Vapor Life

Vapor life... My life as it is, as it should be. *********************************************************************************************************** Life is something that happens when you can't get to sleep. Fran Lebowitz (1950 - )

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Predicatively unpredictable. The new math and other reasons my brain hurts today.

I have been thinking a lot lately about math... and in particular predictive models and algorithms, calculations, fluid dynamics you know that kind of math that makes sense out of things behind the scenes.

Not exactly sure why it has been on my mind. Maybe its because I get sucker punched on a daily basis by that kind of math or maybe its because a good unsolvable problem makes me feel all warm and fuzzy. Maybe its because that kind of stuff scares me… just a little.

That’s right I said it this kind of math scares me. Not just because its way past the line of my understating. Hell you cant even see that line where I live. Why then you ask? Well that is because:

Most people have no idea how much this kind of stuff is creeping into our lives. I see a little but what I really see is that it is going to be way more invasive in the very near future.  I just ran across this interesting link *here* on gizmodo. 
You should watch it.
Then think about this.
How much math is running you life?
I bet you it’s more that you think. 
They put that Starbucks on that corner, because MATH told them to do it. The tread pattern on your tires, the amount you pay for services. The interest you pay on things… all math. Its not sympathetic, its not emotional its defiantly not logical. That’s right I said that too, its not logical. That is because this kind of math requires data processing and number crunching in ways that don’t have to be logical they just have to work.

That kind of ruthlessness is awesome… and Scary.

Mostly it’s scary because, its not like normal math. This kind of math makes mistakes and because it’s not logical the predictive models do things that are well…ironically unpredictable.

This kind of math is powerful, that is why this kind of thing is all the rage in financial circles. So what it boils down to: he (or really they) that has the best math wins.

Like I said I have been thinking a lot about math lately. I cant help but get a wry smile when people complain about things not making any sense. They don’t have to make sense they just have to work.


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