a barbarian journal

March 1997
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I've been thinking about the star trek transporter. It one of those things that almost certainly could never happen, unlike faster that light travel which according to what we know, pretty much has to be impossible (in order for causality to function). It even seems that ftl is more likely than transporters, it being thought possible only because of human hubris. But there is a more reasonable alternative to the transporter. It would be possible to shoot a little holographic projection and just transmit the information back while showing a projection, if needed. Why even move the bulk body? A more subtle variation on this, something good when the transmission time delay is too much for real-time, the little machine could just run a simulation of the person at the time it left, and perhaps the new memories could be reintegrated as the signal returns. Additional bodies for everyone! Of course, if a machine could simulate a person, there really is no need for the person in the first place, so this idea is essentially self-defeating, but its interesting.

I wonder to what extent people will resist change by technology, eg by machine additions. My feeling is that if you add something to a person, it is no longer the old person, no matter what the new thing believe. so you are not changed the person so much as killing the old one to make something else. People have very strong senses of identities and don't want to be anything else. If they do, there must be something wrong with their feelings. Have better tools is a completely different thing, as is creating machine "children".

It's like a was so totally in love with her and she actually ended up a little bit afraid of me. I had to try to just deny my feelings and i always kept on the lookout for reasons to deny emotions in general. It pretty true that emotions are largely irrational and only get you more emotions, and not things that are any more objectively good. And they are really primitive, leftover parts from animals, and we don't live like animals anymore, so they aren't very appropriate, no matter how we cling to them. But they are used by society to get us to do things that society wants us to do.

what you don't sharpen, remains dull.

Before arrogance, lack of imagination, and cynicism become truth, let's remember that even at the end of the twentieth century, we don't know everything. It is still possible that the Heaven's gate people were correct in everything they thought. Maybe they are correct and we are wrong.

There is a difference in the way established religions work and cults work, Most religions have established ideas that are bigger than any of the people involved (one of them is usually that suicide is wrong, especially if it wants to be successful while saying there is a better world after this one) A cult (and i suppose religions all start this way) is based on a charismatic leader whose every word is taken as the real truth. It is because of this faith in the leader that suicide can make sense. The tendency for crowds to follow a leader, like the way people are entranced by celebrities these days, is an important part of our psychologies. And while its possible for people to be lead over cliffs, it is also the only way people can achieve anything more than the simple achievements of individuals.

Whatever we think of their reasons, these people died for what they believed in, and in less cynical (some might say spiritually hollow) times, this could be celebrated as a triumph of will. Do passion and a striving for something greater have no meaning anymore? Maybe they failed, but they were willing to risk it all on one roll of the dice. And all anyone can do is condemn this as a waste. Is this what has become of the romantic ideal?

You had all the chance there was to convince them to stay with us in this world and yet you did not convince them. They have left this vale of tears. At least, you could wish them Godspeed.

So i'm in a thread on ai.comp.philosophy, "Can matter exist independent of mind?" There is a whole branch of philosophy devoted to what exists, ontology. I mean these people were trying to talk about the idea of mind, but i was trying to point out that the idea of existence is not really defined. Actually different people have different ideas of what exist, mostly based on examples of things that they think exist, eg materialists think that matter exists by definition, idealists think that ideas exist. The area is practically wedge open, the different people don't even argue anymore. It seemed to me that the whole idea was decided to be a point of semantics now. I tried to say that "exist" means something like you think that other people would agree that they could also perceive whatever the thing is. This area is like no-man's land, but the materialists tend to be dominant these days.

I was just thinking that maybe this stuff could help my typing speed, although i spend too much time in pauses to think. Really, typing speed is a matter of keeping a steady rhythm.

These days, time is the most important resource. Programming tools have been optimized to save the programmer time at the expense of really inefficient code. That's one of the real things about intelligent machines that the economy of time will be totally redone. if a thought process could just be repeated endlessly on multiple machines, it won't be a matter of what we can do in the time we have, but deciding on what we want to do depending on other factors, maybe materials or space, or whatever the precious resource becomes.

The kind of thing i would really like to do is to be like that guy tyrell in blade runner who designed the mind of the androids (replicants). That seems really neat to me, and i have an example to look at from fiction. although he wasn't much of a character, and what would screenwriters know about it anyway.

i have mentioned the idea of an artificial intellligence based on analogy but i haven't really explained it. The model that Hofstadter talks about is kind of a probabilistic blackboard model, to make a comparision with a similar ai approach. In a blackboard model, there is a central area where information is stored that can be looked at by many very different subprograms (which don't communicate except through the blackboard). These programs might, say, recognize some bit of information on the blackboard and call out to change it. One of the central problems of the blackboard system is controlling which programs get to access the blackboard and at what time. And there might be systems that allow the more useful subprograms more access. In copycat, a program to handle letter analogies by melanie mitchell, one of hofstadters graduate students, there are simple programs that recognize whether letters are the same follows another alphabetically and ways to represent groups of related letters A letter analogy is something like "abc is to ijk as abd is to what?", and it might answer abd or ijl or ijd. One important property is that the system will a certain amount of satisfaction with the current state of its thinking process, and might give the answer after being happy enough with it (although this stuff depends on tweaking of certain values by the programmer). And the operations (which subprogram gets called on at what time) is probablistic, its reandom depending on some values. This randomness was supposed to be very important, because sometimes very good answers aren't the most obvious. And, really there are many others areas where randomness is important for a good search, eg in neural nets and genetic algorithms. How is any of this like what people do? well, we have lots of little brain modules, that really can't communicate much because really there is no common brain language. These modules have the ability to detect patterns inside the brain and respond to things they have learned to recognize. It is definitely somewhat random, because there are a lot of factors involved, although some responses must be more likely than others (this is really all that learning can guarantee, that you are more likely to get the right answer, if there was no chance of mistake you would have no chance of ever finding a better answer.) The "blackboard" in the brain may have to do with how heavily interconnected things in the brain are. And how is any of this like analogies? well, the connection is that the different connection between the elements are never really really for sure, but we will have different levels of confidence in them, and there are always several different pieces that have links to other pieces. This explanation may need a little more clearing up, but i think its an important idea

Thirtieth birthday and i'm watching logan's run. I guess it's really pretty weak. A whole culture of morons.

