a barbarian journal

January 1998
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"Do not go gentle into that good night
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

Though wise men at their end know dark is right,
Because their words had worked no lightning they
Do not go gentle into that good night."

i want to play you, i want to see what kind of sounds i can get out of you. i didn't learn to play by ear but had to have it written down. i can make a fair sound because my hands know where to go, but it's not like i think and it happens. i should practice and learn. i need an instrument. gurfle

i put a page for the isada developer's conference on my commercial site. i tried creating it with the navigator editor, but i was apalled at how bad the html code was, and editted it manual. if i figure out how to do secure html, i might add a form to put in credit card numbers to pay for stuff. that'd be cool

i started going on the intp mailing list and since monday i have 370 messages in the box. My first post asked "what is knowledge". i just wrote a beginning explanation

[intp]so there are really two problems in understanding what knowledge is. The first is the kind of psychological/biological question of how people represent knowledge in their brains. I'm kind of interested in that, but really only as a way of figuring out how computers (or other electronic devices) might eventually be able to used knowledge (whatever it turns out to be). And since this is sort of a science question, we're pretty confident that eventually we will figure it out.
The second kind of question is much more difficult, but quite intriguing, and i think it is roughly the real philosophical problem. Why can knoledge exist at all, or why are there "facts" or whatever that can be known. For example what are the laws of physics that we could even discover them. This kind of question led to Plato's concept of a world of Ideas that exists independently of material things. What are this things called laws that we know. Why does mathematics work. A real poser.

there is a common way to increase the pleasure of anything. let desire build up a whole lot before satisfying it. I think the level of satisfaction ends up the same, but with more pressure, the greater release is more memorable. Christmans, and having the dessert last are like this.

my question wouldn't be whether ESP exists, it would be if it does exist, why can't people convince me

been real busy on the computer

ive been thinking that i really like people to understand themselves, to know what they want and accept their limitations.

im starting to subscribe to stuff on the web. i don't really have any sites that i like to go to.

the potholes around here have really thrown my car wheels out of alignment. and with the road turned to mud around here, i tend to suddenly change directions.

i was sitting in #jewish on irc, actually i followed jenn in. she was talking about converting from rc for her boyfriend. the guys thought that was horrible. and they seemed to have some concept that you don't have to practice to be a jew, but i couldn't get them to say if there was some way you might drift out of being a jew the way jenn seemed to have lost her faith.

i put "cry of love" in the cd. i should be a lot more calm

i mentioned that everybody being happy was important, and a guy in Jerusalem said it was important to let other people be happy. i figure that's sort of required to be happy, but in general, other people don't know how. people should learn that sharing is better, but some primitive ape minds just want to fight.

another intriguing piece. i have noticed that when you are not too happy it's nice to play some kind of music. When you feel good you have other things to do. well musical ability developed because it was sexually selected for, and musical skill attracts women. So you feel bad, and you do something that attracts women, and if you're lucky, you'll get happy.

the power went out as i was doing this. luckily the laptop doesn't care.

ive got a better system of keys for remebering stuff, but while trying to think of the key, im starting to forget the stuff im trying to encode. plus im driving.

I think about it, and i don't that there are actually women who can't find dates, presumably there are some, but actually ive never heard of anyone really having trouble. you certainly hear of women being lonely, or not having a guy at some particular time, but not of the woman who never sees anyone ever, which is the situation for more guys than it should be. I'm thinking, though, that if a guy loses confidence, and stops trying, he has no chance, but women just have to sit and wait while guys seek them out, and there will always be someone doing that.

the setup to connect the two computers to each other and then to the net with a modem won't work because windows can only run one copy of the dial up adapter, needed for both cable and modem. probably could work if the cable was hooked to a box with ethernet, and some other computer on the ethernet was on the net through a modem, but then probably somehow would need ip addresses. But it seems like the docs said sharing the network over dialup was only for netbeui networks, not tcpip. I could do it with linux, but i'd still need the tcp/ip subnet and numbers. First i should get perl databases going on cruzio. maybe some java objects. distributed objects would be cool. applets doing calculations.

