Tuesday assorted links

1. Interfluidity on the blockchain: “Nothing that has already been perfected is very interesting.

2. What Chinese women think of Hillary Clinton:One adjective: Endurance, cleaning up the mess of her husband.”

3. Why do islands induce dwarfism?

4. Physical principles for scalable neural recording.

5. Archaeologists uncover the massive naval bases of the ancient Athenians.

6. India to liberalize foreign investment (NYT).  Since Modi took office, the reforms have not been so significant; in my view it is a mistake to think that the departure of Rajan indicates matters will get worse.  He probably did all he could and in part the regime can allow him to leave for this reason.  For further progress it may be necessary to install someone more “flexible.”

7. Lebron’s block: the stats and physics (HT: Alex T.).


6. It's "Rajan", typo there.

"Since Modi took office, the reforms have not been so significant" - Do you mean these current reforms are more significant than anything that Modi did before, or that there have been no reforms that have been significant at all in Modi's tenure?

"Endurance" is not an adjective.

#1 is interesting, in that the author describes what I see as the killing flaw, while maintaining optimism. If any blockchain is destined to be controlled by a faceless GHz owning elite, it can never be an anonymous people's democracy. It can never empower the median user, nor the median miner.

.....and we change lawyers for people who can read and understand code.

"... it can never be an anonymous people’s democracy.."

It's not a democracy, Crypto currencies are money. That phrasing is just marketing or maybe self delusion. It's an industry.

Blockchains are much less "money" than they once seemed. And it is no longer "us" in our basements guiding it. That is what I meant by the lost democratic vision. It is not us.

"Blockchains are much less “money” than they once seemed."

Really? Because it looks like Etherium is all over the news because someone attempted to steal 50 million dollars worth. This seems to be almost entirely about money to me.

A transient financial instrument perhaps.

And thats different than money how?

Do you think a wire transfer "is money?" A credit card transaction? PayPal?

If the native prices is dollars, and JWatts' criminals just use Bitcoin to pass dollars with cryptography, it again looks less like money itself.

Maybe it was supposed to be an anarchist's democracy. Rather than The Man, it would be us, with our computers. Well that didn't last long.

I don't even really understand that. It was never about democracy, it was about having an untraceable source of currency for technically astute members. It was always a very elite club. Invented primarily so that the users could buy what they want with it, without regard to taxes, illegal drug transactions or other laws.

(that is a terrible article for the same reason that anonymous elites are a real problem for the democratic dreams there described)

That article doesn't make the case for crypto currencies being democratic. It uses the word democracy, but then conflates democracy (a political system) with rights. It makes the explicit case that bitcoins can be used to circumvent authority. That's not the same as democracy.

"One of these inherent Enlightenment ideals imbued in both democracy and Bitcoin, is the notion of equality. Fundamentally, this ideal inhabits that all men should enjoy equal rights under the law, and includes issues such as freedom of speech and property rights. This, of course, is very present within the Bitcoin-protocol. As opposed to bank-money, which can be censored at will (as the Wikileaks Banking Blockade has shown the world) it is absolutely not possible to censor payments with Bitcoin, since these payments do not require a middleman, and literally consist of cryptographically protected information – a pure and therefore very equal form of free speech if you will. For similar reasons, arbitrary confiscations of wealth – as seen in Cyprus – are simply out of the question as long as bitcoins are stored securely."

Cryptocurrencies are something designed by the technologically elite and used by the technologically elite for their own purposes. And the purposes are primarily to avoid governmental control. For practical purposes, this amounts to tax evasion and buying illicit goods. With a large portion of a ponzi style get rich quick scheme for those who got in on the ground floor and made bit coins when they were cheap to make.

I see nothing particularly democratic about the process.


They aren't and never will be untraceable. On the contrary.

"They aren’t and never will be untraceable. On the contrary."

Fair enough, substitute the word 'anonymous' if you prefer.

Dude. I never believed the democracy story. I just had to suffer hearing it.

Now you want to argue that the folk described in the intro of that article never should have been on that page.

Howl away, it won't change history.

As to how useful it was as a criminal conspiracy, I would say history says "not very."

>cleaning up the mess of her husband

If by "cleaning up" they mean "completely ignoring when not outright denying" then yes, they are spot on.

I can only assume the mood affiliation of this comment is dislike of Hillary from a view that she is scummy for "letting Bill get away with it." I think it equally likely she simply does not care that her husband sleeps with other women, but finds the political focus on the issue annoying and perhaps somewhat embarrassing.

