Insanity Finally Meets Real Life for Real…

So, all those neurotic features that computer people have that are glorified in movies: obsessive compulsive, ADHD, assholism, workaholic, conspiracy theorizing, stupidity…

It happened to me. Last week, Wednesday June 14th, I hurt my back putting down my bag at work. I arrived around 9ish, I bent to put it down and something must have snapped. Four pain killers and an hour later, I begrudgingly drove myself to urgent care. It hurts really bad, when I sit, when I walk, when I sit when I type…

The bag was filled with about 15 versions of several documents I was working on. I was trying to preserve my sanity because I suspected that the company was out to get me. I thought it had been exercising the capability to impersonate my account and produce typo or otherwise simulate substandard work that are not actually produced by me. This is explicitly allowed by my employment contract that the company can make recording of me at work and may simulate or reproduce the recordings for any purpose. Since they pay me purportedly fair wage and never says anything bad about me in public, this reproduction of simulation never causes any damage “in the real world”, so even if they did it unlawfully, they get out by having a release from me and by the fact that it is very hard to show the damage it does to me.

But that is not the funny/sad part. Funny or sad depends on what kind of person you are.

I drove to urgent care,  very very very slowly walked in. Across the parking garage and across the building to urgent care, only to be refused service. Apparently, because the injury occurred at work, that my company’s health insurance does not cover it. The receptionist refused to admit me. Later she brought out a nurse who explained that I may receive medical service but it is very certainly not covered by the medical insurance I normally use (ppo). I will have to pay for it myself if I insist that they treat me.

After some persuasion, an orderly wheelchaired me out to the garage. I accessed my laptop but could not find wifi. I phoned a friend at work, and…. an hour of frantically dialing a service line for that normal ppo insurance failed to lead to any solution….

Well, at least I still have my car and can drive. Drove to a nearby Starbucks, omg, I never regret buying those horrifically expensive coffee, I probably qualify for 10 gold cards every quarter. Because I got an nice strong Google Starbucks wifi from half way across the parking lot.

Slacked HR at work, finally a friendly face… this HR department is the most awesome… all the people who welcomed me to the company four years ago are still there… the people who did my employment verification for my mortgage, my paternity leave… and now my back saver… another 45 minutes elapse before I reach an authorized clinic.
I wait for every one to be treated, including those who arrive after me. Nothing too unusual here, there is even a sign that says this would happen at the counter. I get a shot, x-ray of back and junk…ouch… 

I get my prescription, fill it at cvs, … arrive home at 4:30 pm. That’s seven hours later. Obviously missed a few things, like lunch, drinking water, hurts to pee or poop,… but all that is minor…  a week of uselessness ensue… it is really hard to be alive with a bad back and young kids…

Doctor prescribes modified work. So if I was a carpenter or a manual laborer, I’d have to limp back to work with this kinked back. oMG!!!! This is inhumane!! My job allows me to work from home, but what if I worked at a different job? I’d actually have to work through this pain.

Wow… wow… wow…..

Lesson: don’t get hurt at work.

If you do get hurt, there is a special insurance that the company bought called workers compansation. The company has to initiate a claim, after insurance gives the authorization, you are to visit clinics that the workcomp insurance designates. The manager or HR handles these issues, most other employee probably doesn’t know about it.

Lesson: you, an employee, are puny. The company is mighty and is prepared. It will win and is the bigger man at the end. Don’t even try…

Lesson: Don’t be a software engineer if you can help it. We don’t have unions and we are all puny. And unions do not exist for a reason. Don’t even try…

And don’t mind people trying to intimidate you by casually saying that the Bay Area is a small place and that you need to watch out for your next job.

You fucking piece of shit!!
YOU!!! DO NOT!!!!! intimidate me!!!

Thoughts About The Quadratic Inequality Metric

So far, we have been able to decompose utilitarian quadratic inequality metric(QIM) into bias and variances. One might wonder where this fits in the greater scheme of things.

