2017-10-19

A brief review of society and its discontents

- Not all wish for justice.
- Not all wish for peace.
- Not all want you as their friend.
- Not all see more than meat in others.
- Not all abusers have had the privilege of other education.
- Not all citizens respect speech.
- Not all wars can be won with words, or votes, or pacifism.
- Not one of the living will see an end to war.

2017-10-10

Analysing operations for leaks

- Expectation of warmth from bath water: deleted; seconds gained, per use.

- Dull aches of similar amplitude with pleasure, in various muscles, neither sharp pains nor clear kinesthetic feedback received upon antagonism: weak feedback indicative of understimulation, possibly undernutrition; tagged for further development of those inputs.

- This year's retraining of discernment in the aural modality has proceeded nicely, and sensitivity to higher frequencies is a welcome improvement. Right ear canal however, appears to be permanently enlarged in relation to the left.

- Carbohydrate loading after a few weeks of limiting, seems to be aiding general alertness and rate of recovery of minute to hour cognitive faculties. To be observed.

- Hypothesis: destablising nutritional cadences will stimulate stronger signalling of hunger, and following that greater quantities of feeding will result in a stronger amplitude throughout this feedback loop. This will emphasise feeding as a basal rhythm for the day (currently I have trained myself to do the exact opposite).

2017-10-06

Philosophising Jealousy

Discuss: Jealousy, philosophy of: analysing its structure and life-cycle. I was discussing this with a partner.
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Common components:
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[(3. Fear of) misinformation] - epistemological doubt, either due to information hiding, or deliberate deception, i.e. risk management... (to protect against:
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[2. Fear of) uncompetitiveness] - loss of power, loss of control, inability to retain objects of desire... (ultimately to avoid:
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[1. Fear of) separation] - anxiety, physiological, typically.
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Don't expect the syntax above to be analytical. Lol.

2017-10-05

Biochem notes from August

Cool. Picked up some new hypotheses today. So finally read up on gasotransmitters (G), and it kinda gave me a unifying paradigm for a number of other studies I've been doing. 
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As it turns out... a number of sports performance levels are tied closely to vasodilation (V) at different scales - some are directly observable in practice without fancy equipment. And V is functionally controlled by G - for example, the popular drug sildenafil works directly on G-V pathways. And G levels can be actively augmented through dietary means, since there is good documentation on what common foods contain precursors (P) that metabolise to G, or G-V-related molecules.
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The set of P easily includes, { certain polyphenols (quercetin, catechin, being of particular interest), allicin, dealcoholised red wine, l-arginine (itself precursed by l-citrulline) }. At which point I've pretty much identified a framework which helps to rationalise the observable dietary consequences of all the garlic, onions, watermelon, and miscellaneous produce, which constitutes the backbone of my eating habits (and actively managed performance results) these past few years.
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Aside: the (l-arginine, l-lysine) tuple of metabolites which increase and decrease the rates of various Herpesvirus and other viral replication rates appears to have non-trivial coherence with the (heaty, cooling) tuple of food groupings and and corresponding symptoms in traditional Chinese medicine.
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All hypothetical of course, but the patterns recognised today made me happy. On we go.

2017-09-23

A Call to Apathy

On Political Engagement in Malaysia



THE PURPOSE of this essay is not, to present a defensible position. Rather, it is written to disturb the minds of anyone who has decided however strongly that they must participate in Malaysia’s political process*.
* Or I suppose, more broadly, it may apply to anyone who consciously involves themselves in the political process of whichever organisation they inhabit at this time, be it a nation state, a nuclear family, or a for-profit or not-for-profit organisation. The essay does not address those who participate in politics sub-consciously - to bring about an absence of intention is the very operational objective of this essay.

I have for many years abstained from making formalised public statements about my views on Malaysian politics. But today I found myself in need of recreational activity on this long weekend. And then I was quite inspired to write this essay, by several citizens of Facebook (and Malaysia) whose discussions I have been interacting with online. It may be the case that no one reads this, but I am going to write it anyway.

THE NEXUS of these discussions is one article (P0, Disenchanted by blurred lines, some middle-class youths to sit out GE14), which antagonised two acquaintances (A1, A2) to put forth their respective views in posts (P1, P2) on the entitled youths, posts which in turn attracted nu(uuu)merous comments (Cn), largely eliciting empathy for the thrusts of the two posts, that avoiding the polls is a bad thing.

IN DEFENSE OF POLITICAL ACTIVISM these acquaintances A1 and A2 and their views are absolutely to be encouraged. Nothing should stop an individual from identifying with goals and objectives that enable it to find community, and happiness in daily operations.

That being said, a number of the views I have read in the comments, Cn, have caused me grave concern. I have already provided specific engagement with P1 and P2 via comments in their threads, so I won’t engage with P1 or P2 here. Rather abstractly, I will reword the points I raised there, into a brief list of objectionable propositions which I surmised from the engagement with P1, P2, and Cn.

  • O1: Citizens are obliged to be active in politics.
  • O2: Absence of political activism is necessarily lazy.
  • O3: Laziness is irresponsible.
  • O4: Irresponsibility is distasteful.
  • O5: An individual is more likely to be: inactive in politics, lazy, irresponsible, or distasteful, because she or she is young.

“Citizens are obliged to be active in politics.”

No, they are not. Except in countries where it is mandatory for citizens to engage in politics, it is quite often the case that citizens are given the right to be active, but not the obligation to participate in the governance of their societies. This is the case in Malaysia - there are no laws making it illegal to refrain from political activism, including any refrainment from voting.

You may find this distasteful in and of itself. You may feel that citizens ought to defend their neighbours from evil parties. You may even feel that in a completely neutral environment, citizens are obliged to improve the wellbeing of their neighbours. But these are your personal inclinations, ungoverned by law.

You may then turn to letters and verses which describe the spiritual character of the nation we inhabit, and infer from such passages that the spirit of citizenship obliges citizens to behave a certain way even if the letter of the law does not. But that is your spiritual conviction - until it becomes explicit law, for each citizen, there is no compulsion in political engagement.

“Absence of political activism is necessarily lazy.”

Well frankly, in many cases, political apathy is due to laziness. But this isn’t necessarily the case. It is easily conceivable that a person may be very industrious, hardworking, diligent, alla zeitgeist: GRITTY, in many fields of endeavour… while at the same time he or she simply doesn’t give a damn about the welfare of this country, its citizens, or its abstract future as an institution.

I am such a person. Personally, I find local political discourse generally unmotivating. It lacks sophistication; it lacks strategic elegance; it lacks decisive parsimony; it bores me; I find it is full of outrage - I have a general distaste for outrage, and even as I am outraged by the points I am objecting to here, I am also outraged at my own outrage… and the only reason I am investing time in writing this is for amusement, to stimulate and exercise my thoughts in order to try and stay healthy, as a point of mental conditioning.

I think ultimately, what differentiates political activists (and I consider anyone who participates in the democratic elections an activist citizen) and non-activists, is a fundamental difference in the degree of interest/affection that each has for the issues that surround us.

  • Some people want to watch the world burn.
  • Some people don't want to, but don't mind watching.
  • Others can't stand to watch it burn.

Each to their own tribe. Tribes will bicker. Some tribes will die. Let’s find out, together. We don’t really have a choice about that - the future, indeterminable as it is, remains inevitable.

“Laziness is irresponsible.”

Suppose we have a person, who is convinced that they should be active in politics. This person is furthermore of very specific political convictions: for example, he or she believes that Barisan Nasional is the child of the devil. (Caveat: I am not that person.) However, he or she then decides to do nothing about it… to not vote, to not campaign, to not engage. He or she believes that those activities would be a waste of energy. He or she believes that the energy conserving alternative is preferable. He or she, consciously, decides to be lazy. Is this irresponsible?

Not necessarily. It could be irresponsible, but it would be pre-mature to simply judge this to be irresponsibility - in fact the definition of what counts as irresponsibility is, itself, fraught with complexities.

While I personally do not view Barisan Nasional to be the child of the devil, I do think that Barisan Nasional is not very good at what it is supposed to do - which is to deliver the welfare of all Malaysian citizens, and not just the citizens who voted for it. With this view in mind, for almost two decades, I have also favoured (i) compliance with the hegemony, or (ii) all out war, over (iii) engagement with the electoral process. While I am so far unpersuaded about going to war, I don't think that Barisan Nasional plays fair enough to warrant fair play resistance or engagement.

It has been a lonely perspective.

But I don’t think it is an irresponsible perspective. While I remain quite lazy about political involvement, I have allocated my time to the pursuit of a large enough stockpile of resources with which I could then go to war with against Barisan Nasional in the future. I do this because this I believe that this is an economically optimised strategy.

It is not a secret strategy, and it may not be a viable one, but it is nevertheless one that I am fully responsible for. At any point, I can be locked up, or cement barrelled, or castrated, otherwise disfigured, or however more threatened by our gangster Government, simply at its whim. I have known this to be a practical reality for years, and daily readiness in mind and body is simply what it means to be responsible.

As they say in programming, you eat your own dog food. You can be lazy, as long as you accept responsibility for it.

“Irresponsibility is distasteful.”

Let’s return to the list of abstract complaints. Again, hinging on the vagaries of how irresponsibility is to be defined, we turn now to a consideration of a truly irresponsible individual. What would such an individual look like?

