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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Pondering post impact

So yeah was curious about what my post yesterday might shift, and yup, got up this morning and found a significant impact, in the negative direction, which is not a big deal for this blog. But the speed impressed me.

And yesterday went right at the topic of race, with a post confronting race reality as I see it. Which is a big deal for me for lots of reasons though is a subject I tend to not just go at directly in that way.

One of those questions I think about is, to what extent do I need popular?

And reality is, not much. It's one of the reasons I went to math for instance as it doesn't care whether people believe in it or not. Like 2+2=4 does not care about your opinion. And for people who need it, they use it.

That freedom is so cool. Am sure it puzzles people who wonder how I can so casually just keep going. Answer? Find incredibly useful things--and people will use them. Easy.

Oh yeah, and I DO try to monitor such usage, which can be detective work. But thankfully a lot has to do with web stats where there are a variety. I've found it easier not to get specific about them. But it is great, today a person can just get lots of data to see objectively what others are doing relative to their work, which shows interest.

But what people talk about? That has to do with popular and celebrity.

Whether you realize it or not, any celebrity is a quiet away from not being one.

My position though is beyond that so I can study it in the abstract. Could I be popular?

Sure. If some people started chattering loudly and proudly about some of my things then that would be it. Easy. Could I figure out how to make that happen?

If I could, would I tell you? Why bother, you'd just hear it. Believe me, it'd be hard to hide.

Regardless it's kind of freaky to watch the sheer speed with which people can move on the web.

And what things move them, and which way.

Of course have been blogging for a while so kind of figure which way things will flow, and the timing of these posts is important.


James Harris

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Confronting race reality

So yeah am some Black guy who went to a top university on a scholarship and got my degree in Physics. My story though is not one the American press likes. Supposedly Black or "minority" students are a special class of people, because deep down a lot of people believe they may not quite have the genetic capacity for intelligence of Whites or other ethnicities.

Oh no! Yeah I dared say it.

Of course science has completely debunked such notions and revealed that race is an arbitrary human construct which has no scientific validity. It is something human beings just kind of made up, though you can get in some CRAZY arguments with people absolutely certain that race is a thing, they know exactly what it is, but watch them fall apart if you try to get them to define it.

Would link to the Wikipedia on race, but just go there yourself and read up on what it really means and maybe get more perspective on what it means to be a human being. We are one species. Get over it.

But what fascinates me is a machinery dedicated to hiding the belief that Black people, and American Blacks in particular, are some kind of weird subhuman variant with an intelligence maybe for hip hop, dance, rap and sports, but oh no, math? Science?

So if there is contradictory evidence, from someone like me? Ignore it of course!

And figure there are those people who would question my degree, like maybe it was handed to me as something "politically correct". For those who don't know that is a code phrase. I do know. And I know the code too.

But for some people race is as obvious as the nose on their face, and beliefs of the demonstrated, to them, inferiority of some races is just as obvious. Claims otherwise? They say is political correctness.

With those harboring hostile views about a race, so much can be about escape to denial.

What else can some deluded person fixated on false beliefs about race do?

How about maybe just acknowledge what you truly believe? And accept it is false?

The wonderful thing though is the web lets us air things out, work through, and see things that in the past were too easily hidden.

And lets you see humanity around the globe like never before. So reality will check the noise and yeah, soon enough certain things will just be gone. Melted away by the light of knowledge I think sounds kind of poetic.

Sharing works!

It's a great thing.


James Harris

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Claims versus recognition

One thing I learned the hard way didn't seem to go over well was to discuss my various claims, but then again I think it helps to give my perspective on the situation. And a lot of it is about math which has not been officially recognized as important far as I know.

Which started in 1996. So yeah have had almost 20 years since what I was certain was my first major discovery. Wrote a paper, which an editor rejected as too simple. In his defense the problem was considered unbelievably hard and someone else had just done a computerized proof considered too complicated to be fully checked. And here I claimed to have solved it in a couple of sheets of paper with some hand-drawn figures.

Next in December 1999, I came up with what I now realize is my own branch of mathematics. And August 2002, came up with my own way to count prime numbers, which I still talk about to this day. And no, has not to my knowledge been officially recognized.

In 2003 actually got a paper published in a formally peer reviewed mathematical journal, which relied on techniques from that new branch of mathematics I'd found. Well the journal pulled the paper a bit later, and a little later ended operations. But yeah I'm considered to be a published mathematical author for that one.

After that I worked on refining things, talking about some things, including not happily, not surprising, and oh yeah, had some people calling me crackpot, but that doesn't surprise me. What surprised me was not getting any of the official recognition to stick, and that was a massive shock with the paper, and that journal folding.

Eventually got tired of focusing on math so branched out. So like in 2004, I wrote Class Viewer an app for Java developers. And wrote it partly as a confidence booster! Did other things like write on my various blogs. And more recently went political coming up with my own political party idea I call Core Middle Party.

Thankfully the web at least seems to like me. I've had dominant search results all through these adventures for what I have on the web. And web analytics for the most part from Google show me with a footprint in at least 150 countries.

So what's the difference then that keeps me from being famous?

Just what's reported in my opinion. The ideas travel the world anyway. And yes, I know more about where my ideas are than most, and have taken a community perspective on it all. Let's say for the sake of argument I am correct, what difference did lack of official recognition make anyway?

Well it let me branch out more. But didn't slow my ideas down one bit. They've been changing the world.

And that's my take. This year I decided to fully analyze the monetary system to figure out exactly why I wasn't making any. That was fun. Those ideas have been propagated as well. For instance, I concluded that low wages lead to high unemployment. So wages need to go up. That is in process.

Thankfully at least the draw of my ideas, where some I can prove are the best in human history, means constant attention from the planet. So I can easily project ideas around the globe. Anything I want. I choose to project ideas I think are beneficial to humanity. And to back policy changes that are as well.

It's the least I can do.


James Harris

Monday, December 21, 2015

But is it original?

A phrase I started using this year is: "short timeline reachable goals"

And have posted about it before but a BIG surprise for me when first noticed I was writing it, came when I searched and found NOTHING. Zero. Zip. Nada.

So yeah that was searching in quotes. And it's fascinating how much web search has come to dominate and how rarely you can get zero search results, which is no longer the case by the way with that search. You no longer get zero search results as I write about it. So now at least you get my writing.

So am like I'm going to say STRG for short, so can talk about STRG's and that may someday be a thing, I made up. But is it original? Web search is powerful, yes, but I don't think one can truly claim originality JUST on web search results. But it is quick and easy to check them which makes you ponder things, like how easy is it to steal ideas REALLY in the modern age?

Could someone come and yank STRG's right out from under me? I don't know. Am curious. Clearly would not cause me serious distress. I'd study it.

Does help that here feel like are positive ideas so validating for others to agree! It is about goal setting, and as like to say--getting things done. And to me these ideas are community oriented. So I think it's quite ok for me to freely share anyway. Which raises question in my mind, how else might give them? I don't know, guess maybe write a book or something. Yeah vague. Just putting ideas on a blog is so much easier than all that.

But also I have so many ideas rattling around the planet I quit worrying about keeping up with them. Just put them up somewhere and drive on. Ideas are easy. They just come to you. Sometimes just by chance with a slight change of phrase.

As relaxed as that sounds, of course reality is a changing one with technology letting me, I think, kick back and worry less. It's a different world than it was. This post alone will be read all over it.


James Harris

Friday, December 11, 2015

My take on social energy

Quite deliberately I find I don't talk on certain subjects related to social, which has to do with certain theories I have on the subject I just decided when thinking of this post to call social energy.

Not surprisingly LOTS of energy is involved with social activities, where web activities have the unique ability to unite a wide group of people into thinking related things, which actually literally involves energy as well. So there's also inertia involved, like how much energy and time it actually takes to have a given number of people know a certain thing.

Physicists could actually do rough calculations believe it or not.

Some people can try to ride social energy associated with people who draw lots of attention, and discovered that years ago, like in over a decade, when would find myself irritated in weird unending arguments about math on a place called Usenet. In one case I actually just kept at it to see and had some person arguing with me indefinitely on into the night.

I concluded that was not desirable so studied it.

Much to my chagrin realized I had been providing the social energy. As I studied how that happened, learned to cut it off, and something amazing! Arguments ceased. People might still reply to me, and usually I would not reply back, but that was just part of it, as that hadn't worked before.

So why not explain it?

