Sunday, February 10, 2019

Government Assistance Programs

 The economics of why Government's manage to go over budget

The government identifies a problem.

The government decides it needs to create an assistance program.

The government allocates $x to finance this assistance program.

A bureaucracy is employed to manage and run this assistance program.

The bureaucracy manages to absorb most of the $$ available for the assistance program in salaries, wages, consultants fees, expenses.

How much $$ is left for actual assistance to public?

The government allocates increased funding to support assistance program.

Bureaucrats increase number of staff employed to implement program.

Extra funding is again absorbed by...operational expenses...etc etc etc.

Part 2
When the government decides that privatizing this program will become more efficient.

Private enterprises put in tenders for contract with government

Either lowest tender wins bid or

Collusion amongst bidders sets floor for bidding  or

Government bureaucrats are influenced by under the table incentives to favor tenders or

Politicians with conflicting interests influence tender selection process

Whoever wins contract is motivated by profit incentive.

Profit incentive is directly in conflict with need to provide assistance to public because it reduces profits.

Part 3 
 Government decides to nationalize private enterprise mentioned in Part 2

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Internet Scams

I've received faked invoices by email. Never click on the link in the email message.

I've received received fake notices that if I don't pay now my service will be disconnected.

The most recent scam is when I connected to Google Hangouts.
I immediately received a message from what looked like a young woman.
Further conversations led to her showing an unbelievable interest in me. Now I'm not that stupid to fall for that. So I played along waiting for the hit.
What came next was obvious, video sex online for money.
The skill with which the perpetrator attempted to manipulate me was very good.
I've seen other scams like this which have been too crude and blunt to be taken seriously, especially one that stole the ID of somebody and pretended to be that person.
What was apparent in the sex for money scam was how each confrontation by myself was followed by a long pause, versus normal conversation. I suspect the scammer was getting instructions on how to respond from a third party.

So here is Luise Garnier. This is the name she used. She is very charming and very believable. But ultimately her motive was to get money from me in exchange for online sex.

Let this be a warning to everybody.

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Is Human Behaviour an Algorithm?

I've often wondered about patterns of behavior.
I observe my cats for example, different generations behave remarkably similarly. In fact, it's an amusing pastime for cat owners to reflect on how common certain cat behaviour can be. Is cat behaviour merely an inherited algorithm?

And then consider AI and the possibility that at some point in the future, androids will be programmed with an algorithm that lets them mimic human behaviour.
Hiroshi Ishiguro builds androids and explores the possibilities of human attachment to androids.

I put this idea on it's head and think, what if humans are programmed to behave in a certain way, in fact, by an algorithm?
If an algorithm can predict human behaviour, doesn't that suggest that humans are just a result of a very complex algorithm?

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Time Travel 2

Having speculated on Time Travel in my previous post, I now delve further into the subject.

If you assume you can travel back in time, you assume that all points of time co-exist simultaneously. So that all events become points on a timeline, and all points are infinite in number as well as co-existing all the time. How else would it be possible to choose a point in time, say in the past and travel to that point? Think of all time as a continous line and events at a particular time as points on that timeline.
Imagine me sitting in my chair, typing away on my PC keyboard this minute. At some time in the future I would want to come back to this moment. This moment must be suspended on the timeline infinitely even though I move along this timeline.
If we could freeze time as well as travelling in time, we would exist in that moment of time we choose to visit and observe it in minute detail, walk around it and try to manipulate it.

Time is relative but time doesn't stand still or  suspend all events that occur along the timeline event horizon, waiting for a time traveller to come and visit any particular moment.

Time travel to me is a leap of the imagination but physically impossible.