Activities of a Clandestine Nature (4 of…

Recently I heard a really great argument against clandestine activities: It perpetuates the practice, the habits, the policies, and the systems that facilitate clandestine activities. Being something that we don’t want, systematic clandestine activities should be pointed out, certainly be strictly live-audited by unbiased third parties.

Why is clandestine activities bad? The truth of the matter is that knowledge begotten of clandestine activities are inherently out of context and incomplete information. Why spy on my computer, when you can walk up to me and ask? When you take a small slice of what happens, you will surely miss the whole as the whole is not represented by some of the things that you are able to see as a clandestine agent.

Previously suggested problem that those taking part in clandestine activities will as all things in nature fall into the path of least resistance. Some day, we will just water board every person we suspect, I mean why not? I’m sure there’s a email I sent once that says “I hate you” or “I’m gonna kill you” or “I hope you die”. And my constant opposition of clandestine activities is surely sign that I plan something and desire that no one sees it.

What is the difference between these series acts: passing a secret law that permits some person unknown to me at a time unknown to me read my emails, gather all my past school and employment records, find copies of all emails I’ve ever sent by USPS, and analyze all information about all my past employment and my family and friends, and these second series of acts: passing a secret law that permits some person unknown to me at a time unknown to me knock me out (perhaps it’s already happening in my sleep ? or even on flights, god knows how often I fall asleep quite inexplicably moments before push off, with two air jets blowing cold air at me and two reading lights shining down! and only to come to quite suddenly for no reason), and torture me and get that information?

Well, you say, there is collateral damage, you feel pain when you are tortured but you do not feel pain when your email is being scanned. This ought to be the most humane way of getting the information from you. Why are you not on your knees thanking all the people who’s hard work went into making it so that you don’t have to be water boarded? (rightfully or not)

Aha, thank you President Obama! The constitution should save us… Let’s see, according to wiki it implicitly presumes innocent for US citizens until proven guilty, but it provides wide leeway for authorities to investigate when suspicion is arouse.

We cannot pursue it through cruel and unusual punishments(8th amendment) as reading my email can hardly be construed as cruel and unusual… even in my interpretation. Although I can imagine some feel it is cruel.

It appears in the Fourth Amendment against unreasonable search and seizure:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

It also fall under Fifth Amendment of due process:

No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

There needs to be a Grand Jury of my peers selected uniformly at random who when presented with evidence agree to the search and seizure of my information. I should not be deprived of my liberty and (privacy) property without due process of law. And of course the Ninth Amendment says that we may have rights beyond those listed

The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

I should cover my behind and say, you guys in law enforcement are doing a heck of a job, which is much appreciated by present author. And I really hate all those other people who invade my privacy. It’s just that I might have a small chance by conventional means (law suite, legal protests, policies, etc.) of changing those things you do that I don’t like, and I do not have methods to affect those others.

Everyone who do participate in clandestine activities all feel absolute righteousness as they proceed in invasion of privacy that I do not want them to. Their feeling and their intention absolutely annoys me in addition to their act of invasion. Perhaps we should define invasion of privacy more formally so that these feelings regarding their feelings are processed rationally. If they can define information theoretic brain death, why can we not define more precisely what invasion of privacy is? What is personal privacy beyond those facts(bits, characters, words, sentences…) whose association with me is information that may cause me harm? regardless of harm, can we take the entropy of those bits and say that is the quantity of privacy lost? Actually, we should take information gain from a representative population and that is the information I lose–those that you gain. The privacy loss as defined (the negative of your information gain by reading my email from knowledge of all emails) actually only qualifies the privacy. It actually does not quantify it sufficiently.

Sadly, this very truthful and fundamental definition takes us a short ways. If you were an English major trying to find new phrasing of something, or if you are a VC looking for new cute company names, this will definitely find information detrimental to those trying to keep it private. But if I am someone plotting next Taliban attack, or someone discussing 21st century is a Marxist century, then the naive information loss does not help as much as you would like it to (Certainly my email would give away less information under this definition than inc) If everyone writes emails using words representing their true meaning equally and every one has same amount of total information(private+public) associated with them then reading your email and reading my email decreases our privacy equally. So we have parameters I_pr for private information, I_pu for public information.

We should compute using baye’s rule to compute

P(I_pr|my emails, others’ emails, I_pu) = P(my emails | I_pr,I_pu, others’ emails)*P(I_pr,I_pu, others’ emails)/P(my emails, others’ emails, I_pu)


P(my emails|Others’ emails, I_pu)

and we can then calculate the information

IG(I_pr; my emails|others’ emails, I_pu)

based on these distributions, pending specification of relevant linking functions or mechanisms. But the problem with this much more convincing information gain is that you will never convince anyone that the link functions is representative of you. Too complicated for constitutional purposes for sure, and the courts will surely not be empathetic enough to follow the math… Maybe next century when everyone’s played with IG and done some modeling in grammar school.