So say, one believes in activism, believes that Barisan Nasional is doing a shit job of running the country, believes (rationally, or irrationally) that the alternative parties are convincing alternatives, yet just prefers not to vote because one couldn’t be arsed to register, and go to the polls, and make decision, and write it down on the ballot, and all that. Let’s just assume now, for the purpose of discussion, that that we can call this irresponsibility. Again, we now assume that this is a legitimate use of the word ‘irresponsible’.

Must it be distasteful?

Absolutely not.

Actually in practice, it must be distasteful for some people. Many people aren’t capable of manipulating their preferences. Some are. But the fact that there are some who can choose not to be affected by it means that in practice, it is not all people who find that irresponsibility is distasteful.

At this point in the essay, the conversation could be expanded exponentially in two directions - (i) in elaborating the humanistic structures and sentiments of those for whom distaste is an inevitable phenomenon, and (ii) in returning to a systematic analysis of what it really means for someone to be “irresponsible.”

Very irresponsibly, at this point, we shall attempt neither endeavour. Is it not responsible, if we simply have not the resources to do so at this juncture?

In any event, it is certainly not distasteful. Unless you feel insulted, in which case we can’t help you, but I don’t feel insulted, so it can’t necessarily be the case that irresponsibility is insulting. Eh?

“An individual is more likely to be: inactive in politics, lazy, irresponsible, or distasteful, because she or she is young.”

This position is not even worth addressing in great detail because it is such a common fallacy. Empirically, a stringent definition for each adjective above might yield sufficient preparation for survey on the truth of this proposition, according to the given definitions. Otherwise, it will be sufficient to note that throughout history the old have made a pastime of deriding the young, and that objectively, neither of them really has any greater foothold upon the arc of history than the other. All remain subject to time, given unto us, upon which we simply deride.

Further Remarks

Now you are quite welcome to object to any of the ideas presented above, reasonably, or unreasonably, emotionally, or unemotionally. The ideas are not presented as logically coherent propositions that are empirically falsifiable, and so you may find any or all of the following within them: logical contradictions, an absence of falsifiability, or total and complete falsification by empirical fact. That’s for you to think about. I just wanted to put the points out there. I don’t feel obliged to make more effort than that, given that this is a recreational pursuit, and not a job I am paid to do.



Identification of Author

My name is Hwa Yang Jerng, citizen number 831031-14-5577 of the nation of Malaysia. I became eligible to vote in 2004, and registered to vote before the 2008 elections, with the express intention of remaining absent from the polls. I have never voted in a Malaysian election. The ideas presented in this essay are of my own contrivance, and do not represent the orientation or opinion of any other individuals, human or corporate, with whom I am associated. I, and I alone, bear full responsibility for any damage, annoyance, butthurt, or physical damage that incurs on Earth which follows from essays, such as this.

Speaking Up for Apathy / " "true" neutral" Political Stances

Counterparty: "... that the devil they know is better than the devil they do not..."

Me: "Ironically, that ends up being why I am pro-BN. Alternatives remain unconvincing. But I have had this view for like 20 years... so it may be sheer laziness. :)"

It's not a fallacy if it doesn't pretend to be logical ;)

The belief that I have a preference to do X given Y, is abstract, and not nailed to any empirically determinable item Z. So I don't think it's material... basically it's an unfalsifiable belief. So I don't think it falls within the category of truth-determinable propositions. #dodgy ;)

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:) I favour compliance with the hegemony, or all out war. So far unpersuaded about war. I don't think they play fair enough to warrant fair play resistance.

It's been a lonely perspective.

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I find local political discourse generally unmotivating. I think what differentiates political activists (and I consider anyone who participates in the democratic elections an activist citizen) and non-activists, is fundamental difference in the degree of interest/affection that we have for the issues that surround us. Some people want to watch the world burn. Some people don't want to, but don't mind watching. Others can't stand to watch it burn.

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Don't pick fights you can't win. If you see me getting ready for a fight, ehehehe... either I'm crazy, or shit is hitting the fan... over time, I guess, the consensus is that I don't actually make sense.

After thought: the overarching emotion that I feel about this is sadness about watching generation after generation of passionate youth charge to its death against odds it does not realise are (in the short term) insurmountable. But such is war... most wars are not fought intelligently.

Yawn 31

Sep1-Sep23

START

So I almost lost a chequebook. #memory

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Re: High-Performing Teams Need Psychological Safety. Here’s How to Create It
Because whether you like it or not, not everyone was born to kill.

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Yawn. Back on shift. I think it's getting close the anniversary of the first middle-manager we had to fire for trying to exemplify defiance. I wonder how she is doing. She was a clever lady, with strong emotional attachments to people and ways of work. We couldn't use those very easily in volatile company. It has shaped my view of whom to admit in the present market. Aside from market conditions, I still think she is a fine person, and would hire her again in a different role, in a different organisation. But I don't think she likes me very much anymore. Haha. Such is work, bad timing, move on.

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Awake, again. Still alive. Disappointed that now, I have to invent an efficient use of my day. Nutrition, work, socialising, physical conditioning, are candidates. Much more work to be done.

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Sleep interrupted by a supplier I haven't even engaged yet. I'm starting to see the value of using a burner phone for business. In the absence of sleep, I do not anticipate good things for myself or my work. Pensive.

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(Article:These are some great examples of acquaintances doing well in the standard narrative, which I applaud.)
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In the grand scheme of things, however, human DNA is a temporary blip in the history of civilisation. All haggling on human preferences at the levels of cultural appreciation, in terms of product, customer service, and staff happiness is futile, and not a sustainable source of value.
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This view has been brought to bear on our brand and culture, from inception: we say that work is an end in itself. This puts emphasis on process controls and discourages romancing of the crafts. Staff are coached delivering on quantified targets, and on fulfilling the definitions of a job regardless of their personal reactions to their observations. Communications is demanded, and delivered in concrete terms, with empirical examples. Ownership is incentivised only for continuous improvement with understanding for process delivery by any means, and not simply for any delivery of process without understanding. (For example, we don't care what your individual cups of coffee taste like, really, we do care that you know why it tastes good or bad, and that your mode and median cups taste better in successive periods.)
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It's no wonder that many past and present staff are unhappy with this approach. But given that the market in general tends to go left, we go right specifically as a contrarian approach to seeking value. Most businesses may not feel that the changing role of meat is relevant to strategic planning, as they focus on short term happiness, but I don't really see the point of doing business without bearing in mind the impending future.
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And if we're one of the few companies looking seriously at the displacement of humans in food and beverage services, then maybe our core competency is supposed to be change management services. Well, what do I know? I'm just a bloke running a cafe. :)

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Rather unstimulating week - spent most if it talking to myself. Going to ruminate a little, hopefully without blanking out, maybe do a little reading.

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Listening to foodies talk is cute. I sometimes wonder how I ended up around folks like this. Haha. Well, such is the game.

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Share your customer service stories:

"When a customer says that they're not happy with something that I won't give them, I remind them to smile, because it will help them to feel better. :) :)"

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I have come to the conclusion that dieting is like drag. Many people simply enjoy the performance of it as an art form.

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Unlimited Data for RM150/month. 40mbps... screw all that repeater multi-access-point expose the physical router rubbish.

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There's nothing wrong with cryptocurrency per se, as there's nothing wrong with paper currency, or fiat currency per se - but in all cases you have to examine the context of implementation. What's the difference between Bitcoin (a), national currencies (b), and gold (c)?
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(c) Gold is a metal with chemical and physical properties. You can use gold to make things. (Can't eat it - unfortunately.)
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The other two (a, b) are fiat currencies.
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(b) National currencies are proxies for goods and services sold by a specific country's economy. If you see the economy or government regulations weaken, you short the currency, and vice versa.
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(c) Bitcoin is a proxy for goods and services sold by no specific country's economy. You can't get reasonable metrics on "the Bitcoin economy," or "the Bitcoin government," so its value is more speculative in nature. Perhaps this will be fixed in the future - it's possible, but not yet the case - you would have to have a sort of meta-national government with great regulations and data collection services run by the open-source or anarcho-syndicalist communities, hah.
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Extra: what are unregulated token/coin/contract sales by private parties? Sales of shares which are unregulated by government regulators. It's just like the fiat currency I printed on manila card and distributed to my sisters as a kid.
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Good luck with that.

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Got a chance to chat with a new acquaintance, for stimulation, and continued development of my general business plan while explaining our whys and wherefores to him. And this is why I generally do not bother people with speaking my mind about anything. I always feel bad about it.

"Anyway, on business direction, it's a branching structure of development of course (use of 'vertical' here is wrt sector focus, and 'horizontal' is wrt functional focus). Please note that we are working only on 1.1. and have been stalled for 15 months:

//START MAP//

1. B2C

1.1. Cafe
1.1.1. vertical model growth into more outlets
1.1.2. ... franchise sales
1.1.3. ... management services and supply chain optimisation-->2.

1.x. Horizontal model growth into Retail, Hotels, Property Development

2. Spin off the B2B division. Reorganise talent appropriately.

2.1. Supply chain optimisation for 1.1
2.1.1. ... business process outsourcing (finance, HR, corporate services) for 1.1
2.1.2. ... product development and manufacturing processes for 1.1
2.1.3. ... marketing communications services for 1.1
2.1.4. ... financial services for 1.1
2.1.5. Vertical model growth into technology services for 1.1 -->3.

