The cat’s out of the bag, and no, it’s not Schrödinger’s cat.

My team has elected the next project leader for the next project, an autonomous greenhouse, which is basically a building-sized robot that feeds itself and grows/harvests food for humans.

Interestingly enough, but not surprisingly so, they chose a project management algorithm to lead the project, giving over all decision making and late night number crunching to a software team member who/which won’t need weekly meetings or summary reports to get its point across when fingers are pointed toward the causes of failures in achieving project goals.

The algorithm already mines Bitcoins to generate revenue for the project so cost has all but been eliminated from concerns on this project.

Practically eliminating humans from the design and construction phase reduces labour costs; so, too, during operation and maintenance.

The algorithm has a flexible set of milestones to complete the design and construction, this being a new project for all involved.

I trust my team.

However, I’m building my own scale version of this to compare one human’s design to that of an algorithm.

In my case, cost is of paramount importance, labour cost is primarily my free time and schedule is within a few weeks/months depending on weather conditions and my free time.

Wish me luck!

Earbud, ‘ear, phone, come ‘ere

She couldn’t remember the first time she killed one of her new friends because she had never stayed in any one town long enough to make old friends.

Everyone was a new friend to her.

As a traveling nurse’s aide, she frequently moved from one community to another, her belongings easily fitting into the eight-passenger van that had been willed to her by a former homebound patient, the only time she allowed herself to be connected with a murder victim.

She didn’t think in terms of killing and murder.  Those were just the words she knew that the law used to describe what she did.

She had renamed herself Chromcalsia in community college, a trick on the chrome calculator that her boyfriend at the time had, a relic of the presmartphone days that he proudly carried around with him.

But when people asked her where her name came from, she told them it was the name of an ancient queen in a videogame that her mother loved to play and no, she didn’t know the name of the videogame.

Chromcalsia looked at her schedule for the day — a roster of lonely old people virtually locked into solitary confinement in their homes, no visitors except for the occasional physical therapy assistant and nurse’s aides like Chromcalsia.

Her first few months on the job, in a small town outside Lincoln, Nebraska, had been the best and worst.

She loved the smile that beamed at her after she walked into a patient’s house, having used a hidden key in a fake shell or fake rock next to the backdoor as instructed because the patient was bedridden or confined to a special recliner.

She wished she was talented enough to write down the patients’ stories, tales about fighting in wars, raising children in strange environments, inventing new gadgets or their observations about world events that happened decades ago but the patients recalled as if it was still happening, their demented thought sets out of touch with reality, calling her names like Doris, Ann or Sylvia because that was their daughter’s name or their granddaughter’s name or a niece or the nice nurse who tended their wounds in a foreign war.

She saw a lot more women than men.

She enjoyed them all.

She didn’t enjoy the bad side of her job, realising through vital sign measurements and smells that the patient was dying a long, excruciating death, with no one to provide daily comfort to help ease the pain.

Chromcalsia was not allowed to visit patients for social visits.

So, she spent as much time as she could during her official visits to find out what each patient wanted most of all.

Besides companionship, the number one wish was a quick, painfree death because the world was falling to pieces and the patient couldn’t stand to see the local community so devastated by a global meltdown.

Chromcalsia had tried to convince her first patients that the world was a wonderful place but it didn’t work — either their thoughts were so fixed they couldn’t process her view or they just couldn’t accept that a wonderful world would put them in such miserable conditions.

Having come from humblest of humble conditions, what her community college boyfriend called the slums, Chromcalsia laughed to herself when her patients, with a telephone, a clean house, cable TV and home healthcare, would say the world was going to hell.  She learned to nod her head and agree, providing verbal affirmation of what the patients wanted to hear.

As an experiement one day, she texted a note in a patient’s file that went straight to the physician assigned to the patient, requesting extra pain medication.

Chromcalsia could not pick up the prescriptions for the patient but she could administer the medication when she was in the patient’s house.

She arrived to see the patient in extreme pain, moaning and begging Chromcalsia to end her misery.

Chromcalsia was scheduled to visit the patient three times that week so the first day she doubled the patient’s pain meds, doubled that again the second day and on the third day she convinced the patient that the remaining pills in the bottle had to be taken the next day.

The patient was so delirious that Chromcalsia was surprised he remembered what she told him.

Back at the office  the next week, Chromcalsia was informed that one of her patients had unexpectedly died of a drug overdose.