For another example the number $54,102,299.14 and the number $14,541,022.99 relieves me of the same character-wise entropy privacy, however are quantitatively different. We need to rely on some oracle magic. Suppose there is a most concise way to describe the entirety of my privacy, say H containing a series of bits an oracle produced. Your knowledge of H would be your complete knowledge about me. erg, we should have a vocabulary of engrams, minimal cognitive elements… H is a series of engrams that is the complete knowledge about me–it’s finiteness is not specified. Let’s also suppose that my emails (the thing that you use to access my privacy) is encoded by the same oracle using the same engram language producing E the complete knowledge about my emails. |H| is the theoretic maximum privacy I can lose, H*E is the information that I actually lost (inner product like operation for vector space, TBD for strings, perhaps LCS for a special oracle). It remains only to calculate distance(such as edit_distance(H,E) for strings and euclidian_distance(H,E) for euclidian spaces) which is disinformation you gained by reading my email. H*E/|H| is the ratio of my privacy lost, H*E/|E| is the truthfulness of my emails.

It remains to be seen how to find an oracle, the definition of the engram language, operations over it, campaign to enact law to monitor and compensate us for the privacy lost, etc. However, I am really really wishing that all these clandestine activities are like zits in the face of growing humanity reaching adulthood and will blow away as our vitalities settle into their respective places.

Thorough disgrace


So… this weibo thing, is being referred to as the Chinese Twitter. I thought Weibo, 微博, were the two Chinese characters for the word microblog, which was concept originated in Korea? Kinda sad that it had to be imported from Korea, and then even sadder that American media try to claim credit for being the one being imitated… I wonder if this is a hint about twitter IPO or something?



So about that car thing I discussed several posts back. Why is it so painful that American car maker is being defeated by the Japanese car maker? Take a quick look at these two stats: 


Life expectancy in 2010 (



Average Combined Life Expectency

Rank Among all Nations








4.76 = 6.1% of an Amercan’s life

39 places = not even close



Homocide rate per mm capita in 2009 (, UNODC



Percent per Million Person

Raw Count








4.96% of population

30.43 times as many


So what does this illustrate? Well, I wouldn’t want to be the one to go public about the relationship between money and life expectancy and education and crime prevention, but it looks like the Japanese has governance figured out. I mean look at their lives, it’s longer, and most likely happier. The homicide, btw, is premeditated murder. There are a whole 4.96% of US population that thought about, planned, and then executed a murder that their Japanese counter part did not do.


Again, I don’t want to suggest that money had anything to do with it. And I don’t want to suggest that I am envious of a country where people live happy and long lives. But let’s take our chin back to where it belong and think hard about our own country. Here, we labor our people to their graves driving Japanese cars that we pay for. The money when it leaves my hands ends up in a Japanese company’s hands and it goes to pay taxes to Japan, it also pays salary of many Japanese nationals in America and of course in Japan. That money is then spent towards health and happiness and keeping one’s self away from killing somebody.


The country is blindly handing money to foreigners that gives them much much higher quality of life than us. I don’t care how you add the numbers up, or average, or median, or total, or percentage, In most ways we can measure those people live better lives than us, and the union of those better lives is a society, and again, I hate to suggest that that is better than this, but the whole is usually greater than the sum in society.


I am not suggesting that we all start hating Japanese people, the country, and anything that says “made in Japan”. But for god’s sake, can somebody just for once choose an American car? Or any other car. Why feed a pampered fat person more when the human are starving over here?


Okay okay, I hear the sudden uproar of “this is capitalism”. Fine, it is, but we are people. We are intelligent thinking beings. Let’s think about this. I hand money to a Japanese car maker, he gives it to Japanese government, and he pays a japanese person, and the Japanese live long happy lives without much crime. For the most part, the buyers are probably left working to pay off a debt (aka “Car Loans”). I struggle and I stress and I become disgruntled and ill from working to pay off a debt. It is a vicious cycle our dearly beloved capitalism has entrapped us with. There is no way out, in 5 years, the current car will be too old too inefficient to worth driving, I’ll have to go into debt and buy another car and do the same thing again. I am essentially borrowing money to make a Japanese person’s life better when I buy a Japanese car. And then I work to pay off that debt in a life that is not as good as that japanese who sold me the car.


But wait, let me say this one more time. just to be sure I got it right. I borrow money from financial agency run by the Japanese car maker, I put that borrowed money in a Japanese car company to get a car from them so I can drive to work with it to pay the interest to the Japanese company who loaned me the money and the debt. The Japanese takes that money and spends it on their country improving peoples’ lives and their people end up happier and living much longer than me. And I can see no change, next car, something will happen.


