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Daniel Dulitz
Works at Bayesian Modeling Agency
Attended Cornell University
Lives in Palo Alto, CA
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Daniel Dulitz

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This is more important than most of the 'how inspirational Mandela was' articles you will read.

Mandela was a politician. He and his movement were supported by some and opposed by others. Let's remember who opposed him and why. And note that the why is still going strong today.
For many years, a large swath of this country failed Nelson Mandela, failed its own alleged morality, and failed the majority of people living in South Africa. 
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Oh! RIP
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This is huge. For the countries I travel to frequently, I had to have a domestic SIM in order to do anything -- so bad were the prices on the US carriers. Now I may get rid of all of them except my UK SIM with the easy-to-remember number.
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That is huge. I have a T-Mobile plan, but I guess I would need to switch to a "Simple Choice" plan to take advantage of this? (Also, what about tethering?)
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"There's this beautiful study in which subjects speak into a microphone and they either think that someone else listening to them, or they think they're just talking. Among the non-lonely, there's very little difference in how third parties would rate subjects’ responses. A third party rates subjects as equally interesting in both conditions. Yet lonely people become less interesting when they think someone is listening. It's sort of a choking effect. That's one kind of scarcity trap."

Interesting interview. The point is that when you're in an environment of scarcity, you begin to act in ways that reinforce that scarcity. I'd like to see more on this. Yet the odds of it muting the "just pull yourself out of it" chorus seem remote.
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Can't wait to read.
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+Andrew Bunner found this article that is one of the few insightful things about organizations I've seen published in the major news outlets.
 
"[T]here can be no expectation that the system will act morally of its own accord. Systems are optimized for their own survival and preventing the system from doing evil may well require breaking with organizational niceties, protocols or laws."

http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/opinionator/2013/09/15/the-banality-of-systemic-evil/

#heroes   #patriots  
In recent months there has been a visible struggle in the media to come to grips with the leaking, whistle-blowing and hacktivism that has vexed the United States military and the private and government intelligence communities. This response has run the gamut. It has involved attempts to ...
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Our cat died a few months ago. But this... would be so cool if we had a cat. :-)
Someone built an extensive, fenced-in catwalk around the outside of their house to let their cats go outside without being able to run away. image via reddit via reddit, RocketNews24, Nekomomo
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The article misquotes what Snowden actually said.  What he actually claimed was (verbatim), "I, sitting at my desk, certainly had the authorities to wiretap anyone, from you, or your accountant, to a federal judge, to even the President if I had a personal email." The article restates this as, "I, sitting at my desk, [could] ...." The question of whether he could use his system administrator access to bypass the authorization systems and perform illegal, unauthorized acts is a lot different from the question of whether he was authorized to do so.  There are undoubtedly a lot of people at Google who could also use their access to Google's servers to access information they are not authorized to access.  There are people at the IRS who could use their access to IRS systems to obtain information they are not authorized to access.  There are police officers who could take their service weapon into a school and start shooting people.  The potential for the misuse of power is always an issue, but the solution isn't to shut down the IRS or to abolish the police.
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Daniel Dulitz

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A few days old now, but worth reading as always. Not so surprising, but nonetheless upsetting.

I have to say, Snowden and the journalists were really brilliant in how they ordered these releases: they maximize the number of lies that the NSA has told. Each disclosure shows how the previous week's official statement was misleading, uninformative, and basically a lie.

At the end of this, the NSA and their bipartisan toadies will have no credibility at all.
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+Daniel Egnor I'm pretty sure that PRISM is pretty much just the front end. Consider the technical problem that the NSA's facing: they need to automate putting data in front of analysts who, in general, are not technical people. (They're mostly linguists, though from a more technical pool than the CIA's.)

A large portion of the data they're intaking -- something like 25% of the entire haul -- consists of random GFS blocks and the corresponding sorts of interchange-format data from other tech companies, without the associated metadata tables. (Or at least without current ones). That means, essentially, that for each individual format, they need to hang the blocks they've intercepted off of a new metadata table, parse it back into an easily human-readable shape, and stick it in front of the relevant analyst. This is not a huge or technically complex project, and it seems to fit perfectly well within the $20m stated budget for PRISM. 

I'm biased toward the 'single-intercept-infrastructure' explanation because it's elegant, but consider this: in May of 2007, the FCC required compliance with new regulations requiring public/private data interchanges (like GFEs) to be equipped with CALEA-compliant equipment. In other words, the off-ramp needs to be able to be able to do deep packet inspection on, and divert if necessary, any data coming out of the Google private backbone. My assumption at the time is that that was fundamentally about the FBI.

The PRISM slides show the first companies coming online in August of 2007, three months after the drop-dead date for installing CALEA-compliant equipment in the interchanges. My suspicion is that the interchange taps went undetected for so long because no one suspected the equipment which was already known to be a tap. 
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Republicans yet again schooling Dems on how to negotiate. Eventually Dems will learn to play this game: propose something that is actually liberal for once! Instead of making the initial proposal centrist.

