Sunday, December 3, 2017

This Week

1. Database Truth of the Week

"A formal system is a systematic way of representing something. We call that something the subject and often refer to it as the “subject system”, although it might not be “systematic” in any sense at all. By contrast we call the formal system the object system -- a system of abstract “objects”.

Representing a subject with a formal system allows us to reason about it without getting trapped in ambiguities, or circular arguments. The formal system becomes a theory about that portion of the subject that has been represented and when that portion is faithfully represented by the theory, we say that portion is a model of the theory.
There are at least three distinct uses of languages necessary to use or apply any formal system that correspond to the three distinct ways in which we need to discuss and use formal systems. It is standard to refer to these three uses by different names and as if they were distinct languages: subject, object and meta-language." --David McGoveran

Ed. Note: In the database context, the subject language expresses the conceptual model; the object language expresses the logical model; the data model is the meta-language that expresses the relationship between object and subject.

2. What's Wrong With This Database Picture?

"Per Date’s AN INTRODUCTION TO DATABASE SYSTEMS, Date & Darwen’s DATABASES, TYPES AND THE RELATIONAL MODEL and related references, the features of a relational database are values, types, attributes, tuples, relations, relation-valued variables, operators, and constraints.
  • A type is a set of values and related operators.
  • An attribute is a name, value, type triple.
  • A tuple is a set of attributes.
  • A relation is a set of tuples with a given heading.
  • A relation-valued variable (known as a relvar) is a persistent variable whose time-varying value is a relation." --Dave Voorhis (Computer scientist; lead developer of Rel, a true relational database system), --What are the features of a relational database?,

3. To Laugh or Cry?

"An entity-relationship diagram shows data modeled into (Choose the best answer.)
A. Two-dimensional tables
B. Multidimensional tables
C. Hierarchical structures
D. Object-oriented structures
The "best" answer: A." --Roopesh Ramklass, OCA ORACLE DATABASE 12C SQL FUNDAMENTALS I EXAM GUIDE

4. Publications

Reviews: Craig Mullins, Todd Everett, Toon Koppelaars, Davide Mauri

5. Using the new search labels

To work around Blogger limitations, the labels are mostly abbreviations or acronyms of the terms listed on the FUNDAMENTALS page. For detailed instructions on how to understand and use the the labels in conjunction with the, see the ABOUT page.

The 2017 and 2016 posts, including earlier posts that were rewritten in 2017 are relabeled. As other older posts are rewritten, they will also be relabeled, but in the meantime, Blogger search must be used to reach them.

6. Oldie but goodie

Monash Balderdash

7. Elsewhere

8. Of General Interest


And Now for Something Completely Different: The PostWest Dystopia

A recipe for social destruction


Impotence: "The time to stop North Korea from acquiring sophisticated nuclear weapons and missiles passed years ago and cannot be recouped." US Cannot Denuclearize North Korea without Antagonizing China
Lost Middle East: "Throughout the region, the advantage is very clearly with the Iranians. The Saudis have little more than financial inducements to win potential political allies." Tehran Is Winning the War for Control of the Middle East
To destroy government put business people in charge of it: "There is an open question on whether they understand government or not. There's a lot of ideas for reform that could be implemented without stopping everything. What you seem to have looking from the outside in ... is an effort to apply a business model to government—and the model doesn't fit, and it's causing all sorts of dislocation and morale problems.” The Worst Secretary of State in Living Memory and Firing Rex Tillerson Won't Change What He Did
Gutless and gullible: "Today, 17 years after the PLO rejected statehood and peace at Camp David and in so doing, made clear that no Israeli capitulation short of national suicide will satisfy it ... By reversing course on closing the PLO mission, and groveling to the threatening PLO, the State Department made a laughingstock of the US and President Trump. The decision to reverse course should itself be reversed, in accordance with US law and in the interest in restoring what it is still possible to restore of US credibility in the Middle East." The  State Department drops the ball, Foreign Policy by Symbolic Half-Measures
Reaching for the bottom: "The number of waivers granted by the active-duty Army for marijuana use jumped to more than 500 this year from 191 in 2016. Three years ago, no such waivers were granted." Smoked pot and want to enlist? Army issuing more waivers.


