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Game Balance

2024-01-27
Tags:  Games · Math
A long, detailed, and in depth look at every (?) facet of game balance; a one-stop-shop for all your game balance needs! The first half of the book talks about different ways a game can be/feel balance/unbalanced and how each different genre has its own balance requirements. The second half of the book offers up concrete advice on how to actually test and implement balance from a mostly mathematical perspective. At the end of the book there is a good overview of some of the more powerful spreadsheet capabilities that can assist in balancing your game. Overall, this is a great read for anyone wanting to know more about game balance (surprising I know) in general (the first half) and how to crank the numbers to make it happen (the second half).


Industrial Society and its Future

2023-11-23
Tags:  History · Politics · Technology
When I read this about 20 years ago a lot of thing resonated with me, but his targeting of the leftist ideology as the root of so many of the problems we are facing, then and now, only rang true in my recent reading after an extra few decades of life under my belt. Again, I find it so apropos that he focuses like a laser on people who 'interpret as derogatory almost anything that is said about him' which seems to be the a reasonable definition for the modern trigger/safe space culture. Similarily he states 'This tendency is pronounced among minority-rights activists, whether or not they belong to the minority groups whose rights they defend.' which we see again when 'white' people march for BLM or Hamas/Israel while simultaniously championing their self-loathing by saying 'white' people are the problem. There is so much to unpack in a relatively short 100-odd pages that I can't recommend this book any higher; reguardless of your political leaning I guarantee if you put aside your predjudice and bias, you will learn something either about your 'enemies' or the world you may already despise. Agree or disagree, but violence got his message out there and Uncle Ted, RIP in Peace, has become something of folk hero.


Game Programming Patterns

2023-10-29
Tags:  Games · Programming
This is a fairly no-nonsense look at programming patterns that are specifically, but not exclusively useful for games. Each patterns starts out with a basic definition and a simple use case for when the pattern might be applicable. Next, through pared down C++, a simple code example is given; this is often built up in a few steps so the reader can follow what is going on. After the pattern is thoroughly explained there are usually a few warning or gotchas to look out for when using the pattern. I like how the author, on several occasions, stresses that even though a pattern can work you should, when possible, opt for the simpler solution unless you are certain you need the full power of some of the more complex patterns.


Characteristics of Games

2023-10-15
Tags:  Games
The book examines many micro elements of games and the surrounding metagames in a very casual and easy (and interesting) way. After breaking down the games into smaller units, it is demonstrated that there are often a few 'root' games that underlie what, on the surface, seems like a great many games; for example very many games can be decomposed into things like brawls, races, or chip-taking. The indirect comparison, through their respective treatments, of older 'classic' games, some of which that have have been around for millennia, to more modern computer games is very interesting. Beyond the intention of the book, I think there is a bit to be gleaned here in regard to a social commentary on how people no longer need other humans to play games and I would argue that the long term effects of this development may be socially disastrous; even the so-called social games (like MMOs) have been devolving into asocial parallel single played game (IMHO). Finally there is a decent amount of very interesting analysis on things like metagames, heuristics, and a decent treatment of Von Neumann Game Theory and Combinatorial Game Theory.


Godot 4 Game Development Projects - Build Five Cross-platform 2D and 3D games

2023-09-07
Tags:  Games · Godot · Programming
After a solid introduction the first project is presented and explained in deep detail so that someone who has never used Godot or a game framework in general will be able to follow along. In the beginning many things are shown with screen shots to hold your hand as to where things are and give you an example of how your project should look. As the book progresses, theses screen shots are less common and the description of what you are supposed to do gets more terse, forcing you to have paid attention to and understood the previous lessons. I think that the difficulty curve utilized in this book is done very well so that it takes you from no understanding at the beginning to having a solid foundational understanding by the end. Overall, very pleased with the book and confident that what I learned will position me to successfully tackle more complex aspects of Godot and game dev in general.


Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits

2023-03-27
Tags:  Animals · Permaculture · Rabbits
Overall it seems as easy as... wire cage, water, food, ventilation, cool but not too cold. If it is your goal, you can produce a lot of meat in a short time - they do, afterall, breed like rabbits (the book doesn't go into as much detail on this aspect as I would have liked to see). Fixed costs are reasonably cheap but not so much when considering start up costs and buck/doe costs. There is a business possibility here, but with so little profit I would not pursue with the exception of maybe selling a life junior a few times a year to minimize expenses. I only care about meat, but there seems to be a lot of people who simply love raising rabbits, showing rabbits, and making money (albeit very little) from rabbits; this book touches on all of these aspects.


COVID-19: The Great Reset

2022-02-04
The WEF (World Economic Forum) sees themselves as de facto rulers of the world (after all, if they weren't chosen, they wouldn't be rich). Building on Schwab's Fourth Industrial Revolution's technical predictions (that are really a plan) to solve the problems of Covid-19 (the real problem has been the reaction). The gist is that we need more globalization in the form of a hyperconnected, consumer driven, mass surveilled global society. He claims that there is no inflation in sight (there is), but it will show up soon (it did) and it will be a threat (that happens when you print trillions in 18 months) and likely the global economy will have to be reset to use some kind of digital currency while also redistributing wealth (universal basic income to keep the guillotines from rolling) In the end, there is 'no place for the nation state' in Schwab's future (dream).


The Fourth Industrial Revolution

2022-01-18
The predicted technological changes, while mostly presented as positives, might very well lead to potential civil unrest fueled by a widening gap between the haves and the have-nots. This divide will be likely seen most prominently in automation (capital) replacing jobs (labor) of both blue (replace by robots) and white collar (replaced by AI) workers. A public-private (read fascism) should be built to ameliorate this unrest by understanding and controlling the rollout of said technology. Ironically there is a simultanious call to increase retirement age (drastically) along with the hope that these emerging technologies will create more jobs than they destroy even though the evidence points directly to that not happening. One major theme that can not be glossed over is that most of the new technology is in the digital world and will lead directly to a loss of privacy and an increased amount of surveillance that can be seen as nothing short of digital totalitarianism.


Responsive Web Design with HTML5 and CSS

2021-08-28
Tags:  Css · Html · Programming


Dead Mountain - The Untold True Story of the Dyatlov Pass Incident

2021-05-28
Tags:  History


Education and the Social Order

2019-01-24
Religion is decried as science is foisted upon the global as a replacement ideology that will somehow improve **everything**. This globalism will be enforced with international standards set about by supranational bodies like the League of Nations (United Nations). To bring this about we must reformat the way we educate our young so that they are immune, or at least less susceptible to propaganda. In actuality the new educational system itself is a more pervasive form of propaganda. Once the younger generation is sufficiently indoctrinated, we can convince them to destroy their families and give up their children to be raised by the state (of global communism).


Godel, Escher, Bach - An Eternal Golden Braid

2019-01-24
The book builds in a very approachable manner, for even the most uninitiated reader, from basic formal systems to DNA and artificial intelligence. Each step is presented first with a humorous take in the form of a dialog between characters like Achilles and Tortoise and then the idea is elaborated on in a more formal manner with intellectual exercises that should engage the reader. Also the progression is made with a great many analogies where things like music, memory, DNA, and other seemingly unrelated topics are woven together to give a purchase point from many angles and thus be accessible to a great many people with a variety of backgrounds. I can say that I personally, with those 40 years of hindsight, don't give much credibility to some of the future (current) prospects of AI, but non-the-less find the book interesting and a worthwhile read for anyone interested in the topics. Overall the book is funny, informative, and a great introduction to some topics that 40+ years later we are still grappling with.


The Analysis of Mind

2019-01-08
Tags:  History · Oligarchy · Philosophy
After introducing the main views as that of the materialists; the idealists; and the newest, behaviorists; Russell starts in with the assumption that man is not much different than a protozoa, physically or mentally. While his stance is generally against Watsonian behaviorism, he dances around outright rejection when discussing things like memory as being more than habit. Physics (physiology) are later completely removed from his psychology and he asserts that both mind and matter, which he insists is a logical fiction (pointing toward the quantum), are both made of the same, neutral, substance. There is also discussion regarding language -whether we think in words or not- and truth; the latter is tacked on almost as an afterthought. All of this leads, (ill-)logically, to the denial of causality.