Don't take an up-or-down on Keystone XL by itself. Ban all new pipelines and then compromise down to just banning Keystone XL. Start with only single payer and, under extreme pressure, compromise to include marketplaces. Propose massive tax increases on the rich, compromise them down to a mere 20% increase.

The way to deal with Republicans with bad ideas is for Dems to propose bad ideas and compromise to the one you wanted all along.
 
We keep hearing the same talking point from the Republicans responsible for the government shutdown: President Obama won’t compromise.

Liberals wanted single-payer Medicare-for-all, but the president settled on a Republican plan instead, a plan Republicans supported until Obama got on board with it. Republicans didn’t like the public option, so he compromised by removing it. He compromised on abortion coverage. He compromised with the “Cornhusker Kickback” (which was later removed by the Senate). He compromised on Medicare drug price negotiation, and drug reimportation.

He compromised by delaying the employer mandate. He compromised on the CLASS Act, and the 1099 requirements.

Democrats asked Republicans 19 times, starting in April, for a conference to negotiate on the budget, and were told ‘no’ 19 times.

For the budget, President Obama wanted one funding level, and the Republicans wanted a much lower level, so the president agreed to the Republican level. Not some middle-ground between the two proposals – he accepted their number. After getting literally everything they wanted, Republicans said ‘no’ to the deal anyway, deciding they wanted more.

They demanded defunding of Obamacare, or they’ll blow up the country. Then they said, okay, instead of defunding it completely, just gut part of it – they call that a ‘compromise’ because they would only get some, not all, of what they want in exchange for not destroying the country.

Obama says no, you don’t get to demand something in return for not destroying the country. “Not destroying the country” should be sort of a baseline expectation, when you’re in Congress.

And that, folks, is what Republicans call ‘refusing to compromise’.
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I can't agree that the best response to Republican intransigence is Democratic intransigence.  There are two problems with that.  First, Democrats need a government that works in order to achieve social ends, while Republicans seek a government that fails to function.  So deadlock is not symmetrical; it plays into the hands of the latter.  Secondly, Democrats need a government that works in order to achieve political viability, because voters will never entrust Democrats with power if they are convinced that the government role they seek can't be effectively achieved.

Of course, that's not a call for preemptive compromise followed by deadlock, either.  We need a radically different approach than either of those alternatives.  The shutdown is actually a good example of a better strategy.  Pick a line that you know you are going to hold to, and that the public will support, and then hold to it.  There are other possibilities, too.  Another example of a strategy is filibuster reform.  Make it easier for the majority to act.  This carries risks---the Republicans could do great harm with their majority, when they have it---but it reduces the obstructionism that essentially guarantees success for Republicans as long as they count a dysfunctional, unproductive government as a success.
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Single best summary I've read of the Snowden leaks, and what they all add up to.
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I had high hopes for this article, but it just shows how few people -- and how few social and political commentators -- really understand the "attention economy."

"The metaphor of the long tail, though, is misleading. Certainly, it is easier to find obscure books or bands than it used to be. But most people don’t want to find obscure things—they want to focus their attention on what everyone else is paying attention to. Those who are already rich in attention are likely to get richer, while the long tail still trails off into darkness and obscurity."

Unfortunately that mistake turns into a kind of lynchpin paragraph for the essay.
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I'm certainly not going to endorse everything that +Henry Farrell writes (and I'm troubled that his definition of "good ideas" seems to be, more or less, "things that Henry Farrell agrees with").  But I do think he has a reasonably sound observation that the attention economy tends to pull people in a couple of unproductive directions, either pandering or provoking.  The "long tail" may allow people to build a niche audience, but the pull of a potential larger audience seems to very, very often pull those who built their initial reputation or audience with some interesting ideas in the direction of either telling their readers what they want to hear or else picking fights just for the sake of attention.
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Finally! If the funders are finally getting wise that a lot of "research findings" are actually noise, and if the funders are finally doing something about it, this could be huge.
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Maybe the most important thing that happened today. It shuts down the misuse of this charge against others who leak to the public.

If this had gone the other way, leaking to the public would have been leaking to the enemy... Almost as if the public were the enemy.
 
"Military court finds Pfc. Bradley Manning not guilty of aiding the enemy." -- CNN

That's huge.
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Yeah, the espionage act is an issue too (espionage should have to be on behalf of a foreign power) but this would have been the end.
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Work
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Product Manager
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  • Bayesian Modeling Agency
    Founder, 2013 - present
  • Google
    Product Manager, 2006 - 2012
  • Google
    Software Engineer, 2000 - 2005
  • Motorola
    Software Engineer
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Mountain View, CA - South Dakota - Austin, TX - New York City - Ithaca, NY - State College, PA
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Go fast and hang on tight.
Introduction
Longtime Google engineer and product manager. Now working in my own studio, the Bayesian Modeling Agency, to advise "napkin-stage to seed-stage" startups, particularly in the consumer biomedical and biosensor space. Focusing on how to use large-scale data analysis to learn things about real people in their natural habitat.

Angel investor. Climber. Pilot. Husband. Lover. Friend. Not in that order.

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Ran what were, at the time, the largest controlled studies ever performed on human subjects, with hundreds of millions of participants.
Education
  • Cornell University
    1988 - 1993
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