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Dave Whipp
Works at Google
Attended UMIST, Manchester
Lives in San Jose, CA
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Dave Whipp

❖ Mathematics  - 
 
Shameless self promotion: my first YouTube video is an attempt to explain Peano's axioms and why 1+1=2
 
I Just created my first YouTube Video! A proof that one plus one equals two!
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Dave Whipp

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Wow, so Breitbart today had an article that actually admits that scientists have "proven" that "the earth is warming because of human activity".

That's good, but the second part of the argument also appears to be reasonably well grounded: that unconditional climate predictions are meaningless because the greatest uncertainty is what we'll do about it (well, that article also has a throwaway line about weather prediction -- I guess that's mandatory on right wing sites).

If the argument is that our predictions should be based on scenarios .. then that is uncontroversial. It seems that the argument will shift from silly denial of climate science to a more reasonable debate over the scope of the scenarios on which we base our (conditional) predictions.

The specific uncertainty mentioned is "singularity": which in this context I take to be the idea that humans will not be the dominant agency in the economy in the second half of the century. And if Technological Intelligence is running things, it doesn't matter what we humans think.

There's something nihilistic about this argument, but it does at least appear to be an do-nothing argument that accepts the basic science of climate change. And for a site like Breitbart, I'd have to say that this feels like progress
The debate about preventing the Singularity; Artificial Intelligence and Climate Change; Proof that the Singularity will occur by 2030
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Not a fan of making Godwin's law real.
I compare pattern over time without reference to ideology
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Interesting longform piece about how the Syria spiralled out of control. The assumption in the headline, that Obama "lost Syria", does seem to assume that it's something that the US should consider as it's problem to solve -- but it's depressing to compare the outcomes of Libya, Iraq, and Syria: three bad outcomes that differ in degree, but the humanitarian crisis is probably worst in the one where the US has involved itself the least. (And that crisis is the result of a deliberate strategy by Assad to close out the US options for deposing him)
There may have been a window for the US to act in Syria. Here's how Obama let it close.
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Many news articles comment on it; and on reactions to it. So I looked for the text that they're all commenting on (many of them probably not having read it). Nice digestible pieces.
Encyclical Letter Laudato si' of the Holy Father Francis on care for our common home (24 May 2015)
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Seems that the rats may be innocent: we've demonized them all these years, while the true villains are the cute cuddly gerbils...
Black rats may not have been responsible for outbreaks of the plague in Europe, a new study argues.
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Basic income appears to be a policy whose time is coming. The question is not whether we can afford it, but whether we can afford not to!
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Dave Whipp

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I Just created my first YouTube Video! A proof that one plus one equals two!
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Perl 6 : its been a fascinating wait. Finally almost over. Let the -Ofun begin. 
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Many "expert level" systems have incredibly intimidating UIs. This talk discusses machine learning to make them more accessible to non-experts. We can think of it as a natural language translation problem, but where the goal is to ground the natural language in the desired system response.
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I hear people pontificate that computers will never match humans because they don't hallucinate, form analogies, dream, or demonstrate creativity. We are seeing increasing evidence of how these people are wrongs. Analysis of networks trained on images makes it easy to demonstrate to people who are not data scientists; but imagine how a credit card company, a supermarket chain, or spy agency can analyse their big-data using similar techniques. What creative insights will their systems produce?
When you look for shapes in the clouds, you’ll often find things you see every day: Dogs, people, cars. It turns out that artificial “brains” do the same thing. Google calls this phenomenon “Inceptionism,” and it’s a shocking look into how advanced artificial neural networks really are.
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Even if media stories proclaiming failure were true, the conclusions would still be wrong!
 
Google Glass vs. The USA's R&D Toilet

http://lauren.vortex.com/archive/001086.html

If you're a regular consumer of the computer industry trade press -- a strong stomach strongly recommended -- you've probably seen a bit of gloating lately about Google pulling their Google Glass device from most consumer marketing.

Mainstream media has picked up the drumbeat too, with even major publications like The New York Times very recently running stories purporting to explain why Google Glass has "failed" or how this is emblematic of Google's supposedly imminent fall.

Those stories sound pretty scary. They're also utterly wrong. And they're wrong in a way that exemplifies why so much of U.S. industry is in a terrible research and development (R&D) slump, and why Google should be congratulated for their "moonshots" -- not ridiculed.

Once upon a time -- not so long ago relatively -- there was a reasonable understanding in this country that long-term R&D was crucial to our technological, financial, and personal futures. That's long-term as in spending money on projects that might take a long time to pay off -- or might never pay off for the firms making the investments -- but that still might play crucial roles in our future going forward.

