Searching for Answers

Search engines return a set of results to a query. However, some search engines track their users, allowing the technology to customize the results sent to a particular user. Different users can/do get different results. That might seem nice at first glance, but there is problem with that approach from a technical standpoint of learning.

Remember, you are using a search engine to find something. Therefore, you want the truth, and nothing but the truth. By definition, customized results means you don’t really know if the results you are getting are the same as everyone else who uses the same tool for the same query. And over time, you couldn’t compare one query to other queries, and slowly compile a consistent map of your known universe.

Therefore a number of years ago, I switched to a search engine called DuckDuckGo. I did this because the service offers privacy without tracking. Early on, I occasionally had to supplement the results (I suspect the tech was powered by Bing) with a Google search to find something particularly esoteric.

However I liked this tradeoff because I knew that all my answers were treated the same, and therefore DuckDuckGo was getting me closer to the truth than an inconsistent input-output system.

Some people see data storage as an invasion of privacy. Others, like me, actually like the idea that I can someday look back on a lifetime of searches to re-examine and remember my life. However, I do want to control my data and control who gets it. Luckily, I can still do this on the browser side of the equation.

Lastly, if you are like me and believe that the world is generally good, private is not always better than open. For example, certain systems are like nets and they help the right fishermen find the right fish. By sharing openly, we make it easier to be found and emerge as a big fish in our chosen body of water.

Posted in Apps | 1 Response

Don’t think, Do the Economics

There was a news article about an uptick in violence in a community in South Florida.

“There’s been an uptick in violence and most of it we know what’s going on, it’s poverty.  It’s economics,” said Daniella Pierre, president of the Miami-Dade branch of the NAACP. “They have failed to address the economic wellbeing of the black community.”

Ted Scouten

It reminds me of my college economics professor, Prof Yezer, who loved the quote, “Don’t think, do the economics.” His point was that the mathematics system wasn’t an intuitive, emotional system.

Now, what I recognize in the world today is that there is a surprising lack of actual economics shared in everyday life. For example, at one point in time in America, doctors typically earned less than tradespeople, and that taxes were once only levied on international trade, not on citizens’ hourly work.

As devastating as it is for Ms. Pierre to witness the violence in her community, I agree that economics can be part of the solution.

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P2P Information

P2P stands for peer to peer. Here is the transcript of an email I wrote to my father today:

Hi Dad,

I wanted to let you know that I started writing on my blog again and moved it to The future will be syndicated directly from information sources and distributed P2P to people who want to communicate directly from the source.

For example, when certain people post on facebook there will be zero distribution. Even if you pay!

However, on the web, using RSS feeds or URLS, we can communicate without censorship and without the risk of our friends and family not actually getting our own information that we thought we already subscribed to.

I am guessing you have but if not, maybe you should publish on the domain that used to be a home for your company W3 Technology, Inc. and start publishing there. That way, you and I and others can distribute interesting content and information directly with our friends and loved ones. Even photos from my trip here in Istanbul.

Your first post though should be a PDF download of the book you wrote about the internet in the 1990s: The Business Internet. Nothing better than I TOLD YOU SO kinda moments 🙂 about how BIG the internet would be some day.

I read through that book a month or two ago and especially liked your quote from Ghandi called the 7 Deadly Sins

  • Wealth Without Work
  • Pleasure Without Conscience
  • Knowledge Without Character
  • Commerce (Business) Without Morality (Ethics)
  • Science Without Humanity
  • Religion Without Sacrifice
  • Politics Without Principle

However if you directly publish online, your descendents will be able to access that book forever even after you are gone and the book turns to dust, without hoping that Mark Z continues to share the information you gave him to share.

I hope this email was inspirational. I love you, thanks for teaching me about the internet starting back in the early 90s, I am so glad I got started learning about it at such a young age. That wouldn’t have happened without your foresight about how important it would be some day.

G3 aka Tree

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Leaded Gasoline

I am the oldest of the “millennial” generation, and until 1980, cars burned leaded gasoline. The problem with lead is that when you burn it, the gasses get in the air and lead dumbs us down. Especially childrean. Economists convinced policymakers to force engineers to switch to unleaded gasoline because by lowering IQ, the whole economy would measurably suffer more than the cost to transition away. I feel blessed to be born in the generation after it was phased out, and suffer fewer neurological damage than generations before. Read more at the Smithsonian Magazine. What other toxins are still lurking in plain sight?

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The Phoenix

My brother in law Volkan had to liquidate the tools and equipment of his namesake Istanbul restaurant today. It got me wondering about what kind of phoenix(s) will rise from the ashes of COVID. I then remembered my ambitious nephew Yuma who started a composting operation creating soils. Farmers highly value soil, and he wants to help his local farmers. He taught me for example that lemon peels should not be mixed in with his compost. Part of the process is cultivating worms to churn the black matter and to collect food scraps. I could see him eventually expanding to waste food oil and converting this to diesel fuel. This isn’t glamorous to some people, but collecting waste oils and food scraps seems like a bright transition for anyone affected by the destruction and consolidation in the food service industry.

Posted in Economics | Leave a comment

Yacht Charters

To all those who may decide to explore our gorgeous blue planet by yacht, please consider contacting my friend Burak Korel, former captain of a $10M yacht featured in a James Bond film. His experience as a seaman makes him uniquely equipped to help you book the right charter for you. His specialty is charters in the Mediterranean or Aegean Sea, and ports of call in Italy, Croatia, Greece, and Turkey. Fully staffed yachts as small as 35′ or a single cabin can be had for as brief as a weekend, and for surprisingly low costs relative to the alternatives. Discover more at Rendezvous Yachts.

Posted in Luxury | 2 Responses

Radyo Bozcaada

A favorite free, online station is Radyo Bozcaada. Music is primarily broadcast in French, Greek, Spanish, English, and of course, in their native Turkish. or on the mobile app

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You Smell

I love this branding example from You Smell soap makers.

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