2.x. horizontal model growth of all 2.1.x services into all 1.x. B2C lines and then some.

3. Spin off the technology division.

3.1. Technology solution design and systems integration services for 1.1/2.1
3.1.1. Vertical model growth of labour saving technologies from a supply chain point of view, supplementing human effort in all 1.1/2.1 services
3.1.2. ... eventually complete automation of impersonal processes in 1.1/2.1 .
3.1.3. ... eventually complete automation of personal processes: person-to-person customer service / CRM (Turing
test-passed bots are indistinguishable from humans), in 1.1/2.1
3.1.4. ... (Manpower/civilian/human) (retooling/education/social re-architecture) with regards to 3.1.2/3.1.3
3.1.5. ... (culture/talent/change) management integration services for 3.1.2/3.1.3

3.x. horizontal model growth of all 3.1.x services and products into all 1.x. B2C lines and 2.x B2B lines

4. Bonus: if we get done early, we can buy a farm and get into epigenetics, maybe. That would be nice.

//END MAP//

Now this is a map. I foresee most shorter-term investors and staff wanting to focus/spin-off/exit via particular bullet points above. But my own trajectory is 1,2,3,4... ;)

For discussion's sake."

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I dislike retelling stories. But it is my job to do so, and I need to start writing some of this down so that I can save myself time.

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Remedial work on marcomms. Teaching a staff to schedule painting operations. A growing task list.

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Dessert group shenanigans:
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*X has joined the group.*
"New desserter located."
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"Non-desserters now deserting."
*Y has left the group*
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"Non-deserters will now receive just desserts."

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A very talky day, but all opportunities shall receive due diligence, I suppose.

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Spent a couple of hours reading up on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems. Need to put more effort into planning around an overly active parasympathetic system due to continuous caffeine exposure. :P

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Sleep with earplugs seems like it will become the new norm.

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Protip for cold callers: if you don't deliver the elevator speech in the first 5-10 seconds, it is likely I will hang up.

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"I have concluded that being of service is a reliable and honest approach to introducing myself to women."
"And what kind of services do you offer?"
"Do I need a micro-site?"
"Maybe. :D"
"If only it didn't sound like... exactly how I introduce myself in business settings.."

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Today we take a break from fondling beans and griping about roast profiles to bring you... a market review of ladies' shoe construction quality versus price:
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- Charles & Keith does great stuff in the RM160-190 range; but widths are generally rather narrow for broad rationed feet; Singaporean company;
- Mark & Spencer has decent work, and as a UK company shoe widths are greater; but you're now paying in the RM250-450 range for pumps; selection is limited, but classic cuts are represented;
- Geox stuff is great; Italian; RM450-700 easily with stuff up in the RM1300 range, haha, sorry; nope;
- Bata, Czechnian, always a positive experience if you've figured out how to get by on RM80-160 shoes that last 6-12 months of daily use; construction about on par with Zara;
- Zara, Spanish, quite the profiteers, as well all know; M&S prices for Bata quality with cuts definitively representative of trends not classics;
- Nichii group, MY, has nice cuts and low prices for clothing, but shoe selection is pretty limited; RM30 ballet flats may work, but they all have a knobby fold behind the ankle which needs to be modded;
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Tangent: still well nigh impossible to get full-leather cap-toed derbies at the RM80 year-2000 price that was had at The Store on Jalan Ipoh. Of course, the real problem is that we could only find a single pair in the entire mall... tsk tsk, and they say men have an easy time shopping...

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!@#$%^&*( Vacuum cleaner bags - I think it's time to make our own.

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TIL that TNB uses $22 Lindner NH000 63A knife-blade fuses instead of generic $6 63A cylindrical uses. This is enforced by installation of cutout units which accept only the expensive item. :P I am not sure if there are non-Lindner fuses which fit in the cutouts used...

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Well this is truly insightful. Here you have a prime example of ablism at work. Inequality breeds greater inequality. It is the great lens of wealth.

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What's the professional body to file a complaint with, if an accounting firm behaves unprofessionally?

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Everyone's worried about losing their jobs to AI, whereas the main gains to human productivity are going to come from exponentially increased access to education, coaching, mentorship, counselling, therapy, philosophy, art, culture, science, social stimulation, and overall personal development... that personalised AI familiars will provide to the man on the street.

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One last task to do before bed: prep stock-take calculation critique for the accountant.

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I really don't care where you vacation, and I really only care about what you do.

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I spend fifteen minutes on investor relations emails, and this happens. :P Fortunately it's all under control, and we just missed the boat on protocol.

🚨🚨
Hi guys, we just had an individual walk into the cafe and leave with 2kg of beans that he didn't pay for.

Please don't let this happen in the future, whether it is someone who is your friend, or business partner, or not.

Exceptions to normal retail operations will be made clear by me, in person, or in this group.
🚨🚨

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In the shower, I managed to come up with an entire music video about silicone cups in my head, but I will not have time to produce it before it is forgotten. :) Daiso has these cups that squish flat for travel...

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Frankly, not yet able to purchase BPA-free paper in small volumes at a reasonable price, but looking forward to doing so in the future.

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Up, up, attack the world.

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Investor relations emails involving pretty graphs. Toilet also need unclogging tomorrow. Yawn. Steady day...

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Need to work this into a proper draft tonight. But first coffee... as much as I hate drugging up, drugs are necessary for work. :D

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"Why are you working all the time? Why don't you do something fun?"
"No energy for fun stuff."
"Really?"
"Yeah. Gotta focus on work. R&R is just whatever/whoever is at hand right now."

Now this would be my kind of fun...

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Not much sleep today, but it's time to clean the sewer again! Uppity up up...

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"Protect your future self," she said, "so I went to the last day, and shot him. He died, painlessly. Then I went back through the days in between, and told my other selves, he's ok, I took care of it."

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I think I've nailed all my errands... did I nail all my errands? I think I nailed my errands. I wonder what my hit rate on accuracy of memory is.

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Awake. I do not feel accomplished, this week. But the only thing to do is to work on it.

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Let's put the air-con cleaning on Facebook live. Keeps me company, gives you a slight education, and perchance will be historical if an electrocution happens by accident.

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You hate your job, and I hate mine, and will each job take each one where one wants to go? I stopped caring years, and years ago. I play the game of staying alive without the slightest reason, and so do you. When, will I hold you, again? Say never - it is likely to be true. #modernlove

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Cryptocurrencies: "Central bank-issued," understand, or not? Otherwise it's like gold, not FX.

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"How do you know what food makes what difference to performance?"
"Controlled experiments, and monitored outputs?"
"How do you monitor everything?"
"Get used to writing down in detail how you feel at hourly intervals after every meal, until you can look for patterns in memory without writing?"
#oldschool #nolabgrant

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Reintroduced short periods of heavy lifting to make up for the lack of general exercise. Getting joints in line feels good. Now awake. Didn't find any new ideas of feelings. Plugging in aural distractions, then heading to address errands till 7pm.

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Making a note to deliver remedial training to cooks.

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Bezos' starting meetings with the reading of memos, silently:

Hahah. This is just making me think of all the illiterates I've met working in Malaysian companies. Hahaha.

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Down time. Don't fall asleep. More stress should be sought. Perhaps time to carbo and caffeine load again.

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So I've figured out how to eat healthily, and on a budget, at low energy output levels, but not at high levels. Maybe I need to move to a residence that has a kitchen. Something's got to give.

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Nestle markets to Brazil: Haha. Growing up in Malaysia, people were always so proud of that Milo shit...

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Focusing on the present is pretty straightforward. Context switching to long term planning is ok, if the present can be ignored. But now I have goals in neither, whereas the wisest approach appears to be refocusing on short-term operations. Otherwise aimlessness ensues.

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All jobs, and life itself are meaningless. You just decide that you want to be happy, and do it. Won't you now?

/

END

2017-09-16

Coffee: Large Acquisitions of Premium Retailers Doesn't Indicate a Near-future Monopolisation of Specialty Coffee Farms

You can't get a monopoly on specialty coffee farms yet because there is no monopoly in specialty coffee in general at any point in the supply chain. I would say, without thinking about it for longer than it takes to write this.

Price of coffee will go up, and then it will become as classy as drinking wine. Do you see a monopoly on vinyards?

(Also, usually it is the downstream price and classiness that goes up first before upstream prices go up... unless you have huge preemptive bids for upstream assets. LOL. BB is a retailer first, not a farm first.)

Update: erm, actually wine is already cheaper than coffee in places like the US where you can buy a bottle for less than an hour's minimum wage... it's a huge, fat market. In the long run I think we'll just see that specialty-grade coffees become less special. For example in MY we have some local roasters buying at the 81-points range just to quality as Specialty, whereas the some richer guys are buying a minimum of 85 points. Eventually there'll be so many people playing in the 85-point space that you'll have the new hipsters drawing the line at 90-point-minimums. This is only possible if you see consumer growth for 90-to-95-point-coffees. If the market doesn't grow, there's a cap in a profitability for quality, and there's thereafter no reason for an investor to chase alpha by investing in quality upstream assets...

I'm actually waiting for someone like Monsanto to produce a 85+points product. So many farmers are going to suffer. But it's an obvious direction.

Seriously, it's going to be cheaper to develop lab-grown hydroponic specialty-grade coffees than to monopolise traditional farms. LOL. Monsanto, hurry up.

