This is the second post in a series about open source. The first one was “Capitalistic corporations don’t like diversity”.

Trustworthiness will become much more important than it is today

In 50 years from now, it’s likely that the world’s “economic activity” (I don’t like this term — I would rather call it more generically, “the activity of humans and human-created entities”) will mostly consist of information generation, exchange, and processing.

On the other hand, in the last 10 years, we saw more and more things appeared that undermine our trust in both the information that we receive and in the systems that collect, store, and process our data: deepfakes…

Positions pro and aganst consensus. Analogy between consensus decisions and ensemble learning.

In this post, I aggregate what different people wrote about consensus and compromise decisions.

Pro consensus

In his courses, Earl Beede calls consensus one of the good decision-making processes, alongside delegating decisions to implementers and “decider after a discussion”. Steve McConnell (the author of Code Complete and Software Estimation who works with Earl Beede at Construx Software) also suggests to try to find a “golden mean” third alternative in his paper “Managing Technical Debt” (see summary):

Teams often turn the technical debt decision into a simplistic “two option” decision — good path vs. quick and dirty path. Pushing through to a third…

Note: this article discusses diversity as a system property, and not workplace diversity as the title might also suggest.

Update: the second post in this series is “On trust, information inequality, and open source technology”.

I’m currently writing about my new view on open source. In this post, I discuss the ideas which prelude these views. This might be useful to keep in mind for the context.


Diversity is fundamentally valuable

To me, diversity has intrinsic aesthetic value. Diversity is beautiful.

If it doesn’t seem so to you, you can still appreciate that diversity is really important for sustainability and reliability in the long…

Focus on fast detection and response instead of trying to avoid failure

In a great interview in the Mindscape podcast by Sean Carroll, Niall Ferguson analyses the government response to COVID in the US and in Taiwan and concludes that for a system to be robust, it should rather be generally paranoid than very specifically prepared to particular threats (transcript, 0:33:31.6):

If you were a highly bureaucratic public health system that optimized for central control and risk minimization, as I think CDC, the Centers for Disease Control in the United States, did, your response to the news of a novel pathogen from Wuhan was in fact to make it harder to test…

In response to my article “Blockchain is not decentralised”, Garycris wrote:

While the developer’s are acting in their own best interest, if you buy into the philosophy of cryptocurrency, then your interests are pretty much aligned with them as well. At the end of the day cryptocurrency will not be successful because it is altruistic, it will be successful because it accepts the reality of human nature, which is that we have unlimited wants and limited resources. This results in greed and lack of trust. Cryptocurrency takes the emotion and judgement out of it.

I’m shocked and terrified by this…

I keep hearing an opinion that “Bitcoin (or any cryptocurrency, or blockchain in general) is decentralised”. It is presented as a “good” property of cryptocurrencies that distinguishes it from older fiat money such as US dollar. Most recently, by Balaji S. Srinivasan:

The people who complain most about filter bubbles are complaining about the plural: there was just one filter bubble they controlled, and now they’re annoyed there’s more than one. The complaint isn’t about filter bubbles, it’s about competing filter bubbles.

The answer isn’t reform, it’s radical decentralization. One component is citizen journalism, where everyone is a journalist, as…

In this post, I want to discuss some of David Deutsch’s positions from “The Beginning of Inifinity”.

“The Beginning of Infinity” is a bold, extremely optimistic hymn to science, and to the growth of human knowledge in general. In fact, one of the key propositions of the book is that the paradigm of seeking good explanations through creativity and criticism (which humanity has used in science since the Enlightenment with astonishing success) applies to art, philosophy, and history as well.

“The Beginning of Infinity” is a rare kind of book which I disagreed a lot with yet wanted to read…

This post is a review of “Analysis of the effect of resistance increase on the capacity fade of lithium ion batteries” by Mandli, Kaushik, Patil, Naha, Hariharan, Kolake, Han, and Choi.

Simple vs. complicated cell models

The authors point out that various research groups suggested many physical cell capacity fade models which sometimes assume very different degradation mechanisms, SEI growth, loss of active material, and Lithium plating:

Ramadass et al [1] have formulated a model attributing the capacity fade to the loss of Lithium inventory on the negative electrode. Safari et al [2] model assumes that the solvent decomposition reaction at the anode leading to…

This is a review of “Investigation of significant capacity recovery effects due to long rest periods during high current cyclic aging tests in automotive lithium ion cells and their influence on lifetime” (2019) by Epding, Rumberg, Jahnke, Stradtmann, and Kwade.

An important but often neglected fact is that privately owned cars spend only a small fraction of their lifetime driving. Long, continuous rest periods of hours (at night, while at work) or even days (over the weekend) are part of most realistic usage scenarios.

I agree. For example, in “Closed-loop optimization of fast-charging protocols for batteries with machine learning”, cells…

This post is a review of “Digital twin for battery systems: Cloud battery management system with online state-of-charge and state-of-health estimation” by Li, Rentemeister, Badeda, Jöst, Schulte, and Sauer.

Can an onboard BMS estimate all cell parameters itself?

With the increase of battery cell number and algorithm complexity, onboard BMS is faced with problems in computation power and data storage for precise estimation and prediction of the battery’s states with model-based algorithms.

I think that sensing is the biggest obstacle to higher-quality monitoring of batteries with many small cylindrical cells: it’s impossible (from cost, power draw, and system engineering points of view) to sense the current and temperature on…

Roman Leventov

Software engineer and designer, author. Working at Northvolt.

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