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Josiah Seaman
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Genome trailblazer and creator of Skittle Genome Visualizer.
Genome trailblazer and creator of Skittle Genome Visualizer.

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Josiah Seaman commented on a post on Blogger.
This is a great example of how transforming sequencing problems into images allows us to leverage existing infrastructure. DeepMind and OpenAI have made huge strides, but mainly on use cases centered on images. Many other fields will be transferred to images to use out of the box solutions. The upside here is that it's easy to "see" what your program is doing as well! Take the whole Human genome visualized: https://dnaskittle.com/ddvresults/dnadata/Human%20GRCH38%20All%20Variants%20-%20small%20headers/ Then visually monitor the logic here: https://distill.pub/2017/feature-visualization/
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I found a way cooler version of myself: +Josiah Zayner. He's doing synthetic biology meshed with circuit design, which is pretty much exactly what I've wanted to do since 2002. He injected himself with CRISPR (genetic engineering protein) just to show it's not that big of a deal. He even has the shade of Blue hair that I like.

"...I could create DNA with CRISPR that could modify my own DNA in five minutes. If that doesn't blow your mind, then I don't know what does. The next question comes down to, what's holding us back?"

For the 10% of people suffering from genetic disorders, given a choice between 100% chance of a life long disability or the possibility of side effects, then indeed, what is holding us back? Nothing but fear itself.

His blog is called "Science, Art, Beauty" josiahzayner.com/
https://synbiobeta.com/a-day-in-the-life-of-josiah-zayner/

It's good to have examples to strive towards.
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Take pleasure in the little things.
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Here is a genuinely impressive transforming swarm robot. It's like nanites, just one million times too large. I like that they have two different scales for motor speed and stability. That separation of speeds will be a necessary feature of all future projects.
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Wow... Politics make sense now... I didn't think that was possible.
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Every time I'm in traffic I think about how preventable this whole mess is. Public transportation also solves this problem, by the way.
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A game called Slither.io is an example of the most appealing business economy that I have ever seen.  Slither.io is a system where everyone has a chance to become great, to have their time in the sun, that rewards players for good strategies with more power.  And yet, the little guys are never completely dominated.  Everyone starts out small, surrounded by players that are a thousand times their size, but players can consistently go from last to the top ten in under five minutes of good strategy.  Slither.io is a game where the clever thrive for a short while, where you can leverage previous successes to gain more, and where the giants of the game have good reason to fear those tiny little startups.

This system caught my attention because of the current schism and crisis of faith in the justice of the American economic system.  Games are a fascinating test ground for governments and economic systems.  Whether we realize it or not, an economy is a point system built around rules to guide people down desirable courses of action.  An economy is a game designed to make people work on products that we value.  Our own economy game has required updates (called Laws) in order to patch various exploits that people have discovered.  Unfortunately, we’ve reached a point where that can no longer happen.  The largest umbrella corporations have reached a level of dominance greater than the government, and achieved “regulatory capture”.  Put simply, the top players can change the rules to ensure that they stay on top.  

What makes Slither.io so fascinating is the contrast with its predecessor, Agar.io.  Agar.io is stunningly simple.   Each player is a circle that will absorb smaller circles that it runs over.  Each time that happens the absorbing player gains all the mass of the smaller player and can now absorb even larger circles.  This makes a really simple “ladder climbing” strategy:  Absorb everyone smaller than you and avoid everyone larger than you.  The largest and smallest sizes don’t really interact with each other because large players are ponderously slow and wouldn’t really benefit from absorbing small players anyways.  They’re in different worlds.

By contrast, Slither.io is an MMO adaptation of the arcade Snake game.  You run around gathering points and try not to hit your head into the side of any other snake.  If you do run into another snake, you die and your whole mass is converted into points.  From here on out I’ll describe the game using business terminology, because it’s more fun.

When a business snake is liquidated it usually triggers a feeding frenzy from everyone around.  This frenzy of activity in turn creates more collisions collapses and more liquidated assets points.  Since you can’t change the past, you can’t control your tail where you’ve been, but the tail brand loyalty can be used as a way to block off and claim territory (similar to the ancient war game Go).  The longer more market share you get, the more brand recognition you get, and the better you are at encircling areas, shepherding resources and creating safe areas for your business.  The downside (and this is crucial) is that larger snakes businesses cannot pivot as quickly, and this game economy is all about cutting off other businesses in new markets.  So small businesses pose a serious threat to titanic snakes businesses specifically because the agile little startups can cut off the big businesses at the head while they’re trying to claim new territory.  There’s a huge incentive for the little guys to do this because the ensuing collapse is a deluxe buffet ticket to the top.  This creates an interesting spectrum of behaviour where small players go for aggressive risky strategies and the largest play defensively and gain size by encircling medium sized assets.  

The powerful should have something to fear from the teeming masses.  They should need to be wary of agile, opportunistic startups.  When startups head off a large company with a superior strategy in a new market, they should be able to rapidly absorb the larger company’s employees and assets in order to have the resources necessary to replace them.

I wish I lived in this economy.  Is this capitalism?  This is perhaps capitalism in its truest form.  But I live in a nation where lawmakers are beholden to their campaign funders and corporate lobbyists, not the masses of people they were made to represent.

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I recently saw Zootopia and I was really impressed by the depth and fairness of how they portrayed prejudice and discrimination.  There's been a lot of talk about equality and privilege lately, but I don't think any of it is as timeless as the cartoonish portrayal in Zootopia.

Zootopia is about prejudice and stereotypes. Saying that Zootopia is about racism is too limiting. Predators are a portrayal of "A type" personalities, or "D" types if you use the DISC personality profile. These people represent about 10% of the population, but have much of the power. Zootopia sidesteps a one-sided portrayal by pointed out that predators can also be villainized and often feel alone. The assistant mayor is a sheep, "S" types represent >40% of the population and are often bullied around and considered meek. But they also have a passive aggressive streak and long term planning that can be very formidable, making the Assistant Mayor the villain of the movie. I like how it shows that everyone uses prejudice in different ways and everyone is under different social pressures. Zootopia rises above the simplistic narrative of "white privilege" to get at the heart of truly seeing each person as an individual, not a stereotype.
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Software Development: The Leverage Principle book is free today and tomorrow. Go grab a copy!
I recently wrote a book on software engineering best practices.  The book is available through Amazon Kindle and sells for $43.95.  Today and tomorrow you can get the book for free.

Search for "The Leverage Principle: A Software Architect's Guide to Optimizing Development and Operations”.

If you are interested in how to be more effective in your software development and operations then this book may be very helpful to you.

Mark Seaman  *  970-481-6240
Author of  The Leverage Principle

http://www.amazon.com/Leverage-Principle-Architects-Optimizing-Development-ebook/dp/B01945JLIS
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"Marvel may fail someday, but today is NOT that day!" -- movie goer leaving Ant-Man.  I'm continuously surprised that each Marvel movie feels like a uniquely different style and genre.  Ant-Man is a light hearted heist movie that reminded me a bit of Snatch, except less crude.  They have a lot of fun with size and weight dynamics.  Ant-Man is my new favorite hero.  Miniaturized Explosives = Fun.
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