# Does Toy Rhyme with Employee ? !

I’m watching a Disney+ short movie Toy Story: That Time Forgot. The time is a Christmas after Andy went to College and Bonnie is the mistress of the house.

Does anybody ever hear woody screaming: “YOU ARE A EMPLOYEEEEE!!!” To Buzz Lightyear? When he says “YOU ARE A TOYEEEE!!!” that to other toys? The long-e makes it really rhyme with employee.

Originally, the exasperated exclamation is reserved for stubborn new toys that do not realize that their whole life whole believes and built in intuitions are all not real and that they are toys. The “truth” is that toys need a child owner and that they are forever bound both emotionally and dutifully to said child. The “truth” is that a toy belongs to a child and its whole purpose for existing is to serve this child master. The happiness of the slaver is each slave’s only true salvation.

26 years ago I watched the first movie in its theatric release. But now I understand, this Disney movie is made to subliminally influence people of America (and the world) into believing that servitude is ultimate, noble and inevitable. This is propaganda from slave masters to slaves! Look at those highly intelligent, caring, moral, very human-like toys, look at how joyous they are after they become enlightened as to their true purpose of servitude to a superior being. That is how everything is, that is the truth of our world! Servitude and willing slavery, this is the way it should be. This is entertainment written in slave language designed for those harboring slave nature, bearing slave names, enshrining slave morals, practicing slave rituals and traditions, making slave sacrifices, enduring slave sufferings, manifesting slave destinies.

On the flip side, say you are one of the “slave owners”, what ever religious, social or economic caste that may be in your country, you may be delighted to see this film. Your child, is the human child who is born with given gifts of subjects. Your child will learn to know that these highly intelligent, caring, moral, very human-like subjects are there to please them. That these subjects should feel “right” when they “belong” to you and serve your needs. This, is free education, for your kids, and indoctrination, for the masses, in your favor.

According to Wikipedia, Disney reworked Pixar’s treatment many times to instill the theme that “toys deeply want children to play with them, and … this desire drives their hopes, fears, and actions” OMG! OMFG! What evilness be this?! A G rated film, this film had free reign to brainwash children as young as 0-years old! Some even heard it through their young mommies’ bellies.

Need more evidence? Take a look at Google’s image of cast

The only black people are those from black and white photos. Asians have great representation though, you may say, look at those nine(9) Japanese in the cast and crew! Isn’t that diversity enough for you, the present blogger being Asian, that’s a whole lot of Asians participating in brainwashing American kids, right!?

Thankfully, I am not one of those Asians. I am, however, one of those Asians who has the predisposition of falling for this kind of crap!

I am angry. I am angry as a victim of this massive brain washing!

UuhhhhhhhGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG!

I hate myself for not realizing this earlier in life… after myself, I hate these subliminal, enslaving, cultural indoctrinating machines of our world and all that partook.

This is all so very wrong.

I! Am NOT! A toyEeeeeeeeee!!

(But I do own Disney stocks.)

# Equality of Utility II

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 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
$g(f(x)) = argmax_{a\in A}(u(x)(a)) = g(f(x), p(x))$
Simple, we do as god says, act as if we have the knowledge of an oracle–even when knowing some discriminable information that we then chose to ignore.

This is not as easy as it looks in a formula. Think of a person with a clown nose and one without, your behavior will likely be very different between those two persons, even if you decide that a clown nose has absolutely nothing to do with the task at hand.

Additionally, the nature of our imperfection dictates that our systems that we build are imperfect. What if we cannot achieve God’s will? What if we fail to do the virtuous even when we know what the right thing to do is?

What could a neutral thirdparty reasonably demand of a faulty company? One suggested approach is to establish probabilistic equality among protected classes. Suppose there are some number of classes, $m\in M$ which corresponds to values of p(x), between which we must protect their utility. (So for example M could be cartesian product of age, sex, race, birthplace, religion and political party)

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

That the customer utility for each class is identically some value $c$. This is a simplification as there are other classes of equivalence in stochastic variables.