Because then might have to rework everything as such people adjust. But gist of it is, if you're a person who wants attention without deserving it, then one way to get it is to try and ride along with someone who has it.

Then one person is moving in social media entirely by another person's social energy.

And that can be cut off and parasitic person can just fade.

The behavior is parasitic in that one entity is sucking the energy from another and if you see a social person with TONS of such people all over, said person can literally be driven off the web by them.

But I think the behavior can be countered and socially parasitic humans can be discouraged--if you're careful.

Maybe should add more. One thing is I try not to let another person decide how I am to respond. In some cases you really have no choice, like if a police officer or someone in authority needs a response, but some random on social media? Why let that person control you? Which when you think about it, is the point of an insult! The person insulting you wishes you to respond angry or hurt or in some negative way. So it's a control mechanism.

But why should you give them what they want?

On what basis does that person deserve attention, for instance? Like consider an insult yelled at the president of the United States from someone in a crowd? So what?

Trouble with social media is people can seem too close. And simply seeing that insult makes it feel like someone is right next to you. That is an illusion. That person is still probably just some distant figure. Why let randoms control you?

If they are close then why are they? Is that a reason to distance them? Can you use community to shame bad behavior? Community is AWESOME when it's on your side.

Distance though I think is the best protection. Figure out why you think a comment matters, then keep asking until you realize why it doesn't. If it does, then deal with appropriately, like if a peer is upset with you.

Also it helps to figure out what someone has invested in an opinion. Classic for me was when singing karaoke and after LOTS of people would come by to congratulate me on singing something, there would be that one person who would wait to calmly inform me how horrible I supposedly was. I found that fascinating.

To me opinions, especially quick ones, can be more about feeling than objective or even subjective reality. Someone can get mad at you because how good you are makes them feel bad, I theorize. I've watched it happen so many times though feel confident on that one.

Actually have done it myself and felt silly, as it's so wacky. I try not to compare myself to others unless am really competing with them, and even then cautiously. Nothing wrong with wanting to be the best in a category, but I try to make sure am checking against people somewhere near my competitive ability.

Regardless of what you do though, someone might still get to you with some nasty statement or comment which I guess is also why I don't like talking about it too much. Admitting that I don't have a complete solution doesn't sit well with me. Maybe it's just a human reality. We can't completely control the ability of others to affect us.

Besides, am quite capable of expressing my opinion about someone that is not about positives, though follow certain rules. Like very important I think to try to tell the truth as best you can. Still it is an area where I ponder constantly as I don't want to be the thing I decry in others.

Just some thoughts. It's such a deep subject am wary of digging into it as could post for days. But main thing I think is asking yourself questions about why this particular person is grabbing your attention, especially if that person does not deserve it.


James Harris

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Thoughts on the record

One of my favorite stories was about when was back in my hometown Tifton, GA where I grew up and I had reason to go to the Tift County public library to check the periodicals section. Was looking for a TIME magazine which published a letter I wrote to the editor.

So found it and for some reason or other read it aloud to the reference librarian. But this post isn't about the subject of that letter but of the record.

Found out that letters to the editor can get edited. Ok. And turns out I also recently found a copy of the original magazine, from which am going to copy out what was published so I have an online record of it. Which is a lot for me but could be interesting to others I think. But wish I'd kept the original that I sent to TIME. Why didn't I? Not sure. So really am vague about how original was edited.

The issue is November 11, 2002, and the cover is quite beautiful as has a fetus in the womb. It's a special report issue.

Seems like a world ago. Here's the published version of what I wrote for my own personal online record, as am copying from the physical magazine I bought back then. May as well use their format as well so capitalization was theirs. Was under "Battle Plans":

YOUR REPORT ON THE WEAPONS THAT THE U.S. could use in a war with Iraq [WORLD, Oct.21] noted that Iraq's best tactic would be to deploy weapons of mass destruction. While Saddam Hussein used chemical weapons against Iran, today his troops would have trouble getting close enough to deliver them. So what would be a possible Iraqi gambit? If the U.S. began military operations to soften up Iraq, Saddam would quickly ask the U.N. to send in weapons inspectors. He would then show the inspection team he doesn't have any weapons of mass destruction. There would be an international outcry to lift the sanctions and force the U.S. to pay reparations for any damage done. The U.S. needs the inspectors to go in before we attack.

James Harris
Atlanta

So just typed that over and reading it am like, well the UN did send them! And they reported they couldn't find any. Kind of makes you wonder, eh? Actually maybe a bit naive, as I speculated rather wrongly am sure today about how some things could play politically. But that's what got published. Want this record here so will put it.

People looking up what's saved online if they can access can compare to what I have here. Which I can do as well, but haven't recently though did so a while back which is why I went to the public library to see what they had.

The record is a fascinating thing! And consider that the original letter is one I lost, though guess TIME magazine has it. I think they have the gist of it though quite well so don't wish to put that out as some big deal. But it is odd what information gives you.

Perspective.


James Harris

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

My opinion on modern referral

To me modern referral can be considered abstractly in some simple ways. Where I want to put some opinions down in writing, partly as that helps me check them, and also it helps me see how my thinking evolves on certain subjects over time.

For someone with a potentially global audience it might seem easy to suggest products or services, but I think you have to be more careful, as with modern networks people can rapidly assess your behavior, motivations, and share information which can challenge the validity of that referral.

That efficiency is in a small group as well, as your friends can maybe talk about finding out that, say, your girlfriend is trying to boost her sales if you recommend something as if out of the blue for them to buy. Whether they tell you they found out is a different matter entirely.

IN THE PAST, connections were easier to hide, and do remember being fascinated at times when they'd get outed with someone famous, where didn't suspect ulterior--as in hidden--motives for things they were doing. But in the modern age the web relishes outing such things.

To me best referral happens if you find something relevant to the target audience, which you honestly believe is helpful, where any benefit to you in giving that referral is known.

Like I have an open source project, and have no problems recommending it to people. I use it myself. To me that is optimal referral, and in general if I promote it at all it is to people who might need it. Though also talk about it in general as a concrete example of attention my efforts receive, justifying claims like being global.

So to me, proper referral involves real benefit to those who get it, and information on any benefit to the person giving it. Though I also think that if someone does get compensated for some kind of product or service referral the amount is not necessarily in the public good. But knowing someone got paid can be critical.

And came up with my own rules for when people should get paid for things.

By those rules then someone like myself should get paid for an endorsement for a business entity NOT a community entity, always, which I find fascinating, and wonder if in actuality I hold myself to that one, and have no such endorsements. Just questioning my own opinions. But then again I don't think I actually endorse any business entity. Will mention some at times. May like a product or service, like am a big fan of Twitter. But like that mention in my opinion does not necessarily represent a material benefit to Twitter the company. Though it may be important for branding.

But wait, really do push Chrome OS, but only because I have my own ideas in that direction, where I like to talk the BOS. So that's transparent. To me I'm promoting my ideas as I see them in someone else's. That feeling is natural I think, and very transparent.

So what makes something a referral anyway?

In my opinion for a potentially paid referral there has to be a contract involved as that's how money should flow legally anyway. Emphasizing is my opinion. So involves some thought and work upfront with two parties getting something worked out and signed, and then can be completely legit! As otherwise no way to help promote some product or service to people who might want and need it, so appreciate the effort, without taking a loss, if could make money on it and should.

Oh yeah, may sound strange, but a loss on NOT having a contract in place for what should be a paid referral hits the economy, like in my case is a loss for the US economy, since I'm a tax paying citizen here.

Figuring out actual material benefit of a referral can be a problem to be solved I think, though have addressed this before with my ideas for a limited endorser. Wow, wrote on that over 3 years ago, back February 2012, so was still in San Francisco. Ha ha, kind of full of myself reading it now! That guy.

And yup, talked material benefit. Am guessing that is HUGE in my thinking as spans so much time.


James Harris

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

What's my deal?

It occurs to me that with so many things out there, even with explanations given, it might help to put up a post which kind of explains things from my perspective which maybe can help others who may wonder.

Short answer is around 20 years ago started figuring out some math things as an amateur. Wanted to exercise my mind. That is, just some guy trying to figure out things on his own. But not like have gotten lots of approval from the math people. So that's just kind of hanging out there.

And yeah, hard to explain and most people aren't into math. So usually I just don't. But at least it makes sense I think that math travels the globe easily, and can be used anywhere, so can draw attention from all over.

And used to argue with math people about things but that got boring and is really useless, so quit doing it. But years ago there were kind of flame wars. But that feels like so long ago. It's so much nicer not arguing with people. But LOTS of old stuff is all over. I don't worry about it.