When we think about the foundation of modern R&D, it's typical for AT&T's Bell Telephone Laboratories (Bell Labs) to spring immediately to mind. Not the Bell Labs of today -- an emaciated skeleton of its former greatness -- but of the years before AT&T's 1984 Bell system beak-up divestiture and shortly thereafter. 

The list of developments that sprang forth from the Labs is mind-boggling. If Lucent Technologies did nothing else when they took over Bell Labs and hastened its decline, at least they produced in 2000 this great music video (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UzHp7Ahkjes) celebrating the Labs' innovations over the many decades. Mentally start subtracting out items from the list shown in that video and watch how our entire modern world would crumble away around us.

Yet -- and this is crucial -- most of those Bell Labs technologies that are so much a part of our lives today were anything but sure bets at the time they were being developed. Hell, who needs something better than trusty old vacuum tubes? What possible use is superconductivity? Why would anyone need flexible, easy to use computer operating systems?

It's only with the benefit of 20/20 hindsight that we can really appreciate the genius -- and critically the willingness to put sufficient R&D dollars behind such genius -- that allowed these technologies to flourish in the face of contemporaneous skepticism at the time.

Much of that kind of skepticism is driven by the twin prongs of people who basically don't understand technology deeply, and/or by investors who see any effort to be a waste if it isn't virtually guaranteed to bring in significant short-term profits.

But we see again and again what happens when technology companies fall prey to such short-term thinking. Magnificent firms like Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) vanish with relative rapidity into the sunset to be largely forgotten. Household names like Kodak flicker and fade away into shadows. And as noted, even the great Bell Labs has become the "reality show" version of its former self.

Nor is it encouraging when we see other firms who have had robust R&D efforts now culling them in various ways, such as Microsoft's very recent closing of their Silicon Valley research arm.

It probably shouldn't be surprising that various researchers from Microsoft, Bell Labs, and DEC have ended up at ... you guessed it ... Google.

So it also shouldn't be surprising why it's difficult not look askance at claims that Google is on the wrong path investing in autonomous cars, or artificial intelligence, or balloon-based Internet access -- or Google Glass.

Because even if one chooses inappropriately and inaccurately -- but for the sake of the argument -- to expound pessimistic consumer futures for those techs as currently defined, they will still change the world in amazingly positive ways. 

Internet access in the future inevitably will include high altitude distribution systems. AI will be solving problems the nature of which we can't even imagine today. Many thousands of lives will be saved by improved driver assist systems even if you sullenly choose to assume that autonomous cars don't become a mass consumer item in the near future. And medical, safety, and a range of industrial applications for Google Glass and similar devices are already rapidly deploying.

This is what serious R&D is really all about. Our collective and personal futures depend upon the willingness of firms to take these risks toward building tomorrow. 

We need far more firms willing to follow Google's R&D model in these regards, rather than being utterly focused on projects that might suck some coins quickly into the hopper, but do little or nothing to help their countries, their peoples, and the world in the long run. 

Here in the U.S. we've willingly and self-destructively permitted short-term Wall Street thinking to flush much of our best R&D talent down the proverbial toilet.

And unless we get our heads on straight about this immediately, we'll be sending our futures and our children's futures down the same dark sewer.

We are far better than that.

Take care, all.

-- Lauren --
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Everyone talks about human colonies on Mars. Elon Musk famously wants to die there (but not on arrival). But Venus offers many benefits. Although it's surface is somewhat hostile, it's dense atmosphere with plentiful sunlight make it an ideal place to build floating communities...
Should crewed exploration of Venus come before we try to go to Mars?
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In his circles
449 people
Education
  • UMIST, Manchester
    Microelectronic Systems Engineering, 1989 - 1993
Basic Information
Gender
Male
Work
Occupation
Software and Microelectronics Engineer
Employment
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2011 - present
  • NVIDIA
    Microelectronics Engineer (RTL Verification), 2003 - 2011
  • GEC Plessey, Seimens, Infineon, Fast Chip,
    1990 - 2003
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San Jose, CA
Previously
Wallasey, England - Munich, Germany - Plymouth, England - Manchester, England
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I had an appointment for 8:20 am. When I arrived there was a long line snaking around the building but, having an appointment, I could go right in. Checked in at the appointments triage counter and got my number; waited a couple of minutes for that number to be called; did the vision test (and paid); went to another line to have my photo taken; and done. Out by 8:30. So ten minutes for a license renewal, and non of the nightmares we hear of for visits to the DMV. Obviously I can't say if things get less good later in the day; and if you don't have an appointment then there's that long snaking line. But having an early morning appointment, service was excellent.
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