Monday, August 31, 2009

Hyper-Hyphenation (A BRAINTENANCE DEPARTURE)

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Hyper-Hyphenation : (noun) A lingovation which refers to the excessive use of the hyphen as a device to tie groups of words together in order to unite them as if a single thought.
--Douglas Castle (http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/)


Dear Readers (and you are one if you are reading this):

Americans are obsessed with things that are state-of-the-art, johnny-come-lately, jack-o'-lantern, cul-de-sac, fer-de-lance, anti-wrinkle, ne'er-do-well, deer-caught-in-the-headlights, flash-in-the-pan, bake-off, off-the-shelf, public-at-large, all-in-one, and the like. We love to hyphenate, just as the makers of fine champagnes (that's French!) and Coca Cola like to carbonate. I am an American -- therfore I hyphenate.

Hyphenation is often optional, but my elocution default setting always favors a gratuitous or possible hyphenation. It seems to add emphasis. It's a way to bypass the alternatives of boldface, CAPITALIZATION and italics in order to put a point across.

Some folks like to misuse quotation marks ( I recently drove past a restaurant bearing a sign which read, UNDER NEW MANAGEMENT! THE "BEST" FOOD AROUND! ) to add emphasis. This is not advisable when dealing with a literate audience or clientele, as it might create precisely the opposite perception of what was intended and cause the raising of many an eyebrow.

Bill Doerr, a colleague of mine and a fellow Featured Author for THE NATIONAL NETWORKER Newsletter [get your free subscription at http://twitlik.com/OK], wrote me a thoughtful letter, and in my response, I caught myself in the very act of hyper-hyphenation. An excerpt from the the correspondence follows:

--- On Mon, 8/31/09, Bill Doerr wrote:
From: Bill Doerr
Subject: Gentlemen . . . thought you'd find this of interest
To: "Adam J. Kovitz" , "Douglas Castle"
Date: Monday, August 31, 2009, 9:44 AM

Hi Guys . . .

My Response:

Dear Bill:


Thank you very much for thinking of me (and sadly, of Adam, too...).


The seminar seems to be of great interest, but I have been working so hard at this cross-social-emedia-content-penetration-and-proliferation issue that I believe I am actually ready for the graduate level course.


All the very best.
Yours,


Douglas (Long-Winded) Castle


End-Of-Story.
 DOUGLAS CASTLE
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Terms and labels: Hyper-Hyphenation, Bill Doerr, The National Networker Newsletter and Member Services, lingovations, Adam J. Kovitz, Michael Jackson's Physician, ADHD, meatloaf recipes, terms, labels, Douglas Castle, Google!, Speedlight ProKit, other things,


*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
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http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

Sunday, August 30, 2009

SOLUTIONS (and more problems, of course)

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Dear Friends:

Firstly, here are the answers to "Get On The Brain Train" from several days ago:

1. How much better (in terms of a percentage) than the original is a new model which costs half the price and does the job in half the time?

A: If the new model costs half the price, it is also twice (2 times) as inexpensive; and, if the new gadget does the job in half the time, it is also twice (2 times) as powerful as the old one. The new gadget is 2 x 2 times as efficient as the old one, which means that it is 4 times as effective (400%) as the old one. Since the new one is operating at 400%, and the old one was operating (setting the standard of measurement) at 100%, the new gadget is 300% better. Remember: The answer is not 4 times better, or 400%, because the question asks for the difference. Mrs. Scenendorf, my third-grade teacher, said that "difference means subtract." Not well stated, but I understood.
2. How much better (in terms of a percentage) than the original is a new version that does three times as much work at one-fourth the price?

A: As in the question above, 3 x 4 = 12 (or 1,200%). Subtracting 100% (by the Schenendorf Principle) gives us 1,100% better.

3. If Juan has only 80% of the IQ of his elder brother, Pincus (both children are the products of either an adoption or a mixed marriage), but Juan always earns 50% more than his brother, how much more efficient (in terms of a percentage) is Juan?

A: Juan is 80% as bright as his brother (or expressed in another way, he must think 100%/80% or 125% harder than his brother), but he earns 150% of what his brother earns (something must be said here about the virtues of ambition and hard work). Juan does more with less...first, we do the multiplication: 1.25 x 1.5 = 1.875. Juan is 187.5% as efficient as Pincus. But to answer the question as it was asked (and using the Schenendorf Principle), Juan is 87.5% more efficient.

4. If you take three steps forward and one step back, how long (in total steps forward) will it take for you to advance by fifty steps? Is there a formula for solving this type of problem?

