Thursday, November 30, 2023

Technical review

TL;DR -- Since we are taking a focus on technology as a thing deserving of attention, we will have to be regular in posting information. Expect that more regularly in 2024 as we commemorate the arrival of Thomas and Margaret (or not, depending upon our research)


We ought to have these on a regular basis and will starting next year. For this post, we'll look at a New Yorker article, briefly. Then, we'll add in a comment about a recent post. After that, we'll show a graphic with regard to one of our web servers. Then, we'll start a list of the web presence plus gather all of the technical posts together under various categories. 

Ambitious task? Yes, we'll start today and finish this up with a week. At the same time, we will consider how to do these and with what frequency. 


AIn't and AI. We'll be more specific next year. 

  • The Godfather of AI - See the New Yorker, 11/17/2023. This is the main article and dealt with an interview of Hinton. There was a genealogical notion brought up. He is Brit and a descendant of Rev. Boole of the logic and algebra that we all love. After casting about for some direction, he picked neural nets. One early act was popularizing the Boltzmann Machine. As we all know, none of the machines/methods found so far is all-powerful. Subsequent work ended up with the back-prop algorithm. In a sense, this is similar to numeric processing oriented toward resolving a multiple-body issue. Definitely, constraint satisfaction applications need a good look. One interesting tidbit is that the author of this article used Kafka's worlview as the basis for an example. This was written up in an issue of the 1986 Nature periodical. To note, please. On seeing an interaction with ChatGPT, he was astonished so as to talk "level of understanding" and even uttered "alive" in the context. He has seen lower-level reality in that his later work deals with neuromorphic approaches. 
  • The Economist as example - See the last post: Science and AI. This was motivated by seeing an article in the 11/25/2023 issue of the paper (not a magazine, they say) in which a reporter hypes some good work dealing with rogue waves. Now, everyone ought to be interested as waves are everywhere and densely sought by thinkers. Yet, in terms of the seas, this is old research with lots of data. Too, people have done an exemplary job in trying to understand the data. So, the researcher used the neural net to look at some pre-processed data where the mathematical elements were emphasized. Okay. Good results. But, a genetic (to be discussed) approach was about as capable. The researcher had a disclosurer at the top of his report. Did not TheEconomist writer not see this? Too, there is discussion about next steps. Our gripe? The use of AI as it encompasses much more than machine learning. Now, the post? Links to the data and the paper and the code itself which is at GitHub. That is how things will be, more or less, as research goes further. 

In some cases, we can use the facilities provided by the servers: Google; WordPress; Quora; FB. But, for our server, we use a Linux-based shared server. We think of it as balancing reliance on the cloud. Lots to discuss there. 

Related to:

What we see are six metrics. The world has gone mad numerically, many ways. So, that, too, will be discussed. But, with respect to the flow of activity, the topic was motivated by OpenAI's little trick last November. They didn't do the world a whole lot of favors; rather, we will see, in less than two years, just how negative the impact might have been. Now, will subsequent activity on their part relieve some of this. 

An adage is apropos: one cannot train out the crap that was trained into a system via machine learning. 

At the "Papers" site, we put out an article in May and then followed in the latter months. 


Aside: John retired as a Technical Fellow having worked in advanced computing systems most of his career. As such, he dwelt in the space between applications and the underlying technology, principally with regard to data management (early data science) and computational mathematics (in the space of engineering support). When he says, buckets of bits, it's with experience. Knowledge and intelligence? Those were themes in the advanced crowd all during the evolution of computing as we know it now. Or, actually, as we do not know it. Think black boxes and their mysteries? They were created by us. To quote an author who is aware of our work: demon of our own designs. 


Punting down the road, we have this blog. Plus there are two on WordPress. Then, our website is hosted on Web Hosting Hub. We started with Microsoft's Open Office (need to find the specific name) and moved when MS pulled the plug. That choice dropped the support for many small businesses who had tried to leverage that capability for their on-line needs. See this search: Configuration. You see, this is paired with "Content" or absence of it (which is very much the case in lots of web stuff). The timeframe was 2012 which was two years after we started. At our portal (to truth), we detail our research with respect to rolling our own. At the time, we were astonished by the amount of work done by those who have the time with permutations without end being made available. Interesting. 

Permutations? Sure, group theory comes to mind. It'll be in the background as we proceed. One problem with AIn't? There is no AI. We're talking sophisticated mathematics in action. So, let's raise that level to where we can get the general populace on board with the future. After all, leaving these things to wizard's is problematic. Did we not all learn that over the past two decades? 