The War on Normal People

2019-01-01
Tags:  Oligarchy · Psyop


The Sleep Solution - Why Your Sleep is Broken and How to Fix it

2018-12-04
Tags:  Health · Sleep
First a basic of what sleep is, how much you need at the various stages of you life, how your internal clock (circadian rhythm), is regulated by environmental conditions as well as chemicals and inhibitors produced internally, like melatonin. Next a number of sleep disorders are discussed, the most notable probably being insomnia (simple and hard). The author tries to hammer home the idea that insomnia is really only a big deal if you make it a big deal; the fear you have surrounding bedtime and not being able to sleep can lead to, expectedly, an inability to sleep, at least temporarily. In the end, you sleep, everyone does, even if you don't feel like you sleep (paradoxial insomnia). The second half of the book covers sleep hygiene (dark, quiet, comfy) and the proper use of sleep aids, specifically drugs, which, although popularized in the media and often being the first line of defense a general practitioner will prescribe, are some of the worst paths one might take to remedy their poor sleep.


Design Patterns - Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software

2018-09-13
Tags:  Programming
This book, structured as a catalog describes the original software design patters, most of which are still used today. Its main goal, as it clearly states, is to provide software designers with a common vocabulary so that communication can become more concise. Each section first introduces one of the three main categories of patterns - creational, structural, or behavioral. Next, each section describes, in fair detail, the applicability, the pros, and the cons of each pattern, while also both motivating its use and offering ample sample code. This book, while useful for learning the patterns themselves, shines as the catalog, the dictionary it is laid out as; it is a great resource that allows you to easily skim through the patterns to jog your memory into deciding which pattern may be most applicable to your current problem.


The Art of Intrusion

2018-09-13
Tags:  Hacking · History
Like Mitnick's first book, this is presented as a series of unconnected stories. Also like the other book, this one is somewhat dated after 13 years, although it is more than worthwhile to those interested in the history of hacking. It is a light, fast read and not at all technical, so don't expect to learn anything. Some of the social engineering attacks seem almost silly as of 2018 and I hope they would no longer work, but honestly some of the probably would work, given the right mark. Of the stories, there are two that take place in Las Vegas that for some reason struck my fancy; how I do love reading about the casinos losing.


Clean Code

2018-09-03
Tags:  Java · Programming
Being clean today is slower, but it will be faster overall. When you write sloppy code, say, to reach a deadline, it might seem like you are saving time, but the first time someone, which very well may be you, has to make sense of the rat's nest left behind in a mad dash to get it shipped, all that 'savings' is lost. By paying attention to all of the little things as they come up, by making many small good decisions, you will reap a cumulative positive effect, a big payoff, down the road. To get these points across, many little nuances are explored; the most important probably being the names you use and how you design self contained, single responsibility functions. Additionally, design patterns, formatting, unit tests, comments, and successive refinement, among other topics, are covered with examples and several lengthy case studies provided for the Java language.


The Power Elite

2018-09-03
Tags:  History · Oligarchy
The book begins wonderfully by looking at the grammar and defining exactly what is mean and assumed by 'elites.' With a solid grammar in place, Mills begins building his argument with an expose on the decline of the local towns level society whose replacement have lead to the rise of national the national level society. This subsequently, and in hindsight we can see Mills was correct, leads to the centralization and concentration of power, both governmentally and privately. Obviously this centralization, a confluence of military, politics, and business, becomes self reinforcing so that you see the so-called elites emerging from the same schools, the same milieu, and the same background; a concurrent rise of militarism, globalism, and consumerism ensues. Finally the killing stroke is delivered when Mills rails against the fact that advertising (also known as propaganda) has taken over the what is left of the minds of the masses with such low-brow tactics as the creation and promotion of the cult of the celebrity.


Aristotle's Rhetoric

2018-08-29
Tags:  Communication · Culture · History
While the first 40% of the book, dealing with the various states of emotion and character men can take, feels like it should be broken out into its own work, the concepts are nonetheless required to show how the different styles of arguing can be applied depending on the demeanor of your audience. Once the emotion and character are out of the way, the parts of types and parts of an argument are discussed. For example you have political speech, which will deal primarily with the future, and forensic speech, which will deal primarily with the past; ceremonial speech is also covered, itself dealing with the past but being distinct from the forensic. The parts of an argument range from the body of evidence put forth, to the metaphors, fables, and other techniques that can be used to cement your view in the collective mind of the audience. All of this is tied together showing you how the emotions, passions, and character of your audience, plus your disposition, how you appear, and how you sound, are all as, if not more, important than your argument itself.


Software Architecture with Python

2018-08-29
Tags:  Programming · Python
You can't cover every aspect of architecture (or design) in one book. Every single chapter's topic is more of a crash course and could easily (and have been) discussed in their own book. That said, it was an interesting read for someone who has no plans or desires to build a system at the scales the book discusses. So who and when should you read this? Probably best suited for someone with programming experience that wants to scale up their career.


Git Essentials

2018-08-20
Tags:  Git · Programming
After a basic how-to-install introduction you are thrown into the tutorial straight away, learning the basic commands, like init, add, and commit, to get you up and running. After the absolute basics are covered, the book moves toward a more, but not totally complete, understanding of working with local repositories. This is extended to working remotely, with more niche commands, and finally with an overview of the configuration system within Git. Now that you have an understanding and a tutorial under your belt, the most important part is covered; best practices for commits and the various workflows your team can adopt to simplify development. Finally there is a small pair of chapters on migrating from Subversion and a list of resources that lead to other articles, books, tutorials, cheatsheets, and the like, mostly online.


Object Oriented Versus Functional Programming

2018-08-20
Tags:  Programming
The book opens with a short introduction that tries to bring the two competing programming philosophies together. Next a whirlwind tour of the lambda function is covered from the perspective that you already have a solid grasp of general programming principles. The SOLID principles are shown to be complementary or even reinterpretations of functional programming aspects; the strongest example in my opinion was showing that Liskov principle is superfluous in functional programming and, as the 'compose don't inherit' line of reasoning is adopted by object-oriented programmers, it is (slowly) losing its place in the object-oriented world. Two design patterns, command and strategy, are shown to be nothing more than clumsy implementations of functional programming; instead of creating extra classes and interfaces, you can simply pass in functions (as long as they are first-class citizens) to constructors at runtime. The conclusion is that the future of programming languages is neither functional nor object-oriented, but hybrid.


Git for Humans

2018-08-15
Tags:  Git · Programming
First you'll learn, less than exactly, what version control in, and how you've probably used some rudimentary version control already, without ever knowing it. Next you'll learn a handful of basic commands that will take care of 90% of your day-to-day needs. While you can use Git completely locally, if you want to collaborate you'll inevitably need to share your work; this is done with remote repositories, of which the basics are covered.. Finally you'll take a stroll down memory lane with the log command, which allows you to view the history of your project in any number of useful formats. While this is only the most basic of introductions, there are several quality links provided to more detailed books, online references, and tutorials to build on the solid foundation thus provided.


Homo Deus

2018-08-08
Tags:  Oligarchy · Philosophy · Psyop
All this talk about the singularity, which is nothing more than the modern rendition of time-wave zero, which was nothing more than the rehashing of omega point theory, ultimately feels like a control mechanism. While it presents these changes as byproducts of the heralded new age, from where I am sitting the goal is to wreck communities (churches), families, and individuals with things like 'diversity' to make the vast majority of people isolated and easier to manage. Even if you take at face value all of this new age mumbo-jumbo - predictive programing, robots are coming to take your job, humans are going to become gods - do you really think the common man will live as a god or will, as the author explicitly states, there be a mega gap between the rich, who have access and control of the advanced tech, medicine, genetic editing, etc, and the poor, who have access and control of nothing. Put crassly, transhumanism is nothing more than code for: round up 99.99% of humanity in an electronic plantation, turn them gay or at least away from starting families, and then, once they are all dead and haven't left behind many children (who will be mostly autistic and/or braindead TV-landers), the oligarchy will have a much easier time dominating the world. If nothing else, this book is a good study in modern propaganda; this guy could give Cass Sunstein a run for his money.


