Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Alpha and Omega, Omicron and LaMDA

I gave a sermon last Sunday on Alpha (Genesis), Omicron (Evolution), LaMDA and Omega (The End of Human dominance).

So if we create an AGI and fail to get sufficiently good Ethics in ver, the result is extinction or hell. ... Evolution mindlessly created beings with better Ethics than it. Hopefully, we can mindfully create beings with better Ethics than us.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Creating a pdf book from images or pdfs

This is my method of creating a pdf book for uploading to archive.org. First, I scan it into pdfs, usually about 10 scans (10 or 20 pages depending on the size of the page). I use a HP-Laserjet-200-colorMFP-m276nw. These scripts were all done on Fedora 35. Next I split out the images from the pdf:
mkdir out
for D in t??0; do
    cd $D
    mv scan.pdf scan0000.pdf
    for S in `ls scan0*`; do
        I=`echo $S | sed 's/scan\([0-9]*\).pdf/\1/'`
        echo $D $I
        pdfimages -png scan${I}.pdf ../out/s${D}_${I}
    done
    cd ..
done
Next I have three different ways of processing the book depending on how it was scanned. For each of these, I usually open a page and figure out what numbers I should use for the crop statement. The simpliest is if I scanned two pages at once, and am not splitting them:
cd out
for I in st*.png
do
    R=`echo $I | sed 's/s/r/' | sed 's/-/_/'`
    T=`echo $I | sed 's/s/t/' | sed 's/-/_/'`
    if test $I -ot $R
    then
	    echo $I $R $T already done
    else
	    echo $I $R $T
	    convert $I -crop 2550x3510+0 -rotate 90 -despeckle $R
	    convert $R -resize 33% -level 10%,90%,0.5 -posterize 32 $T
    fi
done
If I had to scan each page individually, half of them will flipped, so I need to flip some of them differently. Notice for this to work, I have to make sure that I always fip the odd ones and the even ones correctly when scanning.
cd out
for I in st*[02468].png
do
    R=`echo $I | sed 's/s/r/' | sed 's/-/_/'`
    T=`echo $I | sed 's/s/t/' | sed 's/-/_/'`
    if test $I -ot $R
    then
    	echo $I $R $T already done
    else
	    echo $I $R $T
	    convert $I -crop 1800x2700+0 -despeckle  $R
	    convert $R  -resize 33% -level 10%,90%,0.5 -posterize 32 $T
    fi
done

for I in st*[13579].png
do
    R=`echo $I | sed 's/s/r/' | sed 's/-/_/'`
    T=`echo $I | sed 's/s/t/' | sed 's/-/_/'`
    if test $I -ot $R
    then
	    echo $I $R $T already done
    else
	    echo $I $R $T
	    convert $I -crop 1800x2700+0 -rotate 180 -despeckle  $R
	    convert $R  -resize 33% -level 10%,90%,0.5 -posterize 32 $T
    fi
done
If I scanned two pages at once, and am planning to split them, I have a different script:
cd out
for I in st*.png
do
    R=`echo $I | sed 's/s/r/' | sed 's/-/_/'`
    RA=`echo $R | sed 's/.png/a.png/'`
    RB=`echo $R | sed 's/.png/b.png/'`
    T=`echo $I | sed 's/s/t/' | sed 's/-/_/'`
    TA=`echo $T | sed 's/.png/a.png/'`
    TB=`echo $T | sed 's/.png/b.png/'`
    if test $I -ot $R
    then
	    echo $I $R $T already done
    else
	    echo $I $R $T $RA $RB $TA $TB
	    convert $I -crop 1790x1350+0 -rotate 90 -despeckle $RB
	    convert $I  -crop 1790x1350+0+1350 -rotate 90 -despeckle $RA
	    convert $RA -resize 33% -level 10%,90%,0.5 -posterize 32 $TA
	    convert $RB -resize 33% -level 10%,90%,0.5 -posterize 32 $TB
    fi
done
Lastly, I need to create pdfs out of it.
img2pdf tt*.png --author "Fred Smith"  --title "Smithing" -o ../smithing_1925_small.pdf

img2pdf rt*.png --author "Fred Smith"  --title "Smithing" -o ../smithing_1925.pdf

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Checklist for if a book or magazine might be public domain

First of all, I am not a lawyer, and so this is not legal advice. I would recommend that if you are interested in copyright terms in the United States, you read Circular 15a from the US Copyright Office

If it is a paper document (book, magazine etc) that was published more than 95 years ago, then it is out of copyright (in 2022, this is 1926, and it goes up every year until 2071, when it gets more complicated because the US laws changed in 1976/1977)

For the years till 1963, if the copyrights were not renewed, then it might be out of copyright (note that there is no completely reliable way to check that something newer than 95 years is out of copyright, since part of it could be based on something that is still in copyright). Here is my checklist for finding things that might be out of copyright