A bit over a decade ago, got an urge to try something so wrote this open source application called Class Viewer, which has been kind of a concrete thing that helps me feel better. Oh yeah, as I can code, and have been coding since was 12, but not really doing it so much any more.

And eventually started thinking needed a solid political foundation, as liked talking politics, so came up with my own political party I call Core Middle Party. Am only member far as I know so like to say only "official member". Which also makes me like the party chairman, except it's NOT an official party. It's just some ideas for one I've presented.

But also think about various things here and there and post or tweet, so thought out my own definition for science for instance, and also worked out money from my own functional perspective.

And turns out that a lot of what I do online pulls attention by objective measures in one way while less in others, which makes it a bit confusing so I puzzle over it.

But easiest to check is my open source app which in its first 10 years had downloads from over 150 countries.

As a Black guy have felt a responsibility as well to put more information forward, as not a lot of Black guys I've noticed doing things am doing pulling attention at that level, so put up profile pics back in 2010.

Oh yeah, also have an interest in photography and art in general, including the philosophy of it, and what it actually is.

So yeah I stay busy with various interests. And actually try not to put up everything that I could. Still someone just coming across say just one of my main blogs, like this one, could conceivably read for days, and not get close to absorbing much of it.

Which to me is just so cool, but took years for that to be true. And all traces back around 20 to me puzzling over some math.

Oh so I claim I found some math, how would you find it? Duh, just search--some math.

Isn't that cool? I think it is.

But then most of my blogs come up high in web search. So I guess, maybe not such a big deal?

This post ended up being longer than I thought it'd be. Oh well, lots of my writing is that way.


James Harris

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Talking things around open source app

Realized should do a post talking about my open source software application which is called Class Viewer which is for Java developers. It has continuing support from me, but thankfully is a lightweight, low maintenance in my opinion, project which really hasn't changed very much in over a decade.

There are continuing downloads and thank you for those downloading! Where lately seems to be around a quarter of a thousand per month. So not TONS but more than enough to keep me satisfied that there are still people out there who need it. Which is one of the greatest feelings ever which is why I don't talk about it too much. Have talked more lately because passed the 10 year mark recently so feel safer.

For the first time that I know of since had country counts this year might not pass downloads from over 100 countries, which got me a bit concerned though it's not a metric that I really understand? Because looking at the map, the BIGGEST drop is across the continent of Africa. Oh and in the Middle East.

Which means that it's really just about mainly people in Africa who for some reason or other seem to download far less than people on any other continent which maybe is about number of Java developers? So it's just about percentages? Regardless still like Africa, no negatives in their direction just wondering a bit about me and my product and what that might say.

Having a very lightweight specialized app for a very specialized group of people is VERY convenient. And I do use Class Viewer myself, where for me it's usually most important when I decide to do a bit of coding as no longer code all the time, so routinely have to refresh my skills and it's very good for quick lookups.

So short of it is, thank you for continuing downloads. Class Viewer support is ongoing, and I think I'm aiming for 2018 for an updated version unless am pushed sooner which could happen if got feedback needing something, which has never happened, or changes are made to the Java language which require it.


James Harris

Monday, November 23, 2015

Better informed

Reality today is those who make the effort can get the info which means being better informed than could be possible in the past.

For instance I could go do a web search on some political candidate and in five minutes find out more than would ever be told in the past by mainstream media, especially on television, with information going back decades.

In the near past a politician just needed to make it past a week or two until a bad story would die! Isn't that amazing?

Now that same story can still be crushing the career for years, and years and years, as it's relevant information, and people NEED it. They needed it before, but how to find it?

Gatekeepers could exploit the public.

Millions were made by people who figured out how best to lie.

And why? Because they could control this very addictive source of information called television, and they still do to a large extent, but what you don't see on television?

You can find on the web.

What will one of the most informed generations of all time do with that information?

They will change the world.

In what way?

We'll see.


James Harris

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Expanded human reality

Back when television ruled attention around the globe, the people who controlled it were mostly wealthy, and were usually White males. One of the things they pushed was the idea that EVERYONE really wanted to be rich, and deep down wanted to be White. But at least they didn't think everyone wanted to be male! But they pushed the idea that every woman wanted to have sex with a wealthy White male.

And if you had had that kind of control, would you have done different?

Then the web arrived and human attention spread out. That power began to fade.

So today people are not necessarily taught any of those things, and we get to see much more of an expanded human reality. People of all ethnicities showing up across media, even like me here.

And women who aren't even interested in men at all, let alone wealthy White men.

There is nothing wrong with money. It has great utility in allowing us to get service from strangers. And is the system in place for so many things, but there are so many other things in human life as well.

The web seems fascinated with so many things. And one of those things is in taking the old system apart, exposing people within it, including many of their excesses, and not really passing judgement on it either. Just curiously illuminating it.

The web is so much about curiosity. An urge to know as much as can be found.


James Harris

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Approximating sqrt(3) for fun

Of course you can calculate square roots easily but some people like to play with math for fun, or even to test out things. And I just feel like putting this thing up, as it's one of my discoveries and it's my blog.

sqrt(3) approximately equals xn+1/yn+1, where:

xn+1 = 97xn + 168yn

yn+1 = 56xn + 97yn

and x0 = 1, and y0 = 0;

So yeah, you can plug that into some code and iterate. You can see at the start is 97/56 which is a bit over 1.732. It can take awhile so let's jump to some values where it looks more impressive.

Does an n exist for: x = 1351, and y = 780?

I'm thinking yeah, but don't know what it is. I play around with math a lot and got to this result some place or other so don't know what n is. If you wish to figure it out and put in comments, thanks!

With those then: xn+1 = 262087, and yn+1 = 151316

And 262087/151316 equals approximately: 1.73205080758

Correct for sqrt(3), same number of digits: 1.73205080756

And differs from sqrt(3) by approximately: 1.26e-11

That pc calculator is so handy. Keep doing iterations though and you'll get beyond it soon enough.

Oh yeah, negative DOES work. Just been kind of sloppy, and just talking the positive, so you can start with: x0 = -1, and y0 = 0

And found that with my own discovery.

If you want to know the tool used, search on: binary quadratic Diophantine iterator

When I get really bored or just want to feel better about myself I use something I introduced to the human species, usually math.

So no, not known officially and you can't find in any established mathematical text unless they snuck it in there without telling me.

I made that up. You discover things you get to name them. It's fun. Links go to my math blog. I called it Some Math.

To find it? Of course, just search on--some math.

Yeah, it's like that. In a pump myself up mood today. And here is how I do it.

And you know what? I actually DO feel better now! Am so glad that actually works. Sometimes I just need something to make me feel better, you know?


James Harris

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Considering dual boot and the BOS

One of the weirder things that happened for me years ago was reading through harsh critiques of the concept of Chromebooks, which I consider to be using a Browser Operating System or BOS in that the focus is on getting you to the browser quickly. So you build around it.

However when I first talked about a BOS in a post on this blog May 2008, I also brought up dual boot:

The BOS could even start Windows or Linux or whatever else operating system you wanted--if you needed.

One of those fun things is to go back to your own writing years later. But my motivation here is in considering recent reports speculating on the Android operating system and the Chrome operating system of Chromebooks as if they might be combined.

It dawned on me that if someone wanted to follow the roadmap I gave, they might instead consider putting out hybrid dual-boot systems, like with Android and Chrome OS.

Of course Linux already has dual boot capability, so some people run Linux and Chrome OS anyway. But if that were something official? And some top notch reporters didn't have the tech expertise to understand it?

Might they not think it meant something else?

And I'm just speculating myself but gives me an opportunity to expand on something that means a lot to me. And I wish there were more BOS computers out there! Talk Chromebooks as best example of which I know. And I think hybrid dual boots may be the computers of the future.

Some might wonder what's the point of two? But then you can keep unnecessary junk for it out of the BOS, which is a lot of the point in the first place, remember? It can also be more secure, as well as faster.

Then it's with the needs of the user, not limited by their equipment.

After all, the user matters most, right? And if a system can boot quick so you can get on the web and do everything from your browser, and then switch to something else if you found you needed it? Who wouldn't want that?

I know I would.


James Harris

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

Why to me the COS is so BOS

Putting out ideas for me is just LOTS of fun where I put out so many and have explained how I see it. Who knows if anyone has used any of them, but I DO like when is clear something is similar out there.

