Cross Discipline Creativity – I wish!

Creativity may flow from an endless tank, once it’s activated. But, if you have access to multiple tanks, they can only be turned on one at a time.

The creative faucet I’ve been wielding recently has nothing to do with writing fiction. Which I lament. No, not just lament, I bemoan the fact that my energies are being spent toward a creation I despise: software that will be used to promote the further promulgation of the evil duo consumerism & capitalism. Yuck. And it’s not just the building of solutions, it’s the monitoring, worrying, fiddling, responding to “incidents”, and the exhaustive fixing of code that worked—and then just didn’t anymore.

It could be due to the fact that during this joyous season of giving, this data-broker middleman company is positioned exactly where the most “giving” flows. Literally millions of orders a day grinding through this system. What worked for five-hundred thousand cannot deal with two-million. And so the hours of hand-wringing, the feverish typing-testing-deploying of code. Oy! The humanity.

And throughout it all, the sad fact that I’d rather be writing fiction. But can’t. Because I can only turn on one creative spigot at a time. I’ve tried to run two. Can’t. The code flows—or the story does. But never the twain. Dream-time brings visions of syntax checks and semaphores dancing in my head. Of event-streams and data-queues, stacked and awaiting their processing turns.

Maybe when I was thirty I could have maneuvered and managed both. But here at sixty, what a sad number is sixty, I can only handle the one.

Happy Saturnalia, all.


Go-GAN Generative Adversarial Network

She hauled up and quit on me just outside Rhemus Station. The harder I kicked, the louder she wailed. If I’d known she’d put up such a fuss I’d have walked the whole way from our dig site. Rinky had followed us, I knew he’d keep her company, maybe lead her back to her herd. I gave her a pat and walked away. From time to time, I still hear that odd trumpet sound. Without protection, I doubt she survived the night.

I beckoned with the two-handed wave described to us and it fluttered across the water toward me. I picked just two of its eyes, the others I ignored. I’d heard they took offense if you couldn’t focus. As it landed, just beyond my reach, it began to retch producing a viscous soup that spread like an oil-slick. The smell rose and I breathed it deeply—truffles. Its sick smelled like black truffles.

The natives use the bark for food, shelter, fuel, and if pulverized and left to rot in a shallow, swampy ditch, turns to an intoxicant which they slurp in revelrous glee. Their twilight dancing, a chaotic riot, ends only when the last of them concuss themselves against the trunks of the trees. Because of their lack of depth perception the locals can’t climb, leaving the heights for us to safely bed.

I hold as still as I can. The pollen, its tendency to burrow into my nostrils, has me on the edge of a constant sneeze. I choke it down and capture the shot. To its left I catch a flash of movement, low in the brush, the tips of the tracker’s ears barely topping the grass. But all of this specimen’s eyes are trained on me. I prepare to witness a predatory scene few, if any, have ever seen.

The line is deep and although I haul back, the weight at the end gives only in spurts. I keep at it. I see a flash of white, turned pale blue, and then a rush and splash as it surfaces. The hook tears at the side of its throat, snared, not a valid catch. I can only hope the damage done won’t leave it mortally wounded.

This is not the way we came in. But the map has brought us to this cove and this gaping maw, our egress from this hell-scape world. I see ripples at the edges. Is it quivering? With provisions exhausted we have no choice but to venture in—out? Through?


Another day, another software language

So, yeah. Due to my current team’s triumph in getting its shit done (in RUST), I’ve been tasked with getting another team steamed up and chugging along. Only, this new team uses TypeScript. TypeScript is a Microsoft invention that overlays strongly typed variables and objects on top of JavaScript. It’s used, for our purposes, on both the server (Node.js) as well as the front end (Angular/NGRx).

That’s what I’ve been doing — coming up to speed as quickly as possible on this new language and the different ways it’s used to generate AWS (Amazon Web Services) Lambdas (serverless functions).

This new team, five guys dropped into a project with zero comprehension of the bigger picture, had been languishing, essentially leaderless, for months. Well, I ain’t shy when it comes to disturbing the coding peace. I’ve already reframed their work, written all the specs for a half-dozen new services, and, to model the user’s data-flow, built a mock service that mimics what the project will eventually perform when completed. I wrote this over the weekend, last. It’s just a toy, and I present it here as evidence that I have been writing… just not fiction. This, in combination with the 10 functional and technical documents and diagrams written in the last three weeks, well, I’m all Typed(Script) out.

New tab view here.

I went and added it to my github — which it appears I’ve had now for eleven years… Imagine that.


Heads down, grinding away at Rust

A quick update: I’ll be heads down, brain elsewhere for another month, at least. Here’s a diagram I whipped together that illustrates a tiny piece of the puzzle we’re trying to work on. SLA = Service Level Agreement. The names of these “things” are nothing you’ve probably run into, but they’re substantial parts of my coding universe now.

When the Dead Talk

I believe I’ve come across a rather interesting use-case for artificial general intelligence (AGI): Simulating the minds of the dead.

There’s a number of entertainment channels dedicated to the concept of “uploading” one’s mind into a virtual computer environment. Upload and Black Mirror are two you’ll see referenced. But, we’ve got Her, and Max Headroom, Transcendence, Ex Machina, Altered Carbon and dozens and dozens of others. [Duke has pointed out that the below scenario is exactly that of the movie: Marjorie Prime (on Prime). Note: the Prime in the name has to do with the designation of the AI agent.]

But I think most of them miss the mark as to what will be the first use of this technology.

I get the idea from this article: Chatting with the Dead and where this leads me is this scenario: I don’t want to specifically exist someday as a virtual copy in some giga-qubit quantum computer but, I’d love to leave an interactive simulacrum of myself for my children and their children.

And that’s the idea. Uploading? Transcending this mortal coil for a quantum version? Nah, screw that. But, spending the time to teach an AGI to learn who I am, what I sound like, how I think… What my experiences have been like, in order to create a comfort-chat-bot for those that survive me? Yeah, I’d get into that.

So would a bunch of other folks I’m guessin’.

I sit down, ship up all my writings, photos, video snippets up into an AGI service that’s ready to mold a version of itself into my likeness. Then, spend a few hours over weeks relating stories, philosophies and such in order to teach my digital replica how to communicate as me.

When I’m gone, those who care to can then console themselves by interacting with my almost-me.

Mentioned in that article is a project called Replika. Their system wouldn’t be able to beat the Turing Test, yet, but, someday… Here I’ve joined that site and begun a conversation. Can you figure out who Elomy Nona might be?