Some Work In Progress

I am stretched thin, of course, as always.   I am still posting chapters of a novel about a missionary movement to spread the use of social technology in third world countries, at http://SocialTechMissionaryOrganization.SocialTechnology.ca/ and (less often) chapters of a sequel to Social Tech High called Connected College at http://ConnectedCollege.SocialTechnology.ca/ — and even chapters of a novel about world languages at http://Languages.SocialTechnology.ca/.   That’s social technology too, though most people think a world-wide second language is unlikely — people who construct languages are often considered a few morphemes short of a sentence.

All this interferes with programming, though I am making some progress.  I am not experienced with animations, and have not done much graphics, either, but I can and will.  I have learned that PIL, the Python Imaging Library has some disadvantages, such as a reluctance to antialias lines.   You can fake it by running the image through a smoothing filter, but that has side effects.   Better is aggdraw, but there is a catch: it is only available under Linux.  I use Windows, though I have some Linux experience.   For those in my situation, having a Windows machine that I don’t want to screw around with, you might check out wubi.  You can get it from http://wubi-installer.org/.  It installs a complete Ubuntu Linux in a large Windows file, so you don’t have to repartition your hard drive and risk some catastrophe or other.   It works fine under Windows 7 (and earlier versions) and is smart enough to install either the 32 or 64 bit version depending on your machine.

Anyway, I’ll use aggdraw with Python on this nice Linux system, and see what I can do.  Unless, of course, some kind person offers to do illustrations and animations for me — I’d much rather someone else do it, but I can do it myself if I have to.

By the way, using StumbleUpon in my spare time, such as when eating lunch, I notice that I tend to ignore websites without content that is immediately eye-catching and informative.  This tells me a lot about what my own websites should look like.  I highly recommend this to other website owners.  Stumble for a while and see what catches your eye, then look over your own site and see if it would catch your own attention if it wasn’t yours.  If you are not already a user, go to http://www.StumbleUpon.com/ and sign up, I recommend it. — dpw

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Strange Registrations

Why am I getting so many registrations from Russia?

Why am I getting so many registrations from Russia?

I hope that means what I think it means.  I did try to learn some Russian once, but I didn’t learn very much and it hasn’t stayed with me.  I never did learn Cyrillic.  So I am trusting that Google Translate knows what it is talking about.  Anyway, that is the question — why am I getting so many registrations from Russia.  I’d like to think that someone over there understands that I am saying something which matters.   Let’s hope so.   My thanks to all of you who have registered, from wherever.  — dpw

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About StumbleUpon-like Algorithms

I haven’t figured out or found on the net exactly what algorithms StumbleUpon uses, but I have found over the years that the correct measure for the similarity of two lists of things, e.g. websites two people liked, is the number of matches divided by the number of possible matches, which is the length of the shorter list:

Similarity = MatchCount / Length(ShortestList)

Also, looking for similar people, people with the same interests, or same kinds of page approval as you is all very well, useful for some purposes, but don’t expect to actually like or communicate well with such people.  People with too much in  common often disagree and often have communications problems.

What you really want to know are people similar to those who like and communicate well with people like you.

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Appearance Changes

You may notice appearance changes, if I keep them in place.  I have been experimenting with different themes and with different bookmarking options.  I have trouble getting the latter to work.  Will let you know.

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Why StumbleUpon Might Be Good Social Technology

Please see:  http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/ideas/view/8160

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Is StumbleUpon Good Social Technology

You may recall or may want to look at my post on Good and Bad Social Technology, http://socialtechnology.ca/wordpress/2010/08/good-and-bad-social-technology/ where having defined social technology as the study, collection and application of tools a person can use to improve their social environment, I went on to write about good social technology, which not only improves the individual’s social environment but is good for the world as a whole, and bad social technology, the opposite, which is bad for the world as a whole.   Considering the global social environment, it can be polluted, harmed by the selfish actions of individuals trying only to improve their own situation.

Elsewhere I have suggested that Facebook is bad social technology in this sense, in that it is actually harmful to society.  I am not talking about privacy and security issues, I am talking about its effect on the social network.  Rather than drawing together people who are genuinely compatible, it makes it too easy to waste time with links that will confuse, distort or not propagate your attempts to pull together network of enjoyable and useful connections.