Which lets me talk about one of my favorite examples, as years ago was irritated waiting on a certain operating system to load, so started thinking about a Browser Operating System, which I picked as that makes it BOS, when you turn into the inevitable acronym.

Which to me was interesting as to why that wasn't heavily used already.

But the gist of the idea is that for some people the browser is where they do most of their activity, and I knew that as was on my browser waiting for this other operating system to load wondering what it was freaking doing.

Today Chrome OS is to me a BOS implemented in Chromebooks.

And that's why to me COS is so BOS.


James Harris

Speaking to a dream


You can think dreams
But what can that hold?

Come as they will without our command
Gone in blinks with opened eyes

Restless for a new day, or restful
unless sleep disturbed

A kiss wished upon her lips
Still just a dream deferred

Command my sleep, command my soul
Looking for comfort, someone to hold


Thoughts can chase dreams
But where is the heart?

Finding emotion behind the shields
Sharing is believing, finding ways to trust

With each heartbeat movement forward
must escape the cold, find the door

Find arms around her ample hips
Still just a dream wishing more

Cry into the night, for the better part!
Chase with the passion, search through the art


Challenged is the night
Sleep when can you call?

Dark as her raven tresses
She sleekly moves in visions behind restless eyes

A dream alive in a beautiful body
to give such connection so precious to a mind

To touch her, hold her
So wonderful, so kind

Keep telling her all, so together will fall
We'll find in us our heart, move beyond the stalls


When sleep will nightly stay restful, know she'll be near me
The calls finally made, now she'll hear me

Hold her, love her, will find the way

When with sweet dream best thoughts will forever hold sway

Her Day. Best Day.

Best way. Our way.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

More on ideas for community

Had fun earlier today brainstorming ideas for Twitter, which may or may not be useful. But guess it begs the question: if useful why just give such ideas away?

And make no mistake, ideas on this blog are just FREE and completely given away with no expectation of something in return. I've started thinking one way to put it is, not an idea squeegee man.

So why give away ideas I at least think are valuable? Others might wonder, is it because don't believe could be paid for them? And I don't know but to me that's immaterial as community is a value to me and global community is something where I have lots of concern.

Which means that if I see a global community value then to my mind the payment is in benefit to the world, and yup, am on the same planet as everyone else.

Wouldn't mind leaving for a bit, but have not yet figured out how to build a starship.

In any event, worked through when to charge in a post already on this blog. And one of the reasons for figuring out my positions on such things is so I don't have to worry about explaining over and over again. Explain once and can just link to something.

Though it can take me a while to get what I think is the best explanation, so have addressed this subject with other posts.

Is it possible might act as a consultant on things if someone wanted to hire me and do the entire contract thing? I don't know. Turns out it's a more difficult problem for me than most, and explaining? Well haven't got that one down yet.


James Harris

Tweets local?

Find myself concerned about Twitter again, and started pondering where I think there is a problem with more people signing up to be on the platform and I think it's simple: plenty of people are hesitant about potentially talking to the planet.

And yeah an awesome strength of Twitter is that a public tweet can bounce around the world but what if that causes caution in plenty of people? Then they can sign up, yeah, but without tweeting themselves are likely to feel left out. And also Twitter relentlessly reminds you of your follower count, which is another subject, but not tweeting? Where is it likely to go?

So occurred to me quickly, wouldn't it be cool if there were an option for tweets to just be local?

And I'm brainstorming here, with just thoughts as a fan of Twitter, tossing things out on my blog. Does not matter for me if taken seriously or not. But if are? Cool.

But like, say you had to have location on, which is the one problem with this idea, and tweets tagged to a location, like say New York City, would only be shown by the Twitter platform to people IN that location? So like from San Francisco you couldn't see those tweets at all.

And you couldn't see them if you didn't give your location which is my one concern with this idea as I brainstorm it out. But you can cut on location to SEE such tweets if you arrive some place and cut it off, when you leave or just don't want to see those tweets.

So these would be special location specific tweets, while public ones would be just the same.

And of course there would be the caution that the tweets could still be potentially seen outside a location as people could figure out ways to share them but that the platform would only show them location specific.

So the Twitter platform would behave a certain way with them, and guess they couldn't be shared like public tweets which is another problem. Like no retweets except to local? But people can't see them to retweet them anyway. Or even if retweeted only would show local? Yeah that makes sense. So even if retweeted, for someone outside the locale they just wouldn't even show. The platform would just check: is user in location? If yes, show. If not, do not show.

You could do it by city or region maybe. It could even be user controlled though don't know how heavy of a coding task and infrastructure load that might be. But like if you could tweet local to even a small city, or town, that could be a powerful feature, where people could chatter away for just their location with a reasonable expectation that others were unlikely to see!

And I think LOTS more people would sign up. Actually tweet, without worrying about talking to the planet, and even build decent follower counts within their locale.

Public tweets can be a BIG deal. Twitter should recognize that reality. And maybe give people more options to limit their exposure?

Just a thought. But yeah I think it could be cool. Like you arrive in San Francisco, cut on local tweets, and walk into conversations just within the City, which you can't see until you get there. Could be like a welcome home.

And decided to brainstorm this post which means limited editing. Oh, so better go back and read through a couple of times before I post. Limited editing done. Throwing out there.


James Harris

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Putting things out here

For me one of the best things about the web has been in getting information in areas previously either closed or where it was hard to get. Or hard to be sure of what you got. But for instance I like documentaries and thanks to being able to view several on the same subject had the ability to compare. The web makes that routine, as before that would require special access of some kind.

One of the things that I often see on documentaries are people who don't fit what was seen as a traditional mold when I was growing up talking about being frustrated at not seeing people like themselves while growing up! And I'm the same way! So it seemed like a good idea to note how I see myself as being way outside traditional molds.

May as well,

So grew up in a small rural area next to a small Georgia, USA, town called Tifton. Where I mention USA to keep from possibly confusing people with the country. Web is international. As a Black person in that area was very much aware of race. And family was not well-off but were lower middle class, at least until parents had a nasty divorce. Which means were not poor. Had shelter, food without public assistance, clothes though my Mom just PICKED them for us, no debate.

So yeah, grew up much of my childhood as a rural Black person in a lower middle class family in the Deep South. There was a lot of farming activity around me. And lots of farms. Grew up next to a farm. Sometimes farm animals would run through the yard, dropping turds. That was actually cows should say. And those were really big turds. That was really rare though. Farmer had great control of his livestock.

Went to school and did better than others. And that's where I got to stand out.

Was good at math, loved it. Loved to read, and thought one day I'd be a science fiction writer, which is one of the reasons I took physics in college. Other was it was the hardest degree field I could choose which still gave me flexibility.

I know the value of your interests. So much is just about curiosity in a world where more and more people can chase knowledge with a passion, and see where that pursuit leads.

Oh yeah, started programming computers when was 12, as despite us not even being solidly middle-class was lucky that my father bought one of the early personal computers which I mostly used, which was a TI-94a. So I just did BASIC. But also took a community college course on BASIC at ABAC which was local, because my mother thought I was a prodigy. She was wrong. But course was easy enough. Did get an A, but was so bored as it was focused toward business.

So been coding since was 12 off and on so to me it is a natural activity where for some reason I rarely do it professionally though did for a while around 2000 when the tech bubble burst so was right there in a major corporation watching the carnage.

So am I think rather nerdy, though it can be hard to define. But for the most part am a creative who is a writer, with a political, math and science focus, who can code.

And I'm global if we can trust Google, where by various measures for various things have had interest in something or other of mine according to their metrics available to me from over 100 countries for a while. I finally noticed back in 2006 or 2007.

Still puzzle over it, but well if Google says. And am kind of like, oh, well, whatever. Just roll with it. Haven't figured out how best to make money from it though, in case you're wondering. Know I do.

And finally in 2010 decided I had a responsibility to put a face up, so that people could see someone unlike who they might usually see from usual sources. Here I get to put up what I want. No desire to discriminate against myself. So convenient!

It is odd to consider that a simple choice for me, put my face potentially in front of people in over 100 countries, which was a choice unlikely to have ever been made by others. Some of them silly people who thought they knew which humans could possibly do what. Such silly people. They dominated so many things for decades. Now they don't.

Web gives you that potential.

Today with a lot of help from the web I think as gives such easy access to the information, of course we're learning all it takes is to be human. Then you can do those things that humans do.


James Harris

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Why I like functional ideas

To me functional ideas are those you can check. And much better when that is without a lot of effort also, as the web means we get so much information available, and it can take a lot to be sure something actually works. I don't want to do a lot of work checking ideas.

