Friday, July 25, 2008

50:50 - Its not only a good idea - Its the law!

Sometimes I go stark raving mad, I make a realization based on rationalizations that seem good to start with but then go sorta muttles towards the end. Today I stumbled upon an idea and I can't quite grasp it well enough to do anything more with it.

Do you wish to go down the rabbit hole?

Today I was toying with a friend. I was offering to her the philosophical quandary I'm about to introduce some of you too. I love to make people exercise their brains. Some of you may have already heard of this, but I don't have a clear cut place to jump you to so just bear with it.
When you flip a penny 1000 times - ideally how often does it land on heads? The answer to this is simple: 500. 6th graders could easily answer that one. But now I ask you the one question they never asked me when I was in grade school why? Why does the penny land on either face 50% of the time? Many people will suggest "well see it has 2 faces so it must land on one or the other, it only has 2 choices." - some nay sayers will go so far to say it could land on an edge(if you are this guy, please leave now - yes you Scott) Landing on an edge is possible but rare enough it won't screw with my "lesson".

The real question I asked was why does it land at an equally distributed 50:50 - why not 60:40 or 70:30 - its true these distributions can happen. But with experimental evidence we see that the distribution approaches 50:50. This is a universal law. This is a property of the universe just as inexplicable as gravity is (we still don't truly understand it completely)
I feel I should define how and why it 'approaches'. By experiment if you flip a coin 10 times the distribution could be 40:60, and you flip it 100 times and the distribution is likely to get closer - say 45:55 and when you flip it 100000 times its likely to be 49.999:50.001 - but the point I need to make is that the more you flip the less the errors that are inherent in the penny and our experiment show up. Knowing this we can assume that the universe is wired to be at a perfect 50:50*

This means that at the most basic of levels, the universe must make perfect decisions as to 50:50 - but there is another problem with that.
Here is where I turn the the problem on its head. (pun intended)
What I suggest is that the penny experiment is in a closed system, the cumulative effect of this system is to equally distribute the choice of flips to 50:50 - but lets analyze this system more closely.

Lets scale this down. If we have a perfect universe devoid of everything, heck lets just isolate one piece of this universe. We only have one "minuscule universe constructor" or (MUCk) - we pose a number of choices to the MUCk and after 1000 choices we see it truly observes the 50:50 rule - well, this is really odd, what happens when we reduce it to 100 choices? Oh thats predictable we got 50 even, 50 odd - what about 10? Amazingly it came back with 5:5 .. well wait .. what about 2 choices - presenting the device with only 2 choices - we get 1:1 - a perfect 50:50 **

So wait, how did that work, I ran the test 10 times and got 0,0,0,1,0,1,0,1,1,1 - in that order, but when I ran it with 6 choices I got 1,1,1,0,0,0 - a perfect distribution. But I have an issue with this. I ran the test 10 times and it came out with 3 zeros to start with, let me do this again. No matter how many time I run the test - each time I run it the distribution is 50:50 OVER TIME .. yes thats right you heard me I'm suggesting that the universe knows the number of tests you will perform BEFORE you do them. You ran the test OVER time, a MUCk has no definable spacial size. Each test can be collected as fast as you want but you can ONLY run one test at a time. There are only two ways this can work each test result alters the future test results, or the universe knows the number of results you are going to ask for before the test is over with, or has even begun.

So lets scale this up. - yes I mean up, I mean BIG - immagine all of that MUCk filling up a volume of space. We call this MUCk the universe, the universe as a whole, as we discussed, is wired for this magical 50:50. All the choices made within the universe over time must be 50:50 - This suggests to me that the universe has a fixed number of possible choices over time and the results of those choices are equally distributed 50:50. The other possibility is the result of one test alters the results of the next - Either way this is predeterminism at the quantum level. I've yet had anyone describe any conditions that imply predeterminism at the quantum level? It appears random to us, but in the grand scheme of things is it truly determined?

So since I know I can't answer this, nor do I have the brain to qualify the idea any more, I beg of anyone who reads this to forward a link to their friend who may know of a physics or philosopher teachers or both (equally distributed of course!)

Or if you know what I'm missing, please pass me along to some information, this is good stuff. I'd love to get a good discourse explaining why I'm wrong, or that someone else has stumbled into this rabbit hole.

* Can I make this assumption - best I can tell 50:50 is the only provable distribution, other distributions fall off the bell curve in predictability? .. right?

**now I know that in our version of the game we can present it with 1 choice and possibly zero choices - and with 1 choice the distribution is 1:0 or 100% .. but 100% is still as close as it can get to 50% - and I'd like to not confuse the issue - so lets ignore that for now. - My honest feeling is that since the universe most likely cannot contain only one MUCk - and its unlikely only one choice can be made it might as well be greater than 0 and probably 1 and more than likely .. well you get the idea.

