AI Language Translation and Programming

I am sure that what I am about to discuss is not original.  Writing this is based on my eternal frustration with programming in so many languages over the years that it amazes me something has not been done about it.  Now, I imagine, it is being done, just not out in the open.  Let’s start with a simple image of the Google Translation Engine.

So, what is the big idea?  Seems to me this same mechanism can be used to translate any programming language into another almost instantly.  Now, wouldn’t that be great?



Ebola – Should Have Kept Those Damn Gloves On(Part 5)

Mass Murderer?

Mass Murderer?

Perhaps, if we all survive the many threats to our modern survival as a species, we will eventually have predictive models that use the momentum of words written all over the world to somewhat know the future and act accordingly.  Until then, we are left with the wise words of any great combatant that ever lived,”Always overestimate your opponent.”

Before going any further in this article, I want to personally note that Thomas Eric Duncan could turn out to be the most horrible man in the history of the world through total neglect of his potential impact on humanity.  If Ebola breaks out in the United States and is unchecked for many months there could be global economic disaster.  He was unwilling to sacrifice his investment in an airline ticket to see his relatives in Texas while being willing to spread what he had seen first hand as the worst virus we have faced since the dark ages.

How do we sift through the mountains of information and come to some conclusion that allows us as a population to act appropriately?  First, we have acted too late, sitting in the twin towers because others were sitting in the twin towers, unwilling to raise the alarm.  We start by overestimating our opponent, Ebola.

“The virus behind this outbreak made the jump to humans late last year, in Guinea. The key event in the spread to Sierra Leone was the funeral of a faith healer who claimed to be able to cure Ebola patients. When she contracted Ebola and died in late May, a large number of people attended her funeral.

Twelve of the first Ebola cases in Sierra Leone all attended that funeral, and appear to have contracted the virus there. These include two distinct forms of the virus which diverged, in Guinea, in late April.” – Rob Brooks (2 September 2014, 3.21am BST)

How does one go about overestimating an opponent?  We start by analyzing their strengths and our weaknesses.

Ebola’s four greatest strengths are:

  1. It can appear like any other virus in the beginning with aches and a runny nose
  2. It has a 7 to 21 day gestation period
  3. It is a new strain of Ebola, mutating rapidly, in a highly diverse DNA portfolio
  4. It is lethal in at least 40% of all cases

Our greatest weaknesses are:

  1. Arrogance
  2. Less than timely action
  3. Fear of loss based reactions, i.e. loss of money, loss of power, loss of credibility
  4. Protocol based behavior, i.e. we do what we have always done

How to mitigate the strengths of our opponent?

It can appear like any other virus in the beginning with aches and a runny nose

The result of this will be many false positives, people believing they have Ebola when they do not.  The consequence of this in conjunction with our protocol based behavior is that we will flock to Hospitals, ERs, and Day Clinics and sit in rooms waiting to be told if we have Ebola.  Some of the people in the room will have Ebola setting up a quarantine situation that is untenable.  Where will we house all these people in quarantine?

We should set up community clinics outside in wide open spaces with tables spread far apart with medical personnel dressed appropriately to avoid both airborne and fluid contact.  If chairs are used for the waiting patients they should be set very far apart and signs should be posted asking them to avoid contact with others.  If there are ketones specific to patients with Ebola sensors should be manufactured that can provide a first data check on whether to test blood samples.  The new blood test system that Elizabeth Holmes invented should be used in all cases to avoid transport and possible testing issues.

It has a 7 to 21 day gestation period

Because the greatest risk to our communities is based on rapid transportation’s ability to move the virus throughout the country in days rather than years it is important to quarantine cities after a very small number of infected individuals have been found in a city.  This means no travel out of the city for 21 days after identification has occurred.

It is a new strain of Ebola, mutating rapidly, in a highly diverse DNA portfolio 

We must assume the the virus can become airborne whether it currently is or not.  All of us acting with a respect for personal space and making sure neither our air, spit, or body liquids touch others is a good policy during this time.  Advising that the virus is not airborne is a huge mistake.

It is lethal in at least 40% of all cases

A 40% death rate is very conservative.  In fact, it has attained a 90% death rate when conditions favor the virus.  What are those conditions?