Can't be helped sometimes. But if you can quickly assess functional ideas as functioning? Then that is SO much better in my opinion.

Before people might rely more on institutions which is forced on us. There is too much knowledge which has been proven over time, or is accepted and you have to act with it in mind or else, for it to be any other way. Much of that information has been wrapped up by some institution or other, which should be the basis for its existence.

But for most for the first time as human beings with so much information accessible, it's often not enough for someone to just cite some authority, if you can find reliable sources disputing in minutes.

Confidence in explanation is not necessarily important. Like, lots of people believe all kinds of things, but what can they predict?

Prediction is where functional ideas really show their worth, when you expect one thing to happen and others either don't know, are guessing, or are just wrong.

There is such a powerful feeling if what you knew would happen does. No one can take that away either. As with the best ideas? You get that feeling relentlessly.

As guess what? The future is not interested in your opinion, your status, your confidence, or anything else about you. Long after you're dead and gone the future will still be here.

The future does not care what you believe is possible. The future does not care about you.

The future is forever the ultimate test. Test your ideas against it. When they fail, let them go.

Or if they don't fail, raise expectations. The best functional ideas are never wrong. And their predictions? Always come true. That perfection is what people can not understand, like when they hear the word "science".

It fascinates me often how accurate predictions from science are, even though without that accuracy you couldn't read these words. In our time, your computer is cycling through at millions of operations a second. That speed just keeps increasing as well.

At millions of operations per second, a glitch is catastrophic. Or, more simply, your computer stops working.

So glad it is still working as you read these words.

But even the rate of glitches in your computer is predictable. Our science explains so much. It's important to understand why. Prediction is key. The future doesn't care, but it can make sense.

Science is our way of making sense of the future.

There is no science without prediction.


James Harris

Monday, October 12, 2015

Social media is more honest

Found myself this morning once again looking at Instagram fascinated by likes. And can take it for granted now that soon after someone posts have a lot of information, where for some it's that it has 1 million likes. So different from television where if you even bother to keep up with ratings someone has to tell you what they were.

And it has to be more honest even though some seem to love doubting this immediate and very public information about what actually interests people, at least on Instagram, but why do we believe television ratings? Or do most people not? Or do most just not really think about them?

And it matters a LOT as you can see trends being set, and the impact hits economically, and politically, so it turns out it's a big deal where people are actually paying attention.

Which has me wondering, as there are ways I think things are clearly improving, and gotta ask: why did we think we had the most important information before?

Looking in just one area I am endlessly puzzled often, while we could get such simple answers before, as if the viewing audience could be so readily explained.

Maybe they just wanted to believe that, the people crunching the numbers, so they put something that made sense to them out. But today?

We get human interest reality, I think. There is that skeptical side of me that wonders how am sure, but you know? The complexity of it comforts me. It IS hard to explain.

That sounds very human to me.


James Harris

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Moments of sunrise

Found myself curious, so will embed one of Twitter's Moments. This one is of sunrises.



Wondering how it will look, and also can it be relatively timeless. I prefer things that don't go stale after a bit. And sunrises? Yeah, they should fit the bill.

Friday, October 09, 2015

When to charge?

In my opinion whenever a stranger needs something from you that isn't about community, critically important, personal or life and death, then you should both enter into some kind of contract and there should be remuneration from that person. Which is an opinion I'm working through. So the more trivial the thing? Yeah, definitely there should be a fee.

Oh yeah though, you BOTH should see it as trivial, had to edit to add. If you see something as very trivial but to another person it's terribly important then there can be a problem.

The more important the thing? Then other considerations should be involved. Like my favorite example is if someone is dying of thirst. Stranger or no, give them some water!

However, with a business, there should probably always be a fee, unless it's community, and the more important it is to that business, the bigger the fee should be.

That split between human beings and businesses fascinates me and I think it's very hard to get right, and that even massive corporations themselves are screwing up with these kinds of things! Businesses are trying to charge human beings for things they shouldn't and giving things away free to businesses because they do to human beings when they shouldn't, in my opinion.

That messes up monetary flows, cripples economies, and can really mess up people's lives.

In general I think businesses should charge businesses.

Money helps prevent exploitation of people or organizations, as you get an equal exchange at the point of transaction versus relying on goodwill going forward. That is, you don't just do someone a favor and wait and see if they'll return it, when there is a proper exchange involving money. Of course the monetary system can fail many ways, but optimally it protects people.

Putting out things I'm pondering helps me ponder them. That does not mean these opinions are definitely correct. But it's my blog so I can put them here.


James Harris

Monday, September 28, 2015

Thoughts on stranger economy

For me it has been a huge big deal to think of money as being a tool to return a favor to a stranger for something done for you or for something you receive. Like you go to a coffee shop--one of my favorite examples--and a stranger will happily give you a tasty cup of well-brewed coffee, in exchange for some money.

So why emphasize "stranger" and "favor"? Well imagine a very giving community, which freely shares with strangers who simply take, without giving anything back, like food. And imagine that these nice people find they are running out of food themselves! Suddenly that scenario can be more than about morals or what's right, it can be functionally dangerous for that community.

In contrast consider someone within a very close community, who does something for someone within that community. For such a person such a thing can just be part of being a healthy member without concern about an immediate return. And in fact, supporting the community supports everyone. So such support functionally does not lead to lack or need.

So our world has a system, where if you have a contract of some kind, where you have something a stranger wants, and agree to provide it, then you can get money in exchange, which is a social IOU promising a return on that favor, later.

And it works great!

Our modern world exists because of this system, but it helps to understand it, which is why I talk it out so much because I got frustrated years ago out here wondering how things I was doing were supposed to pay off.

Now I think I know some important things like, contracts are usually required.

Generally if you're going to make money, some kind of arrangement has to be established ahead of time. So no, just throwing something up on the web as I've often done is unlikely to work, unless I guess you DO draw vast amounts of attention, but even then you need something in place, like that will show ads, I guess. To me that's a generally held idea which I've never personally verified to be true.

But money is just one reason to put things out here. There are many others.

Importantly I learned that community is a great reason.

Which means that you can also see the world now as a global community, and can do things for that community, without any expectation of any money in return.

And that's mostly it. Part of me wants to make a long post and link to things where I discuss more in-depth my OPINIONS on these things. But people can find those things if interested.

So I like to call the modern world economy--the stranger economy.

It really is designed in my opinion so that strangers can do things for each other without fear of being exploited, which may sound odd to some.

But when used properly, money lets people interact with strangers in a way that is mutually beneficial. So you can travel the world, and buy that cup of coffee, in so many places, from so many people. Personally knowing them? Not required.


James Harris

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Wanting to know

Have become fascinated by those times when I come up with an explanation for something--yes, my own ideas--and suddenly get this sort of surprised feeling, like really? That's why?

And the thing is, I want to know! Am a very curious person and live in an ever more fascinating world, which has puzzles all over the place. And I like real world puzzles of reality. Give me a human made puzzle book, and I just turn to the back to look up the answers.

Can't do that with reality though.

The quest to know and understand is so basic. Which is a way for me to lead into a favorite post of mine on this blog:

How do we know?

When we get answers, it can be such a great feeling. I LOVE getting answers, which may be why it's no good to give me a book of puzzles. Why bother puzzling over something some person came up with when the answers are in the back of the book? Oh, and not knocking it for people who enjoy them. I DO work at puzzles of reality.

There is no choice with reality, either humanity works to figure out the best answers, or our species will not have them.

Answers fascinate me, though I can be ambivalent about them. When you have answers, you can get that sense of fascination about how something in our world works, or how you now think it works.

I both value my curiosity, and the answers to which it leads.


James Harris

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Looking for community, art and the conversation

Most of my life one of the most important words has been "art" which has dominated so many of the best parts. From books to photographs, paintings, and poems, and so much more. But also to my own feeling that science is the art of prediction.

So of course was fascinated when a premiere institution of art, tweeted a great question! And I answered:


Whether you like my answer or not, the conversation to me is also so fascinating. And talking with other people sure beats just talking to yourself, though I enjoy that too.

And SFMOMA retweeted me! Was one of the most exciting days of my social media life.

Ours is no longer a passive world mainly absorbing what is put out by people who can get on television, or radio or gain the interest of newspapers. In our world we can be part of the conversation.

And if you are on Twitter and haven't followed the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, I'd highly recommend you do.