How to Solve It - A New Aspect of Mathematical Method

2018-08-08
Tags:  Creativity · Math
This book is much more than a simple, or complex, math book --it is be a must read for teachers in general. The most important lesson of the book, in my opinion, is that teachers (besides repeating, repeating, repeating) need not 'give it all away.' The student should never be robbed of working out a solution for themselves; slogging thought the difficulties, feeling the thrill of the hunt, and finally experiencing the joy of victory will instill much more than any rote lesson could ever achieve. Other than that broad advice, the book lays out, in mathematical terms (though it could be applied most generally), how to problem solve by planning around what you know and what you want to know; catalog your knows and unknowns, draw a picture, and work from the end towards the beginning (reverse planning). Other ideas concerning how you might tackle a problem are modifying the problem with the addition or subtraction of data to make it similar to a more tractable problem you are familiar with and pointing out that even failing is progress as long as you learn something in your failure.


Good Habits for Great Coding Improving Programming Skills with Examples in Python

2018-07-28
Tags:  Programming · Python
It starts off fairly strong with a focus on readability and style, though much of this is subjective and/or determined by your shop style, which boils down to consistency more than anything else. He talks about not being clever or using tricks since they are often hard to read, but then goes on to mix his message while breaking his own advice by being clever multiple times. There are several mentions of problem solving, devoid of any actual advice aside from the suggestion to read Polya. More haphazard advice litters the remainder of the book; advice on comments, tests, and loads of other stuff that isn't necessarily bad, but the tips are all over the place. Lastly there is a few chapters on algorithms and dynamic programming that don't feel like they fit at all.


Childhood's End

2018-07-25
Tags:  Fiction · Sci-Fi
This one moves very fast and covers lots of ground in a large world over several generations with so many characters with varying degrees of identifiablity that it is sometimes hard to know who is who. The story itself takes several turns when it comes to plot and keeps the reader well engaged. Within the stories themselves, I see lots of allusion to the oligarchy and the real world social engineering wrapped up in a science fiction story. I think Clarke was an agent or an asset, priming the pump with this kind of overlords make the world better thinking, while simultaneously giving a kind of blow off value to those rugged individualists. You could read it from either perspective and identify with a future, that was probably already well under construction.


Practical Python Design Patterns

2018-07-21
Tags:  Programming · Python
The patterns are, overall worth understanding; the more tools you have in your toolbox, the more exposure you have to have various problems can be decomposed, the better. That said, some of the coding style I think could be more harmful than useful. In general I think there is too much emphasis on a Java-like use of abstract base classes (even when you can finally omit the abc), something that doesn't feel like it is in the spirit of python, but, they are a tool, and have their place. My second issue is that there are simply too many classes with 2 methods, 1 being __init__; It feels like the author has overdosed on the object oriented Kool-Aid, sees every problem, ironically after talking about the right tool for the right job, as a problem that should be solved with OOP. The best part of the book, in my opinion, comes in chapter one where there is some solid advice on learning, continued learning, deliberate learning.


Masting Python Regular Expressions

2018-07-12
Tags:  Programming · Python · Regex
The book, short and sweet as it is, still has space to devote the first chapter to the history of regular expressions, not failing to mention the grep trivia. After the history is history, it moves on to cover, at first, the basics, including building patterns and match objects. Next it moves into slightly more advanced territory with groups and backreferencing. The most advanced features covered are matching with look ahead and look behind, both positive and negative. It finishes up with some tips on optimization and the advice to not prematurely optimize.


The Act of Creation

2018-07-12
Tags:  Creativity · Psychology
While likely a less-than-reputable person given his influences and acquaintances, it can not be denied that this, like many of his other works, are at a minimum thought provoking. One of the main concepts explored in the book is bisociation; connecting two unrelated frames into a novel concept. These frames can be learned in any traditional manner (rote, etc) or conditioned into a subject a la Pavlov, Skinner, or Watson's experiments. Either way, to move from one frame to another, solving a problem usually, one needs creativity and originality more than genius (though having both is obviously best). Genius, Koestler and other argue, is a mind with general power toward in a particular direction and the ability to make bisociations.


How to Write a Damn Good Novel

2018-07-08
Tags:  Writing
Make sure you have a great main character. Constantly increase the level of oppostion the main character faces; you can almost not have too much conflict. Start your story just before the story or jump right into the thick of things; don't waste time meandering before you get to the story itself or you will lose the reader. Avoid flashbacks and avoid symbolism as they will pull the reader out of the story and often feel artificial anyway. Finally, write every day and eventually you will finish.


How Not to Write a Novel

2018-07-04
Tags:  Writing
Funny. Mostly 'duh', but a few useful insights.


God and Golem, Inc.

2018-06-24
The main crux here is creator versus created; God playing a game with the Devil; man playing checkers with a computer. Where is the line between alive and not alive? If you go low enough, the molecules aren't alive. While these types of questions are philosophically interesting, the more pragmatic are already (circa 1960) using learning machines, often without understanding the potentially devastating consequences; the machines act completely literal, unapologetically producing monkey paw like results, with no wiggle room for nuances in input that are second nature to humans. These people, gadget-worshipers, see the learning machine as a slave, perfectly obedient, without recognizing the potential dangers that, in hindsight, we can see all around us today.


The Art of Deception

2018-06-19
Tags:  Hacking
With most of the stories, which almost the entire book is made up of, coming from the 1990s, and maybe even 80's, this book is dated to say the least. Given the age, the stories seem believable; from an era where security and connectivity were only starting to really flourish. The technology is extremely dated, cell phones are barely mentioned and smart phones have not even been invented. Still, the end of story analysis and prescribed security policies are interesting. More of a walk down memory lane than anything technically useful.


Python - Penetration Testing for Developers

2018-06-16
Tags:  Hacking · Python
A basic overview of penetration testing methodologies, black/white/gray boxing; NIST; OWASP; OSSTMM, are covered, providing a basic understanding of what penetration is, more than how you go about it, for even the least initiated of readers. Next a survey of a large portion of the more common tools is given that provides more of an introduction to, rather than an understanding of, each tool. The best part of the book is probably the coverage of packets, which, while not examined in gory detail, are presented in an easily digestible visual manner in addition to their descriptions, giving the reader enough understanding to take the next step. With your basic understanding of packets, you are now presented with several iterations of python programs that can mimic or extend the features of the publicly available tools; you move from nmap, to the nmap python library, to sockets, and finally scapy, which affords you custom packet creation. The work flow, from reconnaissance to exploit, from logging to reporting, is covered, but, given there is so much to each stage in penetration testing, not in particularly high detail.


The Republic of Plato

2018-06-15
It doesn't matter whether this work a serious, satire, or a warning because the take-away is that the ideal state (which looks communistic) is impossible in reality. Total control of the citizens of such a city would be necessary. From treating women and children as common goods of to men to maintain control of the family to the state sticktly censoring music, poetry, and theater to prevent individuals from being inspired by uncontrolled emotions and dreams, there would be little left but a robotic (slave) society. The lies (as in noble) and oppression of various kinds, like keeping people poor so they don't have time to plot, are probably the easiest, and thus common, way to rule. Ranking of the various regimes one might encounter, from best to worst, would look like: kingly, timocratic, oligarchic, democratic, tyrannic; history seems to suggest that the lowest common denominator societies devolve to is tyranny.


A Scanner Darkly

2018-06-03
Tags:  Fiction · Sci-Fi
The characters were likable and story was attention grabbing, both much better developed, with plenty of background, than the other PKD books I've read. The presentation of Robert, Fred, vague blur's deterioration, as well as his friends' reactions, is interesting, sometimes bordering on comedic. The story itself has a few twists and turns that make it unpredictable, but the main premise hinges on a thinly veiled, if somewhat apologetic, promotion of drug culture with slight anti-familial and extended adolescence sub-themes. It seems to me that this, like the other PKD books, is a commission from the intelligence community to promote particular lifestyles and habits. In this case we see magic mushrooms, the fictional substance D, as well as honorable mentions of Timothy Leary (also mentioned in several others PKD works) and Pierre Teilhard de Chardin put forth as mortar to cement the previously introduced 1960's ideas into the next decade's foundation.


Practical Vim 2E

2018-06-01
Tags:  Linux · Programming · Vim
This is meant to be picked at, not read cover to cover (I read it cover to cover... and I agree, not all at once). It is set up in a less typical cookbook style, where each tips is grouped with other tips that can be construed in the same vein, but the tips are meaty enough to go into some detail while still providing the curious reader a jumping off point for deeper understanding. The examples are nice, not too contrived, and apparently available on either the website of github. Overall I say this book is highly recommended, no matter what level your vim proficiency might be at. The only word of warning, avoid the vimcasts; the audio is horrible.