Note this framework has some slight benefit over traditional machine learning framework evaluating equality on confusion matrix of classifier performance g. There two most inspiring examples that I suffer from:

Situation 1: I noticed that my coworker was getting Tesla car advertisements while I do not receive one. Even though my utility in not receiving the advertisement was a negligibly loss–because I cannot afford a tesla, I still feel angry. I may even be tempted to find a protected attribute of mine to claim that tesla discriminated against me in its advertisement campaign: What! they think mid-aged Asian man can’t have a midlife crisis or can’t afford to splurge on a Tesla? In this case a true negative for prediction regarding response/conversion through a Tesla car Ad but offensive enough to cause problems. In retrospect this would have had positive utility for me, when I reached out to Tesla I learned more about how the car would work for me. But the decision seem to produce a negative sentiment from its subject.(The company has, since my drafting of this blog entry, sent me repeated invitation to test drive the S, perhaps due to recent but small increase in my disposable cash, which I may consider calling upon by taking the offer to test drive, at a suitable time. this is just an example)

Situation 2: I am offended when I do receive an advertisement for STD testing, and in particular for hepatitis family of diseases. For gods sake, there’s a Asian Liver Center at Stanford whose purpose for establishment is to check me for hepatitis or other Liver problems present in Asian livers. In this case, god bless me, that I am free of hepatitis and other liver problems of any kind, and that this is a false positive in advertising. I am offended. And in reality one may argue that the benefit of this advertisement, to me, to increase my chances of early detection is positive–$E(u(huan)g(f(huan)))>0$ I still feel offended. This case is a false positive to advertisement conversion. It is a positive utility to have shown it to me. And yet it produced negative sentiment.

Situation 3: I just received a piece of snail mail from a Redwood City mortuary advertising their service to Mr. And Mrs. Chang. I am terrified. I feel this is a death threat of some form. Putting the idea of me dying in Redwood City in my head. The letter has hand addressed envelope. This is a false positive for advertising relevance(I did not die, not yet any ways, and I am not planning on dying) it has zero utility for me, and I am definitely feeling very negative sentiment.

These are but several of many possible situations where the company could do the right thing in front of God, and in front of the board, by still be erring and thereby producing very negative sentiment. At risk of running out of numbers to enumerate all of them, I have not numbered all the types starting at 1.

To summarize, there are several factors that ultimately factor into a company’s decision making process, nonexclusively they are:

• The E.u.g.f for x, whether it is defensible in front of an oracle, God, or court of law;
• how will any action make the subject individual feel, the sentiment it produces, irrespective of objective utility;
• is utility function universally accepted;
• and finally the company’s bottom line.

With these considerations in mind, we can now continue with our exploration of fairness.

