Jan 31, 2010

The future cultural icons - Re: why China has few recognizable cultural icon.

A cultural icon like MJ or Tiger Woods or Barack Obama is basically a brand name. Such brand name is produced by both his/her own merit but also the PR and marketing campaign behind that icon. If we look at the brand name valuations in the world, China is still probably far behind right now. It may change when the Chinese consumer/firms obtain higher and higher economic power. Also, English as a language is also a major obstacle for Chinese to overcome, because English is the de facto international language for knowledge, communication and thinking, especially amongst elite members of the global society.

Jan 20, 2010

Representation, Concept, and Reflection

When I was young, I was puzzled by the material vs. mind dichotomy. If everything is material, then isn’t mind also material as well? Now, we know better and better about the human as a complex adaptive system, just like pretty much any “thing” in the universe. Then isn’t mind just like the signals in my computer’s ICs? Thought is pretty much just a process in which electrons are moving in neural networks, resulting in memory, which are changes and temporal patterns in synapse, myelin and other chemicals. Even though it is about a billion times more complicated, in essence, human mind (thought and memory) are still comparable or I would say, conceptually equivalent to those signals and patterns passing through simpler systems such as computer, mice, virus (both biological and man-made), and even in earth (as a complex system), in a nation, a company, a cup of water, so on and so forth.
What makes thought a little different to me is that, even in its reduced forms, its own pattern actually mimics, or reflects, or represents the other patterns in the universe. We call such reflection or representation between 2 patterns a “concept”, which is the basic building block of thought and the foundation of human (or computer) language. That’s why in Chomsky’s linguistic study, he found out that certain human language elements are innate to all human being, also known as his universal grammar. If we consider the utility or essence of language, it is nothing but representative facility in human nervous system that is composed of patterns of synapses. Given the commonality among human DNA, which establishes the initial set-up script of human life (or installation software for a system), such universal grammar in language seems pretty inevitable. It would be absurd that 2 systems with 99.9% equivalent Operating Systems to not share some common basic representation facility of patterns essential to the survival of any of these evolved systems.
What also makes thought (some people call it mind, or consciousness) a little unique is that it can not only represent temporal existence, such as anything in the universe, but also timeless existence, such as natural laws. For example, the concept of 1+1=2, or e=mc2 does not seem to change overtime. Such existence being reflected in mind or derivative of mental activities does give mind a shade of mystery or divinity, even though such amazement itself can be reduced to one of the many evolved human feelings that help the human specie to survive and propagate as a temporal existence (“being” might be a better word for that.).
Now if anyone asks me about the meaning of life or consciousness, I would say “Problem solved”. However, the more difficult problem for us though, is “How do we live a little bit longer, a little happier, give out a little more love, or may we dare to say, continue forever in that path?”

Jan 13, 2010

uncertainty in life

if we look at famous people as role model, the life before the fame is more important. life has so much uncertainty, even a king can not guarantee the happiness of his offspring or family.

Jan 11, 2010

Atomicity of existence and concept

As in any language (the building block of concept), there must be a root word. In the case of building the philosophy, there must be a basic root object where everything else must be built upon. In my hierarchy (see the hierarchy article), that root class is “existence”, this concept cannot be further reduced but can be explained. Existence can only be explained in terms of existence. My definition:
Existence impacts other existences. Now the hard part, what does impact means? Impact means an existence causes another existence’s attributes to become different. Again, we now need definition for become, cause, and attribute. In this sense, cause becomes another root concept and attribute as well.

Link people through interest, books, TV, movie, sports, travel, virtual room, etc.

People are dating because they need to find suitable life (or at least for sometimes) partners. In building a dating profile, you want to use information to enable their reach. We can establish linkage to 43things (interest), Douban (book/movie/TV), Travel, Game, blah, blah so that the members can search, link and share. We should bring SinaShow etc. also to the picture. (not facebook and linkedin though). They may import/export stuff from these interest profile so that they can still keep their privacy. So the 3 key themes:

1. Who you are (profile engine -> 43things -> interest sites)
2. What can you do (virtual meeting place)
3. How can you get people to know you (advertise)

Jan 10, 2010

Produce vs. Consume

We do things without thinking what are all the byproducts of the actions. For example, we go to a movie to relax but may end up learning a thing or two about the subject matter in the plot. To an extent, we consume but may produce at the same time. The more previlleged class of people by their access to resources actually acquired more skills, knowledge and wealth in their daily life than those less informed.

The duality of existence and law of interaction

The traditional material/mind duality is not a good representation of the universe. I think is should be tree object model like this:

0. Existence
1. Timeful and Timeless

1. Timeful
2. Material and Snapshot Representation of Existence (Mind)

1. Timeless = Laws of interactions among any forms of existences (such as natual laws, structure of forms, etc.

How will the future evolve?