Basics of Linear Algebra for Machine Learning - Discover the Mathematical Language of Data in Python

2018-05-29
Tags:  Math · Programming · Python
Slow to start but then picks up the pace as it moves along. gIt is not proof heavy; if you want a full blown linear algebra book this is not it. There are plenty of examples of how to implement various linear algebra operations in python/numpy that are extremely well explained. For someone familiar with the concepts, either python or linear algebra, it may seem a little remedial. All in all it was a little too simple for my tastes (but an enjoyable, breezy, casual read), but as an introduction used before moving on to more advanced books, or for someone that wants to dive right into machine learning who is OK with a less nitty-gritty and more practical approach, it is ideal.


Secret Societies and Psychological Warfare

2018-05-15
Tags:  Oligarchy · Psyop
The main theme of this book, which it does a good job of presenting from multiple angles, is that the occult is the intelligence community; the process is the goal and the goal is to create culture. The media uses only a few main channels to inculcate, to initiate, the general public with what could crudely, but not incorrectly, be called brainwashing; movies and music (now video games and social media as well) being the primary examples. The symbolic imagery in media work in a very ritualistic way, showing you, through what can be called The Revelation of the Method, exactly what changes are occurring in society, but, since it is wrapped in an entertaining package, the critical mind ignores it while the subconscious mind absorbs it. The end result seems to be the destruction of the community, by replacing religion with science, and then the family by instilling extreme (faux) individualistic and consumeristic values in malleable children during the formative years in school. One specific, and jarring, example of this Revelation of the Method being employed by media to bring about cultural changes is the trauma of JFK assassination coupled with Vietnam War; these events were the impetus for the increases we saw over the next decade in- counterculture, promiscuity, widespread drug use, and what you might call the New World Order (a term used by almost every President of the USA).


Thoughtful Machine Learning with Python

2018-05-14
This book starts of extolling the virtues of test driven design and the SOLID principles, which, while respectable, seem somewhat forced and out of place in a machine learning book. Next, much of the code is written from scratch, not utilizing libraries and giving a look under the hood. The code itself, while complete, lacks the thorough explanation one would hope for in a book for beginners. The equations underlying the algorithms are presented, but, like the code, lack explanation or proof. All in all the book tries to cover too much in too few pages.


Valis

2018-05-12
Tags:  Fiction · Sci-Fi
The story starts off slow, building the characters sufficiently, although I personally do not connect with any of them. There are drugs (of all kinds) and passing mentions of The Grateful Dead and Timothy Leary, set before a bleak, if not insane, backdrop of suicides, cancer, and death. Subliminal messages come to the characters in the form of movies, and music, and lasers, culminating in the revelation of a mind controlled 2 year old, that just might be God. It is heavy on alternative/Eastern philosophy/religion, quoting ancient texts extensively while the characters attempt to make sense out of what is happening. Reality is questioned, time is distorted; are we living in a hologram world of pure information or is our fearful cast bat-shit crazy?


The History of Western Philosophy

2018-05-07
Tags:  History · Philosophy
The book is divided into three main sections. First the early ancient philosophy gives way to the middle Catholic philosophy, which acts as a connection to, lastly, modern philosophy. These three sections cover an enormous amount of history, but usually only scratches the surface. Each chapter, which briefly covers what could and is be a book in its own right, looks, usually, at a single philosopher. Overall I think the book is useful for not only its overview of the history of western philosophy, but as a look into Russell's thought process.


The Tissue-Culture King

2018-05-07
In an uncomfortably accurate Huxleyian science fiction prediction we see, in fictional terms, the origins of many developments yet pursued a hundred years after this was written. The story contains genetic tampering with both animals and man; creating various mutants that today might be called designer babies. The main theme is a kind of telepathic mind control, built for positive ends but which could easily be used in the pursuit of nefarious ends. It also includes one of the oldest mentions I have ever seen of tin/metal foil hats, a common derogatory epithet hurled at conspiracy theorists (itself defamatory) in modern times. The story is couched as a warning, but if you view it through a conspiratorial lens, the lens of history, you can see that, given the Huxley family connections, it is nothing more than revelation of the method spun as entertainment; itself a form of mind control that it supposedly warns of.


The Scientific Outlook

2018-04-10
Tags:  History · Oligarchy · Philosophy · Psyop
This propaganda cloaks itself in the history of science's big names and methods like induction and deduction. It openly promotes a one-world, soviet style, government predicated on a caste system that degenerates into haves/have-nots and finally two different species (Brave New World -> Time Machine). To bring this to fruition there needs to be some irresistible world fighting force (UN?, NATO?, who to fight?) and a system of propaganda, education, indoctrination, endless entertainment, and free sex. The issue of scarcity will be solved with artificial everything: food, wood, rubber, etc. Finally scarcity won't be a long term problem because of population control via sterilization, eugenics, embryology, family destruction, and fleeting hollow (LGBT) relationships.


Python - Deeper Insights into Machine Learning

2018-04-08
This is a straightforward, no nonsense book, or three, that will allow you to go from zero understanding of machine learning to quite advanced, assuming you put in the required time and effort. The code provided is detailed, extremely well explained, often line-by-line, and gives you a solid intuitive basis that will make your journey into the more advanced areas more concrete. The book starts slowly and then moves forward at a steady, but more than manageable, pace, building on the previous, often simplified examples using SKLearn, to reach more modern and advanced techniques using libraries such as Theano and Keras to leverage your GPU. It lacks some of the detail you might want when it comes to mathematical proofs, but it does include plenty math to whet your appetite; supplementing this book with a follow up with an appropriate linear algebra/algorithms math book would probably be ideal. Lastly, at the end of each chapter in the third module there are numerous resources provided for further study in regard to the more advanced topics.


Change Your Posture, Change Your Life

2018-04-03
Tags:  Health · Posture
Given the focus us posture, a good deal of pages are devoted to conveying a simple but critical foundation, how you think you are standing is not really how you are standing. Before you can know how you are actually standing you need to use mirrors, or advisers, to show you, objectively, how you are standing. The seemingly, to me at least, common sense aspect of the book is that if something hurts, there must be a reason for it and if you can locate, through the aforementioned mirrors or advisers, and eliminate the root cause, the pain will abate. This theory can be applied to all manner of ailments originating from habits, such as posture is only one simple example. Finally there is a criticism of school and work environments in regards to having unergonomic furniture that teaches us bad habits from you and reinforces them in adulthood, culminating in the staggering expenditures relating to preventable back and neck pain.


It's Not About the Shark

2018-03-28
Tags:  Education
To solve a problem you mustn't focus on the problem, the more narrow you see the less solutions you get. Incentives and hard work don't produce better results and focusing too hard might stress you out and make you perform worse! Trust yourself, others will, when you ask for their advice, always find fault in your ideas leaving you both unsure, and with yet another, contrived, problem to contend with. The other side to this is group think, where, without a red-man (someone designated to take the opposite view), people, you included are much more willing to go with the flow rather than make waves, even when you have a better idea. Finally, you should try to look at your problem from opposite direction since those who classify the world in opposites rather than similarities proved more creative, maybe the problem is a actually a boon.


The Human Use of Human Beings

2018-03-28
The same way signals can control an electronic machine, messages can control the human machine; feedback can amplify or attenuate these messages for maximal impact. Messages delivered via the global communication network beget a world state where those that control of the media will compel cooperation or ruin to all who stand against it. These controlling messages can be hidden in the white noise of unneeded communication, which will give rise to a proliferation of useless communication and will likely dumb down of both sender and receiver. Eventually the machine delivering the messages, through automation [AI], will start to make decisions on its own and we might very well find ourselves making a bargain with a monkey paw machine that won't understand our nuance delivering us straight into hell. Alternatively, the machine may never be out from under the thumb of the ruling class yet through their lust for control lead us to a different, albeit irrelevantly so, hell.


The Simulacra

2018-03-28
Tags:  Fiction · Sci-Fi
At its core, there are several intertwined stories that barely mingle, teasing for a moment when everything will come together, but it never comes. There are plenty of seemingly random going-ons each of the characters engages in, giving hope that the character building will lead to some ah-ha moment, some revelation, some climax that never comes, despite lots of set up. The world is built in the vaguest of terms; the science fiction aspect is never fleshed out, left as barely described background that the reader is free to project onto. The wholly unexplored time travel and relpol (religious politics) were little more than parlor tricks, seemingly to squeeze ill-conceived Nazi references in as frequently as possible while supposing to build, but failing, a world of authoritarian overtones. The saving grace is found in its mildly predictive power from 50 odd years ago, mindless entertainment, politically powerful women, massive regulation and favoritism by government, underground markets, and even a touch of mind control - apropos if it ever was.