She smiled to herself, knowing she had helped a man do what he wouldn’t have done for himself, his body emaciated from multiple surgeries to repair gastrointestinal damage from a roadside bomb.

Chromcalsia talked to other nurse’s aides about what happened, feeling around to see if they had done anything similar.

One or two stated out loud that they wondered if their joking suggestion to a patient to end it all had led to a drug overdose.

In every case, none of the aides had been suspected of foul play, the overdose taking place days after their last visit.

That sealed the idea for Chromcalsia.

From then on, as she moved from one town to another, she decided which patients of hers were in the worst shape and assisted them in finding a peaceful way to die to prevent a more horrible ending that their medical conditions indicated was waiting for them.

To keep suspicion off of her, Chromcalsia planted the idea of assisted suicide in the thoughts of her coworkers, who in turn planted the idea in their patients’ thoughts, half-jokingly.

Enough patients understood in their delirium what they were being told that they followed the instructions told in jest, statistically taking the heat off Chromcalsia.

Chromcalsia made sure she never financially benefited from her patients, leaving town whenever a patient mentioned leaving her something.

The passenger van was the one exception because the patient made the statement in front of Chromcalsia’s supervisor on the day of Chromcalsia’s first visit with the patient.  She thought he was joking.  The supervisor later told Chromcalsia the patient told the supervisor that the next nurse to come help him was going to get the vehicle.

Chromcalsia did not fantasize about herself being an angel or anyone other than the kind of person she wanted to know when she was at death’s door without friends or family to quietly assist her comfortable exit from this world, no matter how wonderful it really was.

Dozens?  Hundreds?  Chromcalsia thought for a moment but wasn’t sure of the count.  It wasn’t her goal to meet a number.

She parked the van in front of the office building.  Two days off before she’d start looking for a new town, spreading the love and joy that had surrounded her from birth, her mother telling Chromcalsia as a toddler, while her mother was dying of stage four breast cancer, that she was a special child whose very presence was what dying people wished for, a magic elixir, a sedative that made dying worthwhile.

Chromcalsia was going to spend the rest of her life living out her mother’s image of her.

Do your neuronal connections have labels?

Do you know what your neuronal connections look like?

I think I know mine:

SCAN0024 SCAN0025 SCAN0026 SCAN0027 SCAN0028 SCAN0029 SCAN0030 SCAN0031 SCAN0032 SCAN0033 SCAN0034 SCAN0035 SCAN0036 SCAN0037 SCAN0038 SCAN0039 SCAN0040 SCAN0041 SCAN0042 SCAN0043 SCAN0044 SCAN0045 SCAN0046 SCAN0047 SCAN0048 SCAN0049 SCAN0050 SCAN0051 SCAN0052 SCAN0053 SCAN0054 SCAN0055 SCAN0056 SCAN0057 SCAN0058 SCAN0059 SCAN0060 SCAN0061 SCAN0062 SCAN0063 SCAN0064 SCAN0065 SCAN0066 SCAN0067 SCAN0068 SCAN0069 SCAN0070 SCAN0071 SCAN0072 SCAN0073 SCAN0074 SCAN0075 SCAN0076 SCAN0077 SCAN0078 SCAN0079 SCAN0080 SCAN0081 SCAN0082 SCAN0083 SCAN0084 SCAN0085 SCAN0086 SCAN0087 SCAN0088 SCAN0089 SCAN0090 SCAN0091 SCAN0092 SCAN0093 SCAN0094 SCAN0095 SCAN0096 SCAN0097 SCAN0098 SCAN0099 SCAN0100 SCAN0101 SCAN0102 SCAN0103 SCAN0104 SCAN0105 SCAN0106 SCAN0107 SCAN0108 SCAN0110 SCAN0111 SCAN0112 SCAN0113 SCAN0114 SCAN0115 SCAN0116 SCAN0117 SCAN0118 SCAN0119 SCAN0120 SCAN0121 SCAN0122 SCAN0123 SCAN0124 SCAN0125 SCAN0127 SCAN0128 SCAN0129 SCAN0130 SCAN0131 SCAN0132 SCAN0133 SCAN0134 SCAN0135 SCAN0136 SCAN0137 SCAN0138 SCAN0139 SCAN0140 SCAN0141 SCAN0142 SCAN0143 SCAN0144 SCAN0145 SCAN0146 SCAN0147 SCAN0148 SCAN0149 SCAN0150 SCAN0151 SCAN0152 SCAN0153 SCAN0154 SCAN0155 SCAN0156 SCAN0158 SCAN0159 SCAN0160 SCAN0161 SCAN0162 SCAN0163 SCAN0164 SCAN0165 SCAN0166 SCAN0167 SCAN0168 SCAN0169 SCAN0170 SCAN0171 SCAN0172 SCAN0173 SCAN0174 SCAN0175 SCAN0176 SCAN0177 SCAN0178 SCAN0179 SCAN0180 SCAN0181 SCAN0182 SCAN0183 SCAN0184 SCAN0185 SCAN0186 SCAN0187 SCAN0188 SCAN0189 SCAN0190 SCAN0191 SCAN0192 SCAN0193 SCAN0194 SCAN0195 SCAN0196 SCAN0197 SCAN0198 SCAN0199 SCAN0200 SCAN0201 SCAN0202 SCAN0203 SCAN0204 SCAN0205 SCAN0206 SCAN0207 SCAN0208 SCAN0209 SCAN0210 SCAN0211 SCAN0212 SCAN0213 SCAN0214 SCAN0215 SCAN0216 SCAN0217 SCAN0218 SCAN0219 SCAN0221 SCAN0222 SCAN0223 SCAN0224 SCAN0225 SCAN0226 SCAN0227 SCAN0228 SCAN0229 SCAN0230 SCAN0109 SCAN0126

