Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Monday, December 23, 2002

 

A knock at 9:08 AM


The property inspector for my house insurance wanted to measure the house. I gave her a copy of Uncle Bills Helicopter. I've been living here since august 27. In all that time, I've had 5 planned visitors, and four knocks from strangers.

I'm sure, somewhere in the piles of physical mail that lie unopened, that this visit was scheduled for this morning.

Nobel Laureate Dr. Richard Feynman once told a great story about probability, which I'll post here when I can find it. I've been paging through his biography for an hour now, trying to find it.

I'm a good statistician. After thinking really hard about how search engines actually worked, (I've written two myself, and was a SQL database programmer for many years. Not only that, as a kid, I played a lot of Dungeons & Dragons. I rolled a lot of different many-sided dice.) and after analyzing the data I obtained from google, I came up with a mathmatical formula that would make a story rise to the top there. There's a few unknown values that I can quantify better since I started collecting specific data this week, but for a name as scarce as Josh Taht, the lower bound for l (links) was 3, and the upper bound was 9. At 3 known links, his story bubbled to the top.

Some others are now engaged in a little cultural jamming with me. Using these techniques, in only two days, Joshua Taht's story and Uncle Bills Helicopter moved to the top page of the google search results.


Becca writes in


TIA, Becca. We have some difficult things to do for Josh in the coming weeks.

I've also faxed Billy Joel's record company, with a request to be allowed to post "You're only human", on the web page http://www.taht.net/joshua. If anyone else would like to donate some music to this page, email me. I don't know if the fax got through, internet email to fax gateways are not very dependable.
 
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David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
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Prior Rants - Nightmare #2 I woke up with as 14,000 pound pil... The Other Kid writes in Dear Michael: My name'... Josh has been found I feel really good. I hope yo... The Traffic Light Instead of feeling depressed ... Brandon & Jeff & Bill write in Brandon wrote: ... Uncle Bill's Helicopter Radiation Kings The Ref... Taking some time off from work I told work I ha... The TAHT bug I filed this bug report today, wit... Josh's father writes in Yeesh. All that resear... NEWSFLASH - INTERNET RESCUE My second story, th...
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Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
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