Sunday, August 28, 2016

Last days at the best of social networks: (aka Alpha, ADN).

My (@johngordon) services are beginning to fail - including PourOver. Post counts are gone. I still find some great discussions; the community will outlast the infrastructure.

I joined ADN/ Alpha in 8/2012, I’ve paid yearly since. I was a fan in 2013, still am. filled the void left when Google Reader Shares died. It was better than Posterous, Tumblr or Twitter.

Four years isn’t a bad run. I’m not sure Twitter will be here in four years. On the other hand, “the Well” is 31 years old now (and funded by memberships). The Well is private, so I’ve no idea how active it is, but that’s probably a record.

There’s no obvious replacement for on the horizon but I’m keeping my eyes open …

Trumpism: a transition function to the world of mass disability.

We know the shape of the socioeconomic future for the bottom 40% in the post globalization post AI  mass disability world.

But how do we get there? How does a culture transition from memes of independence and southern Christian-capitalist marketarianism to a world where government deeply biases the economy towards low-education employment?

There needs to be a transition function. A transform that is applied to a culture. With the anthropology perspective I’ve long sought Arlie Hochschild makes the case that Trump is, among other things, a transition function that erases Tea Party Marketarianism and embraces the heresy of government support (albeit for the “deserving”).

In a complex adaptive system we get the transition function we need rather than the one we want. No guarantee we survive it though.

See also:

Thursday, August 25, 2016

What socioeconomic support will look like in 20 years

This is what I think socioeconomic support will look like in 2040 based on cognitive [2] quintiles.

The bottom quintile (0-20%, non-voters) will have supported work environments and direct income subsidies; an improved version of what most [1] wealthy nations do for the 0-5% of adults currently considered cognitively “disabled” [1].

The second quintile (20-40%, Trump base if white) will have subsidized employment (direct or indirect).

The fifth quintile (80-100%) will live much as they do now.

I don’t know what happens to the 3rd and 4th quintile.

- fn -

[1] The US is currently “mainstreaming” the cognitively disabled into relatively unsupported work, a well intentioned and evidence-free project by (my) Team Liberal that is going to end in tears.

[2]  In US male euros (avoid racism/sexism effects) maps to academic achievement which tests learning, social skills, temperament and the like.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Massive phone spam -- from Weatherby Healthcare

Weatherby healthcare hires physicians for “locum tennis” roles. That’s filling in for someone on holiday and the like.

They’ve contracted with the phone spam company from hell. My Google Voice number is deluged with calls like this (email of transcription):

Good morning. This is Kevin with weatherby Health care. I saw you recently inquired online about some outpatient work. I wanted to touch base with you. I'm currently working with several urgent care and outpatient facilities not only in your area, but throughout the country as well that are looking for a position like yourself to provide temporary full time or sporadic shift coverage they offer a high flexibility in the schedule and competitive pay rates. Give me a call back today would love to give you some additional information and details about these opportunities and see how I can be a resource for you my direct line here is 954 300 77 1821 again. This is Kevin with weatherby Healthcare 954 370-7828 have a great day.

and like this:

is Mike Ruskin weatherby Health Care's primary Care team. Hope you're doing well. I was reaching out to you because I came across your information, and I have some new open a family medicine positions available in Minnesota wanted to see if you or any colleagues should have I might be available. Give me a call back when you get this message. Let me know 954-343-2142 again Mike ross again with weatherby 954-343-2142. Thanks so much. Have a great day. Bye.

I blocked several of the numbers, but their phone spam operation is rotating through a large set. Number blocking doesn’t work.

I’ve turned off text messaging notifications of calls on my GV number and notifications from the GV app and notifications of missed calls. So the only notification I get is now email. In gmail I set a filter for any email with the text “weatherby health” to send it to the trash.

We desperately need a robocall/phone spam solution.

Oh, and if you’re a physician — please don’t answer calls from Weatherby. If you’re Weatherby, you’ve made a disastrous choice of marketing services.

PS. If you’re Google — your Google Voice phone spam filtering needs work.

Friday, August 19, 2016

What a solution for phone spam will look like

The FCC wants a vast and unmanageable array of voice communications carriers to fix the robocall plague.

I’m here to tell you what will happen. It will work much the way email spam was managed in the 1990s. It will also be the end of our legacy voice communication system and, somewhere along the way, the Feds will mandate that Google and Apple support VOIP interoperability.

Yeah, email spam is managed. It’s true that 95% of my email volume is spam, but I don’t see it. Differential filtering based on the managed reputation of an authenticated sending service works. Push the spam management problem down the sending service, then vary filtering algorithms based on the reputation of the authenticated (PKI) sending service. If you still see large spam volumes or losing valuable email it’s because you’re using Apple as an email service provider. Don’t do that.

