A Book Review – Scythe

Nice Robe

I am the blade that is swung by your hand,

Slicing a rainbow’s arc,

I am the clapper; but you are the bell,

Tolling the gathering dark.

If you are the singer, then I am the song,

A threnody, requiem dirge.

You’ve made me the answer for all the world’s need,

Humanity’s undying urge.

~ “Threnody,” from the collected works of H.S. Socrates

First as always i hope everyone is safe. Second, i hope everyone had an indulgent and superlative holiday season heading into the New Year! Third, i decided i wanted to write a book review since i haven’t in quite some time and given the number of books i have read recently figured hey lets do a book review!

This review deserves a little context. My middle progeny was assigned this book for a winter break reading assignment. i believe it is important to take an interest in your progenies’ activities and well reading is definitely one to promote and take interest. Thus when i was talking to her about what she was assigned, she said, “i think you will like this book.” She handed it to me, and i opened it to this page:

“It is the most difficult thing a person can be asked to do. And know what it is for the greater good doesn’t make it any easier. People used to die naturally. Old age used to be a terminal affliction, not a temporary state. There were invisible killers called “diseases” that broke the body down. Aging couldn’t be reversed, and there were accidents from which there was no return. Planes fell out from the sky. Cars actually crashed. There was pain, misery, and despair. It’s hard for most of us to imagine a world so unsafe, with dangers lurking in every unseen, unplanned corner. All of that is behind us now, and yet a single simple truth remains: People must die.”

~ From the gleaning journal of H.S. Currie

My daughter knows me well. So i said ok let us read it together but don’t think this is a race I’ll probably have this book finished in a week.

Ok this had my attention. So immediately i thought of Soylent Green meets Logan’s Run but there is a twist. In reading the back cover it paraphrases a world with no hunger, no disease, no war, no misery. Humanity has conquered all those things and has even conquered death. However, who are these scythes that are mentioned, and are the only ones who can “glean” life? So with the context out of the way let us get down to business.

The cover above depicts a Scythe. As most know or should know from Websters we have the following definition:

scythe (pronounced /sīT͟H/)

noun: a tool used for cutting crops such as grass or wheat, with a long curved blade at the end of a long pole attached to which are one or two short handles.

verb: cut with a scythe as in scythed.

Given many aspects of our so-called society today and social normalizations i believe this is a wonderful teenage adventure novel that sets the stage for some more esoteric readings in science fiction such as 1984, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Brave New World, Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep (DADOES), Snowcrash and Neuromancer.

The book’s premise is that humans now exist in a conflict-free world where human-kind have conquered death. The world they live in is a Post Age of Morality world where one no longer has true crimes against humanity; poverty is not an issue, and hunger is solved via synthetic food engineering. As such over-population has overrun Mother Earth and elected Scythes must cull the human population. This culling process is known in the vernacular as “gleaning”. The Age of Mortality is the duration of time before the scythedom, revival centers, and the Thunderhead were established.

To this end, artificial intelligence has been amplified via the “ThunderHead” which monitors, recommends, and predicts AllTheThings. As such, there is no need for the concept or construction of a government.

Tyger shrugged, “One Splat Too Many. They gave up. Now I am a ward of the ThunderHead.”

“I’m sorry Tyger”

“Hey don’t be. Believe it or not, the ThunderHead’s a better father than my father was. I get good advice now and get asked how my day was from someone who actually seems to care.”

Just like everything else about the ThunderHead its parenting skills were indisutable.

~ Apprentice Rowan

Two teens find themselves volunteered as apprentice-Scythes which leads to a world of corruption greed and the finality of death.

Scythes are volunteered as apprentices and taught the ways of all of the classics, philosophy, chemistry (poisons), neural linguistic programming (person-reading), and of course, skilled in all the ways one can end a person’s life or if you will extreme social engagement called “killcraft”.

Scyhtes choose which lives to glean based on statistics of past Age Of Morality morbidity rates and behaviors, social class, and ethnicities. They however cannot show bias.

Scythes are ruled by a worldwide committee and meet on a quarterly basis where concerns are raised, appretences are tested, and old friendships are renewed. Did i mention that humans now live indefinitely and can rewind physical age and appearance to no lower than 21? However, given that most Sychtes choose ages between 35-45.

The Scythes lived by the following commandments:

  1. Thou Shalt Kill
  2. Thou shalt kill with no bias, bigotry or malice of afterthought
  3. Thou shalt grant an annum of immunity to the beloved of those who accept your coming and to anyone else you deem worthy.
  4. Thou shalt kill the beloved of those who resist.
  5. Thou shalt serve humanity for the full span of thy days and thy family shall have immunity as recompense for as long as you live.
  6. Thou shalt lead an exemplary life in word and deed and keep a journal of each and every day.
  7. Thou shalt kill no scythe beyond thyself.
  8. Thou shalt claim no earthly possessions save thy robe, ring and journal.
  9. Thou shalt have neither spouse or spawn.
  10. Thou shalt be beholden to no laws beyond these.

So we must ask ourselves that if in fact we solve all the so called woes of the Human Condition will we solve the root cause of the Human Condition? If we take away mortality (and morality) and can save and upload our memories then what is meant to be Human? Passion and Lust (of life)? Is compassion still needed?

Upon giving me the book to read my daughter laughed and said “Daddy maybe you are one.”

Then again, reflecting on what my daughter said to me when she was referencing the text, at the core maybe we all are Sycthes.

So if your in the market for a good book for your children or you just want a quick read that will be a good catalyst for your thoughts for our future, pick this book up. Here i even will provide the link to the ThunderHead Book Club In The Sky. Note: this is book one of a triology.

Until Then,

#iwishyouwater <- some footage from the recent 50 year storm on the left coast.

@tctjr

Muzak To Blog By: Tchaikovsky’s Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Valery Abisalovich Gergiev conducting the Vienna Philharmonic. Spectacular piece Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 74, also known as the Pathétique Symphony (a.k.a. The Passionate Symphony). I recently got to see this performed by the Charleston Symphony with Jonathan Heyward conducting it was spectacular. I was sitting there thinking how someone who has certain sexual proclivities or other passions in their life that at the time were not tolerated in society could create such a work of art; then again, it just goes to show the extreme lengths humans will go to make their true passions as it were, incarnate. i also think it very ironic that this composer would probably not trend in the position of Tchaikovsky due to his political beliefs, but one never knows, does one?

Look Up Down All Around!

Your Brain 3D Printed [1]

The effects of technology do not occur at the level of opinions or concepts. Rather they alter patterns of perception steadily and without any resistance.

