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jerryking : non-traditional   5

Algos know more about us than we do about ourselves
NOVEMBER 24, 2017 | Financial Time | John Dizard.

When intelligence collectors and analysts take an interest in you, they usually start not by monitoring the content of your calls or messages, but by looking at the patterns of your communications. Who are you calling, how often and in what sequence? What topics do you comment on in social media?

This is called traffic analysis, and it can give a pretty good notion of what you and the people you know are thinking and what you are preparing to do. Traffic analysis started as a military intelligence methodology, and became systematic around the first world war. Without even knowing the content of encrypted messages, traffic analysts could map out an enemy “order of battle” or disposition of forces, and make inferences about commanders’ intentions.

Traffic analysis techniques can also cut through the petabytes of redundant babble and chatter in the financial and political worlds. Even with state secrecy and the forests of non-disclosure agreements around “proprietary” investment or trading algorithms, crowds can be remarkably revealing in their open-source posts on social media.

Predata, a three-year-old New York and Washington-based predictive data analytics provider, has a Princeton-intensive crew of engineers and international affairs graduates working on early “signals” of market and political events. Predata trawls the open metadata for users of Twitter, Wikipedia, YouTube, Reddit and other social media, and analyses it to find indicators of future price moves or official actions.

I have been following their signals for a while and find them to be useful indicators. Predata started by creating political risk indicators, such as Iran-Saudi antagonism, Italian or Chilean labour unrest, or the relative enthusiasm for French political parties. Since the beginning of this year, they have been developing signals for financial and commodities markets.

The 1-9-90 rule
1 per cent of internet users initiate discussions or content, 9 per cent transmit content or participate occasionally and 90 per cent are consumers or ‘lurkers’

Using the example of the company’s BoJ signal. For this, Predata collects the metadata from 300 sources, such as Twitter users, contested Wikipedia edits or YouTube items created by Japanese monetary policy geeks. Of those, at any time perhaps 100 are important, and 8 to 10 turn out to be predictive....This is where you need some domain knowledge [domain expertise = industry expertise]. It turns out that Twitter is pretty important for monetary policy, along with the Japanese-language Wiki page for the Bank of Japan, or, say, a YouTube video of [BoJ governor] Haruhiko Kuroda’s cross-examination before a Diet parliamentary committee.

“Then you build a network of candidate discussions [JK: training beds] and look for the pattern those took before historical moves. The machine-learning algorithm goes back and picks the leads and lags between traffic and monetary policy events.” [Jk: Large data sets with known correct answers serve as a training bed and then new data serves as a test bed]

Typically, Predata’s algos seem to be able to signal changes in policy or big price moves [jk: inflection points] somewhere between 2 days and 2 weeks in advance. Unlike some academic Twitter scholars, Predata does not do systematic sentiment analysis of tweets or Wikipedia edits. “We only look for how many people there are in the conversation and comments, and how many people disagreed with each other. We call the latter the coefficient of contestation,” Mr Shinn says.

The lead time for Twitter, Wiki or other social media signals varies from one market to another. Foreign exchange markets typically move within days, bond yields within a few days to a week, and commodities prices within a week to two weeks. “If nothing happens within 30 days,” says Mr Lee, “then we say we are wrong.”
algorithms  alternative_data  Bank_of_Japan  commodities  economics  economic_data  financial_markets  industry_expertise  inflection_points  intelligence_analysts  lead_time  machine_learning  massive_data_sets  metadata  non-traditional  Predata  predictive_analytics  political_risk  signals  social_media  spycraft  traffic_analysis  training_beds  Twitter  unconventional 
november 2017 by jerryking
African-Guyanese need to invest time and resources in agriculture
May 19, 2011 | Stabroek News | by Richard Drake.

I believe that what black communities lack the most is money and wealth. A causal observation of any black community will reveal that the stranglehold of poverty is affecting their growth and development. The high number of dilapidated buildings, poor roads, water and sanitation are manifest expressions of that poverty. There are a number of reasons for this I shall discuss two.

First, our attitude towards money is bad. Look at the way we spend our hard-earned money in entertainment. Almost every show at the Providence Stadium is filled to capacity with young and not so young African-Guyanese. Every show young Blacks spend thousands of dollars they can hardly afford. We entertain ourselves at the expense of everything else, even our development.

Second, a large percentage of African-Guyanese work in the public sector; they are public servants. The government controls the public purse. Therefore, it decides how much these servants will be paid and how much they should be taxed. In this way, they do exert a great deal of power over the development of Blacks and influence the quality of their lives and communities.

One can argue that there are trade unions which negotiate with government, wages and salaries for workers. However, given the behaviour of the unions demonstrated at the last May Day rally, the divisions among them, and the fact that some of their leaders appear to have been bought out by the government one can hardly expect a decent challenge by these organizations to the unfairness in the national pay system.

As a result, the average public servant lives from pay cheque to pay cheque. It is a vicious cycle.

What is clear is that African-Guyanese desperately need a paradigm shift. African-Guyanese must get out of the public sector now. We need to begin to ‘re-image’ ourselves not as servants (public or otherwise) but as entrepreneurs. This is absolutely necessary for wealth creation and development.

One area that is immediately available to us is agriculture. There is a lot of history in the black community in this industry and much aversion to it, particularly by our young people but, there is enormous potential in this industry. Export markets are available for all kinds of non-traditional produce. However, we are too busy sitting behind desks burdened with loads of paperwork that we cannot see and exploit the potential in this sector. We love the sound of the names and status of certain positions in the public sector. Some of those very positions retard our growth and progress. We have to change that.