P.S. If this has been reiterated before, and I'm only just stumbling about the concept please point me into some documents that can help see more of what others saw with this as well.

Welcome to the bottom of the hole, I know things are different from this perspective but the stars look oh so welcoming now, don't they?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Who I am?

I am ...

prozac_g_o_d@ (I should note, that picture is not of me - its my friend as its the only video I uploaded)

I can't quite figure out why but I'm always in some existential crisis about who or what I am or about life or the rules that it entails. For some odd reason it dawned on me that I could define myself as the information I leave behind, and most of my information is on the web. Its odd but it felt good defining myself as these blobs of random information. But here I am, add me on IM if you feel like you need another friend who is on ALL THE TIME :P

Rick Roll the Presidency

I'm tired of picking the best of the evils - I'm just going to write in Rick Astley for president in 2008 - hey they did it for a football game, lets try a presidency.

I guarantee you we'll get more voter participation for the 18-25yr old sect.

"Rick Rolling 2008" - bumper stickers anyone?

Sunday, July 13, 2008

What is my Type?

When I was a child, I never knew what a social class was. I didn't care and it never bothered me that person X was was rich or poor, conceited or philanthropic. In retrospect, the truth is, I never considered it possible to determine these traits. The truth was simple to me, every child was clothed by their parents. Poor kids or kids with frugal parents wore the same hand me downs as myself. Who were these kids? Some were my friends and the other could be.

That's what I remember when I was a child, how I saw and interacted with people.

Then as we get older we are given choices, what to wear who to talk to how to act to people. Slowly but surely we start to gain an "aura". I've noticed this, and suspect others can do this as well. If you put all your friends in the same clothes, body and voice, then have them all call to you at the end of a football field, something about the way they do it will tell you who they are. To me, this is what an aura truly is.

The things we wear, do, and want, start to describe the kind of person we would like to be. Not the person we are, but who we'd like to be. Our choices start to mold our futures, our options and our minds.

Yes, your mind. Walking through the mall you see a man who is muscular, wears a "wife beater" and shorts. You think, I know his "type". In fact what you are thinking is: People who make specific choices like X, are likely to also make other choices like Y. Based upon this assumption, I either do or do not like choice Y, so I therefore will or will not like this person based on that system of choices.

You may not like this assessment, but I believe this to be true. Statistically speaking how often does a "goth" kid wear an entire "sufer" outfit? When was the last time you saw some Abercrombie & Fitch kid dress "Emo"? So... extrapolating that into what I'm saying is: It is statistically true and fair to asses people based on their choice of physical appearance.

I took me a long time to realize this and make choices about my appearance that attracts the types of friends I want. Because what is meant by the phrase: "I dont' like people of their type", is: "I don't like people that make that group of choices"

This is not that big of a leap of logic, we've all known this for some time. I just have to state it for purpose of argument.

I find myself as an adult. Only now in my life I feel awkward in social situations. With friends its different, you've watched them fall into their choices, and love them just the same. I have friends who's life choice is to work in assembly lines and wear wal-mart clothing. I have friends who have degrees in computer science and don't even pay attention to their more-than-out-of-date clothing. Or a few random people who think they have some style and raz others who seemingly don't.

And everyone of you out there right now reading this are all scratching their heads and saying "What? Who cares, this is all high scholl drama, I don't deal with that anymore". And you are likely correct in saying that as well.

But to me I seem to constantly try to determine what I want to advertise. I've never made a choice as to who I'd like to be, or what I'd like to represent. I change to often, most days I try to be average. That's my goal, to be familiar to the most people. I figure this will get me into a position to meet the most people, make the most new friends. All we want ourselves is to be familiar and to be surrounded by the familiar. I tend to find familiarity in most all people, I think we all do. But for some reason we only allow us to connect to that familiarity when we are children. Growing up means make judgments ignore people and be rude if they don't walk the walk.

Saturday morning, I went to Ragtag to watch the Saturday morning cartoons. During the breaks, the group of people next to me were having a conversation. In the dim light, I could not tell much about them, except they seemed "familiar" not that I knew them, but I knew their type, based on what was being said. I really like nice, smart and down to earth people. I started to strike up some conversation with them, speaking on par with what they wanted to talk about, nothing deep or political but it was a few short conversations. They seemed to be interested and not offended by my butting in, which I'm always afraid of.

During intermission I mentioned I was new to town and trying to meet some friends. Their response was typical thus far, "Well, Columbia is a friendly town, I'm sure you'll meet some people". Well as far as I could tell that what I was trying to do. You might as well add, "But not us, we're not interested" - He shoots, he misses end of game. I kinda ignored them after that.