The common future forecast or prediction focuses more on geopolitical than on societal, on living standard/condition than on living paradigm, on snapshot than on progression/change, on commonality than on essential difference, etc. We should predict future on more SET factors basing in a stochastic complex genetic/game theory setting through simulation (representation) such as cybernation.

Jan 6, 2010

Agent like redistributing or marshalling dating/interest search

If I were a serious match.com or jiayuan member, I would like to utilize all the social resources to find the match. Language barrier, self promotion barrier, privacy concern all become important. Furthermore, if my profile can merge the books I read, the movie/music I like, the places I have been or want to go and online video of my interest, will that improve the chance of getting attention?

Attention grabbing is more important

Whether though the 6 degree of social net, the
Amway type of relationship marketing or the Google/facebook type of utility for attention(ad) exchange, the key for service/branding success is to consolidate 3 main factors of information product – the right amount of time (customer attention and attraction), right amount of money (fee and service and offline resource) and the right amount of “prior” knowledge (how to, social norm, trust, etc.) to enable the new generation of dating service.

The attaction factor

43things, SinaShow/UC, Blog, Douban, forum, travel comment, any UGC could be entry point for interest sharing entry point. Ehow, youtube, even wikipedia could be used to identify oneself for soliciting and expanding social boundaries.

See more progress on: Re-establish the dating online service

The combination of structure, detail and generalization

When I read the great books, such as Jean Christopher by Romain Rolland, or Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes, I realize that it is almost impossible to bridge the details that are needed in analyzing the life/thought of individual and the abstraction sought by theorizing and scientific research. When I was doing the statistical analysis of economic/social data, it was just not possible to capture and model the intricate human/psychological decision making process mathematically. That deficiency really exposes the mordern economist and social scentists who relies so much on the questionaires, census, GDP and interest rate data. However, the often necessary depiction and bisecting done by Freud, Habermas and Steven Pinkers alike also lack the classification, abstraction and logical inference to go beyond simple explanation to conclusive prediction or even basis for confident action. In this sense, the two men I admire, Noam Chomsky and Ray Kurzweil are at least interdisplinary enough to bridge some of the gap in their own thinking, (from linguist to politician and activist in fomer and from inventor to futuristic philopher in latter.)

My plan is to follow the footstep of practical problem solving (bottom up approach) by creating “product” and “experiment” to validate the complex pattern hypothesis of social evolution.

Jan 4, 2010

My 43 things

Good references

The legal matters

The online affiliate portal for dating sites

The dating software provider which enables Youtube, V-chat, etc.

Dating sites that are targeting ethnic communities

From Chinese to Hispanic to Jews, it seems that every little niche market would have it own angle to target dating.

For example, a dragsonsurf copycat:


Another example, a Hispanic site started by Wharton MBAs:

The San Francisco-based QuieroLatino is targeting Hispanics, both bilingual and English-only speakers, between the ages of 21 to 45. For a free membership users can create a profile and check out other users’ profiles. However, in order to meet another user, members will have to sign up for a monthly subscription fee of $24.95.

There are a handful of online dating Web sites targeting Hispanics, including Latinopeoplemeet.com and Migente.com, which is also a social networking site. QuieroLatino stands out, says Mr. Oxman because it’s an online web site for Hispanics wanting to meet other eligible Hispanics.

“We want to do for Latinos what J-Date has done for Jewish online dating,” he said.

Sync Toy is a good start

Synctoy 2.1
Google sync
Google Calendar

Now, how do we organize?

Learning English using online/video material

When reading these online sites, one of the main issues I am facing is that they are organized more from the producer’s perspective but not from the perspective of users (teacher, student or parents). It would be much more effective if they organized in such a way that a user would come in and be able to have a wizard-like user interface to start from. Once they master the organization of the resources, they would be able to use those in a better way. Such a site should not be on any one of the particular content site but should be on a user-oriented portal with AI based wizard interface.

How does a CAS (complex adaptive system) such as a butterfly evolve?

By Darvin’s theory, the evolution is driven by random mutation filtered by natural selection. It is still strange that a butterfly can evolve into a coloring scheme that gives it an adaptive trait such as the color of its wing to mimic the surrounding. Given the number of Amino Acid combination that is possible, how could such mutation be possible?! Is there any conciousness in this evolution process? How is such conciousness stored in the Gene?

Plan, plan, and do it

I am trying to find out “what is the trigger for people to change from one task to the next.” Some people can really follow the plan, but it is very hard for me to naturally follow the plan. Good habits help but I am more an interest type of person. Really need to improve on this. For example, need to call or write to my friend!

Create the right incentive and reward business model for health care industry

The U.S. healthcare system is totally distorted by profit taking and lack of collective economy of scale. A lot of the analysis was done by a great MGI (Mckinsey Global Institute) study. U.S. as a large geographically dispersed country than EU or Japan may explain why smaller clinics can sustain here. (Hospital is too far away and inconvenient for primary care visits.)