I am trying to decide for myself whether StumbleUpon might be called good social technology.  It seems to me that it might serve to connect strangers who do indeed have common interests, thus pulling together distant people who truly have something in common together, without requiring them to join discussion groups of dubious value.  Since people have only a finite amount of time, finding good connections this way might weaken connections which are not either useful enjoyable.

I have not made up my mind about this, but it is work exploring.  While thinking about it, I do, of course, actually use StumbleUpon, http://www.StumbleUpon.com/ which is a lot of fun.  — dpw

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Too Many Domains and Websites?

I am juggling a lot of domains and websites.  I actually have only two base sites, with distinct domains. both supported by Hostpapa.ca and having the domain names  http://www.SocialTechnology.ca/ (latest in a serious of Social Technology domains), and http://www.SocialTechHigh.org/.  Both have subdomains of some interest (I hope) on them, but most of the subdomains are on the original Social Technology site.  I have quite a few domain names, over a dozen, but all redirect to various subdomains of the main sites.

This is a lot to manage.  I am trying to keep up with them, but will have problems doing so.  Still I think it worthwhile.  I hope that by having this interlocking set of domains and subdomains I will be able to attract more readers.  — dpw

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Linguistics Fiction

I cannot resist giving away my fiction, especially when it is relevant to something I’m trying to say.  For my new languages and linguistics website, Natural, Artificial and Non-Arbitrary Languages, which deals with ordinary languages, constructed languages, mathematics, music and a possible non-arbitrary language, at http://Languages.SocialTechnology.ca/, I have been posting drastically revised sections from my lengthy novels, The Green Family Chronicles and Technological Fantasies, somewhat the same text also to be found in the composite Social Techs.  These books are discussed on a post on this site, http://www.SocialTechnology.ca/wordpress/e-books/.

The first two chapters of the novel about non-arbitrary languages, Nothing Arbitrary About It have been posted on that new languages site.  The first one is based on text from Technological Fantasies and is called Acronyms.  It is about an acronymic language.  The second chapter is based on text from The Green Family Chronicles and is called Arbitrary.  It is about a fictional project to create a non-arbitrary language.  Relevant to Social Technology is the explanation by Ken Green about the reason that a world language is needed — to increase the size of the pool of candidates used for interpersonal and career matching purposes.    I hope these chapters might interest someone.  There are constructed language enthusiasts out there who might find new ideas there.

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Languages Site

I have another WordPress based site for all the work on linguistics that I have been doing over the years.  It is at  http://Languages.SocialTechnology.ca/ for now, until I think up a nice unique domain name for it.

The site is for ideas, information, data, research and software relating to natural and artificial languages, including non-arbitrary ones.  It exists primarily to report on research from past decades and current work.    The header contains images representing natural and non-arbitrary languages.

The construction of a non-arbitrary universal or world language is a goal, and ways of approaching it will be discussed.

To start with, I have uploaded data in a text file which is a simple thesaurus for one-syllable words is at http://www.SocialTechnology.ca/onesylls.ths and a simple Python program which operates on this thesaurus to produce a sorted list of word pairs representing individual meanings is at http://www.SocialTechnology.ca/ths2prs.py.  A program to turn a list of word pairs back into a thesaurus is at http://www.SocialTechnology.ca/prs2ths.py.

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Recent Registrations

This site is set up so that people can register, at which point they become subscribers.   They may also make comments.   I have had very recently had quite a few new registrations, and some of them make me suspicious.  One person’s e-mail address turned out to be phony.   Perhaps that was not a person at all — one recent registration is listed on spambot detection sites as a frequent poster, probably a bot.   I get at least one registration a day with a @mail.ru e-mail address.  This is very suspicious.  All of this is recent.  What is happening?  Have I done something to make my site more vulnerable to spurious registrations?  Well, at least they are not as bad as the actual comments themselves, which Akismet catches.

The Akismet plugin is a little too tough on comments, actually, and labels some perfectly good ones as spam.   For some reason almost all of the flattering comments by people who like the site ended up being called spam.  I have recovered most of them, I think.  Thank you very much.   — dpw

— dpw

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