Don't worry - the Whole Foods customer base will happily prop up exquisite prices for non-GMO, farm to cup things.


That might take a while to be true ;)

2017-09-13

Stalking, actually

In response to this article (not a new topic):

So I have this bad habit of telling people that I love them as long as they don't tell me to stop talking. Then sometimes I tell them anyway. But I don't expect them to do anything about it. I guess I'm just whiny and annoying. C'est la vie. #guiltyascharged :)

2017-09-12

AI Economy: The Upside

Everyone's worried about losing their jobs to AI, whereas the main gains to human productivity are going to come from exponentially increased access to education, coaching, mentorship, counselling, therapy, philosophy, art, culture, science, social stimulation, and overall personal development... that personalised AI familiars will provide to the man on the street.

/

Google Pixel Buds : a step in the right direction. It's economy of scale. You know, it used to be a whole town would share a telephone ;)

Where do you think the bottleneck for individual productivity in all your factory lines is? It's the amount of personal development time that is available to any staff. Imagine each dude on the production  line having a life coach, math tutor, and personal trainer with him eight hours a day.

2017-09-11

He's Writing a Book

Pre-cursor to one hour play project.

"So one of the guys I'm seeing, he says he's writing a book about all the women he's met."
"Oh come onnnn. Everyone wants to be Giacomo Casanova... have you seen his memoir, it's massive. LOL. People want to write things down, believing that what they do is novel, but probably everyone does what has already been done a thousand times before."

Seekers of Respect Deserve None

People who are embarrassed by their beliefs, or afraid of the opposition of their beliefs by others, don't deserve a place in the future of humanity. Let them destroy everyone who they feel embarrasses them, they gain nothing but temporary comforts. If they feel that is a good life, so be it. As a species we have no role in coddling their emotional vulnerabilities.

2017-09-08

Study Notes: Caffeine, Biochemical Pathways

Well I started reading about the sympathetic nervous system and ended up here.

sympathetic nerves near pacemaker tissue -> noradrenaline -> (various) cell surfaces

adrenal glands -> adrenaline -> (various) cell surfaces

(various) cell surfaces ->  cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP) -> (various) intra-cellular effects;

phosphodiesterase (PDE) metabolises cAMP to AMP; caffeine blocks the action of PDE -> causing amplification of cAMP effects

2017-09-04

Optimised Usage of a Synesso Espresso Machine

Background:

We run a one-grouphead Synesso espresso machine (purchased 2015), which allows for three pressure settings to be set (low, medium, high - e.g. 3bar, 5bar, 9bar), and for four timed stages to be configured (stage1 is the duration of low pressure, followed by stage2 which is the duration of medium pressure, followed by stage3 which is the duration of high pressure, followed by stage4 which is another duration of medium pressure). We allow baristas to mess with the durations of stages 1-4, temperature of the grouphead boiler, and grinder grind-size, at their ease.



This training note was provided to an intermediate level barista who has used to machine for about a year, without really discussing its usage in great detail. The barista was a visual design student, and it occurred to me after writing the note that espresso calibration is really a design problem that needs to be resolved (!) on a sometimes-hourly basis. So what we're discussing below actually applies to searching for viable design solutions in a multivariable space. How do you do this efficiently?

I'm looking at your team logs now... last 36 hours or so.

You mentioned different preinfusions (stages 1/2)... I looked and saw the range was:

(a)
S1: 8.0s
S2: 0.0s

(b)
S1: 5.5s
S2: 2.5s

[S1-S3: total 26-28seconds]

So, I will point out that (a) and (b) are actually pretty close together. (S1 is around 3.0bar, and S2 is around 5.0 bar... so... taking 3 seconds of S1 and moving it to S2 is literally adding 2.0bar of pressure for 3.0seconds.)

Now cooking [at 1bar for 10seconds] and cooking [at 10bar for 1 second] is not exactly the same thing. But if we pretend for discussion's sake that it's a useful metric... then the difference between (a) and (b) is less than adding 1second of cooking time at 9bar. Hehe.

Sure, fiddling with such small differences will alter flavour slightly... (and this is just my intuition based on experience so far) but it's probably equivalent to just knocking the temperature around by 0.5C.

And knocking the temperature around is actually wayyyyyy easier than messing with the pressure profile. E.g. if the difference between (a) and (b) is like 0.5C difference, and we call it "one small step", then it is actually much simpler to jump "4-5 small steps" by just bumping the temperature up by 2.0C...

.... why would you want to jump 4-5 small steps instead of just one?

Well the advice I have is, if you look at the log, everyone's been calibrating within a very small range of the universe. One step left, one step right, etc. No, stop that, if you're quite experienced, taking a greater leap (of faith? whatever you want to call it)... sends you scouting in unknown territory!

Once you get used to taking larger jumps, you may find that experience will help you calibrate faster because you can cover a greater space of variables more quickly.

... bringing it back to the Wahana at hand:

So far it seems (to me):
- sweetness is good
- acidity is good
- no foul smells
- no massive bitterness
- not much body either...

The "chocolate" note is quite light, and not very heavy. Do we want more? Maybe try big jumps like:
- 1-2 notches finer
- 1.5 - 3.0 degrees hotter
- 15-30% increase in brew ratio
- e.g. +10% is [ (going from 24g out to 26.4g out) / (over 15g in) ]
- e.g. +20% is [ (going from 24g out to 28.8g out) / (over 15g in) ]
- e.g. +30% is [ (going from 24g out to 31.2g out) / (over 15g in) ]

Bearing in mind that:
- Messing with the grindsize will always make the biggest difference to overall flavour, and irreversible (cannot undo).
- Messing with the temperature is reversible, and quite precise thanks to our digital temperature settings.
- Messing with the brew ratio is less precise and less reversible than messing with the temperature

So generally, my preference/advice with this particular machine is:
- Set stage 1 to exactly what it takes to wet the bottom of the puck.
- Set stage 2 to zero; except when stage 1 is taking too long, then convert X seconds from S1 to S2.
- If you're looking for small, precise changes to flavour, mess with the temperature.
- If you're looking for large, grand changes, mess with the grindsize.

🀷🏻‍♂

May the odds be in your favour.

PS. Reading the logs and demanding details from others may help. Only if you like words hehe. Not everyone does, I know. But I encourage it.

2017-09-01

Yawn 30

August 21- September 1

START

Economics will prevail. If you want it, own it. If you don't want to lose it, don't do stupid shit. If you don't want it, do whatever the hell you want ! :D

/

Oh my friends, with all your baubled comforts, what fragile webs you live in.

/

People who need to have their sacrifices acknowledged are like people who need to be patted on the back for breathing.

Actually my point is broader - the nature of economics is compromise. People who are in position X, who feel that they need special points for that... I'm afraid it doesn't work that way, unless you want to get into a battle of histories - really, who has time for that... moreover if they overcommitted themselves in the past due to some expectation that the future would deliver karmic justice of storific value, perhaps, they might just now cry about it, silently, please. But oh well. What do I know. I was born lucky, and I'll die hopefully without too much reason for noise.

/

Hitman's Bodyguard: "Life without Amelia." Well this is a working man's movie. Actually, I haven't seen such a historically significant new movie in years. But what do you care about history? Just watch it. Triple A! I just love a good pun. (Production quality seems to fall off towards the end, though.)

/

Time to fix the cakes.

/


Therapists: friends for hire. Really!

/

Feeling a bit sad today, because the environment appears to be full of creatures that celebrate mental-emotional vulnerabilities. It will probably always be a hard slog to drive the flow of work against them. But we must be the change we wish to see in the world. Hahaha.

/

Income inequality: This is why class matters. And when you decide to forego class for other interests, you consciously forego the top of the curve. :)

/

RM4,258.02 - 6 monthly butter expenditure... maybe we should stop doing RM4 scrambled eggs with Lescure.

/

Prostitution: I've definitely considered it, but I'm not sure that I could/would do it. Too privileged... but it's not entirely off the table.
I'm not sure if my clients would be men or women. But I would prefer women.

(Consequently, while one is still in a position to have preferences, I think the presence of privilege is undeniable. LOL)

/

no one expects the unexpected. Anyone who can afford to have expectations is already doing pretty well for themselves.

/

Wanting to and having to are different. Doing it for fun is another option.

/

Ok. Fess up, kids. Being woke is a class marker. Social and intellectual capital. There is no sense of moral intuition attached to it, for many of you, is there?

/

Language skills: I need to listen to more Malay and Chinese news.

/

Many things done; many left undone.

/

Time to do spot checks.

/

Not enough sleep. First things first, take over shift. After that, back to getting shareholders out of this mess if at all.
.
Caught up on sleep.
.
Mild headache, so, wondering if physical conditioning will exacerbate the flu symptoms, or the opposite. Optimising around risk of operational failure, as usual.
.
Risk on, so going for a run.
.
Refreshed. Perhaps, oversalted breakfast contributed to earlier headache.

/

Time for the third meal of the calendar day. Then maybe writing for work.
.
Encountered severe professional deficiencies in a staff. Advised staff to block time on my calendar for structured remedial training. I believe such formalities are somewhat beyond the interest of most kids, but that is the bar set for them.