genetic algorithms might be a good distributed application. automatic code generation. the idea is to have a system that can store a population of programs that can swap pieces. the output can be evaluated according to some measure, and those programs are given a greater chance to produce offspring. perhaps some kind of statement generator could be built, such that people would be the best output or rank them. Some type of evolution.

the copycat program as i recall might be able to handle distributed objects.

if component software gets anywhere, like javabeans, it might be possible to do genetic algorithms on software.

so i'd hope to uses distributed objects to make an intelligent system.

i get the feeling that women don't like me because they are stupid.

it took everything i had to finally call wynne half a year ago, and she yelled at me. I probably wouldn't have been to do it again, but i found a letter i wrote to her, and now i think i'd probably be too embarassed to try to contact her again. sheesh. that's if i could find a reason to.

and the poetry has returned! this is high school stuff, so it's pretty horrible, but i did have intense feelings at the time.

and my car is almost about to roll over

im going to move over the copycat program and work on translating it from lisp into java.

i got the direct connect thing working between the laptop and the desktop. i still need to attach this small net to the internet. i'm just tranfering various files over. but it's slow. it just isn't an ethernet.

people suck.

a list of projects i found, from '94
word generator
undergrad system
bug hunter killer
general ai prog
genetic algorithm
fractal struc neural net
content addressable system
competitive genetic algorithm
intelligent robot
3-D graphics
genetic picture generator
robot body

i found a copy of my Valedictory Address from high school.

i think Sam Kinison said it best:
wild thing I think you move me
but I want to know for shore
whenever I kiss you I taste
what other men had for lunch
the only thing that can get you off
is to see me in pain
but I think I love you
wild thing, you make my heart scream
you took everything
oh oh wild thing
wild thing, I think you move me
Ah it just came in my mind
I just thought I'd say that
You made me trust you
then stuck a knife in my heart
You're a lying, unfaithful, untrustable tramp
but I think I love you
wild thing, you make my heart scream
you took everything
oh wild thing
we all got some kind of wild thing
that went through our lives
and made it hell
everybody's had one, you, me
nobody likes to lose
and you know she's out there
laughin atch ya'
I don't care if it was last week
or third grade,
someone broke your heart
what was her name
wild thing
I'll never forgive you
wild thing
how do you live with yourself
wild thing
you never loved me
you took everything
you used me
wild thing
what's her name
wild thing
what's her name
wild thing
why didn't you tell me
you were a demon from hell

ive got my ozzy osborn cd in the player in the car, so a could get a little wild

a short poem about the childishness of utopianism:
my treehouse is a utopia.
my friends go there.
it's fun.

i was trying to get the direct connect working between my laptop and desktop (actually it's sitting on a plastic cooler, so it's more of a "cooler-top" computer). but u have the wrong cable, and what i thought was the serial port was actually the parallel port. which doesn't work the same. but it has the same size (opposite gender). Computer serial ports are male (pins) and parallel ports are female (holes). Serial ports on modems are female. Nature abhors a vacuum.

i dug out apl, a real puzzle programming language. no loops, only functions. and functions that combine to create new functions which operate on other functions. A program is ideally one line of bizarre symbols. very concise because functions operate on whole piles instead of one piece at a time. useful for parallel processing, as parts of piles could be in different computers. overall, a very intriguing language.

i used to advocate that all humans be killed. the fact that we can is sufficient reason to. i was kind of concerned about the innocent species, but weighed against the good of destroying the human plague, i think it's a fair sacrifice. of course, now i'd much rather see a new race of superintelligent non-cellular creatures supercede mankind.

and there was a guy at the job fair who said that 'their' on our sign was misspelled because the rule is "i before e".

a fool is a person you can fool, lie to and get away with it.

an interesting day. Gia showed up again. i guess she didn't feel like writing. and i was on irc for a while. sally was on #jesus, and i said she was very old, old in a world-weary sense, old but still trying to cling to fading youth and not having just sat down and accepted it.

and i'm working on my new web area still about the same as it was, with directories.

colder, more alone, but with more interesting things to do.

and it's raining

a lot of times people will drift into something they don't really like. they really need to go back to what they really enjoy, and it's nice to help people get there.

emotional situations are quite limited, and you can conceivably go through all the possible emotional situations, and certainly through history, everything has been and you can hear about it, at least at the level of the feelings involved. Things is unlike the world of ideas and things, where there are unlimited supplies of new things.

