Sunday, December 30, 2018

The Worst People Awards 2018


Every year there are a select group of people who we feel deserve recognition as being particularly obnoxious to me, people who have gone out of their way to make my life worse.  Although they can not be named here, I want you to know that I am certainly thinking of you.

Machine Learning and Donald J. Trump


Machine learning is not perfect, no one claimed that it was or would be. I fed my little "convnet" GAN pictures of Donald J Trump to see if it could learn to make pictures of Trump, but all that came out was garbage.

My Apology To My Neighbors


I am so sorry.  I do my laundry and naturally have to go out to the laundry machine and back to my studio, and when I do so I might run into you, and then I might say hello.  I apologize because that is obviously the most obnoxious thing I could ever possibly do.

Jesus, even in NY people were friendlier.

Friday, December 28, 2018

Captain America & Natasha Romanoff


I cant help but think how different things would have been if Cap and Natasha had gone to a motel instead of to that Army Camp.  Shield/Hydra would have probably destroyed all opponents and freedom lovers world wide and seized control of the world.  A small price to pay for an afternoon with Natasha, it seems to me.

I still cant get over this sequence.  It is when I first began to wonder about Captain America's gender preference.  Not that its any of my business of course, but we do like to know such things about our superheroes.  

Thursday, December 27, 2018

A Few Thoughts About Fascism in this Country


A friend wondered when we (America) was going to do something about fascism in this country. Good question. Here are a few random comments on the topic. My friend, an American, lives in Berlin, by the way.

[name redacted]

Excuse me while I rant. Defeating fascism in America would probably mean a few things that are more or less impossible or maybe require leadership that we have not seen. Here are a few examples. 1. We would have to come to a consensus as a nation about what to do about immigration, those who are already here, those who want to be here. We have not done that and I do not know how we would do that. 2. We would have to put a leash on some billionaires who think that it is is their duty to destroy freedom and remake the country in their nutty boy and girl image. The poster children for these nightmares are the Koch Brothers and the Mercers (the people behind Steve Bannon and Breitbart news). If they were arrested and their money seized, America would be better off. It wont happen. Free speech, dont you know. 3. We would have to do something REAL about the displaced workers and at the same time something REAL about the economies of the fly over states. As a displaced worker for 30 years I can tell you that there is nothing, absoutely zip, in place. I could get training to clean out stuffed toilets at $5/hr, maybe. I could drive for uber/lyft and I very well may. Our leaders (both parties) have utterly failed at acknowledging this problem and it is one element of Trump's appeal is that at least he understood there was a problem here. 4. Somehow the Republicans have become completely corrupt, a complete tool of the rich, lying scum who work every day to keep people of color and poor people from voting or getting govt help of any sort. Racist to the very core. Now what? 5. The above mentioned Republicans have stuffed the judiciary and Supreme Court with right wing nuts that most people think can not be removed. I dont agree with that, but who am I to say? I am just angry. The influence of these nutty boys and girls, all carefully vetted for their religious extremeist views are just beginning to be felt. There is no justice system in this country and most people are not aware of what it means to have a right wing attack dog rapist on the Supreme Court along with nutty boy (let em freeze to death for all I fucking care) Gorsuch. The first thing Gorsuch did on the supreme court was to kill a black man, by injection, yeah kill that n-gg-r he said laughing as the needle went in. Oh we dont know if he was really guilty, couldnt you have waited for the new evidence. Nope. The impact is just beginning.

These are just some of the issues that come to mind that as far as I know no one is addressing. I think that they hope either that the problem is not real (they are wrong) or that someone else will solve it so they kick the can down the road as they always have. But to be fair, our leaders with a few exceptions are gutless wonders who dont have anything like the talent or capability, never mind the motivation, to address these problems.

So in conclusion, this little rant declares my belief that our problems are just beginning, although they might be suppressed for another day. Is Fascism inevitable, ummm, I dont know, probably not, but it would surprise me if there was not some sort of major problem here that is not going away in my lifetime and which will result in another populist being elected and other disruptions.  Nothing real is being done to prevent this and nothing will be done.  Too hard for our leaders, way over their heads, in my humble opinion.  Dont even ask them, it offends them to be asked about anything real.

To this day, most representatives are not sure if they should impeach that traitor, Trump.  Self-deceived, weak, stupid, compromised.  What could you expect from such people, realistically?  Not much, I say.  Still, it is irritating to watch.

Why Should I Be Angry?


Lets see, it was proven today that Trump has been in the pay of the Russians all along.  Oh yes, and his DHS secretary blamed the death of the little children in her care on anyone but the DHS.

Maybe you, dear reader, if you are not angry, ought to consider whether you ought to be.

Assuming you are an American of course.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Things I hate About Libre Office


Libreoffice is the open source word processing system financed by Sun.  Its pretty good but it has several flaws that are worthy of note.

First, its help functions are completely insane, and its menus completely impossible to find anything in.  Next, even if you have saved your work, when it comes up again, it whines and complains and makes you go through a recovery process that is completely unnecessary.

Both of these two issues have the same cause.

The people who designed this software are morons.

Letter to My Representative

Dear Rep Carbajal,

These are certainly confusing and perilous times that we are in. I think that most Americans would agree that the first order of business is to get the government operating again, but then second to that, to stabilize the stock market, restore faith to our allies, competence to the Pentagon and so forth, and the only way to do that is to impeach Donald J. Trump.

I only know a few dozen people here having recently moved to CA-24, but every single one of them calls for the immediate impeachment and conviction of that obvious criminal and madman, Trump.

Once he is out of office, we expect you to impeach Pence and Kavanaugh, the religious nut and the rapist, but that can happen later, perhaps in February.

Impeach Trump now, do it today, or rather, next week perhaps on January 3rd. You could vote on it the first day you convened and America would cheer.

Good luck!


Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Write Your Elected Representative? Yes, Annoy Him/Her.


Surely you are not so naive as to believe that writing your representative will do any good?  Oh you do?  You do think it will do some good?

Well, it might if you consider "annoy the fuckers" to be "some good".  And I do think thats so, why not?