Recall that the analysis is being performed on the benefit of a service, provided by a service provider such as company or government, to a customer at cost to the latter party. Equality, as measured by QIM, is being demanded of the provider between repeated experience by the same or different customers. Therefore, it is obvious that the approach does not itself insist on equality of opportunity. It may, if we insist that population we draw from are inclusive and representative, however that is an addition to be made the model and require additional specification.

The bias term really measures the equality of outcome. When the QIM is high, it can be caused by a difference in the beneficial outcome of the same experience to different customers.

But, what, in traditional social, political and economic sciences do we call the variances part of QIM? I initially considered univariate variances a measure of quality of service to each consumer. This makes sense as long as the services is not pathologically constructed situations: e.g. a random experience generator where the desired outcome is high variance. Later, I feel that this question must be punted to the user of the QIM. Let it be a demand to the user that he only parameterize QIM for utility measurements whose high and consistent values are desired. In so far as I have observed, most metric that we measure are like this: revenue, profit, ROI, unemployment rate, even binary variables such as attendance, satisfies this demand. Finally, sign of inequality metric is actually not important. QIM will be large when the two are unequal.

In all cases of metrics, both bias and univariate variance terms of QIM can only increase this measure of inequality. Under QIM, inequality can only be overcome by the negated covariance term. The only way for QIM to be decreased from highly different outcome or inconsistent behavior to either, or both, consumer comparands, is if the benefit of service or harm of diservice correlates. If they are anti-correlated, the covariance term increases QIM.

So, if there are all-male school A, and all-female school B. Send randomly selected students from male and female populations to both schools. If students fail or suceeds in both schools simultaneously but never fail in one school and succeeds in the other school, then it removes suspicion that the two school provides unequal educational service. In fact, if each of the students succeeds in exactly one of the two schools, the QIM become minimized–the strongest contribution of inequality due to inconsistent experience.

An alternative sampling model to compare two populations (male and female students) at another school (a modern co-ed University) we can simply sample pairs of one male and one female students according to natural distribution. (consider a simple random sample from all pairs of man-women generated from class rosters, or grade levels, dependent on whether the utility metric is class grade or overall GPA or other metrics. These measurements are then used to estimate the QIM between the sexes at said institution.

In both of these cases, the decomposition of the QIM can be computed.

It is my continuing concern that we have not resolved the X of equality-of-X models. Equality of outcome is certainly not the most popular approach right now, where as equality of opportunity is de facto law of the land in United States, at least governments and public corporations are required to be equal opportunity employers.

But whether and how the law applies to the actual experience of employment, and fuethermore the experience of actual service rendered by the governed entity, is unclear to me. How equality is monitored is certainly beyond my education. I hope to later find answers to these thoughts in ancient political science texts, that I already live in an as-equitable-as-can-be society…

And if not, here is one attempt at improving all that.

An Episode of Software Engineering Absurdity

A long time ago in a universe far far away…

The engineering organization collectively decided that all code changes must be spelt correctly using no abbreviations at all what so ever. However it is then established that all should use single letter shorthand in commit messages and company notes written for human consumption.

The emphasize and effort with which technical leaders place into trivialities of exact spellings and spacings are monumental! I dare to wager that some where around 30% of wall clock time spent on projects at some company is spent on responding to formatting and spelling PR comments or on overhead of creating them.

I often comment that spacing and spelling are irrelevant to correctness of computer interpretation of programs… more arbitrary things like loop variables for short loops cannot be i are just purely obnoxious. (A standardized replacement should be made, e.g. bolded i is a special symbol always referring to innermost loop variable, would seem like a more reasonable approach IMHO)

But that’s all fine! Programs are interpreted by people too and should have good grammar and spelling. By what about documents to people? Why then are those obfuscated using single character shorthands that do not event start with the English word or idea they represent? How do you justify this?

Should I degrade myself by suggesting that his is another Chinese thing? When the team is largely Chinese that they prefer single character representations due to the nature of their natural born language? Single Chinese characters tend to have more meaning than a single English character, for example, the last name 李 is like Smith in English in terms of popularity, however it is 4 characters shorter.

