Saturday, April 27, 2024

More than STEM, we need MSET+

TL;DR -- STEM ought to be MSET+. Too, we see science in practice everyday. A Thomas Gardner descendant was recently honored at LSU. On the other hand, an old name from Harvard is apropos to analyzing the times and their turmoils with respect to computing. It's time to raise the level of discussion. 


The conglomeration of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) has gotten a lot of press, of late. Magic ensues when one considers the potential based upon the proficiency of the practice. 

Wait, nope. Nope. AIn't is all of the evidence that we need. The main mess is attributable to mathematics. You know, the sequence ought to be this: Mathematics, Science, Engineering, Technology (MSET). Okay? 

So, this post is to start a discussion and the followup actions, over a large scale. First, though, we will mention two parties. Second, we will have a brief look at how the two mix in this day and age. 


In this photo, we see Alfred L. Gardner, Ph.D. giving his acceptance speech for the award. To the right is the Dean of the College of Science, LSU: Cynthia Peterson. The award dinner was held on 19 Apr 2024, at the Baton Rogue, LA campus.  


Alfred is Ann's twin brother; they are descendants of Thomas Gardner and Margaret Fryer and are 1st cousins of Dr. Frank in being descendants of Samuel. Alfred has been supportive of our efforts with regard to accomplishing the mission of the TGSociety. 


The second person is Benjamin Peirce (SEP article) whose son, Charles Sanders Peirce, we have paid attention to. Today, we honor Benjamin, himself. We have had lots of posts on technology over the last decade and many just from the last year. GenAI and its foibles were the theme. Mainly, the problem is that AI is not some creature. Look, we are dealing with buckets-of-bits. Even if there is the robotic side of things, those are buckets-of-bolts, albeit plastic many times. 

So, let's clarify the issue using Benjamin's work. First, observing over the past two decades has shown a decline all around. Quality has gone away. The only way to find it now is with the "bespoke" methods that are custom done by those who care. Companies are whole-hog adopting AIn't with deleterious results that can be seen all around. 

They are forcing their customers into untenable situations. Actually, they are treating their workers even worse. And, at some point, the illusional mindset that is allowing this will burst its bubble. We'll see tears all around. 

So, may we prepare? No less an authority than Bourbaki noted the importance of the Peirces. As said, we ran into C.S. Peirce long ago in the context of computational intelligence. But, his father is noted as being instrumental in taking Hamilton's notion (quaterions) and bringing it forward. Look, this was in the mid-portion of the 1800s. What happened since then? We will look at that. 

For now, here are two sites offering Benjamin's paper: MAA Mathematical Treasure; Linear Associative Algebra. We will focus on Benjamin and his son, for a bit, as we get the situation described. 

Benjamin and his son are Thomas Gardner descendants, too, with two children in their pedigree: George and Seeth. So, we will be looking at that further, too. 


Now, to a brief bit of the necessary discussion, our last post was the forebear of the message: map-territory. That is partly philosophical in nature. But, mathematics threw out the old way. Let's bring it back. 

The reason for these two being tied together stems from our interest in truth engineering which will be another piece of work on the table for taming AI which is computing and mathematics going aground. That is, they got grounded but in an improper way. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/28/2024

04/28/2024 --  Added pointers: Quora article on quaternions; the SEP article on Benjamin. 

Thursday, April 25, 2024

Royce in America

TL:DR -- Wild people coming into America and going west. We look at one family. The parents venture out to California where the Gold Rush was starting up. They both die there. Their son ends up in UC and then goes back to Johns Hopkins. Then, he goes back to Berkeley to teach and transfers to Harvard. At the time that an LLD was conferred upon him, Royce gave a series of lectures where are pertinent to today's turmoils of technology. All of this because of the importance of the concept of the map not being the territory. Or, better, the territory is never the map.  


In pursing our theme of technology, from all angles, we were tracking down the path of map-territory's (Wikipedia) domain and all of its characteristics. There were lots of articles over the years which have touched upon the subject. But, none of these expressed anything to do with "being" and its importance. 

Before going further, let's pause to look at related posts that are attributable to our work: 
These post cover our own thoughts about how the topic applies to the themes of the post. The post at FEDaerated was motivated by Alan Greenspan's book on the topic. Now, we are addressing the concept from the totality of AIn't and the problems related to its appearance in Nov of 2022. Whicn means that we will be looking, in depth, at computing and its mathematical bases. 


Actually, later, we found one reference to "being" in the Wikipedia article. It pointed to this reference of a series of lectures given at a College in Scotland. 
On looking at the article, we saw a reference to early California: California, from the conquest in 1846 to the second vigilance committee in San Francisco [1856] A study of American character. This book was published in 1886 by Josiah Royce

Per usual, we went to look at his family and summarize their journey to the West Coast. 