~ Marshall McLuhan

First i hope everyone is safe. Second, this blog is more meta-physical in nature. The above picture is a present i received from a dear friend who 3D printed it for me. A transhumanist pictorial if you will for accelerating our wetware. This brings us to the current matter at hand.

i was traveling recently and i couldn’t help but notice how many humans are just sitting, walking, running and even biking looking at their mobile devices. Families no longer talk to each other, couples no longer kiss. Kids no longer day dream. All no longer LOOK UP, DOWN and ALL AROUND.

i must confess at this juncture that, as a technologist, i am conflicted. As they say we make the guns, but we don’t pull the trigger. As a technologist, i truly love using and creating with mathematics, hardware, and software. it is an honor as far as i am concerned, and i treat it as such, yet when i have time to sit and ponder i think of the time i held the first telegraph in my hands. Yes, the FIRST telegraph that read:

What hath God wrought!

Invented and sent by Samuel Finley Breese Morse 24 May 1844. I held it. Of course it was behind plexiglass, and this is a link to said telegraph.

Why is this important? It converted numbers (morse code in this case) into a readable document, content if you will. Even if you do not believe in higher-order deities or some theistic aspects what was transmitted and received via the message of the telegraph herewith was multi-modal and carried some weight to the message.

There seems to be a trend toward a kind of primitive outlook on life a more tribal attitude and i think its a natural reaction to industrialization. Unfortunately i think it is a bit naive because the future is going to become more mechanized, computerized as you call it and i dont think there is any turning back.

~ Jim Morrison

Intelligence it seems, is now but a search engine away or if you will a “tic-tok” away. It also seems due to this immediate gratification of content and information that, we no longer talk to anyone. “The Pandemic” seems to have modified several aspects of our existence. The results of this i believe will take decades of evolution before this change is truly understood from a systems theory and first principles engineering view.

We have been sequestered into a living environment tethered to the LazyWeb(TM). Per my commentary about seeing families with their heads buried in their phones during all modes of so-called social engagement, this is creating considerable fractures in how we deal with friends, families, and most importantly ourselves.

Now in recent times, Humans are going into the office or “back to the hybrid workplace” and taking a zoom call in the adjacent meeting room to where the REAL PHYSICAL meeting is occurring. So the more i pondered, the more i thought i would post a bunch of pictures and talk about cyberspace vs real space.

Live Oak with Sunshine

i have read all the books: “Neuromancer, Cyberspace, SnowCrash,Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (DADOES), Super Intelligence, 1984, Brave New World, Realware etc”, i first worked on full Virtual Reality applications in 1993. Yes there were computers back then, big red ones called Silicon Graphics Crimson machines. These augmented with fixed point digital signal processing equipment created the first six degrees of freedom ( 6DOFS) head tracked stereoscopic renderings complete with spatial audio. So it is nothing new just executed in a different fashon.

i recently went to the NASA Astronaut Training Experience at the Kennedy Space Center with my eldest daughter and we took a walk on Mars and did some trivial tasks. It was tethered environment with mono-based audio however it was impressive from a simulation standpoint. When the alert system informed me that a sandstorm was coming, i was non-plussed. Having worked on top-secret systems, i understand the need for simulations entirely. Simulate all the emergencies over and over again that you can think of when going into an environment of conflict.

Double Rainbow

On a regular basis “Humans being” and living do not constitute simulation unless you buy into Bostrom’s theory that we are living in a simulation, then what of it? Please make the most of IT. Talk to that person across from you. What color do they love? What is their favorite food? Do they like puppies? If they are close friends and family, above all – show them how you feel. Hug them.

I believe that computers have taken over the world. I believe that they
have in many ways ruined our children. I believe that kids used to love
to go out and play. I believe that social graces are gone because
manners are gone because all people do is sit around and text. I think
it’s obnoxious.

~ Stevie Nicks
Sunset and Oak Tree

If you are not the talkative type go outside build a fire, Walk through the city. Go sit under a tree. If you live in a place where you can see the sky go outside and just stare at the sky and let your eyes adjust. The stars will come out and think about the fact you are made of the same substances.

Reflect on and into yourself. Shut down all the noise and chatter. Listen. What do YOU hear?

I can’t fax you my love.
I can’t e-mail you my heart.
I can’t see your face in cyberspace,
I don’t know where to start.

~ Jimmy Buffet
Full Moon At Night

When you get up in the morning, don’t start the Doom Scroll. Contemplate. Get a notebook and write some thoughts. The visceral act of writing activates differing neural patterns that allow us to remember and learn. Think about what you would like to accomplish. Hopefully, you made your bed. That is at least one thing you can check off that you did accomplish, and your parents would be proud.

i wrote a blog a while ago called Its An Honor To Say Goodbye. Many seemed to enjoy it for several different reasons. As you look up from your phone and are around, folks play a game. What if that person just disappeared as though they were shot by a BFG (Big F-in Gun) in one of the first-person shooting games and could not re-frag? Just gone from the simulation? Poof!

How would you feel?

Purple Beach Blue Night Sky

i’ll have to say if this is a simulation, it is pretty good and has to be some quantum information theoretic manifestation[2]. Yet! Feeling that embrace from a friend or loved one, feeling the spray from a wave, smelling and touching a rose, A dog licking you in the face, tasting that steak, the carnality and sensuality of it all transcend, at least for me, the “meta” aspects of the online experience.

Go Outside! The Graphics are Great!

~ Sensai Todd
Turquoise Beach Storm

So folks, when in doubt, put that device down for a bit. Go for a walk. Say hello to that person across the room and ask how the day is going, and mean it and listen. Go outside and sit against a tree at night, or take a walk near the ocean or body of water (my favorite). Draw. Shut your eyes and deeply listen to music. Dance. Make stupid sounds. Try something you have never done before. Do something besides being fed programmed content.

Look UP DOWN and ALL AROUND.

So question for all of you:

Q: Would you prefer a telegraph, facsimile or simulation of this life?

TV The Zero Day Virus

Until Then,

tctjr

#iwishyouwater <- Nathan Florence on a hellish scottish slab paddle out. He aint worried about who clicked like….

Muzak To Blog By Forestt “Into The Woods”. i would classify this as Martial Folk if i may use genre classification liberally.

[1] Someone i really respect technically and now consider a dear friend printed this out for me. He also prints body parts. Heavy stuff. He is a practicing ER doctor and also codes.

[2] On the above commentary concerning simulations, i do believe in the Minowski multi-verse theory and view of The Universe. Its all happening NOW with multiple probabilities, our noggin cant sample fast enough to reconstruct all of the information simultaneously. Also, remember, girls and boys, YOU are the universe.

[3] i took all of the pictures included herewith except the last one.

references:

[1] this is a great interview with The Lizard King (aka Jim Morrison when he was 26 in 1970. Listen. This isn’t hippie stuff. Click HERE.

