Can We Foresee the Future? Explaining and Predicting Cultural Change | SPSP (Varnum & Grossman)

Igor Grossmann, Michael E. W. Varnum in their roles as; editor of the blog of Society for Personality and Social Psychology) Can We Foresee the Future? Explaining and Predicting Cultural Change; In That Certain Blog; 2017-10-17.

tl;dr → Yes. Betteridge’s Law fails.
ahem → No. Betteridge’s Law holds. Surely no one can know the future, and anyone who says they can is either high or a fool, perhaps both. One can problematize quibble on the epistemology sense of the word “to know,” if you think you have time for that sort of thing.


Michael E. W. Varnum, Igor Grossmann. (2017). Cultural change: The how and the why. In Perspectives on Psychological Science. DOI:10.1177/1745691617699971


The promotional build running up to the release of that certain sequel (2017) to the movie Blade Runner (1982) which is in turn based on a short novel by Philip K. Dick entitled Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (Doubleday 1968) [Answer: No (whereas Androids, after the Ice Cream Sandwich release, are functionally people too, being as they feel pain and love, as eloquently and forcefully testified by Rutger Hauer in a monologue performed so memorably on that dark & rainy night), again, Betteridge's Law holds, c.f. Jimi Wales' Wiki, Jimi Wales' Wiki].


A means & method for producing new predictions, which is better.

  • Uniqueness.
  • Rigorous
    • Theory-Driven [not Theory-Laden].
    • Testable [falsifiable]
  • Empirical.
    • Documentation
      Whereas sociology is either slow journalism [documentation] or activism [promotion] in service to personal ideals.
    • Repeatable
      Replicatability is not claimed. It’s a best practice for high fidelity journalism.

<quote>What is unique is a rigorous theory-driven attempt to not only document but to test explanations for patterns of societal change empirically </quote>

The enumerated [cultural] changes are features of the ecology [our ecologies].
<quote>This emerging work suggests <snide>asserts</snide> that among the most powerful contributors to cultural changes in areas like individualism, gender equality, and happiness are shifts in essential features of our ecologies.</quote>
This schema was shown in animal behavior; now it is replicated with people [our people].
<quote>The idea that variations in ecological dimensions and cues like scarcity or population density might be linked to behavioral adaptations has been widely explored in animal kingdom, and recently started to gain prominence as a way to explain variations in human behavior.</quote>

  • Ellis, Bianchi, Griskevicius, & Frankenhuis, 2017.
  • Sng, Neuberg, Varnum, & Kenrick, 2017.


  • It’s an “implications” paper:
    <quote>but also has fundamental implications for psychometric assumptions and replicability in psychological science.</quote>
  • <quote>Neither experts nor lay people do much better than chance
    as “proven” in: Tetlock, 2006; Tetlock & Gardner, 2016.</quote>
  • <quote>psychological phenomena unfold within a temporal context,</quote> → <fancier>events occur over spans of time; therefor psychological events occur over spans of time<fancier>,
    the insight is attributed to Kurt Lewin and Lev Vygotsky; unnamed “other theorists.”
  • ngrams, as mentioned in Google Books.
  • cross-lagged statistical models
  • cross-correlation functions
  • tests of Granger causality
  • SES (Socio-Economic Status; i.e. Marx-archetype class.1
  • The Misery Index, of [NAME] Okun.
  • ecological framework
  • big data
  • econometric tools
  • insights from machine learning
  • predictive science of cultural change.
  • emerging science of cultural change
  • predictive psychological science (Yarkoni & Westfall, 2017)


Individualism ↔ Collectivism
A focus on uniqueness and independence and emphasis of self-expression (or not.
Gender Equality
Obvious: equality between the [two] genders, which are named as: Male and Female (Female and Male).
Obvious: that buddhist thing; as evidenced in self-attestation surveys.
The WEIRD Population
The white American middle-class college students.

  • Western,
  • Educated,
  • Industrialized,
  • Rich,
  • Democratic.

References (at least):

  • Joseph Nenrich, Steven J. Heine, Ara Norenzayan; The Weirdest People in the World; In Some Journal, Surely; 2009-03-05; 58 pages (23,703 words).
    Cited herein: Henrich, Heine, & Norenzayan, 2010.
    Teaser: How representative are experimental findings from American university students? What do we really know about human psychology?


  • Isaac Asimov, boffo.
    Honorific: <quote>the seminal science fiction author — inventor of the fictional discipline of psycho-history.</quote>
  • Gerd Hofstede, documentarian.
  • Kurt Lewin, theorist.
  • Nostradamus; boffo.
    Opus: Quatrains, many years ago.
  • Lev Vygotsky, theorist.



  • individualism,
  • gender equality,
  • happiness.


  • model cultural change
    on a large scale.
  • using data,
    using cross-temporal data
  • using theory or theories,
    using theories derived from behavioral ecology.
  • “can usher in” [what?]
  • a new era in research,
    a new era in research social psychological and personality research.

unclear… if this means more better hard Sci-Fi or more sooth can be said:

  • more voluminous,
  • more accurate,
  • more relevant,
  • more pithy,
  • more cogent,
  • more better prognostications.


Method of Prognostication
  • ecological framework,
  • big data,
  • econometric tools.


far future: 2047 → 2117.


