Sunday, July 14, 2024

Why is 2024 quiet?

TL;DR -- 2023 saw Gloucester, MA celebrate its founding in terms of arrival of a crew from England. 2024 continues that activity, somewhat. 

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We have had several posts on Gloucester, MA who did their 400th last year. The Cape Ann crew arrived in 1623, overwintered, and others showed up in 1624. 

So, the modern Gloucester continues their celebration into the 2nd year. What happened to the TGS, Inc. involvement? We support their lookback. Dr. Frank and Ann have ancestors who were with the original crew. Two that come to mind are Conant and Woodbury. There are other families. 

What of Thomas Gardner? In 2018, there was an article that we commented at: The Settlement of Cape Ann: What is the Real Story?

300th celebration of the
Cape Ann arrival

Recently, we commented again. Here is the content of our comment: 
So, we have research to do. And, we are reconstructing our sites and blogs to fit the story. 

With respect to Thomas and Margaret, we will be looking for evidence that he came over here alone, at least twice, before he came over with Margaret and the children except Seeth who was born here. 

In the meantime, watch WikiTree for commentary and research results as well as our legacy site. 

Now, Chelsea, MA has its 400th this year. We will look at that shortly since the date is set for September 21. There have been activities so far this year that we can catch up on. 

Also, there are other towns to celebrate over several years: Quincy (2025); Salem (2026)

400ths for Massachusetts 

Remarks: Modified: 07/142024

07/14/2024 -- Aside: the Salem History for the 400th does not mention Gardner. The 300th had a focus on the old planters who were not of the group associated with the Beverly land grant. The 200th would have been after the Revolution and 1812 Conflict and probably muted. The 100th? Worth looking into. And so, for the 500th, will we have something to add? As in, look to fill in some of the missing pieces. 




Friday, July 12, 2024

Gardner Beacon, Issues

TL;DR -- Before we publish GB XIV, 1 and 2, we take a look at the fourteen years of Gardner Beacon issues. Some of the PDF files have been republished with links. That effort will continue until they are all updated. 

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Yes, we are in our fourteenth year with our first issue being in May of 2011. One thing to notice is that the blog has "Gazette" in the name. We were leaning toward that but changed to "Beacon" for several reasons, one of these does point back to Winthrop's sermon in which he used the "City on the hill" phrase. 

We have an Index from the beginning. For every issue (using GB I, 1), we had the blog post (above link) and a PDF (with a link to a print version) at our Heritage site. For the first four issues, we had a Sources file which gave some sense of the provenance of the material. Two years ago, we started to redo the PDF to include links to the material being discussed.   

At the same time, we created a mobile-friendly version of the issue using WordPress which was an improvement on the HTML/CSS experiment that we did earlier. This happened when Google announced that they would not link in their search results to sites that were noncompliant. This was the 2015 timeframe. 

Since then, we went with a more adaptable method using HTML/CSS/Javascript as we see with the portal (TGSoc.org) which was quite interesting in terms of doing custom sites. The trend has started toward the look-alike type that has become so prevalent. There is a lot to discuss about using these, but let's put that off, for a while. As the topic will be important in the near future as the world shakes out the influence of technological changes that came about with no seeming forethought. 

Now, before going on to  GB XIV, 1, this table shows the list of issues where we are tracking the conversion of the issue to the PDF with links. The exercise allows us to review the past fourteen years in terms of content through time. 

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Curation will be more important in the future than it ever was. The following effort allows us to go to all of the issues and link to material that can be considered source. 

         Track updates to GB issuesPublished  

Since 2022, we have published with WordPress

Vol. XII, No. 1Vol. XII, No. 2Vol. XII, No. 3
Vol. XIII. No. 1Vol. XIII, No. 2

--------------

After we complete this exercise, we will go back and determine where we need to publish a correct due to the change in status of the information. That is, what impact does finding the records of births of the children in Sherborne, Dorset, UK have on the issues? We expect that we'll include a link to an error-correcting blog post that will be availabe with lists of contents and indeces. 

Remarks: Modified: 07/13/2024

07/13/2024 -- One issue relates to starting the new blog in WP. In the focus on content, a couple of configuration steps were not completed. One of these dealt with comments. That was no problem for two years. GenAI's general emergence in 2024, as 2023 was a period of getting familiar with the phenomenon, allowed easier programming, such as hacking out comments. The comments accumulated by the 1000s, slowly down response. That stream has stopped; all existing comments were deleted. Hence, response is now as expected. Comments can be sent to: jmswtlk@tgsoc. org. 