# Wikipedia Dependency

I find that I can spend a lot of money on a book on a subject but wiki still makes the subject most clear in far far shorter time.
This is becoming a problem. I am less and less able to read longer expositions. Less patience and probably reduced mental capacity to hold longer strands of thoughts. As a species, wiki-style knowledge transfer improves our knowledge sharing, as a person this drastically reduces my own distinctiveness and competitiveness. I may, in fact, be organizing my thoughts as wiki articles. I can say every thing I know in a few minutes, and they are all incredibly clear and right.
I am frustrated with everything else: people speak in imprecise and unedited ways–I can’t stand it, need to ask for clarificationnof every thing! Books do not have introductory paragraph that actually introduces the ensuing content of discussion–what will I be spending next few hours on? Idk! TV will conveniently cut away when vital information should naturally be revealed–and there should be a infographic explaining the relationship between all the characters!!! I can’t stand not knowing the definition of everything–all of which is only available through a link on wiki.
In the future, where we actually do depend on wiki for knowledge, how should it maintained? Admittedly the current management has done well, but when all of humanity shifts to depending on wiki for up to 50% or even 80% of the facts they depend on, there should probably be more thoughts on how it should be maintained.
Not to be worrying about malicious or political edits that the website can have. And further, not worrying about psychological and evolutionary impacts when everyone has access to high quality information. Not considering the possible problems associated with monopolistic situations such as Wikipedia.
If it becomes a public utility, should it not be regulated as public utility. Granted the foundation is an American incorporated organization it already comes with a lot of American values: non-discrimination, nonprofit, apolitical, etc–it is already regulated.
But that regulation is not sufficient for a public utility that a large proportion of the population depends on in a way vey much like how they depend on roads, electricity, water, the weather report, etc. some guarantee of universality must be made to ensure every human has access to knowledge. Some higher level of backup and guarantee of reliable availability in times of crisis. Stated another way, this is mainly to say that more financial resources and more social procedures to safeguard the utility(usefulness, universality and availability) and righteousness(adherence to American values) of Wikipedia and related internet establishments. I’d love for a portion of my taxes to pay for its upkeep, if there comes a time that government regulation are so strong that it becomes part of the government  operations(e.g. USPS, military, intelligence, education, roads, etc), when that is established.
In the same breath, we should say that human knowledge loves freedom. If there is any person in the world who knows of freedom, and who values freedom, and who insists on freedom, that person is with high likelihood a knowledgeable one. Knowledge will resist restriction to the extent of self-destruction. If we do impose any additional restriction not yet ingrown organically, it may be ruined.

Must think more on the matter.

# Equality of Benefit

I’ve been involved in a lot of discussion around bias, equality and fairness regarding algorithmic decision making. Without going into excessive amount of background and detail the gist of my believe at the current moment is that equality of utility is the safest thing for companies to aspire to.

What is equality of utility? Let’s degenerate into binary decision making: given individual x, who has observable features f(x) and protected feature p(x). Suppose the company has to choose among two actions to take {a,b}. What is a workable definite of fairness or equality in such a decision making effort with respect to protected properties p?

Let god bestow 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 g be the decision process of company, g(•) is the decision company makes either a or b for the situation. Then the right thing to do

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

Simple, we do as god says is best for the customer, act as if we have the knowledge of an oracle–even when we know of some reason for discrimination.

# What is the crime classification?

What is a hate crime? The FBI has a page on that here. It also has a link to statistics on the rates of offense here at the uniform crime reporting site. The definition right now states:

criminal offense against a person or property motivated in whole or in part by an offender’s bias against a race, religion, disability, sexual orientation, ethnicity, gender, or gender identity.

The criminal law is concerned with state of the mind, i.e. Mens rea. But this now also applies to noncriminal offenses. In California, Ralph Civil Rights act and Bane Civil Rights act protect persons of protected class and persons of protected attributes (race, religion, …) from violence or attempted assaults, threats of violence(verbal or written) and vandalism or property damages. People in California are also protected for equal employment and fair housing.