Obtain the Salubrious Result.

  • society,
  • the economy,
  • politics.

Events in the areas of…

  • scientists,
    specifically: behavioral scientists,
  • policy makers,
    specifically: [hired] regulators and [elected] politicians.
  • anyone,
    as such: the laity, the general public.
Charlatans, Experts
  • pundits,
  • economists,
  • intelligence analysts,
    generally, any and all analysts.
Drift, across time, same place
Results in social science are idiosyncratic and perishable. To wit:
<quote>There is no guarantee that the structure of psychological constructs (and their relationship to each other) remains consistent over time – a critical insight for anybody studying individual differences or the interaction of the social context and personality.</quote>
Drift, across time, different places
Results in social science are idiosyncratic to the place and perishable. To wit:
Second, in behavioral and management sciences that focus on cross-cultural comparisons, we need to ensure that our measurements are made contemporaneously.</quote>
Untestable, uninferrable
Documentation practices produces records as evidence; such cannot be used to as inputs to a reasoning process. To wit:
<quote><snip/> for those interested in the ways socio-cultural context impacts human minds, the new field of cultural change enables better tests of theories regarding the origin and evolution of cross-cultural variations than the cross-sectional approaches that are currently standard in the field. Time series data permit stronger inferences regarding the causes of cultural variation than is possible from datasets where putative causes and outcomes are measured only once and at the same time.</quote>
Implications, there are implications; this is important work.
<quote><snip/> have some implications for debates about replicability.
This is not to say that cultural change is likely the explanation for many or most failures to replicate previous findings, but when there is a large temporal remove between the original studies and replication attempts, it may be wise to consider this when interpreting any discrepancies or changes in effect sizes.

  • Greenfield, 2017; Varnum & Grossmann, 2017.
Drift, invalid population sampling
Whereas psychology “research” is done on The WEIRD Population, the results are incorrect.
<quote>Most samples we collect are “WEIRD,” consisting largely of white American middle-class college students who it turns out are not psychologically representative of humanity. But perhaps more importantly emerging insights from the cross-temporal study of psychological processes suggest <snide>assert<snide> that as psychologists, whether we are aware of it or not, we are studying a moving target.


  • Changes in baby naming practices in the US from the 1880’s to the 2010s and predictions for future trends through 2030.
    from Grossmann and Varnum (2015).
  • Voter turnout
  • Twenge & Campbell
  • …others…


Self-esteem, narcissism, and intelligence have increased in Western societies since 1980.
<quote>over the past several decades<quote>

  • Twenge & Campbell, 2001.
  • Twenge, Konrath, Foster, Campbell, & Bushman, 2008.
  • Flynn, 1984.
  • Trahan, Stuebing, Fletcher & Hiscock, 2014.
Social capital has declined since [sometime]
…as evidenced in e.g. involvement in civic organizations and voter turn-out.

  • Putnam, 1995.
  • Putnam, 2000.
Gender equality has risen, in “The West,” since 1950.
<quote>over the past 60-70 years.<quote>

  • Varnum & Grossmann, 2016.
Individualist attitudes, practices, and relational patterns have increased in 60+ countries
  • Grossmann & Varnum, 2015.
  • Santos, Varnum & Grossmann, 2017.
Changes in The Environmemt, generalized, cause changes in Behavior, generalized;
This occurs in individuals and composes into groups.
><quote>The idea that variations in ecological dimensions and cues like scarcity or population density might be linked to behavioral adaptations has been widely explored in animal kingdom, and recently started to gain prominence as a way to explain variations in human behavior.</quote>

  • Ellis, Bianchi, Griskevicius, & Frankenhuis, 2017.
  • Sng, Neuberg, Varnum, & Kenrick, 2017.
White-collar employment causes individualism.
White-collar employment correlates with individualism.
<quote><snip/>a shift toward greater affluence and white- (vs. blue) collar occupations was the most robust ecological predictor of levels of individualism over time, further shifts in levels of SES consistently preceded changes in levels of individualism in America – a finding that has since been extended and cross-validated by our team in a study examining the rise of individualism around the globe.</quote>

  • Grossmann & Varnum, 2015.
  • Santos, Varnum, & Grossmann, 2017.
Disease causes sexism.
The disease level cause the sexism level.
Infectious disease level decline causes the gender equaltiy increase.
<quote>It turned out that a decline in levels of infectious disease was the most robust factor predictor of rising gender equality, a finding we were able to replicate in the UK, and in both societies we found evidence that changes in pathogen levels preceded shifts in gender equality</quote>

  • Varnum & Grossmann, 2016.
Happiness has decreased in the United States since 1800.
<quote>Research examining affect in books and newspaper articles over a 200-year span shows a long-term decline in American happiness.</quote>

  • Iliev, Hoover, Dehghani, & Axelrod, 2016.
Misery causes inverse happiness
Whereas well-being is functionally the same as happiness, the Misery Index measures inverse happiness.
<quote>Levels of well-being in [these] studies appeared linked to Okun’s Misery Index, an economic indicator that combines unemployment and inflation rates, consistent with the idea that scarcity or abundance of resources matters for happiness.</quote>

  • Iliev et al., 2016.
Only the level of envy matters.
Whereas well-being is functionally the same as happiness,
and envy being a manifestation of differential happiness,
and happiness decreases as inequality increases;
thus absolute levels of happiness do not matter,
the differences between the happiness levels matters,
the level of envy matters.
<quote>Another study exploring the cause of changes in levels of well-being over time in the US found strong links to levels of economic inequality, suggesting <snide>asserting without proof</snide> that happiness decreases as inequality increases, suggesting<snide>asserting</snide> that not only absolute levels of resources but their distribution in an environment (what behavioral ecologists call “resource patchiness”) help to explain changes in well-being over time.</quote>

  • Oishi, Kesebir, & Diener, 2011.