It may be one of the limitations of women that they are expected to rely on their feelings, even though feelings are inherently limited in how many responses they can provide. The idea that you could "follow your heart and everything will be ok" might actually be reasonable to women, but i think any typical man would see that it just doesn't work that way.

i don't get "whiter shade of pale". supposedly it's about death, but i don't see it.

the heart is a stupid organ

what would really encourage the adoption of computers driving cars would be if they were made safe enough such that they would be allowed to drive faster. It might help if they had superhuman abilities like ability to know about cars around corners, or people walking. You would expect a much greater ability to gauge the speed of other cars and a better understand of the current condition of the car driven.

what we really need is computers racing race cars. And it's not like chess, where humans haven't really become as good as possible. In racing, people are right up on the edge of what cars can do, but there is still room for skill. Computers probably couldn't do much better. It's be fun to see them in there racing.

i was wondering if some of the benefit of exercise was just from raising body temperature (which activates various enzymes) so, this morning i did some push ups and situps, and from that i had the energy and motivation to sweep the deck.

people often punish others that tell them the truth. i try to avoid doing that, but it's no wonder that people lie.

and article in Science said that NO and other emissions actually increase the level of ozone in the high atmosphere. so ozone won't be a problem, even though fluorocarbons reduce it. we know how to increase it.

some people see their lack of ambition as a virtue. my personal ambition isn't about controlling other people, like the standard forms. (money is just a way to control people).

i really need to get a midi keyboard and start putting custom tunage on the web page. wouldn't that be trippy? i don't like putting anyone else's art on my site, so without the capability to make my own i haven't done any music. yet.

something funny came up. so i might be hiring a woman, and that would be sad to me because it would be someone with common interests that i couldn't date (that conflict thing). very irritating.

when we put out our little flyers (they came late) at the show, a bunch of techwriters came and gave us our resume. I guess they didn't like our writing.

in the car, i was listening to the rembrandts, the theme from friends, cd set to repeat that one song over and over. It's like bubble gum pop, and i should be ashamed. That group was more interesting on their first album, which had christian rock influence. i guess my brain is falling apart.

i still don't think like a photographer. I decided to eat breakfast since it was going to be a long day. i had some deer sausage from tennessee. and there were some hard boiled eggs. I had thought that eggs explode in the microwave, but i just saw maggie fix one, cooked in a cup. and it was ok. and i thought it was the shell, so i took the shell of the harboiled egg and put it in a bowl with some sausage --i ndidn't think it would need saran wrap since i was just heating them. and put them in for 2 minutes. 2:22 actually, which is fastest. But after a minute and a half it went pop, and the egg exploded all over the place. icky, all over the ceiling, and bits of egg and sausage all over the place. And i started right off cleaning it. And when i was cleaning it, i did think how i would describe it. It was only at the end that i realized i should have taken a picture. and that i still didn't think like a photographer.

and later today, i was at a job fair thing, and it was well afraid we had gotten all the people that i realized i could have gotten pictures of everyone so i could remember them. i just don't think photograph yet.

these 2 women (i think they're in like the high school computer club) got from me a quick video interview about the company, so i had to take their picture. one was smart enough to turn away just as i pressed the camera button. oh well.

it's already different

censors weight every decision. we have bunches of impulses that essentially we can't stop, so to control them (if they are unacceptable) we can create censors which shut them up, sort of intercepting their output. Any decision is a combination of inputs from a whole bunch of modules trying to influence the decision, and censors shut up particularly pernicious ones so that we can get the answer that we have learned is the best. Since censors have to constantly work to keep down the bad impulses, they enjoy the occasional break such as with jokes and such. Laughing is kind of the release of a censor. Personally i think censors do more mental harm than good, because usually you aren't even aware of the thing they are hiding, and the impulse probably could be handled some better way if you knew about it. supposedly, some thoughts are just too horrible to think. a big source of ignorance, actually.

