# Tag: information

1. ## Strange sources of wisdom and capitalism.

05 December 2022

I apologize in advance for how disjointed this post seems. I've been tinkering with it off and on for a while, and I've come to the conclusion that there isn't strictly a linear narrative. The context loops around a bit because it's easier to explain a few things after the fact than it is to arrange them chronologically. I promise, it'll make sense (probably).

Modulo people possibly taking me slightly too seriously I've never been particularly shy about talking about my love of table-top RPGs. Though I started with Dungeons and Dragons as a kid, as I got older I …

2. ## Calculating entropy with Python.

29 September 2020

Fun fact: There is more than one kind of entropy out there.

If you've been through high school chemistry or physics, you might have learned about thermodynamic entropy, which is (roughly speaking) the amount of disorder in a closed system.  Alternatively, and a little more precisely, thermodynamic entropy can be defined as the heat in a volume of space equalizing throughout the volume.  But that's not the kind of entropy that I'm talking about.

Information theory has its own concept of entropy.  One way of explaining information theory is that it's the mathematical study of messages as they travel through …

3. ## Memetic warfare in America.

20 December 2016

The current state of anyone's capacity to get any useful information in the United States these days, which is to say next to impossible due to the proliferation of fake news sites and pro-trolls doing their damndest to lower the signal-to-noise ratio to epsilon, is the logical end result of the following progression of cliches:

"You can't believe everything people tell you."

"You can't believe everything you read in books."

"You can't believe everything you see on TV."

"You can't believe everything your friends tell you."

"You can't believe everything your teachers tell you."

"You can't believe everything you read …

4. ## Genetic jiggery-pokery.

12 July 2016

It's long been known that DNA encodes information in a four-bit pattern which can be read and processed like any other bitstream. Four different nucleotides, paired two by two, arranged in one of two configurations side by side by side in a long string of letters, many times longer than the size of the cell containing the full DNA strand. Every cell in every single lifeform contains the same DNA sequence, regardless of what the cell actually does. So how, many have asked, does a cell know if it should help produce hair, or skin, or pigments, or something else …

5. ## A couple of thoughts on microblogging.

07 January 2015

The thing about microblogging, or services which allow posts that are very short (around 140 characters) and are disseminated in the fashion of a broadcast medium is that it lends itself to fire-and-forget posting. See something, post it, maybe attach a photograph or a link and be done with it. If your goal is to get information out to lots of people at once leveraging one's social network is criticial: Post something, a couple of the users following you repost it so that more people see it, a couple of their followers repost it in turn... like ripples on the …

6. ## DefCon 22 presentation notes

20 August 2014

Behind the cut are the notes I took during DefCon 22, organized by name of presentation. Where appropriate I've linked to the precis of the talk. I make no guarantee that they make sense to anybody but me.

One Man Shop: Building an Effective Security Program All By Yourself - Medic

• Integrate with environment
• Continuous monitoring
• People and Process -> Secure Network Architecture -> Secure Systems Design -> Continuous Monitoring -> External Validation -> Compliance
• Compliance, per usual, means dick in the final analysis
• Roughly five year plan w/ deliverables
• Security will not mature past …

7. ## Xeno-nucleic acids and biological computation.

08 September 2012

Disclaimer: I am not a geneticist. If I got some bits wrong let me know and I'll correct my post.

It is a basic fact that DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) is the fundamental mechanism of complex life on this planet. DNA encodes the structure of every protein used by complex life in much the same way that a Turing machine would use a paper or magnetic tape to store data. The codon (triplet of base pairs) ATG means that the amino acid methionine goes first, the codon TCT means that serine goes next, then histidine, and so on and so forth …