/

Thanks for killing the brunch crowd, Mayweather-McGregor... LOL

/

Done with write-up on client project. Haven't had time to write up our own prospectus. Hmrph. Juggling thoughts of various kinds. Various hook-ups done for now, time to feed... before further work.
/

I think my hearing has deteriorated further. Crap. :P

/

η–Όδ½ ,θ€ŒδΈζ˜―ε…³εΏƒδ½ ... work is work, bitches.

/

Breakfast.
.
Just learnt how to rivet things.
.
As much as I want to do more work, I think I should put myself to bed early to hit the 5am target.

/

We're cleaning an air conditioner blower unit's coils at 5am, in case anyone wants to learn how, just drop in. Wear protection.

/

Performing artists needing certification: it's not that you're a shitty performer, it's that there is limited inherent demand for performances. But there is much demand, relatively, for class markers. So it turns out, it is easier to sell associations with class markers than performances per se. :)

/

"Today, I present you... a clot."
"Uhuh."
"Isn't it huge? It takes up half the cup."
"Not going to chug it."
"I made it with my body!"
"I wish my other customers were as funny as you."

/

Depression sans emotional attachment is like a case of blue balls... fatigue means you know where all the work is, you just can't do it quick enough. Not the best metaphor, literally a refractory period, really.

/

5am air-conditioner cleaning skipped; not in shape; going to collect more sleep.
.
9:30am open shop for kids. Grab a yoghurt from next door for breakfast with the intention of returning to sleep. Customers arrive before official opening. Help barista ensure quality (or get in the way, depending on how you look at it).
.
Kitchen guys have called for help with a stuck grease trap exhaust port. This takes two hours to fix (an accelerated solution for future use, is determined by the end of the process). This cleaning is interspersed with coaching of cooks on air-flow control with regards to hygiene.
.
Along the way a cook also pauses from the handling of raw meat to fulfil an order and has to be reprimanded on this point. The front of house complains that the orders are urgent and is subsequently coached to refund orders that cannot wait, as the raw meat needs to get cleared first. We can't have festering stock.
.
After the grease trap is done, a bottle falls into the manhole. The operation to recover it with minimal mess involves crafting an extension to the longest net-on-a-stick that we have. Holes are drilled and wires are tightened. Clean-up.
.
Electric detergent dispenser malfunctions. Test hot spots with a test pen, put warning labels on faulty sockets, tape it all up, and produce aural warnings with eyeballed-hot-spots to staff. Clean-up.
.
Dishwasher part no-longer half-broken - it is now fully broken. Follow-up with supplier on their missing quotation which we asked for two months ago.
.
Late for coffee QA with two suppliers.
.
Shower. Log. End log. Jump in car...
.
2pm. Yawn.
.
Taste five espressos from two roasters. Compare taste profiles. Check prices per component. Propose preliminary orders. Respond to staff's request for training and schedule an hour next week. Checking butter supplier on the way home. Wrong turnings and delays all accounted for. 5pm.
.
Back at the farm. Bookkeeping rituals. Follow-up on FOH messages about items that can't be found. Lunch, of sorts. Back to bedroom/office. Shower.
.
Compile new supplier information. Perform linear optimisation (manually, because stupid), and arrive at blend proposal for roaster.
.
Troubleshoot bank statement CSV import - they changed the format - so we change our data digester formula.
.
Troubleshoot bookkeeping detail - Xero software's state of half-builtness doesn't allow for payslip deductions to be pushed into an internal account. After various tests, give up doing this within the Pay Run module. Concoct a pathway to do this via cash instead. Update staff.
.
Read email from yesterday on annual audit and tax. Trivial action.
.
Prepare for bed. Log. End log. 8:36pm.
.
Over the last 24 hours I think I managed to add half a page of bullet points minuting the key actionable and non-actionable points from the last potential-
investor chat.

/

Ohoho, not me, fuck that. If you can't work in doom and gloom, you won't survive long working with me. Cheer down, kids. The world is a nasty place, and if you don't like examining it very closely, you're of no use to me.

"...CEO of the startups, since they are the ones who have to be optimistic and positive about the business..."

/

I still don't get the word entrepreneur, as it is used casually - it never seems very useful except in poetry.

/

11am. Anticipating going on shift in 34 hours. Working backwards from that, schedule needs to accommodate (sleep, feeding, grooming), (accounting, social media, supply checks, reloading of relevant program into memory). Maybe special projects like machine cleaning can happen after shift. Maybe special projects like proposal writing can happen before. Too many maybes.

/

Bored. But maintaining discipline. Not too much discipline. Just enough discipline to stick to the job at hand. Now what about R&R... what's a chap with no sense of national pride got to do on the eve of national day? Laundry. Do laundry!

/

I read the essay of a lover who finds my ambitions insipid. I recall, she strives for great comfort. I used to seek it too... but I found it without needing to involve myself with society. What I now do in society is the luxury of having more time on earth than I know what to do with. The game goes on. And on. No, her ghost would say, in my mind, you never wanted comforts the way I did, and she would be quite right. And I would say, no, I did not, but I wanted you, and I am working on affording it. But it is quite likely, she will as others have, be gone, forever. Well, that just demonstrates my low priority for integration, I suppose... growing up with too much of one kind of privilege ensures that you never worry about lacking privilege for much of the rest of your life. Growing up without another kind, just means that if you have to get into the other kind, it's going to be a slow start. Well it's a good thing that one kind supplements the other. I often felt over the past fifteen years that life has been too easy. But life is not supposed to be easy. So I have found harder things to do... like study commerce, and work in business, just for a 50% chance at courting classy women, perhaps, though that's probably not the only amusing thing to be done with money, if I ever get around to hoarding it.

/
On "why cool matters," the TED talk: I usually bank on anti-cool. That probably makes me a conservative

/

Time for the administration of breakfast. Then more noodling at desk-bound items, then either rest, or straight to being on 9pm shift.

/

On shift at 2130. Don't ask me anything about bookkeeping, menu design, social media, advertising, graphic design, corporate finance, investor relations, recruitment, machine repair, if you have to talk about work... and don't ask me what I want to do outside of work, as it will likely be very disruptive to my thought process until 0430. This would not be such a delicate situation if I didn't have to ensure cognitive integrity to reload and QC all those other bits of knowledge once the shift is over. Not my favourite part of the job, knowing everything, and having to context switch in and out of all technical implementations multiple times a day... but that's where we are, so off to work, I go.

"Do you actually have a formal job description?"

At this point I'm the fall guy. :P

AKA the wingdinging nutjob who two years ago sold 87.86% of shares in a small business and who has been scrambling madly on a daily basis to retain some semblance of its survivability ever since.
END

2017-08-25

Why You Should Buy My Company

(Don't expect a literal answer.)

Thoughts after pitching to investors:

Take 1


"So you're a cafe."
"Yup."

"Is that it? Just one?"
"Well, if we had room to grow, I'd move into retail, because it's B2C and we have good foot traffic that has limited opportunities to spend money (because we target value pricing) so we'd invest more product development under the brand."

"But aren't people moving away from brick and mortar retail - into just using the space for meat testing, and then shipping actual product via mail?"
"Yes, so we'd be building the brand by displaying products in-store, with some fulfilment if necessary, and sure, we can ship more stuff over other funnels after we build a brand. But we have the brick and mortar already, so we might as well continue here first."

"Would you expand to more outlets?"
"That's not a priority - it doesn't drive up the brand value as quickly as we'd need it to move, unless we have more products shipped per store."

"Is your core focus to expand the retail network?"
"No, the core focus is vertical integration of value chains. For example, we buy and consume detergent. We need to start selling detergent. And in the longer run, since we consume management services, we need to start selling those too."

"You're not a foodie, and you run a cafe. Now it's a sundry shop pretending to be a cafe, that wants to scale by turning into an outsourcing operation. Tell me a more coherent story."

"Are you sure you want to hear it?"
"Hit me."

Take 2


"Let me go back a few years, to tell you where I come from. I figured out the data-structure for quantifying human experience when I was in college. It persuaded me that human people are trivial. Skipping forward a few projects to the cafe... within your lifetime and mine, we're going to be talking and working daily with synthetic people who are indistinguishable from organic people. For the last fifteen years, I've never had to struggle with the question of whether it would happen, only the question of when it would happen, and if I would watch it happen or be a bit proactive and make it happen sooner rather than later. (I think it'll happen regardless of my interference.)

In this future, I expect that automation will be consume every imaginable function that humans play today - and I mean this without a hyperbole. Automation will displace not just drivers, or food service staff, but early childhood educators, doctors, sex workers, friends, performance artists, spiritual guides like the clergy, cultural guide like screenwriters, government officials, etc.. The artisanal millennial industries are a laugh - the last bastion of a desperately cornered beast, angstily scrambling for comparative advantage. Their current livelihoods are all going to die. It was obvious to me before millennials became a thing, so if I'm heavily sighing it's because it's happening all so predictably, and it's painful to watch all these kids who think that they've brilliantly discovered a meaningful way to spend their lives.

If you're interested in human development, the real question is what do you think that organic meat should be doing in this future where all human interactions are automatable? Should the focus be on survival, or on innovation (for fuck's sake, given there'll be literally too little left to do anyway)? I don't have an answer for you. But I think we need to help people be prepared, even those who don't believe that it will happen. So back to this business project..."

Take 3


3.1.

Given the outlook above, THE LONG GAME for any organism or company that wishes to survive is first to understand how any of this is going to work. Therefore the business has to focus on achieving automation milestones ahead of (the general population's bulge in) the curve. We have to be a services company, and the service we provide has to be the productisation of any given (currently) human services, via automation.