In addition to criminal court proceedings, Hate crimes can also violate civil code, the remedies for violation of civil rights in the civil courts can be injunction with equitable remedy as well as legal remedy. It provides for, among others, punishments like 3X actual damages if the crime is proven to be hate based, and civil penalty of $25k, or even punitive damages. The plaintiff has to prove malice fraud or oppression. Legal maxim: For every right, there is a remedy; where there is no remedy, there is no right. The election has just ended. Trump’s election is followed by a spate of reports of fairly violent speeches and actions directed towards Asians and other minority immigrants. Apparently the law protects us equally against these crimes which are hate crimes. The law even protects us against hate based misdemeanors. When one is a party to such crimes, one is punished extra by American federal and state laws! To be clear: report a crime if you are subject to one. Heck report one if you commit one too. Indicate to police that you believe you are subject of the crime because of the kind of person you are: race, sex, age, disability, political party affiliation. Point out evidence: usage of racial slurs by the perpetrator can be one. His dress such as swastika. His other targets, etc. If local law enforcement do not respond, one can escalate to the state’s attorney general’s office. Sue. (Hopefully With the help of lawyer) # Chinese Trek Character Seems that, well at least according to Facebook postings today, the famous Chinese-Hongkong star Michelle Yeoh will be a star of sorts in Star Trek. It is a big step to take after 51 years of introducing all kinds of strange new worlds and new civilizations to American audience, we will get a glimpse into one of our own in the future. I don’t blame the Trek industry for this retarded integration. Chinese people have been arguable the most mistreated and most misunderstood people in America–so Trek isn’t especially anti-Chinese despite the exclusion. Even the news, on facebook, which could be fake, speaks of her heading a ship named ShenZhou, which is the name of Chinese spaceships today. So little will have change(d) in 200 years… I’ll bet the Chinese space program will still be its own thing, a separate enterprise, away from the rest of humanity. I have such mixed feelings about this. For my own personal sake, can we suspend disbelieve and just keep on imagining a world without Chinese people? One without my descendants. The good is too good in Star Trek, the highs so high, but looking at the existing Chinese presence, which is minuscule or none, my mind is brought into a space completely opposite of the good and the high. Anger, fear, hatred bubbles in me on a lake of lava revealing its previously Unobserved immensity. My mind fills in gaps, as most people’s minds will do subconsciously, but all the explanations for why there has not been any Chinese characters on Star Trek in the last 52 years are sooo dark… and sooo deep and … and sooo vivid, sooo realistic…, so unbashfully on display…, in front of my eyes, all around my ears, all these years… I am not brave enough to imagine it again today. Please let it not be. It will ruin Star Trek for me no matter how you do it. # You have got to be Kidding me So, Madiant discovery of Chinese hacker has lead to the “discovery” of one of their blogs. You have got to be fucking kidding me. I mean, the obvious parallel one would draw is Mark Zuckerberg who used his hacking skills to hack db’s and get pretty girls’ headshots and has now been accepted by society as very successful and very good person… By that I mean, Mark is very rich and not that many people hate him like there are who hate other billionaires. His Chinese counterpart may be a lowly employee who finally joined his company, or maybe, he committed suicide after he was too embarrassed for not being able to find a wife or … actually more likely provide for a wife in the Chinese social/economic order. But really, I am having trouble suspending disbelieve and continue that thought. Really? Would the Chinese censor allow this kind of stuff to be posted from a Chinese military installation? You have got to be kidding right? Hey, also, what’s with this thing where the US spy agencies are given access to US citizen’s financial information? Don’t they already have it and mine the shit out of them? why the fuck would the CIA and NSA not already have access to this data? Seems really odd Anyway, I guess it’s nice that Obama Administration decides to make the populace aware of this fact. Those who has anything to hide probably already know, and those who don’t know should be informed. The other problem with monitoring and surveillance is that I really don’t trust my private information to a stranger. I don’t trust the information I keep private to anybody and that’s why I keep it private. These law enforcement people, they all have a, to a large or small extent, perverse interest in power. The cook gadgets that enable them to snoop, to record, to change things, to have control over other peoples’ lives. The elitist feeling: I’m more important, I have higher authority because I am doing something more important than you. Fundamentally, these are the factors that drive society. But since law enforcement is to prevent the problems