaching” their computers to look very deeply into positions effectively counteracted the superior chess understanding of their grandmaster opponents and the greater computational power of other participants. Weak human + machine + better process was superior to a strong computer alone and, more remarkably, superior to a strong human + machine + inferior process.

The chess master and the computer, by Gary Kasparov