Josiah's parents were Sarah Bayliss (1819 - 1891) and Josiah Royce, Sr. Sarah was born in England and came over with her parents when she was "six weeks old" where she went to school. She and Josiah (who was an immigrant, as well) married in 1847. They headed west and got to Iowa in 1849 but trailed the wagon train of Gold Rushers (who were in a hurry). This got them into the "desert west of the Great Salt Lake" in October of 1849 and got caught in the winter of "the Sierra Nevada mountain range." They were rescued and arrived in before snow closed the pass. 

Josiah, Sr died in 1889. Sarah kept a diary and wrote Pilgrim Diary ("republished in 1932 as A Frontier Lady"). This work "chronicled her family's journey to California during the gold rush." Sarah died in 1891. 

The Royces had three children, one of which was Josiah, Jr who became a philosopher and taught at Harvard. 

Wild Woman of the West:
Sarah Royce

Now, about their son, we have lots of material to refer to. Harvard wrote of his death. He attended UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins. He started to teach at Harvard in 1892 after a stint of teaching at Berkeley. An LL.D "was conferred upon him" by the University of Aberdeen where the above-referenced Lectures were given. He also received honorary degrees from Yale and Oxford. 

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (SEP) provides an in-depth review of his work and thoughts which could involve lots of time. But rather than wander that road, let's consider his view on the map-territory concept and some indication of its use. Namely, technology brings the issue to fore: When the map becomes the territoryAlfred Korzybski and Gestalt Therapy


Connections? His advisors included William James and Charles Sanders Peirce, both of whom are of New England, related various ways, and about whom we have written. Especially, on Peirce and his father

Remarks: Modified: 04/27/2024

04/27/2024 -- Referenced this post in terms of MSET+.   

Monday, April 15, 2024

Bluebells in Dorset

TL;DR -- Today, we look at the southwest, in particular, Dorset. Motivation? Bluebells. And, look at St.Aldhelm's influence on schools in the region. 


Yesterday, we looked at the other end of the country: Bamford UK. We were motivated by a photo. And, having ventured into the region via the internet, we looked around and found our old friend, the Domesday Book. With respect to that, we saw that William I spent time up there. At the same time, we noted local families that relate. So from that, we looked to include views of the UK areas as we roam, virtually for now as well as report little tidbits that pertain to our work. 

Well, Microsoft pushed this photo. It was supposedly of the bluebells of Dorset UK. We have to look further at that. Lots of photos have been taken, but we found one that had been published by a local school. So, let's look at that. 

Bluebells in the countryside,
Minterne Magna, Dorset, England, UK

This area is near Sherborne, the town of Thomas and Margaret. We have looked at the area before after reading on Folger's report that John Gardner had said that his father told him that they had been from Sherborne. That post is from 2010. But, we were new and accumulating information more than trying to do analysis. The tide has turned. Folger used "Nantucket tradition" as they knew on the island. 

Skip forward four years, and a record relatred to the marriage of Thomas and Margaret had been found. Last year, further research brought forth to light the birth records of most of the kids. That find brings back to fore a major conundrum. We knew of this. Dr. Frank thought not. So, we'll try to help research further. Lots of the historical recordings seem to be wrong. 

For us? We'll say that Thomas came over, perhaps more than once. So, it's one gent. In the meantime, we will work on the progeny as we had already started: Descendants. Too, we will go over the waters and research. In the meantime, we'll explore via the internet which is an unexpected gift that came out of research. At the same time, we will weigh in on technology and its misuse (AIn't, for example). 


Okay, earlier we noticed this school: Sherborne School (private). It was founded in the time of the Wessex realm by St. Aldhelm. The school lost patronage or whatever was the reason and ceased to be. Then, in 1550, King Edward VI brought it back to life. In modern times, George and Elizabeth visited to help them celebrate their 400th. It is now a boarding school affiliated with the Church of England. 

We will be back to look at St. Aldhelm and his cohorts later. 

For now, we mentioned another school: The Gryphon School (State). This is a much later school which came out of a merger. However, one of the three schools was affiliated with the old days: St Aldhelm's Church of England Modern School, Sherborne. This school had started in 1877. The amalgamation (as noted in the UK) was in 1992. 

Note: Bluebells are UK flowers. Some places in the world have them but not to the same extent. The plant is Hyacinthoides non-scripta. It's cousin, the common hyacinth of our spring and of the Dutch market is oriental.  

Remarks: Modified: 04/15/2024

04/15/2024 --  

Sunday, April 14, 2024

Bamford UK

TL;DR -- A photo pulled one into research which got back to an old theme of William I's time which is way back. So be it, as we're looking at origins, more thoroughly. 


One of the irritants of the new way fostered by the errant release of TCPIP is a provider who pushes out photos for whatever reason. Usually, they don't say. Thankfully, I have mine filtered down to landscapes. So, it seems to be a game of: do you like this place? Loaded question. Well, after a few years, the thing has learned to not include people in the scene. And, location choice has been honed. 