Building Machine Learning Systems with Python

2018-03-23
The first, and most important, point that the book tries to instill is that most of your time will be spent on feature engineering - preparing the correct attributes to produce the best results - not on writing or even implementing the other, sexier, aspects of machine learning. As the old adage goes, garbage in, garbage out. Once your data is cleaned up, there are many different algorithms covered that one can use to build a model, clustering, bag-of-words, K-Means, K-Nearest Neighbors, regression, Bayes, or even a combination of several methods, known as an ensemble. The examples are generally applicable to real life problems one might face, text/sentiment analysis, recommendation systems, and audio/visual classifications. It concludes with an introduction to cluster, or cloud, computing that will allow you to take advantage of more powerful processing through the python library 'jug' and to quickly set up your first cluster on Amazon Web Services (AWS).


Changing Images of Man

2018-03-19
Tags:  Oligarchy · Psyop
First will come a push toward an ecological ethic that we can today understand as climage change. Next, science will replace religion. Once this foundation is set, the media can begin broadcasting the new images that society will be reshaped around. Intermingled in the transformation will be new social controls (top-down or bottom-up), transhumanism, drugs, and what is called 'friendly fascism'. Eventually the goal will be to bring about something that is similar to eastern mysticism and a normalization of a (economic) caste system.


The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion

2018-03-19
Tags:  History · Oligarchy · Psyop
Weather these strategies have been carried out for thousands of years, hundreds of years, or merely a single century is not relevant; they were employed in the recent past and are being employed now. The first phase in gaining control over a people is to control what is in their heads - the media can be used to normalize behavior and induce fear whereas the universities can instill foreign values in the youth. To completely corrupt the youth, the foundation for the future, the family, the foundation of the past and present, must be destroyed. Economics is the name of the game when it comes to the task of eroding families, with desires and envy keeping most people focused away from home and on a future, however unlikely, that they have been sold via the media. Most of these tactics are deployed under a banner of freedom, freedom from want, freedom from pain, freedom from restriction, freedom to love, and endless other variations, when really the opposite is true, for the more vices a man has, so to the more masters he has.


Manifesto of the Communist Party

2018-03-17
In short, communists unabashedly call for the abolishment of nothing short of everything. The final goal is to build one world, a global village without national distinction, ruled by the workers of the world; how this will function is conveniently omitted. The first step is to educate a new generation, to free the children from the education come indoctrination of the ruling class (and replace it with their own indoctrination). To accomplish their goal of world revolution, all other revolutionaries shall be supported in the name of solidarity. Finally, if push comes to shove, the employment of force to overthrow all existing structures is explicitly sanctioned.


Mastering Machine Learning with Python in Six Steps

2018-03-16
Chapter 1 is, as usual in many of these kinds of books, a whirlwind introduction to python that is safe to skip or skim. The next few chapters introduce machine learning's fundamentals, supervised versus unsupervised learning, various regression and classification techniques, as well as timed series forecasting. The remainder of the book builds on these concepts with model diagnosis and tuning using probability, cleaning up and engineering the features of imbalanced or 'dirty' data, in addition to introducing variance, biasm hyperparamaterization, grid/random searches, and ensemble training, chaining multiple algorithms together - all important topics that add to an overall understanding of machine learning. Another area, of much current interest, is that of text mining that can be employed in sentiment analysis or recommendation systems. Lastly neural nets, what is often called deep learning, is covered in a less rigorous fashion as it is an extensive topic in and of itself, plus it is on the cutting edge of algorithm development.


Cryptography and Network Security Principles and Practice

2018-03-02
Tags:  Encryption · Math · Programming
After a brief introduction to historical cryptography, a quick and dirty crash course of the mathematics required to understand most of the book is presented. Various cypher types, or modes, are discussed, including block, stream, chain, feedback, and counter in addition to symmetric/asymmetric cyphers, public/private key encryption and exchange, particular attention is paid to the Diffie-Hellman method of exchange. Some of the cryptographic algorithms covered include DES, AES, and RSA; these are presented alongside various hashing algorithms and it is explained how the use of certain combinations of these tools can provide, integrity, confidentiality, authentication, or any combination of these to data. The cryptographic section concludes with a pair of chapters on trust/key management, and user authentication to close a decidedly well rounded and complete examination of the aforementioned topics. The network security portion of the book covers everything from transport layer security like HTTPS and SSH, wireless security, email security, and includes a final chapter on IP security.


Cybernetics - or Control and Communication in the Animal and the Machine

2018-02-26
General systems theory, often called cybernetics, is concerned with, most generally, mathematically modeling feedback loops in mechanical, biological, ecological, economic, and other kinds of systems. The idea was birthed by the author, Norbert Weiner, with collaboration of his colleagues around Princeton University. These scientists, recognizing the importance in what they were only beginning to understand, employed the assistance of a plethora of other scientists through various venues, the most famous being what are today known as the Macy Conferences, a multidisciplinary conference where ideas, hitherto unrelated, were unified. On the biological front, man is viewed through the lens of cybernetics as a clockwork automata, a biological machine, a golem, that can be manipulated by varying social and environmental conditions. The social implications of such a view are all pervasive today in the realm of media, religion, education, and any other aspect of life one might consider; from the benign advertiser to the power hungry politician, cybernetics, for better or worse, has been and will continue to shape the world around us.


Mein Kampf - Stalag Edition

2018-02-26
Tags:  Culture · History
First, it should be stated again and again that, at least from these pages, there is no reason to think that Hitler hated or wanted to exterminate Jewish people; what he hated was Marxism that happens to be guided primarily by Jewish actors. One of two main brunts of the work is economic in nature, showing how all decisions in life, all the way down to marriage and childbirth, are being subjugated under the erosive banner of economics. The economic tactics discussed, that of international finance and joint stock corporations, leads to the undermining of national sovereignty as well as the destruction of the families that live in the soon dilapidated nation of interest. The second major point covered, which is mostly an extension and promotion of the first, is propaganda (and education, basically the same thing) and how new messages are inculcated into a population via smut filled Marxist media. The last topic that is covered, organization, gives theoretical and practical advice on how one might structure an organization to be most resilient and effect at combating Marxist forces.


Chronology 2 - History - Fiction or Science?

2018-02-20
Tags:  History
The main thrust of this book is to drive home the striking similarities between many historical event series separated by time periods occasionally spanning millennia. One such similarity is outlined by a number of wars where Fomenko concludes, 'Our reconstruction is as follows - the Trojan War had been a famous mediaeval event, possibly dating from the 13th century A.D., also known as 1) the Gothic War; 2) the Tarquinian War; 3) the destruction of Constantinople (or the New Rome) by the crusaders in 1204 A.D.; 4) the Judean war of Joseph Flavius. The city of Troy is most likely to be identified as the New Rome = Constantinople.' Each of these wars bears eerie similarities including the legend of a woman being raped or kidnapped (that may be an allegory for defiling a religion) to instigate the war, a siege on a city ending through guile involving horses and canals to conclude the war, as well as dozens of others. Other similarities are seen when examining the stories of Adam and Eve, Paris and Helen, Perseus and Andromeda, Jason and Medea, St. George and the princes, Plato, Gemisto Pleton, Plotinus, the 300 Spartans, and the 300 knights of Jean de la Roche. These stories, generally shifted by some 330, 1053, and 1800 years, also span continental distances and brook no cultural differences while revealing a reason why so very little mediaeval Greek literature survived, but so many of the supposed ancient texts have survived; the ancient texts are, in fact, mediaeval.


Chronology 1 - History - Fiction or Science?