Should I degrade myself by looking up the word in a very rarely spoken European language just to see if the shorthand actually starts the right word in that language? This will satisfy my mind to the cause of these contradictory practices.

Should I degrade myself by typing out a blog post about this and amuse myself in reading about my self some years later?

Perhaps I will do all three…

I hope I find out later that this is a reality show and that release inside my original employment agreement (that I signed after crossing out) insisting audio, video and other recording of my presence at the company may be used “for any purpose” really had a purpose. Or perhaps this is an elaborate psychological experiment performed by the company. I don’t see any personal, legal, ethical or cultural reasons, stated or implied, why it couldn’t be happening here.

Those possibilities are better planned realities than stupidity of leaders or more sinister perspective where the leader are setting these teams composed of largely minorities and immigrants for failure by encouraging highly counter productive practices. (Because immigrants and under served people tend to make more English spelling mistakes due to force of their circumstances, in all courts, it would seem completely reasonable and natural that they make more legitimate spelling mistakes. Focusing on this aspect would then legitimately isolate minorities and immigrants.)

Will time tell me what is truly happening in these seemingly lost years?

Trek Discovery take 1

Oh sure, Send a Chinese named ship to start an inter-stellar war due to its Asian sunzi quoting captain making strategic and just wrongs decisions. I don’t think Georgio is performed at Picard’s level, but Picard had 7 years to settle into his seat.

It may be due to my aging but I do not sense an exhilaration from watching this… what happened to me? So much action, so much new cultural issues, civil union and disunion, ancient artifacts, mentors, red shirts, a Human with Vulcan training, omg, maybe I’ve just been overloaded with too many cool trekie things, erg or I’m getting old…, This doesn’t excite me any more 😦

If Picard was on the bridge, and says “wow” in blank awe at the sight of that Klingon beacon, that would be a scene to remember.

Another thought as I watch the After Trek, “we have engaged the borg” has strong connotation of lengthy entanglement due to the recent experience at time of speech. Where as the use of “we have engaged the Kilogons” is a little premature, a skirmish at best, not an engagement and not as much meaning. Meaning! Meaning!! Meaning!!! This Trek is so blend in meaning.

And the Klingon sound like they have accents compared to TNG Klingons. The scene is too operatic imho.

Hope to see gerogio revived later and becomes Klingon admiral to cause the federation more headaches.

Refi with Bank of America

Discrimination is inevitable in the modern world. The main reason why it hurts is that we are aware of it in 2017.

I responded to a Bank of America survey about a refi experience I recently had. I complained to the survey that I was asked about whether my parents will live with me and my child, whether I plan to have a third child, and whether my in-law might live with us.

As I complained that these matter seemed irrelevant and needlessly frustrated me for several extra weeks, I realized something.

Parents living with adult children is not a White People™ things. Chinese people, Some Indian families, the Hispanic population, poor people, these are the people who will take their parents into their home and take care of them. (In most cases, I think the despised act is not that we take care of them but that we put them to work caring for kids or garden)If I was a white person, that answer would quickly end with “no” but because I belong to a minority population having culture to provide for parents at home, I had to spend a few extra weeks being suspected for a bridge loan and blocking my progress.

By spending an exorbitant amount of extra time asking about this aspect of my family, what my plans were in these aspects. The bank discriminated against people of these ethnicity. It discriminates against me because it grossly inconvenienced me due to my culture and not due to attributes they can legally use.

The other aspect of this matter is revealed when I demanded an explanation from the loan officer. She plainly states that she feel everything is justified because the bank suspect that I am obtaining the loan for a purpose they cannot support. The main problem is that the fact of their suspicion does not justify the extra effort required of me. This is unjust punishment from unsubstantiated suspiciousness. If I smiled at a Muslim and then looked at a whiteman funny one day–according to an observing bank teller who “has trained for this situation”–does that mean she can refuse a money withdraw request by me due to suspicion that I want to aid Islamic terror activity against white Americans? These kind of liberties taken by large institutions against whom individuals have virtually no recourse against fits into the world like broken windows on a street–it leads to more broken windows and bigger crimes!