Thursday, July 11, 2024

Next two years

TL;DR -- The next two years have major historic connections. One is of the old country. The later is the start of the new one. 

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Two things, with more later. On Quora, I was reading a comment by a Berkeley grad (see first bullet) and thought so use this post from 2015. 
  • Vicissitude and life's puzzles (June 2015) -- I had gone to a talk by Douglas Richardson. This post had a  link to his site. Today, it didn't work. Okay, that's going to be a common thing on the web along with the intentional (many times) introduction of mis(dis)information. So, I go looking for information on DR. Turns out that Wikipedia has a page (Note: Wikipedia, being human curated, is going to serve a savior role for some time). So, in our post, I changed the link for DR to his page on Wikipedia. Too, I was reminded that he was a Berkeley graduate. 
With respect to this, the Magna Charta involvement by Henry III will be celebrated next year. More on that later. 
  • The 250th of the U.S. (list of posts) -- We have had several posts.    
D.A.R. has been involved for almost a decade in the planning. One action was to have a committee that helped get difficult applications documented. That work got us to realize that there is something needing study on a continual basis: America's Lost Generation. We have seen a lot of this type of thing. Fortunately, we have found the committee's help to be of great value to Ann's work. 

Remarks: Modified: 07/11/2024

07/11/2024 --


Sunday, June 30, 2024

Recap of sorts

TL;DR -- Recap of, at least, 20 years. Actually, it's more. GenAI rests on a foundation that goes back to the 1950s, and before. 

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Getting involved for several reasons in things that  have been there but were not active. So, what happened? Things come and go. Focus goes from one thing to another. Wait long enough, and the cycle brings things back. 

Not talking me, as I multitask, anyway, and, for the most part, pay attention to status as well as state of affairs, and being. 

AIn't is a hot topic. Okay, again? Now, I want to talk about tAIn't which is the state of affairs with regard to GenAI's influence on the world for over 18 months now. Too, an old colleague has a new thing going which I'm paying attention to and supporting. 

So, a recap as a point in time event. 

  • Summary of writings -- This was first written a few years ago, in order to have something to push up to academia[.]edu which publishes on-line material as well as supports discussion. It starts from when I retired and covers blogs, which are referenced in the following. It also includes information about the work with TGS, Inc. (the sponsor of this blog). This summary will be updated regularly. 
  • AI, more than ML -- This effort started in 2023 when I found out about ChatGPT about two months after the rest of the world. Would you believe that I was comfortable working my "truth engineering" aspects and not paying attention? Would you also consider that after I stopped to see what the hype was about, I thought: they crapped on the world and people are eating it up? Well, I made a comment on Linkedin and got in contact with my old boss at Sperry. He was head of development and quite knowledgeable about the topic as well as having major experiences in computation since its beginning. After some interchange to catch up, we put out a few articles and have more on the way. For me, "truth engineering" is the focus which needs to be explained in more details. That is in the works.  
  • Einstein Experiment
    7'oops7 -- The link goes the second post that was published in 2007. This was the second blog that I started and covered issues related to complex systems. Early on, the focus was the Boeing 787. Later, the focus spread out to finance and other areas where we see failures and consequencees of these on a regular basis. Speaking of which, we're on the verge of similar disturbances which will cover lots of parts of life formerly not bothered, so much. I referenced the partner blog in the last bullet. So, after I found out about Gen AI, I took the time to reevaluate all that I knew, diving deep into the mathematics. So, people, we're see a chimera whose consequences may be more dire than we might want. But, who can foretell the future? Science cannot. At best, it proposes some results that can be analyzed in the sense of determining pass or fail for an experiment. On the other hand, we can show where things go awry and intend to demonstrate this. It'll take some time. 

So, those three bullets go a logn way. The "Summary ... " points to a lot. Now, we'll be going forward. This post will be kept updated as we go along. I am studying my notes that are not digitized. Or, it maay have been in digital format at one time but we don't have a copy. 

There is a lot of work that show results but which does not have the documentation that goes with an acadeemic study. So, since I know specifics to discuss, I'll write up general aspects that apply to the current situation. 

Or, old age will slow me down. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/30/2024

06/30/2024 --


Saturday, June 29, 2024

Eighty-eighth

TL;DR -- LA, again, with a supposed view from 1888 which shows the development at the time given alongs side with a later view with a building built in 1893 which is still standing. Bunker Hill comes into vierw, of course. 

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So, LA a town of tales? It might seem that way since it's the hub of creative efforts out of Hollywood. Wasn't there a movie with "LALA Land" in the title if memory is correct? 