The lights came on, and revealed ourselves for who we want the world to see us as. The girl next to me, Meredith, had this wonderfully crafted handbag, I could tell she had made it herself. I had noticed first a reused bicycle inner-tube that created the strap. I had to mention it, this was too coincidental, I've crafted lots of stuff, and figured we hat a point of similarity there. I was hoping to strike up real conversation.

But the light had revealed us, and to her I was part of the machine a consumerist. I was part of the evil empire that her unshaven armpits and natural cloth fibers must not mingle with.

See, I was wearing some random Abercrombie & Fitch "advert-shirt" and my ever so comfortable Union-Bay jeans with the pre-made holes. (I did laugh histerically when I bought them, I mean I just bought pants with holes, but they were so damned comfy)

I didn't look familiar enough for her to see past what I was wearing. So her ability to accept my comment was jaded. I was familiar in a way she doesn't like, she could only see what I chose to represent myself as for that day. What she didn't know was I recognized that she had made her naturally dyed hand woven hemp bag, with inner-tube strap, I recognized the work, skill and craft that went into it. From this I had a reliable pattern to recognize with some basic accuracy the kind of person she was. Or the group of choices she is likely to make which are : intelligent, hippie, activist - she would also deny up and down that any label truly defines her, BTW for clarification that choice is usually categorized as "independent" which is the master category for hippie, goth, and emo. But most all of us actually claim that one label won't describe us.

What I've always wanted is a common denominator, something that I can choose that advertises me to all, as a person who wants to represent that I am compatible with X, Y & Z. That I'm a hippie, prep, geek, goth, emo, philosopher and most of all just human. Just a human trying to connect with other humans in a world that is full of loneliness.

I suppose that I could try to represent human simply by wearing my birthday suit, but even I couldn't hang out with someone who was naked all the time, that would just be awkward.

If you liked this introspective rant, please comment, and also be sure to watch for my next post, its semi-related to this one.

P.S. - If you've never seen free hugs campaign video watch it!! Every time I start to feel kinda like existence is hopeless I watch that video and all is good again. I want to go the local mall and pull that off myself, but I'd need a partner in crime since I'm not that bold.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Boycott Viacom

I was wondering about a boycott as a plausible solution. I realize major corporations play a major roles in our lives. Boycotting large companies would be next to impossible. Next to that boycotting entertainment is going to be difficult for people to do. I did all the research and have a list of movies and other financial assets of Viacom one must boycott in order for a boycott to succeed.

(If you were interested in specifics because you want to actually boycott, you might skip to the bottom)

In order for a boycott to work, you have to hit hard, fast and last as long as it takes. The biggest problem for the individual is that a large company really is just to large. As one person you don't feel you can make a difference. Especially when you realize just how large of a beast someone like Viacom is.

A press release on there first quarter 2008 profits there are some interesting quotes:

..."Content creation is our central mission and our ongoing investments in programming are paying off as we see our television ratings continue to improve."...

..."Additionally, our Rock Band video game is continuing its successful tour and is emerging as a valuable long-term franchise. We expect to further that success with the upcoming release of Rock Band on the Wii home video game system and our launch in Europe."...

..."Media Networks revenues rose 16% to $2.02 billion, principally driven by strong sales of the music video game Rock Band."...

..."This news release contains both historical and forward-looking statements."..."Forward-looking statements reflect the Company's current expectations concerning future results, objectives, plans and goals, and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that are difficult to predict and which may cause actual results, performance or achievements to differ."..."These risks, uncertainties and other factors include"... "the public acceptance of and ratings for the Company's feature films, programs, digital services and other content"...

From that I'm sure you could gather that Rock Band is on my list of no-no's. Definitely feature films, the box office hit would be horrendous if we all chose to not go to those movies.

Rock Band may be a big shocker to many I'm sure, but are you a Hindu cow secure in your little world or do you want to drive a "steak" into the heart of your persecutors?

So onto the "big list"

Viacom's assets are (from wikipedia Viacom)
Film Production and Distribution
  • Viacom International
  • Paramount Pictures
  • DreamWorks
  • Republic Pictures
  • MTV Films
  • Nickelodeon Movies
  • Go Fish Pictures
Television Networks
  • Comedy Central
  • Logo
  • BET
  • Spike
  • TV Land
  • Nick at Nite
  • Nickelodeon
  • Noggin
  • The N
  • Nick Jr.
  • TEENick
  • MTV
  • VH1
  • MTV2
  • CMT
  • MHD
Television Production and Television Distribution
  • DreamWorks Television
Video Gaming
  • Xfire
  • Harmonix
  • GameTrailers
  • Neopets
Internet Sites
  • Screwattack
That list is ridiculous! The only things on that list worth fighting against directly are the film companies. Its to hard to actually depict lose in television viewers. But you'll end up missing a lot of possibly great films and when you dismantle it into currently marketable assets you find out just what you'll be missing.

What to boycott?
Okay so you want to know the list? Its long! (I only included films with upcoming release dates.)