  1. Published in 1963 or before
  2. Published in the United States (The title page better include a United States city for the publisher, and nothing that says published in Great Britain or other country)
  3. Search the Stanford's Copyright Renewal Database and make sure it is not found in it. Note that it only lists books copyrighted in the United States.
  4. Search the Library of Congress Copyright Catalog. Note this includes magazines and other things besides books, but it does not include renewals before 1978, so anything published 1950 or before will not be in here (and you could renew early, so 1951 or nearby could also be missed)

If you are trying to find a book that might be in the public domain, most of these checks can be done from the information in a library catalog or a used book site. Different book subjects have different probabilities of being renewed. For example, of the math and physics books I have checked, 90% or so were renewed. For computer hardware books, only 10% or so were renewed. I have checked five difference scientific conferences (over a hundred articles) and have yet to find a paper in them that was renewed. Also, if you have a bibliography, you can do these checks with the information in the bibliography and if they pass you can then see if you can get a hold of the book, article or magazine.

If the renewal requirement hadn't been eliminated in the 1980s, I suspect there would be a lot more books in 1964 and later that would have become public domain, but are currently out of print and getting harder to find.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

 

Fascinating article, If you read one article about American politics this month, I recommend this one:
 
"It’s common these days to hear people talk about sick America, dying America, the end of America. The same kinds of things were said in 1861, in 1893, in 1933, and in 1968. The sickness, the death, is always a moral condition. Maybe this comes from our Puritan heritage. If we are dying, it can’t be from natural causes. It must be a prolonged act of suicide, which is a form of murder.
 
I don’t think we are dying. We have no choice but to live together—we’re quarantined as fellow citizens. Knowing who we are lets us see what kinds of change are possible. Countries are not social-science experiments. They have organic qualities, some positive, some destructive, that can’t be wished away. Our passion for equality, the individualism it produces, the hustle for money, the love of novelty, the attachment to democracy, the distrust of authority and intellect—these won’t disappear. A way forward that tries to evade or crush them on the road to some free, smart, real, or just utopia will never arrive and instead will run into a strong reaction. But a way forward that tries to make us Equal Americans, all with the same rights and opportunities—the only basis for shared citizenship and self-government—is a road that connects our past and our future."

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/07/george-packer-four-americas/619012/

Friday, May 21, 2021

Public Domain Books to Restart Computer Technology

CollapseOS is a project to make an operating system and tools that can help restart technology after a civilization collapse: https://collapseos.org/

Of course, the software is only part restarting computer technology.  The other part is building things like transistors or vacuum tubes and turning those into computers. 

If you only had one book to take back, I would recommend Understanding Digital Computers by Paul Siegel, which includes overviews of how transistors, vacuum tube, magnetic core memory and other things work. It shows how to make memory and logic gates from these, and how to put them together into a full computer. And more importantly the 1961 edition of this book does not seem to have the copyright renewed (checked at Stanford and LOC) so it is public domain and available at: https://archive.org/details/understanding_digital_computers

Of course, you might want more detail if you have to recreate computers, since manufacturing something with feature size smaller than a millimeter and control of the composition at better than parts per million. So I made a list of books that I believe are public domain (either because they were written by the government or because they are US books publish 1963 or before and the copyright was not renewed). This list includes ones with much more detail on transistors, vacuum tubes, magnetic core memory and also basic materials and science information that can be useful.


General Computer Information:



Numbers with Computers:



Transistors:



Vacuum Tubes:


Alternative Computer Construction:


Basic Science:


Materials:

This list is unfortunately missing the technology that made computers cheap in the 1970s: mask produced integrated circuits using complementary metal oxide semiconductors (CMOS), since that was just starting to be developed in 1964 when copyright still applies. (Transistor Technology Volume II chapter 9 discusses field effect transistors and Transistor Technology Volume III chapter 5 discusses photo engraving which are precursors technologies.)

Never the less, having a paper copy of these books would help you greatly should you ever wish to restart computer technology after a civilization collapse.

Update (2021-October-1): 

Additional public domain books and papers.

CMOS article:


Printing and Engraving (Similar techniques to photo-lithography for integrated circuits):


Transistor engineering and physics:



Logic design:


More Math:



Integrated Circuits:


Dictionary of Applied Physics
(From the 1920s, but comprehensive):


P.S. TM11-690 is also at archive.org: https://archive.org/details/tm_11_690_theory_and_application_of_transistors


Sunday, March 14, 2021

Internet doesn't have to be awful

"This way of thinking has some distinct advantages. Right now companies fight intensely to retain their exemption from “intermediary liability,” guaranteed to them by the now-infamous Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. This frees them from legal responsibility for nearly all content posted on their platform. Yet striking down Section 230 could mean that the companies will either be sued out of existence or start taking down swaths of content to avoid being sued. Focusing on regulating algorithms, by contrast, would mean that companies wouldn’t be liable for each tiny piece of content, but would have legal responsibility for how their products distribute and amplify material. This is, after all, what these companies actually do: organize, target, and magnify other people’s content and data. Shouldn’t they take responsibility for that?"

https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2021/04/the-internet-doesnt-have-to-be-awful/618079/