Aaron's Network

Aaron's Blog, to blog about blogging things
I'll probably just use this as a place to dump random thoughts and Ideas for things. 

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#018 And the Future Begins.

posted 5 Feb 2018, 10:04 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 5 Feb 2018, 12:18 ]

"History will be kind to me for I intend to write it." - Winston Churchill 
Half a year ago I made a post about how in the future technology would make solving crimes difficult, #005 Evidence, an now recently, the news was filled with articles like this, about how face-swapping is now used to realistically put celebrities into scenes they didn't actually appear in. Now while this may be unethical, its not technically illegal (for now), but I have to ask the question of when will some genius figure out that there are far less legal things that this technology can be used for. The application used is freely available, and some people have got Hollywood quality results, mostly swapping Nicolas Cage into various different Movie Scenes (As the internet generally does when given a piece of software that could be extremely important). 

One use could be to commit a crime and video it. Then simply map some photos from the victims Facebook feed, and you have a video of the victim apparently committing a crime. You could also use this the other way like I said in #005 to prove someone was at a certain location at a time. There's quite a lot of legal implications with this, so if it turns out there are a lot of people who realise how this can be used, there would need to be some precautions and laws around something like this. 

For now,  if you look close you can probably tell if its fake. But how long till that isn't the case? How long till the human eye can no longer tell mapping issues from natural imperfections in a face? How long till someone uses this application for something more serious? When that happens, I'm gonna be the first one to say Told you so.

Anyway, Thought Over,


Image result for the guardian

AI used to face-swap Hollywood stars into pornography films

This was made by a random person with a free program:

#017 The Kings Wall

posted 29 Jan 2018, 06:39 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 29 Jan 2018, 06:41 ]

"A Wise man never knows all, Only a fool knows everything." - African Proverb
Once upon a time, there was a land with 2 kingdoms. The first kingdom was ruled by a fair king, who was known for his wisdom and intricate solutions to any problem the kingdom faced. The second kingdom was ruled by an evil and greedy tyrant, who ruled with military force, was intent on conquering the land and was hated by his people

The two kingdoms had been at war for years, with the Evil King wanting the land and power capturing the other kingdom would bring. The Evil King's efforts had been efforts had been in vain so far, and he was starting to become angry to the point he was intent on destroying the wise king. He created one last plan to use all his army to break a hole in the kingdom wall and storm in. He decided the best course of attack was to focus on damaging a small area of the wall, give them a few hours to waste resources repairing and reinforcing the hole, then attack an entirely separate area of the wall, breaking through as they struggled to repair the wrong wall.

However, the Evil King had overlooked two things. First, that his people hated him, and many of his people were leaking information to the wise king, who allowed them to move to his kingdom for the information. Second, the Evil King was not aware of secret resource stashes the wise king had stored. This meant that when the first attack came, the wise king was ready. He allowed the first attack to succeed, leaving a damaged area of the wall and giving the impression he did not have knowledge of the plan. However, in the few hours he had, he created a plan of his own. He knew he could not leave the wall broken, as the soldiers would simply break in from there instead, but he also could not anticipate where the full attack would come from. However, with his extra resources, he knew he would be able to reinforce an area of the wall strong enough so the Evil King could not break through. So he enacted his plan and waited for the attack.

The Evil King and his army approached. The defending archers started firing but they reached the wall with minimal damage to their army and saw the wall had only been lightly repaired. The Evil King was slightly thrown off by this, but assumed the Wise King had fewer resources than he had originally believed so was unable to repair the wall. He decided to alter the plan and attack the weakened wall, as it would still be the easiest point of attack. 

The trebuchets began launching rocks at the area of the wall. As it was already damaged, it didn't take long to break through, and the Evil King's army was barely weakened by the archers. They approached the hole, only to find another wall behind the outer one. The Evil King was again slightly confused but commanded his army to attack this second wall, despite this bringing his army closer to the archers. The battle went on for another hour of attempting to breach this second wall before the Evil King realised what the Wise King had done. Nowhere in the wall had been reinforced at all, except for this point behind the weakened hole. This meant that while the original plan would have worked, attempting to break through this area of the wall meant breaking through all the resources of the kingdom, a small area of 20ft thick stone. 

The Evil King knew it was far too late to change his plan now, his army had suffered too much damage and would take more if he wasted time changing the point of attack. Without any other options other than retreating, he simply told his army to carry on. This went on for many more hours, the Evil King's army slowly being decayed by the arrows of the Wise King's archers, until eventually, the Evil Kings army was too weak to continue, and despite the overwhelming force the Evil King once had, he was now alone, and was easilly captured.