The other thing is the question about my plans. I found myself spending a large amount of time explaining my thoughts of the real estate market around my house, that I am optimistic about the future growth, but not so optimistic that I might invest in real estate. I find it exceedingly incomprehensible that my financial goals, my investment strategy, and my view of American economics is of concern when I apply for a loan. What in the heck just happened to me? What was that? Why would these be required to get a loan?

(And honestly, there was a time when I had a great loan officer at BoA, who never ever asked if my parents live with me for the several refi’s he processed for me. But he left the company.)

I am very dissatisfied with your new lending process, Bank of America! I still use you for my banking and mortgage, after more than a decade of patronage, because I don’t have a choice, not because I am loving this experience. I thank you for your years of service that I’ve always appreciated, but now with greater reservation having gained greater understanding of it’s extent in 2017.

(Also, all loans mentioned here were approved and I have not violated my loan terms since then. The approvals were not subsequent to my providing additional documentation substantiating my familial plans or outlook. They were just approved after a lot of phone tags, phone interviews, and long delays in between)

The world is flat again

In the early third millennium, Human time Common Era, it is widely believed that all parsimonious and useful representations of things and ideas of our world are locally linear. Algorithms represent the world in tensors and then proceeds to analyze it using algorithms that have components which are dominated by their first order terms. Locally, these are linear models. After composition, they seem to be useful and able to forecast macroscopically observable phenomena correctly.

One wonders,… in a fantastic and sci-fi hallucination the day when we declare…

The world is not flat!

again, and rediscover our world under this new light.

Pacing Model v0.85

Okay, kids! Here’s how we’re going play this one:

Aim high and grand and beyond;

start tiny, early and already;

progress quickly, steadily and any.

I guess to boost the literary and morale value of this entry, perhaps an enrichment of American child rearing folk spirit will help:

Cast the bantling on the rocks,

Suckle him with the she-wolf’s teat;

Wintered with the hawk and fox,

Power and speed be hands and feet.

(Ralph Waldo Emerson.)

When it rains

Today, it rained in San Francisco. I gave a homeless man a dollar at the red light on the way to work. He thanked me and dried my passenger side mirror with his sleeves.

I feel bad now. This made me see my self clearly, perhaps in that mirror. There is so much that I do that has the effect of giving him a dollar and wiping my mirror dry in the middle of a rain.

Fairness of Governance III

Some time ago we investigated the equality of benefits. Roughly speaking let us consider degenerate real world actions into discretely selectable choices of action a\in A given individual x, who has observable features f(x) and protected feature p(x). Suppose the company has to choose among a set of actions to take a \in A. What is a workable definite of fairness or equality in such a decision making effort with respect to protected properties p?

Let god bestow upon us, a neutral third party, with a utility functor u whose evaluation on the individual u(x) results in a function u(x)(a) is the utility of company taking action a to individual x, u(x)(b) is the utility to individual x of company taking action b.

Let f be the decision process of company g, g(x) is the decision company makes, some a for the individual x. Then the right thing to do

g(f(x)) = argmax_{a\in A}(u(x)(a)) = g(f(x), p(x))

Specifies what it means to perform action A indiscriminately with respect to p.

Suppose the protected properties $p()$ has domain in a space M. These are the values of protected attributes that we choose to strive for equality. For example M could be cartesian product of age, sex, race, birthplace, religion and political party.

E(u(x)(g(f(a)))| p(x)) = c\ \forall p(x) \in M

That the expected population utility for each variation of protected property is identically some constant c.

But such matter are purely to determine what a company does in consideration of its customers. What should a government do? For example, in a sentencing scenario as described in ProPublica’s Machine Bias? There are other costs more primal to the considerations: prison cost money to build, can justice and correctional actions be served with less prisoners ?