HAIL THE SVEN In Memoriam – Steven Swenson March 13, 1967 – September 11, 2005

 

Hoek, Doc, Sven
                                                               Hoek, Doc, Sven

 

“With heart and hand I pledge you while I load my gun again, you will never be forgotten or the enemy forgiven, my good comrade.” ~ A.S.L.

“If my comrade doubts I laugh confidently
If my comrade sleeps I keep the watch for him
If my comrade falls I fight on for the both of us
Because to every warrior the gods have given a comrade.” ~ Song Of The Comrade, Blood Axis

Very late one night I was looking into some music and ran across a song entitled: “Waves” by the Bahamas.  For some reason I thought of my comrade as soon as I heard this:

“And I held the breath inside my lungs for days
And I saw myself as one of many waves
And when I knew I’d become the ocean’s slave
I just stayed.”

I know that Sven died doing what he loved. Free-diving.  I remember when he told me he wanted a boat to sail around the world.  I said, “Well let us see if we can accelerate things so you can get down to doing just that and get out of here.”

About three years ago I was talking to someone during an initial interview who in many ways reminded me of the Sven – even only about a half hour on the phone.  After about two hours talking (this guy wasn’t looking for a job and already had more than 20 job offers at scale.)  I asked this person what he really wanted.  Without hesitation he said “A boat to sail around the world”.  In fact it turned out to be the same type the Sven wanted and earned.  I grew deathly silent.  He asked what was wrong and did he screw the “interview” up.  I said no in fact quite the opposite and I asked if he had some time and I would tell him a story.    Synchronistic events in action.  There are no coincidences in life.

Due to all of our interests  back in 1998 I promised Sven if anything ever happened to him I would watch over his lovely wife and two amazing sons who are now young men practicing in the footsteps of their old man.  I can unequivocally say he would be very proud of both of them.

Last year I thought for some reason it was time to quit thinking about “all of this.” whatever this is.  Remembering those who lived loud and indulged in the greatest indulgence – life.  The I realized that is not something to quit remembering.

To switch gears for something that will forever be recorded in the annals of hatred for certain technologies  – even though he was one of the best programmers of all time.  As you watch: you know you have always wanted to do that and he did it with a brand new system:

 

After that give this a listen.  One breath.  Take a deep breath today and hopefully go underwater and remember Sven.  He would appreciate it.

Ideas Are Cheap Execution is Everything

Massey

Coding is a lot like Plowing

I was recently reminded of the importance of shipping code.  In the same night I watched the latest episode in the series Silicon Valley I also watched an episode of Shark Tank.  In the tank Chris Sacca (Uber, Twitter etc)  said “Ideas Are Cheap Execution is Everything.”  Looking at the field and thinking about the myriad of things to plant is akin to all of the ideas that people generate and think hey that is easy.  Just hit the easy button.  Well there is a stratification that occurs in the industry.  There are three tiers:  (1) thinking or what I call though-ting – as in we have thought about that some time ago.  (2) Executing on the idea with shipping code (3) and the ultimate example – shipping code that goes to production and does not fail that amazes the end user whether enterprise or consumer.

Most sit there and look at the field and think “golly jee I have an idea!  I really have an idea!” Great.  Good for you.  So do millions of other people.  However for those that can take an idea and execute it to shipping code from an idea that many if not most think is impossible and have it run day in and day out this is the stuff that ideas2bank are built upon.  For those that have seen the latest episode I will just leave this here and for the few that truly and viscerally have experienced this at a worldwide level – I personally thank you. (Oh yea and that is a mean loop by San Holo – word on the lazy web says he is gonna drop the full version soon.) 5,4,3,2,1 – Ship It!

https://youtu.be/fgZDdJMWDtM

Until then,

Go Big or Go Home!

@tctjr

HAIL THE SVEN In Memoriam – Steven Swenson March 13, 1967 – September 11, 2005

“With heart and hand I pledge you while I load my gun again, you will never be forgotten or the enemy forgiven, my good comrade.”

~ A.S.L.

“Be Good and You Will Be Lonesome.” ~ Caption for the author’s photograph on shipboard via Following The Equator.

I sit looking at the translucent contrails and the cumulonimbus clouds creating rainbows above the herd in mid September 2014.  I do not see any flags on the masses of metal as they go about their so called living.  Patriotism is also a commercial business nowadays.  I too was in the ocean 9 years ago on this day – doing what I love – riding hurricane swells.  There are those on this day who fell at the hands of people who believe in a “better god”.  That being said Hail to John Hoekman who made it out of the north tower from the 87 floor after saving several.

True camaraderie is becoming a lost entity.  I still have what I term “my garbage bag crew” – those few men of whom without question I could call to bring “garbage bags” to clean up a mess (which also usually involve towels and other methods of disinfecting) yet those are tales of for another time or space.

One day Sven and I  were shooting some pool.  Gentlemen’s bet if memory serves correct.  We were discussing “Following The Equator.” by Mark Twain.  He said my favorite part of the book is the first page – “Be good and you will be lonesome.”  We ended up talking for a couple of hours about what it truly means to be a “good man”.  Most often than not a “being a good man” is not necessarily being “good” as it pertains to the so called social norms of society.   Jimmy Buffet wrote a song entitled “That is what living is to Me.”  Whilst we were discussing the book – out of suspicious coincidence said song came up on the playlist set to random play.  He started screaming THIS – THIS IS WHAT IT IS ALL ABOUT!  WHY CANT ANYONE SEE  IT?  I said some are not meant to and we are usually dragged down by this stratification.  I said man some just arent, that is all it is –  born not made.”

Jimmy Buffet starts off the song by discussing he wrote the song based on the first page of the book.

“Book good and you will be lonesome.

Be Lonesome and you will be free,

Live a lie and you will to regret it.

Thats what living is to me.”  ~ J.B.

Your scars imprison and create you. Dead pirates tell no tales. One less garbage bag in the collection.

On this day we lost a husband, father, waterman and I lost one of my tribe and comrades Steven Swenson.

I will never forget.

Listen.

Jimmy Buffet’s “Thats What Living Is To Me.” 

By Request – A Book List Volume 1.x

I wish this was my library

Several who have read my blog contact me concerning reference materials and textbooks that I would recommend.  I must admit that I am a biblio-maniac.  I am unable to go into a book store especially a used  bookstore and walk out empty handed.  Even in this day and age of iPads I still love the visceral aspects of the printed form.  Call me a luddite. That said I do have have somewhat of an interesting per-view on the world of books.