  • Ellis, B. J., Bianchi, J., Griskevicius, V., & Frankenhuis, W. E. (2017). Beyond risk and protective factors: An adaptation-based approach to resilience. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(4), 561–587. DOI:10.1177/1745691617693054
  • Flynn, J. R. (1987). Massive IQ gains in 14 nations: What IQ tests really measure. Psychological Bulletin, 101(2), 171 – 191. DOI:10.1037/0033-2909.101.2.171.
  • Greenfield, P. M. (2017). Cultural change over time: Why replicability should not be the gold standard in psychological science. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 12(5), 762-771. DOI:10.1177/1745691617707314
  • Grossmann, I. & Varnum, M. E. W. (2015). Social structure, infectious diseases, disasters, secularism, and cultural change in America. Psychological Science, 26(3) 311-324. DOI:10.1177/0956797614563765
  • Henrich, J., Heine, S.J., & Norenzayan, A. (2010). The weirdest people in the world? Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 33, 62–135. doi:10.1017/S0140525X0999152X
  • Hofstede, G., Hofstede, G. J., & Minkov, M. (2010). Cultures and organizations: Software of the mind (revised and expanded). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill I
  • liev, R., Hoover, J., Dehghani, M., & Axelrod, R. (2016). Linguistic positivity in historical texts reflects dynamic environmental and psychological factors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencesof the U.S.A, 113(49), 7871-7879. DOI:10.1073/pnas.1612058113
  • Oishi, S., Kesebir, S., & Diener, E. (2011). Income inequality and happiness. Psychological science, 22(9), 1095-1100. DOI:10.1177/0956797611417262
  • Putnam, R. D. (1995). Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. Journal of Democracy, 6(1), 65-78.
  • Putnam, R. D. (2000). Bowling alone: America’s declining social capital. In Culture and politics (pp. 223-234). Palgrave Macmillan US.
  • Santos, H. C., Varnum, M. E. W., Grossmann, I. (2017). Global increases in individualism. Psychological Science. DOI:10.1177/0956797617700622
  • Sng, O., Neuberg, S. L., Varnum, M. E., & Kenrick, D. T. (2017). The crowded life is a slow life: Population density and life history strategy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 112(5), 736 754. DOI:10.1037/pspi0000086
  • Tetlock, P. E. (2006). Expert Political Judgment. How Good Is It? How Can We Know? Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
  • Tetlock, P. E., & Gardner, D. Superforecasting: The art and science of prediction. Broadway Books.
  • Trahan, L. H., Stuebing, K. K., Fletcher, J. M., & Hiscock, M. (2014). The Flynn effect: A meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 140(5), 1332 – 1360. DOI:10.1037/a0037173
  • Twenge, J. M., & Campbell, W. K. (2001). Age and birth cohort differences in self-esteem: A cross-temporal meta-analysis. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 5(4), 321-344. DOI:10.1207/S15327957PSPR0504_3
  • Twenge, J. M., Konrath, S., Foster, J. D., Keith Campbell, W., & Bushman, B. J. (2008). Egos inflating over time: A cross-temporal meta-analysis of the Narcissistic Personality Inventory. Journal of Personality, 76(4), 875-902. DOI:10.1111/j.1467-6494.2008.00507.x
  • Varnum, M. E. W. & Grossmann, I. (2017). Cultural change: The how and the why. Perspectives on Psychological Science. DOI:10.1177/1745691617699971
  • Varnum, M. E. W. & Grossmann, I. (2016). Pathogen prevalence is associated with cultural changes in gender equality. Nature Human Behaviour, 1(0006). doi:10.1038/s41562-016-0003
  • Yarkoni, T., & Westfall, J. A. (2017). Choosing prediction over explanation in psychology: lessons from machine learning. Perspectives on Psychological Science. DOI:10.1177/1745691617693393

Previously filled.

The App-ocalypse: Can Web standards make mobile apps obsolete? | Ars Technica

The App-ocalypse: Can Web standards make mobile apps obsolete?; Larry Seltzer; In Ars Technica; 2015-12-28.
Teaser: Many big tech companies—absent Apple—are throwing weight behind a browser-based world.

tl;dr → Betteridge’s Law; i.e. No.

  • WebApps are a Google-culture thing.
  • And good luck with Apple; they are intransigent in their non-interest.


In (the arbitrary) order of appearance in the piece:



Via: backfill.

The Cloud Architect: A Necessary Evil? | DZone

The Cloud Architect: A Necessary Evil? Thomas Cozzolino; In DZone; 2015-10-24.

tl;dr → yes.  We are all cloud netizens now. On rented computers, multitenant service-bureau SaaS is the future, now!


