DevelopmentObjective C (iOS,OSX)PHP/MYSQL
Filemaker proApplescriptApplescript ObjCWorkflow Automation
Evolution Theoretical and Applied
ManagementArchitecture, Product and Project
Phillip R. Smith: Mob: 021-363-869
Applied Evolution offers contract development, management and consulting services. End to end product development, based on realworld experience in the design, development and management of state of the art IT products resulting in improvements to your bottom line.
With more than ten years experience in this field you can be sure of a safe pair of hands for your next move.
Everyone who uses Applescript probably has a love hate relationship with it. I love the ease of writing simple code and hate the frustration of battling with scriptable apps and their implementation of the applescript. The power of applescipt when it works, is amazing, however it is paaaaainfully slow. Would probably use a mix of applescript and applescript objC in any serious project now.
Objective C: Native iPhone, iPad or iPod touch apps offer you the most powerful way to develop state of the art mobile applications.
PHP allows the rapid development of databse driven website. Combined with iOS mobile applications gives a phenomenally powerful architecture pattern for mobile workflow
Still probabaly the best tool for rapidly developing and deploying work group solutions. Rapid, easy and reliable hard to go wrong here. I have run filemaker in a production evironment fo years that have earned millions of dollars for my clients. Can be easily extended by Objective C using HTTP xml requests. Also has a mobile version
The Tradedy of Creationism
I remember as a child learning about evolution and being amazed by the idea that plants and animals could change into different species. In a childs mind everything is constant and always will be, to find about the dynamic nature of species was like finding out your parents are robots and the moon is made of cheese. It blew me away. As a student my I thought evolution was pretty much done and dusted, till I went to a talk by Duane Gish, one of the main christian apologists of the time and critic of evolution.
In this presentation Dr Gish raised many objections to the standard theory of evolution. I expected that the academic staff at my university would soon point out the errors in Dr Gish's talk. To my absolute surprise on of the staff stood up and agreed with many of the criticisms of the modern synthesis made by Dr Gish. From that moment on I was fascinated by evolution. So in away I have a creationist to thank for being an evolutionist.
Plans are worthless, but planning is everything - Dwight D. Eisenhower
I used to hate documentation but I soon realised the value of having ideas written down. As Eisenhower said planning is everything. Articulating a plan not only enables everyone to align themselves with the goals but articulates a goal, identifies problems and ineffect, forces you to simulate, on paper what it is, you are going to do. As a general rule, if its not worth documenting it probably not worth doing.
I guess, like all programmers, I like to solve problems.
As IT manager at Chong Newztel I certainly got plenty of opportunities to do that. Weather it was building the first digital press clipping system in NZ or leading the project to buidl the first digital broadcast monitoring system in the county, I got tremendous satisfaction out of building the best in the county.
One of the things I really learned was the importance of end to end testing. Its one thing to take an idead from its inception to its delivery, and another thing to test it all the way through. Fortunately I had an excellent team helping me all the way through. Team work is the most important thing you can have. It is sometimes hard to build and can be easily eroded but it is vital to success.
Systems are made up of components just as organisms are made up of organs tissues and cells.
One of the standout features of any biological system is the amount of built in redundancy. I have spent a lot of time looking at the theory of why this is so and noticed the parrallels between biological system and business systems.
A recent concept in biology is the idea of mutational robustness. This is how resistant an organism is to random changes in its DNA. Companies and structures need to be mutationally robust. Organisms are not born knowing which mutations they carry or are likely to incurr during their life span. Like an animal you can't tell what stresses a system will encounter over its life time, so designing for robustness against unknown insults to a system is an crucial part of designing for resilience.
A way to test for this is to randomly perturb a system to see how it responds and is it able to maintain operations in spite of these challenges.
Of course the simplest way is to duplicate everything and it is true that infinite reliability has infinite cost.
Efficiency is the natural enemy of reliability.
Distributed duplicate systems are the most expensive systems to run and but are the most reliable in terms of total failure but have a high partial failure rate.
Focus on cost drives an increasing move to centralised systems where expensive systems with backup storage and power systems will displace the distributed systems. However we run the risk of centralised failure as these central systems inevitably experience total failure, all though at lower frequencey of distributed systems.
The Tradgedy of Creationism
Creationism while sometimes amusing and useful, mostly is a millstone around the neck of science.
Science is not about being right it is about being less wrong. The whole creation evolution controversy hinges on this misunderstanding of science. Creationists argue that evolution is "just" a theory and should be taught as such as should Intelligent Design. Those who oppose creationists often argue that evolution is a fact and not a theory. Unfortunately the creationists are correct, evolution is a theory because we can not independently verify evolution without a time machine. All our knowledeg about evolution is derived from artifacts of evolution found in the present. However, this is not only true of evolution, it is true of all knowledge about the past. Yesterday is not a fact it is a theory, I can not recreate yesterday unless I have a time machine, all I can do is make deductions about yesterday from what artefacts, including memories, I can find in the present.
Because of this constant battle over creationism, ID and evolution, scientist are in my opinion, are reluctant to popularise many of the problems in evolutionary theory less the give ammunition to the creationists. The is a tradgedy, because there some really interesting problems, and that is a good thing. As a student one of the best lectures I ever went was by Prof Lovell and it was called "twenty things we don't understand about plants" it was inspiration as it listed all the areas of study that were still of interest, opportunities to make the world less wrong.
Science is not about sitting around agreeing with each other, it is about making the world less wrong by attacking the established view. Evolution more or less, has to do this in private and that is a terrible shame.
The animation displayed here shows how a three populations move over a genetic landscape. The genome space is compressed into two dimensions. Normally the vertical axis is "fitness". I don't believe that fitness is a real property of individuals. In my landscape the vertical axis is solution density which is equal to 1 - genetic load.
Neutral networks are networks in genomes where there are only two possible fitness values for a genome 0 or 1. The network is made up of all the connections between viable genomes.
The network on the left is the network of english four letter words. Each word is joined to its neighbours that are different by one only one letter.We can treat each word as a genome with 4 loci each with 26 possible alleles.
Mutant words that are not in the set of four letter words fall off the network. In this way, we can watch how a population of words moves through the landscape
FlowerScape is an app wher you can breed flowers using mutation, recombination and mutation accumulation 'Drift". It is an excellent way of showing the power of selection and recombination.We have no way of knowing the network of all possible flowers or the network of all attractive flowers. The fitness of each flower not measurable as it is unlikely that two or flowers with the identical genome will ever appear, and even more unlikely appear in the same environment.
Technially speaking the flowerscape is a undefineable neutral network.
for more information on why I built FlowerScape visit here.
FlowerScape is available for download from the app store just click on the App Store icon below