June 23rd, 2005


More About Work

So, remember how I said EVERYONE does metadata keywords wrong? That apparently includes me. While every single EDL (no, I don't know what that stands for, except "spreadsheet that the web page generator converts into a set of info pages for each video") I did yesterday had bad keywords, in fixing them I managed to delete large numbers of needed keywords. I spent most of today fixing that.

Then I moved on to a couple of history and biology videos. I immediately noticed something interesting. All the videos are divided into 2-5 minute segments that can be viewed independently on the web site, and each segment needs keywords. For the math videos, it was something of a struggle to find keywords; most segments had about 3, some had as many as five or as few as none (keywords that appear in the title don't go in the metadata). By contrast, the history videos averaged about 8 keywords per segment, and the bio about 12. No WONDER people find math boring -- they're teaching it INCREDIBLY slowly! Assuming the keywords are a reasonably accurate measure, bio classes have four times the information density!

I've been thinking about the singularity (aka Transcendence if you're a Sid Meier fan; it's a science fiction trope, a sort of societal phase transition). I personally tend to suspect it's bunk, and have worked up some reasons why it would not necessarily occur, even if we kept advancing for many times the age of the universe, and reasons why even if it does exist, most species would never attain it -- and trying effectively amounts to suicide (self-genocide? auto-genocide? I like auto-genocide). Unfortunately, I am far too tired to write it up now. Maybe later this weekend.
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