… ugh I want to say that again. What am I missing here? If I say it one more time, will it sound like it’s the way things are supposed to be? 


Wait, wait, let me write something to blame the American banks being irresponsible and I can write about how repressive it is in China with that Great Chinese Firewall, then I’ll feel better about my predicament as I drive home in my Japanese car.


And Your Dad Doesn’t Rock N’ Roll

Sigh… My child is attending physical exercise class at a local My Gym… When things were winding down, the instructor put on some old groovy music and just kind of danced a bit… By means of neuronal spreading activation a song came into my head

Your mama don’t dance

And your daddy don’t rock and roll

Your mama don’t dance

And your daddy don’t rock and roll

When evening comes around

And it’s time to go to town

Where do you go

To rock and roll

Well, the old folks say

That ya gotta end your date by ten

If you’re out on a date

And you bring it home late it’s a sin

You know there’s no excusin’

You know you’re gonna lose and never win

I’ll play it again

And it’s all because

Your mama don’t dance

And your daddy don’t rock and roll

Your mama don’t dance

And your daddy don’t rock and roll

When evening comes around

And it’s time to go to town

Where do you go

To rock and roll

You pull into a drive-in

And find a place to park

You hop into the backseat

Where you know it’s nice and dark

You’re just about to move in,

Thinkin’ it’s a breeze

There’s a light in your eyes

And then a guy says

“Out of the car, Longhair”

“Louise, you’re comin’ with me

And no more movies”

And it’s all because

Your mama don’t dance

And your daddy don’t rock and roll

Your mama don’t dance

And your daddy don’t rock and roll

When evening comes around

And it’s time to go to town

Where do you go

To rock and roll

Where do you go

To rock and roll

Where do you go

To rock and roll

My children, this is true in your case. yor mama does not dance and your dad didn’t rock and roll–literally. But its not too late for you. you can still learn to rock the world over.

(after some moments of reflection on the lyrics)

Ohh, I see so dancing, including rock and roll, is used to talk about pre-adulthood intimacy during a date.

ugh, my children, hopefully you are more literate than your dad as well.

wow, I did not know music lyrics can be so rich in using symbolism. ahh, and perhaps you can tell me if it is properly classified as an application of symbolism,… or is it using dancing as an allegory for youthful reproductive activity,… or is it an analogy between dance and coital venue. is it a tragedy-the bewailing betrays a tragic loss? is it irony–how you come to have these problems if your mama and dada didn’t dance? metaphore–life is a dance, find the right partner(who dances with you) ?

lets see… maybe in a decade?

At the limit of our rights

Came home from the 2016 Bay Area Deep Learning School.

It occurred to me that Andrew Ng points out an interesting problem: on his team, they have trouble far exceeding human performance using machine learning technology. He hypothesizes that it is because people are really good at these tasks: near Bayes error performance. One could also argue that it may be that people trying to do something better than people can is foundamentally futile as human intelligence is ultimately limiting the outcome of that effort. But lastly, I reality , one wonders if there is an existential problem. When human tries to do something “better” than itself, it, the human, doesn’t know what’s better. Does there really exist a task that we can rationally define that exceeds ourself? Can we be objective in that case? Can we exceed our own objectivity? Is the human system capable of doing this? The question seems valid because we’ve certainly seen artificial computing system having provablely bounded cognition and rationality. It stands to suspicion that we have limits on our understanding of rationality and objectivity.

The optimist would say yes. Human have exceeded its own objectivity in the past. We’ve learned to be more rational and more objective as we have come to understand our world better. As we learned to reason better, we have become more rational and more objective in qualitatively different ways–in more dimensions, than human once ever thought–we thought more.

But this time, with artificial intelligence, that leap may be far more challenging than ever before.

Is intelligence a human right? Right of life, property and pursuit of happiness… Right of privacy, reproductive rights, religious rights, rights of speech, rights to politics. Do human founds mentally have a right to intelligence? Why ask this question?

Because it is possible to secretly and subtly limit human’s natural tendency and desire to learn and to self improve in his own intelligence. The state can systematically do so to maintain some control, for example, through brain washing propaganda. Search engine companies may return results differently for different population to keep relativeintelligence in the population at a status quo. The employer has rights to establish practices that keep employees unintelligent…

Does human have right of intelligence? Right to life seem to imply right to intelligence as intelligence, and the likes of growth, consumption, reproduction, are all attributes of life and therefore included as part of right to biological life. However it is not completely obvious that everyone agrees that this is a precious rights we need to spend serious energy and time protecting. 

I have a right to learn and exercise my intelligence. This should come at no cost more extraordinary than those required to sustain other aspects of life.