Remarks: Modified: 11/30/2023

11/30/2023 --

Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Science and AI

TL;DR -- Wherein we look at an old problem which has new twists due to technology and its new ways. Media and news morph information severely.  


Now, I did not use AIn't in the title because I must refer to what might be called the real "AI" which would be a tool for all of us, including science. Now, "science" has a lot of meanings. We are being all-inclusive. Many think the "hard" types are the top-dog. That drives the STEM focus. But, there are the social sciences which deal with people issues. There is the medical science. We can have a "holy" science that could be discussed. The range covers the whole of humanity and the lives involved. 

Lately, computer science came along which is still being defined. AIn't, partly, might be attributable to issues there. But, mathematics, itself, needs attention as it swerved to mainly being quantitative in focus. Some of this goes back to computing's growth over the past century and its becoming useful through time so as to be everywhere now, via the cloud. We will discuss, later, the concept of qualitative means required by mathematics. The "pure" aspects of the discipline might be invoked, but we are talking other issues that technology will bring to bear. 

Recently, I discussed AI in the context of quantum mechanics (QM). I'll explain more as we go along, but the gist of the conversation was the difference between an overview versus being in touch with the specifics. The former is the state that anyone not involved with a discipline can attain without additional effort which was not really possible in the past. Now, with the cloud (and Wikipedia), one can read on any subject. Now, of course, AIn't's rise make things murky. What can you believe now? 

If I say, not much, that is a statement that was true in the past. But, now? That "not much" would have to be change to "very little" (can be believed) perhaps even "nothing". Okay? Things are dire. We all have to be exceedingly careful and observant. 

Wait, Wikipedia itself? Well, every page there has a history. We must use that facility. And, all changes are tracked with respect to time, editor, and difference in content. This is so back to the beginning of the page. Other sites offer similar means for determining status and history. In general, going forward, we need markers and more (truth engineering will be the topic for this discussion). 


So to the theme of the post. The friend showed me [a print of] an article that had appeared in the latest The Economist. Here is another article that quoted The Economist: A New Way To Predict Ship-Killing Rogue Waves. Within this feed, there is a link to the article (requires payment). The article had been marked at the points where the author of The Economist article raved on about AI and the way that this example solved problems beyond the imagination of humans (my paraphrase). Not as a retort, but in the spirit of debate, I marked [the article] where there were words about "mathematical routines" and the use of other techniques to check results of the AI (neural network) approach. Another approach used was of the evolutionary programming type which we have seen used in production. 

Of course, at the end of The Economist's article, there were the words "could" and "should" which are handwaving. The article did not go as far as some modern one have done where it exults of some accomplishment and its promise. Then, at the end, the article (probably forced by the editor) puts in words about this and that and the other thing (my words and emphasis) all being required as, essentially, the thing does not work as the glowing report might have suggested. 


In my usual manner, I went to look at the situation. 

Disclosure: The following recognizes the excellent work in this example. The intent is merely to demonstrate what is always a problem: transforming information into other states, faithfully. News and media face this all of the time; modern times seem to be allowing more laxity with its consequences. 

An irony: Perhaps, AI (in a real sense which we have not seen yet) could help hone messages to be more truthful in the transforms. Let's table that, for now. 

The researcher gave a talk at the National Academy of Sciences about legitimate research. And, as is becoming more imperative, he placed his data and the code on GitHub. Also, thanks to the cloud (it has its good points), we can find records for him on Google Scholar, GitHub (repository for code and more where he put his experimental code), and more. 

But, someone at The Economist reported. Or, they read some abstract. 

We, on the other hand, can look at links with supporting information. 

1. The data issues. One commenter touted that there are 300 years of data from an old science. As in all cases, the new approach is starting from the "state of the art" developed by humans and their methods. 

2. This is the paper which was quoted by The Economist and others. It can be found at ARXIV. And, the paper only mentions AI cursorily.   

Abstracts are everywhere, as we find nowadays: NIH; Google Scholar; ... 

3. The code for the experiments that are reported in the paper and the related data are available at GitHub. This type of disclosure is becoming an imperative for several reasons which we will discuss. Now, one bit of irony is that GitHub has piloted the "pilot" mode which has been going on for awhile where people use xNN/LLM to work code. We will look at that process in a later post. 