There are multiple lessons that could be chosen from this story. Maybe not to charge blindly into battles, or to learn to express your strengths as weaknesses, so your enemies do not know what they are walking into your area of expertise. Maybe it could be learned how wisdom will always beat power, since a wise man can make a small amount of power do far more than a simple man with large amounts. Whatever can be taken from it, I think it's a good story, so I guess here it is. 

Anyway, Thought Over,

#016 The Uncanny Rule

posted 15 Dec 2017, 04:32 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 15 Dec 2017, 04:35 ]

"The difference between Genius and stupidity is that genius has limits" - Albert Einstein
 There is a theory that the closer something gets to human, the more familiar we are with it. However, when you get close to fully human, the things that look similar to humans but not right will seem scary until you get close enough to humans to be lifelike. This sudden drop is known as the "uncanny valley" and I guess is why horror films using puppets are scary. They're humanoid and can talk, yet aren't human enough, so hit the uncanny valley.

When I started thinking about it, I saw that this "rule" could be applied to other areas. Video games as one example, you get games like Call of duty or GTA going for super realistic graphics and complicated gameplay, then you have games like flappy bird, literally so simple, 12-year-olds are taught to make it at school. Yet both seem to reach similar levels of popularity, maybe flappy bird even being more successful. In terms of the uncanny valley, games from the early era of computers that tried 3D graphics have sort of faded out. For example, the original tomb raider game. Maybe fun at the time because it was the peak of technology. But today, it's been replaced by games that get closer to lifelike, meanwhile, games that went for simple like Pacman or dig-dug are still pretty famous.

I guess someone could technically argue the video game valley is just a repeat of the original, with lifelike graphics as good, while worse graphics aren't so good till you get to a point the games selling point isn't its graphics anyway. One example I thought up that's not based on looks is the reward for good and evil in life. For example, taking halfway down the drop to the uncanny valley as the "starting point", the graph would look like something on the right (Or below if on a phone). 

So, with this graph, I would think that if you sort of are neutral to everyone in life,  you would end up in an ok position.  People who are likeable will obviously end up in a better situation, while people who are negative about everything are likely to end up worse. However, when you go from simply being unlikeable to being evil, you start to get some success. On the diagram, it's shown by dictators, who, while evil, have lots of wealth and power.
another example is successfully robbing banks or taking hostages for ransom. Evil, but if you're good at it you would be rich. 

If you go far on the good side, you would get people like charity workers, who are so morally good that they give any wealth they may earn to others. While obviously there are many benefits to this, in terms of wealth and power, what this graph is based on, they give it all to others. There may be a few exceptions to this, for example, people like Mother Teresa are famous for what they did and are now globally recognised. Many people would say she was "Successful" at what she did, even if she wasn't technically rich. 

I guess the only answer is that if you go to the extremes of either end, you find success. But with that in mind, maybe the graph should look like the final drawing. If it looks like this, it would explain a few things, for example, that flappy bird in the first example, would probably come to the extreme area, being so simple it's popular for its simplicity, I guess the only thing that changes is the "midpoint" of the graph. 

The only question that now comes up, is what would be put in that area in the original uncanny valley?  With the scale from human to inhuman, what should be at the original end of the scale is probably a solid block of wood or something else completely simplistic and non-human. But then how do you get further from humanity than the simplest object possible. My idea would be the 4th dimension. 4D objects are popular because they somehow manage to be simpler than possible in 3D, for example, a Klein bottle, a 1 sided shape, which is able to be 1-sided because the 4th dimension allows it to pass through itself.
as it is 1 sided, it is able to be simpler than reality, and that's what i would guess would be on the left extreme of the uncanny rule, a 4d object of some kind that is far better than lifelike humanity. Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron
Related image
Image result for original lara croft game
Image result for klein bottle

#015 Unwritten History

posted 2 Oct 2017, 01:56 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 2 Oct 2017, 01:56 ]

"History is written by the victors" - Winston Churchill

I read the other day about some facts about Joseph Stalin, who is portrayed as a monster wherever you look. It showed some of his better achievements, like the fact that he was strongly anti-racism and against the American Jim Crowe apartheid. Of course, he still did all the things that everyone gets told about, but I think people should be given all the facts on someone before telling them to have an opinion on it. For people like Stalin, having all the facts would still lead to most people thinking he was a bad person, but at least he would also be seen for some of the good views that he had. The world seems to love having facts about everything, and leaving opinion out of history as much as possible. However, that seems to lead to some parts of history being shown from only 1 point of view and presented as fact, without the view from the other side that could at least slightly redeem them. 