<buzzword level=”high”>

  • Variants
    • Application Architects
    • Data Architects
    • Enterprise Architects (EA)
    • Infrastructure Architects
    • Technical Architects
    • Solution(s) Architect
    • $X Architect for any value $X
    • etc.
  • Cloud Architect
  • Competencies
    • software design
    • integration patterns
    • security perimeters
    • Software Development Life Cycle (SLDC)
  • Frameworks (Processes)
  • Line of Business (LOB)
  • <buzzzz>Agile</buzzzz>
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA)
  • Bounded Context
  • Team (Organization)
    • Scrum Teams
    • Agile Teams
    • Feature Teams
    • Component Teams
  • Minimum Viable Product (MVP)
  • Patterns contra Performance
  • Portfolio
    • Application
    • Capabilities
  • Customer Resource Management (CRM)
  • Microservices
  • Representational State Transfer (REST)
  • Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP)
  • OData
    • A scheme for doing REST on (some) data
      like ODBC, JDBC, but different, more & better.
    • Since 2007.
    • OData; In Jimi Wales Wiki



Via: backfill.

Is the dotcom bubble about to burst (again)? | The Guardian

Is the dotcom bubble about to burst (again)?; ; In The Guardian; 2015-10-04; 5270 words.

tl;dr → yes, and everyone says so too; no one cares.  The reporter attended Disrupt in New York.
tl;dr → The Guardian reprises Vanity Fair, 34 days later, but with a London accent.

Is Silicon Valley in Another Bubble … and What Could Burst It?; In Vanity Fair; 2015-09-01; previously noted.
Teaser: With the tech industry awash in cash and 100 “unicorn” start-ups now valued at $1 billion or more, Silicon Valley can’t escape the question. Nick Bilton [opines]

Betteridge’s Law.


  • James Pallot
    • a British citizen
    • ex-digital editorial director, Condé Nast
    • lives in New York
    • Emblematic Group, a startup
      Emblematic Group, virtual reality news aggregation
  • Joseph Kennedy, a Kennedy
    obligatory story about prescience of The Great Crash

    • the shoeshine boy stock tip story
  • TechCrunch
    • Disrupt
    • Mike Butcher, editor-at-large,
  • Peter Becronis, founder, Owner’s Vault
    Owner’s Vault, a startup, real estate.
  • Startup argot is recited
  • Bubble I
    • AOL
    • Time Warner
  • Clayton Christiansen
    • professor, Harvard Business School
    • “technology mudslide hypothesis”
    • peripheral; cited for his named theory.
  • “Every” venture is cash negative
    • Twitter
    • Uber
  • “personalised content relevancy platform”
  • no need for a business plan, just Vision
  • Lots of quotes from folks testifying that ehey know it’s a bubble.
  • 1849 Gold Rush, San Francisco
    obligatory story about the mania.

    • prices go up forever
    • buy plots of land on the ocean floor
  • Bill Gurley, Benchmark
    something about an analogy between Kim Jong-Un and Hitler.  Unclear.
  • King’s Lynn,
    seems to be an in-country reference to low-wage service jobs
  • Stupid startup ideas are recited
    • pet food bowls
    • (female) fertility wristbands
    • recreational drug use; marijuana; a.k.a. “Cannabis”
    • robot cookers
    • coffee brewing machines
  • Cafe X
    • a coffee machine
    • Henry Hu, founder
  • Vinod Khosla
    attributed as

    • “rich”
    • “irascible” [submitted into the Tier 1 category of Mitigated Speech]
  • Uber
    • Taxi drivers
    • Carnegie Mellon University
  • What sanctimonious twaddle, attributed to .
    <quote<First they came for the booksellers and I did not speak out because I was not a bookseller. Next they came for the taxi drivers etc etc. Then baristas, divorce lawyers, artists, journalists… there are not going to be an awful lot of jobs of any description left. How any of us are going to be earning a living in 20 years’ time, in 10 years’ time, is something that most of us aren’t thinking about. In this light, building a startup that has a 90% chance of failure looks like a pretty smart option.</quote>


  • It is a bubble
  • Everyone knows
  • No one cares.
  • The dumb money is piling in now

Names Dropped


  • Aircall, “Airbnb for Paris”
  • Diggidi
  • Easypaint
  • Esplorio, “automated travel log from phone GPS trails,” Oxford, UK.
  • Patrolo, “b2b proofreading service”


  • Airbnb
  • Dropbox
  • FitBit
  • Groupon, a unicorpse.
  • Mint
  • Reddit
  • Uber
  • Yammer


For color, background & verisimilitude; in rough order of appearance

  • Niko Bonatsos, staff, General Catalyst Partners
  • Tod Francis, staff, Shasta Ventures.
  • Michael, Anonymous Coward; some Japanese company.
  • Tim Fernando, age 31, co-founder, Esplorio (above).
  • Sam Altman, president, Y Combinator.
  • Bill Gates, quoted from Disrupt 2014.
  • Bill Gurley, partner, Benchmark.
  • Marcus Hawkins, British citizen, Norfolk, UK, Patrolo
  • Lukas Alner, Slovakia, conference participant
  • Henry Hu, Hong Kong, CafeX
  • Vinod Khosla, promoter
  • Eric Risser, founder, unnamed startup, Dublin, IE; graphics arts.