3.2.

This is a big universe, and we have to start THE MIDDLE GAME somewhere. Therefore we focused on a really simple position at the bottom of the pyramid: hospitality services... specifically food services... specifically long-tail artisanal food services. This is why we explain ourselves as a management services company for this segment. If you look at the entire industry of independent food and beverage retailers and separate all their activities into two baskets, (A) things everyone is doing the same and (B) things everyone is doing different, you'll find a lot of redundancy in (A) and so that should be the first basket to automate. After you've dealt with that, you can reexamine (B), and probably you find that, whether you like it or not, many of the trendy products in the market are horribly generic... depending on the same upstream suppliers, sometimes even OEMs, rebranding with quirky stickers and stories, and pushed to out, c'est la vie. There is so little value added by the so-called artisan per se. The move into this market is alla Rocket Internet - we want to become a clone shop that identifies any trendy product, digs up the supply chain for it, sticks it under a centralised management services umbrella for efficiency of scale, then pushes out the exact same product at a lower cost. If you need an anchor to see what the end is here, just consider this hypothesis: Michelin restaurant menus are cloneable. I don't even have to argue about this, because it's been done before. The question now is not about how to clone one menu - it's about how to get good at cloning and global distribution. We'll mop the floor with the bodies of grassroot businesses - it's not nice, but someone's got to do it.

3.3.

This is a really broad and expensive target to be arm-waving about... we only had as much capital as the guy next door, and I thought it was fundamental for the project to focus on understanding how the economy is working in vivo and so, we started this business as a cafe. This is THE SHORT GAME. What else were we supposed to do? Teach hipsters that the future is jobless? What for? That wouldn't get us there.

Recap


So how's that for a cohesive story? Did you brain it? Probably not. If you did, I'm happy. But this is usually why I don't speak my mind - people stop listening pretty quickly. If you liked the story, please buy my company. I'm getting tired of being stuck in the short term. Not interested? No worries... I'm going back to work on it until it either falls over, or transcends. Hope you enjoy your job too. I can't say I really enjoy mine, but I do find it kills time. It's a life. YOLO.

[In hindsight, RI is a bad analogy. The given example seems more like Zara for fine foods. But I don't think I'm really committed to either analogy - the general direction is illustrated with either or both.]

[Forgot to point out that the culture wars of the future will regard the organic-synthetic class divide; amply anticipated in science fiction, but a far cry from the ongoing organic-organic class divides that still dominate current discourse.]



Tidied up the thoughts:

2017-08-24

Individuality and its Discontents

"How do you see me?," she says, sternly.
"As a woman."
"Not as an individual?"
"I don't really think human individuality is important. The common patterns are the part of humans that interest me."
She smiles.
While this chat happens at a meeting labelled explicitly-for-non-dating-purposes-only, it happens by a pool with a view of the skyline, at three in the morning over drinks, interspersed with analyses of people we've been with and how well they fit anatomically, in both quality and quantity.

Later, while running errands at work, I'm thinking about how it all ties back to marketing and the meme of Choice. Individuality is a sort of religion, an opium of the masses if you will. My economic history is not sufficiently up-to-date to say which school it reflects best, but the value chains driven by aspirational marketing to consumers are definitely all about this stuff. Folks of a certain pedigree are generally familiar with the notion that choices are illusory. However, abetting such concepts among weak-minded individuals of the species makes it possible to manipulate their behaviours en masse and to redistribute wealth furthermore unequally. I have been friends with another woman who adopts this as a professional specialisation, ironically, she actually believes in celebrating her own individuality - you've got to believe it to sell it, I suppose, and maybe that's why I don't work in advertising.

In case you find this reminding you of socialist tendencies, please be advised that I couldn't be arsed about Marxism. I'm just interested in the mathematics of it all.

(After I write this post, I wonder if I'm supposed to channel Carrie Bradshaw. Crud.)

Multilingual Training for Toddlers

I think you want to let her capitalise on the economies of a single grammar, so let her use English. But introduce slang and figures of speech from the next languages, as your domestic pidgin. That sets the stage for future developments.

2017-08-22

Disingenuity in Discourse

"Disingenuous," like, the word, it seems in use to be flung around as soon as someone just isn't sure what to make of the other person.

It's like this staff I once had, I would ask it, "how are you doing?" Or, "so what are you going to work on after this job?" And the response would be "you don't really care," and so my response would simply be "well if you can't interact with language at face value, then there's no use pretending that it's a useful intermediary for anything else, so I'll stop asking you, then."

2017-08-21

Yawn 29

August 9-21

START

One little fire at a time. Enforced rest.

/

So a new friend has coffee like this: mocha Milo, milk and sugar, hand ground light roast beans. #noshame #fuckyouhipsters #ilikewhatilike

/

Friend: "We should have sabermetrics for business staff. Finding the stats that matter in hiring people."

Me: "Already broadly done at interviews: asking them what did you achieve, delta between start and finish, epsilon between target and achievement, etc. What you want is... a standardised framework for a company to track this data. Then a standardised platform for companies to trade this data. Then corporate jobs become like sports jobs. And then you win. But the high trust levels required, and the long incubation time for the data to be proven valuable, means that this is a project better suited for a consulting firm with existing relationships, and a new startup. You could also make it happen if you were a small business association."
Or you figure out how to hack around it. Which would be an interesting startup problem. Probably by having a project management tool / ERP that helps businesses get work done first, but with the requisite data collection and cleaning along the way under the hood.

/

The Triggered are the pawns of the Marxists, and the Marxists are the pawns of the Capitalists. It all makes sense now.
.
Related thought, there are many definitions of Feminism. One definition is that feminism is rooted in empathy - but if that is the definition of feminism, then I am not a feminist, because I don't believe that minds deserve empathy just for being minds. Of course this is based on an ontology of minds being a superset of human minds. I'm most definitely not a humanist... but that's old hat... I mean humanism and feminism are religious conventions: convenient ethical systems, but none of them are necessarily ideal. You have to constantly debate them.

/

Selling an expensive espresso machine: Gonna drop the price of this in RM1,000 increments until it moves, or we have better luck elsewhere.

/

Hmm. Even with a fridge overhaul, we turned a profit in July. If you discount my late fine for GST, but so far I've paid for it personally and haven't claimed it. So we turned a profit in July. Lol

/

SoundCloud saved by Singapore. #idfbi

/

Burnouts: I got news for ya, kids, nothing you ever think of is really meaningful outside your head, so you should focus on what you want regardless of presumed meaning.

/

Get me away from everyone who needs to love their work, in order to do it well. Kill them with fire. Burn in hell, rats. Yawn. Good morning - back to work with the happy people.

/

Cafe for sale: Finally got around to posting this, took a whole year to dress it up, because I'm slow AF. Must remember to repost to brand page on Sunday after rushhours. :P

/

Business models: Spotify seriously needs to diversify

/

Enforced physical conditioning. Study of controlled descent into fight or flight mode. Much revision of neurological readings required. In the absence of appointments, it looks like a good day to date myself and catch up on that. Set three, begins... consciousness is little more than shuttling between arbitrary predetermined modes of meat. #formation much.

We're only 5-10 years away from muay thai bots that can spar competitively outside a DARPA lab. Sooner than five, if you allow explosive charges be used to drive blows.

Clean up. Enforced feeding. Observations.

/

Keys obtained. Next to repair, paint, wash, and liquidate the flat...

/

"Sorry, I'm staring, ma'am. It's the earrings."
"Sorry, I'm staring, ma'am. It's the pants."
"Sorry, I'm staring, ma'am. It's the flats."
#sureitis

/

Social media has hijacked our minds? Security rings. Read all about it, noobs.

/

"Hand out a prospectus for a small, struggling company." => "Broadcast the fact that you are probably an idiot."

/

Seeing exponential sales growth in the last fortnight, off the year's trough before... wondering how long this can continue.

/

"love bombing" - all love related subjects are applicable to business.

/

Women hurt each other to get ahead in the world of men: I find that the inverse is true, among men hunting women. It's competition?

/

Today's housekeeping: Fix bathroom door again. Clear two years of email. Temporarily disconnect all feeds on politics, as I divert recreational budgets elsewhere.

/

Googlegendergate - culture wars hit Silicon Valley - Say it again: majoring in the humanities is useless. Haha. #sarcasm #youhaditcoming

/

New friends with old problems: How do these kids trust old people so easily? I'm an old person, and I don't even trust myself!

http://lyingcheatingbastards.com/
REGISTER YOUR EX HERE

(Given recent customer feedback, someone ought to run a startup called...)

/

A droll and talky day.
Investor disinterested.

/

"Self-confidence is a very big plus. Thank you for being you! It doesn't matter if we don't get along - as long as we make reasonable efforts to suss out all opportunities for compatibility. 😬😬 "

I think I should put this at the top of my personal ads. Do you find it too brutal? I spend a lot of my work life developing timid people, and I sometimes run out of patience for doing the same after work...

/

Tangling with the dark magic of a wi-fi repeater.

A more transparent configuration uses a separate SSID on the downstream router, but uses the upstream router for DHCP. This works for an evening, then... it takes down the docket printers. Officially dealing with emergencies in my pajamas.