So i got money to pay for the birthday gifts i already bought myself. funny how that works out.

I've got a reaffirmation or something that i'm trying to do now. One of the techniques for lucid dreaming is to periodically through the day, ask yourself 'am i dreaming' which makes it more likely when you are dreaming that you will realize that you are dreaming. It want to do this every fifteen minutes, but i'm working up to it. That in itself being a fairly pointless goal, i have added the question 'is this helping'. i do so much time wasting stuff since i have so much free time that i feel i need to reflect more on the value of what im doing, and stop all the time wasting. i had already start analyzing stuff that i plan to do when i make out list of things to do, now i want to analyze it on a more continuous basis.

I suppose in need to reflect on being thirty. i have pretty much been in denial about it today, and have tried to treat it as just another day. And really its pretty sad because i think my life is pretty well over because i've never heard of anyone doing anything after they were 30. so i guess my time is pretty much up. It used to be a lot bigger deal to me. But i have to accept that i am just a loser. Actually the deal was more that i was waiting for people to get a little further along with the ai, tools and hardware, but it looks like people aren't ever going to get their act together. So i guess i need to get a joe job and start a life in the second-class. I had always thought i would spare myself from that.

i did all the tweaking i want to do on the spiral java program. I added color parameters.

It has come around to me that doug was upset that i said nasty things about him (called him "geeky beanpole" 8 etc.) o well, life's tough. and this is just for me, anyway

One thing about that suicide cult in san diego, people keep saying that they were not stupid. um, because they built web pages? anyone could do that if they take the time. And cultist are really into knowing stuff that other people don't know. They seemed to have trouble thinking for themselves. Not stupid? they sounded pretty stupid to me. But i get that a lot, people who are supposed to be "smart" but really don't seem that smart to me. And i guess a lot of smart has to do with where you put your time.

i'd like to take a few minutes to talk about carlos, carlos castaneda. he's my great pumpkin. For a long time, since i was maybe twelve and riding to the library on my bike, i have read and been influenced by carlos. He talks about the right way to live, or at least a way, the warriors way. And he talked about magical stuff, and i had always been into strange, magical stuff (being just a child). I had years to cultivate an appreciation for carlos, and i look for other people to write about the proper way to live, something that could actually guide you hour to hour. I mean religions in general tell you how to act in different situations with other people, but they don't really say much about what you should really do with your life. But carlos does, he lays down an approach to life. And the interesting thing is that it is obviously taken from some of the great sources of wisdom. There's a lot of zen buddhism, there's some Plato, i don't try to keep track of all of it (i have critical books for that), but it so happened to me that i saw stuff in carlos first, and then later would learn about it from the original source in school. It was strangely validating. Its a whole treasure trove of ideas tied together, which is really nifty to a person like me. But then there were people who said that carlos made everything up, but does that mean that the ideas are not true? Did the original thinkers make them up too? I guess there's the factual stuff. Did carlos real jump off the mountain? What are we, fundamentalists? I remember waiting for each new book. I found the eagle's gift like just in time for all my wonderful girl troubles. The significance of that book is that it talks about the purpose of life, which is to nourish your awareness until you die and the eagle eats it, but it also talks about the idea of a team of warriors working together to possibly transcend this death. Whatever. For a while i was just sort of so-so about carlos, a bunch of nice ideas, mostly just stories, but recently i had a revelation about carlos, from rereading one of the books about him. In addition, i had studied some sun-tzu and understood that deception is the central act of war, and i was working on the different moralities for the leader (cf machiavelli) (wolf) (cf nietzsche) vs. that of the follower (sheep) (christianity). It turns out that carlos embodies the principle of deceiving people! He used to tell lies as a kid, he faked his way through graduate school, he was constantly scamming people. His writings are not fake in a small way, they are fake in a huge way, a huge way that shows a very workable, principled (sort of), and successful way to live. The people that achieve success, that succeed as warriors, fool everyone else. Actually carlos was an unhappy kid, and maybe he is driven to ruthlessly exploit people. But whatever, it works. Of course, its not what i'm into, but i was pleased to get a real understanding of it. Somewhere in the series, don juan teaches carlos a bunch of secret stuff in a different state of consciousness, and after don juan leaves, carlos has to reintegrate those secret teachings to remember them. I have this feeling that it was a carlosian way of describing his little "hidden" message about life, and how you must eventually come to figure it out. At least i like to think that. Magic.

down on the beach, i was trying to come up with some alternatives to the warrior approach to life, something you could be besides a warrior, and i was having trouble because of all the things that i include into the role. for example, because i consider the "telling of the tale" part of the role of the warrior, i would consider that any artist would be just playing part of the greater role. But then i had an approach to finding the other roles. They would not be the people about whom great songs are sung. I thought first of the beggar life, to live on the charity of others and offer nothing in return--that's my current lifestyle. I thought of the trickster and the thief, but i think those are really just kinds of warrior. I wondered what were the great roles, paths, whatever, for women, and naturally thought of being a mother, but i think there is a more general kind of role, something like a custodian, or guardian--someone whose whole purpose is to hold on to something, maybe an object or a bit of knowledge, or something like a farmer or a scholastic or a religious advisor or a librarian or a firestarter. I thought that maybe this part of the general role of servant, acting only as a means for something else. The only question is who or what do you serve. It was then that i remembered that a warrior in general has to be a servant as well as a warrior, and that in a different paradigm, the warrior is essentially a servant of the people instead of merely a hunter. To hunt and to serve, these aspects are somewhat independent.

