“Attack of the Killer Algorithms” is something I coined a few years back and actually I thought of the terminology when the “Occupy Movement” began because really, that’s what that movement was all about. image The protesters themselves didn’t understand the deep technologies at work but they knew enough to know something was not right and was not working and that was enough.  Since that time the group has expanded into several other areas and groups, one in particular is the Occupy Financial Group and a former Wall Street Quant who worked for Larry Summers years ago has a great role in that group and even they even wrote a book. 

So when you look at how everything started and what emerged, the attention was great and the mathematicians and others went to work on the issues.  The group has even has the SEC come and speak.  In the footer of this blog #3 video is a lecture from Cathy “Weapons of Math Destruction” also the name of a new book she’s working on.  Another part of the Occupy Movement, Strike Debt bought $15 million dollars worth of debt for citizens…good stuff.  I wrote almost 60 chapters on the Killer Algorithms and you can click on the image to see the digest of the links. 

Occupy Wall Street, The Alternative Banking Group Releasing New Book “Occupy Finance”–Press Conference and Presentation at 10:15 In Front of Zuccotti Park, Tuesday September 17th 2013

Everything today whether folks want to admit it or not runs on complex IT infrastructures and thus laws are tied to them as well so with today’s complexities, is it any wonder things are not working as planned and modeled?  Here’s a post below I wrote about 2 years ago with referencing devaluating the algorithms, as they still have value of course but not to where they have been inflated today, i.e. Facebook for one as all you have is a bunch of data servers with data of ours that gets sold that connects you to something or someone.  It’s nice but way over valued and PBS had a great special on the “Like Generation”.

“Devaluate the Algorithm” And “Tax the Data Sellers”–A Cure for Both Healthcare and an Economy Based Heavily on Intangibles–We’ve Lost Our Balance

Here’s yet another post that I thought was kind of odd from PLOS One but anymore I think they are on to something as I continuously watch government and others run for the hills when it comes to math.

“Algo Duping” – PLOS One Journal Publication Explains Why The Fear of Math Plays a Big Role As One Underlying Reason We All Get Duped And Those Who Don’t Fear Math Take All the Money, Gradually, Using “Mathematical Formulas & Algorithms”

Even the President at one point said “I don’t write code”…and that was kind of significant as he’s telling us, he can’t fix it and that was in reference to Healthcare.Gov.  The real problem was that none of the folks either heading up HHS or CMS can write code either so they are in the same boat, no data mechanics logic and many waiting for those “algorithm fairies” to show up with a magic want to make it all work…but they don’t exist, only in people’s perceptions and that’s not good enough as we have seen over and over and over.  The system really is rigged with proprietary math models and code that we don’t have access to.

President Obama Defines Inequality As A Real Problem in the US That Needs to Be Addressed–Most of It Is Modeled By Banks and Companies With Power and Code to Move and Gain Money and Restrict Access–The System “Is” Rigged…

Here’s an interview from a couple years ago and she explains quite a bit about Quants (data scientists and then some) and math.  She talks about the mentalities of the financial quants as an outsider academia moving in and out of that territory.  Also take in the 4 videos in the footer of this blog to learn more.  “As a smart person I have the right to take advantage of others”…take advantage of everything and everyone they could.  This is sadly the way it works.  She stated nothing illegal was done when she worked at a hedge fund but unethical..like taking advantage of pension funds. 

Well if you have read and watched this far you might be getting the picture.  Insurance companies are hiring more quants than ever today?  Why?  They are creating new models like they are going out of style.  Once you build a model, then comes the algorithms (software is nothing but a bunch of algorithms working together in the words of Bill Gates) that all have to work together.  So what you are seeing with Obamacare, the same thing with math models and those that are built for profit with insurers.  Look at their numbers, none are hurting. 

Now we have the “other side” with politics and all trying to make a story out of it, when in fact there is nothing political about code running on servers other than the fact that it’s proprietary and very smartly written to maximize the most profit possible and some models lie.  If the models are wrong or not ethical, then so are the algorithms running on servers 24/7.