We have written of Bunker Hill west a bit. The original motive was due to the progression of change that came with the Revolution, start of the U.S., the westward movement (by land and by sea) and then the fast pace of change seen everywhere. One of these changes was the eruption on the landscape of high-rise building. LA has a few which block sunsets for quite a few folks. The mountains always blocked sunrise on the east. 

Not long after the west opened, with St. Louis as an organizing center, traffic flowed from early trappers to fur traders and then land seekers with remnants of these changes all across the country. Tales abound that need to be told. Leaping to the coast is easily thrown in as both LA and its cousin up north, SF, were major ports. From there, people moved inland. See Napa Valley pioneer. Ann's lineage has developers in both California and Florida. 

But, there was another motive which deals with memory. John worked and lived in DTLA in the early '60s when the City Hall's height was a limit. Too, DTLA was bustling without being a canyon (out west, these are usually associated with some waterway) city. The mountains were majestic and visible. For a while, they seem to disappear with the appearance of smog. But, this year, we have seen lots of winter views from the DTLA area. John's main work are as the Times-Mirror building, but he was in lots of downtown buildings where he picked up or delivered "ad" copy for coming editions. John lived at the base of Bunker Hill, or on Bunker Hill, or to the west (northwest) of DTLA on the shore of the Westlake near MacArthur park. UCLA had an extension in DTLA with regular classes.

And, DTLA is getting attention due to the internet's abilities to allow photos to be shown and localities to be discussed. Like one area not far from DTLA and higher. One sees the old LA in the streets and dwellings with huge monoliths blocking the view. One of our posts showed the City Hall surrounded by land being developed and a corner not far away which we named as "High rise corner" in honor of the effort. That post also has a snap from Google maps showing the relative shadows of these prominences. That is, how long is the shadow? Fortunately, the density is such that a blue view is not obstructed for long. 

We'll show three photos that go along with this theme. These photos come from archives at the Library or at the Water and Power Associates

Now, another purpose for the interest is that we need to get these photos out and described before GenAI's artificial view of the world is replaced. Case in point? There's a photo of supposed 1901 LA that shows this sparse setup. But, we know from drawings of the time of Butterfield that there were buildings in the area that we show below. Too, efforts at the tunnels such as the on on 3rd street were going on for a long time. 

Okay, to the photos. Let's first look at the Bradbury building which was built in 1893. In the '60s, it was one of the many business buildings in DTLA. 

Bradbury building, DTLA

Let's take a look at the area in 1880s. The view is looking toward Bunker Hill northwest along 3rd Street. 

3rd Street, DTLA, 1880s
looking toward Broadway

From this view, it's apparent that DTLA had many buildings prior to 1901 (on that photo, we need to look at its provenance and try to pinpoint how it was created - that will be a common theme in the future). Jumping forward, here is that same view in the modern era. 

3rd and Broadway, DTLA

The old Bradbury building still looks good. 

Along this line, we saw two photos that were troublesome since we haven't paid close attention. The Mission at San Gabriel (1771) from which area on can see the high rises of DTLA was burned by arson. It's been repaired. But, what was lost? Same goes for the Library which is not far from the area shown in these photos. It was burned twice with 1,000s of books and articles lost. BTW, here's a view of that building from Wikipedia. 


Notice the neighbood. One of the first high-rises went up in the Libary's space due to some maneuverings. One might say, a little knowledge can go a long way (up). Whatever. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/30/2024

06/30/2024 -- The district was Westlake. In the title, changed "eigth" to "eighth" which will be there anyway, in the file name. Comes from multitasking in a non-linear fashion. Try not to get too "linear" without perturbing things. Not that I can't (tensors are a known phenomenon - know their limitations, as well). 


Thursday, June 27, 2024

README and more

TL;DR -- README! Such a minor thing. It's age old. We don't seem to know where it started. But, it relates to the world of code. It's nice that GitHub, old ways being new with the internet and worldwideweb. In any case, now AI has put its wannabe head into code from various positions. We have payed sporadic attention and thought that it deserves a more regular focus. 

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We have mentioned GitHub (Wikipedia overview) several times since around the 2020 timeframe. Our latest post was motivated by an email feed from the GitHub team that related to an article on those who maintain code. That role was always seen as less important than the "cowboy" roles of the developer. 

Stopping a minute. GittHub is an on-line example of what can be termed code management. This type of facility/utility evolved over the years until it's a fairly robust addition to good business practices. Some have used CMS for this type of work. However, we have had lots of posts about Content Mangement and will continue. AI modes will require extra efforts at curating. So, stay tuned.  