I have a different story about the kinds of people there are and the wants of man. (which i got from huston smith's Religions of Man and which comes from hinduism and the Gita, and of course is better told in those places). The simplest and earliest desire of people is for pleasure. you just want to go out there and have some fun--food, drink, sex, drugs, rock and roll. this is all fine and it's really sad if a person never has any fun, but after a while a person is likely to find that it really isn't enough, the parties get old. A person may move onto the second goal, success. Working hard and beating the competition, the 80s money games as opposed to the 70s disco party. And that's totally fair, the struggle itself has its own rewards in addition to the profits to be made. And if you haven't fought the good fight, how could you ever feel good about yourself. You must go and do and be. But when you've climbed to the top, and there are no more worlds to conquer, and you've had your fill of the battle, they stick you in management, or you finally have that kid, (or you are visited by 3 creepy ghosts) and a whole new world opens and your new reason for being is love or, a less sticky/feely way of putting it, duty, devotion and service. (I hope bill finishes out his transition from devourer of worlds to benevolent potentate soon). A family, a country to serve, everybody should be so lucky, hopefully without sacrificing on the good times and the victories. People get marred way too young. It's hard to believe that all this, even the great joy of making others happy (and you know if you've been there), could ultimately be unsatisfying; probably most people could not get enough to really see that at some point, you just wish there was something more. Perhaps you will seek wisdom, the true and ultimate goal, which could bring you to the infinite joy, life, and knowledge that you seek. I suppose once you have everything you can stop.

This story is presented sort of a progression through life, but it is more of a description of different types of people and the basic story for the four majot indian caste divisions, workers, businessmen, warriors and civil servants, and brahmins or religious leaders. (I'm kind of rusty on those). Right now i have the great jungian personality type stuff to compare it to. According to keirsey, their are four major divisions which he calls artisans, rationals, guardians, and idealists. Maybe this system doesn't quite match up, but rationals and idealists are a pretty small group put together, although bill g. is a rational, so maybe it works. I'm not so clear on the bottom two castes, anyway. And the caste groups might make more sense as groups of different subpersonality types. the top two castes are said to be on the path of "renunciation" which might just be the difference between extroverts and introverts. And who do you think wrote the story? In a different comparison, as i look at it, all the groups seem like hunters of various types for different things, but that's probably because it was described in terms of what people want (hunt for), except for the servant aspects, perhaps.

one thing that keeps me dissatisfied with current forms of governments is that i am interested in thinking of new forms.

Feeling that something has meaning or that something is right is an emotional experience. It involves many different subagents in the mind coming together in agreement and the doubts falling away (or being suppressed).

The problem with the java program was not setting the drawing color on the images, the appletviewer must have set it automatically but netscape didn't. little things like that. Anyway, now i have an animation on my web page. I probably will tweak it some more, maybe change the colors to red and blue instead of white and black. Its a trippy spiral, its supposed to mess up some perceptual stuff if its set up right and you stare at it.

I spent most of the day working on a java animated applet. I got it working on the appletviewer but it does nothing on netscape. Java is really frustrating like that sometimes. Maybe i should try to do it in cgi. And maybe i should try to do another eliza for cgi.

kind of weak on the ideas today. voting is good for finding the common will of a group, but it therefore will ignore the independent will of individuals, which is usually fine because independent individuals are usually wrong, but sometimes they will have something good about them, and we don't want to trample it. So we recognize the rights of the individual, even though the will of the group might wish to overrun them.

The idea of a warrior grows out of the natural tendencies of the hunter. And hunting behaviors are a great influence in life. And it is actually a matter of many different small tendencies that merely would add together to make an effective hunter. Wandering around, going out into to the world, the planning, the waiting, the chase, the strike, the rush of the kill, defeating the beast, the return in triumph, the celebration, the story telling. War is really something of a substitute for hunting, or at least it is encouraged by natural tendencies learned (and instincts developed from) hunting. The whole competitive world helps to satisfy the desires for the different parts of hunting.

Presumably, there might be a style of living based on some kind of nesting or nurturing or gathering or planting behavior i suppose. gathering is very similar to hunting except for the fierceness of the confrontation, although probably the wandering trait was very well established before humans hunted. The idea is that you wander until you see something, and then the stalking behavior takes over. Supposedly there is some type of nesting tendency that women feel, but i don't know if you could base much of a life on it. Taking care of things, such as for agriculture and farming, is a very useful approach to life, but since it is something of a new endeavor for people, i wouldn't expect that kind of stuff to have much instinctive attraction. I don't know, the warrior's way has really been the only clear and truly interesting approach i've seen. In fact to me, philosopy is kind of a hunt for the truth. I suppose i need to consider some alternatives. But often it is just a matter of adapting our life to our needs (ie hunting needs)

I just had an interview at Webnex for a job as a cgi-programmer. There were a couple of guys, a manager type and a programmer. I didn't impress them especially, and at the end the programmer guy stopped making eye-contact, so i don't think they'll be calling me back. I was a little off on the actual cgi-programming, and that was the thing, but now i can work onsome more on it, and i'll be a little better for the next place. They gave the impression that the cgi stuff is still a lot more common, for bandwidth reasons. And i guess i learned that little bit more about interviewing. And i gave them ideas for calenders (i think they are neat) and for putting interactive bots on pages. Onward.