At this point, the national security elite, the wall street/financial elite, and the people who know the dangers of a government shutdown all have to be shaking in their boots.  Their bet (a stupid bet if you ask me) that they could manage the orange moron has been lost.

Now what?  Impeach him?  Well, better late than never I guess.

But I bet our elected elite will still equivocate.  

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom


Written in 1777 by Thomas Jefferson and enacted in 1786 by the Virginia General Assembly.

An Act for establishing religious Freedom.

Whereas, Almighty God hath created the mind free;

That all attempts to influence it by temporal punishments or burthens, or by civil incapacitations tend only to beget habits of hypocrisy and meanness, and therefore are a departure from the plan of the holy author of our religion, who being Lord, both of body and mind yet chose not to propagate it by coercions on either, as was in his Almighty power to do,

That the impious presumption of legislators and rulers, civil as well as ecclesiastical, who, being themselves but fallible and uninspired men have assumed dominion over the faith of others, setting up their own opinions and modes of thinking as the only true and infallible, and as such endeavouring to impose them on others, hath established and maintained false religions over the greatest part of the world and through all time;

That to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions, which he disbelieves is sinful and tyrannical;

That even the forcing him to support this or that teacher of his own religious persuasion is depriving him of the comfortable liberty of giving his contributions to the particular pastor, whose morals he would make his pattern, and whose powers he feels most persuasive to righteousness, and is withdrawing from the Ministry those temporary rewards, which, proceeding from an approbation of their personal conduct are an additional incitement to earnest and unremitting labours for the instruction of mankind;

That our civil rights have no dependence on our religious opinions any more than our opinions in physics or geometry, (emphasis added: editors note: '... or climate science...')

That therefore the proscribing any citizen as unworthy the public confidence, by laying upon him an incapacity of being called to offices of trust and emolument, unless he profess or renounce this or that religious opinion, is depriving him injuriously of those privileges and advantages, to which, in common with his fellow citizens, he has a natural right,

That it tends only to corrupt the principles of that very Religion it is meant to encourage, by bribing with a monopoly of worldly honours and emoluments those who will externally profess and conform to it;

That though indeed, these are criminal who do not withstand such temptation, yet neither are those innocent who lay the bait in their way;

That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles on supposition of their ill tendency is a dangerous fallacy which at once destroys all religious liberty because he being of course judge of that tendency will make his opinions the rule of judgment and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own;

That it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order;

And finally, that Truth is great, and will prevail if left to herself, that she is the proper and sufficient antagonist to error, and has nothing to fear from the conflict, unless by human interposition disarmed of her natural weapons free argument and debate, errors ceasing to be dangerous when it is permitted freely to contradict them:

Be it enacted by General Assembly that no man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burthened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer on account of his religious opinions or belief, but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of Religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge or affect their civil capacities. And though we well know that this Assembly elected by the people for the ordinary purposes of Legislation only, have no power to restrain the acts of succeeding Assemblies constituted with powers equal to our own, and that therefore to declare this act irrevocable would be of no effect in law; yet we are free to declare, and do declare that the rights hereby asserted, are of the natural rights of mankind, and that if any act shall be hereafter passed to repeal the present or to narrow its operation, such act will be an infringement of natural right.[6]

Travelling While Vegetarian


This just came up on Facebook, so I thought I would repeat it here.

I have found the following rules to be helpful when traveling and being a vegetarian: 1. Bring your own food, 2. Prepare to suffer, 3. When you can find something you can eat, buy two, 4. Keep your sense of humor, 5. Be as nice as you can be.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Lying or Stupid


The question is often asked, are Republicans lying or are they stupid?  Of course, lying can mean lying-to-obstruct, or lying-to-steal, or even just lying-to-confuse.  The point is that the very act of "lying" implies volition and desire.  But "stupid", thats a different thing.

I think that I would certainly prefer that they were lying.  Because accusing them of being stupid sounds so much like an ad hominem attack on their character.  Which it is, of course.

 So whats her name said the following.

President Trump’s press secretary, Sarah Sanders, remarked: “The idea that Putin is happy about this [Trump's decision to withdraw US forces from Syria] is ridiculous. It puts them at a greater risk, so I think that's just silly.”

In other words, stupid.

Amazon Tax Breaks


NY has given how much money in tax breaks to Amazon?  How many billions of dollars?  Amazon is crushing businesses all over this country and putting people out of work and these companies dont get tax breaks.

Now, ask me again why I am angry.

You Dont Know Angry


People ask me why I am angry and I stare at them in disbelief.  People attack me because I am angry and I laugh at them because, frankly, I think they are being worse than stupid.

A rapist on the supreme court.
A malignant narcissist as president, as corrupt as can be.
A right wing nut on the supreme court (Gorsuch).

The entire Republican party demonstrating their complete failure to have any ethics at all.

Now read this article about Zinke who just resigned as Secretary of Interior.

All I want is for these people to be in jail.  Is that so much to ask?

Thursday, December 20, 2018

The Death of Stalin

A fun movie about the shenanigans that occurred when First Secretary Joseph Stalin died.  It helps to have a sense of humor about mass murder.  Not too much blood on screen.

Machine Learning and the So-Called Real World


A friend, who knows computer science better than I ever will, declined to comment on the usefulness and validity of machine learning to me.  Actually, I had not asked him about that, at least I didnt think I did, but maybe I did without realizing it.  Its quite possible.  Anyway, he declined comment, sensibly pointing out that he was putting his energy into areas where he felt he had some understanding and intuitive feel for what was going on and what needed to be done.

One more time, I envy my friend's lifestyle.  Out here in the so-called real world (it isnt very real, just not the world of academia) one has no choice but to have an opinion on this topic.

And speaking of the real world, I would tell anyone who wants to use "Machine Learning" in an application to be aware that you will need a lot of time and the ability to possibly fail, especially if this has to work as a useful application vs a proof of concept.