I am enough of a libertarian to be ok with whatever arrangement the Clinton's have for this part of their marriage in the absence of evidence to suggest it is somehow a relevant issue to how either of them performed or might perform as government officials. Why do you think it matters who Bill (or Hillary) sleep with?

It matters when the Clinton's use their considerable power and direct media contact to suppress and defame any women who object to what happened. There's been a pattern of Bill Clinton being accused of sexual misconduct and Hillary Clinton publicly attacking any women who accuse him of such.

"Paula Corbin Jones (born Paula Rosalee Corbin; September 17, 1966) is a former Arkansas state employee who sued U.S. President Bill Clinton for sexual harassment. The Paula Jones case precipitated Clinton's impeachment and acquittal by the Senate on February 12, 1999. Charges of perjury and obstruction of justice were brought against Clinton. Eventually, the court dismissed the Paula Jones harassment lawsuit, before trial, on the grounds that Jones failed to demonstrate any damages. However, while the dismissal was on appeal, Clinton entered into an out-of-court settlement by agreeing to pay Jones $850,000."


"According to Carl Bernstein’s A Woman in Charge, as her husband prepared to run for president, she pushed to get sworn statements from women he’d been rumored to have been involved with, statements in which they were supposed to say they’d had no relationship with him. She even interviewed one of these women herself, at her law firm. She also led efforts to undermine Gennifer Flowers, whom she referred to as “trailer trash.”"


" ...and Hillary Clinton publicly attacking any women who accuse him of such."

That's not entirely correct. Usually Hillary Clinton avoided going on the record about such and used surrogates to handle the public attacks. James Carville being the most notorious.

They had to do all that undermining and defaming because of the pointless focus on Bill's sex life. If we could move past that (and Trump is at least helping there....the Dems have shown they don't care and now the Reps have too), there won't be any more need for smokescreens. Future Bill Clintons can bang whomever they want, and focus on the job.

sounds like stated preferences, from basketball sneakers logo, . . .

They had to do all that undermining and defaming because of the pointless focus on Bill’s sex life

"[P]ointless" strikes me as a curious adjective for describing accusations of rape/sexual assault, and one that I am certain Secretary Clinton would contest with regard to anyone who is not her husband.

If his sexual proclivities include sexual harassment, sexial assault, rape by power differential (see: feminists), and statutory rape, then his sexual behavior would seem to be relevant.

Y'all are still mad, 20 years later. Sad!

More curious as to what has changed Secretary Clinton's mind from "bitches be crazy" to "you have a right to be believed" in those 20 years.

She is still in the public eye, after all.

"Y’all are still mad, 20 years later. Sad!"

I wasn't mad then and I'm not mad now. I consider Hillary Clinton's war hawk nature, inability to admit being wrong and propensity to cover up any real or potential wrong doings to be serious issues in a candidate.

Bill Clinton's sexual misconduct is his fault and really doesn't directly reflect on Hillary Clinton's character. However, her numerous attempts to defame such women and cover up the scandals very much do reflect on her character.

It's odd that you would act as if this is old news and doesn't matter when she's the most likely next President of the US.

I'm not voting for her, I just think the sexual history of Bill and the typical political calculation of Hillary is no big deal.

msgkings June 21, 2016 at 5:14 pm

I’m not voting for her, I just think the sexual history of Bill and the typical political calculation of Hillary is no big deal.

And yet that is not what you said. You went for the personal smear on anyone who thinks that being accused of rape and then lying under oath is a some sort of deal.

What I like about the Clintons in their amazing ability to produce moral corruption in others. The Democrats are going to look foolish lecturing anyone about sexism for a generation. As Hillary does when she says that victims should be believed. It has not stopped rank and file Democrats running wild firing people for using the wrong pronoun or looking at a woman the wrong way. But it does make them look foolish.

Luckily the Left seems determined to defend the Clintons no matter what. No matter what laws they break. No matter what money they take from whom. It doesn't matter. All that matters is getting even with Republicans for something. I am not sure what but it is clearly a very big deal because Democrats are still very angry about it.

SMFS: straw man much? Oh wait, yes you do.

Is your response to my question that Bill's sexual proclivities may have had no impact on his job performance but he abused his position to suppress stories about committing sexual assault?

If that is correct, I would point out that it does not really address my original question in any way. That said, I can agree it is a problem if the POTUS goes around sexually assaulting women or violating any other laws. I would not want us to have a president who routinely flouted the law they were charged with upholding, even if that president were very effective in other ways.