long arguments indicate to me that people aren't talking about the real problem.

cloning isn't a problem in itself. the problem is all the bad science fiction associated with it. evil armies. replicants. star wars and evil empires (you knew that the stormtroopers were clones, didn't you?)

i just turn off the computer and lost stuff. i was almost finished, too. it works ok on my palmtop. boo

i've been thinking about thinking in terms of motion, without really considering how motion is represented. It can really only be done in terms of before and after images, which is really more general.

blah. tried using an editor on the main home page.

i really want to have someone to talk to.

when people speak of things, it's difficult to narrow the statement down to a particular precise state in the world. it's more about a kind of average view of the world with lots of flexibility. lot's of details are always left out. so when you try to deal with intelligence and understanding, you get a lot of sloppiness in what is supposed to be happening. as opposed to manufacturing where you have specific results.

why step in the stream the first time?

of course, my sanity is also chipping away at my being in love.

the second mouse gets the cheese

one program that'd be neat, is something that could pick a relevant journal entry for some input line.

i had a horrible day today, because i was starving. very unhappy. and in desperation, i logged on irc. it started kind of nice because there were a lot of folks that seemed happy to see me. chicks i used to be nice to. but not today. and they commiserated about lost loves, but they didn't seem like they had any reason to complain. there's this one, jenn, that's my age, and is having sex every day. yikes.

we had some visitors and there was a pot of coffee almost full left over. and i kind of hate to waste stuff. so i deciided to see what it would be like to drink 9 cups of coffee. Normally caffeine doesn't seem to do much for me. Blood sugar is the big thing, and falling asleep is so hard for me that i never have to worry about doing it without wanting to. The only thing it has done is make me somewhat nauseated. and driving up the winding highway 9 i felt a little more motion sickness.

and we went out for lunch, which is pretty unusual for me. i ordered a hamburger and she asked me how i wanted it cooked (!). Of course right off i said 'rare' and she kind of looked at me funny, so i asked what were the options. They all made fun of me because i didn't know how to order right, but this is a pretty tricky one. These days, you're not supposed to have hamburgers rare because of the bacteria problem, so i kind of wondered why they were even giving me a choice. She was suggesting medium rare, but damn it, if it really is my choice i want it fucking rare, bloody, raw but not cold. And they were making fun of me like i didn't know what i was doing. If you can't give me what i want then don't fucking ask me. so, rare. Sure enough, though, when they gave it to me, it was medium. Typical. i never can get stuff properly cooked.

i think being in love is chipping away at my sanity.

if all goes well, though, microsoft may soon be replaced by more open systems, and an entirely new computing paradigm.

i haven't started getting into my new internet capabilities, such as cgi. There's a nifty application out there to keep a list of everyone who has accessed a page. and i want to maybe individualize some of the pages, and at some point allow certain people to add commentary. And i need to break up some better way. I will probably keep journal entries in a database instead of this fairly awkward set of files by month. Then i could have a real index. and more flexible formatting. possibly, even, viewer preferences. wouldn't that be special!

one thing that's going to need to happen, is having a separate thing that is a computer. it really should be using the tv for display, and maybe with better tv's that'll happen. And keyboards really should disappear. How can you gesticulate when using a keyboard?

ok, i admit that i have a need to communicate

kim polese and pattie maes. good looking women in charge of overhyped companies. i just ripped pattie's picture out of the december Wired. i studied her software agents stuff in a class a few years ago. I thought she was cute then, but i thought she was older. mrowr. i dig those smart computer chicks. And why are they always so good-looking?

the way i handle people who are kidding or teasing, is that i take them seriously or act like i don't know they're joking. and then they'll have to explain themselves, and sometimes they apologize. And they think i'm stupid. i have to be consistent though. it does get back at them and is somewhat entertaining.