  • batch
  • bootstrap
  • decacorn
    • dead decacorn
  • disruption
  • early-stage funding
  • founder
  • pivot
  • unicorn
  • unicorpses
  • valuation
  • etc.

Via: backfill.

Does PiTiVi even work? For any media format? On any platform? For any purpose? At all?

Betteridge’s Law: no.

PiTiVi:  Does. Not. Work.  Avoid.
There are no known success scenarios on any platform, any hardware, any media format.


Simple: copyin/copyout.  The simplest possible test case.

  • load a video ~1 min.
  • render that video.

Must be playable, with audio. No crashes, no fried hardware.

This cannot be done.


in increasing order of severity, all are common

  • Cryptic messages about codes & drivers not available.
  • Python exceptions, uncaught
  • X11 client terminations & segfaults
  • Xorg server segfaults
  • Scrambled hardware (hard powercycle required)


Fedora 21

  • input → mp4

  • output → ogg


Fedora 21

  • hangs in rendering at “Initializing…”
    • input → mp4

    • output → mp4

Fedora 20

  • incomprehensible python messages & exceptions

Fedora 19

  • When executing PiTiVi locally
    • X11 client termination & segfault
  • When executing PiTiVi remotely
    • Xorg server segfaults
    • Hardware required power cycle.

Fedora 19, Catalyst 14.4

$ rpm -q -a | grep -Ee '(xorg|cataly)' | sort
[1275119.878] Loading extension ATIFGLRXDRI
[1275119.878] (II) fglrx(0): doing swlDriScreenInit
[1275119.878] (II) fglrx(0): swlDriScreenInit for fglrx driver
[1275119.878] ukiDynamicMajor: found major device number 246
[1275119.878] ukiDynamicMajor: found major device number 246
[1275119.878] ukiDynamicMajor: found major device number 246
[1275119.878] ukiOpenByBusid: Searching for BusID PCI:1:0:0
[1275119.878] ukiOpenDevice: node name is /dev/ati/card0
[1275119.878] ukiOpenDevice: open result is 12, (OK)
[1275119.878] ukiOpenByBusid: ukiOpenMinor returns 12
[1275119.878] ukiOpenByBusid: ukiGetBusid reports PCI:1:0:0
[1275119.878] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] DRM interface version 1.0
[1275119.878] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] created "fglrx" driver at busid "PCI:1:0:0"
[1275119.878] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] added 8192 byte SAREA at 0x3f5b4000
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] mapped SAREA 0x3f5b4000 to 0x7f5cdadd0000
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] framebuffer handle = 0x3f5b5000
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] added 1 reserved context for kernel
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): swlDriScreenInit done
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): Kernel Module Version Information:
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0):     Name: fglrx
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0):     Version: 14.10.2
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0):     Date: Apr 17 2014
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0):     Desc: AMD FireGL DRM kernel module
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): Kernel Module version matches driver.
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): Kernel Module Build Time Information:
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0):     Build-Kernel UTS_RELEASE:        3.14.4-100.fc19.x86_64
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0):     Build-Kernel MODVERSIONS:        no
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0):     Build-Kernel __SMP__:            no
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0):     Build-Kernel PAGE_SIZE:          0x1000
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): [uki] register handle = 0x3f5b6000
[1275119.879] (II) fglrx(0): FIREGL Board Found
[1275119.879] (EE) fglrx(0): Not enough video memory to allocate primary surface (frame buffer).
[1275119.879] (EE) 
[1275119.879] (EE) Backtrace:
[1275119.879] (EE) 0: /usr/bin/Xorg (OsLookupColor+0x129) [0x46f059]
[1275119.879] (EE) 1: /lib64/ (__restore_rt+0x0) [0x3fd500ef9f]
[1275119.880] (EE) 2: /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers/ (swlDrmFreeSurfaces+0x42) [0x7f5cd990d432]
[1275119.880] (EE) 3: /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers/ (xdl_xs114_atiddxDriCloseScreen+0x14d) [0x7f5cd989c33d]
[1275119.881] (EE) 4: /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers/ (xdl_xs114_atiddxDriScreenInit+0x8eb) [0x7f5cd989b9db]
[1275119.881] (EE) 5: /usr/lib64/xorg/modules/drivers/ (xdl_xs114_atiddxScreenInit+0xf80) [0x7f5cd9895410]
[1275119.882] (EE) 6: /usr/bin/Xorg (AddScreen+0x71) [0x437441]
[1275119.882] (EE) 7: /usr/bin/Xorg (InitOutput+0x411) [0x48a131]
[1275119.882] (EE) 8: /usr/bin/Xorg (_init+0x38b3) [0x429bc3]
[1275119.882] (EE) 9: /lib64/ (__libc_start_main+0xf5) [0x3fd4821b45]
[1275119.882] (EE) 10: /usr/bin/Xorg (_start+0x29) [0x426a21]
[1275119.882] (EE) 11: ? (?+0x29) [0x29]
[1275119.882] (EE) 
[1275119.882] (EE) Segmentation fault at address 0x8a0
[1275119.882] (EE) 
Fatal server error:
[1275119.882] (EE) Caught signal 11 (Segmentation fault). Server aborting
[1275119.882] (EE) 
[1275119.882] (EE) 
Please consult the Fedora Project support 
 for help. 
[1275119.882] (EE) Please also check the log file at "/var/log/Xorg.0.log" for additional information.
[1275119.882] (EE) 
[1275119.980] (EE) Server terminated with error (1). Closing log file.