For the software world the people that are doing the creating are not writing books per se.  Thus if your reading books your not necessarily creating anything novel.  Let me be more specific.  Many use books to find an answer.  Many use books as a catalyst or reference.  I fall into the latter.  There are no “give me a shipping product” books – no “what is the answer?”  – for some of the stuff that we create.  Yes there are several ‘cookbooks’ and recipes for say learning a language or a new framework but there are no books that will provide answers to production level novel solutions.  As a very succinct example I was having a discussion in NYC with a very respected Executive Engineering Director and we both decided that there were no books that dealt specifically with hiring great talent in the tech world.  Why?  Because most are not going to tell you exactly what it really takes to hire great people and to build great teams.  That said few are going to explain how they came up with great coding feats – they will explain it after the fact for reference see Coders At Work.

So without further “waxin all philosphical‘”  here is a laundry list of books that I have found useful over the years.  I will try and categorize them according to subject matter.  Its by no means comprehensive.  I will also utilize this same list format in the future.   I would love to hear feedback or your thoughts – please share your list, if you are so inclined – after the fact.

Machine Learning, Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery

Scaling Up Machine Learning (Cambridge University Press)

This book is phenomenal and is at the very for front of issues we are all trying to solve in the areas of large scale learning systems. The book contains everything from parallelization of Support Vector Machines to details of how one designs hardware architectures for the next round of highly scalable machine learning algorithms.  Note this is not an introductory text.  Also the book takes a very interesting view in that it is written mainly by the best in the field.

Machine Learning,McGraw Publishing

This is a seminal text in the areas of Machine Learning.  There is  enough verbiage if your not a mathematician and enough algorithmic pseudo code to follow the development of the explanations.  I find myself going back to this book over and over.  Covers most everything from Bayes to Boosting.  It also has updated chapters on his web page.  I also like this writing style.

Business Modeling and Data Mining  (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems)

Some purest might not like this book but I think it is a great read because it discusses why we actually need to consider a paying customer.  The book goes deep enough in the explanations and marries them to great scenarios for business models.  It also discusses in a ‘mind map manner’ how to design systems and algorithms.  The text also has a great bibliography.

Collective Intelligence, (O’ Reilly Press)

This is a great book that gets your toes in the water for differing aspects of “DataScience”.  Basically statistics and machine learning for data.  The book has examples for simple crawlers,  Bayes Theorem, Adaptive Neural Networks, Similarity Functions, Distance Metrics, and workhorse algorithms such as Support Vector Machines and Non-Negative Matrix Factorization.  Written in a pragmatic fashion.  Code in Python is included on the author’s website.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach 3rd Edition, (Prentice Hall Books)

Seminal book on the subject.  Spanning is the word I think of when reading this tome.  The book covers the usual suspects but goes on to a ‘meta-level’ to discuss varied fields of Logic, Qualitative Physics, Spatial Reasoning, Psychological foundations and fundamental mathematics.  The appendix and bibliography are worth the price of entry (expensive) for this oracle.

Introduction to Evolutionary Computing (Natural Computing Series, Springer)

I am a proponent of the ‘get it and go’ format.  This lives up to the title.  It is a good introductory text.  It starts off with a good introduction to Genetic Algorithms, not to be confused with Evolutionary Computing and proceeds to Learning systems and deeper issues as Non-Stationary classification systems, multi-variate parameter selection as well as a chapter on applications.

Machine Learning – An Algorithmic Perspective (CRC Press)

This book takes a novel approach that have an online presence and a hard text reference.  Stephen Marsland updates the code and book online and provides access much like the O’Reilly series.  Of particular interest is the format for review of such areas as probability, eigenvaules and fundamental algorithms.   The book also provides code examples mainly in the areas of Python.  This book takes exactly that approach, with each topic being presented both mathematically and in Python code using the Numpy and Scipy libraries.  As most know SciPy and Numpy resemble Matlab and is sufficiently high level that the book code
examples read like pseudocode.  SciKits would also be a good addition.

Semantics and Natural Language Processing

Programming the Semantic Web (O’ Reilly Press)

With the same eye towards ‘get in and get done’ Seagram wrote this because there was no middle ground for    Semantics or if there were such a text it was voluminous.  Great introductory text on Semantics with succinct code examples in Python.  The text emphasizes that you are not constrained to using data from only one database or server, but when the data is organized and stored in a standardized semantic format such as RDF, it may be made available for reading by anyone (if desired) without any risk of it being overwritten by using a query language like SPARQL instead of the better known SQL.  Once again complete code available via the InterWebz.

Semantic Web Programming (Wiley)

This book is a larger text that spans the areas of Semantics: FOAF, Reasoners, SPARQL, Linked Data, Microformats without getting too far in the weeds with theoretic gymnastics (read axiomatic proofs etc).  Written in mainly in JAVA.  The discussion of Semantics from a ‘non ivory tower’ standpoint is worth the purchase.  Then again it has been said in order to program semantics one has to believe semantics exist.

Natural Language Processing (O’ Reilly Press)

People often confuse Semantics with Natural Language Processing.  While the two are close cousins you can do one without the other and visa versa.  Historically NLTKas it is now known in the industry is becoming the “goto” Python Library for performing textual gymnastics.  This book is a wonderful introduction to Python, Text Analytics and analysis of grammer.  For example entity extraction which historically is extremely difficult is:

entities = nltk.chunk.ne_chunk(tagged)

I mean (pun intended) how nice is that?

Python Text Processing with NLTK 2.0 Cookbook (PAKT Publishing)

This is at a much lower level and assumes that you need to do perform basic NLP and is more text analytics based than extracting meaning, linguistic and grammatical behaviors.  One novel aspect to this book is the addition of creation of a corpora reader via MongoDb.  The book even addresses nuances like FileLocking during corpora edits.  It uses PyMongo as the front end interface with Python examples.  The examples go on the look at various aspects of NLTK and NoSQL architectures.

Network and Dynamic Systems

Network Crowds and Markets: Reasoning About A Highly Connected World (Cambridge University Press) 

At the moment this is one of the tomes that I am immersed within.  The book has a good introduction on Graph Theory but then quickly heads into territory such as calculations of Social Capital with emphasis on Closure within Networks.  The text also does a grand job of tying (pun intended) Graph Theory and Game Theoretic applications with emphasis on arbitrage environments.  The chapter on diffusion in networks is worth the price of purchase.  For anyone performing work in the area of Social Networks this text is a must.

Social and Economic Networks (Princeton University Press)

This book is a great mix of statistics, linear algebra and game theory as applied to social networks.  The economic emphasis is particularly cogent.  The detail and depth is world class.  The analysis of Stochastic and Random graph models is of particular interest for anyone dealing with adoption models in network environments.  Further the mathematical analysis of imitation in social networks is especially enjoyable. This is also one of the few text that I have seen that tie together Fat Tail, Long Tail and Poisson Distribution analysis.