I'm listening to one of the albums from my youth. The Beat. It's really personal, i used to really listen it, and i just got it on cd for christmas. I don't think i know anyone else who has even heard it. And i think it has actually been a real influence on my personality, since it hit me when i was young. And it still speaks to me. Its kind of a driving punk thing, and it wails about the world in that rebel way. And its something i have to myself that i don't share with other people. I mean, unlike the beatles, say.

One thing that governs a warrior is deception. Like Sun-tzu says, all war is deception. It is really the central element. Victory is a matter of knowing things that others don't, at all levels, or in other words, for them to know the wrong thing. I suppose that if you just left people alone they would know the truth, so it is necessary to actively deceive. You can't know a real warrior. And it takes a lot of work, "unbending intent", even. I'm not really into all that, but the alternative is generally mediocrity and failure.

ok, a human person probably wouldn't be smart enough, or fast enough, or bored enough to actually try to operate a chinese room. But what if, in a hundred years or so when we have artificial people, on a lark one of those people, (or a simulation of one of those people for time and energy constraints) gets into a chinese room and starts flipping through the rule and scrathing on the notepads, and works on a few questions. After a couple of years, having only answered a handful of questions, will he finally decide he has had enough and just ask for a chinese dictionary?

So what do I know now about working memory and intelligence? There is a correlation between working memory and IQ (as a measure of iq test taking ability, in this study it was a test of how many last words in sentences could be remembered compared with the SAT verbal section). I tried to connect the working memory to IQ correlation with thinking speed and IQ correlation, and there was a connection that thicker myelin in nerves creates both faster nerve impulses and less leakage, or errors from axon crosstalk. In general, working memory can be disrupted by transmission errors, which can come from this crosstalk, or from synaptic problems, which have an increased chance to occur with greater time. And there is a higher level problem from neurons not making the correct responses, which which can't really neasure, but which would be minimized by learning. I assume that there is more to thinking speed than just nerve impulse speed; for example, if there are more distributed location storing a bit of info, it will be retreived faster (race-horse condition). More time means more likelihood of error. The idea of working memory problems from disruption assumes a passive storage role, while working memory is actually involved in manipulating links to other areas of the brain, so without an understanding of the architecture, we don't know if the errors are really the limitation or if there might be something else.

I am totally not in the mood to write. nervous, i mean.

I have always been interested in ideas about the right way to live, and the way of the warrior, such that it is even a coherent concept, is at least one approach to the problem (my biggest exposure to the idea was through carlos). I guess its the idea that life is a struggle between you and your enemies (whoever they may be) until finally you die. And death is your friend, because he let's you live until he is ready for you. And ultimately nothing is important except the time when he will tap your shoulder, and now is not that time! There is a total struggle at all cost, and a maintained vigilance. But it is not all grim, there are periods of rest and there is the joy of the battle. And it would be foolish to fight a war all alone--you will find allies as you take up arms against the sea. Really it is not at all grim but glorious! And the aimless shadows that float along do not even seem real, just ghosts.

A little too busy today, had to go shopping again for some stuff i couldn't get. batteries for the target stuff. And i picked up some more big plastic boxes (12 gallon), so stuff is sitting loose. I'm trying to be more organized.

Doug is come to go to stanford for summer school, and he says wade will be going to stanford law in the fall, so they might be staying together. If that happens, and i somehow scrounge up a job, we might have to rent a house and have an extended adolescent time. It used to be long ago that kids would be totally grown up at 13. For a long time, the new state of adolescence applied as kids were allowed to stay kids until 18, when they were adults and no longer "minors". Since, i don't know, maybe the sixties, there has been an extension to adolescence in college, where you didn't really need to grow up until youre 21. But really people are constantly changing in their twenties, and for quite a while people have been saying you shouldn't get married until you are 30. Now, the whole meaning of being an adult is get married and having children. What seemed to happen a lot these days is that people cut their "childhoods" short these days in various ways, and end up immature in various ways, and mean or unpleasant or some other way an unpleasant person. Doug and Wade are hanging on, like I'm hanging on, and maybe the whole slacker thing in the 90's is about how childhood just last longer. And we can probably expect to live longer, so its better for us not to rush things.

Lately i've been doing a lot more stuff for myself. actually putting the effort to do things that i want to do. I bought books. i bought the little toy machine tool. i started eating less (which can help you live longer). i started a journal. i redid my web page. i expanded the job stuff on the web page. i applied for a bunch of jobs. I fixed the loose belt on my car. i'm studying various computer things. i finally quit IRC. i got that thing on my back taken care of. i finally broke out the jigsaw. So i'm hoping i'm setting a pattern of getting stuff done instead of just waiting around. For a while i've been keeping lists on my pocket computer of stuff to do, so i think i'm getting organized, but there is still a matter of doing things and deciding what to do. I guess I'll see how it lasts.

The three R's--reading, 'riting, and 'rithmetic--are actually good exercise for working (aka short-term) memory, which is the largest factor in how intelligent we are. Computers, then, if we could get the other systems together, could be arbitrarily intelligent.

dave suggested a new class. We already have the women who won't talk to you, and the women who would step over your bleeding body lying on the sidewalk. To this we can add women such that if you tried to talk to them, goons would beat you up.

'real', 'objective', and 'existence' are themselves classes, and like any classes they are defined by social convention and interaction and activated by more-or-less-shared psychological processes.