Today was a charmer for several reasons. It was titled "Bamford UK" which looked to be north. So, I went to Wikipedia, first. The content was rather staid as I suppose we expect from an older English culture.

Bamford UK

What caught my attention was that the place had been included in the book of William I when he surveyed the land in order to rule better; one impact of this was the distribute his supporters across the land. Eventually, through his progeny, that came to include Scotland, Wales, and Ireland. And, too, we will have to look at the impact on the Continent. 

But, the main name was on the lists that I see of ancestors. Okay, what of the area? Well, Wikipedia, again, was ready to answer: Derbyshire Domesday Book - tenants. Of course, "in chief" is added as this was a land look not head count, specifically. Then, it was Banford. 

Again, lots of familiar names. We have addressed this effort of William before. This recent find is significant as recent events have changed our focus. We are no long only looking on the Americas. Now, we want to look at origins, in more depth, about which topic we have had lots of posts. 

Note, we know that Thomas Gardner was from Dorset which is in the southwest. But, there are lots of families in trees when going back that far, many of whom are from the north. And, we might like the beach. But, the northern mountains demand a little more attention. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/14/2024

04/14/2024 --  

Saturday, April 13, 2024

On data and types

TL;DR -- Recent events in computing have many worried or concerned. Some are running after the opportunity for new ways of being mean-spirited and domineering. A little word of magic might be "transform" which has been touted many ways. Of course, this goes into the mathematics. We can shed a new light on the issues but have to go back further than the 20 years of the mess making. We go back to 1837. That is how old many of these ideas are. Over time, we'll come forward with a proper history of computing and its enabler based upon mathematics. 


In the 21st century, we have had over 200 years of experience of data on individuals in the U.S. Why we use the U.S. is due to the historical aspect of this discussion. Now, people have been tracked all over the place. Russia (Czar on down) has been good at this. Their novelists told the tale. Tolstoy may have acted like a peasant (serf), but he was none. And, we have information on his life and activity, some of it given to us by the man himself. No doubt, there are lots of the peasant class who never got any attention. 

So it went across the whole world.  The U.S. started their systems from the getgo, 400 years ago. In some towns, at least the birth, marriage, and death were recorded for a person. Many have less information or none. Some have more, including books about their lives. Other places did similar recording. But, the U.S. is unique for several reasons to discuss. 

For now, let's remind ourselves that data handling involves technology. The colonial U.S. used pen and paper. Some of those records have been digitized which is not of interest until there is an effort at transcription and labelling. Sometime in  the 19th century, there was a change. We found a way to print records; too, the typewriter came to be. Both of these increased the quality of the record, somewhat. Though, such an evaluation would require us to discuss content versus configuration. There have been some posts on that, but a more full exploration of the topic is on our to-do list. 

Sometime in the 20th century, the computer came to be. GIGO (garbage in; garbage out) was coined to account for how willy-nilly use of the technology did not contribute to quality. The data industry got better at handling errors (of many types to discuss); however, abilities of the artificial elements outran our capacity for pursing quality and pushed us toward a lackadaisical approach. We are now paying the price. 

What the 21st century just brought must be linked back to the mobile device that came into existence in 2008 which represents what can be called "edge" computing that we'll hear more about as time goes on. Not only was data accumulation increased, there was no way to do the proper deed of curating nor was there any inkling of desire to recognize the coming problem. In 2022, things changed when a focus on machine learning (ML) reared its head. ML is mathematics in action. Below, we will briefly touch upon one huge issue. 

First, though, that little system (let's use ChatGPT - and call it CG) hit the airways and the cloud (which we'll go into in depth), millions signed up. Myself, I was not aware of the event and the reactions for two months for many reasons. One of these is that this stuff is old hat (below), and I made my peace with the technology decades ago. But, when I did become aware, I looked back and forward and sideways. The first was refreshing my memory of the long trek of technology; the second was considering all of the possible ramifications, most of which would turn out to be unintended consequences of an other than positive nature. 

However, insightful people saw immediately that this was toy stuff. Too, it was more for entertainment and gaming. Folks in the real world of metrics and accomplishments of notable scope saw the surface nature. Myself, in terms stated above, we saw more configuration than content even though the purveyours of the mess touted that they had assorted hundreds of millions of parameters in their effort at having the machine learn. 

That statement goes along with what people think of in terms of power (omnipotent) and knowledge (omniscient) and a few more. Why was that a choice? It turns out that studies show that removing the "crap" (so now, we have CICO) is not possible given the current state of computing. And, in terms of complexity, most likely never. 

So, we get to the gist, immediately. People have been solving problems from the getgo. Where was the user respected and given proper control beyond the playing around aspect of "prompt engineering' which would not converge to any "truth" of value. 