A: Take 3 steps forward in order to advance 2 steps, then you must actually take 6 steps forward in total) in order to advance 4 steps, and 9 steps forward in order to advance 6 steps, and 12 steps forward to advance 8 steps ...Do you detect a pattern? Let's give your mind an additional day or two to identify the pattern, and to come up with the answer without actually pacing around in your house to do it empirically.

5. If your anticipated lifespan is 80 years, and you spend an average of 8 hrs per day sleeping, for how many years of your life will you have been awake?

A: Each day lasts for 24 hours (although sometimes it seems much longer, or much shorter -- but that is perception, and not measurement), so if you sleep 8 hours, you spend 8/24 or 33.33% of your day sleeping. If you continue to do this for 80 years, you'll have sleeping for 33.33% of 80 years, or 26.66 years sleeping. Applying the Schenendorf Principle, 80 total years minus 26.66 years sleeping leaves 53.33 years awake.

See you soon. Or as they used to say in the cult TV series, THE PRISONER, "BCNU."

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE's Blog at
http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

BRAINTENANCE: RIDE THE BRAIN TRAIN.

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Dear Friends:

Firstly, let's start with a poorly-worded advertisement that is (shall we say) subject to considerable interpretation. It popped up on someone's blog as a Google Ad:

Free Sex Offender Report



Where do Sex Offenders live in Your Neighborhood? Find out in 60 secs!


NeighborhoodScan.com
________________________

And now, for some serious Braintenance:

1. How much better (in terms of a percentage) than the original is a new model which costs half the price and does the job in half the time?

2. How much better (in terms of a percentage) than the original is a new version that does three times as much work at one-fourth the price?

3. If Juan has only 80% of the IQ of his elder brother, Pincus (both children are the products of either an adoption or a mixed marriage), but Juan always earns 50% more than his brother, how much more efficient (in terms of a percentage) is Juan?

4. If you take three steps forward and one step back, how long (in total steps forward) will it take for you to advance by fifty steps? Is there a formula for solving this type of problem?

5. If your anticipated lifespan is 80 years, and you spend an average of 8 hrs per day sleeping, for how many years of your life will you have been awake?

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE's Blog at
http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

Thursday, August 20, 2009

SOLUTIONS!

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Dear Friends:

As promised, I have posted the answers to the questions which follow at the bottom of this page. Enjoy them. They will give you a improved sense of perspective.

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

With the help of some Search engines and a calculator, you may wish to answer the following questions:

1. How many Angstrom Units are there in one inch?

2. If Bill Gates were to divide his current net worth amongst the entire population of the United States, how much additional wealth would each of us have?

3. At today's prices, how many ounces of gold would it take to pay for a home valued at $240,000.00?
________________________________
Here are those long-awaited answers:

1. An Angstrom or Aangstroem (the official transliteration), or Angstrom or any combination of standard and special characters, (symbol Å) is a non-SI unit of length that is internationally recognised. It is sometimes used expressing the size of atoms, lengths of chemical bonds and visible-light spectra. For an example of lengths in this unit, the average diameter of an atom, calculated from its empirical radius, ranges from approximately 0.5 Å for hydrogen (the smallest element) to 3.8 Å for uranium (the largest naturally occurring element on earth). The Angstrom is named after the Swedish physicist Anders Jonas Angstrom (1814-1874), one of the founders of spectroscopy. From 1927 to 1960, the Angstrom was a secondary unit of length for use in spectroscopy, defined separately from the meter, which was still defined based on a physical prototype. In 1960, the meter itself was redefined in spectroscopic terms, making the Angstrom obsolete.

There are 254,000,000 Angstrom Units in one inch.
________________________________________


2. Despite losing $18 billion in the past year, Microsoft Corp. co-founder Bill Gates reclaimed the title of richest man in the world, with a total net worth of $40 billion for 2009. Warren Buffett is No. 2, with $37 billion. He lost $25 billion in the past year as shares in his company, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., dropped nearly a third in value.

The total population of the United States is currently 305,182,292, according to the most recent census.

If we took Bill’s net worth of $40 Billion and divided it amongst the entire population of the United States (305,182,292 persons), each person would have an additional net worth of approximately $1.31.

Disappointed? Don’t be. If you could collect a penny from every member of the population of the United States (excluding yourself), you would have only collected a total of $3,051,822.91… a bit over $3 Million.
___________________________________________

3. As of 8:00 pm Eastern Time today, the price of an ounce of gold was approximately $939.79. The price is quite volatile, and it fluctuates quite a bit during the course of a single day.

If an ounce of gold is valued at $939.79, and the house that we are looking at purchasing goes for the sum of $240,000.00, all we need to do is some division. If we simply divide $240,000.00 by $939.79 per ounce, we find that we would need 255.38 ounces of gold to buy the house.