Introduction to Dynamic Systems (Wiley)

This is an older text published in 1979.  Funny how those “maths” do not change much – eh?  I have owned this book since I have been involved with creating software systems.  The book while not “out of print” is commanding extremely large sums of money.  The objective as stated in the preface is: “to help one develop the ability to analyze real dynamic phenomena and dynamic systems.”  Seems very appropriate in this day and age of online behavior.  The book starts off with a review of differential equations, linear algebra and state space equations.  Then text then goes on to address both mechanical and electrical constructs with applications with tools such as markov models and control systems with z-transform theory.   You read this book and honestly you realize not much as changed with the InterWebz.

Math

Numerical Analysis, Sixth Edition  (Brooks/Cole Publishing)

Years ago when I was working on my Phd in Applied Science we had several levels of Numerical Analysis.  I love the aspects of Lagrange Polynomials, L2 Norms, Splines and the like.  This book covers them all and has a really cool glossary and index of defined terms for that moment when you literally forgot what a term means because your cross eyed.

Probability Random Variables and Stochastic Processes (McGraw Hill)

This is/was a text for a class at c on – Probability  Random Variables and Stochastic Processes.  The book is written by Athanasios Papoulis who is a legend in signal processing. I will tell you this is not for the faint of heart and neither was the class.  Now more than ever it is an important part of anyone doing data science.

Matrix Algebra for Engineers (Von Nostrand Company)

This is a straight ahead approach to Linear Algebra.  Written in a straight ahead fashion addressing fundamentals of matrix theory like simultaneous equations, determinants and eigenvalue analysis.  I probably have a high affinity for this book because it is a first edition published in 1965.

Programming and Code Development

The Art of Computer Programming Vol 1-4 

Colloquially known as TAOCP, I am not going to say much about these tomes except you should at a minimum know what they are and have in them.  Not for the faint of heart if you just want to do some PHP or ruby on rails. Having had the experience to take a class from Professor Knuth with variations of these via class notes being the backdrop, I cannot say enough about the text.  For the true software engineer a must for the arsenal.

Code Complete (Microsoft Press)

IMHO this is a great book for the thought processes that lead to creating production products.  It was a seminal work in the area before all of the Agile books hit the market.  While I myself am not a big proponent of ‘software process’ this book gets you in the modus operandi of how to think not just code.

Signal Processing

Adaptive and Digital Signal Processing (International Series on Signal Processing)

I was having discussion the other day with some I respect in the audio, semantics and data science field and we noted that long before you could spin up a virtual machine in the proverbial cloud there was a field called real time signal processing  – where you didnt have a database.  All the processing of streams were in real time – in memory.  Funny how the vissistudes of cyclialty come back to haunt you think Big Data.  I highly recommend this text.  Great examples of frequency and array based processing.  When everyone was teaching time domain behavior Professor Lindquist was teaching the law of dual domains and easier math.  It also covers various kernel transforms never covered in other text before the term “wavelet” came in to vogue.

So there is a first cut in a multi volume blog that I will continue.  I trust this was helpful.  If you find any of these text useful feel free to contact me with what you are working on or considering.  Also if there are recommendations that you find particularly informative as far as a certain text goes drop me a line.

Until Then,

Go Big or Go Home!

@tctjr

By Request – A Book List Volume 1.x

I wish this was my library

Several who have read my blog contact me concerning reference materials and textbooks that I would recommend.  I must admit that I am a biblio-maniac.  I am unable to go into a book store especially a used  bookstore and walk out empty handed.  Even in this day and age of iPads I still love the visceral aspects of the printed form.  Call me a luddite. That said I do have have somewhat of an interesting per-view on the world of books.

For the software world the people that are doing the creating are not writing books per se.  Thus if your reading books your not necessarily creating anything novel.  Let me be more specific.  Many use books to find an answer.  Many use books as a catalyst or reference.  I fall into the latter.  There are no “give me a shipping product” books – no “what is the answer?”  – for some of the stuff that we create.  Yes there are several ‘cookbooks’ and recipes for say learning a language or a new framework but there are no books that will provide answers to production level novel solutions.  As a very succinct example I was having a discussion in NYC with a very respected Executive Engineering Director and we both decided that there were no books that dealt specifically with hiring great talent in the tech world.  Why?  Because most are not going to tell you exactly what it really takes to hire great people and to build great teams.  That said few are going to explain how they came up with great coding feats – they will explain it after the fact for reference see Coders At Work.

So without further “waxin all philosphical‘”  here is a laundry list of books that I have found useful over the years.  I will try and categorize them according to subject matter.  Its by no means comprehensive.  I will also utilize this same list format in the future.   I would love to hear feedback or your thoughts – please share your list, if you are so inclined – after the fact.

Machine Learning, Data Mining and Knowledge Discovery

Scaling Up Machine Learning (Cambridge University Press)

This book is phenomenal and is at the very for front of issues we are all trying to solve in the areas of large scale learning systems. The book contains everything from parallelization of Support Vector Machines to details of how one designs hardware architectures for the next round of highly scalable machine learning algorithms.  Note this is not an introductory text.  Also the book takes a very interesting view in that it is written mainly by the best in the field.

Machine Learning,McGraw Publishing

This is a seminal text in the areas of Machine Learning.  There is  enough verbiage if your not a mathematician and enough algorithmic pseudo code to follow the development of the explanations.  I find myself going back to this book over and over.  Covers most everything from Bayes to Boosting.  It also has updated chapters on his web page.  I also like this writing style.

Business Modeling and Data Mining  (The Morgan Kaufmann Series in Data Management Systems)

Some purest might not like this book but I think it is a great read because it discusses why we actually need to consider a paying customer.  The book goes deep enough in the explanations and marries them to great scenarios for business models.  It also discusses in a ‘mind map manner’ how to design systems and algorithms.  The text also has a great bibliography.

Collective Intelligence, (O’ Reilly Press)

This is a great book that gets your toes in the water for differing aspects of “DataScience”.  Basically statistics and machine learning for data.  The book has examples for simple crawlers,  Bayes Theorem, Adaptive Neural Networks, Similarity Functions, Distance Metrics, and workhorse algorithms such as Support Vector Machines and Non-Negative Matrix Factorization.  Written in a pragmatic fashion.  Code in Python is included on the author’s website.

Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach 3rd Edition, (Prentice Hall Books)

Seminal book on the subject.  Spanning is the word I think of when reading this tome.  The book covers the usual suspects but goes on to a ‘meta-level’ to discuss varied fields of Logic, Qualitative Physics, Spatial Reasoning, Psychological foundations and fundamental mathematics.  The appendix and bibliography are worth the price of entry (expensive) for this oracle.