We will address all of this again. But, let's go back a few years. A huge player touted that they went with "transforms" and accomplished remarkable results. Sure, like the "fakery" of several types. That is not a new concept. I have written that several times. This is old math. 


So, let's step back a couple hundred years. Oh yes, think of what was going on in the U.S. at the time. We have lots of posts about events on these shores and the people involved. In the west, Jedediah Strong Smith had been out west for a while having crossed the continent by foot and horse (and water, at times). He was about to meet his demise in KS on his way back. 

There's a lot more. We will look at a book (below) which is a summary of the collection by the Bourbaki writers who used a common pseudonym. These were books that covered mathematics from an axiomatic basis while developing what might be called a standard view. We are skipping around more detail while we focus on the mathematics largely behind the CG and its peers. 

The author, quoted by Bourbaki, in 1837 writes about the growing interest in transforms as they showed promise. There are many names to mention, however the techniques of Fourier which we will look at later are an example. Now, he says that anyone using the techniques can generalize and obtain new truths. Too, he uses the metaphor of adding "a stone to the structure" which very much applies to what we are seeing. 

We will go into the AIn't part, regularly. But, as a reminder, there is no creativity involved except on the part of the human. There ain't no creature in the box. There is something, oh yes. Superb mathematics which was not possible before the computing. 

In this sense, we need to review the claims. All of the methods are of old age. They were very difficult to grasp and never easy to handle by manual computation even with a sophisticated slide rule. Early computing spent a lot of time to learn how to approach the use using methods that are called numeric processing. Algorithms are the name of the game. And, these were never simple. 

Note, too, that the author (Chasles) addresses the issue of being confounded by the results. Remember last year's discussions about black box and lack of understanding. Well, that state of confusion was a contrivance, mostly unexpected. In some cases, we could look for actual intentions to have this effect. 

This year, 2024, has been encouraging in terms of people recognizing the problems and trying to figure out how to go forward. We'll be putting our hat in the ring there.  

Overview of Bourbaki's look

Now, who is the author? Michel Floréal Chasles was a French mathematician. He might seem to have been obscure, but in the U.S., he was recognized for his work. He lived from 1793 to 1880. His name is enscribed on the Eiffel Tower

Remarks: Modified: 04/14/2024

04/14/2024 --  So, in the post, I mentioned some good news. But now, bad news? The IEEE Spectrum gloated about So, I had to go look. And, my first two tests failed. That is, the thing pulled from the appropriate sources. It was too creative or something else in the output. ... My suggestion to you guys doing this stuff: some of us would prefer that your give us some summary without the embellishments (as your approach is not creative) with footnotes. In fact, the footnote ought to be the phrases that fed into the summary. Oh, cannot be done? Then, let's go back to the drawing board. This old guy has time and knows how to do this. It's related to my work on truth engineering.  
I'm referring to a context sensitive encyclopedic approach. That is, without the "omni" aspect that seems to excite the younger crowd. Want to know the real "Omni"? We can talk that. ... Some of my grief is that the thing is following what might be misguided text, anyway. The hope would be that enough sources would be good enough to pull toward something useful. Or, do curating before hand, as many are saying (the older xNN experts). ... 

Monday, April 8, 2024

Settlements, temporary and otherwise

TL;DR -- We continue a theme but will branch out to fill in the middle of the marvelous country started 250 years ago or so but which actually goes back 400 or so. Let's prepare to dampen the bad influences of technology. 


In our look at the expansion west, we have targeted a few cities in order to have a closer look. At the 250th comes closer, we will add in a few more from the vast middle. 

Continuing with the west coast theme, this view from about 1945 shows an aerial view of the LA City Hall from the west where the camera is positioned over part of Bunker Hill West. And, the view shows the buildings over a wide area that disappeared in order for the high-rise offices to dot the skyline. We can identify the families who are associated with the houses as we go along in our research. 

LA City Hall, ca 1945
Photo, courtesy of
the Los Angeles Public Library

There are many reasons for our interest in the development of this area one of which is the long history of the U.S. Development of the west started after the Revolution (250th coming up) and accelerated within a few decades. Thankfully, photography came along to capture history in the making. 

High rise corner

In this photo, one cannot see the Mirror Building nor St. Vibiana's. But, that area to the right was where the supporting work for the Butterfield Stage Line occurred. Stage coaches stopped by on their way to San Francisco from Texas and back the other way. 

Warning: Technology now stands to be more untruthful than not. Unfortunately, this is not hyperbole. 

Comparative shadows

Hence, we need to establish some provenance in terms of more than photos or other artifacts. What does that mean? Well, to be discussed. Wikipedia has a page on Main Street, LA which is an example of what can be done. 

Remarks: Modified: 04/07/2024

04/07/2024 --