As a people, we need to invest time and resources in the agriculture industry; we need to go back to the land en masse. Black families and communities must become efficient economic units, generating wealth for real development through large-scale crop and animal husbandry. This will make us self employed, reduce the amount we spend in purchasing food, decrease our dependence on others to supply us with food and free up money for other investment activities. It will help in wealth generation in black communities.
Guyana  letters_to_the_editor  Afro-Guyanese  agriculture  wealth_creation  ethnic_communities  economic_development  entrepreneurship  mindsets  public_sector  overrepresentation  farming  fresh_produce  non-traditional  generational_wealth  self-employment  frugality  downward_spirals  poverty  public_servants  paradigm_shifts  African_Guyanese_villages  young_people  psyche_of_dependency 
august 2013 by jerryking
Understanding change in a business
The Globe and Mail. Seventy per cent of big changes in a company fail; John Kotter explains why

The Kotter model

In the 90s Harvard-professor John P. Kotter had been observing this process for almost 30 years. In his book Leading Change he argues that to make big changes significantly and effectively, there are generally eight basic things that must happen:

INSTILL A SENSE OF URGENCY. Identifying existing or potential crises or opportunities. Confronting reality, in the words of Execution-authors, Charan and Bossidy.
BUILD A GUIDING COALITION. Assembling a strong guiding coalition with enough power to lead the change effort. And make them work as a team, not a committee!
CREATE A VISION AND SUPPORTING STRATEGIES. We need a clear sense of purpose and direction. In less successful situations you generally find plans and budgets, but no vision and strategy; or the strategies are so superficial that they have no credibility.
COMMUNICATE. As many people as possible need to hear the mandate for change loud and clear, with messages sent out consistently and often. Forget the boring memos that nobody reads! Try using videos, speeches, kick-off meetings, workshops in small units, etc. Also important is the teaching of new behaviours by the example of the guiding coalition
REMOVE OBSTACLES. Get rid of anything blocking change, like bosses stuck in the old ways or lack of information systems. Encourage risk-taking and non-traditional ideas, activities, and actions. Empowerment is moving obstacles out of peoples' way so they can make something happen, once they've got the vision clear in their heads.
CREATE SOME QUICK WINS. This is essential for creating momentum and providing sufficient credibility to pat the hard-working people on the back and to diffuse the cynics. Remember to recognize and reward employees involved in the improvements.
KEEP ON CHANGING. After change organizations get rolling and have some wins, they don't stop there. They go back and make wave after wave of other actions necessary for long-term, significant change. Successful change leaders don't drop the sense of urgency. On top of that, they are very systematic about figuring out all of the pieces they need to have in place before they declare victory.
MAKE CHANGE STICK. The last big step is nailing big change to the floor and making sure it sticks. And the way things stick is through culture. If you can create a totally new culture around some new way of managing, it will stay. It won't live on if it is dependent on one boss or a couple of enthusiastic people who will eventually move on.


We can divide these eight steps in three main processes. The first four steps focus on de-freezing the organization. The next three steps make change happen. The last step re-freezes the organization on the next rung on the ladder.

Kotter avoids any discussion re how this high level approach ties into Project Management. Anderson & Anderson (The Change Leaders Roadmap) adopt a similar high level approach however do tie it into the lower level by adding in a lot of trad. PM items.
backlash  John_Kotter  organizational_change  change_management  urgency  Communicating_&_Connecting  roadmaps  change_agents  risk-taking  obstacles  obstructionism  entrenchment  quick_wins  non-traditional  shared_consciousness  momentum  operational_tempo  project_management  action_plans  eels  emotional_commitment  buy-in  resistance 
october 2010 by jerryking
Technology Is Central To CIA's Strategic Plan -
APRIL 26, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | By SIOBHAN GORMAN.
The CIA announced a five-year strategic plan that would invest heavily
in new technologies to combat non-traditional threats like cyber attacks
from overseas and gain better intelligence on rogue states like Iran.
... Mr. Panetta released his five-year plan in remarks to agency
employees. "We govern either by leadership or by crisis," he said.
"That's why we're taking a hard look at future challenges, and what we
want our agency to look like five years from now."
threats  adaptability  instability  unpredictability  rogue_actors  security_&_intelligence  CIA  strategic_planning  cyber_warfare  asymmetrical  Iran  Africa  Pakistan  innovation  Pentagon  forward_looking  leadership  strategic_thinking  decentralization  non-traditional  technology  Leon_Panetta 
may 2010 by jerryking
New Economists Scour Urban Data for Trends -
APRIL 8, 2010 | Wall Street Journal | by CARI TUNA. New Ways
to Read Economy. Experts Scour Oddball Data to Help See Trends Before
Official Information Is Available. A growing number of economists and
urban planners [are] scouring for economic clues in unconventional urban
data—oddball measures of how people are moving, spending and working.
"Mr. Egan said he would like to build software to monitor Craigslist
prices for furniture, concert tickets, haircuts and other goods and
services to measure changes in local prices. The online classified-ads
site, he said, would give a quicker and more detailed read than the
bimonthly data from the Labor Department."

Broadway ticket sales are a favorite indicator for the chief economist of the New York City Economic Development Corp., Francesco Brindisi. He says they are a good gauge of city tourism.

In Jacksonville, Fla., community planner Ben Warner keeps tabs on calls to the city's 2-1-1 hotline for social services. Since late 2008, he has seen spikes in calls for help with food, housing, utilities payments and suicide prevention. It is "direct, real-time monitoring of the economic and social situation," he said.
data  urban  unconventional_thinking  economic_analyses  craigslist  Hal_Varian  hotlines  massive_data_sets  Freshbooks  economists  trends  pattern_recognition  measurements  real-time  forecasting  indicators  unorthodox  economic_data  metrics  Cari_Tuna  data_driven  unconventional  economics  non-traditional 
april 2010 by jerryking

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