Since there are 16 dry ounces to the pound (these are measures of solid weight, and not of liquid volume), the weight of our sack of gold would be approximately 15.96 pounds (not counting the weight of the sack).

Just as an observation: In theory, the best time to purchase a house would be when the price of gold was at a high, and the prices of residential real estate were low.

___________________________________________

*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE's Blog at
http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

CHAINS AND COMPARISONS (RE-POST...Math and Metaphor)

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Dear Braintenance Buffs:

I had a high school teacher who was obsessed with "chain calculations" and "comparison calculations". These are simple but time- consuming arithmetic operations which are undertaken in order to convert or express one quantity in terms of another, or in order to support (or refute) an idea or argument. A simple one might be (just for example), "How many inches are in a mile?" This type of computation does have the benefit of giving us a sense of perspective.

With the help of some Search engines and a calculator, you may wish to answer the following questions:

1. How many Angstrom Units are there in one inch?

2. If Bill Gates were to divide his current net worth amongst the entire population of the United States, how much additional wealth would each of us have?

3. At today's prices, how many ounces of gold would it take to pay for a home valued at $240,000.00?

I'll be posting your answers on August 20th. Stay tuned.

Soon!

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

p.s. The picture posted in the upper right-hand corner is not of Bruce Willis' character in "THE TWELVE MONKEYS". It is a retouched photo of a fellow (who looks somewhat like Bruce Willis) who would rather remain anonymous. We had lots of fun playing around with the photo, though.







*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE's Blog at
http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

Thursday, August 13, 2009

CHAINS AND COMPARISONS

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Dear Braintenance Buffs:

I had a high school teacher who was obsessed with "chain calculations" and "comparison calculations". These are simple but time- consuming arithmetic operations which are undertaken in order to convert or express one quantity in terms of another, or in order to support (or refute) an idea or argument. A simple one might be (just for example), "How many inches are in a mile?" This type of computation does have the benefit of giving us a sense of perspective.

With the help of some Search engines and a calculator, you may wish to answer the following questions:

1. How many Angstrom Units are there in one inch?

2. If Bill Gates were to divide his current net worth amongst the entire population of the United States, how much additional wealth would each of us have?

3. At today's prices, how many ounces of gold would it take to pay for a home valued at $240,000.00?

I'll be posting your answers on August 20th. Stay tuned.

Soon!

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

p.s. The picture posted in the upper right-hand corner is not of Bruce Willis' character in "THE TWELVE MONKEYS". It is a retouched photo of a fellow (who looks somewhat like Bruce Willis) who would rather remain anonymous. We had lots of fun playing around with the photo, though.







*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE's Blog at
http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

INTELLIGENCE, Revisited and re-posted.

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Braintenance: INTELLIGENCE (AI, The Mind, The Computer)

Dear Friends:

I hope that this brief missive finds you well. You'll need to get your energy together to give some serious thought to this question: "What is the definition of intelligence?"

It is a difficult question. How do we know when we've achieved a point of singularity with AI (Artificial Intelligence), if we don't exactly know what Human intelligence is? Scientists may well be busying themselves with trying to duplicate the superficial appearance or effect of intelligence without knowing its defining parameters and "cause". By way of example, you could cover a turd in a Snickers wrapper, and while there would certainly be a superficial resemblance, from the standpoint of function (and taste), you would not quite have duplicated the celebrated Snickers.

Knowledge is a body of information which one possesses.

Recall is the ability to summon the memory of that knowledge at will.

Generalization is the ability to recognize similarities between two separate sets of facts, or circumstances. In its most simplistic form, this is merely pattern recognition. If you are able to react appropriately to the pattern that you have recognized ("adaptation"), you have an important survival skill.

But what, exactly is intelligence? Is it a massive collection of minute but specific variables that, in composite, make us "smart" or "not so smart"? This is a big question. To read an interesting blog on AI and singularity, read my colleague Bruce Klein's blog which is attached to his company's website at http://www.novamente.com/ . The information there is fascinating.

Another question: Does the ability to form faster generalizations and react to them accordingly make us more intelligent? And, while we're confusing each other, how do artistic, literary and other "talents" factor into intelligence? Are these an alternative form of intelligence? Are these gifts an extra bonus above and beyond intellectual capacity? If you are a better problem-solver, does that mean that you are more intelligent than a philosopher who poses brilliant questions, or who presents imaginative hypotheses or possible explanations? Is the ability to ask the right questions as important as the ability to know how to solve problems in a given set of circumstances?

I don't know. Please advise me of your opinions regarding these issues.

Oh...by the way, can a man or woman program a machine to actually be more intelligent than he or she (the programmer) is? It seems somehow paradoxical. But then, I've met children who are far brighter than their parents.