What's even worse is that many of the other sides have done things far worse, then just not told anyone and made sure it was never written down. Really, the history everyone gets told is just the story told by the ones who win, since they can destroy and censor anyone with the power to write the rest of the story. I think from now on I'll start considering the reliability of "history" and probably look for the full story before drawing conclusions. Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron
Image result for stalin anti slavery

#014 Peripherally Invisible

posted 2 Oct 2017, 01:20 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 2 Oct 2017, 01:20 ]

"I am invisible, understand, simply because people refuse to see me." - Ralph Ellison

I got bored and thought of what it would be like to be invisible. Not completely invisible, but invisible in the way that no one ever notices you in a room of people. For example, you could walk around an office in a suit and no one will question why you're there or ever focus on you, but you wouldn't be able to run through a room that any security watching knows should be empty. I can think of quite a few upsides and downsides to it. The first, and main upside, is obviously that you can be ignored by others and possibly walk around places you normally wouldn't be able to. The only problem is you wouldn't be able to get through locked doors and security guards, you just wouldn't be considered suspicious once you were in. Saying that, I guess there are still ways to get in, like slipping in behind someone once they open the door, or climbing over a fence (which would be easier since no one would notice you).

The main disadvantage would be that you would be lonely all the time. Since no one wants to focus on you, it would probably make it extremely difficult to become friends with anyone, and even if you did, keeping it up would be even more difficult, since it would be as if everyone who knows you doesn't even know you exist, except this time they literally wouldn't notice you exist unless you go up to them and make yourself "visible" to them.  I guess you could try to explain to anyone how they can't see you, and maybe you could both end up working around it to make friends, but it would still be hard to say if the advantages to being invisible would outweigh the disadvantages. Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron

#013 Working Alone

posted 28 Sep 2017, 01:31 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 28 Sep 2017, 01:31 ]

"Distance yourself from people. If they care, they'll notice. If they don't, you know where you stand."  - Ziad K. Abdelnour

I don't know why but I've always found it easier to work alone. Maybe it's that I don't like having a group that could end up working on ideas I don't agree with, or maybe it's just that I like being able to do every task exactly how I want it to be, and with others that can never happen. Maybe it could be that when people are making obvious mistakes, I don't like watching people go down a path that I can see will clearly fail while being unable to stop it without sounding arrogant like I'm trying to take control of everything.  Whatever it is, whenever I'm working in a group I often end up thinking that If I was alone I could do things far more efficiently and better than the group could as a whole. Obviously, there are advantages to having others working with you. You can get far more perspectives than you ever could get as a single person, but that only seems true when the people you're working with are equally as experienced as you are in the are the group is working on. For example, if you had 10 writers who write books about nature, working with 1 architect, and the group was meant to design a building, the workload would be uneven since the nature writers can't even come close to designing a building as well as an architect, who has experience in the field. Now even though I'm not professionally trained in anything, when I'm paired randomly with people to work with, I generally end up knowing more than they do, so it gets annoying working with others. It seems to be just part of the world that you'll end up being forced to work with people less experienced, so maybe I should get used to it. I don't have any intention of going into a job where you have to heavily work with other people, but I guess even if I work alone, I'll still have to communicate with people I'm doing jobs for. Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron

#012 A Million Miles Away

posted 17 Sep 2017, 13:43 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 17 Sep 2017, 13:43 ]

"I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream" - Vincent Van Gogh

I was thinking about the far future, when space travel becomes a mainstream thing. Maybe not mainstream as in casually going to the moon for a weekly visit, but even mainstream enough that any person can decide they want to travel through space and go to live on a specific planet without having to be a highly trained astronaut. 

I was wondering what it would be like to live normally on earth in a future like that, possibly having friends or even family on a distant planet, unable to contact them. Even if satellites progress to a point to even send something like emails through space at a decent speed, that would be the only possible contact you could have with them. It wouldn't be like having a friend on the other side of the world, since at least if you really wanted to, you could book a plane and be there within a day or 2, and video calls would allow you to pretty much talk face to face. Space travel, on the other hand, would be too long and expensive to just go from place to place, so you wouldn't be able to go to someone unless you save up for a 1-way trip to join them living there.  

In a way, it would be like someone almost dies once they go to another planet. You know you can never see them again, unless you decide to join them, and leave the rest of the world behind. Maybe someone going to space would be worse than having someone die, since you know they're alive, and assuming satellites are evolved, you can still have some sort of communication with them, but never really talking, just question and answer. you would go outside and stare into space, not knowing how many people are out there, living all over the galaxy away from earth,

Then there's the other side, living alone on a planet with only the lifeline of delayed messages from earth (Even with satellite progression it would probably take anywhere from a few hours to a few days to get messages through space). It would get really lonely, even assuming you chose a planet that has enough alien wildlife to keep you company for a while. Maybe inter-planetary communities would form, with people on planets that are close enough to have a video call becoming friends and leaving their old life behind. It would be a strange society if that happened, I wonder if the human mind could even handle something like that. Anyway, Thought Over,

- Aaron
See Explanation.  Clicking on the picture will download the highest resolution version available.