2018-02-12
Tags:  History
The author, a mathematician, was initially attracted to the validity of historical dating by a discrepancy in the D`` parameter of lunar motion discovered by Robert Newton that was essentially remedied by N.A. Morozov's revised historical dating scheme. Upon digging in to the textbook chronology familiar to most everyone, we find that the entire modern chronology is essentially the work of two 16-17th century scholars - Josephus Iustus Scaliger and Dionysius Petavius. The veracity of the work of these two men has been questioned many times before by the likes of Edwin Johnson, the aforementioned N.A. Morozov, and even Isaac Newton, all of which claimed that the Scaligerian dates had to be moved forward by hundreds of years. Looking deeper we see that, even today, there are massive discrepancies in what are accepted historical dates; for example, French and German historians produce ancient Egyptian datings that can disagree in the range of as much as 3600 years! Finally, the author puts forth a mathematical approach for statistically locating similarities in dynasties and epochs whose results are troubling at best and call into question the veracity of many so-called 'ancient' and lost original works as well as the entire Scaligerian timeline.


Crystallizing Public Opinion

2018-02-03
Tags:  Oligarchy · Propaganda
This edition, from 1961, contains and extensive preface that recounts the modern history of propaganda through the first half of the 20th century as seen from Bernays' position at the center of the development. Mentioned more than a few times are the tools of the propagandists trade - magazines, motion pictures, radio, books, lectures, plays, and any other kind of media available. A kind of circular logic is presented when you consider that the promotion of public relations was done in the same way you'd promote anything else - through the aforementioned media - until the public opinion, on public relations, was formed. Bernays, Lippmann, and several other prominent propagandists of the era usher in a new way to understand public opinion with the advent of the so-called group mind, the precursor to today's group think and hive mind. The eventual conclusion, contrary to what you might think given the association most make between public relations, advertising, marketing, and their goal of sales, is that the upper class of society must use these means to inject morals into the lower classes.


The Designer's Guide to VHDL

2018-02-01
Tags:  Electronics · Programming · VHDL
The Designer's Guide starts off with pretty basic concepts such as data types and logic, both combinational and sequential. Next it moves into modeling, procedures, functions, components, aliasing, generate, and generic statements. It discusses a number of more exotic features, like configurations as well as access types that have limitations, if even available, during synthesis. Included are a few case studies, one on DSP pipelining, another on memory design, and a final one on the gumnut, a simple soft core processor. All in all it is a great reference manual for VHDL, assuming you already have knowledge of the digital design process and know what you want to implement.


Tracking the White Rabbit - Essays in Subversive Psychology

2018-01-29
Tags:  Oligarchy · Propaganda · Psyop
It begins with a look at Alice in Wonderland that leads to defending Lewis Carroll for taking photographs of naked girls and being glad we remember him for Alice and not the photographs, which 'would land him in jail today.' This kind of subversiveness continues unabated throughout the book with the promotion of homosexuality, promiscuity, the supposed plight of the Jews, outright anti-male sentiment, and countless other hateful positions. She dodges a bullet when discussing the 'False Memory Syndrome' (that has been used to discredit abused children in both the Finders and San Francisco Presido school cases) as unimportant, claiming that the veracity of the memory is secondary to healing the psychological wounds and helping the victim feel better. The book essentially preaches victimhood on one page and then how to overcome being a victim on the next, but this seems like nothing but a thinly veiled attempt to promote what we see today in the oppression Olympics so prevalent in our universities and beyond - the more victimized you are, the smaller your minority, the more 'points' you get. Last, but far from least, the author plainly states that heterosexuality is an artifact of culture that is reinforced through media and that heterosexuality is actually a neurosis.


Nudge

2018-01-23
Tags:  Oligarchy · Propaganda · Psyop
This book is an exploration of understanding and exploiting the choices of people. Anyone that is in a position to offer some kind of choice is thought of as a 'choice architect' and the way the choice is presented is called the 'choice architecture'. Supposedly most people can't make 'good' decisions because they lack the skills or data to make such decisions. Defaults, placement, and language can be used to structure the choice architecture to provide less chance for choosers to make 'bad' choices. While there are many case studies presented to back up these claims, what constitutes a good or bad choice is subjective and the lack of ability to make good choices, whatever good may be, is not examined.


Fundamentals of Digital and Computer Design with VHDL

2018-01-14
Tags:  Electronics · Programming · VHDL
The book is divided into three parts - fundamentals, basic computer design, and enhanced computer design. The VHDL is limited in detail, but it more than makes up for it with many examples. It includes a stroll through some of the historical programmable logic devices that you might run into maintaining legacy systems as well as giving a brief introduction to the manufacturing process associated with various integrated circuits. The last two-thirds of the book focuses on computer design that builds a basic and then slightly more advanced computer on the foundation you should have from reading the first third of the book. Finally there are a large number of problems at the end of each chapter (without solutions) and a host of labs in the appendix that can be worked to give yourself experience in VHDL design, something you can't get from reading alone.


The Anglo-American Establishment

2018-01-14
Tags:  Culture · History · Oligarchy
This book covers the progression of Cecil Rhodes' secret society through his and his friends' positions of influence and later through his scholarship program. The society orbits a nucleus of statesmanship and is fueled by longstanding wealth, guided by long term plans, and realized with the control of the media and universities, the latter from which new recruits are identified and the rest are indoctrinated with ideals that lead to unwittingly serving the secret society. There have been several iterations of the group that include such configurations as the initial period in which Cecil and his close friends their families were central to the later version in which Milner rose to lead his 'kindergarten' in a less nepotistic manner. The group has gained influence and control through propaganda delivered via newspapers, magazines, and later radio and presumably television. While they generally don't attempt to influence the masses directly, the do, successfully in most cases, influence the influencers - those that write other papers, teach at other schools, or preach in other churches to bring about the distinctly stated goal of the group - the bringing about of a Commonwealth of Nations.


Digital Design - An Embedded Systems Approach Using VHDL

2017-12-27
Tags:  Electronics · Hardware · Software · VHDL
The book assumes a basic understanding of the general principals, concepts, and components of electrical engineering. These basic concepts are expanded upon with more detailed descriptions of digital logic/boolean algebra and slightly more abstracted complex components like flip-flops. These abstractions are introduced and modeled, usually in a well described UML style presentation, and then converted into VHDL. As it progresses, the book combines all of the aforementioned into more complex designs that include finite state machines, soft cores, memories, accelerators, etc. Before a final review of the design process, a case study is presented for the design of a pipelined implementation of a sobel filter video accelerator.


Get Up Why Your Chair Is Killing You and What You Can Do About It

2017-12-26
Tags:  Health · Posture
This book is written in a casual conversational tone and includes many stories that make it an absolute breeze to read. Much of what is presented feels like common sense, such that sitting too much leads to obesity and diabetes, but this common sense backed by a mountain of interesting studies to support the claims. Another somewhat common sense conclusion is that rural and less industrialized populations include more active people which are generally healthier and happier, despite often living in what many westerners would call poverty. Luckily these negative health consequences can be overcome relatively easily with a few lifestyle adjustments such as working at a treadmill desk, having walk-and-talk meetings, of allowing students to move about freely in the classroom. These changes not only counteract the excess sitting, but lead to increased productivity and profitability in the business world while academic performance increases and ADHD diagnosis decrease when fidgety students are given an outlet for their excess energy.


Out of Control - The New Biology of Machines, Social Systems, and the Economic World

2017-12-20
It begins by describing various distributed natural ecology systems, like a swarm of bees and their beehive, as vivisystems that which can be the understood as the basis for designing artificial systems. The evolutionary systems of Darwin lead into the artificial evolution of Dawkins' Biomorph Land, computer viruses, and genetic engineering. Finally we get to see some of the ex-WIRED editors techo-utopia by exploring things like virtual worlds and e-money. While the title of the book leads you to believe one thing, the truth is that the entire book hints immodestly at cybernetic, bottom up, herded, predictive, Macy Conference inspired control. Overall it feels like a rough outline of all-too-likely technocracy of the future that employs novelty and pleasure to conceal its true oligarchical totalitarian control behind a smile.


VHDL 101 - Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

2017-12-08
Tags:  Electronics · Programming · Vhdl
The book is divided into two main parts, the first of which is a review (if you read FPGA 101 first) of coding styles (behavioral, structural, register transfer level) and the design process including synthesis, simulation, and implementation, while the second part is further divided into a 3 pass approach to VHDL, going deeper with each iteration. Part two starts off with the basics including entities and architectures, signals, data types, operators, concurrent statements which give you a solid foundation to build on. The next section builds on this foundation with the introduction of processes, variables, sequential statements, and some of the limitations of simulation versus synthesis. The last, and most detailed, iteration introduces libraries, generics, the generate statement, loops, functions, procedures, and packages. It concludes with a look at a few common libraries and a nice quick reference appendix that is helpful when first learning a language.