I used to think that there could be no disembodied mind. But now i'm not so sure. It is after all a matter for the system designer. The problem is essentially that a mind learns from testing the world, reaching out to shape it and being effected by it, and does not merely make decisions about the input. So, because of this learning requirement, there must be some kind of interaction, and because knowledge is a manipulation of experiences. The idea of a disembodied mind assumes that you could somehow "gift" it experiences, and that it would still be a mind even if it could not have any more. In additional there is an idea of a simulated world as being enough to satisfy a mind (which isn't too unreasonable given our ability to fantasize). And in any case, we only experience our internal model of the world anyway. None of this really relates to the oversimplified approaches we talk about now. So, there are some concerns about embodiment of mind, but they wouldn't bother a sufficiently knowledgeable designer.

fwud! Suddenly i am completely inundated with stuff to read, more than just falling behind. I kept adding things and making a habit of being more thorough in the stuff i have, (i'm already a week behind in Science, i started off just going straight to interesting articles and then i found it was better to go page by page). And wired and discover came, and i got onto the ispe emailing list. And then my brother finally gives me a stack of engineering trade magazines. These days i'm really having trouble remembering where i read things. But i have to go shopping today. So much to do, so little time.

Somewhere ( i think comp.ai.phil) i saw something about conceptualizations of the world and mass and energy, how you could think of everything as energy patterns or as matter patterns. But neither energy or mass (matter) are truly fundamental concepts, involving interactions of space and time in various ways. I have for a while held a little unified theory of physics, that holds that all space and time is really one big object (cf. Hawking), and that all the interactions and patterns are just patterns of various types in the fabric of space-time, whatever that is. Of course, we don't yet fully understand the nature of that fabric, and there are those superstring theories that posit more collapse dimensions. And what is a dimension and how does that occur? There is some kind of flexibility in the position of the patterns. And a greater question is what are the bases for positions and differences in positions? I sort of still hold to the luminiferous ether theory of the nineteenth century, in that everything is patterns in the ether. That theory was discreditid when according to michelson morley, the speed of light was constant in all directions, so they found no ether. But if everything is made of ether, and it not just some separate substrate, the relativity is perfectly reasonable. Going closer to the speed of light would naturally disrupt the structure of the kinks that create the matter in the object. We don't access the properties of space-time, but only of the patterns in it. But we do see a few rules, there are four forces ( id on't know what that has to do with the four dimensions, but its curious). General relativity points out that the "force" of gravity is also a kind of bend in space-time. I would predict that all forces will be be found as a kind of pattern in space-time, and that quantum issues are a result of the stability of those patterns at a fine-level in space-time. But its a matter of understanding space-time itself, which is no simple thing.

I just saw the english patient and really wasn't impressed. It seemed to want to say that feeling are more important than actions. I'm sure a lot of people feel that way, and it is the essence of romance. But i just don't care. And its just another movie about some guys life, and i just don't care about any single person's life, unless there is some real point to it or is somehow inspiring to me, showing me a really good attitude or approach. Not just joe schloe-moe doing whatever he feels like. As for why so many people like the movie, there just must be a lot of people like that (sappy).

the english patient mentions the supersternal notch, the little dent between the collars bones. I am doing a little tai-chi form that includes hitting that particular spot with one knuckle of one finger. I was afraid that movement would always remind me of that movie, but i think i will be able to forget.

so, what kind of person do i like? i use to be gravitated toward the artsy-fartsy sort of person. I was actually in some plays. (that was somewhat more because i like to strike the set. That fateful summer in '84, i helped my brother Edgar take apart this house for materials to build a house on our farm (it still isn't finished but mostly closed in) And I will go through a lot for the chance to rip up wood frames. I had my own crowbar for a while (i also used it for a cane, i have a bad knee) But it seems that they all now complain that i am too destructive to the wood (aw, they want to reuse it?). There was this one play in college, with roy, and it was late, and they all just wanted to go eat pizza, so i choice to do most of the last half by myself. Maybe i scared them away, there was this one girl (andrea?) at a party a few years later at roy's house who said that i almost killed her a second time pulling down the stairs to the attic, the first time being at that strike when some wood i was taking down came within about a foot of her head. ) But i am really not an artsy person and i don't really like the artsy stuff. There was angela who used to paint (she was at college, another EE, and i think i messed her up good, very distracting, i could even forget about wynne for a little while, was premed (maybe i should have been premed)). But i think i know what it is, there are just so darn many of them, and so few of my people, the philosophers. I started a philosophers' club in hi school. there weren't too many, let me say, and really, it was more of an anarco-syndicalist front. What do i need with people, anyway? For a long while, i was pining from someone else to help me come up with new ideas, but i realized that i was just being a baby, and i can do ok by myself. So i actually underwent a change such that people are much less important. i was always this total misanthropist, and now people just seem small and unimportant.

i use to simply totally hate writing for high school, so i didn't get very good at it, and i didn't do much in college and when i got out of school i avoided it completely, and those brain cells died off. When i took the mcat while getting my MS, I got a 15 (out of 15) on the physical science section, a 12 on the biological science (gimme a break, i got a C in organic chemistry, which blew my dreams for med school at that time, which was weird because i have all this bomb-chemistry knowledge, but it was all memorizing and for some reason engineering really taught me not to like memorizing facts, and i wasn't motivated, and maybe i didn't really want to go to medical school, ...) and a 10 on the third thing (some type of reasoning or comprehension thing), but i was in like the bottom 25% of the writing part, which supposedly doesn't count for anything. (Probably the worst thing i did to angela was that the day of her mcat, in the middle of them, i left her a note saying 'good bye' because like, the day before i had gone to see her and met her boyfried of 4 years (ok, maybe i should have already known about it, and maybe i shouldn't have let it bother me, but i was stupider then, one and twenty, i think) but she was pretty upset when she called me later, and it didn't stick, and the mcat is pretty grueling and it was totally not nice and i know she didn't go to med school right out of college. but the stick of dynamite was in the exhaust pipe, and sooner or later the fuse would light.) so i don't know about my writing. Maybe i should practice? I used to think that if i ever did end up writing for a living, i would know i'm in hell, but i just realized that computer programming is writing, and in a pitiful little narrow language too, so its too late.

I really need to cut back, i just keep writing more and more, and its just getting worse and worse.