  1. Religious ceremonies conducted taking a priority over safety
  2. The cleanliness of the environment
  3. The respect given to the potential of infecting others

How do we address our weaknesses? 

Before you believe you have this fight won, prepare for the fight and believe it is lost unless you have your best fight ever.  If you think you have Ebola, immediately get checked and avoid contact with others.  Act immediately as an individual, as a community, as a nation to be safe.  Fear of the loss of our culture should take precedence over money, time, and power.  Be safe.

Thinking, Fast and Slow

I want to argue against the supposition that historical relevance is not effective statistically for predicting the future. My argument is simple. It is an evolutionary adaptation and therefore produced advantage. Advantage is not always obvious or even current. Advantage can come in an unpredictable shortfall that is associated with some other genetic attribute that somehow tenders the possessor more survivable.

Darwin’s Quest


It is the wonder of genetics that when I wake in the morning I hear a familiar bird singing her song of love and life mixed with the gentle speech of trees dancing in the breeze.  It is miraculous that my mind is carried to the light shining through the ferns in Muir Woods translucently reflecting the dewey solitude a forest competing for existence.  How is it that I awake with dreams of a woman’s hand gently resting on my chest and see the beauty in her face at peace with the world.

We are all the history of our little corner of the universe encapsulated in the miracle of combinatorial mathematics played out in the infinite intersection of probability and time.  To be aware.  To hold in our minds a concept of a potential future.  To create that future.  To touch our partners with such love and joy.  And all the effects of striving for survival.  If that isn’t ultimately the most beautiful thing I have ever heard, I don’t know what is.

You can all believe in God, creation, infinite wisdom if you want.  But my world, my universe is so vast with beauty and probabilities, I cannot let that beauty go to a simple manifestation of reason and causality.


I am attitude junkie. That’s right, I believe that our world is created by what we believe to a great extent. So I say, think well. There are some events that challenge your heart, like another’s pain. Even I, cannot easily attitude away their despair, and in turn feel their sorrow. Such is the case in my divorce from a woman I love because, in truth, I had to secret away to much of me so that she did not feel pain while we were together.

These emotions, these jaunts into the world of the remorseful, are a vivid reminder of why attitude is king. The spiral is to easily consuming, the patterns of thought eliciting primal fear.

I know that she will be happy and live wonderfully. I know this is true of my sons also. I also know that for those of us that manipulate thought to our will there is a hidden slippery slope.

Attitude is everything, choose wisely

Incredibly Important – What Promotes Better Learning?

Wouldn’t it be completely insane to focus on what really matters.  Who is with me in believing that learning is the single most important individual characteristic as a human.  Hopefully, you are not thinking that learning has to do with school.  Hopefully, you are thinking that learning has to do with everything including emotional learning, spacial learning, kinesthetic learning, informational learning, business learning, political learning, and much much more. A hallmark scientific study has studied the effect of specific environmental queues on the ability to learn.

In her own research, Dweck has shown that these mindsets have important practical implications. Her most famous study, conducted in twelve different New York City schools along with Claudia Mueller, involved giving more than 400 fifth graders a relatively easy test consisting of nonverbal puzzles. After the children finished the test, the researchers told the students their score, and provided them with a single line of praise. Half of the kids were praised for their intelligence. “You must be smart at this,” the researcher said. The other students were praised for their effort: “You must have worked really hard.” - Why do Some People Learn Faster by Jonah Lehrer

Some of the results were:

When Dweck was designing the experiment, she expected the different forms of praise to have a rather modest effect. After all, it was just one sentence. But it soon became clear that the type of compliment given to the fifth graders dramatically affected their choice of tests. When kids were praised for their effort, nearly 90 percent chose the harder set of puzzles. However, when kids were praised for their intelligence, most of them went for the easier test. What explains this difference? According to Dweck, praising kids for intelligence encourages them to “look” smart, which means that they shouldn’t risk making a mistake. – Why do Some People Learn Faster by Jonah Lehrer

The bottom line of this research is that fear, as in all things, has a negative effect on performance.  Praise the effort not the innate intelligence (I made this mistake with my children.)  Induce confidence by removing fear of mistakes.

I propose that school teachers and business managers actually use this information to produce better results and happier workers.  See the rest of the article at Wired Magazine.