FPGA 101 - Everything You Need to Know to Get Started

2017-12-02
Tags:  Electronics · FPGA · Software · VHDL
This book seemed great for a beginner with its inclusion of a nice list of acronyms, and with all the new terminology was well defined. It starts with the (sometimes too) basics, giving simple examples snippets of VHDL date types and code as well as general programming tips such as commenting and code organization. The connection between hardware and software is well described and elucidate with various diagrams of simple examples of logic gates and their equivalent VHDL. There is a fuller example, complete with VHDL and test bench code, that is used repeatedly for the last part of the book that is complex enough to be interesting and well described enough to follow. The last three-quarters of the book focuses more on the design process phases including- design, simulation, synthesis, implementation, and programming.


Simulacra and Simulation

2017-11-29
Tags:  Philosophy
History is being rewritten, or more accurately recreated, through the eyes of film specifically and media in general. An exploration of Marshal McLuhan's 'the medium is the message', is taken to new heights. Age old concepts such as the shadow, doppelganger, and the mirror are reexamined in the modern terms of clones and holograms. Universities are claimed to be on the forefront of this implosion into hyperreality since they no longer facilitate a transmission of knowledge, but instead exist to dispense diplomas in a rote fashion. Lastly nihilism and Nietzsche are discussed in relation to the lack of meaning in the modern world, but seen to themselves have no meaning.


Introducing Evolutionary Psychology

2017-11-16
Tags:  Evolution · History · Psychology
An evolutionary look at psychology assuming that the mind is made up of modules that have evolved independently and in different environments. This view follows the older behaviorist belief that actions were caused, not by the mind, but by environmental stimulation. A core of evolutionary psychology is to look at the mind's computer modules made for processing information. Some of these modules are supposed to lead to certain innately human abilities including language, physical attractiveness, and food preferences that seem to span all cultures. The conclusion is that our minds have evolved in an environment that is totally foreign to our current environment; we are essentially monkeys living in the fast lane.


Practical Electronics for Inventors

2017-11-15
Tags:  Electronics
The book is divided into three parts - theory, basic components, and circuits/modules. While it won't give you the tools to be an electrical engineer, it is more than relevant enough to give you all the basic understanding to build projects with arbitrary complexity - provided you can use this information as the foundation when exploring more complex applications. After the basic components are covered, there are several easy to understand sections on op amps, filters, oscillators, and other non-primitive but foundational aspects of electronics. Some of the more advanced topics that are covered include voltage regulators and power supplies. The book culminates with a look at the, from the inventors standpoint, obsolescent logic gates and their modern successor the micro controller and its digital world before rounding out with motors/servos and audio electronics, often depicted as being controlled by a micro controller.


Getting Things Done

2017-09-12
Tags:  Notes
Lists for every occasion. One list for current actions, a waiting list, a list for each of the people you have business with, and more. The use of folders to both keep reference material organized, but also to 'mail' yourself things into the future. A calendar and regular reviews of all your lists to keep your mind free from having to remember what you need to do. Last, but not least, how to put EVERYTHING into your inbox and still make sure that it stays relatively empty.


The Starfish and The Spider - The Unstoppable Power of Leaderless Organizations

2017-08-31
Tags:  Oligarchy
At first many examples of centralized and decentralized organizations are given and how one, generally the decentralized structure, overwhelms the other. One major example is the record industry in general, MGM in particular, going after file sharing services, like Napster, in the legal arena only to create an even bigger problem for themselves as Napster was replaced by more decentralized services like Kazaa and eMule, the latter of which no one ever knew the author of the software and there was, therefore, no entity to bring a legal suit against. A more traditional conflict is seen in the example of the Apache Indians versus the Spanish and later USAmerican invaders and how the Apache used a decentralized order in their tribes so that neither invading force could defeat with traditional tactics. GM versus Toyota, the ALF (Animal Liberation Front), and Al Qaeda are three more examples that are used to support the point that the decentralized organization has many advantages over the centralized organization. Lastly there are some rules for understanding, and fighting, decentralized organizations that include centralizing the offending starfish by granting some member the ability to dole out accolades and getting the group to follow a new ideology as was done by giving cattle to the Apache, effectively domesticating them.


Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon - Laurel Canyon, Covert Ops and The Dark heart of the Hippie Dream

2017-08-26
Tags:  Culture · History · Psyop
The book offers a chapter for each of the major bands of the scene and offers numerous interesting connections for each to the military and intelligence, often parents and sometimes artists, families that come from old lineages, big money, and sometimes even royalty. The families and the members of the scene are plagued with strange deaths, often ruled suicides, and a lot of houses end up burned to the ground. At the center of success you have the permanent fixture, Vito and his freaks, which the author purports was the cause of the scene's success and not the music that was supposedly quite bad, at least when listened to live. At the physical center of the canyon you have a state-of-the-art studio/military base known as Lookout Mountain Laboratory - an odd hub in such a hippie paradise unless you take into account the military families these hippies hail from. There is also a lot of gun loving, authoritarian, often violent, dual personalities in many of the otherwise hippies of the scene.


The Devil's Chessboard

2017-08-12
Tags:  CIA · History · Oligarchy


Psychological Warfare

2017-08-08
Tags:  Propaganda · Psyop
After a whirlwind journey through some historical examples of propaganda as a military tool, the book moves toward a more pragmatic approach. Most propaganda should be suited for long term effects, a glacially slow example being education as propaganda, rather than pinpoint targeting as in more kinetic military engagements. The propagandist must also not let their ideology get in the way of delivering a truthful message that the enemy wants to hear. The second half of the book discusses analysis of both enemy propaganda to determine their position on various topics as well as polling enemy populations and prisoners to understand the effects of propaganda on them. Finally an operational dissection of propaganda covers such topics as format (radio, print), deployment (shelling, air-drop), and target populations (combatants, civilians).


From Versailles to Cybernetics

2017-08-07
The most important things in Bateson's life, as he tells it, were the Treaty of Versailles and the cybernetic 'breakthrough'. All mammals, and thus humans, are concerned only with the patterns of relationship that give rise to abstractions like love, hate, and trust. The Treaty of Versailles was full of deceit to demoralize the Germans and should have been seen to provide the foundation for with WW2 sprung from. We must understand how we got to the present to have any chance at understanding the present. The 'rules of the game' that were laid down with the Treaty of Versailles and the advent of cybernetics need to be changed before the computers lead us into a more rigid world.


Tragedy and Hope - A History of the World in Our Time

2017-08-05
Tags:  History · Oligarchy
It begins with a look at the ancient and less recent history of both the west and east. Next there is a long and extremely interesting discussion of economics where the different phases, ranging from very local to global, of economic systems are outlined. Once the more modern economic system is understood if allows for the exploration of economic and media controlled manipulation of nations, specifically the Round Table group and its most prominent member Cecil Rhodes. This manipulation gives great insight into the world wars and depressions as being not failures of organization but were rather the foundations the new, technocratic, age would be built upon. Finally this technocratic world and some of its main features, like Weiner's cybernetics and Shannon's communication theory, are shown to be the true forces, thrust on the world by war, that have been the driving force behind all of the technological changes the world is still undergoing 50+ years after this book was first published.


Yage Letters

2017-04-19
Tags:  Culture · History · Pedophilia
Do. Not. Waste. Your. Time.


The Craft of Research

2017-04-18
Tags:  Education · Notes · Research
A guide to research.


Cultural Patterns and Technical Change

2017-04-16
Tags:  Culture · History · Oligarchy · Propaganda · Psyop
First, a culture must be understood by closely watching and documenting the interactions between its members. Next, determine which of the current cultural tendencies can be exploited to introduce a, usually minor, change in habit. Care must be taken to limit the negative consequences, when possible, of the introduced change, which can be far reaching and non-intuitive. Education of the, primarily, younger generation can smooth the transition towards industrialization - children are educated to accept the constant change the new society will be subject to. Money economies and cash crops often obliterate a community - children can skip rites of passage by buying a herd of their own, cash crops introduce malnutrition, and foreign goods often displace traditional roles, such as factory produced clothing replacing woman spinning the family's clothing.


The Doors of Perception

2017-04-11
Tags:  Culture · Drugs · Oligarchy · Propaganda
A first-hand account of Aldous Huxley's first mescaline experience.