Wednesday, December 19, 2018

GANs That Work and GANs That Fail


So after the previous "circle test". I try two more tests using the exact same GAN networks, batch size, etc.  One is a "square test", similar to the "circle test" and one is a "grid test" of 100 variations on a grid.  See examples of both below.

And here are some results from the "square test"

I think these are looking pretty good.

But now when we get to the grid test, well, not so good.

This makes me wonder if GANs can really handle anything other than very clear graphic shapes.  Or maybe a completely different type of network is required.

Dershowitz is a Right Wing Asshole


Dershowitz thinks it is just groovy to put a rapist on the Supreme Court.

Why the Space Force is Stupid


The Space Force idea is another attempt by Trump to put his rancid stink on something in an overt and stupid way. The reason for having a "space force" is to try to deal with several different problems in executing a coherent space strategy. Another service is not necessary, some sort of reorganization probably is. This is all made more complicated because so much of what we do in space is not just secret, we can not even talk about it at all. Too many fingers in the pie(s), and too many other agendas (e.g. the Air Force has a lot on its plate, how can it demand more money for space when it does not (in its opinion) get enough money for air). Its not exactly a mess. A separate service is probably not needed at this time.

Letter to Rep Carbajal (CA 24) About the Latest Kavanaugh Abomination


My letter to Rep Salud Carbajal of CA 24 is as follows:

The recent dismissal of ethics complaints against Kavanaugh is an abomination. Why does our government think it can keep doing things like this and still have any credibility? I have had it with this right wing garbage dominating our government. It is time for my elected representative to speak out, loudly, now and often.

As far as I am concerned your only job in Washington is to impeach Trump, Pence and Kavanaugh (and possibly Gorsuch).

You are my representative, please speak out, now.

Thank you.
Michael Wahrman

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Incremental Notes on GANs


So there are a variety of things I have learned about GANs in the last few weeks.  

1. I am limited by my GPU memory.  The more memory you have, the more you can fit into the GPU, the larger the batch size.  A batch size of 6 may have very different results from a batch size of 2, or a batch size of 50.

2. It is only the GPU (in my case a 1080 with 8 GB memory) that makes this at all practical or possible.  I have 8/16 pretty good processors here and they can run for 10 minutes and not do a single batch, whereas the GPU can do a batch in 60 seconds or less.

3. 256 resolution is much more practical than 512 resolution.

4. It is not at all clear whether GANs can do any of the simplistic projects I wanted to do with galaxies, nebulae or march posters.

5. With the simplistic test patterns, at least 150,000 samples are required.

CBS Eye Recreated by Machine Learning


Kids, dont try this at home.  These machine learning generative adversarial networks are for adults, you could hurt yourself. There are finally some decent results from a GAN on a pattern simple enough to work.  But this tells me almost nothing about what the technique can or cant do.  This test is very, very simple.

An example of the input images. 

And some of the generated images after training on about 125,000 different images.

Monday, December 17, 2018

GANs, Machine Learning & Learning on the Internet


By using a simple test pattern and pushing through latest attempt at a GAN, I was able to confirm some suspicions I had about what was going on.  And through this I was able to use the right words in my Google search and come up with some posts and references to papers to help explain what was going on.

What I saw in my tests is that indeed my GAN was at various times doing a respectable job at recreating the image class.  And then it would seemingly lose its mind, or lose the thread, and go off into its own zone from which it would occassionally return.

The process has been productive and I have learned a lot, but the process is also suboptimal.  Its hard to tell from the Internet at first glance whether or not many of the posts that are thrown in your face have been written by people who actually understand what is going on.  My opinion at this point is that they do not.

In particular, what 98% of these posts about GANs did not tell me was that this very promising technique is not at all cut and dried.  That there are many questions and issues about pretty much every phase of the process, about what type of loss function, about what type of optimizer, about how to avoid "mode collapse" and many other critical issues.

So GANs are an exciting work in progress, a true research project, and unlike many other areas that someone from Computer Graphics might expect, nothing is cut and dried here.  It may work in one case but not another.

In my case, it truly makes progress towards the goal, but then it wanders off.

Here is a link to the best post I have found so far on this topic by Jonathan Hull.  He has written a dozen or so posts on GANs and so you might want to poke around and see more of what he has written.

Here is one of the input images as a reminder of what I am aiming for and then a few selected images of results that shows it is on the right track.  Remember, our GAN does not know a circle from a politician, so when you see something like a circle that is significant.

And here are some selected outputs from the GAN.

And then here are some images from when it has apparently lost its mind.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Test Patterns for Machine Learning


I am slowly reducing my test patterns for machine learning to the simplest form that will tell me something.  

When this is a little further along, I may package them all up and put it on kaggle as a lesson for the others.

I should mention that these images have been through the Tensorflow/Keras data augmentation process, and are hence smashed in a variety of ways.  Here is an example of an original image as created via Nuke.  Still not perfect, but better.  For what I am doing, it really doesnt matter.

Shut the Government Down Now


I am perfectly OK if they shut the government down until Trump/Pence is gone, the rapist is off the supreme court, and so forth. I will vote against any representative of mine who permits this travesty to go on even one more day. Its the moral equivalent of the hunger strike in the face of gross injustice.

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Pence is Not an Existential Threat


I have friends so terrified of a potential President Pence, that they are perfectly OK with Trump continuing in office and murdering women and children.  Thats how much they fear Pence.  I think they are out of their mind and need to get a grip.

Short of starting a nuclear war in order to encourage the end of the world and the return of Jesus the Christ child, there is nothing too bad that is likely to happen that could be any worse than Trump.  He cant get legislation passed.  He can put right wing nutty boys in the judicial system the way Trump does, but that is no worse.  Any executive order he signs that is egregious will be reviewed by non-Trump justices and can be overturned by the next administration.

And there is nearly zero chance that he can be elected president in 2020.  He has the charisma of an uninteresting rock.  He probably would not even be able to get the Republican nomination.

So yes, Pence for 1.5 years would be an embarrassment and a humiliation, but he does not represent an existential threat.