Paramount Pictures

  • Tropic Thunder (Jul 11)
  • Eagle Eye (Aug 8)
  • Case 39 (Aug 22)
  • Nowhereland (Sep 26)
  • Ghost Town (Fall TBA)
  • Madagascar: The Crate Escape (Nov 7)
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (Nov 26)
  • Revolutionary Road (Dec 19)
  • Star Trek (Dec 25)
  • A Tale of Two Sisters (TBA)
Nickelodeon Movies
  • Chuckle Bears
  • Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging
Dreamworks Television
  • The United States of Tara
Computer Gaming/Software


  • Rock Band
  • Guitar Hero I - III
  • GameTrailers
  • NeoPets
  • ScrewAttack
What Viacom owns of Dreamworks is Dreamworks Television, from what I can tell that does not include Dreamworks animated films. Everything else that have is anecdotal, they seem to survive on licenses alone, which might make them and easy target.

The only thing I feel like I'm missing out on is Star Trek, being the geekI am. But this might be over by the time it comes out. I thought Tropic Thunder might be somewhat funny but, to me, that's not much of a loss. Everything else is in the wtf pile, as in I have no f'n idea about them.

So there you have it the Boycott of Viacom's assets all rolled up into a nice package, I doubt many will read this, but I plan on sticking to my guns, hell I might fire up my printer and leave this in coffee shops around town.

I know my blogging audience is small, so I need you're help to spread the word, if you are interested in a Viacom boycott then please send this off to like-minded people. If not, then leave flames and reasons why in the comments below I'd love to hear other sides to the story - the Viacom-breaches-privacy-and-I-Like-It camp.

One last note, I want everyone to focus on Tropic Thunder/Eagle Eye / Case 39. Those 3 movies are all releasing by the end of next month.

I would like to encourage alternative viewing exercises. Like piracy and hosting movie parties for pirated movies. But that's not something I should encourage so I'm not. No seriously I'm not! Stop thinking that I'm telling you to go to The Pirate Bay and download the torrents that are cam rips of Tropic Thunder, Eagle Eye, or Case 39 on their release dates. And whatever you do don't burn DVD's and leave them at your local coffee shop for patrons to take home. Doing this would be sincerely wrong, and I cannot be liable for your legal fees if you got in trouble doing that. So again I'd like to encourage such behaviour, but for legal reasons I'm not, so don't do it. You've been warned.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Judge Orders Youtube to Release Viewing History.

So, I'm really really tired in an age of modern privacy issues that this kinda of stuff gets released. thats all you need to read to get the gist, but if you want my take on it...

The thing is I know where these hard-drives go. I'm a software developer, and when something technical needs to get looked at they call me. Not the lawyers, not people interested in your personal privacy but a guy like me who would be more than happy to post it on The Pirate Bay.

Why would I breach such an egregious piece of the code of ethics for personal privacy? Because its a necessary evil.

No seriously I do believe posting the history of your browsing habits to be a horrible breach of privacy.

On Youtube, currently, all I have to lose is people finding out that I love to look at explosions and admire young cute Aussies (it's the accent, I can't help it! :D - that and Caitlin is a doll)

But why would you give that data out? Simple, the world needs to be pissed off at the companies that believe they need to record EVERY single thing you do in your life. We need a huge breach of privacy based on the failures of the legal system to encourage people to outrage. Yes you need to be slapped in the face.

Out of sight out of mind is the policy for everyone, and I'm so tired of it. I love Google to death, but I do not get any features from their service simple because of how much information they store on me. I also can't review deny or change that information. The one feature I've wanted for ages. I feel its my right to remove anything stored about me from any database, if I directly contributed to that database.

My computers aren't really personal I have one computer at home that no one is allowed to touch, its mine, the others (3 of em) are game for .. well gaming and browsing or whatever you want. I really don't feel that the browser history of those computers should belong to me. But since I do log into web services on those computers, and they are mine I tend to forget to log out. This incurs the storage of viewing history on my accounts that does not belong to me.

Imagine, if you will, that someone logs into your blog or myspace or whatever, and posts a entry under your name. You'd be pissed you'd be outraged, thats MY identity not yours. YOU can't post as ME!

Well, sorry to say this but people do it all the time, Inadvertently they post stuff to your account history that supposedly tells a story about you. Friends with Gonorrhoea looking for creams? Well now you must have it! It's under your account name isn't it? People looking for pornography involving Myrmecophaga tridactyla? Yeah, you did it buddy - don't lie its in your history! No we found that too "how to lie about search history and claim it isn't yours" was in your history as well. Maybe you'll think twice about not logging out of your computer after you

Imagine 2000 years from now digital archaeologists rebuilding your life. Yes he was into lots and lots of hentai. No really someone else must have search for that, yeah thats it, it was someone else I swear it!