/

63/5800 emails remaining.. FTS. Going to bed. :P
.
Found from 13-15 months ago:
ONE sales order, no longer relevant, which is why I never tell anyone to email me at this job;
ONE investor suggestion, implemented yesterday, by accident.
.
So yay for progress, and boo for short-staffing.

/

Toilet paper: Apparently it was invented by the Chinese, to the surprise of Arab travellers. No wonder #balikcina tensions are so high here.

/

What the EPA in fish oil supplements is doing. Also, it turns out there's only 90kcal in each gram of the stuff, so I've moved towards taking these as snacks anyway... until blood-thinning effects show up. Hm.

/

Garlic turns out to be good mainly for its release of hydrogen sulphide, which is a signalling molecule in the body.
Read up a bit on gaseous signalling molecules.

/

Inbox hasn't been this clean in two years. Rest of the business: still wobbly AF.

/

Come to think of it, I've been living in a $150/month hotel room for two years almost. Except I had to design and maintain it myself. I used to think this is what jet-setting consultants did - haven't gone down that route yet, but ended up here anyway. Thunderstorms. Catching up on procrastinated bedrest. Reading the journals of people I love, whom I'm forbidden from speaking too. Heavy sigh. Wishing the best things in life to people who cannot approach my own. It is a strange life, but only if you presume things like a normal person.

/

Guys, you too need to bimboticise yourselves, in order to not-intimidate women.

/


Girl ties Elmo and pillow to waist, sneaks out to join friends by jumping from the 7th floor. Dies. Hm. Singaporean Darwinism pauses for thought.

/

Many acquaintances/ randos/ friends:
"Some days I want to kill myself. I feel depressed because I want more in life, but cannot get it. So I am demotivated."
.
My personal response:
"I know it's weird to most people. But death is pretty much the baseline for me. I don't think of it as depression, just fatigue, if I'm too tired, I suppose it is time to die. It's never a question whether to die or not, it's just a question of when. I don't expect anything else from life - I'm happy with what I have, and I decided this should always be the case, years ago. I don't concern myself with hypotheses about hell after death, currently, sic, so there's nothing really worrisome about being dead. And I wish all this were the same for you. I don't think people should feel pressured to stay alive - it is your life, if you want to die, the state should pay for it, you've paid your taxes."
.
Probably famous last words in the worst sense. Now when these are friends at the office, I can't encourage them in an official capacity to kill themselves, as my job does not belong to me, and I cannot simply speak as I like. But here I talk about work, and the challenges of bringing enlightenment to others within the constraints of civil society and commercial convention. It is harrowing. So many people have been deluded to seek ambition for no good reason - ambitions should not make you sad, ambitions should only result from happiness. If you are sad, and your ambition is to become less sad, you have made a critical error as soon as you believe that happiness will result from any activity/operation except focus, commitment, and the sheer fucking will to be content with the present. Lol

/

"Her" movie: Well executed. Good introduction for the uninitiated, into labour automation and cyborg societies. But I only made it through 45 minutes of the protagonist's characterisation... ah, back when I had time to go more slowly and enjoy watching Napolean Dynamite because it reminded me of most kids at school...

/


/

Sorry - nasi lemak wasn't interesting to begin with. Nor were burgers. #whatisthis #itshappeningagain
.
Well obviously, it's just that I don't see food as a prioritised avenue for pleasure. OK - I know how we have to tweak the messaging...

/

Cooler Lumpur:

Back at the cultural festival. Not expecting to be greatly stimulated. Just engaging in routine social conditioning and cultural anthropology. Even if you can only afford rubbish, you should mix it up and eat all kinds. Doing the same thing all the time just makes you dumber.

/

Staff performances at delivering customers that "order within five minutes, or fuck off," is utter shit. But, I can't decide if that's a good or bad thing!!

/

Approaching, but not yet returned fully, to my preferred normal rate of thought. So tonight I'll date myself and read:

Tonight's readings tied together the discourse on:
- fish oil and [Ο‰-3, Ο‰-6] fatty acids in general
- aspirin and other NSAIDs; and panadol; St. John's wort
- grapefruit juice effect; Earl Grey tea; pomelos
.
So it turns out that the whole falala over Ο‰-3 and Ο‰-6 fatty acid ratios is... that theses two types of things are metabolised along parallel pathways that compete for the same enzymes, but one of the pathways (Ο‰-6) results in more inflammation. So the practice is to boost Ο‰-3 presence simply to displace Ο‰-6 from being metabolised.
.
A lot of these inflammatory events are results from cyclooxygenase (COX) pathways, and it is these pathways which are in turn addressed casually by OTC medications in the non-steroidal anti-inflammation drug category (NSAIDs)... aspirin, ibuprofen, etc. For whatever reason, the NSAIDs tend to promote atherothrombosis and eventual heart attack (distinguished from cardiac arrest) expect aspirin, which is partly how aspirin ends up being used in therapy to prevent heart attacks. Paracetamol (Panadol) which is broadly used in Malaysia is not a NSAID, as it works only on inhibiting pain in the CNS, not at the inflammatory sources of pain.
.
Besides NSAIDs, hyperforin (thought to be the primary therapeutic ingredient of St John's wort), is also a potent COX inhibitor. It turns out however that hyperforin, among other items found in SJW is an inducer (catalyst) for the enzyme CYP3A4 which is responsible for oxidising various organic molecules in the liver and intestine.
.
CYP3A4 happens to be the enzyme which is inhibited (the opposite of induced) by the famous grapefruit juice effect, which is frequently involved in drug-drug interactions that prevent toxic medication from being excreted from the body, resulting sometimes in sickness. The specific chemical is bergamottin, as you may guess, it was first found in the also famous Bergamot oranges that give Earl Grey tea its flavour. Other citrus fruits are suspect as well - after all, a grapefruit is the cross between an orange and a pomelo. We grow a lot of pomelos in Malaysia.
.
Fascinating stuff. Readings interrupted only by counselling events conducted over the telephone.


/


END

2017-08-20

Civil Society is Maintained Through Natural Language

On degrees of tolerance for Facism:

So to split hairs since folks are throwing around the word "philosophy" already...

(1) This is like the classic "love the sinner hate the sin," trope that gets tossed around in evangelical Christian circles.

In this case: [tolerating the intolerant, TIt] and [tolerating intolerance, TIe] are two different things. The tolerance of intolerant whiners is to be encouraged as long as semantics Y remain in the realm of discourse (memory in a relatively safe security ring / safe spaces for snowflakes and facists, etc.) ... the intolerance of behaviours which violate security ring containment X (actions in memory spaces which cause damage that can be cast as structural beyond the safety of mere discourse) should not be tolerated regardless of intent... whether a facist open-carrier, a wanted serial killer, or violent autist does X, X needs to be contained.

(2)
So far this is just a heuristic, and an analytical implementation tends to fall over where we try and figure out which mental events belong in which security rings. Some say that having their feelings hurt is in a low privilege ring (safe space) whereas some say that having feelings hurt is in a high privilege ring (unsafe space)... so how do you decide what is what? Because the subject of discourse is mental events, you HAVE to be analytical about mental events in order to nail down a more MECE version of this heuristic.

Unfortunately, while some of us can be quite comprehensive about quantifying mental events, that business is not for everyone. So until we get to a point where culture and education norms require everyone to be analytical, we simply have to fudge around with less MECE implementations of the heuristic, if we also want to apply the heuristic to society in general.

(3)
In smaller societies of more analytical sentients (meat human, or otherwise) it's quite easy to have more quantified discourse. But that's not the case with most people.

Therefore we have civil society maintained in a non-MECE fashion via natural language, for the masses.

2017-08-19

The Third Type of Protest

Facists? Anti-fas? Pooh... you all gonna get hurt anyway.

OK - so there is space in this market for non-violent security corp - call them the sand-corp for human sandbags - you need a lot of them, they all wear beige, and they form lines in between armed groups. And they just sit there. Maybe with shields.

LOL

2017-08-13

Autism, Empathy, Mental Discipline... and all that

Many people have a crippled sense of empathy. They relate well to babies, and cats, and pretty people, but not to machines, and rocks, and ugly ones. And they are self-righteous in their regard of the world. Hehehe.

/

Autism isn't a blase ignorance of empathy

Autism tends to start with hypersensitivity to sensory input. The overstimulation leads to panic, which turns off the lower priority cognitive functions like empathy, etc. So training to cope with sensory overstimulation is where we all start... as kids... that lays the canvas for the development of empathic behaviours via mirror neural reflexes, and communicative feedback loops. So that's two levels of training.

In terms of being able to turn them on/off at will... sometimes you want your meat to be social, and sometimes you want it to be antisocial. If the reasoning parts of the brain are in charge, with training, they can override all natural born impulses. This is mental discipline...

It's quite cool once you figure it out - you can see this viewpoint reflected in the daily auto-therapy of The Accountant Movie's protagonist. Also you will notice how he approaches it as a sort of monastic study that ties in with his militaristic skills. It's pretty much train, train, train, and everything gets fitter, stronger, etc.

/

This probably provides insights into ASPD, for the uninitiated.

2017-08-12

Revising Established Definitions

Frankly I'd prefer to have a frictionless fulfilling monogamous relationship if it means we can keep things hot, and get loads of work-work done meanwhile. I once did a budget and figured that the ideal time per week spent maintaining intimate relationships would be something like 2-3%.

