Saturday, February 10, 2007

Zebra and Pi

Young love created a warp in space time.

Generally, it wasn't supposed to happen like this. There had been, as far as the gods could remember, just two other reported cases.

One had been Romeo and Juliet reported by a William Shakespeare.

The sympathies of young vibrations as a rule never generate enough voltage.

Zebra and Pi -- they were an exception to the rule. I am Bear. I know this. I see them see the light.

Pi was the pathfinder. Zebra was her base.

The incubation of their sympathies happened in MySpace -- all cries and whispers. That was common enough.

What was uncommon was when Zebra and Pi took their show on the road -- the road from MySpace to MeatSpace.

None of us knows the road from MySpace to MeatSpace.

Not even Google Earth.

Google Earth is a god.

I know noone knows because Bear once asked Google Earth for the directions. Google Earth did give me directions but they only went as far as the end of the Internet.

One night I passed Pi's house in MeatSpace. Zebra was there. Pi was playing Zebra's base and I recorded their song.

This is not the kind of song I would post on YouTube because Bear has responsibility.

It would be like The Ring or its sequel Ring 2 if you were to hear it. The carnage would have been out of sound.

The sound wasn't shrill. The sound was wonder.

Two travellers from MySpace to MeatSpace singing wonder would have put the scare in any adult, and Pi, in particular, had become worried.

I was unable to console them.

After what happened Bear knows that horror isn't horror. The Ring wasn't shrill. It was beauty misperceived by an adult director.

And I continue to think it was not the god Google Earth who showed Zebra and Pi the road from MySpace to MeatSpace.

Their love was like a drill in space time more powerful than the drill of any dentist.

Bear is in the Top 8 not just with Zebra and Pi. So Bear can say with authority to many friends: "No more dentists" and "Let the cavities begin."

The only shame in all this rests with the parents. They couldn't agree to let the Zebra and Pi be buried together.

Big mistake.

Right now, as I speak, a determined army of grave robbers is following in the footsteps of Zebra and Pi. We are an invasion of the body snatchers. We are mad. We are about to make love right again in a night of the living dead.


Technorati Tags: identity 2.0, MeatSpace


Friday, February 09, 2007

"i come from the web..."

Technorati Tags: hidden in plain view, identity 2.0



Not everyone saw Zebra's stripes.

Some of her blog entries were open to the public.

Other entries -- they were the dark side of Zebra -- were locked down. Only friends could enter.

One of Zebra's friends was Pi. Another was Bear.

She wrote for their eyes only.

Hidden in plain view Pi and Bear saw black as they read the following:

Have you ever been haunted by an angel
who sings songs of the night in your head
you know he is warm and gentle
but his face is frighteningly dead
I will try to write more about Zebra and Pi and Bear in the coming days. Zebra and Pi are dead now.

Technorati Tags: hidden in plain view, identity 2.0


Tuesday, January 30, 2007

true life

today he be the shooter

tomorrow he be the shot

he try to be a girl but that may be one nick he not

you got a knack for nicks, someone he befriended last week said to him

the someone is kim

kim see me shed

kim figured me to be the same person

he said you can always tell an old persona from a new one

because in the space of three away when an old profile goes and a new one comes, conservation is the rule, according to kim

conservation is the conservation of identity

the space of three away is friendster space

myspace is different

in myspace there is no end to friends

kim he be an analyst

he write a screen scraper that breaks the chain of friends by removing the collectors and the fakesters and the myspace whores and all the public displays of connection

what he got left is three away

three away is not myspace anymore

kim calls three away true life

he watch me in true life

and see me shedding

The vocabulary here comes from the ear of danah boyd figuratively speaking. It's a good ear in my estimation -- one worth being sampled.

More specifically, I picked up many of my words from Friends, friendsters and top 8: writing community into being on social network sites. This essay appeared in the December 2006 edition of First Monday.

I also listen at the source. The source is See me, touch me, feel me, heal me. "See me, touch me, feel me, heal me" is a call from MySpace. This call was first made by The Who.

Technorati Tags: Friendster, MySpace, nick


Monday, January 29, 2007

danah boyd

I just discovered danah boyd.

Slow is me.

What does one say about the body of her thought?



The wire flows through her.

She has the right ear.

And probably a left ear too, judging from pictures.

One thing I am pondering that she writes about is multiple personas.

People with multiple personas are change artists.

Change artists are like graffiti artists only they've got tools and they paint on many canvasses sometimes at once and sometimes in a series.

I want to follow in the foot steps of a young change artist.

I also want to know how change artists will shape the future of identity services like OpenID and CardSpace which already provide some support for a digital identity composed of multiple personas.

Technorati Tags: CardSpace, danah boyd, OpenID


Monday, January 22, 2007

Sampled Person X7-1234: Day 11

I am in another study now.

Some time has passed.

Tick, tick is the sound of time elapsing. I like the sound of "elapse".

The new study is my Health Diary. It goes on for two years.

It is in the Health Diary that I found out that The Traveler isn't lying: there is a Vast Machine.

That's because the Health Diary is not a blank slate. Each day I log in it knows stuff that has happened the day before if I was sick.