Community is where one can kind of get the feeling that maybe these ideas that run through one's mind aren't completely off-base.

Somehow I think it is just part of being human that need to share with others. And so much better when you feel like that was appreciated. Better when we share.

Community and the conversation are the most important things to me on social media, as you can get so much information which I love, but you can try to add back as well. And get a response.

And so much better when someone asks the questions.


James Harris

Monday, September 07, 2015

Importance of being appreciative

Years ago, back before the 21st century actually, I was a new car salesman, for two months. And there is one sale that weighs a bit heavily on me, so going to try to use my blog as therapy, and get it off my chest.

One day early in my short career in new car sales, a guy walks in with the card of a salesman, who was not there that day. So was handed to me. And I proceeded to help him look at vehicles and he settled on the Honda CR-V I think it was. (Yes, now giving the manufacturer while was coy on subject before). Weird the things that get fuzzy.

But I was a new guy, which is why I'd been given him in the first place, as by the rules of the dealership the sale would be split, with the sales guy he'd asked to see. But because I was such a new guy, they also called in another sales guy to help me complete the sale.

And then the dealership squeezed me out of the middle as they would only split sales two ways and not three.. And a three way split is so tiny, don't blame them.

So I got nothing. Was FURIOUS.

But to the guy who bought the vehicle, I was the guy. We had worked together for hours to pick out just the vehicle. He'd signed the contract with me. And I'd handed him the keys and congratulated him before he drove off from the dealership. So these internal things were invisible to him, and I was too new to fight the decision as I didn't know any better.

And I'm ashamed to say I just did nothing after for my customer. Even if I didn't get paid, he was still my customer. And I just went cold. No thank you note. Or anything and if he's out there and sees my face and comes to this blog, I apologize. I was wrong.

At the end of what turned out to be a two month stint where I learned a LOT fast, I ran into a similar situation! Yet another case where the dealership was going to squeeze me out the middle, and went to the general manager, and said no. And that worked.

I had needed to stand up for myself.

More valuable life lessons learned.


James Harris

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Every method in Java String class with an array

Here's another example of what Class Viewer can give you in terms of information about a class as here are all the public methods in the String class with an array in any way shape or form, and I'll explain after why I got it:

static String valueOf(char[])
static String valueOf(char[],int,int)
static String copyValueOf(char[])
static String copyValueOf(char[],int,int)
static String format(Locale,String,Object[])
static String format(String,Object[])
void getBytes(int,int,byte[],int)
byte[] getBytes(java.nio.charset.Charset)
byte[] getBytes(String) throws UnsupportedEncodingException
byte[] getBytes()
void getChars(int,int,char[],int)
static String join(CharSequence,CharSequence[])
String[] split(String)
String[] split(String,int)
char[] toCharArray()

Oh and I got that list by highlighting the methods in the Results Window and using Ctrl-C. Then just copied over and decided to bold it for visibility. If you right click that doesn't work, as, um, I didn't build it to work, so that's on my to-do list now as a fix. Right now on three year schedule for updates I think. So next scheduled update to the extent anything is scheduled is 2018.

So there are 15 public methods in the Java String class that handle an array, either taking one or giving one, which is maybe a factoid and answer to a trivia contest as I don't know what use it is, but it demonstrates the kinds of things you can do.

And I got that list by double-clicking on the symbol for array which is [] in the list of methods in the left screen.

Found myself checking my Class Viewer after a Java update which is a habit. For those wondering about support for the project, most of my concern is with making sure latest updates to the Java language haven't changed how it behaves.

This time was very useful as I thought I had updated to Java 8 Version 60 which is the latest and checked my version in Class Viewer and it said 1.8.0_25, which is Java 8 Version 25, and yes I could have my program display it that way, but I don't want to keep up with it that closely, so it just gives you direct what Java says its version is.

So I updated, again. Not sure why I had to do it twice, but at least I knew.

It now says: Java version 1.8.0_60

Then doing my routine tests found that Chrome browser didn't work. Got some message asking if I wanted to restart Chrome. First I said no, and nothing. Tried again, and said yes, and nothing, so switched in ClassViewerConfig.xml to Firefox, restarted the program which you have to do so it reloads the config file, and it worked ok. So not sure if was some one-time thing or if Google has done something with Chrome, where it doesn't let my program open it. (But maybe am just being paranoid. Will edit later if it works later.)

And that was enough work for the morning.

So yes, maintain Class Viewer so keep up with how it works when there are updates to Java. And oh yeah, wouldn't mind feedback. I've never gotten any unsolicited.

So for over a decade it's been figure out what I think would be good, find bugs if I notice them, and that's how development goes. Feel free to point out anything I should know in the comments below.


James Harris

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Does follower size really matter on social media?

Had what I think is an epiphany so I'm doing something I rarely do which is do a post late in the day, which means that I can't endlessly edit it through the day. But been pondering follower size across my accounts and hate to admit it, but I do feel a bit inadequate over my 129 follower count on Twitter. But I only have 18 followers on Instagram, and don't care. And I'm on it daily, but mostly following. But then again I haven't posted in 75 weeks, so glad I have any.

And Pinterest? I have 9 followers. Doesn't bother me at all. And I'm not really sure what followers are for on Pinterest anyway.

And I don't give my Google+ follower count though will admit it's higher than my Twitter. But most of the people I circle are in my circles there. It's like a nice cozy little club. I have no issues with its size. But also I can hide that info. And do.

Oh yeah, my public Facebook profile has 140 Likes. And I think that's meager as well. That one DOES bug me a bit. It inhibits my posting as I try to puzzle out how to raise it to some respectable level, which is not clear to me. How many Likes should I have?

Have mentioned this subject before and the numbers but it dawned on me that haven't talked out how it can be depressing. Like for new users on Twitter it is relentless in reminding you. Actually Twitter is relentless in reminding all users exactly how many followers they have. It's right there with your tweets and following numbers. Can't avoid it. It is just relentlessly there to remind you just where you are.

And what if I had 10 followers on Twitter? Would I still be there? Yet why don't I care about so few on Instagram or Pinterest? But it DOES bug me on public Facebook?

What if Twitter were more discreet with this information which is depressing for most users I'm sure? It's not just in your face with Instagram. I have to go find it. Same with Pinterest. In both cases I have to go to my profile page to even see that info.

Facebook seems to be making it more discreet. On my Facebook page it literally shrank in size! I think Facebook is aware of this thing. And so are the others but maybe Twitter hasn't checked to see how that number impacts users?

If so, what's the fix? I'm not sure. Oh, maybe more info? Like on Google+ do show my views. Interesting. If Twitter showed my impressions it'd be more impressive. But they're not crazy high though. Just a bit better than the follower counts. But still.

But what if those were low as well for someone?

Will post and see if it seems like a good idea tomorrow. Breaking my process here. Even if there is something to it, does it matter that much?

But reality is, people don't like being depressed about their efforts. And if you're tweeting away, and looking at a dozen followers, or even a few hundred, with those numbers relentlessly in your face, could that feel like a drag?

Coming back to edit today I think I'm on to something and can explain now easily a rather remarkable behavior on Twitter where someone will follow you, wait a few days to see if you follow back, and then drop you.

I don't see that on any other social media platform.

And for Twitter that kind of behavior is worthless as of course such people are NOT following you for your tweets, but only to pad their own following numbers!!!

Oh yeah, so guess what? If you follow me on Twitter am unlikely to follow you back for days to see if you drop me. If I like what you tweet then I might follow you back.

I actually read tweets in my stream.


James Harris

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Thinking public by default

To me if you're going to put something up public, then, well, it IS public. But the web is kind of super public. Like you can wander through Main Street if your town has one, or wander around downtown in a major city, which is one kind of public. But on the web millions of people can check out something you're doing, from all over the world.

To me that is mega public. So it's like being on Main Street times a thousand, or more.

If you're jumping up and down shouting on Main Street, people are likely to notice, but how will they react?

Public on the web is VERY public. But I think it can be hard to see it that way. Especially if you feel like no one is paying attention, as they may not be. Or you've tried lots of things and don't have the response you want.

So I like to flip things and imagine I'm looking at someone doing what I'm doing. What would I think? What might I do or not do?

Sometimes I like to emphasize things to try and get a handle on them, but it is different, the public reality of public on the web. So will admit I find myself drawn to public people to see how they handle it.

They do get the most practice I would think.


James Harris

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Abstracting global-local concept

Late last year brainstormed Globloc, a hypothetical idea for a social media company where that name comes from: global-local. And now find myself thinking more of that concept itself so will abstract it here.