Friday, December 14, 2018

Running a More Controlled Test with Tensorflow/Keras


After many interesting tests with Tensorflow/Keras, I am convinced I have no idea what is really going on.  So, I am doing what I should have done to begin with, which is to generate some test data and see how well the script i have written to implement a GAN works with known data.

I finally broke down and learned enough Nuke to be able to generate one of my standard test sequences.  512, 1K frames with two levels of noise and a 12 field chart.  

All the frames look like the one below, except of course that it animates, slowly.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Without Use, Knowledge Decays


As part of the process of cleaning data for use in machine learning, I finally broke down and I am learning Nuke, that being the preferred compositing program after the predecessors (Shake & Chalice) were destroyed by Apple out of greed. 

But the point is that with the passage of a few years, all kinds of skills and knowledge go away and I am stuck with the frustrating process of trying to remember what used to be second nature.

Let this be a warning to youth out there.  This can and will happen to you.

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Why Impeachment is Not About Removing Trump (at least not exactly)


This one of those essays that require at least a day to write, and probably several days to write, assuming one wants to do it well.  But I dont have that time so I will just have to sketch out the ideas here and hope you will be indulgent.

The question is as follows.  Is it necessary or desirable to impeach Donald Trump even if it is impossible to convict him because Republicans control the Senate and Republicans are traitors?

Some would say it is not desirable because it would piss off many good Americans who will think that the Democrats are being vindicative.  Others would say it is not desirable because it probably wont remove Trump from office, but it *might* and then we have Pence to deal with.  Still others would say it is not desirable because as far as they can tell Trump has not been "proven" to have committed a crime.

I think it is desirable, even required, and for the following reasons.

First, there are no good Americans who would be pissed off.  The only Americans who support Trump at this point (maybe not initially) are traitors who want to destroy this country, put rapists on the supreme court, etc.

Second, the only mechanisms we have to remove a madman like Trump is impeachment (or article 4 of the 25th Amendment).  If that means Pence, that means Pence.  Pence is a religious nut will try to put gay people in extermination camps, but he will fail.

Third, it is not necessary to prove Trump committed a crime to impeach him.

But the most important reason is this.

The Republicans have tried to destroy this country and we have to fight back.  Now, and forever, now or not at all.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Machine Learning and Nebulae

Damn this machine learning can be fun! The images are definitely getting better and I think it would be petty to complain that the "generated" images dont look much like the input "real/training" images. That would be the concern of small minded people and everyone here I am sure operates on a higher level. Oh yes, also, the "metric" of good vs bad (error, incorrectness, what have you) also seems to have no relationship whatsoever to the images being "judged". 

Again, we must rise above such nonsense!

Nebulae, who needs nebulae?

Noteworthy Brief from the FBI about Cohen


I have not read the brief that Mueller has filed but I have read about it and seen a few excerpts that seemed so noteworthy as to bring it to the attention of my friends.  In this paragraph, the Special Council's office makes the following point about Michael Cohen, esq.

While many Americans who desired a particular outcome to the election knocked on doors, toiled at phone banks, or found any number of other legal ways to make their voices heard, Cohen sought to influence the election from the shadows. He did so by orchestrating secret and illegal payments to silence two women who otherwise would have made public their alleged extramarital affairs with Individual-1. In the process, Cohen deceived the voting public by hiding alleged facts that he believed would have had a substantial effect on the election.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

Mercury is so retrograde

I am writing this blog post from my smartphone. Retrograde is what Mercury is, like I have never seen. I am so pissed off I'm ready just to give up on the whole damn thing.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Notes to Reviewers I (Schools)


These are the schools I plan to apply to so far.

I recognize that there is work associated with each additional school (even if you are just cutting and pasting which is what I would do).  So I have tried to minimize the list and I am also completely cool with the idea that if you consent to do any of these, that you may prefer to do one or two rather than the whole list.  You will let me know, etc. 

Additional notes:  1. The goal is to get a PhD but it really doesnt bother me to get a masters first because I have a lot to catch up on and because I think it lets people get a look at me first (which may help and it may hurt).  2. There is at least one foreign school on the list, I would like others, too.  Maybe Canada?  Maybe Europe?

Computer science: Stanford (because of Pat Hanrahan), Columbia (excellent computational biology), something in Israel (TBD).

CMU?  MIT?  Illinois?  Berkeley? You tell me.  NYU is too close to home.  It would be fine otherwise.

Public Policy: Rand Graduate Institute, something at Georgetown.

How you know things are really bad


When you invest vast time in describing how much someone's feelings concern you and suggest some ways to change the relationship to better take into account their feelings and they respond "YOU DONT CARE ABOUT MY FEELINGS".  

Right or wrong, this is a subtle sign of a serious disconnect.

Friday, November 30, 2018

Helped A Homeless Person (maybe) Destroyed Two Relationships (maybe)


I may have helped a homeless person today.  Maybe.  It was so clear that her current dilemma / nightmare was something she had caused.  She was totally able to get that and I think it makes things worse.   I think she will face a week of very challenging adversity and then be OK.  She needs an address to get her disability card, then get an ID and then find a place to live with her disability.  Its all doable, but its all challenging when you are homeless.

But this can be hard to do even when you are not homeless.  

And two other friends may have disavowed me.  This always makes me sad.  What is funny sad is that a friend thinks that I am all rage, and he cant take that.  I try to explain to him that rage and anger is my personality (along with a few other emotions) and he should just adjust to it, but he hates me for saying this because he thinks I dont acknowledge his feelings.  

What surprises me, and which I dont know how to process, is that this is something new?  Weird.  I have been like this for two decades.

There is also some interesting, insulting material about my medical issues, but its not something that can be discussed here.  I am such an idiot sometimes.

Let Me Explain Why You Are Going to Jail


You are not going to jail just because you were part of the criminal organization of Donald Trump, although, admittedly, that should be enough.

You are going to jail because when Donald Trump became president, if he did become president, he did not grow into the job, but instead worked to be the most incompetent, the most dishonest, the most racist, the most idiotic fucking nutcase that we have ever had, in conjunction with nutcases like Ryan, Nunes, Grassley and McConnel.  Racist nutcases.  Assholes like the Koch Brothers and the Mercers.  Obvious criminals like Pruitt.  