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE's Blog at
http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

Keywords: AI, analogy, Braintenance, generalization, intelligence, IQ, knowledge, novamente, pattern recognition, problem-solving, recall, singularity, who is Douglas Castle anyway...

Monday, August 10, 2009

Braintenance: INTELLIGENCE (AI, The Mind, The Computer)

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Braintenance: INTELLIGENCE (AI, The Mind, The Computer)

Dear Friends:

I hope that this brief missive finds you well. You'll need to get your energy together to give some serious thought to this question: "What is the definition of intelligence?"

It is a difficult question. How do we know when we've achieved a point of singularity with AI (Artificial Intelligence), if we don't exactly know what Human intelligence is? Scientists may well be busying themselves with trying to duplicate the superficial appearance or effect of intelligence without knowing its defining parameters and "cause". By way of example, you could cover a turd in a Snickers wrapper, and while there would certainly be a superficial resemblance, from the standpoint of function (and taste), you would not quite have duplicated the celebrated Snickers.

Knowledge is a body of information which one possesses.

Recall is the ability to summon the memory of that knowledge at will.

Generalization is the ability to recognize similarities between two separate sets of facts, or circumstances. In its most simplistic form, this is merely pattern recognition. If you are able to react appropriately to the pattern that you have recognized ("adaptation"), you have an important survival skill.

But what, exactly is intelligence? Is it a massive collection of minute but specific variables that, in composite, make us "smart" or "not so smart"? This is a big question. To read an interesting blog on AI and singularity, read my colleague Bruce Klein's blog which is attached to his company's website at http://www.novamente.com/ . The information there is fascinating.

Another question: Does the ability to form faster generalizations and react to them accordingly make us more intelligent? And, while we're confusing each other, how do artistic, literary and other "talents" factor into intelligence? Are these an alternative form of intelligence? Are these gifts an extra bonus above and beyond intellectual capacity? If you are a better problem-solver, does that mean that you are more intelligent than a philosopher who poses brilliant questions, or who presents imaginative hypotheses or possible explanations? Is the ability to ask the right questions as important as the ability to know how to solve problems in a given set of circumstances?

I don't know. Please advise me of your opinions regarding these issues.

Oh...by the way, can a man or woman program a machine to actually be more intelligent than he or she (the programmer) is? It seems somehow paradoxical. But then, I've met children who are far brighter than their parents.

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle

*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE's Blog at
http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

Keywords: AI, analogy, Braintenance, generalization, intelligence, IQ, knowledge, novamente, pattern recognition, problem-solving, recall, singularity, who is Douglas Castle anyway...

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Those Queries From YAHOO!

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THOSE QUERIES FROM YAHOO!
This article originally appeared in Douglas Castle's professional blog, at http://aboutDouglasCastle.blogspot.com

Yahoo!, a large, inefficient and increasingly intrusive company has taken a personal interest in the life (such as it is) of one Douglas Castle.

Just this morning, while opening up screen, up popped a query from Yahoo!, instantly starting my day with a challenge. The query: "What are you doing right now?"

After a seemingly endless period of cerebration (and deep thought, as well), I decided upon this answer: "Douglas is [they fill that part in for you, and they are instantly on a first-name basis with you, too - they are friendly] feeding the neighbor's Siamese cat to an Indian Rock Python." While untrue, this seemed much more interesting than saying "Douglas is drinking his morning coffee."

I would suggest that we all do the same. If we constantly create absurd responses to mechanically-generated questions, it will not only spark the creative processes within us, but it will make for entertaining reading for everyone.

I am going to re-post this commentary to Braintenance (my other, other blog at http://Braintenance.blogspot.com). I believe that the imagination is a neglected muscle in today's society.

Incidentally, if you have not yet subscribed for your free Weekly Newsletter from THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, do it now, at http://twitlik.com/OK.

Faithfully,

Douglas Castle
DOUGLAS CASTLE
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on TWITTER - http://twitter.com/douglascastle
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on THE NATIONAL NETWORKER - http://twitter.com/TNNW_BUZZWORKS

*Follow BRAINTENANCE on Twitter at http://twitter.com/Braintenance .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE's Blog at
http://aboutdouglascastle.blogspot.com/ .
*Follow DOUGLAS CASTLE on Twitter at
http://twitter.com/douglascastle .
*Also:
Take a look at the following sites ---
HUMANITAS MAXIMUS, TAKING COMMAND!, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS BLOG, INTERNAL ENERGY PLUS WEBSITE, THE NATIONAL NETWORKER, THE GLOBAL FUTURIST, THE INTERNATIONALIST PAGE.
*Contact the author at
douglas.castle@yahoo.com .

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