The idea is to have one central company which deals with global issues, while local is robust enough to handle MOST things. The point in my mind being having a lightweight main corporation which can have unlimited growth with local reach.

For that to be feasible though you'd need to abstract ALL elements that can be handled globally, where I'm thinking that the connection is through the cloud and web, which can let you monitor locally with limited interference.

So the key to such a thing in our time is the web. It lets you, for instance, maintain a room locally which gives a 24 hour camera feed, which might activate if someone entered into that room to communicate something up the line. Not even knowing if it would be seen, but assuming it would. And regardless the recording would be saved.

Or if there were an escalating consumer complaint, a teleconference could be set up to the main offices along with the local person to try and address the issue with maximum expertise.

As much as I can speculate here, might be easier to brainstorm with a hypothetical situation, so imagining a social media work corporation. Where I know some exist but not going on anything in the real world but simply looking for something to hang concepts on. Anything here is open source.

Like you could have licensees for this Globloc Work company, who might pay some fee which could be rather light compared to heavy infrastructure franchises, as their main task might be finding the best people willing to go to people's homes to do odd jobs for them.

So the global might give a territory. Guidelines for hires and do national background checks, but also expect the local to do background checks as well using available resources, which could be people in the community. That is, the local would be like a small business. Where the global would handle things like the insurance company, hiring procedures, and work procedures. And things like uniforms, which it might ship to the local.

Benefit to the local person might be focus on things that can't be done as well at the national level, like finding very engaging, energetic and personable people who will work hard, satisfy the client, without breaking rules, or especially any laws. The local person is in the best position to oversee the work.

If that all worked the global could be in a major city, like San Francisco, and for the most part handle things at the national level. But every once in a while handle issues as they arose at the local level. But maintain constant connection through the web.

And you know you can go to the limits these days. Employees could wear body cameras, for instance.

Hmmm...that could get oppressive though, but I think depends on the employee. For some people it would be awesome to always be on camera, and you could even allow them to post great work at their discretion as long as customer privacy was preserved. Which could be hard. And now feeling that brainstorming flow hemmed in by not fun things as legal issues start to crop up.

Worrying about legal issues seems to just stop the creative flow for me.


James Harris

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Figuring out the foundations

Remember when blogs arrived and at first was incredulous about them being free, but it was great! I had a website up talking about some math ideas of mine and at least one web stalker was relentlessly reloading pages trying to make it expensive for me. Such silly behavior.

Along with the blogs came advice on how to blog, which you may notice I gleefully ignore.

But the web supposedly has moved on from blogs to the next thing, where again there is lots of advice. And my opinion is often you have people exploiting the emotion, claiming expertise even when things are so new there isn't really any, trying to make money at the expense of others.

But we all have a responsibility to our own outcomes and each must make their own choices. Where I choose to try and figure things out on my own, which is speculative, risky, and I could be very wrong. But at least I feel better that I'm not helping some person pretend at my expense.

For myself and those interested in my opinions I like to at times show the structure around them, as a really big deal was understanding money. I like to say it's just a way to get services from strangers in limited social contracts. Why limited? Because close community is where you should get unlimited trust. You can't put your trust in every person you meet that way. (Yes, I know plenty of people have families where trust is very limited. But isn't that also sad?)

So without money you need what I call close community, like friends and family. Like for instance, your friend could offer you a cup of coffee, but with money, you can buy a cup of coffee from a store full of strangers who make it for you. And isn't that nice of them? Actually, no. Money is the point. Your friend is being nice. The people at the coffee shop have a job.

In my opinion, money was invented as a way to get services from strangers.

But how do you make money? You need to find things that other people want which you can provide.

For example, you may enjoy making coffee for strangers, so a coffee shop works for you! And, so you work there. Which actually also involves a lot of people skills, and other skills as well.

And how can people know you can provide them something they want under a limited social contract? Well, for that to happen I think you need something that advertises it. And I have pondered quite a bit on advertising where I'll link to my latest post at this point. But I don't try to tell how to advertise, but just think about why it's necessary, and how it can go wrong.

But what if you're going with the latest, and want tons of social media followers? Have concluded that you have to entertain to get a lot of them. Which is work! And don't just think someone is getting it done because that person has millions of followers, as I think they are like venues, like a stadium. And just because a person built up a following to a massive size does not mean they're still filling it up. That is, engagement may not be there.

And a person who did the work to get millions of followers, if said person slips, may find few if any of them are still paying attention, even if that social media account still looks impressive. Though it can fall. Unlike say, Madison Square Garden, your venue is dynamic as followers can drop you. But it is admittedly, just a theory of mine.

Putting all of the above into a succinct statement: I think you need to figure out what you like to do for strangers within a limited social contract that people want done. And advertise that you can do it. If you wish to build a social media presence though you need to be entertaining, along with whatever else you bring, or don't expect big numbers.

Like I don't have big social media numbers, but I have theories.

And it's my blog so I can give them.


James Harris

Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Some musings on expectations of others

Gotta get back to San Francisco I've started telling myself. It's been over three years now and for one thing I need more photos. And yes, can take photos elsewhere, but for instance on this blog one of the most popular posts has a photo of a San Francisco street sign. I posted it over three years ago. Back October 31, 2012 according to the post. So I know for sure which one I mean will leave myself a ready reference.

And what if I'd established myself as a photographer who focused on San Francisco scenes? Well I might have fans wondering when I'd put up anything, please ANYTHING, new from the City.

Expectations of others are important. And if you look around at people who do a great job of setting expectations where they can deliver, you will notice they DO.

I like to call it the social contract: the understanding others have that you will be there for them in some way, like with continuing content after you have established a want.

Like you've been funny, and established yourself as a comedian--not surprisingly people will expect you to keep bringing the funny.

Maybe someday will establish myself more with photography. But necessarily then will need to keep taking pictures! And also do so with the expectations of others in mind, if I want them to keep paying attention. Of course there is also that artistic perspective of putting up things as the spirit moves you.

And some of the greatest portfolios of art were clearly done without caring at all who showed up to pay attention, where now millions do.

But that is the purity of the true artist. True artists don't get excited with whether or not you're going to show up or not. They're just doing it for the art.

Or at least that's what I believe but I also know of plenty of great artists in history who did what it took to pay the bills. Like the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, right?

Wait a minute, where do we get this notion of art for art's sake? What does that even mean? Possibly for many it can mean starving artist here you are.

To me if you're doing things you really don't like doing, then yeah, that's wrong. Almost changed to "questionable" but seriously, I think that's wrong. But if you enjoy doing something, why shouldn't you get paid for it too? Will ponder more.


James Harris

Saturday, August 01, 2015

My take on performance reality

For me chasing reality is an important thing and found myself pondering open rehearsals a while back. My understanding is those are when the public can come and watch performers rehearsing, which is free.  But when do MOST people show up? I'm certain most will come for the actual performance. And they'll even pay! So they can get a lot of it for free, so why don't they mostly show up for rehearsals?

On social media I think I see a lot of people doing the equivalent of open rehearsals which is ok, and a few people show up. And there are others who have polished performances that draw millions and tens of millions.

But should social media be a performance?

If it's not, then why would anyone show up?

To me that's such an important question, and I puzzle over it at times looking over things people have put online, as I try to figure out the reason for so doing.

From the perspective of some people, maybe people should show up because they like them, or support them, you know, like family. But in my experience with writing, even family can get tired of being pressured to read things.

It helped me out a LOT to realize that people all over the globe have no more reason to show up to read something I write than I have to keep up with things they do. While yes, close friends and family may care about any number of things. But for others, are you kidding me?

The people I tend to read tend to do things that get me to read which are very polished.

They no more expect me to just read them because I like them than I expect them to read me because they like me!

Social media is a stage.

And social media is global. So it's actually a lot bigger than just about any other stage on which a person can present things. But it can feel very intimate as you're sitting in a quiet room, maybe alone with your thoughts. That is an illusion.

When it is more public than anything that ever came before.

Putting things out there on here is like being at Madison Square Garden times ten on automatic, as a default.

When you fail out here people DO notice. And the web seems to never forget. But you can rise above your stumbling, or botched performances. But never think they're not noticed. They are.

I have silly stuff from over a decade ago that I know people are STILL coming across, and my reaction? Shrug. Wow. That's true too. But there isn't anything I can do about it, or would wish to do about it. Besides I don't think it's that bad, but it's worth mentioning if only to myself. I don't even remember all there is out there that I wrote.