Now, this is an example of science using computing and doing experiments related to analyzing data. It is only one example of lots of work being done that is legit. Those efforts need to be brought to attention and recognized. Lots of shuffling up goes on, much under the guise of feeds. 

But, with the AIn't and its activities coming into play, how do we know legit from not? That is one of the themes that will be of importance in the future with regard to technology in general. One might say that this type of work is what the internet was created for. 

Now, using "collegial" for the former times and their ways, even then there was need for "peer" review and other scrutiny. But, the spirit of the times stressed truthful work and efforts at promoting proper communcation. 

Background processes (there are many others beyond AIn't) always were problematic. The lesson from the mobile phones and their apps brought that to bear. 

Remarks: Modified: 12/22/2023

11/30/2023 -- Minor corrections. 

12/22/2023 -- THE FUTURE OF AI IN SCIENCE AND MEDICINE, talk at Gairdner Foundation, Oct 25, 2023. 

Friday, November 24, 2023

Gloucester, 2nd year

TL;DR -- Gloucester did their 2023 lookback. Now, we're heading toward 2024. We have more information and will be taking a re-look at research. Were there two Thomas Gardners? Some have suggested this, over the years. But, that notion never shuffled up in attention. This and other questions are on the table for Gardner Research. 


Of course, we know that there was a party that over-wintered in the winter of 1623/4. Then, there were parties who came over in 1624. Plus, there would have been regular traffic from here to there. This year, Gloucester 400 looked at the original arrival. Except, it was not as there had been regular fishing expeditions sent here for several years before that. 

This year, fishing was a large focus, especially as it pertains to generations over the years since 1623. We expect that this will continue with the second year, as the 1624 party is recognized with less hoopla as is expected after the exhilaration of the the first year. In other words, now, let's get down to business. For one thing, we will be scrutinizing our posts (this blog) and editing/'updating with the new information. As well, as research continues, we will point to the work of others

Looking forward, by 1626, the failure of the effort was known. By then we will be looking at Roger Conant's move over to Naumkeak with part of his crew where he overwinterd at Massey's Cove. This was when the first controversies about Thomas Gardner cropped up, according to our records. He was not on the list of Roger Conant's for the old planters which we called Old Planters, Beverly.  

On the other hand, we did a recap of what we knew (based upon twelve years of browsing the material with respect to Thomas Gardner) in December 2022. We mentioned our FAQ and the work related to "whence" which was still open. We delayed digging further until March of this year when we had decided that Thomas' wife (Margaret, equal partnerMargaret (Fryer) Gardner) was to be the focus. 

Why the delay? Our initial thrust in the year was historic (see January 2023). Then, we found out about ChatGPT which had been released by OpenAI in Nov of 2022 (our first post on the subject was 2 Feb 2023). While we were getting familiar with the new AI and discussing issues, Bob Dunlap who is a Thomas and Margaret descendant, was wading through scores of images that were the digitization of the records of Sherborne, Dorset, UK. In doing this work, he found interesting information. We summarized this in a post: New not old planter. In summary, he found records about Thomas and Margaret plus all of their children, except for Seeth who was born in Salem, MA in 1636. 

After looking at the material, we proposed this: Old, and new, planter. We have many reasons for this point of view. Rev. Hubbard was the source for Thomas Gardner being involved with the Cape Ann venture. His reference does not suggest that it was not the Thomas extant in Salem when Hubbard was doing his work. Too, Thomas could have come over a couple of times. One of these would have been in 1624. In the records, there are gaps between children that would have allowed Thomas to have been away. But, the issue is open. 

Margaret, and the children at the time, would not have come over. Or, "may not" as we have to dig into this. In the meantime, we will report the determination of the Great Migration project at WikiTree. They pulled out another node and created two "Thomas Gardner" records. Here are a few words from each of the profiles. 

  • Thomas Gardner (abt. 1592 - 1674) - Thomas Gardner has recently been proven to be from Sherborne, Dorset, England with the discovery of the baptism of seven of his children.[1] He was baptized on 30 October 1591 in Sherborne.[2] This fits well with his deposed age of "about 69 years" on 26 November 1661.[3][4] Anderson states that Thomas Gardner's origins are unknown, but that was of course before the discovery of the baptism of his children.[5] Anderson also equates him with the Thomas Gardner who immigrated in 1624, though this is certainly incorrect as this Thomas Gardner had children born at Sherborne continuously until 1633. ... 
  • Thomas Gardner (1600 - aft. 1625) - Thomas came to New England as part of the Dorchester Company's failed attempt to establish a fishing colony on Cape Ann. The effort was funded by the Dorchester Company of Adventurers whose chief advocate was the Rev. John White of Dorchester, England.[1] Gardner was appointed as one of the overseers of the fishing colony.[2] It is not known if Thomas Gardner was among the first 14 men who arrived in Cape Ann in the fall of 1623; it is more likely he was in the group of 32 that arrived in 1624. ...