My own view (as someone who was young enough their parents had to have probably embarrassing conversations explaining the Lewinsky stuff), is that there is some quantum of Clintonian fact distortion that interacted with a "vast right wing conspiracy" to produce odd results. The historical record is less than clear on what happened. I tend to think Bill Clinton has had sexual relations with many women other than Hillary over the years, but all of those were consensual to some significant degree. That said, I am not well equipped to adjudicate the controversy nor are you.

Despite that, the Federalist argument is basically a good one and there is a real hypocrisy in Hillary's current rhetoric versus historical statements. She may have specific reasons to disbelieve most of the allegations which is one way they can be mutually consistent with one another. I have intentionally avoided commenting on whether any of these issues could rationally form a basis for preferring Trump with his own, far more consistent, record of shady personal and financial dealings but suffice it to say I do not believe that they do.

I've read from unreliable sources that Bill is a sexual predator who prefers the less than willing, and that Hilary's outlet for dealing with this problem is verbal abuse of the many, many victims. Rumour has it that a documentary of all his alledged victims will be coming out before the election. I don't know if any of this is true, but we do know for a fact that Bill was a regular on 'Pedophile Island' and if according to the left, we are supposed to 'listen and believe' all rape accusers.

3. What's the explanation for dwarf hands and dwarf male sex organs? Is it as the linked article suggests with regard to island dwarfism: natural selection for an optimal body (part) size in the absence of competition and predators. I should point out that dwarf feet don't correlate with dwarf male sex organs: my oldest brother, now deceased, had extremely small feet (size six shoe) but an extremely large sex organ. Some experts have suggested it was God's reward for him being the first born male child. I suppose I should disclose that I'm the last child and God's reward for me was brains since He had already given out the preferred traits to my older siblings.

In related news, Donald Trump's campaign is being advised by a physician who specializes in penis transplants. http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2016/06/21/trump_pays_30k_to_draper_sterling_what_is_xeno_technology.html Whether the same physician handles dwarf hands transplants is unknown. My questions: what is the recovery time for a penis transplant? Is it possible to campaign for president while recovering? Where do the find donors for the transplants?

Body part size is a social construct.


"Second to fourth digit ratio: a predictor of adult penile length"

5. excellent short ditty worth viewing.

#6. "the reforms have not been so significant" hmmm....Maybe he has not accomplished yet all that he has set out to do, but still, what he has done is nothing to sneeze at so cavalierly. Just two examples of many significant achievements, his Pradhan Mantri Jan Dhan Yojana allowed hundreds of millions of the poor to gain bank accounts ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pradhan_Mantri_Jan_Dhan_Yojana ) and his Atal Pension Yojana allowed millions in the unorganized sector to gain pensions (http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/topic/Atal-Pension-Yojana ). See much, much more at:
TC's hostility towards Modi undoubtedly stems from mood affiliation: Modi's accomplishments and leadership cast shade on TC's idol Obama.

4) Misses on the different between imaging and building libraries of time-delays and amplitudes of electric activity associated with different stimuli and/or thinking processes.

There is millisecond resolution on measures of electrical activity. It is not necessary to have neuron level recording to be able to decode the various oscillatory patterns in a manner that essentially reveals the underlying neural activities (having built a library of "known" associations).

Anyways, here's my best guess on how real-time neural recording is happening in the non-civilian sector these days. Having bombarded a certain amount of photons in the general direction of a person, a "dialectic wireless receiver" can specialize in reading the frequencies and amplitudes of very nearby wavelengths. Having interacted with varying electromagnetic fields associated with "potential differences" in the brain, the reflected photons hit a an antenna. A stream of photons of identical frequency and amplitude interact with the antenna, which itself vibrates in ways very specific to the frequency and amplitude of the reflected/defracted photons, and, as transceivers are supposed to work, the stream of photons with identical properties are then reflected into a optical measuring device, having been wavelength and amplitude modified by the interaction with the transceiver.

These modified wavelengths and amplitudes from the optical stream within the dialectic wireless receiver do not have to indicate the specific properties of the photons which interacted with potential differences in the brain. By process of Fourier transforms, all that is needed is a chronology (readily given by the stream of photons of originally-identical-properties) and the Fourier transforms (which reduce a complex waveform into constituent sub-parts) will correct for any transformations inherent in environmental differences, most sources of interference, etc., allowing the oscillatory waveforms (patterns of evoked potentials) to be readily compared to a library of known waveform patterns.

Nathan, that's gobbledy gook. You'll embarrass yourself less if you stop writing about subjects that clearly you know next to nothing about.

Please be more specific. It's gobbledy gook because you don't know what I'm talking about. How about you read the paper and look up all the terms you don't understand. Which would probably be almost all of them.