This matter is completely different from what we have considered above where corporations have, purely, the intent to service their customers utilities, in an equitable way with respect to that utility and protected and sensitive attributes.(OMG I have drank too much customer-centric-corporation-philosophy koolaid from my present employer) In this case, the government is trying to optimize for cost of operation–it is profit maximizing if we state it positively.

The part of our government in question is the justice system, aka the courts. It optimizes some “global” idealized justice J Such that we can evaluate such a utility which can best described as “society’s utility in justice” or the “cost of injustice.” What this cost is in material-real-world units is hard to say, however let’s suppose it can be quantified deterministically in the same units. J is functor mapping individuals to the justice of an action the government takes: J(x)(a), or example, would evaluate very negatively if x is innocent and a is imprisonment. We skip innumerable details here regarding the process of due process, as well as the all-eventual-worlds analysis regarding later actions of x–god-oracle has given us an instantaneous justice function which we shall use.

The government in order to take action a incurs a material-real-world costs, such as building prisons, let’s call these C(x)(a) for the situation of acting on x.

Taking the action yields a utility of R(x)(a). R is the cost to the society after action a is taken. For example: if a criminal is sentenced to no prison time and commits a crime, the damage of that crime, to society, is the cost R (Result or Recidivism)

So, therefore, our rational government seeks to maximize its constituent utility subject to some constraints:

Maximize:

argmax_{a \in A}(\sum_{x\in X}{J(x)(a) - C(x)(a) - R(x)(a)})

With the constraint:

J(x)(a) = c\ \forall x \in X

(Some population X)

If the decision process can only be quantified probabilistically with some distribution of actions

Maximize:

E_{a,x}(J(x)(a) - C(x)(a) - R(x)(a))

With the constraint:

E_{a,x}(J(x)(a)|p(x)) = c\ \forall p(x) \in M

M is the space of protected properties. Hard to see the link? Consider if C, R or even J are actually individually functor of x through the two observation functions f(x), g(x), such as in situations of automated intelligent machines, perhaps trained using machine learning technology.

Do these writings then have some more meaning?

What is the cost of injustice to society? Do we fear that we may lock up Einstein, Martin Luther King Jr., or Barack Obama? (That their R for some a are very large to the society?) what is the true cost of injustice? Perhaps it can be reduced to the legal costs and reparation costs due to a lawsuits from the aclu, naacp (what are some other litigious minority individual protection organizations?) what is the cost of injustice when government wrongly accuse, convict and imprison someone? Is wrongful deprivation of many important human rights: rights to privacy, for one, right of property for another, and right to pursuit of happiness for yet another; is the deprivation of an individual’s human right an insufferable injustice? What is the cost of injustice ?

What is the cost of R? What happens when a drunken driver, having been insufficiently rehabilitated, drives drunk and causes a major injury or death? What is the R of a flying bullet? Or leaked cypher keys? Or even some “minor” trade secret?

Personally, the best I can imagine is min(R)=max(J) the worst social injustice against a person is the greatest crime a person can commit.

Still Deus

Still reading Homo Deus. The Human condition is and IPS(information processing system) this is a vast and enlightened concept. Consider entropy of the human kind, etc. 

Another idea about regulation of technology from yesterday is that it can be controlled by licensing or encapsulation. Licensed individuals can drive cars, own guns, or fish(in this case for ecological reason not human safety), then the same can be applied to AI: you can run at most 5e9 node neural network for personal activity, any more it is unsafe.

Another idea is encapsulation. I.e. Only the military can use AI with more than 1e10 nodes. Only qualified organization, organization that go to extrodinary length to ensure safety, may use certain technology. This is how nuclear bomb and bazookas work right now, but probably also some gene therapy may be kept quiet and within walls of qualified organizations.

The problem with the latter is of course freedom and transparency. It will be lacking as it is today.

For enthusiasts and fans, this might be the best political party to support in order to advance technology for now…