Header Enrichment or ISP Enrichment? Emerging Privacy Threats in Mobile Networks | Vallina-Rodriguez, Sundaresan, Kreibich, Paxson

Narseo Vallina-Rodriguez, Srikanth Sundaresan, Christian Kreibich, Vern Paxson; Header Enrichment or ISP Enrichment? Emerging Privacy Threats in Mobile Networks; In Proceedings of the ACM SIGCOMM Workshop on Hot Topics in Middleboxes and Network Function Virtualization (HotMiddlebox 2015, huh? now you’re just being silly); 2015-08-17; 6 pages; landing.


HTTP header enrichment allows mobile operators to annotate HTTP connections via the use of a wide range of request headers. Operators employ proxies to introduce such headers for operational purposes, and—as recently widely publicized—also to assist advertising programs in identifying the subscriber responsible for the originating traffic, with significant consequences for the user’s privacy. In this paper, we use data collected by the Netalyzr network troubleshooting service over 16 months to identify and characterize HTTP header enrichment in modern mobile networks. We present a timeline of HTTP header usage for 299 mobile service providers from 112 countries, observing three main categories:

  1. unique user and device identifiers (e.g., IMEI and IMSI)
  2. headers related to advertising programs, and
  3. headers associated with network operations.


  • HTTP header enrichment
  • Netalyzr
    • Netalyzer-for-Android
  • Verizon Precision Marketingt Insights
  • The IETF’s Service Function Chaining (SFC) standards are vague about whether injected headers are good or bad (should be removed).
  • Data
    • Collected: 2013-11 → 2015-03.
    • 112 countries
    • 299 operators
  • Belief: no M?NO is yet cracking TLS to insert HTTP headers into the encrypted stream.
  • Suggested as an ID-less methods of identification: device-unique allocation of the (routable) IPv6 space to identify the device, in addition to routing to it.
  • RFC 7239Forwarded HTTP Extension; A. Peterson, M. Milsson (Opera); IETF; 2014-06.
  • Cessation Timeline
    • 2014-10 → Vodaphone (ZA) has ceased their practices in 2014-10, nothing to see there, now.
    • 2014-11 → AT&T has ceased their practices 2014-11.
    • 2015-03 → Verion was not respecting opt-out (as evidenced by not inserting the X-UIDH header) through 2015-03.
  • Continuation
    • Verion continues the X-UIDH header insertion.
  • The X-Forwarded-For header carries extra freight in T-Mobile (DE)
  • Carrier-Grade NAT (CGN) at per RFC 6598IANA-Reserved IPv4 Prefix for Shared Address Space (2012-04)


Table 1 & Table 2; Table 3 (not shown)

HTTP Header Operator Country Estimated Purpose
x-up-calling-line-id Vodacom ZA Phone Number
msisdn Orange JO MISDN
x-nokia-msisdn Smart PH
tm_user-id Movistar ES Subscriber ID
x-up-3gpp-imeisv Vodacom ZA IMEI
lbs-eventtime Smarttone HK Timestamp
lbs-zoneid Location
x-acr AT&T US unstated, an identifier
x-amobee-1 Airtel IN
x-amobee-2 Singtel SG
x-uidh Verizon US
x-vf-acr Vodacom ZA
Vodafone NL


  • Access Point Name (APN)
  • GPRS
  • HTTP
  • IMSI
  • IMEI
  • J2ME
  • Location-Based Services (LBS)
  • Mobile Country Code (MCC)
  • Mobile Network Code (MNC)
  • Mobile Network Operator (MNO)
  • Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO)
  • Hong Kong Metro (subway) (MTR)
  • Service Function Chaining (SFC)
  • SIM
  • Transport-Layer Security (TLS)
  • Unique Identifier (UID); contra the specific UUID or GUID
  • Virtual Private Network (VPN)
  • WAP


A significant number of newpaper articles, vulgarizations & bloggist opinements.

What If Everybody Didn’t Have to Work to Get Paid? | The Atlantic

What If Everybody Didn’t Have to Work to Get Paid?; David R. Wheeler; In The Atlantic; 2015-05-19.

tl;dr → it would look like graduate school on the occasion of the professor’s sabbatical abroad.

tl;dr → one needs
  • a patron as one is an artist
  • granted tenure at a large bureaucratic host, a university, as one is a professor
  • a trust fund as one is substantially indolent
  • charity, this is a solicitation for a charity.


  • Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI), also Unconditional Basic Income (UBI)
  • Proponents (previous oped work in The Atlantic)
  • Patreon, a donation conduit.
  • <quote>The crowdfunding approach to basic income has shown some promise: A group of more than 19,000 basic-income advocates in Germany have funded11 people so far with living stipends of 1,000 euros per month, no strings attached. The first few winners, chosen by a lottery, started receiving their basic incomes in 2014-09. The eleventh winner was announced 2015-05-07.</quote>
    • Who?
    • “I did not realize how unfree we all are,” attributed to the commentariat
  • North American Basic Income Guarantee Congress
    • New York
    • 2015-03.