You are going to jail because Trump put a rapist on the Supreme Court and a right wing nutty boy as well.

You are going to jail because people hate that fucking son of a bitch so much that they are even willing to enforce the law, something that we normally only do to poor people, not rich people.

That is why you are going to jail.

Thursday, November 29, 2018

What the Constitution Means to Me


It means that Dershowitz and Kavanaugh can borrow a private jet from one of their rich Wall Street friends and go on a rape party in Georgia secure in the knowledge that there will be no fair elections and no legal reprecusions, then fly back to Washington and laugh at videos of political refugees being teargassed and beaten.

Thats what the Constitution of the United States stands for today.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

In Response To Comments From A Wonderful Friend


What a nice person you are to care.
Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole.
Listening to the sound track of Repo Man.
And somehow it seemed appropriate.
I am not likely to suddenly become a nice guy.
I appreciate your words, your experience and your help.
But I advise you to limit your expectations.
How many psychiatrists does it take to change a lightbulb?
Only one, but the lightbulb has to sincerely want to change.

Saturday, November 24, 2018

When Some Moron Says Trump is Not Impeachable


I dont have any pro-Trump friends any more, at least not on FB. I might have some friends in real life with whom I do not discuss politics who might be Trump supporters without my knowledge, and that is fine. But for those of you who have Trump supporters as friends, here is a nice concise response from the New Yorker about what to say when they say "What!? What has he done that impeachable!? Nothing!". When some idiot says that, here is at least one reply:

Over its first 20 months in office, this administration has produced what would have, heretofore, passed for a presidency-defining scandal on a near-daily basis. There is, of course, the president’s ongoing campaign to undermine the independence of federal law enforcement; his apparent use of U.S. military deployments as a campaign tool; ostensible violations of campaign-finance law; shameless profiteering off the presidency; gross violations of information-security protocols; use of mass child abuse as a tool for border enforcement; personal business relations with a Saudi government whose murder of an American resident he has enthusiastically apologized for; lackluster response to the hurricane crisis in Puerto Rico; and failure to so much as staff many key federal offices; among many, many other things. Meanwhile, just about every major Cabinet official has seemingly committed at least one major ethics offense.

From the New Yorker.

Thursday, November 22, 2018

Real Clear Politics, Republicans and Georgia


According to Real Clear Politics (a Republican news aggregator), Stacey Abrams hurt Georgia business because of "sour grapes" after a lost election.

You see, this is why Republicans are evil.  There is no thought in their twisted little minds that Kemp did not win the election, that Kemp is a racist who stole the election.

Are the Republicans really that stupid?  No.  They are just lying to steal the money, always have been, always will.

Lock him up. Lock Kemp up, period.

Things Learned On the Road to GANs (Generative Adversarial Networks)


Miscellaneous things learned working with Tensorflow/Keras and machine learning to generate images.

1. Use Containers to install Tensorflow

Containers are virtual machines - lite, and it is the least annoying way to install tensorflow on Linux/Centos 7.5.  

2. For CNNs, the GPU is many times faster.

Its true what they say, at least in part.  For convolution neural networks, the GPU speeds things up by at least an order of magnitude and possibly two.  With containers, you only need to install the Nvidia driver on the base machine / OS and use a different container.

3. It is not at all clear how the CNN relates to real convolutions as we know them from image processing, but it does seem as though using larger filters as we increase resolution avoids the problem of the picture subdividing into lots of little squares.

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Letter to My Congressman Salud Carbajal

Dear Congressman Carbajal

Congratulations on your re-election to Congress!  You're victory in these difficult times is a testament to your energy, your knowledge and your accomplishments.

I am new to your district and I am sure I will sound a little strident in this email, but I am extraordinarily unhappy with the events of the last two years as so many Americans are. 

Please do everything you can, and be as vocal as your position permits, and make it clear that (among other things) racism is any form is abhorrent to Americans, voter suppression is not acceptable, that the supreme court and federal judges must be ethically excellent individuals and not be right wing fanatics, and crime in the government must be investigated. 

Stand strong for us, sir, if you would.

Michael Wahrman

The Democratic Response


I want the Democrats, my party of choice, to make some clear statements.  At this time, at this place, now, not later but now.

Here is what I want them to say.

Racism is not acceptable in America, in politics, in how we treat each other, in how we vote.  Under any circumstances, it is not acceptable.  But most of all it is not acceptable in our public officials.

The people who are nominated to be a federal judge and especially the Supreme Court must be superior ethically as well in terms of their knowledge of the law and in their judgment.  They must represent all Americans, not just the extreme right wing and religious right, no matter how much they might wish it.  The abuse of this system by the Republican right has endangered our entire system.

Republicans need to learn that crime is wrong and will not be tolerated. You want to spend a year studying an email server, lets investigate racist motivated voting suppression, obstruction of justice, money laundering and treason.

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Democrats Must Stand Firm Or They Will Lose


Being rewritten, please try back in a few hours!!!

This is what the Democrats have to do going forward.  And let me be clear, any failure to do this will mean that they Democrats will lose at the next election. They have one chance, in my opinion, to redeem themselves from decades of accomodation and of longing for an America that sadly no longer exists.

They must throw out any idea of "bipartisanship" but must stand firm and unyielding and execute a policy based on principles.

Forget legislation, legislation can be dealt with after the right wing Republican nuts have been exposed for the traitors and criminals that they are.

The American people have been subjected to an astonishing array of crimes against their government and the people of this country and of the world.  It is time for the Democrats to make clear that this behavior has to stop. 

Here is a short list of things the Democrats *must* do to maintain any credibility.

In the following I really dont want to hear any stupid whining about how "why bother to impeach if the corrupt Republicans will just turn their back on truth and justice.  Yes, the Republicans are corrupt and will betray America again, but that is not excuse for not  impeaching him.  Leave the Senate to the Senate, let the House execute its responsibilities for once.

In no particular order.

