What I wish I had known before making this choice

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Image by author with help from — この狭い鳥籠の中

I’ve rewritten this post several times over the years. It’s hard for me to present both sides fairly. I’m completely biased because I’ve been through it, so keep that in mind. This initial post does NOT describe how to cope with the aftermath of this choice. Here I’m trying to provide someone who is considering this operation with the knowledge I wish I had before the surgery. If this post has a positive response, then I’ll publish a followup where I describe how my life changed as a result of the surgery.

Disclosure: I’m not a doctor. This isn’t a clinical survey of postoperative outcomes. I can’t tell you what you should do. I can only tell you my experience and share what I wish I had known prior to the procedure. If you are considering this procedure, gather as much information as you can before making a decision that has permanent consequences. …

Be an advocate for a better tomorrow empowered by blockchain

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Image by author

Information is power

Information is power. The next big shift in society will be a data revolution. It will go beyond “being woke” about injustice in society to correcting injustice in society. We are not here to “call out” what’s wrong, we are here to fix it. Listen to what the President has said on this topic:

“This idea of purity and you’re never compromised and you’re always politically woke and all that stuff, you should get over that quickly. The world is messy. There are ambiguities. People who do really good stuff have flaws.”

“If I tweet that you didn’t do something right … then I can sit and feel pretty good about myself because, man, you see how woke I was, I called you out That’s not activism. That’s not bringing about change. If all you’re doing is casting stones, you’re probably not going to get that far.” …

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This is how it feels to take a broken Coursera quiz


I decided to take Google’s Technical Support Fundamentals course online via Coursera because I wanted to encourage another close friend to finish this course. I’m at the end of week 4 and up to this point the content was very good. But as everyone knows, there’s nothing more frustrating than taking a multiple choice quiz when some of the answers on the quiz are wrong. Please Google Developers, Coursera, and Design@Coursera fix these questions.

Question 2

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345.0.24.6 is NOT a valid IP address is NOT a valid IP address is a valid ip address but this was not an option. …

Discovering new insurance architecture by abandoning old assumptions

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Why TandaPay is new

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When I started work on TandaPay I didn’t assume anything. I didn’t assume that coverage needed to indemnify risk. I didn’t assume that payment of partial sums, i.e. discounted claim awards, was unacceptable. I didn’t assume that the coverage fund needed to hold substantial reserves. I didn’t assume that premium pricing needed to be efficient or even that premiums should be the same from month to month.

I didn’t assume that all insurance architecture needed to be the same. By disregarding traditional rules I was able to create something new. …

GPT-3 reaches a remarkable conclusion about the nature of space, time and all reality

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Credit: Phys.org

If you want to access GPT-3 this is what you can do:

  1. Go to https://play.aidungeon.io/
  2. Sign up and create an account
  3. Upgrade from Griffin to Dragon
  4. Select a new single player game
  5. Select option “(6) custom”
  6. Paste any random starting prompt you want

My reason for selecting this prompt

I want to try to find the hardest thing I can think of and have GPT-3 respond to it. So I figure I’d give general relativity a go.

Initial prompt provided to GPT-3

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Massive bodies warp spacetime. Image courtesy NASA.

The thought that all objects move at the speed of light in four-dimensional space-time correlates to the principle of least action. The straightest path is always the path that minimizes the “action.” Objects seek to adopt a rest state such that the state minimizes total potential energy. This is another way of saying that an object will seek out the lowest energy state. …

Using software to implement the report’s recommendations

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National Guard members clearing Springfield Ave. in Newark on July 14, 1967 — Don Hogan Charles

Formal mechanisms for processing grievances

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President Lyndon B. Johnson speaks to the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders WX, AP

In July 1967 President Lyndon B. Johnson created the Kerner Commission to examine the U.S. race riots of the 1960s. Former U.S. Senator Fred Harris is its last surviving member.

Senator Harris: “We said that the terrible conditions gave rise to these protests and riots. Any spark could set off the violence. The underlying causes were racism and poverty. The most famous words of the commission were these, ‘our country is moving toward two nations one black one white separate and unequal.’” — Separate and Unequal”: The Last Surviving Member of the 1968 Kerner Commission on Race Riots.

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President Lyndon B. Johnson at the signing of the 1968 Kerner Commission published by Bantam Books

In 1968 the Kerner commission wrote the…

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Getty images useful yoga royalty free image

Don’t argue

When you are trying to win over the other side arguing is not the way.

Focus on their values and beliefs

Forget what you value and believe. Focusing on what is important to you will not allow you to convince others of anything. Find out what the other side values and leverage their values to show them that that their argument is in conflict with their own values and beliefs.

Case in point

Sometimes I hang out with people from diverse backgrounds. Two of my friends start arguing about pornography. The following question comes up, is pornography bad?

TandaPay can allow any community of people to submit and verify their own insurance claims locally within their group. The protocol was designed to provide a guaranteed attestation to outside parties as to the validity of an insurance claim. It excels as a system which provides outsiders a record as to how the community reached consensus on a claim’s validity. It can allow communities to verify the contents of a whistleblower claim while simultaneously providing anonymity to the whistleblower. If an invalid claim is approved for payment then the community should collapse. The protocol provides specific guarantees for a group’s collapse based upon specific assumptions. The power of the protocol is that these assumptions result in guarantees which can be formally verified. …

When I have never been brutalized by the police

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How can we go from how things are now to how they should be? (Justice Is Blind by NICK ANDERSON & Mike Luckovich)

NOTE: I originally wrote this post last year. I republish it today in light of the killing of George Floyd by police officers and the subsequent protests. Since that time I’ve done significantly more writing and research. In this post I express a furtive belief that TandaPay will become a real mobile app. Since last year I have become more optimistic as to the projects potential for future success. A prototype has been completed and further development is pending additional resources.

This week was fantastic. I had one of those “oh my God what have I done with the last five years of my life,” moments. I wouldn’t exactly call it fun. But it was honest and it caused me to take stock of where I am at and how to move forward. …

America’s Great Divide: Frank Luntz Interview | FRONTLINE

America's Great Divide: Frank Luntz Interview | FRONTLINE (starts at 41:00)

Frank Luntz is an American political and communications consultant, pollster and pundit. He is best known for developing talking points and other messaging for Republican causes. He was interviewed for PBS FRONTLINE for their piece entitled “America’s Great Divide.

We don’t trust anything anymore

FRONTLINE Interviewer: You’ve got a situation now where there are two Americas. It is very divided, even to the point, like with the Mueller investigation … you have two different views of what’s in the damn report.

Frank Luntz: We don’t trust anything anymore, and I think this is really dangerous for our democracy. We don’t trust the media to tell us the truth. We don’t trust the government to — to manage the economy or to be involved in a positive and uplifting way. We don’t trust business to treat its employees with respect and decency. We don’t trust culture to play to the best parts of us rather than to appeal to the worst parts. …


Joshua Davis

Incentives architect for TandaPay

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