Robots & Unemployment

Something about how robots took all the jobs, so therefore “we” “need” the Guaranteed Basic Income.


  • Scott Santens, bio

    • a wruterm an exemplar, receives the dole.
    • a leader (of the Basic Income Movement)
    • age 37
    • New Orleans
    • Bachelor of Science, Psychology, University of Washington, YEAR?
  • Jason Burke Murphy
    • an activist (of the Basic Income Movement)
    • professor, philosophy, Elms College in Massachusetts,
  • Matt Zwolinski
    • professor, philosophy, University of San Diego.
    • quoted for color, background & verisimilitude
  • Guy Standing
  • Karl Phillip Widerquist, bio, cv
    • a leader (of the Basic Income Movement)
    • professor, philosophy at SFS-Qatar
    • professor, Georgetown University
    • Opera, in archaeological order
      • author, Propertylessness, and Basic Income: A Theory of Freedom as the Power to Say (Palgrave Macmillan 2013).
      • coauthor, Economics for Social Workers (Columbia University Press 2002).
      • coeditor, Basic Income: An Anthology of Contemporary Research (Wiley-Blackwell 2013).
      • author, Alaska’s Permanent Fund Dividend: Examining its Suitability as a Model (Palgrave Macmillan 2012)
      • author, Exporting the Alaska Model: Adapting the Permanent Fund Dividend for Reform around the World (Palgrave Macmillan 2012).
      • author, Ethics and Economics of the Basic Income Guarantee (Ashgate 2005).
    • Estimated as forthcoming
      • Prehistoric Myths in Modern Political Philosophy (Edinburgh University Press forthcoming)
      • Justice as the Pursuit of Accord (Palgrave Macmillan forthcoming).

Via: backfill

Is Ad Avoidance a Problem? | Wu, New Yorker

Tim Wu; Is Ad Avoidance a Problem?; In The New Yorker; 2013-10-23.

tl;dr → no.

<quote>As consumers, we should understand ad-avoidance as a way of setting a price on our time and attention. For the past century, we’ve arguably been selling it too cheap, trading it all for a few decent sitcoms and sports programming. The rise of ad-avoidance is a way of putting a higher price on the privilege of doing what ads do—make brands more valuable and convince us to spend money. Just as we don’t let every salesman into our home, there’re no reason to let every advertisement into our life.</quote>

And: Betteridge’s Law


  • Simon P. Anderson, Joshua S. Gans; TiVoed: The Effects of Ad-Avoidance Technologies on Broadcaster Behaviour; available at SSRN; 2008-11-05; 39 pages.
    Abstract: The business model of commercial (free-to-air) television relies on advertisers to pay for programming. Viewers ‘inadvertently’ watch advertisements that are bundled with programming. Advertisers have no reason to pay to have their ads embedded if the viewers succeed in unbundling the advertisements from the entertainment content (advertising bypass). TiVo (Digital Video Recorder) machines, remote controls, and pop-up ad blockers are all examples of ad-avoidance technologies whose deployment detracts from the willingness to pay of advertisers for audience since a smaller audience is actually exposed to the ads. However, viewer purchases of devices to avoid ads may cause a disproportionate share of the ad nuisance to fall on the remaining audience. As these are views less adverse to ads, this causes broadcasters to increase advertising levels. This result is in line with observed facts. The bypass option may cause total welfare to fall. We demonstrate that higher penetration of such technologies may cause program content to be of lower quality as well as to appeal to a broader range of viewers (rather than niches). In addition, we cast doubt on the profitability of using subscriptions to counter the impact of ad-avoidance.
  • Peter Callius (Research International Sweden); Advertising Avoidance: The Quiet Consumer Revolt; SIFO Research International, Stockholm, SE; 2008-12; 11 pages (8 of content); landing