sometimes, when i'm having trouble with people, i really feel like i need to do something, but i can think of anything good, so i just do (typically write) something silly. it doesn't do any good, but i feel better.

monkey sea-doo, monkey sea-doo

intelligence is very complicated, a complexity that comes from the real complexity of the world. people keep trying to find a simple engine that they can pour knowledge into (a job expect to be easy) the problem is that each mind has to be built to fit the knowledge and there are many many different pieces that need to be assembled from various different materials. ai today is like children making castles of sand. children that may someday become real architects.

if you were to create a meat copy (an atom for atom exact duplicate) of someone, it would also be inaccurate, as the mere difference in position from the original would cause it to follow a different path. We would not, however, say it is merely an emulation,  but a different person (or maybe exactly the same),also with consciousness. Exactness itself allows some tolerance, so the analog/digital question misses the real issue.

I think some of the concern here is the complex nature of some of the comparisons made in the mind.  probably a simple analog scalar value doesn't even capture it.  rather, you would need to examine the whole complex process of making each evaluative judgement. for


my shrink has two beautiful kids. she was a little late, and i was her first appointment. when she showed me the picture, i felt guilty for taking her away from them. she said she was working too hard.

i thought i was ok when i didn't have any friends, but when i get one and she's busy, i feel all stuck with no one to talk to.

got lots of pictures of cats. they keep moving around.

there is a theory that if everybody tried to make themselves as happy as possible, we would have an ideal world. so what's happening with that? i get the feeling that people don't even do the best things that know about to make themselves happy. Plus there's all that stuff that people could be doing that they don't know about. and all the people trying to keep good ideas secret. I have blamed basic human cussedness. And somehow people have gotten the idea that trying to be really happy is bad. Some evil influence, perhaps.

fitness will take a great jump with the availability of full body simulations.

being in love is not meant to go away easily or quickly. it's supposed to help you ignore people's faults and things. anaesthesia. and it helps you ignore problems.

the head works for the heart. seldom is it that reasons will change your thinking. but some folks use their brains for nothing but rationalisations.

i got more web space!

and maybe more money at work!

the car doesn't care what your heart rate is

i left my car window cracked while i was in tennessee

maggie thinks her boyfriend is insane, and he has her cats and fish

beauty is irrelevant

questions are powerful tools. you can really alter a person's (or your own) thinking with the right question. Socrates showed it. The job becomes clear once you get the right question. but that is the hardest part. I'm always on the lookout for new questions.

i went to a nanocad meeting. they seem to be getting together some c++ stuff.

i sit here on the road
and i reseat me shoulder strap.
there's a lot more walking
but there's been a lot.
juat have to keep going

i have broken down and started using an electric blanket. i guess i'm tired of being the only source of heat in my room.

email messages, like old fashioned letter-writing, (and i will admit, like journalling) put a kind of distance or buffer between people. you feel a lot freer to express your feelings without hurting others'. And there is a kind of 'absence makes the heart grow fonder' nostalgia effect that you don't get with ordinary conversation or even the telephone. the opposite of immediacy.

i need to unpack all my stuff. it's in a box. the high-dollar stuff is already in use.

and because i have this modem, i have a place to plug in a phone, so maybe i should get one. or maybe not.

a list of resolutions:

  • get back down to 150#
  • exercise, handweights, pushups, situps
  • mo' money
  • reduce debt
  • move out
  • ai java programming
  • program on the beach
  • be friends with gia
  • expand web site
  • take pictures
back in california. i shouldn't have left.

on thursday we went to Beale street. the elvis restaurant was closed, and the hard rock cafe was full. disappointing.

