Google auto-complete

June 2, 2010

As I write this, thousands or millions of people around the world are using Google auto-complete to remind them how to spell things as they type in searches.  What people may not have noticed is how biased this is towards people who grew up using paper dictionaries.  As a random example, I was searching ‘Holofernes*’ today, not remembering the spelling, I started typing.  It was lucky that I remembered that the word started with ‘holof-‘.

My question is how much will the different auto-complete style of ‘awesome bars’ change things, because people can start typing at the start of any word in the phrase…Perhaps not so much, because English is not yet truly phonetic…What kind of change would you see if auto-complete went phonetic?

*It was for a ‘Hollow Furnace’ pun.


True and False Flags

February 6, 2010

So, there has been much discussion of the 9/11 attacks on New York, and I have a lot to say about varying different parts of it, but I wanted to focus in on one aspect which I think has been not explored or explained to any real level of satisfaction.

I’m talking about a certain small aspect of the controlled demolition theory, or more specifically, how a group of people could be convinced to plant explosives which would kill a large number of their countrymen.  One possible solution came to me in the shower today…

If you are worried about someone betraying you to their tribe (the people of the city), you give them stronger tribal associations to counteract this.

Most modern military units do this.  Leo Frankowski (author) described it as the use of anger and shame to bring people in line (you yell at people, they feel anger at you, but also shame at having disappointed you…and the shame lasts longer).

Anyways, this is only one of many possibilities, and only one of many possible lines of defense.  Some have suggested that most of the explosives on the towers could have been placed by unsuspecting caretakers, perhaps some hidden in ‘fire retardant paint’ on some columns.  But I will focus more on the psychological aspects.

One possibility is using foreign workers, either because they are easier to manipulate/intimidate/deport/disappear, or because no one in the English speaking media will believe them if they speak with an accent (witness how much traction the story that a Spanish speaking janitor had heard explosions in the building before any of the big stuff happened).  One could also use foreign workers which were representatives of resistance movements back home who were looking for outside help, and would therefore act as their own censors.

Another possibility is using some sort of organized crime tribe, or some of the dark parts of the CIA, both of whom are used to conducting secret operations and keeping loyal (and not-so-loyal) servants under wraps.

Whichever of these (or other) methods were used, it is important to remember how strong tribal allegiances can be, and that humans are typically built to see themselves as a member of a tribe of size on the order of a couple to few hundred people.  And all you have to do to get people to go against prevailing forces in your civilization is to get them to identify with (or co-opt an existing) smaller tribe.

-Senator Crankypants

A little bit about me

February 3, 2010

Have you ever experienced something that make you really irate?  Some Big Lie in the public consciousness that you can’t stand?  All the time?  Well you should send me your ideas or even better, start your own blog.  But for now, I will share with you my crank-ness, and sometimes my crankiness.

May the force be with you,

-Senator Crankypants