Introduction to Evolutionary Computing (Natural Computing Series, Springer)

I am a proponent of the ‘get it and go’ format.  This lives up to the title.  It is a good introductory text.  It starts off with a good introduction to Genetic Algorithms, not to be confused with Evolutionary Computing and proceeds to Learning systems and deeper issues as Non-Stationary classification systems, multi-variate parameter selection as well as a chapter on applications.

Machine Learning – An Algorithmic Perspective (CRC Press)

This book takes a novel approach that have an online presence and a hard text reference.  Stephen Marsland updates the code and book online and provides access much like the O’Reilly series.  Of particular interest is the format for review of such areas as probability, eigenvaules and fundamental algorithms.   The book also provides code examples mainly in the areas of Python.  This book takes exactly that approach, with each topic being presented both mathematically and in Python code using the Numpy and Scipy libraries.  As most know SciPy and Numpy resemble Matlab and is sufficiently high level that the book code
examples read like pseudocode.  SciKits would also be a good addition.

Semantics and Natural Language Processing

Programming the Semantic Web (O’ Reilly Press)

With the same eye towards ‘get in and get done’ Seagram wrote this because there was no middle ground for    Semantics or if there were such a text it was voluminous.  Great introductory text on Semantics with succinct code examples in Python.  The text emphasizes that you are not constrained to using data from only one database or server, but when the data is organized and stored in a standardized semantic format such as RDF, it may be made available for reading by anyone (if desired) without any risk of it being overwritten by using a query language like SPARQL instead of the better known SQL.  Once again complete code available via the InterWebz.

Semantic Web Programming (Wiley)

This book is a larger text that spans the areas of Semantics: FOAF, Reasoners, SPARQL, Linked Data, Microformats without getting too far in the weeds with theoretic gymnastics (read axiomatic proofs etc).  Written in mainly in JAVA.  The discussion of Semantics from a ‘non ivory tower’ standpoint is worth the purchase.  Then again it has been said in order to program semantics one has to believe semantics exist.

Natural Language Processing (O’ Reilly Press)

People often confuse Semantics with Natural Language Processing.  While the two are close cousins you can do one without the other and visa versa.  Historically NLTKas it is now known in the industry is becoming the “goto” Python Library for performing textual gymnastics.  This book is a wonderful introduction to Python, Text Analytics and analysis of grammer.  For example entity extraction which historically is extremely difficult is:

entities = nltk.chunk.ne_chunk(tagged)

I mean (pun intended) how nice is that?

Python Text Processing with NLTK 2.0 Cookbook (PAKT Publishing)

This is at a much lower level and assumes that you need to do perform basic NLP and is more text analytics based than extracting meaning, linguistic and grammatical behaviors.  One novel aspect to this book is the addition of creation of a corpora reader via MongoDb.  The book even addresses nuances like FileLocking during corpora edits.  It uses PyMongo as the front end interface with Python examples.  The examples go on the look at various aspects of NLTK and NoSQL architectures.

Network and Dynamic Systems

Network Crowds and Markets: Reasoning About A Highly Connected World (Cambridge University Press) 

At the moment this is one of the tomes that I am immersed within.  The book has a good introduction on Graph Theory but then quickly heads into territory such as calculations of Social Capital with emphasis on Closure within Networks.  The text also does a grand job of tying (pun intended) Graph Theory and Game Theoretic applications with emphasis on arbitrage environments.  The chapter on diffusion in networks is worth the price of purchase.  For anyone performing work in the area of Social Networks this text is a must.

Social and Economic Networks (Princeton University Press)

This book is a great mix of statistics, linear algebra and game theory as applied to social networks.  The economic emphasis is particularly cogent.  The detail and depth is world class.  The analysis of Stochastic and Random graph models is of particular interest for anyone dealing with adoption models in network environments.  Further the mathematical analysis of imitation in social networks is especially enjoyable. This is also one of the few text that I have seen that tie together Fat Tail, Long Tail and Poisson Distribution analysis.

Introduction to Dynamic Systems (Wiley)

This is an older text published in 1979.  Funny how those “maths” do not change much – eh?  I have owned this book since I have been involved with creating software systems.  The book while not “out of print” is commanding extremely large sums of money.  The objective as stated in the preface is: “to help one develop the ability to analyze real dynamic phenomena and dynamic systems.”  Seems very appropriate in this day and age of online behavior.  The book starts off with a review of differential equations, linear algebra and state space equations.  Then text then goes on to address both mechanical and electrical constructs with applications with tools such as markov models and control systems with z-transform theory.   You read this book and honestly you realize not much as changed with the InterWebz.

Math

Numerical Analysis, Sixth Edition  (Brooks/Cole Publishing)

Years ago when I was working on my Phd in Applied Science we had several levels of Numerical Analysis.  I love the aspects of Lagrange Polynomials, L2 Norms, Splines and the like.  This book covers them all and has a really cool glossary and index of defined terms for that moment when you literally forgot what a term means because your cross eyed.

Probability Random Variables and Stochastic Processes (McGraw Hill)

This is/was a text for a class at c on – Probability  Random Variables and Stochastic Processes.  The book is written by Athanasios Papoulis who is a legend in signal processing. I will tell you this is not for the faint of heart and neither was the class.  Now more than ever it is an important part of anyone doing data science.

Matrix Algebra for Engineers (Von Nostrand Company)

This is a straight ahead approach to Linear Algebra.  Written in a straight ahead fashion addressing fundamentals of matrix theory like simultaneous equations, determinants and eigenvalue analysis.  I probably have a high affinity for this book because it is a first edition published in 1965.

Programming and Code Development

The Art of Computer Programming Vol 1-4 

Colloquially known as TAOCP, I am not going to say much about these tomes except you should at a minimum know what they are and have in them.  Not for the faint of heart if you just want to do some PHP or ruby on rails. Having had the experience to take a class from Professor Knuth with variations of these via class notes being the backdrop, I cannot say enough about the text.  For the true software engineer a must for the arsenal.

Code Complete (Microsoft Press)

IMHO this is a great book for the thought processes that lead to creating production products.  It was a seminal work in the area before all of the Agile books hit the market.  While I myself am not a big proponent of ‘software process’ this book gets you in the modus operandi of how to think not just code.

Signal Processing

Adaptive and Digital Signal Processing (International Series on Signal Processing)

I was having discussion the other day with some I respect in the audio, semantics and data science field and we noted that long before you could spin up a virtual machine in the proverbial cloud there was a field called real time signal processing  – where you didnt have a database.  All the processing of streams were in real time – in memory.  Funny how the vissistudes of cyclialty come back to haunt you think Big Data.  I highly recommend this text.  Great examples of frequency and array based processing.  When everyone was teaching time domain behavior Professor Lindquist was teaching the law of dual domains and easier math.  It also covers various kernel transforms never covered in other text before the term “wavelet” came in to vogue.