The Sacred Mushroom and the Cross

2017-04-07
Tags:  Drugs · History · Psyop · Religion
The ancient peoples of the modern Middle East had worshipped a fertility god that Allegro posits was based on the rain being seen as the sperm of god, giving life to the desert each spring. The mushroom, as Allegro sees it, was a microcosm of the universe in that it would grow quickly after a rain, it had some resemblance to a womb and of course a penis, and it imparted those who ingest it with a kind of communion with god. Allegro gives as evidence the evolution of the written Sumerian language cuneiform into Aramaic, Hebrew, and Indo-European languages such as Greek. The language used in the bible may have been to hide the true purpose, passing down knowledge of the mushroom, of this fertility cult. While it would be impossible for any lay person to make heads or tails of the 'translations' within, this book provides a unique perspective on the roots of modern religions.


The Future of the Army - Today, Tomorrow, and the Day After Tomorrow

2017-04-01
Tags:  Army · Military
The Army has a reduced budget (reduced increases?) and has to do more (why?) with its limited resources. The first step should be to shut down unneeded bases and move toward a 'build as needed' force that can be ad hoc constructed from larger formations, bringing only the required skills with a limited and mobile footprint. More resources should be stashed around the world in supply depots and on ships; the ones that were deployed have been drawn down. More long term goals include transforming the Army culture away from bureaucratic micromanaging practices and towards reinstating authority to adaptable leaders on the ground. Finally the Army should embrace technology like AI, robots, and drones while simultaneously shoring up the Army's ability to function in a degraded electronic environment with such, nearly lost, skills as navigating with a map and compass.


Fundamentals of Electrical Engineering I

2017-03-25
Tags:  Electronics
The course focuses on the creation, manipulation, transmission, and reception of information by electronic means. Elementary signal theory; time- and frequency-domain analysis; Sampling Theorem. Digital information theory; digital transmission of analog signals; error-correcting codes.


The Book of the Law - Liber AL vel Legis sub figura CCXX as delivered by XCIII = 418 to DCLXVI

2017-03-23
Tags:  Culture · Occult · Oligarchy · Propaganda · Psyop
The text contains many numbers, mentions mathematical operations and an equation; it feels like encryption. At one point there is a 'random' string of characters and numbers, 4 6 3 8 A B K 2 4 A L G M O R 3 Y X 24 89 R P S T O V A L. Some of the main recurring themes deal ambiguously with hedonism and anti-reason. Additionally, death is worshipped alongside ideals such that compassion is a weakness and the weak should be crushed. It seems to portend the decline into narcissistic consumer culture quite well.


The Philosophic Corruption of Physics

2017-03-23
Tags:  History · Philosophy · Physics · Psyop
After an initial review of Newton's numerous contributions to science, his rejection of the arbitrary is likened to modern objectivism. Next the corruption begins with Hume and then Kant rejecting the primacy of existence for the primacy of conciousness. This leads then to Mach and the positivism movement essentially rejecting reality. Einstein still wanted to test reality, but instead placed another nail in the coffin of objectivism with his interpretation of the Lorentz transforms. Lastly we reach the 'crowning achievement' of modern physics, quantum theory and its particle-wave duality triumphing over the little regarded pilot theory of de Broglie (now resurrected by Lewis Little).


Python Algorithms - Mastering Basic Algorithms in the Python Language

2017-03-22
Tags:  Algorithms · Programming · Python
It starts out with an overview of big O running times. Next the basics of graphs and trees are discussed, with more advanced discussion later. Many of the common mathematical equations and concepts are covered as well as more advance topics including proofs, NP hardness, and recurrence equations and their applications and running times. Searching and traversing are covered with basic concepts like depth/breadth first search as well as more advanced algorithms. The appendixes list algorithms, problems, and terminology.


Nicomachean Ethics

2017-01-31
Tags:  Philosophy
A dense examination of such human characteristics and timeless questions including virtues, means, ends, friendship, happiness, justice, nature, and nurture among others.


Mastering Kali Linux for Advanced Penetration Testing

2017-01-06
Tags:  Hacking · Linux · Software
The first part deals with identifying a target and then performing active and passive reconnaissance to lookup DNS records, conduct port scans, and utilize various open source intelligence techniques, among many other options. Next, vulnerability databases and tools, like Metasploit and Veil Evasion, that give easy access to potential access points to a system are covered alongside a lighter look at things like shellcode. Less technical attack vectors are explored when looking at social engineering attacks, like spoofing a website, that can be quickly created with tools like SET, the Social Engineers Toolkit. The ubiquitousness of wireless access demands its inclusion but is only touched upon as a general introduction to a potentially detailed topic. Lastly, web application vulnerabilities are tested with frameworks like Beef with some minor asides into some of the specific vulnerabilities - like SQL injection.


The Pragmatic Programmer

2017-01-04
Tags:  Programming
As a programmer you should always be on the lookout for new technologies, improved techniques, and opportunities to refactor your source. Since user requirements are usually not be set in stone, your abstracting away from a specific 'requirement' may produce a simpler or more robust system. Code should not be duplicated as per the DRY methodology and functionality should be sufficiently delegated via modularity (including teams). The model-view system assists in DRY avoidance, especially when drawing from universal data sources like plain-text files for things like configuration or schema. A version control system and automated tests can help locate and remedy a bug as soon as it becomes a bug.


From PSYOP to MindWar - The Psychology of Victory

2016-12-06
Tags:  Oligarchy · Propaganda · Psyop
Once war begins, the enemy will be full of national pride, pumped in by their governments so it is of the utmost importance to use persuasion on the soldiers before they are soldiers. Both the enemy and their domestic sympathizers should be treated in much the same fashion, constructing their world views via an ever encroaching technological connectedness. While it is repeatedly stated that MindWar tactics must use truth, for to tell lies builds your control on a foundation of sand, but that truth can be 'willed into existence'. Again there is an outright denial of using psychedelics and similar mind altering substances to increase suggestibility, but it leaves plenty to the imagination of how to use pre-existing cultures that DO promote drug use - like raves - where everyone is imbibing via their own volition. Further, naturally occurring forces are seen as potential leverage to be utilized directly as phenomena in nature, or induced synthetically as in ELF waves.


The Grand Chessboard - American Primacy and Its Geostrategic Imperatives

2016-11-19
Tags:  Oligarchy
Keep Europe slightly divided to act as the beachhead into western Eurasia that NATO can push east. Pretend to care about Japan, as an 'international leader', while working on relations with China to create a mainland eastern Eurasian jumping off point. A 'backward' Russia should be integrated into Europe or even broken in 3 separate states to allow for the exploitation of central Eurasian resources in places like the Caspian sea. Pipelines can be utilized to export the oil through several states, preventing any single nation from being able to hold the energy hostage.To accomplish this, much scheming should be done under the guise of economics, 'cooperation', and 'global community'.


O'reilly Graph Databases

2016-10-05
Tags:  Database · Graph · Software
Graphs often map more naturally to the entities (nodes) and their relationships than 'traditional' RDBMS do. Business and technical sides can now communicate because the whiteboard model is the model. The questions you want to ask of your data will drive how to model your graph. Graphs, as opposed to other NOSQL databases, retain ACID transactions, fast lookups, and scalability. While there is no one-size-fits all database solution, graphs are a formidable option in any realm and really shine with densely connected datasets.


Building Web Applications with Python and Neo4j

2015-01-01
Tags:  Neo4j · Python · Software
The first half focuses on setting up the software and interacting with your first graph database using cypher. The second half is overloaded with basic Flask and Django based tutorials alongside deployment issues like caching, fault tolerance, clustering, and other advanced features. It provides a nice overview, but a whole book could be written about each of the last three chapters.


Propaganda

2015-01-01
Tags:  Oligarchy · Propaganda · Psyop
Excruciating detail is paid to crafting almost everything we see and hear. By controlling the messages we receive, propagandists can subsequently inject a narrative, reinforced by the audience themselves in the form of social stigmas. To control the message one must influence those key structures or individuals that are opinion forming within a community. No matter the message, it will be accepted if delivered by a trustworthy source. This manipulation can be used to sell you a new trend in fashion in much the same way it can take nations to war.


Beyond Growth - The Economics of Sustainable Development

2014-01-01
Tags:  Boycott · Economics · Oligarchy · Protest · Psyop
How large should the economic sub-system be in the Earth system?




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