First we have perception, which is done preconsciously by neural modules which are evolutionarily very old. Most decisions, done by gut reaction or quick emotional decisions or intuition (however you want to call them) are done like this, and are similar to perceptions in that the process is inextractably unconcious, mostly from not being verbal. Animals think and act like this.

Reasoned analysis is a language-mediated, generally conscious process. Certainly most of the operations rely on input from perception and other intuitive processes, but it adds the extra control that is the strong point of the human, including some of the capacity for culture, although, of course, stuff that is learned through the rational process gets taken in as an intuitive notion. The idea is that rational thinking is far less common that people would like to think. Anyway, it is separate in that it is an additional mechanism, and mostly distinct because of its serialized nature (which in part comes through the focus of consciousness).

The real hassle comes when the symbolic (and cognitive) ai people start modeling everything as symbol manipulation. That modeling style makes the most sense when considering rational process like mathematics, which is its original intent, but it largely breaks down modeling perceptual processed. Unfortunately, it is general possible to model anything as symbol manipulation, so they don't give up modeling those non-language processes, even though it has really violated the original spirit. An additional problem is that this symbolic modeling is not really that comparable to the human system of conscious rational thought in the first place, which is built upon these parallel perceptual/intuitive processes, computers being based on a very simple logical (binary!) system. Since logical/sequential stuff is actually pretty hard for people, computers are helpful to us in our weak area.

a second species of ant has invaded the front of the house, in addition to the other ants coming in the back of the house into the kitchen. I find that ammonia (such as in windex) is pretty effective in killing the little ants on contact, and im hoping it gets rid of their pheremone trails, which are water resistant i believe. Ammonia is pretty poisonous, and i think ants excrete it instead of converting it to urea, like we do. I think ammonia might have been one of the WWI war gases, but war gases don't work if they smell too strong and people just don't breathe them.

I was reading about software pirates or crackers in wired. Software piracy is stealing and is pretty much morally wrong, using the moral criterion of what would happen if everybody stole software. It would be a total breakdown. The crackers somehow feel better about themselves because they don't make any money from it, but it seems like that just means they are stupid. I mean, do the crime and not get any money? love or confusion? And they were complaining that it attracted scum. So i naturally compared them to drug dealers (there is also an addictive quality to piracy). I'm pretty sure that drug crimes are just political crimes and not morally wrong. If everyone used currently illegal drugs (assuming that isn't already the case) there would not be any complete societal breakdown, the evidence being alcohol and nicotine, which are pretty much available to everyone, and used by a lot of people perfectly safely. The bad things that could happen are a result from people doing stupid things, but it is only by doing stupid things and learning the consequences, that people will learn not to be stupid. But we aren't talking anything like the complete breakdown that would happen if no one paid for software. So, for political reasons drugs are made illegal, but what are those reasons? The government wants to say that it is for the common good, although i'm not sure that that has been shown that it is working. I heard one suggestion that drugs are the new great threat to replace the communists. The government derives its power from the fears of the people. And they get a lot of money from the law enforcement and the confiscation of property. So the drug laws are entirely in the interests of the government, whether or not they are in the interests of the people.

I'm drinking some homemade root beer. There just aren't enough really good root beers; they're always too sweet, which is the american way to make sodas. Its nice to have something according to your own tastes, although i'm still not that proficient a brewer. plus, i fasted yesterday. I'm still using root beer extract, because there are other elements i need to work on, such as the yeast carbonation and the sweetening (honey, molasses and corn syrup). Last time it wasn't sweet enough and it was amazingly tasteless. i wasn't aware of the difference it could make. And not quite enough carbonation this time, and 2 hours was too long in the freezer (it started to freeze) But the taste is pretty much where i want it, although maybe not enough vanilla although its slightly detectable. Weinhard's has a lot of vanilla, more than i really like, too overpowering. I need to go to the little brewers supply place in boulder creek, thats open evenings. I always see it on friday evening coming from a new movie, but i don't stop because i just want to get home. They stock sarsaparilla, but they were out last time i was there.

right now i spend too much time thinking about what i want to write about when i'm not actually sitting here (and to tell the truth, i spend too much time writing, but that's just me avoiding real work) I don't know if its good. I used to just think of things and forget them, and at various times i have kept notes about things in various ways, in computer files, on index cards, on my pocket computer. I just got a tape recorder and i was going to start dictating, but i haven't ever gotten into that. It seems like actual sitting down to write makes me say more, but so much of it is just junk. Oh well. I'm hoping things will settle down soon.

I finished Marcinko's book, Rogue Warrior: Designation Gold. It was ok, but it was extremely fiction, and kind of assembly-line churned out. I think i want off this plane. But it is a nice look at how special warfare should be (in dick's dreams). The narrator (its hard to say how much is dickie and how much is his co-author) several times refers to his editor interrupting him with criticism, which was interesting, and we all know its just a story. But there were a couple of factual errors that bugged me. There was a point when he talks about using purification equipment to get plutonium from uranium for making nuclear weapons. Sorry, you do need to extract out the u-235 to make bombs, or you can make plutonium (which is much better for bombs) from u-238, but it takes a nuclear reaction (a reactor or a bomb blast), not the extraction stuff he is talking about. And there was a computer mistake, concerning undeleting of files in dos. He says his computer expert told them that files are deleted by changing the first letter of the file name in the file allocation table. He mentions norton utilities, which i have used to undelete files and manipulate the fat and all the stuff. But a real hacker would know that the FAT does not contain filenames, just cluster numbers, although in the directory, the first character is changed on a deleted file. Doom on you, Dick. I mean, sure, these are minor points and don't really effect anything, but where is the attention to detail? Where is the pride of authorship? Does a warrior not care about details? Or at least is he not surrounded by people who take care of them?

well, she distracts me from the disaster that is my life.