So there is a first cut in a multi volume blog that I will continue.  I trust this was helpful.  If you find any of these text useful feel free to contact me with what you are working on or considering.  Also if there are recommendations that you find particularly informative as far as a certain text goes drop me a line.

Until Then,

Go Big or Go Home!

@tctjr

In Memoriam – Steven Swenson March 13, 1967 – September 11, 2005

You talkin’ to Me?

“With heart and hand I pledge you while I load my gun again, you will never be forgotten or the enemy forgiven, my good comrade.”

~ A.S.L.

As is usual this time of year most think of heading back to school, the coming of autumn and even some are contemplating the winter holidays.  I am usually stuck betwixt the mental gymnastics of the proverbial Indian Summer and the Weather Channel fervently watching for the next storm barreling up the Carribean Corridor.  True waterman know that one should never take your eye off the ocean or take your gaze off the skyline.  The relationship a waterman has with the ocean is an extremely complicated Mars/Venus – Love/Hate – Yin/Yang existence especially for those that would love to see The Kracken, Leviathan or Neptune emerge from the deep.  Secretly I believe we are ‘Oceanic misogynist’ as most watermen look at the ocean as a lady and actually dislike her yet at the same time are drawn to Her love and terror.

Yet as much as I truly love this time of the year when most start tweeting – “We will never forget!”  – in honor of the 9/11 terrorist attacks my mind wanders to few days before 9/11 and the last time I talked to the waterman and my comrade: Steven Swenson (aka Sven).

Some of you know that I write this dedication every year.  It is neither cathartic nor is it pining in squalid sorrow for my lost commrade.  I cannot bring myself to such pitiful acts when I know the loss is much greater for his family.  In some ways it reminds of the book by C.S. Lewis  – A Grief Observed.

I do find it curious that such independent men could forge such a relationship as ours.

Even so, it is not, shall I say upstanding character in the truest sense in the manner that I sometimes react.  My melancholy compassion or even sometimes,  sheer anguish,  lies in the mere fact that, The Sven was an Elite Performer and was a better person than most and honestly there are others who would have been better off  going into the great sleep – than him. So maybe its anger yet I digress here is a succinct example of how Brutally Honest he was with people.

For example in discussion:

Person 1: Well here is my idea and blah blah blah blah…  What do you think?

Sven:  You know what i think?  I think its fucking stupid. (laughs)


yet another:

Person2: Hey man how are you today?

Sven: Like shit – how are you?

Person 2: no response just keeps walking.

(to me: see exactly as you said they dont even pay attention)

Most people dont have the cajones or they are caught up in their own pathetic, self referenced heads to say anything out of the ordinary, for fear of reprisal or what others might “think” of them.

Some of you know that I wear a Skeleton Head Ring on my right hand.  I believe in the ethos:  Life The Great Indulgence!  I do not go the for the Gothic ‘I want to die” crap nor is it some Rock N Roll Hootchie Coo affect.  So why do I wear it?  It came from a discussion the Sven and I had years ago.  We were talking about Schrodinger’s Cat.  The Sven once said the Cat is dead because he destroyed the box.

So one day we were talking about the cat, women, boats and music, mixed in with a little software engineering, and he drew a skeleton face on a napkin and threw it over to me.  He said, “It all comes for us.”  I folded the napkin up and kept it and had a ring made out of it.  Solid Silver.  Of course the Silver Smith took some artistic freedoms and added some realism and ferocity.  It is beautiful to me.   It is a constant reminder  that the Great Reaper is after us.  It is also a reminder  concerning the discussion he and I had that day.

It is also a reminder the feeling of immortality should be crystallized and adored.

Said Ring.

A feeling of immortality was occurring the last day I talked to him.

Sven was sailing around the world and being a true waterman he was prepared.  He owned  a satellite phone for his sailing trip around the world.  I never could stand that damn satellite phone he had and he loved that damn thing for whatever reason.  Probably because it provided him total freedom.  On numerous occasion I tried to call him and he tried calling me etc.  I finally sent him a message via carrier pigeon to just wait and call me when he gets settled in the port of call we had decided to meet.  As a note we had planned all of this years earlier to meet around the world whenever Sven bought his boat which in an of itself is a great story.  So finally I suppose he was settled and one day…

(Phone Ringing)

Me: Hello?

Sven: Hey man!

Me: I hate that piece of shit phone of your’s where are you?

Sven: I have been hanging out at this cantina all day long and the guy is letting me use his phone to call you.  You guys have your tickets?

Me: Not yet.

Sven: Man go get them!  It is crazy they have been playing Latin music all day and when I just called you they started playing “Gimme Back My Bullets” its a sign!

Me: Well then it must be so.  Yeah I will get them today.  So tell me something man how is it?

Sven: Well it took me about 3 months just to realize that I didnt have a fucking schedule.  It is so stupid running around like a squirrel.

Me: I hear ya man.  So tell me somethin’ ya’ happy?

Sven:  Yea man if I would have known how this was going to be I would have done it a long time ago.  It really puts things in perspective.  The responsiblity is all on you but it places different responsibilities that are more real than the rest of the stuff, ya know?

Me: Yeah man I know its the crap that is what they lead you to believe – the stuff that is all important.  I just wanted to know that you are happy.

Sven:  Yea man really.  I am. Thanks.

Me:  You dont have to thank me.  Ok man we will see you soon!  Go Big!

Sven: Ok man I’ll see you soon.

Never again did I get to tell him how stupid his phone was or that I believed he did destroy the cat in the box.

Yea it looks like what you are thinking. We were laughing.

In the last months Steven experienced life that most dream about and yet are to scared to go after for fear of so called personal failure.  Most cling to the fallacy of societies trappings and the “thou shalts” of our existence which most deem rules created by so called social norms.  Living outside of those social norms brings great freedom and at the same instance great responsibilities that most are afraid to experience.

He died doing what he loved – free diving in the ocean he so loved.

“You Only Suffer As Long As You Want To
Men Like Us Do Not Let Each Other Drown
We Share The Sweetest Black Bread
That Delicate Grain Of Scorn
No God, No Master, No Master Slave.”

~ Rome- “We who fell in love with the sea (Jérôme Reuter)

“Our life passes like idle chatter.” ~ Karl Maria Willgut

Here is the infamous PC Destruction video:

This was one of the songs he liked off the Fight Club soundtrack.  We used to listen to it everyday at Apple.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EOb7lcto0k

And if he was here I believe he would like this song or then again he would tell me it was fucking stupid and laugh.

Rome – We Who Fell In Love With The Sea

I miss him.

ALL HAIL STEVEN!

In Memoriam – Steven Swenson March 13, 1967 – September 11, 2005

You talkin’ to Me?

