Test Information Space

Journal of Tech, Testing and Trends


Posted by cadsmith on April 28, 2010


Projections for the realworld include some primary climate change scenarios (pdf), a series by Damon Vrabel looking at societal economic controls, and the growth of ecommerce in China. Inter-socnet streams may be easier using XAuth and activity can be visualized using OpenGraph and Postrank. Realtime animated video rendering software reportedly improves realism. 3D adds mobile, and hardcopy from IBM nano, Sculpteo, and D-Shape. Speakeasy measures bandwidth. There were about 53 bookmarks since previous post. Added Technology topic to wiki. Book reviews include:

The Logic of Scientific Discovery, Popper, 1959. This is a classic in the histories of philosophy and science. The author translated from German to English. Cosmology is the study of humanity’s place in the world. Growth of knowledge is significant. Scientific knowledge is key indicator. Logic, or the method of progress, is the topic. Universal theory is the goal. Finding universal problems is the approach. It is interesting to see the science and common sense of that time questioned, e.g. to surmise that theories are not verifiable, and that probability is not falsifiable. The author makes observations about Bernoulli, Bohr, Kant, Hume, Wittgenstein, Einstein and Heisenberg. The second English edition was published in 2002. It had two parts, logic and experience, ten chapters, eighty-five sections, and nineteen appendices. There are eight main points about induction, psychologism, deductive testing, demarcation, experience, falsifiability, empirical basis, and objectivity versus conviction. The writing style is clear and uses elements of verbal rhetoric for pleasant effect rather than a dry classic style of proof, which is among the subjects of scepticism. A philosopher faces a “heap of ruins” and uses language to find genuine problems in an exercise of critical thinking. The social aspect is important. The title is similar to Kuhn 1962 and it has been observed that it anticipated the scientific framework or paradigm. There was a debate between them in 1965 and the theories have been compared. Modern fields which were outside of the scope at the time include at least brain science, computation, visualization and automation.

Curing Analytic Pathologies, Cooper, 2005. This brief addressed the system tilts early in the new millenium decade. There were layers of pathology involving individuals, groups or agencies, and community or society. Various types of errors, bias and illusions are shown. Analytic support is needed for warning, policy and military operations. The intelligence phase-space includes domains and accounts, products and services, and sources. Problems involved a series of strategic intelligence failures, interrelated causes, a collection paradigm for “denied areas”, analytic methods from the cold war, intelligence not being as self-correcting as science, and a craft culture and guild structure relying on an unsustainable apprenticeship model. Solutions were to apply cognitive science, use new approaches in collection, analysis, processing and dissemination, diagnose root cause “inside the boxes”, add more perspectives and validation methods, DNI leadership assurance to cover each agency across the community, and an institutionalized lessons-learned process. The Pathologies Map and the Layers diagram on p59-60 illustrate how “networks act like ‘regulatory pathways’ for intelligence’ to distort reference frames and produce wrong answers. Other sources discuss Collective Intelligence.

Tetraktys, Juels, 2009. The search for truth includes ways to keep secrets hidden and, when this is threatened by a Pythagorean cult, doctoral apprentice Ambrose Jerusalem is recruited by the government. This is a different adventure from illicit deals or religious confrontation, but it could happen. The hero is a classically educated computer scientist and son of an archaeologist. Elements may be reminiscent of Stephenson’s Cryptonomicon, Benson’s Bond in Facts of Death, and movies like The Recruit or Indiana Jones. The Greek history is well researched. There are four parts, appropriate for the title, containing ten chapters each. The settings are in places such as Boston, Italy and Greece. The perspective is third person omniscient, mostly dialogue, and some flashbacks. It is an initial novel and some parts seemed pasted on rather than smoothly integrated, but there were convincing emotional sequences, such as the protagonist’s confusion about what his parents wanted him to become, or an hilarious dance scene. It refers to realworld incidents, e.g. zodiac killer, and tradecraft such as applied numerology for decryption. The author seems to take fiction writing seriously and his technical expertise suggests that there are probably more plots in store.

WWW:Watch, Sawyer, 2010. National securities have hit the panic button after the discovery of the Exponential virus. Is this the birth of immortality or the threat of annihilation? What are the rules of consciousness involving multiple species such as animals, humans or aliens? How many casualties will truth demand? A vision of this scenario is presented in a style which consistently juxtaposes two or more perspectives so that the reader can vicariously experience what the ambiguities are like for a myriad couple of dozen characters including the mirrored protagonists Webmind in the first person and Caitlin in the thought-revealing third, she with a cyborg-like eyepod and it with an empathic form of total information awareness. This is the second part of a trilogy so it extends the original story while not being completely conclusive. The author, who also writes for TV, has proposed a well-researched technothriller about the early days of cyberwar. He looks at messaging, reading, movie watching, data visualization, innovation, games, mobility, privacy, censorship, crime and emotion from a novel vantage point. Clips of mostly Star Trek and other references are used to reinterpret the scifi themes. Humans have been used to being the teachers in the past, but this situation challenges their known solutions (assuming cloud engines like wolframalpha prevent cheating for the time being). This artistic story invites deeper appreciation.


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