If public robberies worked so well, why stop them? "Nearly a decade after the last crash, Trump makes a mockery of one of the few meaningful checks on the financial services industry." Trump makes mockery of one of the few meaningful checks on the financial services industry
Societal suicide American style: "In The Spirit Level, Wilkinson and Pickett contend that, by making people more anxious about their place in the world, inequality contributes to all manner of social ills, including violence, poor health, and, yes, reduced social trust." SUVs and the Erosion of American Society
A Brooklyn bridge to sell you: "But a bipartisan group of leading economists have expressed some deep skepticism about many of the central claims the White House and congressional Republicans are making about the potential effects of the legislation. Below are the top seven myths they have put forward—and the evidence that disproves them."  The 7 Myths of the GOP Tax Bill
Societal suicide European style:"A massive and sometimes uncontrolled immigration of non-Westerners, causing a sense of feeling like strangers in one's own home, fuels their appeal ... Muslims stand out not because of prejudice ("Islamophobia") but due to an array of problems specifically associated with Islam: polygamy, niqabs and burqas, female genital mutilation, honor killings, taharrush (sexual assault), Judeophobia and Christophobia, Sharia courts, Islamism, and jihadi violence." Accepting Europe's Anti-Immigration Parties, Muslim Population Growth in Europe

Sillicon Valley: The competition myth, the mechanism of tyranny and the destruction of civilized free society

"New AI tools could empower the government to violate our civil liberties." Is Silicon Valley Building the Infrastructure for a Police State?
"These giants don’t just fight competition, they destroy it. The leaders of today have learned the lessons of old and acquire promising startups often and early to protect their own ass. They have the most talent, the most money, the most data and no moral quandries with flat out copying competitors. Network Effects, Unstoppable Monopolies and The End of Innovation
"Jeff Bezos is the Terminator and he is killing competition and ecommerce faster than Arnold can say “I’ll be back.” The Amazon Apocalypse of Ecommerce
"Every 20 years we have this fight – and we're about to have it again."
'Break up Google and Facebook if you ever want innovation again'.
"Facebook, Google, Alibaba et al offer lessons in the dark arts of corporate control." How tech giants are ruled by control freaks
"The algorithms Facebook and other tech companies use to boost engagement – and increase profits – have led to spectacular failures of sensitivity and worse." How algorithms are pushing the tech giants into the danger zone
"The fall of the 4th power is on the way, as a meme stronger than authority is propagating: it’s the rise of post-truth politics and “fake news”. Prisoner Dilemma explains Fake News

Anti-Semitism, the myth of a "Palestinian nation" and the "Peace process" delusion

"Before him, Ayatollah Khamenei visualizes a Shia revival and a reborn Persian empire; behind him, he observes what may be the most demoralized people in the world. Looking into the Persian future, Khamenei sees what Hitler saw in 1933. The clerical regime has ruined Iran and reduced its people to despair. It has nothing to lose and nowhere to retreat, because to continue in the present direction means that gradual extinction is inevitable. The mullahs are crazy, and will act like crazy men. Like Hitler, they have [the same] good reason to do so." Why Iran is obsessed with Jews (hint: same as Hitler)
"But there is another compelling reason to emphasize the 1947 resolution, and to do so time and again. That reason: the Arabs rejected it. And because they did, preferring war, they cannot escape their share of responsibility for the war’s consequences: their “catastrophe,” or nakba. Evasion of responsibility explains why the Palestinians, in telling the saga of their “dispossession,” stress the Balfour Declaration and downplay the partition resolution. By claiming that the die was cast against them as early as 1917, their own mistakes in 1947 and 1948 are made to seem inconsequential." Why the 1947 UN Partition Resolution Must Be Celebrated
"Contradicting Abbas’ historical revision, just a day before, PA official TV broadcast an interview with the historian Abd Al-Ghani Salameh, who explained that in 1917 there was no Palestinian people." PA Historian Admits No ‘Palestinian People’ in 1917
"Avnery’s failure to see this stark historical record for what it is, and his unwavering belief in Palestinian openness to the two-state solution, may not qualify as idiocy, but it surely conforms to Albert Einstein’s famous definition of insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." Belief in Palestinian Openness to Two-State Solution Amounts to Insanity

Book of the week

Review: Autopsy of a Dying Empire


Video of the week

How Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google manipulate our emotions.

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