Everyone complains that the law can’t play out as originally designed.  Well have you taken a look at how technology has evolved since the law was written?  It won’t work that way.  It’s hard for the average consumer to understand I realize but you have a choice, listen to the folks that don’t write code or the ones that do as code only does what it is written to do so when you get to see it, there’s no opinions, it’s black and white.  The problem is getting to see what is being run on server as it’s proprietary and we have to rely on what the owners (banks and companies) tell us it does.  This was in fact the most read post I have done in a long time ‘those damn algorithms” below.  I don’t know how many federal agencies read it but it was a lot. 

Those Damn “Killer Algorithms” Keep Screwing Up Obamacare, One more Delay Added for Small Businesses, Static Text Laws and Digital Technology Crossing Hairs, We Continue To Endure the Constant Rise And Fall Of The Machines…

So let’s talk about video #1 below…”It’s all about context”…watch it…with data and going back after the fact data can be contrived out of context to make you believe pure bunk and that’s a real danger zone as listen to professor Siefe tell you that “if the reporter puts an algebraic formula in the story, it must be right” even if it’s pure bunk.  He does a good job describing how you get sucked in on some clinical trials reports, medical studies, etc. and how the math is wrong. 

So indeed we are with Obamacare under “The Attack of the Killer Algorithms”.  Everything stops until the data flows.  The link below also has his same video along with another good one about the “journobot”…if you read news, better watch that one as bots are writing news today too and I think Forbes said about 25% of their material is bot written and they are not the only ones, but look at the software that tossed out 10,000 books for sale on Amazon…a news article for the same software is piece of cake…it’s wake up time.  Not all news of course is bad at all and the newspapers are looking for more money too so they use what is called “click bait” like Facebook and others do so you get the maximum ad exposure and that increased just by exposure the money they make.  It’s been going on forever and in moderation of course it’s not bad but when money gets tight things get exaggerated with some stories, reports and studies at times.  Everything in life is not meant to be quantitated including every angle of Obamacare.

Quantitated Justification For Believing Things That Are Not True And Using Mathematical Processes To Fool Ourselves-The Journalistic Bot Functionality Debuts As Media Can’t Resist the Formulas…

In addition, the “data selling” epidemic makes a lot of issues a lot worse too.  I don’t have issues with “sharing data” if we end up with information that helps us find cures and other such valuable information but now it’s being mined and sold and queried just for the hell of it to make a buck in some areas.  We are not balanced with our tangibles versus intangibles and both have value but it’s so easy to create some algorithms, write up a marketing plan to sell it, bogus or good data, and expect humans to work the way of the software.  Humans don’t work that way and thus the data selling business thrives as a way to hold things over our heads with information.  Insurers are good at that and want more control but education works better as people will resent the other methodology and we see this with the “dummy down” gamification projects out there.  Take time and educate is the better route.  Software can be created to use without the insult to the human race intelligence, again as people will only get mad as it doesn’t work. 

Then you have these boneheads that think you can just yank and replace the complex IT infrastructures we have out there today…I can’t understand for the life of me why this does not sink in with some of them.  There has to be others advising them of the same thing unless there are lobbyists that “dummy them down” too?  To complicate it, we go back to the reporters needing clicks and going for the soap opera type stories too that emerge here and there so that adds to it.   Again I’m not saying all news is this way as it’s not but there’s more of this getting mixed in with the good stuff. 

Repeal and Replace Obamacare? Not Hardly From a Technological Standpoint As It Needs a Model-Nobody Wants to Swap Out Old Glitches For New Glitches: Modeling, Virtual Software Worlds and More Importantly Complex IT Infrastructure Reality, Get Hip…

So no surprise on this last extension as the complex IT infrastructures have to be ready to handle it all, both government and insurers as well as doctors and hospitals.  They are all connected today. 

