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Showing posts from November, 2018

USAgov for Researchers

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It is difficult to find official government information. Perhaps one solution could be to use USA.gov – jump from topic page.Main page: https://www.usa.gov/topicsIcon: TBDTopic name: Public InformationDescription: Get official information on government data, statistics, audits, reports, federal court cases, file a Freedom of Information Act request, and more. Content: similar to https://www.usa.gov/laws - do a grid:Court Cases – Search Federal court cases – link to PACER.gov – https://www.pacer.gov/Official Data Sets – Search Data.gov – https://www.data.gov/Inspectors General reports –https://www.oversight.gov/GAO reports – https://www.gao.gov/FOIA - https://www.foia.gov/#agency-search – the portal already existsFact Sheets – I don’t think we already have a super-portal, but we could create a search that crawls individual agency sites in the beginning (e.g. State https://www.state.gov/s/seci/c64446.htm,https://www.dhs.gov/news-releases/fact-sheets)Press Releases – same as aboveHistori…

The Terrifying Implications of “Human-Machine Teaming”

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In 2015, the U.S. Department of Defense called for “human-machine teaming” as essential to national security.

This is the future, regardless of which political party is in charge, and it is both powerful and terrifying. We need to block abusers of this power.

To rephrase then-Deputy Defense Secretary Bob Work, our defense has evolved from:
Beating their conventional weapons with our nukesWhen nuclear parity was reached, achieving “near-0” targeting of their conventional weapons The man-machine warfighter. Within the man-machine phase there is:
Improved machine learningIntelligent machines guiding human decisionsHumans wearing electronics/apps in combat — using them to fight betterHumans and computers (robots) fighting togetherWeapons that kill on their own It is obvious that we have to have better fighting capabilities than our enemies if we are to resist an invasion. Having humans control the robots is ideal. Here is a 2015 example out of MIT — the “robot with human reflexes.

It’s also c…

Combating Disinformation: An Essential Role For The Civil Service

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We should use government funds for government-funded broadcasts, clearly attributed, that offer the official stance on matters of public interest or areas of misinformation or disinformation.  Did you know that the U.S. government has an anti-disinformation service, that it's called Polygraph, or that this website operates jointly with a Russian-language site called Factograph?

Polygraph is operated by the Voice of America, which claims editorial independence. So does Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. Both are funded by the U.S. government (see graphic adapted from the U.S. Agency for Global Media website).
Just a cursory review of the discussion around these sites seems to indicate a focus on Russia and Russian disinformation campaigns. (Here is an example of Polygraph at work. Here is an example of controversy around its activity.)
Perhaps we haven't heard much about Polygraph here in the U.S. because the audience is not domestic. It is permissible for us to see it, though, …

A Prayer To God. Please Protect & Defend the Children

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Ten years ago God blessed me.

He sent me forward with a mission that I did not understand at the time. That I still do not understand, but I know when it feels close. Something like - “tell the truth to free the kids.”

There is a small group of terrible people who have reigned on this earth for far too long. They are nothing more than demons with flesh.

For whatever reason, this is the time, God has heard the cries of their victims. The children they brutally rape and control. The workers they exploit for any purpose they can think of.

We, the public, know that these demons exist. 

We, the public, are standing up to them. Not for the first time. But maybe for the first time together, as a planet.

They have lied and cheated and tricked innocent people into believing the mask they wear is authentic.

We, the public, know that there is nothing behind that mask except rotting filthy garbage. 

May God protect the masses and masses of people on this planet who are innocent. 

May He subtract this plag…

Stop Giving Yourselves Awards

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Your work sucks. Stop congratulating each other for it.

Here is an interesting statistic — a bit dated, but useful for conversation purposes nevertheless. Writing at Forbes, Josh Bersin notes that as of 2012, companies spent $46 billion per year on employee recognition awards. While the outlay was almost nothing (1–2% of payroll), it was a total waste of money strategy-wise: 87% of programs reward someone for simply being able to “hang in there.”

Rewarding people for their ability to stick around is not just unproductive, of course. It’s counterproductive. It tells people that their greatest contribution to the enterprise is the ability to “go along and get along,” even if they contribute nothing to the bottom line and even subtract from it — complaining, wasting people’s time in meetings, or creating make-work to keep themselves employed.

Bersin offers a number of alternative approaches to employee rewards that are more profitable. Basically they focus on rewarding performance, not lon…