From Howard University alum Reggie Middleton’s UltraCoin to Bill Gates big bet on Nigeria and India, innovations in blockchain technologies are transforming the planet. This is much bigger than the price of Bitcoin today. It’s a hot topic worth following in 2015
Jazz inspires the developers of the WordPress software this blog uses. Since 2004 each major new version is named after a jazz musician, the first being Miles Davis. 10 years before he made the hip-hop/scratch pioneering Rock IT, Herbie Hancock was involved in another pioneering effort as one of the musicians who recorded On The Corner with Miles .
Both sides of the record were based around simple, repetitive drum and bass grooves (the track delineations on the original album were arbitrary), with the “melodic” parts snipped from hours of meandering jams. These techniques, refined via the use of computers and digital audio equipment, are now standard amongst producers of electronically-based music.
Even the album cover art spoke to a digital theme:
In keeping with the sci-fi theme of African-American Music Month here on STEM Drum, On The Corner “sounded” like a soundtrack for a sci-fi movie. One writer wonders whether Miles actually invented the sci-fi/cyberpunk genre of William Gibson(inventor of the term cyberspace)
There’s also something cybernetic about that sound. The 1972 technology probably didn’t have many computers in the mix, but you can hear the hints toward sampling and digital editing. It is the street finding it’s own use for technology, but to a beat that William Gibson never imagined. It’s the shape of funk to come, pointing the way to rap, hip-hop, techno, the Afro-pop of King Sunny Ade and Fela Anikulapo Kuit.
Speaking of Gibson, I’m reminded of a picture I recently received from a friend which put a whole new meaning to “on the corner”
which makes me think of the locative art and augmented reality of Gibson’s Spook Country
Last but not least , Don Cheadle is using the tech-driven Indiegogo to help fund his Miles Ahead movie. Supporting these kinds of efforts will help keep more of the value of our innovation in the village.
This is the last of a three part series(links to: Part 1 and Part 2) taken from a forthcoming publication. Dr. Peter Chen is a world reknown computer scientist. His 1976 paper on data modeling is one of the most cited papers in the the field. Chen pioneered an abstract way to describe a database known as Entity-Relationship Modeling(ERM). In 2014’s highly automated and digitized world, with so many people living in developed urban area you’re likely using some service or device whose designers directly or indirectly used ERM or one of its descendants. If you plug into the grid in any way, “likely” becomes certainly. A 2002 paper reflecting on the long-lived success of ERM, says:
Many people asked the author how he got the idea of the Entity-Relationship model. After he kept on getting that kind of questions, the author thought it might be related to something that many people in Western culture may not have. After some soul searching, the author thought it could be related to his Chinese culture heritage. There are some concepts in Chinese character development and evolution that are closely related to modeling of the things in the real world.
Peter Chen, the father of ER modelling said in his seminal paper:
- “The entity-relationship model adopts the more natural view that the real world consists of entities and relationships. It incorporates some of the important semantic information about the real world.
He is here in accord with philosophic and theoretical traditions from the time of the Ancient Greek philosophers: Socrates, Plato and Aristotle (428 BC) through to modern epistemology, semiotics and logic of Peirce, Frege and Russell. Plato himself associates knowledge with the apprehension of unchanging Forms (The forms, according to Socrates, are roughly speaking archetypes or abstract representations of the many types of things, and properties) and their relationships to one another.
As we saw in Part 2, Shabaka, several hundred years before Socrates, Plato and Aristotle, had preserved this knowledge that had been codified in Memphis much earlier, perhaps several millennia.
ERM deals with the structure of databases but the Memphite technology is also applicable to the dynamics of a database. There are two sets of symmetrical operations that can be performed on most databases
These operations, identified in 1983 are known as CRUD and remain in widespread use. The web’s HTTP protocol is based on a similar set of four operations.
Every day you use the web, you’re using techniques of African Information Engineering!
Following in Leibniz’s footsteps, physicist Stephen Wolfram is seeking to make knowledge computable. One tool he’s using is the cellular automata like the one below
Perhaps connections between African Information Engineering and cellular automata can help African cultures get back in the game.
Stephanie C. Hill, VP and GM OF Lockheed-Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions was named Black Engineer of the Year earlier this month
for her outstanding leadership during a 27-year engineering career and commitment to promoting science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education. This distinction, the highest honor given at Career Communications Group’s annual Black Engineer of the Year Award (BEYA) STEM Conference, was presented on Feb. 8 at the Washington Marriott Wardman Park in Washington, D.C.
Some of the key software tools programmers at Apple used to develop iTunes and other online applications were originally created by Jason Adams.
After leaving Steve Jobs NeXt Computer company, Jayson created a product called Notebook which was shipped with NeXt computers. He then developed a set of tools for building user interfaces which he sold to Netscape where they became widely used in the early days of the web. Apple incorporated these tools into a larger construction set called WebObjects which was used in the development of iTunes.
Jason is currently at CircusPonies where he developed Notebook for the Macintosh and iPad. Notebook consistently gets high marks for many of its features. It’s not perfect(what software is), but is a strong entry in the organizer/outliner category and has developed a nice following over the years. It’s hard to think of reasons why Mac and iPad users of African descent should’t at least check out the trial version.
NOTE: This writer has no affiliation with Jayson or Circus Ponies
John Henry Thompson created the first widely used commercial programming language for multimedia applications. This language is called Lingo and is a part of the Adobe(formerly Macromind) Director authoring environment. Interactive multimedia took root in the 90’s with the rise of the CD-ROM and is nearly ubiquitous today on the web. Whether it’s product animation, music, video, effects, interactive multimedia helps you have a smoother and often more informative experience. While HTML 5 and Flash are more popular now, Director/Lingo is still being used today and is widely recognized as the ancestor of these newer technologies. JT discusses this ancestry at the beginning of this interview:
JT is very upfront and mindful of his ancestry so it’s not shocking that the Lingo programming has an “ancestor” instruction used to allow programs to share or inherit capabilites from other programs. When you create technology, you get to imbue it with your own terminology and cultural perspective.