In short, we will start a major update in 2024 of our records and posts. Many issues remain to be researched. Until those are resolved, we will assume that there was one Thomas. That he was here more than once will be looked at thoroughly. 

On the other hand, that there were two Thomas Gardners in early Salem is not a new subject (Two Thomas Gardners in Salem; Back to DNA). What happened was that technology allowed access to the records. Bob Dunlap ought to be congratulated for wading through the non-indexed material. 

Remarks: Modified: 11/24/2023

11/24/2023 --

Wednesday, November 8, 2023

Transition year, 2024

TL;DR -- We have records to study; we need to take this further; we need to assess the situation and rework the story of Thomas and Margaret; also, Dr. Frank did wonderful work given the limitations of his time; this post announces that the directions will modify but not drastically; rather, we can firm up the basis for future researchers. 


Gloucester which is at Cape Ann where the crew positioned themselves in 1623 has done a great job with their 400th anniversary year and its events. We have remotely supported that theme while continuing our research. 

About nine years ago, we started to look at digital copies of records at Sherborne, Dorset, UK. At the time, the index for these records had included the marriage of Thomas Gardner and Margaret Fryer. So, we took that to WikiTree and got the Great Migration Project to switch their view of Thomas with three wives to him with two, Margaret and Demaris. At the same time, we saw images of records of the early sons' birth. 

Then, this year, a Gardner descendant took the time and expended the energy to look through loads of digital images, currently not indexed, for Gardner, And, lo and behold, he found records for the rest of the children, minus one. That was Sarah who was born here in 1636. So, questions arise about Cape Ann as we have lots of information about Thomas in Salem. 

Okay, was Thomas here in the early days? Rev. Hubbard suggested that he had been here for the first year. It turns out that two sons had some extra markings on their record. One was John. He would have been born while Thomas was away. Okay, conjecture? Yes. Families can do that. 

Right now, the genealogists of WikiTree have records for two Thomases. The one of this organization's interest though we actually are interested in all things Gardner. The other is for an unknown fellow who was here since there are various references to Thomas Gardner involvement with Dorchester Company. 

In 2024 (actually starting this year; we'll recap what we have done so far), we will put more focus on origins than we have in the past. As in, thirteen years ago, we heard this: Americans worry about this side; leave the other side to the Brits. Well, we're announcing to the Brits that the Yanks are coming, somewhat. 


This is preliminary. The post will be edited with links. It's being posted as a reminder. With respect to research, we want to hear from all of the families about their knowledge. We have used WikiTree due to its support for projects that we think are important: GPM; Magna Carta: Gateways; ... 

.... When the post is done, this line will change. ...

Remarks: Modified: 11/08/2023

11/08/2023 --

Friday, November 3, 2023

American Indian Heritage Month

TL;DR -- Awareness months have different themes. We are targeting those related to heritage and study of such. Though, we do have a technology focus, as well. So, expect many themes and sub-themes to be on the table for research and discussion. 


Back in February of this year, we noted that we would be more regular in honoring heritage months: Awareness months. In this post, we looked at what we had done in 2022 and before. 

The month of November last year was announced by the White House, and we continue on that with this post. So far, we have touched upon five months. There are many awareness months, not all of them relate to heritage which relates more strongly to our work. 

We will start there, however technology is a theme chose, as well. Gairdner Foundation's work in medical biology was our initial example. This past month, they gave awards to researchers. We will get back to that news soon. --

Source: Wampum Wear
On Facebook, we saw this image and were captured by the list. Rather than point to a link, we traced down the source what was Wampum Wear (FB group, a Trading Company). Their intro says that they are "Pequot to Crow" in focus. 

We have mentioned the Pequot people a few times from the material that we read about New England. We will fill in that view with information from the American Indian viewpoint as we go forward.  

Remarks: Modified: 11/08/2023

11/08/2023 -- Had used image from FB whose URL signature expired. So, using copy.