The Obama and Democratic plan is a baby step towards the socialist structure in the U.S. but it is so laden with special interest protection and is not going to take much bigger change to be efficient. However, efficiency in socialist structure is going to cause disincentive in capitalist creation/production. What is balance? Will America decline? I hope not.

Writing about my understanding of the life, world and my work

1. Simple object oriented universe where an object is but an structure and life is just an object that can duplicate such structure
2. Economics is about the exchange of goods among people or other economic agents, but given the 3 type of human relationship – communal, dominant, and exchange, the rule of engagement will be different and resulting in different equalibrium and optimal strategies. The survival and utility seeking are not governed only by local optimum but by global or contrainted maximization efforts. Evolution created so many rules and topologies that make any macro-level direct formula absurd.
3. Human will be replaced by machine

Combining math with Economics

There are so many “pseudo” sciences in economics (especially in macro economics) that are just absurd and have almost become part of the political tools for certain type of opinion holders. The true science should be based on Math and should be provable and verifiable.
Economics is the analysis of resource allocation among economics agents. The current structure is problematic because it did not start from the basic foundations as the other sciences. Physics starts with basic physical objects, which are mass/energy, time, distance, motion, etc. Chemistry starts from chemical objects, which is element, molecule, chemical compounds, etc. Biology has a foundation starting from cells, to tissue, to organ, to systems, to species, to ecosystems. Psychology has a foundation from neuron, neuron network, myelin, behavior, trait, etc. Such meaningful abstraction is critical in establishing the structure, theorem, taxonomy (The conceptual parts, i.e., how do we describe that science.) and the observing, modeling, experimenting, theorizing and verifying the concepts (The methodology part). Physics has the laws, chemistry has the periodic tables, biology has the evolution theory and genetic theory (DNA mechanism) all because the foundation of each of these sciences are based on consistent, verifiable and conceptually complete basic objects.
The economics/social science should also be based on such conceptually simple basic objects and they are: A) economic agents are merely organisms including individual human and human organizations that are connected through the forces of communal, authoritative, and exchange relationships. B) Resources are all the objects (both physical and mental) that affect the state and stochastic process of those economic agents. The effect of resource on economic agent is its utility. Such foundation will make economics more comparable to other sciences and thus give it more powerful tools and more meaningful methodologies in its study. For example, complex mathematics, game theory, probability analysis, chaos theories, topology, signal theory, operation research, organizational mathematics, and computer science theorem can all serve as meaningful aids to the study of economics if the foundation is solid. This process should be analogous to how calculus is helping physics, or how statistics and stochastic process is helping chemistry now.

SantaFe Institute is a gem

Trivialization vs. Oppression -> I think we are towards the earlier

In the course of becoming an alpha male, we are indulging in the process of failure and revealation. That’s why John (in Brave New World), or so many great thinkers such as Turing commit suicide to escape that vicious circle.

Social critic Neil Postman contrasts the worlds of Nineteen Eighty-Four and Brave New World in the foreword of his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death. He writes:

What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture, preoccupied with some equivalent of the feelies, the orgy porgy, and the centrifugal bumblepuppy. As Huxley remarked in Brave New World Revisited, the civil libertarians and rationalists who are ever on the alert to oppose tyranny “failed to take into account man’s almost infinite appetite for distractions.” In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we desire will ruin us.

Consciousness is a property shared by both human and all kinds of organisms

What’s common among a computer program, an organization, a community, an ecosystem, the earth, Solar systems, a cell in the human body, and even an simple pattern of sea wave?

They all live, die, and try to propagate. And strangest of all, they all have consciousness even though a cell probably does not understand how human think and vice versa. Eventually, as an organism becomes complicated enough, it will understand the consciousness of itself, its peers and others. In the way, it may even find out the natural laws that are connecting some of the pieces of the big puzzle.

Building habit and gaining skills by firing signals to build his circuit

1. Myelin
2. Habit building
3. Analyze K’s behavoir
4. I suspect that he (I) is missing the skill chunk where he does not have the circuit for transitioning from one thread to another thus resulting in poor planning and lingering in one thing for too long.

If attention bonds can be sold, why can't we build attention exchange?

From google to facebook to apple to amazon, the key barrier to entry is not the technology but the attention. MarketAmerica is good in that way and is promising in the long run. I am thinking of joining/taking advantage of opportunity where attention can meet information need:

1. Everyone needs information (He needs to get information with both money and attention (his own time)).
2. Everyone has only limited attention.
3. Everyone has limited money (production) to purchase information.

A google/media company like NYTimes or ehow.com are basically giving away information to get the attention (all advertising and branding campaign work that way.) However, nowadays, every new company is struggling to sustain people’s attention especially with limited marketing budget.