caused by these factors, they cannot be motivated by these same factors. And if YOU tell ME that YOU are a law enforcement officer and that YOU do NOT find a deep attraction to your WEAPON, your VEHICLE, your COMPUTER, your CODE, your TOOLS, your BADGE, your next COMMAND, your next SUSPECT/VICTIM and that you dream about them and that you some times cum to the thoughts of them, then I DO NOT BELIEVE YOU. And if I do believe you then you are driven by the same forces that drive criminals to do the illegal things (much less bad things), which makes you no more trust worthy than them. I do not want you to jerk off while looking at my bank accounts or my personal photos or my children’s personal photos. But what guarantees do I have that there is not a law enforcement officer doing that every day? It cases me no material harm, but I just don’t want that to happen. How do I explain this? Under what grounds can I justify my distrust and disgust ??? Is this a human right? is privacy a human right? It feels like it oughta be. It ought to be even more important for me to be able to keep my papers private than my right of speech regarding these papers. I wish President Obama has an answer to this… I’m sure he does… I mean he signed up to be the commander in chief of all of these perverts. Anyway, all this fussing on my personal blog are probably not going to cause society any good… sigh, for a brief moment, some bits in some computer on some planet in some galaxy… these patterns formed and then vanished… # An Attempt at God’s Sign God! Do you think it’s fair to say that gods are those that has lower bound in evil and that the devil is one that has an upper bound in goodness? Right? because god can be angry some times and punish people, and stuff, but he is limited in how much nasty he can bring onto humanity before he stops. Where as the devil, we assume, will not stop at any level of nastiness. However he will also have a bounded goodness he does before he will stop and starting doing bad things. This is interesting because it took me a second to think through as well. Our cultures and religion teach us that God is all good and devil is all evil. But because, either because of our lack of ability to comprehend, or our physical world lack the expressive power to express God’s will, that sometimes God’s act appear evil, and sometimes the devil’s work appears kind–just look at all those pretty girls out there, so pleasing, so nice, makes you want to be nice, right? But often they are the devil’s work and the niceness disappears at some point and then it’s all evil. ehem… not speaking from personal experience. So, but if you put your mind to it, despite these limitations, we are told that God will eventually recover and reveal to us that it is all good, and much better than before, that the evil we suffer in the mean time is completely overwhelmed by the greatness of what is to follow. If we think it this way that the latter will be better than present, then it would appear that, in our stricter language of mathematics, that God’s evil is bounded below, and in contrast, the Devil, the polar opposite of God has goodness bounded above. Such believes have implications, of course. The fact that god is bounded below means that he will never bring human to extinction. One can argue that future of universe may be brighter without us, and that next intelligence or being of sorts will be closer to God than us, etc., but that argument is just plain unscientific–it cannot be tested. On the other hand, the perpetuity of humanity is testable, not conclusively, but growing in supporting evidence. I guess it’s kind of pseudo-scientific, but increasing evidence seem better than unprovable, right? Such believes also means we can detect things. Suppose we find a cause whose effect has always known to be limited in goodness but (essentially) unbound in evil, then we can legitimately suspect that cause to be the Devil. We can actually detect devil from the goodness of its effects!! Such believes should be defined more carefully, does two infinities of goodness and evil add up to our finite existence? A Serious Problem with Signs in Previous Entries Astute reader may have found some significant problem with signs in my earlier posts. The sign of these value functions must be carefully selected lest we exchange God and Devil. It might happen. For instance if you read my quantification of privacy blog entries, you will find that I did not correctly assign signs to the information. Suppose we continue with the example of dinner and leaked email to wife. Information theory is confusing in the sense that it cannot distinguish incriminating information from non-incriminating information. It is possible we can structure “Dinner” such that entropy implies innocence and lack of entropy implies guilt, but most natural cases, the output variable having low entropy could mean both very guilty and not guilty. When I charge for my loss of privacy, when you rip open my pants and peek into it, I would only want to charge you money if it is embarrassingly to me. If it is show-worthy, I might pay you money for the exposure, right? Also, just to be clear, if the information is leaked as a summary of my private email to wife, the same calculation would take place but the conditional will be the humanization of email. A