    • Five types of media
    • Three types of Ad Avoidance Behavior
      1. Ad Avoiders
      2. Tradition & Control
      3. Laid Back & Available
    • Positive- vs Negative- to advertising
    • Broadcast vs Narrowcast
    • Virality
  • Torben Stühmeier, Tobias Wenzel; Getting beer during commercials: adverse effects of ad-avoidance; DICE Discussion Paper Number 2; Düsseldorf Institute for Competition Economics (DICE); Leibniz Information Centre for Economics; ISBN 978-3-86304-001-7; 2010; 30 pages.
    Abstract: This paper studies the impact of ad-avoidance behavior in media markets. We consider a situation where viewers can avoid advertisement messages. As the media market is a two-sided market, increased ad-avoidance reduces advertisers’ value of placing an ad. We contrast two financing regimes, free-to-air and pay-TV. We find that a higher viewer responsiveness to advertising decreases revenues and entry in the free-to-air regime. In contrast, in the pay-TV regime, lower income from advertisements is compensated by higher subscription income leaving revenues and the number of channels una ffected for a fi xed total viewership.
  • Jeff Boeheme (Kantar Media), Mitzi Lorentzen (Millward Brown); How advertisers can minimise Ad Avoidance; Session entitled Key Issue Forum – Improving Creative Impact: “Measuring Acceptance and Avoidance of TV Advertising to Maximize ROI”; performed at Audience Measurement 6.0: Measuring Complexity (ARF 6.0); 2011-06-13; landing.
    Jeff Boehme is Chief Reearch Officer, Kantar Media Audiences, North America; is based in New York City.
    Mitzi Lorentzen is Vice President, Client Solutions, Millward Brown; is based in Lisle, IL, USA.
  • Newton N. Minow; Vast Wasteland Speech; a speech; Delivered at the meeting of the National Association of Broadcasters, Washington, DC; 1961-05-09; landing.
    <quote>But when television is bad, nothing is worse. I invite each of you to sit down in front of your television set when your station goes on the air and stay there, for a day, without a book, without a magazine, without a newspaper, without a profit and loss sheet or a rating book to distract you. Keep your eyes glued to that set until the station signs off. I can assure you that what you will observe is a vast wasteland.
    You will see a procession of game shows, formula comedies about totally unbelievable families, blood and thunder, mayhem, violence, sadism, murder, western bad men, western good men, private eyes, gangsters, more violence, and cartoons. And endlessly, commercials — many screaming, cajoling, and offending. And most of all, boredom. True, you’ll see a few things you will enjoy. But they will be very, very few. And if you think I exaggerate, I only ask you to try it.</quote>

Via: backfill

Do We Still Need Third-Party Ad Servers? | AdExchanger

Marcus Pratt (Mediasmith); Do We Still Need Third-Party Ad Servers?; In Ad Exchanger; 2013-09-24.
Marcus Pratt is director of insights and technology at Mediasmith.


  • tl;dr => per Betteridge’s Law, He answers “No.”  But waffles.
  • Ends the essay with a question <quote>But will they? Can the ad server adapt or will it become part of a legacy, commoditized technology stack?</quote>


  • Microsoft acquires aQuantive (Atlas, DrivePM, Avenue A/Razorfish) circa 2007
  • Google acquires DoubleClick 2007
  • The purpose of a 3rd-party ad server is
    • bookkeeping of record (impression counting, etc.)
    • unified reporting
    • conversion tracking
  • Changes and impacts remove the ad server as a central bookkeeping clearing point
    • Viewability => selling by accredited viewability metrics (MRC accredited viewability) means numbers-of-record are with the viewability assessor, not the ad server
    • Attribution modeling => multitouch attribution, custom attribution models require full-data (“big data”) access to primary logs by service providers.
  • Opportunities to support the category, rejuvenate the concept
    • Tag Management
      • DoubleClick Floodlight tags
      • Google AdWords “smarter tags”
      • BrightTag
      • Tealium
    • Verification => brand safety, delivery validation & proofing
      • Doubleverify
      • Integral Ad Science
    • Privacy, Notification & Regulatory Compliance
      • Evidon

Via: backfill

Programmatic I/O Conference 2013

Programmatic I/O

  • 2013-04-08 agenda
  • 2013-09-16 (upcoming)

Via: John Ebbert; Programmatic I/O: Slideshow; Ad Exchanger; 2013-04-09.

  • 60 slides (memorabilia)

Via: Zach Rodgers; Programmatic I/O: Quotable Moments; Ad Exchanger; 2013-04-09.

  • Andrew Casale, VP Strategy, Casale Media
  • Rajeev Goel, CEO of PubMatic
  • Dave Chiang, Vice President of Monetization, CBS Interactive
  • Scott Knoll, CEO, Integral Ad Science
  • Dave Spitz, EVP Strategy & Corporate Development, WPP Digital
  • Megan Pagliuca, VP and GM of Digital Media, Merkle Inc.
  • Steven Quach, Director Online Marketing,
  • Bob Arnold, Associate Director, Global Digital Strategy, The Kellogg Company
  • Cezanne Huq, Head of Online Acquisition, Intuit
  • Stephen Howard-Sarin, Head of Digital Display for North America, eBay
  • Nicolas Franchet, Head of E-Commerce, Global Vertical Marketing, Facebook
  • Mike Shehan, CEO, SpotXchange
  • Brett Wilson, co-founder and CEO, TubeMogul
  • Mary Shirley, VP, Horizon Media
  • Toby Gabriner, President,
  • Colette Dill-Lerner, VP of Internet Marketing, Guthy-Renker
  • Christina Alm, Assistant Interactive Marketing Manager, General Mills
  • Ned Brody, CEO, AOL Networks
  • Curt Hecht, CRO, The Weather Channel
  • Ken Allen, Managing Director, Blackstone
  • Eric Klotz, Founder, Visualized

Via: Susan Kuchinskas; Should Marketers Fear the Cookie Apocalypse?; In ClickZ; 2013-04-11.

  • Brian O’Kelley, CEO, AppNexus
  • Victor Milligan, CMO, Nexage
  • OpenRTB, referenced as a standard (“it exists”)
  • Jonathon Shaevitz, CEO, Legolas
  • Scott Knoll, CEO, Integral Ad Sciences

Answer: no (Betteridge’s rule), maybe (insinuations of the quotations)

Also backfilled