“With heart and hand I pledge you while I load my gun again, you will never be forgotten or the enemy forgiven, my good comrade.”

~ A.S.L.

As is usual this time of year most think of heading back to school, the coming of autumn and even some are contemplating the winter holidays.  I am usually stuck betwixt the mental gymnastics of the proverbial Indian Summer and the Weather Channel fervently watching for the next storm barreling up the Carribean Corridor.  True waterman know that one should never take your eye off the ocean or take your gaze off the skyline.  The relationship a waterman has with the ocean is an extremely complicated Mars/Venus – Love/Hate – Yin/Yang existence especially for those that would love to see The Kracken, Leviathan or Neptune emerge from the deep.  Secretly I believe we are ‘Oceanic misogynist’ as most watermen look at the ocean as a lady and actually dislike her yet at the same time are drawn to Her love and terror.

Yet as much as I truly love this time of the year when most start tweeting – “We will never forget!”  – in honor of the 9/11 terrorist attacks my mind wanders to few days before 9/11 and the last time I talked to the waterman and my comrade: Steven Swenson (aka Sven).

Some of you know that I write this dedication every year.  It is neither cathartic nor is it pining in squalid sorrow for my lost commrade.  I cannot bring myself to such pitiful acts when I know the loss is much greater for his family.  In some ways it reminds of the book by C.S. Lewis  – A Grief Observed.

I do find it curious that such independent men could forge such a relationship as ours.

Even so, it is not, shall I say upstanding character in the truest sense in the manner that I sometimes react.  My melancholy compassion or even sometimes,  sheer anguish,  lies in the mere fact that, The Sven was an Elite Performer and was a better person than most and honestly there are others who would have been better off  going into the great sleep – than him. So maybe its anger yet I digress here is a succinct example of how Brutally Honest he was with people.

For example in discussion:

Person 1: Well here is my idea and blah blah blah blah…  What do you think?

Sven:  You know what i think?  I think its fucking stupid. (laughs)


yet another:

Person2: Hey man how are you today?

Sven: Like shit – how are you?

Person 2: no response just keeps walking.

(to me: see exactly as you said they dont even pay attention)

Most people dont have the cajones or they are caught up in their own pathetic, self referenced heads to say anything out of the ordinary, for fear of reprisal or what others might “think” of them.

Some of you know that I wear a Skeleton Head Ring on my right hand.  I believe in the ethos:  Life The Great Indulgence!  I do not go the for the Gothic ‘I want to die” crap nor is it some Rock N Roll Hootchie Coo affect.  So why do I wear it?  It came from a discussion the Sven and I had years ago.  We were talking about Schrodinger’s Cat.  The Sven once said the Cat is dead because he destroyed the box.

So one day we were talking about the cat, women, boats and music, mixed in with a little software engineering, and he drew a skeleton face on a napkin and threw it over to me.  He said, “It all comes for us.”  I folded the napkin up and kept it and had a ring made out of it.  Solid Silver.  Of course the Silver Smith took some artistic freedoms and added some realism and ferocity.  It is beautiful to me.   It is a constant reminder  that the Great Reaper is after us.  It is also a reminder  concerning the discussion he and I had that day.

It is also a reminder the feeling of immortality should be crystallized and adored.

Said Ring.

A feeling of immortality was occurring the last day I talked to him.

Sven was sailing around the world and being a true waterman he was prepared.  He owned  a satellite phone for his sailing trip around the world.  I never could stand that damn satellite phone he had and he loved that damn thing for whatever reason.  Probably because it provided him total freedom.  On numerous occasion I tried to call him and he tried calling me etc.  I finally sent him a message via carrier pigeon to just wait and call me when he gets settled in the port of call we had decided to meet.  As a note we had planned all of this years earlier to meet around the world whenever Sven bought his boat which in an of itself is a great story.  So finally I suppose he was settled and one day…

(Phone Ringing)

Me: Hello?

Sven: Hey man!

Me: I hate that piece of shit phone of your’s where are you?

Sven: I have been hanging out at this cantina all day long and the guy is letting me use his phone to call you.  You guys have your tickets?

Me: Not yet.

Sven: Man go get them!  It is crazy they have been playing Latin music all day and when I just called you they started playing “Gimme Back My Bullets” its a sign!

Me: Well then it must be so.  Yeah I will get them today.  So tell me something man how is it?

Sven: Well it took me about 3 months just to realize that I didnt have a fucking schedule.  It is so stupid running around like a squirrel.

Me: I hear ya man.  So tell me somethin’ ya’ happy?

Sven:  Yea man if I would have known how this was going to be I would have done it a long time ago.  It really puts things in perspective.  The responsiblity is all on you but it places different responsibilities that are more real than the rest of the stuff, ya know?

Me: Yeah man I know its the crap that is what they lead you to believe – the stuff that is all important.  I just wanted to know that you are happy.

Sven:  Yea man really.  I am. Thanks.

Me:  You dont have to thank me.  Ok man we will see you soon!  Go Big!

Sven: Ok man I’ll see you soon.

Never again did I get to tell him how stupid his phone was or that I believed he did destroy the cat in the box.

Yea it looks like what you are thinking. We were laughing.

In the last months Steven experienced life that most dream about and yet are to scared to go after for fear of so called personal failure.  Most cling to the fallacy of societies trappings and the “thou shalts” of our existence which most deem rules created by so called social norms.  Living outside of those social norms brings great freedom and at the same instance great responsibilities that most are afraid to experience.

He died doing what he loved – free diving in the ocean he so loved.

“You Only Suffer As Long As You Want To
Men Like Us Do Not Let Each Other Drown
We Share The Sweetest Black Bread
That Delicate Grain Of Scorn
No God, No Master, No Master Slave.”

~ Rome- “We who fell in love with the sea (Jérôme Reuter)

“Our life passes like idle chatter.” ~ Karl Maria Willgut

Here is the infamous PC Destruction video:

This was one of the songs he liked off the Fight Club soundtrack.  We used to listen to it everyday at Apple.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1EOb7lcto0k

And if he was here I believe he would like this song or then again he would tell me it was fucking stupid and laugh.

Rome – We Who Fell In Love With The Sea

I miss him.

ALL HAIL STEVEN!

The Main Attribute Take 2

Which Do You Prefer?

So I recieved a ton of positive feedback from the last post on The One Attribute.  I was forwarded a video from the original founding members of Next showing a great inside view of the interaction of a startup.  Hard lines in the psychological, financial and physical aspects of creating a sucessful company.  At 13:00 Steve discusses all the problems and shows the reality.  Everyone also is skirting the issue of taking the requirements and locking them down.  While passion does have a ton to do with it all shutting the hell up and getting something done is what seperates pros from posers.

Until Then,

Go Big Or Go Home!

@tctjr