When I am well my ToDo List is empty. If I have been sick my ToDo List may know a great deal.

It knows if I have been to the pharmacy.

It knows if I went to the doctor or an emergency room.

It even knows when I go to the dentist.

Is that familiar or what? Shades of Santa:

He know when you are sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been good or bad
So be good for goodness sake!!!
Maybe instead of elves working for Santa, it was the Vast Machine.

Well, yes. At first my ToDo List freaked me out. Now I realize the Vast Machine has always been there only, because I wasn't a sampled person, I wasn't privy to it.

I thank my lucky stars that I am a sampled person. Because now it is my turn: I get to set the record straight.

Like is the cough that I had treated yesterday the same one I had a month ago?

Did I see the doctor yesterday or someone else?

Did I get a next appointment?

Of course maybe I should be UPSET by the Vast Machine. What do you think?

You think it is a force for good that cannot act unless and until I sign the permission forms?

You think it only fetches my information pour moi and that, if I have doubts about this, EFF and Lawrence Lessig are reassuring.

Maybe so. Because just when I think I should be UPSET, the Vast Machine ask me non-sequitors.

One day it asked me if I was satisfied. I wanted to know about what. It answered: your life in general.

I mean what the fuck. I can't remember the last time my wife asked me that.

I think this is the beginning of a strange relationship.

Technorati Tags: EFF, Lawrence Lessig, Vast Machine


Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sampled Person X7-1234: Day 3

I just started a food diary on my N800. I love my N800... The food diary is what you call interactive. Interactive indeed.

It starts with an on-line calendar and the N800.

The way it works is that I go on-line to my food diary while I am eating. I seem always to be able to go on-line because of mobile broadband. I love mobile broadband.

My food diary opens to the current day and waits for me. That my cue to, using the N800, take pictures of my meal. I won't show you all my meals for thirty days because I don't eat well. I know another SP though who went to Japan.

Maybe by now you have looked at the diary and saw the comments. The comments come from friends. My diary has a rolodex, and I add a card for each friend. Only my friends can make comments. That's a good thing.

In addition to the friendly fire, from time to time other comments will appear. The other comments take the form of Digital PostIts. Someone sticks one on top of a picture, and I reply.

Whoever said that a picture was worth a thousand word never met my nutritionist.

I call her a nutritionist and I call her a her. We have never met. I have only seen her avatar when we IM (instant message) from time to time.

She calls the PostIts food probes. They happen. Not every meal. Just sometimes. I don't really mind either because I've got probes.

Technorati Tags: mobile broadband, N800


Saturday, January 20, 2007

Sampled Person X7-1234: Day 2

A community that is based on random sampling is unusual to say the least.

DadaSP is cool because on the list of my surroundings I see locals and travelers.

Locals are people from the current PSU. PSU is short for Primary Sampling Unit. Travelers are people in the current PSU who come from other PSUs.

Sometimes I am a local and sometimes I am a traveler.

When I am a traveler sometimes I will ask the help of locals -- like to find the best restaurant or the location of a street if I am lost. That happens alot.

I won't ask just any local though. That isn't permitted. Instead locals can volunteer to become Harlequins. And Harlequins protect travelers.

At DadaSP I will pick a Harlequin based on reputation. The reputation of a Harlequin comes from previous encounters.

So DadaSP is a service -- definitely a perk for people who are members of the random sample.

There is something else. We get default personas.

A persona is what the other people in the community see of me virtually. See of me virtually... That is a mouthful.

Noone can change their default persona.

It's like Halloween every day of the year.

At the same time, based on usage, DadaSP will construct one or more additional personas at my direction.

Moi. Me. Me directing my own Identity. It's a bird. It's a plane. No. It's Identity 2.0.

I say the number of additional personas I want. Then DadaSP comes up with candidate interests based on the analysis of my usage. Then I get to accept or reject these interests into each persona via a text message that comes at the end of each day. I've got interests.

At any time when someone is helping me or if I am a Harlequin too, I get to pick my persona.

I pick a persona and people see its avatar and a cloud.

At DadaSP the cloud is the cloud of my interests. Each interest is a label and my labels are organized serendipitously. My main interests appear in large fonts. Lesser interests appear in little fonts.

Click on an interest -- say "science fiction" -- and you get a standard result set. The cloud is operated by Quintura. I have blogged Quintura before.

Technorati Tags: Dada, DodgeBall, Identity 2.0, imaginary friend, random sample


Friday, January 19, 2007

Sampled Person X7-1234: Day 1

I just got my N800. I call her Naughty.

I got Naughty from the company because I am a sampled person.

When they first told me I was a sampled person the announcement came in a text message.

I never used to read text messages from unknown senders before. Except now senders have reputations that my spam filter sniffs. Sometimes a text message fails the filter. That's when the ring tone tells me that I've got incoming nasties.

My filter zaps the nasties. My filter blows nasties to bits. Pow! Nasties makes my day.