Look at open rehearsals. There are dedicated fans who want to be there at every step of the process. But most people? They'll be there when it's all polished, if ever.

Talking to myself. Working on getting past that, but why don't people just like me? That whine gets old very quickly.

Social media is the endless audition.


James Harris

Friday, July 31, 2015

Lessons from movie Hancock

One of my favorite movies is Hancock which came out in 2008. It's about a Black superhero who gets drunk a lot, and causes a lot of damage to the city of Los Angeles when he's doing heroic acts, like in the opening he stops criminals. But also does a LOT of damage while doing it.

What makes the story interesting to me, besides the character John Hancock having my initials, is that his superpowers in the movie are kind of a static thing until the end. But his life experience varies greatly based on his interactions with other people.

So originally he's clearly poor. Lives in a trailer, and is hounded by the press, and the city which keeps serving him with citations for the damage he does, even though he's doing it stopping criminals.

Some public relations guy, after he saves him, leads him on what is commonly called the path to redemption and he becomes a celebrity.

The point then of the movie is that his superpowers are irrelevant. What really matters is how people perceive him.

That movie could have been great but the public relations guy was really irritating. And it had this awful scene where Hancock paints a heart on the moon! Just wrecked the movie. Ending was cool though as Hancock flies down with an eagle next to him. Or was it a hawk? I need to watch it again.

Gave me chills.


James Harris

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

A tweet on writing

Today was fascinated by what I think is a cool accident as noticed one of those Twitter trending things on writing, and after a while of pondering came up with something of my own to add. Turns out it came out to exactly 140 characters too! And here's my tweet:
(Yes, you can click on the hashtag in the tweet.)

And the challenge I thought was to put ten things into a single tweet! But when I was typing it up, got to the end, wondering if last would fit, and it fit, yup, perfectly!

So here are the ten things NOT to say to a writer written out:

1. Don't.
2. Just write.
3. Figure it out.
4. Try harder.
5. What's a block?
6. Finish now.
7. Be creative.
8. Think.
9. Cry.
10. What's wrong?

Sound legit? Or was I reaching too much to find things that would fit?

But here's the thing: why would anyone come up with such a trending topic, and why do most people NOT pay attention to that ten things part? And why ten things? Why not just say things?

That's how most people seemed to be tweeting it.

Wonder, how many people decided to show ten things like I did, and does it really matter or do I have too much time on my hands?

Things to ponder.


James Harris

Monday, July 27, 2015

Thoughts on Google+

Finally really like Google+ and Google just announced a needed change where forced integration with YouTube is being removed, which has elicited more speculation about its future.

But now it's finally starting to look like something I like as I can collect my postings in a way that makes sense to me, lets me keep up with them better, and maybe can help others who are interested.

Like here's my open source collection: Open source related including mine

There I talk about, yup, you guessed it! Open source including mine, but I think mostly mine. Only have 3 posts there though. Hmmm...maybe shouldn't put that one up? Why not.

For people into looking at my photos: Some of my photos

There are a decent number of posts there I guess, with yup, photos in them. And I can pull from wherever, so there are ones from my 500px account as well as ones directly posted. Could also pull in from Instagram if I wished. So can be a collection of photos from lots of places that I wish to present there for whatever reason.

And here's one focused on space: Space things I think are interesting

I have 12 collections and don't worry will not put up the other 9 here. You can check out my Google+ profile, if you wish to see the rest. A link is on the blog somewhere or other.

In the years I've been on Google+ I haven't been as excited about what I can do with it as I am now. Just really wanting these new changes to enhance that feeling.

Change does not necessarily mean something is wrong. Change can mean that lessons learned through years and hundreds of millions of users, like me, doing things are being brought to bear by one of the most innovative companies we know.


James Harris

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Pondering possible advice

Thinking positive can mean having a plan in case things really do work out in a big way, and then people might ask you for advice! So am going to work that out now with what I'd like to think will work indefinitely as I'm not so much into that giving advice thing:

Have a plan.

Set up expectations--then deliver.

And that's it. If others have given same advice, great!!! I don't pretend these are unique to me. In fact I'd be very surprised if they were. Actually I'm sure they're not.

Love short and simple, which I think should make my life easier with advice that could actually work! And posted recently about having a plan, which includes a link to where I talked about setting up expectations on my Google+, and even if no one else cares, I have these as notes to myself.

Can't help but say more about having a plan, as I think to some people the web is a place where you can try things invisibly, where it's actually a place where even your most simple tries can grab attention from around the globe.

But you have to try if you're going to put up things public.

If you're just going to communicate within close community then it's different.

But public on the web is more public than anything that came before in all of human history.

But how do you have a plan? I think there's lots out there on how to plan. How do you set up expectations? Isn't that kind of obvious, if not got nothing else. How do you deliver?

Now that's where the rubber meets the road.

Always working on that question, how do I deliver on expectations I've set up?


James Harris

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

How having a plan can work

People like to know what they can expect from you. That statement is so generic I feel comfortable putting that out there without figuring it should get me into a lot of arguments, but on the web am fascinated by how often I'm looking at something wondering--what in the whatever is this person trying to do?

I've felt the instinct though--throw something up on the web and see what will happen!

People kind of seem to react to that like they do to throw up in other areas.

I like having a plan, any kind of plan. And got an example.

Years ago back in 2003, found myself feeling a bit glum. I'd figured out my own way to count prime numbers, contacted the two leading mathematicians in that area and got the equivalent of a shrug. One straight out said he didn't find it to be of any interest.

Looking for a pick me up, I concentrated on this little program I'd written to help me study for the Java Certification exam. Yes, I passed barely, but was so long ago it's not that important to the story as I'm talking about over a decade ago.

So I'm like, hey, why don't I expand this test program? But how to share? And talked about it a bit with some other software developers as at that time was a professional, and one of them suggested open source, and I'm like what's open source? And he mentioned SourceForge as a way for me to distribute and I'd never heard of it, but checked it out, and figured it would do. But I needed a name for this program.

Original was called Class Info, and was just a bit of a wrapper on Java Reflections which outputted text. And like I said, I'd just written it to help me study for the Java Certification exam, but now I needed something for production. Pondering a name, I'm like, what's the most generic name I can come up with that has LOTS of competition?

Why? Because it was like a test. I wanted a VERY generic name to see if it could beat the competition, and checked a bit and "class viewer" fit the bill. Even back then before Google was the behemoth it is today I could see that was a very competitive name as it was SO generic, with lots of class viewers around, and it was close enough to what the thing did, so that's what I called it.

Wrote the GUI which is handled by ClassViewer.java, which then called ClassInfo.java which became the helper program managing the data, though it still can operate independently, I think.

Wasn't sure! So I went and checked! And yes it can! It's been a long time since I thought about these things.

So that was the plan.

Needed SOMETHING to help me feel better and not like a total loser when those mathematicians didn't react like I wanted with my prime counting discovery, so deliberately took what was handy, and angled things to give a real test.

Over a decade later it's my least important global thing yet one of my most important checkable things. I use it a lot as a reality check for me and others.

Of all my accomplishments that draw global attention it's the most minor, but it's also one of the easiest for people to check me on things, like looking at things like downloads. And the thing about downloads is that every single one matters. Like with visits you're thinking it could have been an accident, especially if you just see one. But downloads indicate a lot more, even if you just have one. At least someone wants the thing.

Getting from glum to something useful to people around the globe--and picky people too as Java software developers have high requirements--is the best kind of win-win I think.

I felt better and had something concrete which others could find useful. So I took my glum, and turned it into, wish I knew something applicable that rhymed, but maybe better to just say, a nice little concrete application that could be helpful to some people.

It takes a plan. And in this case the plan succeeded.

You should have a plan.

Does it have to be some grand, massive thing? No. It can be something as simple as, I'd like to have a little something to make me feel better.

And having other people along can be just great! But they need to know what to expect.

I talk more about letting people know what to expect on Google+ with a post. which is in a collection I call Some of my social media musings to which I will also try to link. Collections are a way on Google+ to group postings along a theme, which can help you let people know what to expect..

Going to try those linkings to see how well that works.

And yes, you are free to just throw up something on the web, but with a plan, and giving people some expectations then I strongly suggest to you that you're more likely to get something you want happening.

Turns out direction is kind of important with things. Kind of hard to get someplace if you don't head off in a direction, and know when you've arrived. And if you want people helping you along the way? They will probably like to know where you're going, first.


James Harris