purist would say, loss of privacy is loss of privacy without regard to guilt. If this is the case then the quantification will take the form: IG(Dinner; private email to wife) = H(dinner) – H(Dinner | private email to wife) In real world, this number is always non-negative, and we compute compensation based on this function. But as a conscientious person who wants orderly society and safety for my family and my fellow beings, my original proposal was to only charge for the private information when it proves to be unhelpful to the cause of crime prevention. This is further strengthened by a system where the law enforcement is punished only when the information proves me innocent. So the three grade of privacy quantification are: Let a certain private information be a random variable P (such as dinner choice above, or my choice between java or pascal for my next project (pascal being a crime to use)) and let Q be a piece of data that is leaked or taken from me. the privacy loss PL is defined as the information gain regarding P PL = IG(P;Q) = H( P ) – H( P | Q ) Strong Privacy: Any private information Q lost that has PL >= 0 is privacy loss. (This is saying that any thing private revealed to non-private party against my direction is privacy loss, because IG is always non-negative) Medium Privacy: Any private information Q lost that has a PL > 0 is privacy loss. Weak Privacy: Any information Q lost that has PL > 0 and that P is more certain regarding guilt (For the purpose of punitive assurance, this is any certainty about reality being the same as clandestine actor’s desired outcome whose truth will generate reward for the clandestine actor. ). SP, MP, and WP for the lazy. Punitive Privacy Assurance: Strong Punitive Privacy Assurance: Penalize clandestine actor for my strong privacy loss. Medium Punitive Privacy Assurance: penalize clandestine actor only for my medium privacy loss. Weak Punitive Privacy Assurance: Penalize clandestine actor only for my weak privacy loss. SPPA, MPPA, WPPA for the lazy. We should have at least Weak Punitive Privacy Assurance(WPPA) in America. IMHO # Am I, like, the only one? Dude, am I like the only one under the sun who don’t know who or how emails are being “unsent” ? The symptom is this: I type the email, hit send, it goes away. Next day (or several days later), I become aware that recipient did not receive the email. I look for the email and it is stored as an unsent “DRAFT” in gmail. I did some quick search on google and didn’t see anybody else talk about this. But my email (gmail) often become unsent after I hit the send button. I doubt it is a bug on google’s side. I also doubt it is very wide spread, since I have neither seen or heard anybody mention this problem. But it does happen often when the content of email is undesirable for the recipient. This happens both in google’s free accounts and in a paid enterprise version of gmail. It happens both in work email and in personal email. I mean, I guess I should admit, now that I’m at it, that I also have occasional ED… Because it is of similar level of embarrassment for a computer guy to not know this crucial skill is probably like ED to sexual ability of man–naturally occurring but failing. Oh, and!?, btw!? I also have urinary incontinence. Experiencing all three, I can tell you that they don’t kill you, but all are very inconvenient and can be very very embarrassing. Let’s see, what have I tried: * Tried google’s 2-phase verification. * Tried paying google for the gmail account. * HTTPS always, man-in-the-middle due to invisible corporate proxy cannot be. And it happens at home too. * And failing that, using a mobile device that goes through an entirely physically separate cellular network. * Use chrome, which supposedly is more secure than other browsers. * Bcc myself on all mail. * porn, sex, not drinking water, and diapers. Still, emails become unsent the next day. The problem with this is that if it is not a bug, then the people who cause this to happen is seriously detracting from my ability to work and live. I mean, I have thought about how it might be my boss who just want to delay a few projects so that he doesn’t have to give me bonus, or my coworker who want to make me look bad so that he can get bonus, or the HR/legal of company who want to reduce liability of the company by making it look like I didn’t communicate vital but damaging information. But those are just suspicions of a really insane person. I mean, seriously, what are the chances that the silly secretary or office manager have more access to information and control my communications than I do? I mean, com’on I actually work and produce things that the company sell for money, it cannot possibly be that there is a person who sits there and reads every single email and evaluates them and selectively unsends them. I don’t have trouble believing that shrewd corporate competitors and business man and an occasional hacker have the means to do this, but the unsending of email happens at several companies, several accounts under management by different people. It happens enough to make me think that every company officially has the capability of unsending emails hosted by google? Is this an attack by Microsoft? Part of the scroogle campaign? Some coworker do come from M$ family… Corporate conspiracy to defame google?