Now, back to the "cowboy" (apologies to the real type). Guess what? Lots of developers put stuff out and strutted off the stage like the stud. Oh, btw, this is an old guy writing who has seen this stuff for decades. And, after strutting off, the stud left the errant traces of his work for other to clean up after. Much like the mother after her kids. 

Mixed metaphors, I know. But continuing. I'm working with a project that will try to incorporate AI modes (we'll be more specific later) into a new system which is supposed to revolutionize the economy, as a whole. Large piece of pie to bite from. Anyway, I will still blog though I'll be going to other blogs and linking from those back to here. 

Another bit of interest? GitHub and OpenAI have been working for awhile on a Copilot which is supposed to aid in developmenr or general code management. This joint work started in 2021 which was a year before the general release of ChatGPT. BTW, if you are wondering what this is about, see a brief history of GPT. The author writes about research on AI (mainly machine learning). 

Again, back to the subject. Today's mail pointed to this discussion: How are AI coding tools changing the way developers work? This is from the maintainers group referenced above. In reading the text of the discussion, there were some things that stood out. One was this: AI might not write a book, but it can write a good paragraph. 

Before proceeding, though, a couple of words. Yes, one can drive a small nail with a sledge hammer. But, it's a mismatch of need and what's being used to fulfill the need. Too, AI (GenAI, in particular) is hugely chewing up resources. For what? They need large data centers that requires an unwarranted amount of energy. Too, they need water for cooling. And, more. They're noisy. They make the landscape other than desirable. Go look at those that surround the lovely Virginia countryside of Dulles (IAD). 

So, reading the article was interesting. I went to look at their site and saw that this group started to publish in April of 2023. That would have been when the reality of ChatGPT and its kin was sinking in which was a mere five months after the release. As a reminder, OpenAI went viral and got millions of people to sign up for the free ttrial. Too, lots of folks bought in, including companies. 

All of that will eventually be analyzed. I started last year in another context: Knowledge Systems Center, Sperry Univac. As mentioned in the last post, I have been off helping to support a project as it gets off the ground. So, there are pending tasks that will be picked up again. 

Now, the effort at GitHub is called The ReadME Project. Coders have used a README forever, it seems. Software usually had this text file that included some documentation, or information about using the software, and more. So, does Wikipeda say anything about the README? Yes


Now back to the GitHub project. Here is a little bit of the notices sent since they started. AI itself has only come into focus the past few of these. 
  • 06/26/2024 - AI is here. How is it changing the way developers work?
  • 05/23/2024 - Maintainer Month: The joy of open source
  • 04/17/2024 - Getting started in a career in platform engineering
  • 03/12/2024 - Intelligent uses for AI in coding
  • 02/13/2024 - Best practices for open source maintainers
  • 01/09/2024 - Creating technical content
  • ...
  • 08/01/2023 - Getting started with edge computing | The ReadME Project Q&A
  • 07/13/2023 - How to make your first open source contribution
  • 07/10/2023 - How to handle programming paradigm shifts | The ReadME Project Q&A
  • ...
  • 06/13/2023 - Non-code contributors: The unsung heroes of open source
  • 05/25/2023 - Elevating contributors into maintainership | The ReadME Project Q&A
  • 05/09/2023 - Is it still "open source" if you don't accept contributions?
For an old timer, seeing all of this progress is a pleasure. There are several caveats which come from doing this for years including stints in the plush offices dealing with management and its science (if there is such). Evidence of this is becoming apparent to me. People, the key resource, are being driven to distraction and worse being slaves of automation. Oh, I would write more and will. Not just now. 

This year, I saw USDOD mention that people and their intuition ought to be the focus, not the computational twin that is a wannabe, many times over. All of this may seem new. It's not and has been going on for a long while. What's new? We can't hide the realities so much under proprietary cloaks when the evidence are huge monoliths traipsing along our skyline and blocking our rightful views ;>). 

Remarks: Modified: 06/27/2024

06/27/2024 --

Wednesday, June 26, 2024

New technology

TL;DR -- GenAI seems to have gone into the background of ubquitous stuff. Well not. Methods for future sanity preservation are still there on the table for identification and resolution. The game has changed, though, as what can one believe now? Concern for the state of affairs ought to be in the attention of all, top to bottom and back up. That is one of our focal points. 

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John has been involved in a project for a couple of months about which he will write later. So, as with any type of involvement, it takes time and energy. Hence, the post count went down here. But, we're still paying attention. 

The past year has caused many to reflect on technology. GenAI's emergence and chaotic nature are subjects that will be needing attention. But, there's a lot more. Just the computer, in general, needs to be better understood with respect to its history and its impact on our lives and on the world in general. 