1. Trump must be investigated for his crimes, or at least a goodly number of them.  If appropriate, those crimes may be referred to relevant state departmens of justice for prosecution.  If appropriate, Trump must be impeached.

2. Kavanaugh must be investigated and if appropriate his crimes referred to proper authorities.  it may also be that he should be impeached.

3. Gorsuch is a right wing nutty boy.  He needs to be reviewed by the house, and also, if appropriate impeached.

4. Why was Nunes allowed to betray America and why was he not removed from his position as chair of the Intelligence Committee when the DOJ and FBI begged Ryan to do so.  This must be investigated.

5. Why have N. Dakota and Georgia been allowed to use obviously racist measures to disenfranchise voters?

6. Why has Florida failed to be able to reliably hold an election and count votes?

7. Why is the Senate continuing to approve right wing nutty boys for the judiciary as if that was acceptable?  The judicial system is being destroyed.

8. What was Pruitt saying behind closed doors for which no notes were kept and the American people are not allowed to know.  Let him testify under oath and let those he spoke to testify under oath and let them pay for their crimes.

All of these issues must be addressed before another budget is approved.  If that means the government stops then I am all for it.  Better we get this cleared up right now, first, before continuing some injustice or abomination.

There are other things as well.  Your list may differ.  This is all the House should do. If any of them are not dealt with, then as far as I am concerned we, the nation and the House has failed.

The nature of the crisis will be further discussed in a later post.

Why Group Sourcing is Obviously Stupid


At various times people talk about "group sourcing" on the internet, or of learning from the internet from the sources that people provide for free or even for a fee, as if it will just be there.

This is not only wrong, it is stupid, it is even obviously stupid, as anyone would know if they had actually tried it to learn something seriously that way.

The reason is that the noise to signal is wildly out of balance.  And there is no way to judge noise from signal in the general case without a vast amount of time and effort.

Group sourcing is obviously not as good as a credible source with information that has been vetted.


I guess the people writing about the Internet dont know what they are talking about or maybe they are just lying to steal the money.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

We Must Help Our Elected Representatives


Our elected representatives need our help to understand what we want done. Figure out how to contact him/her and let them know.  I will be making a list on this blog.  You should do the same.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

How to Contact Glassner & Blinn


To my astonishment, both Andrew Glassner and Jim Blinn are easy to contact, as they maintain web sites with a contact form.

What Everyone Who Studies Intelligence Knows about Wikileaks


Many Americans don't like what they think is the "intelligence" business.  There are good and bad reasons why this might be, but its sufficiently important that I think that people should know more about it so that they can make more accurate or possibly nuanced judgments about it.  It is, after all, *their* intelligence community and is genuinely working, for the most part, in what they believe is the nation's interest as ordered by the POTUS and the relevant committees of Congress.

Even though there is a lot we can not and will not know about the world of intelligence there are lots and lots of things that we can know by paying attention and knowing the history of these things.

And so, in light of this, here is one comment on current events.

It has been obvious for years, certainly at least a decade and possibly more, that whatever else Wikileaks may be, it is probably also a tool of foreign Intelligence.  From the material released and the timing of that release it is likely that Wikileaks has been chosen as the "public mouthpiece" of materials collected by foreign intelligence agencies that have collected the material from one source or another, and are looking for a way to get this material into the world at a time of their choosing to influence some political process ongoing in the West.  This has been completely obvious, and if it is not true, a lot of people will be surprised. But what does it mean?  What should we do about it? And what does it not mean?

It does not mean that the people running Wikileaks are insincere or believe that they are doing anything but what a freedom loving person of the world should be doing. They may be completely uncompromised in their goals.  Nor does it mean that they have necessarily committed any crimes, although they may have.  But even so, be aware that a crime in one country may not be a crime in another.   On the other hand, I think it is likely from what little I know that they very well may have knowingly committed some crimes that are in fact illegal in this country, but that is to be seen.

All I am really saying here is that you should not be so naive as to think that Wikileaks is a completly independent, do-good-for-the-world, totally disinterested organization.  They serve a very useful purpose for people who are not friendly to this country.  That said, they may provide a useful service for the rest of us, that would depend on your point of view on many other issues.

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Notes on Building My Servers


At the end of the day, I ended up with two servers.  One running Linux for rendering, machine learning, and other image processing.  The other for using the Samsung HMD for VR that my friend Ken Perlin sent me.  They are both running the Xeon Silver 4108 8/16 CPU with lots of memory.

Their were two major issues on this build.  I kept getting bad parts, many CPUs were bad and much of the early memory was bad.  Now I buy the memory directly from Kingston and whatever I was running into with CPUs seemed to be fixed.  I also had a bad PSU.  It was just endless.

At the end of the day, we settled on memory from Kingston, chassis from Chenbro from Newegg, power supplies from Supermicro directly, Samsung SSDs from Newegg, Nvidia GPUs from Newegg, and Supermicro motherboards from 3rd party vendors through Newegg.

From now on, always test a new power supply for a build, and stay away from two socket motherboards, always going for a single socket and a more powerful processor if necessary.

Never install Windows on a machine with any other kind of data or OS anywhere near.

The built in graphics on the Supermicro motherboards work great for consoles, and it is recommended you have a VGA display of some sort so you dont have to go through a VGA->HDMI converter.  All systems are still on the USB ethernet connection which works fine for what I need to do.  Ultimately, we will use the onboard ethernet.  All systems have a USB3 bay added to the front.

This is the first time I have had reasonable computing that is appropriate for the work in maybe 20 years.  It makes a difference.

Donald, Why Dont You Shut Up


No one believes you Donald, so why dont you just shut up.  We are definitely into the next period of play.  I dont know what will happen but I doubt old Donald is going to make it.  At the end of the day he is not immune to all the laws of nature and politics although he thinks he is.  How this will play out, and how long it will take, and what it will take to fix it if it can be fixed, is of course a mystery.  It is for the Democrats and the Resistance to lose.

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Lessons on the Path to Righteousness and the Installation of Tensorflow on Centos


Tensorflow is one of the open source solutions to a machine learning back end.  That, with a Keras layer on top, is one of the more popular machine learning environments out there. Among other things, it supports both central and graphics processing on most operating systems.