Even reality is just a product of the mind.

I just got a bunch of stuff from ISPE. They seem a lot more organized than they were when i quit last time. Much better printed documentation. The member directory has listings by location, occupation, and primary interest. Computers these days. And their journal contains a section that is just a culling from the e-mail mailing list. And yet there are still these quirky religious elements. hmm

So now i'm a little bit torn by this personality typing stuff. Its kind of useless to me because i just don't seem to like other people of type intp. It may just be that i don't like people in general. I think it may have something to do with not agreeing with the systems that they design. I get really frustrated when i see someone come so close and blow it; it's much worse to me than someone who has no clue, although that is bothersome. And i don't like arrogance. And i must seem pretty darn arrogant, although i try not to bother people with it. To me, every one else seems like a savage, and empty. At best i gain some insight into myself, but it leaves open the question of what kind of person i can actually stand.

There is a type of hi tech strategy that is kind of bothering me. When developing new products, you can either start over with a better design, or you can keep things compatible with previous version. The classic example is Intel vs. Motorola cpus. Intel tries to stay backward compatible, while motorola tends to start over with new things, so in the early days the mac started off with a more rational cpu design, and the intel 8088 was fairly clunky. But the moto cpus switched around and caused problems for apple, with the huge pc industry had steady continuous growth without having to abandon stuff. And then the switch to risc was a jar (not a door). And intel wins. Microsofts commitment to support old stuff takes work, but it really helps them. That battle of the sodasauruses isn't my current beef. I didn't know that Sun was a start over company. They make java, and when the new version (jdk 1.1) came out, it added nifty new stuff like sql support, remote objects, archive files. but it started making assorted function obsolete (use the new ones, they say). if i use the new ones and not the old ones, my programs don't on anything but the newest browsers, so most people couldn't see them. And all the nifty new stuff wouldn't work either (aside from the stuff they just bogusly want me to change). I don't like this situation, and i'm kind of on hold.

she has green eyes.

i was reading more about personality types, Keirsey mostly i've heard my type (intp) called architect, but he calls it designer. And they say i should maybe have been a mathematician or a scientist. But there is too much i'd like to make, although i don't so much like making things. I like to think that its because i want to make something (androids) that we don't yet really have the technology for. So i have to be staisfied sitting around waiting. That is, i am not the kind of person that likes to finish things, but i'm not sure if i was always like that, or i just came to be like that. I do seem to have trouble getting things done now. There is also a larger class that i'm in, of rationals. Jung himself was intp, so this personality typing appeals to that kind of person.

I didn't really know her well enough to tell, but i like to wonder what wynne's type was. i mean, she was an english major, i just don't get that. My guess is that she was an infp, which kiersey calls a tutor or conciliator. she had a kind of romantic bent.

Albert Einstein had my personality type. I never thought much of Al, because he advocated the development of nuclear weapons, and he always denied quantum mechanics, and he clung to his grand unified theory. And he married his cousin and abandoned his wife. But his notes are available, and i'm thinking maybe i should find out more, even though im not really into it. It kind of disturbs me that he was mostly trying to discover how god had made the world. I guess he was my type of guy, but i don't know.

what is love? let's review. Love, at its most basic, arose when mammals started taking care of their babies. So love is mostly parental, but minds are flexible, and we can come to love people and things beyond just our children. Love is a desire to be with (attachment), to help (caring), and to communicate closely with (intimacy). But love is not just a feeling, it is the behaviors involved, which we learn and can improve. There are some other senses for "love" that get mixed up with the basic idea. There is a physical state called being "in love", which is involved with mating, and keeps people's hearts aflutter and holds couple together for a year or so, to give support for the mother until the baby shows up. Because love does involve various desires, as noted, it seems now to get used for all forms of strong desire, such as loving cake, and sexual desire, but that's more of a usage thing. Possessiveness is often mixed in. "I want my baby" is kind of a prototypical statement of love.

a good epiphany, like an orgasm, is best shared.

So why do i obsess over someone i only slightly knew twelve years ago? other than laziness. its just that i have this sort of daily reminder. wynne's parents' house was kind of rural, and she told me about how she would jog the long drive way (about a tenth of a mile) to get the mail. It would just have to happen to me that i would also have a tenth of a mile jog to get to our mailbox. So now i have this time, every day, where, unless i can distract myself with something else, i get to ponder the one that got away. And yet i still can't paddle back to shore.

Fortunately i do have an interesting distraction occasionally along the way. My route is not a private drive, but a rustic public road with a source of diversion: dogs! I used to be really afraid of dogs as a kid, and they would jump on me, and the little ones would bite, and i didn't know if i could get tetanus or anything. Im not now afraid that they will hurt me, but there wasn't anything much that i could do against them, although i haven't really tried to fight one off, and running seems so unlikely to work, and its an admission of defeat which i'm sure the dog gets. So once in a while a dog will actually get upset with me and come right up to me-- they just must be scared. There is something about dog behavior-- if you face them they will stand and bark, but if you turn your back on them they have this instinctive desire to bite your leg from behind. And they are way too fast for me to bend over and hit them or kick them. I always just wanted to do something so they wouldn't try that stuff. There was this one mediumish black dog with a really bad attitude-- he has nipped me a couple times. Recently i zapped him with some pepper spray. I think that really made him think about it, i don't really see him now. They get this sort of hurt look and don't bark. But in the place of the black dog one day was this little, maybe twenty-pound terrier. I was going past, and he charged me. It was so quick, and i hadn't seen this dog before, and he was only doing his job as a dog, but i hit him with the pepper spray, and he stopped, but he was really furry and i didn't know i got him so i gave him a way-too-long shot, and he just looked down dejected. I didn't mean to hurt his feelings! i didn't mean to break his spirit! I just didn't want him not to attack people walking down a public road. When i came back the other direction, the little dog was gone, and there was this big old hound dog, normally the most lovable dog you could ever know, but he was really scared, and he almost came up to me. I had picked up a stick (which is much better for warning dogs away), and i wasn't gonna spray no poor old hound dog. He was barking, came up behind me, but when i pulled back for a swing, he pulled back. So i don't know, i hope i haven't messed up some good watch dogs, and i hope they know that i'm not the bad guy they're looking for. To give me a less cruel option, i have a telescoping antenna, for telling them what's what.