For the record books…

In which part of the year is your area setting new maximum temperatures?

In which year: HSV-record-max-temp-year?

Thanks to the NOAA NWS Huntsville website for this data.

Real question:  is there a pattern in the data that we can do anything to change?

Return to ROI

Something, some thought, some idea, in the back/top/middle of my head is itching.

I look at old stats such as this:

I wonder about the average cost of postsecondary education for a college student in the U.S.:

Figure 40-1: Total cost of attending an undergraduate institution for first-time, full-time students receiving aid, by level and control of institution and living arrangement: Academic year 2010-11

Figure 40-1: Total cost of attending an undergraduate institution for first-time, full-time students receiving aid, by level and control of institution and living arrangement: Academic year 2010-11

I examine tables such as this one:

Figure 29-1: Percentage of youth ages 16-24 who were neither enrolled in school nor working, by sex: Selected years, 1990-2011

Figure 29-1: Percentage of youth ages 16-24 who were neither enrolled in school nor working, by sex: Selected years, 1990-2011

Finally, I ask myself, what, based on the salaries of youth who reached adulthood, was my ROI (return on investment) of these kids?:

Figure 49-2: Median annual earnings of full-time, full-year wage and salary workers ages 25-34, by educational attainment and sex: 2010

Figure 49-2: Median annual earnings of full-time, full-year wage and salary workers ages 25-34, by educational attainment and sex: 2010

And that’s just the U.S. domestic market.

I’m thinking about this one…~$227k to raise a middle-class kid.  Looking at salary figures above, the kid has to work for quite a few number of years to pay back the investment in his upbringing.

Where is the line where ROI is achieved?

Meanwhile, those shrinking middle-class kids are having kids and using public resources, contributing some small amount toward supporting public employee pension funds, Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, etc., that they hope to receive themselves one day, even if they don’t believe the benefits will be available when they reach their senior citizen years.

In other words, our investment in the average citizen continues throughout that citizen’s life, well after ROI on childhood is achieved.

But there’s something else here in and out of this data set that still itches, has itched and continues to itch every time the subject passes through my thought set.

More than social responsibility.

More than cultural expectations.

More than formative years brainwashing.

More than standard/quality of living.

I see the costs, I see the benefits of straightline ROI, but the je ne sais quoi…???

What about the noneconomic value of a person?  Where are we accounting for the individual person’s thoughts, dreams, wants, needs, etc.?

One thousand years from now, we hold a history class and talk about the concept of worship through the rise and fall of civilisations.

During the first few thousand years of our species’ history, we slowly replaced the worship of unseen deities with the worship of money, as simply demonstrated through the construction and sole function of edifices found during archaeological digs.

It took a hard turn from deity-to-money history for us to change what we worship 1000 years later.

But we’ll save that lesson for another blog entry.

Thanks to Meagan at Tenders; Joe and Jennifer at KCDC.