The text message said I would get the N800 if I agreed to have an imaginary friend. It said the N800 (today I call her Naughty) had personality, talked a blue stream and was very interested in my opinions. The text message also gave me a link to DadaSP. At DadaSP I would meet and get the scoop on this imaginary friend stuff from other sampled persons who were within walking distance right now. Shades of DodgeBall.

The people at DadaSP were a strange mix. But that is by design. Because we are a random sample.

Technorati Tags: Dada, DodgeBall, imaginary friend, random sample


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Tubes R Us

What is a data silo that tilts? A tube.

What happens when two of these tubes meet? They exchange.

If Don Quixote could see us now, he might become an early adopter.

An early adopter of what? Tubes R Us! Fast forward to a future with Tubes:

They met in the tubes.

She hosed him with her content.

He hosed her back.


Friday, January 05, 2007

The dirt on Ting-lan

Ting-lan was thoughtful.

She had solved a problem sideways the way mathematicians go at it sometimes.

The problem had been to match answers that had no questions to questions that had no answers.

Ting-lan smiled. Papa had been no good. If Mama could see her now. She was about to wonder twice but decided this was not the time for Ting-lan Tao. By Ting-lan Tao Ting-lan meant the reverie.

Ting-lan's solution came from Dirt. Dirt is an online celebrity gossip magazine where fans can submit audio comments to podcasts and spill their beans. Not mung beans but all kinds of confession beans. Tittle beans. Tattle beans. Audio beans.

Dirt is powered by Big In Japan. Big In Japan has an ethos for developers. Ting-lan followed the ethos.

In this ethos Ting-lan became a "social samurai". A social samurai would not dream of clustering answers and questions through their feature values without user input.

In Ting-lan's solution a user/interviewer enters the bestmatch algorithm via The Door and becomes part of the program. Ting-lan built The Door using parts from Big In Japan.

There was a movie once where users entered programs -- Tron. Ting-lan's solution was Tron for interviewers.

Who said survey research wasn't cool? Cooler than Google? Yes, Ting-lan thought, Google is boring.


Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Google is boring

Google is boring. Quintura is not.

I enter "self-organizing map". Along with the usual result set, I get a cloud. In the cloud I see my keyword along with other ones sized according to their frequency.

If I want to add a keyword to the cloud that is not already there, I just double click:

Now my result set is the product of the two keywords. Pretty cool! It gets better. I hover on "cluster analysis" and preview its keywords:

Finally, I select "cluster analysis". And I get a new cloud and a new result set. They are the products of "self-organizing map" and "cluster analysis":

Not bad. Better than not bad. Not boring...

In a recent post at Read/WriteWeb Alex Iskold wrote otherwise at The Race to Beat Google. He was somewhat dismissive of the clustering solutions saying they were too complex to make it in the mainstream. I don't think we want to underestimate clustering when it is wedded with clouds. Indeed clouds informed by clustering like the ones above can rain on Google's parade. I hear from kids that they always wanted clouds to do the walking. Imagine a swim in clouds that have three dimensions. Instead of "googling", the euphemism will be "I need to check the weather." The rejoinder from Will Smith's wife in Enemy of the State would be: "And just whose weather are you checking?"


Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Velvet has a tangerine day

Velvet was having a tangerine day. On a tangerine day every interview she touched would flow and glow and she was reminded of that song by Talking Heads which right now she couldn't stop hearing even if she wanted to:

I dont know why I love you like I do
All the troubles you put me through
Sixteen candles there on my wall
And here am I the biggest fool of them all

I wanna know that youll tell me
I love to stay
Take me to the river and drop me in the water
Dip me in the river, drop me in the water
Washing me down, washing me down.

Yep. It was one of those drop me in the water days.

There had been alot of those days since the retooling. The retooling was when she sent her laptop back to the company. Then, a few days later she got back a Wii.

It wasn't really a Nintendo. It was still a laptop. But it was also a Wii.

It was a Wii because now when she dragged the external data sources avatar onto the interview and there were still too many unanswered questions, she could shake and bake.

Shake and bake was a new resource. It used something called "connecting the dots" to turn unanswered questions into answered ones. The reason they called it "shake and bake" instead of "connecting the dots" was easy. Because you just didn't activate the shake and bake plan by dropping it on the interview and its lost sections. After you dropped the plan, it had to be simmered and cooked. That was when Wii came in.

Velvet would pick up her laptop and move it from side to side and back and forth until there was a fit and the answers covered all the questions.

The company never really explained the Wii except to say that the laptop was now capable of doing "lateral thinking" but the thinking had to be shaped. Hence shake and bake and Wii. And hence visualization. And hence the interviewer as cook.

It was all very natural. Smile.

Velvet wanted to look under the cover of shake and bake just like she would look under the cover at her boyfriend. But she knew this time she wouldn't understand anything she saw. Even so, Velvet couldn't let sleeping dogs lie. The sleeping dog in this case was a tip -- you know, one of those yellow popups that surfaced under a mouseover.

When Velvet moused over the shake and bake plan she got the tip. The tip said "self-organizing map". Sometimes it simply said "SOM". And sometimes there was the video.

Yep. Take me to the river and drop me in the water. It wasn't better than sex but Wii was it fun.


Monday, January 01, 2007

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