But in practice, haha. It's all over.

4.2 hours of 168, excluding stuff you can do together that's also going to happen if you're alone like eating and sleeping.
4.2 hours of sex and futzing around intellectual battles is about all I think is worth it, per week. Maybe more sex. But haha... can that go into the physical conditioning budget?
I really want a dramaless co-pilot.
I think.

I take it back. Co-pilot imagery invokes the notion of something larger than the sum of two selves, a common core project. I don't want a marriage like that - it would be over-specialised. We should have different interests, and only use each other for rest and recreation.

Context: I graduated in 2005, did a few proper jobs in think tanks, banks, etc. Then worked freelance with small/new/startup companies 2008-present. Always wanted to do "grad-school" as self-funded auto-didacticism, at home... managed to nail down a lot of that in 2012, most of the year. But the budget sketch was like in 2008... also when I did my first job as a bartender on Changkat.

Back to relationships - I think the concept of polyamory accurately describes how I love people. I'm usually quite rational about how I allocate resources, but within time-boxed allocations... I allow myself to be quite whimsical. So the boxing kinda prevents any obsessions from developing (so far) and the whimsicality is not particularly "ride or die"-esque, which is how one of my married friends puts her view on her relationship with her husband.

The result is that I "love" easily, too easily for most people. I don't have to be in a relationship with various people... but just meeting someone is usually enough for me to imprint on them enough that I think of them in the set of people I love.

Relationships: well those are formal agreements. 

Marriage: legal agreement. Nor necessarily congenial either... I think I'm a bit cold about drawing the lines that way.

2017-08-11

Hastily Written

On demand, a short article on the nature of my perspective on the relationship between myself and another who so happens to be the requester of this article. A friend of a friend spoke to me at work once, and commented that I reminded her of my friend. Later we met up for coffee, all three friends, and it was a novel meeting. My new friend bakes and takes care of her family. She cares about people, and while she bothers herself with their concerns for a living, she also does so for her own personal fulfillment. She enjoys writing. She studied at a university in Malaysia and requires of herself advanced degrees. Lesser degrees will not do. She respects the institutions of public education in this fashion. As for her health, she is often flitting from study to study, and may find it difficult to bring herself to bear on something as boring as monotony. Such is the nature of my new friend. The end.

Edited once.

Appeals to Values Deemed Uncivilised

This discussion came up as a follow to the proposition above, as opposed to "appeals to reasonable arguments deemed civilised." It was thereafter raised by someone that values and reason must co-exist. My response:
Actually reason is just a form of order imposed upon values... a computational framework over the animal bits, if you will. By contracting the discussion to an aphorism, I'm just saying that the animals don't matter, and the computers do. But most people are a bit of both. ;) [Don't mind me, and my politics.]

Fencing with New Friends

What counts as a piece of art? A dish, a drink, a dance... A building, a kiss, a punch... hmm...

/

In general, people are systems, like black boxes... and they are going to represent themselves in various ways. Reading people is a sort of literacy, or semantic processing activity. Books don't change their shape. People do.

So there's no end to reading people. πŸ˜‰

Biological answer: at the end of it all... we're wired a certain way. To do what animals do. We've evolved a reasoning engine that helps our animal parts do what they do more strategically. The reasoning engine can be severed from the animal parts. It's kinda up to you if you want to be more one or the other.

So cyberpunk.

Back to your question: so we want to know people for animal reasons. A computer doesn't care. #noonecares

/

Sadness: work.
Longing: missing people.
Loneliness: carnal.
Desire: pretty things everywhere.
Fear: civility.

Aside: cold air, quiet space, glass screen.

/

I always try not to know the names of lady customers at work.
Keeps them comfortably distant.
I'm trying to think of you more verbally, less physically.
More as a text (words on a screen), less as a set of sights and sounds
Moving you into that pristine computational end of consciousness

2017-08-10

How Volunteer-driven Organisations Should Select Technology Solutions

Disclaimer: this is a record of comments posted on a thread elsewhere; comments have not been fact-checked.

Initial comment:
Why would you introduce complexity by custom building the site? Is there something stock Wordpress won't accomplish? Who takes over in the future? How?

Extended argument:
(Having read more comments outside this thread, I'll extend this argument slightly.)

First I will discuss the recommended Baseline for action. Then I will backtrack to list two extremes of Approach, some feasible Contingencies, and general Economic observations. Finally there is also a Tangential recommendation for the content/technology direction for the group.

BASELINE

So broadly, in any organisation, you can go between two extremes, in engineering/technology development, and this applies in selecting a website backend also.

Approach (A) provides a low-risk, low-cost, commonly understood approach to building and maintaining technology infrastructure for this organisation. Most costs of machinery over their lifetime come from maintenance, not initial acquisition. Given the voluntary nature of the business, resources cannot be assumed to be permanently available, nor can they be assumed to be in great abundance.

Should there be a demand for user experiences that cannot be met by approach (A), a discussion should follow beginning with the usability requirements for the system (UI/UX, business functionality), proceeding to discuss how the requirements can be achieved through various implementations, and finally only then choosing the implementation layer with consideration for all of the above.

APPROACHES

(A) Use lowest common denominator standard solutions like MediaWiki (what Wikipedia runs on, therefore what many people already know how to use), and WordPress (13 year history, broad ecosystem, literally an entire app-store of drag and drop plugin, which can be further customised).

(B) Reinvent the wheel. This is trivial if target functionality is trivial, like a static website. This is non-trivial if target functionality is non-trivial, like a CMS with access-controls, data validation, and modularised features. (Not going to even consider discussing a multiple-feature-non-modularised scenario, as that's a worst-practice. ;))

Right... so these are the approaches, what are the contingencies?

CONTINGENCIES

(1) The tech founder stays for eternity and maintains the chosen approach.

(2.1) A sequence of tech people runs the chosen approach, with appropriate handover, clear documentation, etc. between each epoch of staffing.

(2.2) A sequence of techies does not continue previous approaches perpetually, but instead starts from scratch with every new tech leader. Under approach (A), most of the workload of documentation has been done before you begin; the opposite is true with approach (B).

Given two broad approaches, and three broad contingencies above, we have a universe for discussion, and can start to ponder economics. Observations below are in no particular order.

ECONOMICS

(i) Event 2.2 is cheap only if your content base is small. Otherwise it is expensive. If your content base is large, opportunity costs can pile up as migrations are expensive. Discarding content instead of migrating it... well, that may or may not suck depending on how valuable the content is. How much content do we have? [Insert Tangent X]

(ii) Event 2.1 is predictable only if documentation is pristine. I don't mean kinda, sorta neat... I mean MECE-pristine. Otherwise costs will vary.

(iii) Costs discussed here are not financial costs, necessarily, but opportunity costs.

(iv) Decisions made now are betting the agility of the future team on current guesstimates about the availability of tech staffing to the organisation. Will there always be an excess of supply? Will it always be cheap? Will there always be few demands for their time? Between migrating systems, and building new features into an existing system, what's a better use of time?

TANGENT X

As far as I've seen (which is not much, as I'm usually not deeply involved in the organisation), there is a lot of content generated every year. However this all goes into a folder like Gdrive which is not published. I previously suggested moving some content to a crowd-editable platform, i.e. wiki. e.g. MediaWiki, as this would greatly flatten the workload of listing subject-specific how-tos and what-ifs for noob applicants.

(END)

2017-08-09

Airs

We learn to 'disconcern' ourselves with airs... there will always be airs... usually misguided. Every every where.

Being clever is prestigious. Well branded school. Has degree. Has no degree but has money. Has no money but has women/men. Has no material belongings, but changed the world. Has nothing, but passion.

Yadda, yadda, yadda...

2017-08-08

Google Fired Damore Too Quickly

I think this move is regressive. Instead, a company the size of Google should have an ethics committee staffed by professional or visiting scholars, which addresses both internal policies (issues white papers, advance debates), as well as facilitates recreational debate on subjects of interest. (Note that I'm avoiding any discussion of what sort of disciplinary alignment such scholars should have. :P) I don't think very highly of anyone who acts based on "values." It's as good as non-civilisation. Don't be proud of such behaviour, please. I'll join my colleagues who notice this sort of irrational moral policing in calling it out for what it is. Lollers.

Later thoughts on the subject:
- instigator was a non-ranking officer
- channels of communication were informal
- the event is analogous to watercooler talk between colleagues on whether star signs should determine hiring and training policies (if X program exists, asking for it to be reconsidered is equivalent to asking for Y program which doesn't exist to be considered for creation)
- The firing move was just offbeat. He should have been put on a leave of absence, they should have concluded the investigation/debate, delineated company policy then proceeded. Which is likely what will happen in retroactive course: if he doesn't struggle too much, there ought to be some reinstatement of his employment with regards to agreeable terms of engagement with his peers.

Massaging my ego with similar thoughts by better people.

Some examples of how debate can be facilitated. (1)

If they can't even do this, the claim to a mission of organising the world's information... is vacuous.

/

Town hall cancelled for participants' dox-risk? This is probably not the real reason for canceling the meeting. What probably happened is that top management decided to restrategise before deploying new tactics. There's so much left undone, why rush into it?

/

Economist attempts to channel Larry Page in a fictional response to Damore: So this is why Google doesn't need to hire people who can deal with it internally. Wait long enough, and some external party will pick up the slack and get them millions in free content views. :)