#011 Monopolise The World

posted 16 Sep 2017, 02:22 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 16 Sep 2017, 02:22 ]

"The easiest things to control are your own creations"

I was reading some history books at school and realised how old most big companies are.  For example, the company Kodak was created in 1888, and today is known worldwide as one of the biggest camera and printing companies worldwide. I also read that even in 1976, they controlled 85% of all camera sales in the US and 90% of film sales. It's the same with Walkers, founded in 1948. if you think of the most famous crisps company, Walkers are usually the main one. I was thinking about how they're almost so famous that they have a full monopoly on their market. If you ever wanted to start a new business, something like crisps or cameras wouldn't really be the first thing you think of, since there's already the giant companies that have taken over the industries. 

An interesting thing I also read about Kodak was that they made the first popularized personal camera, making it easy to take photos anywhere. It's probably because of this that they became known as the camera company. I do business studies for my A Level and learned that this type of business structure is called an oligarchy, when an entire industry is taken over by a few giant companies. Apparently, it's been illegal for hundreds of years to have complete contol of an industry, but that doesn't stop a few giant companies sharing the market.

Anyway, I guess today you still get most of the older businesses owning most of the market, but I'm just wondering what happens if a giant business fails. Most of the time it'll be bought by another company to live on, or will have failed because the industry is becoming obsolete anyway, but if neither of those things happen, it would be interesting to see the effect on society, would the people panic as there's now a giant hole in the industry? or would the hole just get filled with smaller businesses that haven't been around as long?  (Almost like an apple tree I guess, If you cut down the giant tree, the apples that have fallen from it will just grow new small trees in its place unless you remove them). Anyway, Thought Over,


Image result for kodak first personal camera

#010 Solving Problems

posted 20 Aug 2017, 05:26 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 20 Aug 2017, 06:35 ]

"The best way to solve a problem is to embrace it"
I think if I ever decided to be a musician or rapper, I would make my musician name something like "$ellout", that way no one would ever seriously call me a sellout, since it would seem like a joke whenever anyone tried. There's a lot of problems that seem to be solved by using the problem as a main feature of the solution. For example, the original Space Invaders game had a problem where the game would be slow since the 70s arcade machines couldn't track all the different enemies and barricades efficiently. The way they solved this was to use it as a feature of the game. The developer realised that when you killed enemies, the arcade had fewer things to track, so could run faster. This had the effect of speeding up the game the more enemies you killed, making it harder. So they left it like this, and it was a feature that helped make the game as popular as it was.

Anyway, I guess the reason most problems aren't solved like this is that it seems like a stupid idea to use the source of the problem to get rid of the problem entirely. It's probably not the only time where the seemingly worst idea is the best one if you go far enough into stupidity. 
Anyway, Thought Over,


PS. decided to add quotes to the top of all my articles whenever I can from now on, some my own, some from others.
Image result for space invaders

#009 Understanding the Elevator

posted 20 Aug 2017, 03:36 by Aaron Brownlee   [ updated 20 Aug 2017, 06:34 ]

I thought up a good analogy today of how understanding is different to knowing.

Let's say you are telling someone how to get people off of a floor in the case of an emergency. To do this they must control the elevator using a panel of 4 buttons in the control room. You tell them they need to press the Red Button, wait 10 seconds, press the Yellow button, wait at least 10 seconds, press the blue button, then immediately the green button, then wait 10 more seconds, and finally the yellow button again. 

If you were to explain it like this, they would maybe take a minute, but they would find some shorthand like R10Y10BG10Y and be able to know how to do it. The main problem is that since it is a long sequence that people are remembering, someone will eventually make a mistake in the sequence. The other main problem is since they only understand how to carry out this one task, if they were suddenly required to open the door for 20 seconds, or close the door quicker than normal, they would have no idea how to since they don't understand what they're  doing, so can't modify the routine. They would need to learn an entirely new routine, taught from scratch to them by someone who knows how to do it.

Now think about if the buttons were labelled. You could now tell them to send the elevator up, wait for it to arrive, open the doors for at least 10 seconds, close the door then immediately send it back down and open the door once it arrives. Now the person not only knows what to do but can change their routine, since they understand what each button is doing as they press it.  Anyway, Thought over, 


Control Panel

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