Here’s what I think will happen to enable differential filtering based on the managed reputation of the authenticated calling service. I’m sure insiders know this, but they aren’t talking. 

  • VOIP interoperability will be mandated. No more Apple-only FaceTime audio.
  • Services (AT&T, Verizon) that don’t authenticate or manage their customers are assigned poor baseline scores. Service that authenticate/manage customers (Apple) get high baseline scores.
  • Low score calls get sent to spam VOIP, we never see them. Medium score never ring through, they go automatically to transcription and we get transcription summary.
  • High score calls are eligible for ring through based on user device settings.
The carriers will fight like hell to preserve their domain, Apple will fight interoperability, Google will be fine.
PS. For now we have a home phone number that is purely message, the phone doesn’t ring. Google Voice would be even better. If I could set my iPhone to “Do Not Disturb” status strictly for voice calls I’d be fine. I rarely answer unrecognized and unscheduled calls.

See also

Crab Bucket

Terry Pratchett taught me about “crab bucket” in Unseen Academicals [1]. I don’t know if it’s a metaphor of his part of England, or if it’s unique to the Discworld.

… She reached down and picked a crab out of a bucket. As it came up it turned out that three more were hanging on to it…

… ‘Oh that’s crabs for you,’ said Verity … ‘Thick as planks the lot of them. That’s why you can keep them in a bucket without a lid. Any that tries to get out gets pulled back…’

Crab bucket, thought Glenda … That’s how it works. People from the Sisters disapproving when a girl takes the trolley bus … Practically everything me mum ever told me…

I did find a wikipedia entry for “crab mentality”, which led to a 1994 article

When teachers at Frank W. Ballou … talk about the crab bucket syndrome …

But the author doesn’t describe where the term comes from. It’s a useful concept; reminds me again how much we need to recreate anthropology.

[1] Written when Pratchett was well into his eventually terminal dementia syndrome, so while it’s very enjoyable for fans it’s not his best work.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Those moments when you feel the walls of reality fall away

I’m working through a tedious form that requires me to look up old information from dusty files. I step away to eat and locate some documents.

I then return to the form and open it.

And it’s been filled out.

My eyes bug out.

My jaw drops.

I’ve switched timelines. I have a brain tumor. I’m more demented than I thought.

Then I notice the date - February, 6 months ago. I’d filled the same form out for the same people before. Forgetting that is well within the scope of my congenitally poor and not improving memory.

By chance, on returning to my work, I took a different folder path and found the original document.

A perfectly reasonable explanation. At least that’s what I tell myself. In this timeline.

Monday, August 08, 2016

Creaks and clicks in geriatric bikes

I like a quiet bike as much as the next neurotic guy. So the creaks and clicks in my 20 yo Cannondale T400 have been distracting. Like dental surgery.

I finally clear up the problem. Except it was problems, the plural. Plural recurrent actually, which was why it took a year to get through them all, and why the damned bike seemed haunted. The big tubes on this aluminum touring bike didn't help, they sent the sounds everywhere. Danged hard to localize, as is often true.

I went through a lot of diagnostics and replacements, which sometimes seemed to work but they the creak-click would return — though maybe with a bit different sound. In the end of day these were the obvious culprits:

  • The seats: Swapping seats didn’t hep too much. Turned out I had swapped one mediocre old seat for another, both were stretched and creaky. I bought myself a nice (i.e. pricy) Fizik Antares R5 for my birthday and that creak went away.
  • The damned Shimano Shimano PD-A530 SPD Dual Platform pedals: WTFShimano?! The worst pedals every made. Five years ago I compared Shimano’s surprising quality to Apple’s. Since then both brands seem to have gone on a bender. One of my creak-clicks was a bad bearing in the first pair I owned. I bought a replacement and they were defective out of the box. I returned those under warranty and 10 months later that one started a creak-click. Hard to diagnose because the seat was creaking too, but in the end these pedals were 80% of the problem. I’m debating switching to Crank Brothers for all of my bikes. Shimano sells a Deore XT dual platform pedal in Europe, but they are hard to find here. I guess I could try those, but I’m loathe to send Shimano any more money.

These were things I replaced that probably didn’t contribute to the problem.

  • Seat post: For $25 I picked up a Nashbar replacement post that’s much nicer than my original single-bolt post. Didn’t make any difference but I wanted the better adjustment anyway.
  • Bottom bracket bearing unit: This was because I couldn’t believe it was the pedals clicking - again. Original was 20y old, so probably not a bad idea anyway, but didn’t make any difference.

Old bikes are like old men. It’s usually not a weird and exotic disease, it’s more likely two or three common diseases that just coexist.