Absolutely No Surprise Here, HHS States It Will Extend Time Frame For Those With Insurance Policies That Don’t Comply With Obamacare - It’s All About Those Algorithms, Complex IT Infrastructures That Need To Work Together With Insurers, Government and Clinical Care

I just almost go insane listening to HHS and CMS at times with some of their weird perceptions on how “they think” things work. I got used to that a number of years ago with a couple of doctors when I wrote a medical records system and I had the same thing and their perception and mine were not the same so a lot of meeting of the minds.  They wanted things in a fashion I could not provide, be it security, HIPAA, etc. and that took some explaining and some sit down time to even show them but that worked, no matter how difficult and it sure was better than trying to make up a story like we get so often from HHS and CMS based on “their perceptions” when it’s not true. 

Here’s a classic below…how can OIG audit the Healthcare.Gov project…(grin)…you have to laugh as the White House had to bring in these experts when things went wrong, otherwise they would have pulled a few from the OIG to fix the website project…but guess what…none existed, so exactly why you have to laugh when Sebelius pulls this stunt.  Guess the OIG has to go out and hire some to do the investigation she wants?  Interesting topic since they keep cutting the budget of the OIG and they are spreadsheet and MS Access (RAT-STATS the OIG VB6 audit software) folks for a lot of their work. You can download their software if you want and use it at the link below. 

Sebelius Asks Inspector General To Review Healthcare.Gov, How Many JBoss, Red Hat, Linux, Oracle, MarkLogic And Other Experts Does OIG Have? Time Elements of Baking A Cake From Scratch With Writing Custom Code Was Just Not There..

All I’m wishing for here is some reality here and kiss the algo fairies goodbye, please!  It’s about models, math and algorithms and it takes time today, not like the old days and I miss those too.  Yeah it was a lot easier when things were silos but that’s the world today.  There’s also more resources over at the Algo Duping page and it’s a good idea to just watch and see how you get sucked in and don’t even know it. 

All software and systems do not work with humans the way they are modeled…people want to think so but it doesn’t work that way and along with a lot of flawed data, there’s a lot of the problem with Obamacare.  Here’s the answer if anyone decides to ever go there. 

Not Only Is It Time to Hold Banks and Corporations Accountable, But Rather Hold Their CEOs, Math Model Creations and Proprietary Computer Code Accountable As Well…

Another great article from a journalist at Reuters who sees this as well.  Felix Salmon can’t make it any clearer with this quote from his article…so there you go, models that encourage cheating…anyone ever going to ask about the models and code?  Probably not, there’s too much verbiage to look at to think about this side that executes everything (grin). 

“Once quants disrupt an industry, they often don’t know when to stop—and they create systems that encourage cheating.”

“On a managerial level, once the quants come into an industry and disrupt it, they often don’t know when to stop. They tend not to have decades of institutional knowledge about the field in which they have found themselves. And once they’re empowered, quants tend to create systems that favor something pretty close to cheating. As soon as managers pick a numerical metric as a way to measure whether they’re achieving their desired outcome, everybody starts maximizing that metric rather than doing the rest of their job—just as Campbell’s law predicts.”

“Campbell’s law: “The more any quantitative social indicator is used for social decision-making,” he wrote, “the more subject it

will be to corruption pressures and the more apt it will be to distort and corrupt the social processes it is intended to monitor.”

So here’s the big challenge…separating virtual and real world values, at least in our heads…so expect more changes, challenges and disruption and forget about repeal as you would just be bringing in some newer and bigger glitches in place of the old ones and there’s politics to this side of the story, it’s all models and math and as the IT Infrastructure has to run and the algorithms have to all play together.  Sure you can adjust some portions of the system and even that today is a challenge with complexities, but don’t look for any politicians to give you any answers unless they bone up a bit on technology soon.

Big Challenge at Davos This Year Will Be On How To Unite The Virtual Technology World With The Real World To Simplify Getting Things Done, Making The World Less Complex As We Are Hostages Of Our Own IT Infrastructures, Open Target Day On “Killer Algorithms” Please...

Obamacare is all about the “Attack of the Killer Algorithms”…probably some of the biggest created so far.  BD 

Attack of the Killer Algorithms – “Algo Duping 101″


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