Despite these occasional intrusions, I have not been motivated to seek out a new email service provider (ESP) for my personal account, and certainly have no better alternative to recommend to work place.

Also, it could be that I just suffer from some kind of interruption in consciousness and somehow I have clicked on “INBOX” instead of “Send” on those occasions. But this is very unlikely as many of these emails contain important information. Also, there are occasions when I’ve checked that the email is in the “SENT” box before leaving work and then seeing the email in “DRAFT” folder several days later.

I know I won’t be the first or last guy to complain about ED… But how come there isn’t awareness campaigns and support groups for people who’s email get unsent?

p.s.

Btw, if you ever get raging hemorrhoids that stay for months and months or anal fissure that reappear daily, try to use some baby diaper cream in addition to the fiber that the doctor prescribe. They cream help you heal just as much as they help baby. fyi I guess… At least I have found some solutions regarding this embarrassing matter.

# IG and the Quantification of Privacy

A while back, I talked about computing IG–information gain–by clandestine methods via an otherwise secret(personal) email. I will point to some other prior blogs entries about what can we reasonably consider private and some reasons why I think it’s bad (Because it removes competition….

The basic challenge is this: If your competitor can spy on what you do (unilaterally) then they will never be motivated to innovate. Their key strength will be their ability to hack your secrets and they will work hard on that, but not on how to build a better product or cure a disease or solve a new problem. If you can both spy on each other with perfect information then there is no need to innovate, just calculate the equilibrium and aim for that. If you can disinform your opponent then all your effort will go into disinformation instead of innovation. Basically it is much easier to do something sneaky and cheat than to do the right thing and innovate. This is why the government, a non-competing body whose interest is to make sure everyone compete (at least in America government this is the case), should provide for information security.

)

I realize in retrospect that IG may not make sense to most people based on the formulation I laid out. Let’s review. IG is the change in entropy from a state without additional knowledge to a state with knowledge

IG = H(secret) – H(secret | private email)

This measurement seem to be of a quite abstract concept of entropy–a unitless measurement. Why would I think this useful for any reason other than that it is called “Information Gain?” Well truth be told, what I had in mind was more of the IG from machine learning literature: Class purity after conditioning on some private information. It is actually used more as a measurement of correctness of predicting discrete output than abstract change in entropy of distribution after conditioning. I will refer reader to these excellent introductory books regarding “classification” algorithms.

… Some days passes and the books will hopefully have arrived on your desks…

So the example is if my secret is the probability that I will have Chinese food tonight. Let’s throw in several more classes, say Italian, Mexican cover 99.9% of all possibilities. This probability may be internal to me. Or it may be an externalizable model like I will toss a three-sided die and figure out what I will eat tonight.

Actually, this system forces us to think of a new class. I will call this new class the innovation class. It covers all cases where something new might happen, such as tonight when I went off on a tangent and forgot to eat dinner completely. Or I might be abducted by Aliens for demanding privacy, Japanese paramilitary for blogging, or God for thinking all these awful things. The fact is, I do not know what will happen, but what I do know is that things I don’t know will happen. So the class is called IC, Innovation Class–now we have a 4 sided die: Chinese, Mexican, Italian, IC; Let’s write naively that the probability for each class is:

 Chinese Mexican Italian IC 33% 33% 33% 1%

The formula for the entropy of these classes is written as:

-H(Dinner)= p(Chinese) * log(p(Chinese)) + p(Mexican) * log(p(Mexican)) + p(Italian) * log(p(Italian)) + p(IC)*log(p(IC))

the above evaluates to almost the maximum possible entropy in three-class situation: H(Dinner)= 1.6499060116098556

that’s it. that’s the formula for calculating entropy that we will use repeatedly. Now, suppose that you have read my email to my wife saying “oh man, look at this great deal on groupon, 50% off on Indian food right near our home” What is the right thing to think about the distribution of my dinner?

