Category Archives: Uncategorized

viking warriors

just crammed in season II of HIstory Channel’s Vikings series. Binge watching (i hear its all the rage) through the weekend, just finished a very bloody “Lord’s Prayer” finale. Holy King of scandinavia…

Now that was a twist I wasnt ready for the double agent…but then again, Floki is quite the jokester. Not sure if its “the best show on TV” as claimed by pundits…i think its  giving its competition a good run…i will eagerly look forward to season three.

Ragnar, Bjorn, Lagertha, Rollo, Athelstan, Siggy…vikings everywhere..

vikings

Education and the Physical Alternatives of Higher Learning (MBA or other)

Article on Poets and Quants -

An interesting topic is the one posed by higher education and the intrinsic costs of physically attending a graduate program. Virtual learning and “online courses” speak to me for a variety of reasons at this point in my career/life..most specifically, i think it will start to open up a myriad of possibilities for middle aged employees who are intellectually hungry, desire additional learning (for the sheer pleasure of learning as well as sharpening the tools in the kit), combined with access to classes and world class professors.

Folks who cannot “up and quit their jobs” and go “back to school will benefit…and I believe there is pent up demand for an offering as our population ages. Another topic is the creation of hogwans for learning on the other end of the spectrum (children)..but again, i digress… (and not to be confused with Hogwarts).hogwarts

I surmise there is a bit of untapped demand for a new higher education learning product..if the quality is present and meaningful and measurable..as defined by a strong brand (meaning ..the class/offering is orchestrated by a University such as Berkeley Haas or equivalent)!

Interesting to look at both the opportunity costs (lost revenue, etc) as well as time out of the market when a student leaves the competitive work force and are focused on academic learning with a structured degree.  When comparing physical attendance at a program vs online education, i have yet to see research on the efficacy of the education absorbed and learned.  There are calls for an MBA “test” at the end of the program to merit and measure the learning (and the ROI of attending a two year graduate program)..but hard to fathom we will get to that stage and find a common measurement tool.

This article and its startling title:  “Can half of the business schools go out of business” caught my eye with its click bait type hyperbole!

haas

Richard Lyons, whom I have had the pleasure of meeting numerous times, sharing a breakfast here in LA as part of an alumni event and receiving a warm introduction by him as I spoke to the incoming MBA class a few years back…i take his perspective and views very seriously. He is a charismatic leader and visionary of higher education and has led the Haas school with much distinction.

His thoughts/commentary that within 5-10 years, a number of schools may/could go out of business due to market penetration of MOOCs is intriguing. He is fundamentally speaking to disruption in his discipline. Almost every industry of note over the last 1-2 decades, has gone through massive disruption due to technology (hardware and software), the connectivity caused by the internet of things, and most recently ..IP based content delivery.

Education, as it stands to reason, should not fare any better if the institutions hold true to the “old ways” of teaching and dissemination of its material.  A new model is being fashioned…wait and see! It will be fantastic!

Link

New Yahoo CEO

New Yahoo CEO

Innovative and thought provoking! A renewed focus on Product (vs bringing in a media/ad specialist). Yahoo had two great options to chose from for the leadership role….very interesting to watch this unfold.

Sean Gourley on the mathmatics of war

Interesting TED clip on modeling war and insurgency.  Using a sample distribution and public data, his team statistically identified a signal pattern from Number of Attacks x Number Killed. A mathematical distribution with  alpha = organizational structure.

They found this change in state in conflicts around the world as a constant: in Peru, Iraq, Afganhistan, Indonesia, etc.

Quite fascinating to think the Army can either dilute the opposition into fragments or drive the opposition together so they can sit them down at a table for negotiations? Hmmm?

Michael Phelps and US Swimming at the Olympics

It is amazing to behold the domination of the US team in Beijing. Watching the “best olympian ever” is truly a sight to behold. I have competed in swimming events in the last few years….so watching him beat these world records handily is all the more powerful knowing just how dang fast he is swimming! Only one word for it…..Awsome!

 

Uncontacted tribe in South America

It always fascinates me when I read about a tribe or group of people who haven’t come into contact with the civilized world. Reuters ran a story this morning on a tribe in South America, located on the border between Brazil and Peru, who were poised to shoot their arrows as the plane flew overhead. The plane snapped a few pictures of their huts. Incredible!

With the demands of logging and the deforestation taking place in this region, one has to guess there will be few of these tribes left in the coming years as the populations and requirements for natural resources carve up what remains of the Amazonian basis and all that inhabit this area.

Survival International suggests there are approximately 100 remaining tribes worldwide that haven’t been contacted by present day society.

Connections in the dark – semantic web, Google and MRIs

I was reading an article by Ars Technica this morning titled “The Semantic web gets a boost from functional MRIs” which continued to elucidate my thinking on the buzz with semantic web, search in general, and the increasing requirement for more relevant discovery based on intent.

No new ground here…but always intriguing for moi as I lucubrate on the subject (he says with a grin), pontificate on the next frontier in this space and ultimately build upon my understanding of how search applies to the consumer markets (media, entertainment, etc).

The article discusses the neural networks using an MRI scan (based on work as mentioned in Science) and a test to determine if there is connectivity, relationship, symbolic “language” and association with specific words (verbs and nouns). The goal was to build a map based on these associations. “These findings tell us that researchers looking for statistical associations between nouns and verbs are probably on the right path to generating contextual meaning for those nouns—even when they are used out of context.”
woman\'s brain

In parallel, I was perusing the official Google blog and read the post by Udi Manber on Google’s search quality. Udi discusses their efforts to improve relevance, results quality, etc. He mentioned their focus on international. “International search has been one of our key focus areas in the past two years. This means all spoken languages, not just the major ones. Last year, for example, we made major improvements in Azerbaijani, a language spoken by about 8 million people. In the past few months, we launched spell checking in Estonian, Catalan, Serbian, Serbo-Croatian, Ukranian, Bosnian, Latvian, Filipino Tagalog, Slovenian and Farsi.”

What happens when you take the neural 25-dimension model as discussed in the Ars article above and overlay it with multi dimension models from google based on how different languages, more specifically, different cultures, search in their native tongues? How does this impact the semantic web? Do different cultures have different associative qualities with their nouns and verbs? Presumably yes…but does this matter, and if so, how does it improve search quality? I would enjoy being a fly on the wall at Google to hear how this data informs their algorithm discussions as they continue to improve the search based on language based results and associated behavior.

As the Ars article stated, “a culture generally has an agreed-upon meaning for a word, it is hard to break that meaning up into symbols that a computer can understand. One way to go about tackling this problem determine what symbols our brain uses to convey that meaning. While we’re still a ways off from decoding the internal symbolic “language” of the mind, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) indicates that meaning seems to be associative.”

How does this play out if we can watch the brain through an MRI as well as watch “behavior” through searches in native tongue?

What other learnings are being teased out in this intersection of physiology and computer science?