Some of late took the task of arguing that people are less smart than computers. That debate is old. Expec that we'll be weighing in on the discussion. For now, though, we'll collect links to material of interest. 

The discussion will look at history which is in our scope. Computers can be dated to about the 1950s though one could go back further. There is a definite bit of periods that can be seen. Take the 21st century, post Y2K, things on the internet (TCP/IP) got interesting. We have some post on that having started in 2007 on other subjects and getting the TGS blog going in 2010. 

Over the past 24 years, we can mark where technology influeenced computing. The 2008 release of the Apple Phone is a major step. Since then, we have seen several changes of a major scale come into play. One of these deals with the "clouds" of the realm, though GSA (the U.S. Government's purchasing department) said okay to the cloud for [.gov] systems way back in 2005.  

So, here are disparate posts that associate. There will be more. 
  • This is from the Communications of the ACM, however it's based upon a report by the DOD of the US: Human Intuition and Algorithmic Efficiency Must Be Balanced to Enhance Data Mesh Resilience. I love the image, somewhat. The human as the key is a great decision. Too, the bright spot (say, our Sun and its wonders) represents many things. But, the mesh is without limit in its meaning. All of the GenAI and about everything that is computationally framed is now using linear methods of mathematics. Let's look at that (below). So, there is no AI in the buckets of bits. We have used "AIn't" are are serious in that. This article references the U.S.Army, but we will go into the original government studies. BTW, be aware that the Air Force has a One Model project now that seems to be conttra to this theme by the DOD. Well, not exactly, as it deals with the coming emphasis (actually old) on simulation. 
  • Herbert Simon was there at Dartmouth in the '50s meeting. The link is to his retrospective and has a few pages that one can preview. So, AIn't can be related to his work and that of many others. They, of course, have the right to use AI; I am merely calling them on carpet for washing over the details that are important. These things can be explained better. It's time for mature folks to step up and do the work. 
  • Along that line, I was reminded of Simon when reviewing this blog of Brian Keng: Book Impressions - 2019. He mentioned his reactions to Simon's book. I went to look for an on-line copy (prior bullet). Now, Brian's blog is Bounded Rationality. Brian is a professor who teaches the techniques of machine learning. Also, he plays around with and writes about this field. Too, he explains the mathematics as it comes up. Example: Tensors, Tensors, Tensors. You will see this topic in lots of the technical discussions. Some of this interest came up with AlphaGo which got a lot of press for Google. After all, that was major; we have to admit that we took a pause to see what the clamor was all about after all it dealt with games and not real life. (Note: as we go on, yes, that theme is there. John is going to use a patent write up and his experiences on a project to discuss knowledge based engineering and how it could have helped GenAI in a mature mode. But, those types of mismatches are generational. Learning how to manage this is on our (the whole of the planet) table. Anyway, Nvidia is the hot topic now. Lots of the machine learning progress came from their GPU which was built for gaming and graphics being converted over to handle large linear systems. Tensors, of course, are a generalization of this. And, by meeting the constraints of the assumptions (problems there, okay?), one gets good bookkeeping in computation (meaning, less programming and testing) plus the control mechanisms that are associated as the system does the work of remembering and tracing through all of the computations so that one almost can forget of vertigo and other types of lack of decision choice that is amenable to resolution on the fly. So, Brian's work is wonderful in operationa and as an example. 
  • Want to see an older attempt which still resonates? How about Continuum Mechanics and Fracture Mechanics. Bob McGinty is a retired PhD who worked as a PE. In the CM blog,he goes into the basic mathematics which involves the level attained for an engineering bachelors. I said older, but Bob's pages applied the advances of the time as he notes: 
    • Two relatively new web technologies are used on these pages. The first is Scalable Vector Graphics, or SVG. Pages on this site will display SVG files in compatible browsers, and PNG files in incompatible ones. The advantage of SVG over PNG is that SVG graphics can be scaled to any size without the onset of pixelization. SVG files used here were created using Inkscape, an excellent graphics program available free on the internet here. 
    • The second new technology used here is MathJax, a Javascript based display engine for mathematical equations programmed in the LaTeX language. MathJax eliminates the need to display equations as GIF or PNG graphics files (or even SVG for that matter). 
Of late, we have noticed stale pointers. Some of these come quickly due to the use of temporary links in various web sites. After all, nothing hangs around forever. Others of the missing pages are due to sites disappearing. We have paid attention and will made attempts at presenting material so as to lessen the event of the infamous 404. Of course, 404 (and related) handling will be part of the work, to boot. 

Remarks: Modified: 06/26/2024

06/26/2024 --