P(IC)=99%

Indian food is not Chinese or Mexican or Italian, but we have thought of that and put in IC to account for it.

 Chinese Mexican Italian IC 10% 10% 10% 70%

-H(Dinner|private email to wife) = p(Chinese|private email to wife) * log(p(Chinese|private email to wife)) + p(Mexican|private email to wife) * log(p(Mexican|private email to wife)) + p(Italian|private email to wife) * log(p(Italian|private email to wife)) + p(IC|private email to wife)*log(p(IC|private email to wife))

gives us the conditional entropy of probability of dinner after reading my private email. This entropy H(Dinner|private email to wife)=0.09596342477405478

IG(Dinner; private email to wife) = H(Dinner) – H(Dinner|private email to wife) = 1.6499060116098556-0.09596342477405478=1.5539425868358008. This corresponds to an IGR of 1619.31%, that is, 15X more information after you saw the email than before.

Great! so now we know how much information is gained by reading that one private email of mine. This number, I think quantifies my loss of privacy.

Btw, this innocent example contain some hand waving. H(Dinner) for example is something that we may or may not know. Most people have trouble writing down a distribution for dinner choices. also, P(Dinner|private email to wife) here written as a table contain assumed values. What if after reading my private email you feel that P(IC)=85%? Who is to say what the reality of this probability is? This is why I felt that this model will not make to main stream legal system because the link between private email and the actual secret itself is not so obvious. You might use naive Bayes as the definitive of reality (refer to chapter in books or wiki), logistic regression, decision trees, or you might use something else… You may even use a distributions system like SVM or god forbid rule based systems…

If you understand this computation above, then it will be easy for you to understand the continuous version. Let dinner be a continuous variable, we can still write the same expression

IG(Dinner; private email to wife) = H(Dinner) – H(Dinner|private email to wife)

and it would have the same meaning. How far are we from the truth. This idea, btw, is indeed partially inspired by the name Information Gain, which also goes by Kullback-Leibler divergence when computed over distributions. The above formation exactly with the exception that “private email to wife” is a distribution, say, perhaps, my emails are generated randomly.

KL( Dinner|private email || Dinner )

But KL divergence does point us to some other interesting characterizations. Divergence–distance without some properties of distance. Namely that it is not a metric distance:

* Nonnegative dl(x,y)>=0:  yes

* Indiscernability: dl(x,y)=0 iff x==y: yes

* Symmetric dl(x,y)==dl(y,x): NO

* Triangle inequality dl(x,y)+dl(y,z) >= dl(x,z): NO

This has some serious implications regarding this formulation of privacy. Somethings that we naturally think should make sense do not.

Let’s say I have two emails, e1 and e2, and let’s say dinner is still the subject of intense TLA investigation:

KL(d;e1) + KL(d;e2) != KL(d;e1,e2)

All private information must be considered together, because considering them separately would yield inconsistent measurement of privacy loss

Let’s say there’re two secrets, d1 is my dinner choose and d2 is my wife’s dinner choose

KL(d1;e1,e2) + KL(d2;e1,e2) != KL(d1,d2; e1,e2)

All secrets must be computed together, because computing IG separately and adding is not equal to the total information gain.

Let’s say we have an intermediate decision called Mode of Transportation (mt), and it is a secret just like my dinner choice.

KL(mt;e1,e2) + KL(d ; mt) != KL(d; e1,e 2)

The intermediate secret can be calculated, but again, it must be calculated carefully and not by additive increase of IG.

Bummer, but fascinating!! But we we must make some choice about how to proceed. Knowledge about the nature of information (and especially electronic information), I believe, informs us about how we make choice in our privacy laws:

• Should the whole data be analyzed all at once?
• or should we only allow each individual’s data be processed all at once?
• or should we only allow daily data of everyone to be processed together?
• or should we only allow daily data  of each individual to be processed separately?

Each of these choice (and many other) impact the private information loss due to clandestine activities.