As in so many things in life, a clever or lucky choice can achieve a goal with no effort, but a similar choice can result in weeks, years or even decades of hell.

There are a number of surprises involved in installing these packages on your operating system of choice, and this note is intended to help you, readers, avoid shooting yourself in the foot or the head as the case may be.

1. Never, never, never try to install from source no matter who advises you to.  It is perfectly possible to install from source on a bare metal machine without any virtual environments, or you could just hit yourself with a large hammer for a few weeks.  Who knew that there were so many different ways to install Python, or that there were so many Pythons?  And that is just the tip of a very nasty set of icebergs.

2. So whenever you are given an opportunity to isolate yourself from the real world by using a virtual environment, whether in Python or anywhere else, take it.  In particular, for the Windows 10 version, a choice of the python virtual environment and a precompiled version of Tensorflow/Keras will result in a cpu only version in an afternoon.  For some of you, you are done and can move on.

3. For those of us in Linux world, you now have to choose between a few specific versions of Ubuntu and everything else.  You who would compromise your integrity and have no aesthetic sense are welcome to use Ubuntu.  Go, it is there for you.

4. For the rest of us who might use an adult version of Linux, my operating system of choice is Centos / RHEL 7.5 which is the most recent version.  I thought I had to compile from source, but this turns out not to be the case.  What turns out to to one of the best paths through this jungle is to use the Docker (container) version as follows.

5. Install Docker by registering as a free user of the Community Edition.  Having registered, and installed the preferred package from the preferred repository, you are now eligible to use containers that have been registered with Docker.

6. Tensorflow creates a new version more or less every day in a variety of flavors (no GPU, GPU, etc) and puts them out on the Docker registry with such adjectives as "latest" or "stable" for example.

7. Using these magic words you can create the name of a container you want to run.  You use one of the magic containers and it loads that part of the container whose layers are not already local, and if you so specify, you are in a shell, in a container, in which you can go into python, load tensorflow and keras and you are off to the races in a cpu version of Tensorflow.

8. Of course, at this point you are now using containers and you will need to spend a day learning about container file systems and other nuance.  Its not too bad though.

9. For those of you who foolishly also want to use GPU acceleration, you have chosen a slightly more difficult path.  You will have to install a different version of the "docker" program from Nvidia and Github.  But once you do, and once you install the GPU driver on your Linux (a bird of a different feather) you can now use a container with GPU from that list mentioned above.

Good luck!

Friday, November 9, 2018

The Big Lebowski and Carter Burwell


This will be old news to many of you, but it was new to me.

I am slowly developing an appreciation for the movie The Big Lebowski (1998) by the Coen Brothers.  I realize it has been out for a while and I am late to see its value.

What I had not realized was that computer music pioneer and composer Carter Burwell did the original music.  Carter is distant cousin to my friends Carter Emmart and Jimmy Carter, and its really nice to see just how well he has done.  He has worked on a movie that is sure to last as long as movies from our civilization last.

Monday, November 5, 2018

Its Nice to Know Where You Stand


An old friend is taking the day off work to go walk the precinct for someone he claims is the first openly bisexual candidate in the history of the American Republic, which I doubt.  I think that is great, but do I really care if someone is openly bisexual? 

He has not had the time to visit me, or for me to visit him, once in the last 10 or is it 12, or more, years.

Its nice to know how much our friendship counts.

No Free Speech on Twitter


Apparently only the Orange Moron is permitted to express their opinion on Twitter.  I am still keeping my account, but probably wont tweet much, too afraid of violating the rules.

Remember the Fifth of November


Time to blow up Parliament.  Oh, too bad!  No patriots around here.  Just rapists on our Supreme Court! 

A First! A Browser Attack on Safari and the Mac


Well, at least its a first for me.  Safari tried to tell me that I HAD A VIRUS and I HAD to do some stupid shit, etc, etc, you know the drill.

Our right wing FBI and Orange-Sack-of-Shit President is too busy putting rapists on the Supreme Court to try and catch these criminals.  Hell, the Trump-ola is probably making money off the scam.

Who is More Stupid, Democrats or Republicans


Sure the Republicans are evil swine, but the Democrats never learn.  I read in the Daily Beast that if/when the Dems take the House they immediately should get in a fight over Nancy Pelosi (yawn) and then be nice to the Republicans.

OH, they say, dont dare go after the Republicans for their crimes.

Idiots, morons, swine.  Put the Republicans in jail.  All of them.  Start with the Orange Bag of Shit and his rapist justice.

Sunday, November 4, 2018

Holy Moly This Hollywood Bullshit Makes Me Mad


Dear Friends, or not as the case may be.

I dont want your hopes and prayers.  I want the money you owe me for getting so much done which you based your enitre careers upon.

Thank you!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

What if We Met The Caravan with Open Arms


What if it was all a joke and Trump means  to have the immigrant caravan met by the US Military with open arms, housing and humanitarian aid!? 

Then we would be the angel of the international scene and not hated (as much).

For those who say this is not practical, they are probably right.  On the other hand if this country had not welcomed immigrants, I would not be alive.

Oh That Hollywood Insincerity

Ha Ha!

Another example of a dear friend proving what a shallow and insincere person he/she is.  Who knows. Managing expectations is the key, and my expectations have been way too high.


Why do I even bother?

Friday, November 2, 2018

Election Predictions Midterms 2018


What a clusterf*ck this has been.

It has been excruciating to read the mainstream press the last few months as they agonize over numbers that tell us nothing.  I have literally read every possible prediction contradicted by some pundit within days.

1. Dems take the house by 20 or so votes.  Anything more than that is a victory that makes it harder for the republicans to spin.

1.1 But the Dems need a minimum of 40 votes majority to spin it as a Blue Wave and who knows if they will get it.

1.2 The people who claim that young people will vote, will vote Dem, and who say that women will vote Dem as a block will be wrong.  The Women Vote will be mostly dead (except as a slight majority, not a block) after this election.  That is my prediction.  You will still hear about the youth vote and the women vote because there will be stupid lefties who cant get it out of their heads, but it isnt real.  Sorry.