the flight out was fairly boring. i read the rest of "what is intelligence". We thought we were going to miss the connecting flight, but it was at 8:30 and not 8:00. i was wearing this really warm shirt, and the vest and coat i brought. It never got cold enough for me to wear the coat on the whole trip. mostly that warm shirt was enough. So running through the heated airport with all that stuff i got way hot. I was waiting at the water fountain when my brother fetched me to the seat. no water. and san jose airport baggage claim was way full and it took a while before we found our ride. And we had brought a box of (deer) meat

intelligence is the regulation of moving and changing objects. we have little simulations of bits of the world, which consist of moving (changing) objects. we have developed an ability to work with labels and abstract objects with non-sensory properties, but generally properties lead back to sensation. We have a linguistic ability to translate imagery (including "moving picture") into words and back.

communication is a lot more than just getting to believe the fact you are stating. There is always a reason for saying something, a lot of times one is trying to get someone to do something, or the statement has some implication which will get them to act. "It's late" might mean, "let's leave". This sort of communication requires knowing about goals and what the person will understand. You can make different assumptions about the speaker, such as that he is competent enough to actually say something helpful, that he is trying to say something relevant and helpful even he doesn't know enough to, or that he is at least trying to say something that would be useful to him if you believed it (deception).

We are trying to make things easier to do, such as with computers. but we are actually making it so that you really don't have to have much interest to do certain things. Convenience breeds apathy.

I read tark's guest entry. I suppose he must have meant he's never been to a place that had a sign saying "titty bar" out front. i guess. i would believe that he hasn't seen into anyone's soul, though. that kind of insight takes a lot of effort.

Hallo. This is Doug, writing a guest column for Andy. Being a capitalist at heart, I shall begin this with a brief commercial message, specifically referring you to my web page at http://home.mem.net/~jds But don't go there yet. Read Andi's journal first.

It's hard to be spontaneous on call. I like to plan my spontaneity well in advance - research all relevant factors, conduct exhaustive audience surveys, obtain credit reports and other background information, develop scenario models, constuct simulations and write enviromental impact statements, refine and improve, and then, finally, trot out the wit and spontaneity. At least the spontaneity.

All the same, that is what I am called to do this evening as Andy and Mike dropped by my house unannounced, logged onto my computer and handed me the keyboard with the command to "Ken ye Write, McSims, ken ye write the first guest column of the new year?" The irony, of course, is that I've talked with Andy before about writing a guest column and had been thinking about all sorts of Deep and Mind-Improving topics to share with You, the Enraptured Audience Out There in Radio-Land (hence referred to as YEAOTRL), but now that I sit here staring at this window on the world I realize that no one wants to read that sort of stuff. Choleresterol? Boring. Making the best of each day? Such tedium.

So what do you, You the Enraptured Audience really want to read about? Sex. Intrigue. Beautiful People Corrupted by Power and Money. Drugs. Rock and Roll. As my grandpappy used to say, "listen to your audience, son, listen to your audience." Actually, I think that was Bart Maverick's grandpappy.

So here is my contribution to Andy's column. (I'm sorry, Andy, I just can't get used to Andi-with-and-I. Some day you might leave California and want your "y" back anyway.) I would like you, the viewing audience (YEOTRL), to write in and tell Andy what you would like to read. Do you want westerns? Do you want murder mysteries? Do you want Andy to move into Jerry Seinfeld's old apartment in New York and write about Kramer and George and Elaine? Andy can be a sort of avatar, a puppet to be put into all sorts of interesting situations, a journalist to report to us. Do you want Andy to include daily stock market commentary in his journal? Yoga? Yogurt? How about sending Andy out on the Titanic with Kate Winslett?

As it is the start of the New Year I shall conclude this with a resolution of my own. I resolve to fill 1998 with spontaneous adventures and excitement and then, when I'm back home and shaking the sand out of my socks or counting the poisoned arrows stuck in my fedora, to write about them and share them with YEOTRL (You, the Enraptured Audience Out There in Radio-Land). I shall be seduced by Mysterious and Sultry Women With Strange Foreign Accents (perhaps I won't write about that) and pit my wits against foreign saboteurs, and this time next year, I shall have some good stories to tell.

That's all for now. I'm going to spend the rest of the evening with AutoCad and Excel and a bunch of bits of paper and string planning my spontaneous adventures for the 1998!