"Which would probably be almost all of them." Nathan, I'm an Electrical engineer. That being said, I'm hardly an expert on the engineering of neural recording. I am enough of an expert to realize that your post is babel.

"Please be more specific. " Sure why not.

"Misses on the different between imaging and building libraries of time-delays "

The paper doesn't address "building libraries of time-delays " at all. It's concerned with both power supply for embedded neural recording devices and transmission capacity. The higher your required transmission capacity the more power you need. So, there are fundamental engineering/physical constraints to deal with.

"Having bombarded a certain amount of photons in the general direction of a person," So, you are shining a flashlight on someone.

“a dialectic wireless receiver” That phrase is completely meaningless.

"can specialize in reading the frequencies and amplitudes of very nearby wavelengths:" What? Your not going to get any useful return information from shining a light on a brain. When the authors addressed photon radiation they were explicitly referring to using a photovoltaic cell as a power source for their transmitter.

And their conclusion is that it's worthless:

"To supply 10 µW (typical of current wirelessly-powered RFID chips) photovoltaically to a 10 µm × 10 µm (cell sized) chip at 34 % photovoltaic efficiency requires a light intensity of ∼300 kW/m2 at the chip, which is prohibitive. Furthermore, in the use of infrared light for photovoltaics, the penetration of the photons through tissue is decreased compared to radio frequencies."

"Having interacted with varying electromagnetic fields associated with “potential differences” in the brain, the reflected photons hit a an antenna."

Your hypothetical flash light is not going interact with brain EM fields and you don't use an antenna to measure reflected photons.

You missed the entire point of the paper. It's about embedding RF devices into a brain and powering them.

As a main criticism, I'd say they over-emphasize the use of electrodes in neural recording, and this leads them to spend a lot of time discussing physical barriers which aren't relevant to other techniques. However, Table 1 provides a good synopsis of available alternatives.

Also, they appear to be unaware of the use of Fourier methods to decode complex waveforms into their constituent sub-waves (this significantly reduces the importance of spatial specificity in the data for many purposes, although for true brain emulations clearly that wouldn't be enough).

Aside from that, it seems to me like a really good starting point on understanding the general questions, some things about the nature of neural networking within the brain, current technological capacities in the civilian sector, etc.

I think the main assumption on the part of the writers of the paper that leads them to see greater barriers than there are is that they seem to think that they need a perfect recording at the neuron level in real time. However, as with almost all scientific processes, it suffices to repeat a stimuli and mine data for patterns afterwards. It seems that they want the perfect dataset in one trial and are ignoring the age-old practice of getting larger volumes of imperfect data and using statistical/mathematical techniques to find out what you're after.

Finally, for optical techniques, they seem very focused on visible light and infrared. For a 2013 paper, this is understandable since existing maser technologies required difficult-to-achieve temperature conditions within the equipment for other wavelengths (especially microwave spectrum). However, in 2012 a new type of maser was invented that uses different materials to be able to operate at room temperature with no special energy requirements. Which opens up a whole other area of optical imaging techniques which do not appear to have been explored in the civilian sector. However, their focus on a one-off "perfect recording" instead of a larger sample to manipulate statistically, would probably be ignored by these researchers considering their concern for heat dissipation required in association with any optical/photonic approaches to neural recording/monitoring.

Blockchains are a very neat technical solution in search of a compelling problem they solve.

@#1 - note in the linked article the comment by vlade, reproduced in part below, it shows "defects" in the blockchain will always be with us:

vlade writes: @shm – under Goedel theorem, no smart contract can EVER be bulet proof. Any smart contract is by definition a list of axioms (ultimately driven down to the turing machine). Given that you can reduce (map) any actual instance of a smart contract to an integer, GT applies (smart contracts defined by code can be either consistent, or complete in the provability sense, but not both). QED.

#2 Funny that they like us seem very confident that she is lying about trade.

Islands also induce gigantism: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Island_gigantism

That was my reaction as well. I have seen some biologists argue that small mammals become larger on islands while large mammals become small. However, there seems to be more recent research that casts doubt on this: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/11/071107074324.htm.

#7 what athleticism. Great breakdown.

What Chinese women think of Hillary Clinton:

Professor at the School of International Studies at Peking University in Beijing, whose research interests include U.S. politics and diplomacy

Researcher at the Faculty of Social Sciences of The University of Hong Kong

PhD candidate at the School of Public Affairs at Zhejiang University in the eastern city of Hangzhou

Head of the Secretary-General's Office at China Energy Fund Committee (a private think tank)

Human Resources Manager at a private mutual fund

social worker for an NGO promoting female rights in China

What a representative sample.

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