2. Reps pick up at least one seat in the Senate, maybe two.  Beto is defeated by Cruz.

3. The Georgia race is too close to call.

4. Dems win Florida governorship for a net gain of several governorships.

5. Nunes and Hunter are reelected.

6. Trump declares victory and voter fraud in the House.  He uses that as an excuse to ignore subpoenas.

7. Dems in the House unleash hell but it does them no good, not really.

8. Because the Senate is firmly in Trumps hands and does his bidding.

9. Trump and the Senate continue to place stupid right wing thugs in the judiciary.

10. The Supreme Court starts fucking with our freedoms.

11. Violence increases.

12. The Trump revolution is pronounced real and not an aberration.

13. Most Americans still fail to understand that they live in a dictatorship and that most of the constitution has failed.

14. Mueller indicts Stone and the Wikileaks asshole but what he does beyond that is a mystery to me.

15. Voter Repression goes full force.  Right wing courts uphold most of it.  Voting rights, fuck that, this is Trump Country now.

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Should I Alert the Humane Society


A woman I know in Oakland sets traps for animals, castrates or neuters them, and then has them killed.  Should I alert the humane society?  Why bother?  They would just attack me for telling them about it. They approve of that kind of thing.

Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Notes on A New Civil War I


A few notes on the upcoming civil war. Time to step up to the line and make predictions, kids.  Of course it is all fiction, since nothing like this could ever happen.

1. Civil wars are the most ugly and destructive type of wars that we know of.  Expect it to be ugly. More ugly than most people I know can imagine.

2. Just because we live in a new century with new technology does not mean all the old rules are gone. Most of my friends think that.  No offense or anything, but I dont agree.

3. Not all Trump supporters are armed or trained in hunting or warfare, but many of them are, and the ones that arent are, in general, not averse to being so trained.

4. On the other hand, I have not met a single non-Trump supporter who knew the first thing about firearms.  I dont think I know the general case, however, I think there are many who live outside S. California who are armed or know something.  They may not be NRA members, but that is OK. However I would guess that the ratio is 5 - 1 (armed vs unarmed).

5. The tools of surveillance are with the local police forces, and again, I think the ratio of Trump supporters is high, perhaps 5 - 1.

6. So when things come apart, you should presume that the right / Trump supporters will have control of the surveillance systems, and will be heavily armed, and that in general, the left will not be.

7. I have not said a thing about what the armed forces will do.

8. Of former armed force members, it is not clear what the ratios will be, but in general they will be armed, or very knowledgable (they have to be), but not necessarily pro-Trump (although in some parts of the US they will be).  I need to do more research on this.  For what it is worth, I have not met more than about 5 lefties out of maybe 5,000 who know the first fucking thing about the US armed forces, although I have met many who think they do.

No offense or anything.

Monday, October 29, 2018

Looking for Amie Slate


If anyone reading this happens to know how to contact Amie Slate, could they please get in touch?

A documentary is being done on Mike Gribble (of Mike & Spike Animation fame) and they are hoping that Amie might have or know where there is archival footage of the Electronic Theatre of Siggraph in 1988.

Thank you.

Sunday, October 28, 2018

Notes on Installing Windows 10 and Google Tensorflow (CPU only)


This is the third time I have installed Windows 10.  These are my notes from the experience.

1. Based on previous disaster, all other disks were unpowered when installing this OS.  The only disk it could get to was the one that it was to be installed on.

2. Based on previous disaster, this disk is connected by SATA because the poor little piece of shit, Windows, cant install on  USB (a marketing decision we are sure).

3. You need a Microsoft account to do this.

4. You sign an agreement which says in so many words that you are stupid for running MS software and if anything goes wrong you should go fuck yourself.

5. It reboots itself without telling you to remove the USB boot disk.

6. You must give it a device PIN.  

7. You do have the option of turning off Windows Cloud, Cortina and weird non-privacy options.

8. It does not let you change the resolution on your screen.

9. When you install Firefox, it complains and tries to make you use its own stupid browser because of course it does.  This is Microsoft.

10. Even though you turned Cortina and MS Cloud off it is still running, because of course it is.

11. When you download the Nvidia driver you have no choice but to load the "GEFORCE Experience" and wait 20 minutes while it downloads. The driver itself is at most a 1 minute download.   Hey dont worry, my time doesnt matter.

12. One of the things I find fascinating is how slow it is.  It is running on 8/16 fairly fast processors and essentially infinite memory, on an SSD drive at SATA 3 speeds and it is still slow.

13. Installing the NVIDIA driver was trivial, but ... here I am waiting for it to reboot.  Will it reboot?  Will it ever leave the SETUP screen?  Oh Oh.  Second reboot and it comes up just fine on the Nvidia card.

14. Must sign in with PIN.  Weird.  No way to turn it off that is obvious.  Whatever they think they are doing with their control panel settings, it isnt helping.  I cant find anything.

15. Now to install VLC for Windows (my preferred video player) and then we get to the good stuff.  Tensorflow and Unity.  OK VLC worked but forgot to turn off metadata download.  Later.

16. Tensorflow ... two versions... CPU only and w/GPU.  It says that beginners should only do CPU.  So I install pip, virtual env, follow instructions for virtual env (one mistake in doc), run virtual env, load tensorflow via pip, run it and it fails!  But wait, it fails because I skipped a step, the "MS Visual Development blahdy blahdy blahdy".

17. So I sign up for visual developer, which means a c/c++ compiler I think, and it also has a python development system and it tries to download 2 GBs.  So I pause it, cut off everything but what I need the core and python, and that is a mere 380 MBs.  Fine.  Installed.

18. Reboot.  Need to reboot twice to get Windows to run. Second time this has happened weird.

19.  But now when I run tensorflow (cpu only) in python, in virtual environment, it works!  Yay!

20. Installed matplotlib.

21. OK we are almost where we were a month ago.

22. Science Marches On!