went up to santa rosa (about 2.5 hours away). had to crawl through SF traffic. its very rustic in marin, almost the opposite to the valley.

truth is a different and more complex thing when seen as part of system that must make analogies for its understanding. each part of the analogy has to contribute to the total truth, and finding appropriate analogies is a dynamic process.

success is about being better than other people. and i don't want to be better than them because they are no damn good at all. avoid all similarities!

it doesn't seem to be acknowledged that perceptual, intuitive decision making is an important and separate process from reasoned analysis.

I submit another idea of truth, to contrast boolean and even multivalued and multidimensional truth:
say we have system that can form analogies to situations. The current event might be like some previous event, or even like some generalization previously made. In such a task, there will always be sub-problems of determinining the aptness of the corresponding sub-analogies, so there would have to be some generalizing conclusion about the whole body of the analogy, and certainly the structure will have problems with conflicts, and often those conflicts will need to be suppressed. We could even have a special type of analogy between one bit of knowledge and others concerned true, perhaps ideas in which "the whole world stands in agreement" or something. Whatever kind of thinking makes us think of true. And it is a very complex thing, involving a dynamic process inside the mind, often at the sub-personal, intuitive level.

my friend seth "trey" McElvaney is on jeopardy! it was trippy how i knew most of the things that he knew, but not what he didn't. he had 9700, some nurse chick had 6600, and the returning champion dweeb guy with the goatee had 2700. and it came down to the finally jeopardy question, subject: advertisement. the answer was this products "whole thing" ad is in the clio hall of fame. And i thought right off "alka selzer" and then i thought "no wait, was it pepto- bismal?" argh i messed myself up. the guy with 2700 had bet it all and got alkaselzer, for 5400. The nurse chick got it too, but bet 0. Seth must have done exactly what i did, 'cause he put pepto bismal. Is it a good thing to know commercials? what a stupid game. i don't know what calculation he used, but he ended up in 3rd, with 5399. Although, the second place prize was some wimpy trip to nasa space camp, and the third place was this nifty boat pontoon kayak thingy (i don't anything about boats), whatever, so maybe, who knows.

saw return of the jedi. we have the ability to clone people now, so there could have been a sequence of clones instead of what they have. I heard a story that clones was the original idea. obi-wan (ob1) was the father of vader as vader was the father of luke, in a cloning sort of way. in empire yoda tells ob1 of "another" but ob1 would have known all about that if it was leia. whatever. they decided to go another way, and instead of a great epic, we get a good, if a little conventional, story. One thing i just noticed, neither the emperor or vader even knew about yoda, and yoda had really nifty abilities to see through time and space, and maybe to cloud people's minds. It reminded me of dune and the guild navigators, which may have been relevant to jedi being pilots. One thing i liked about dune was that is was long and involved (what was it, 7 books?) requiring some commitment. star wars was going to do that, but now the clone stuff is all messed up. they are already working on the prequel, and i don't know if it will have any clones. I really liked when asimov joined the robot stuff up to the foundation stuff. big long blonde bodies of stories. Have i mentioned carlos? waiting for new books to come out, and finally putting it all together.

friend point measure of hem listed down the windy mist off hit try up distance moor auger time ghost whistle fire fog wort kip snail tree nog fish thing pit default mondrian

perhaps your intuition just told you that all things fall before the hammer of science.
But who can say what shape they take
before the hammer'd notches flake.

the world could do without love. (actually i thought of this yesterday on the beach but i thought i'd sleep on it). Love gets in the way of loving, If people could just help each other, instead of getting caught up in emotional baggage... Maybe there wasn't always enough to go around and we had to stick with people we formed emotional attachments to. but that is not the case now. Act in a loving way, but abandon love.

i read a bunch of journals. i just hope im nothing like those boring losers. I was surprised at the variety of people who don't seem to think about anything. I mean you expect that of teenagers but....And then there's the breeders and family types that i personally find repellant. And there must be people who get into hearing about the personal lives of folk, 'cause they communicate with each other. *shudder*. i don't even care about the details of my own life. so whatever reason they must have for keeping a journal, mine must be different. Some people write good, now if they only had something worth saying.

its who you know. that's a gang mentality. is the world just full of organized crime?

when i have nothing to say, my lips are sealed

so i've been reading other journal's and some writers advice. I knew that thin columns were better, and it was only a matter of time before i switched to them. The consensus is black letters on white background but im using black and blue for symbolism (you've heard of that, right?)

it's been a pretty busy day. i went to the doctor and had a cyst removed, three stitches, twenty minutes. me thinking it was serious like skin cancer. i used to get really sunburned. what do i know about medicine? i guess i should read up. when i go back for the ph.d. i will take organic chem again and if i do really well i will again consider going to medical school. My thinking is that if im going to live longer, or if this would help, i could do it. Of course at this point i might just be a loser and never make it back to school. a boy's gotta have dreams.

i went down to the beach, though its too distracting to read. I considered how emotions are used in decisions, that intuition is the basis for decisions and intellectual processes are just stuck on afterwards, at best as a check, or when something goes wrong.

emotions come from quite a complex mix and iteraction. given any particular situation, all the parts have there own emotional reactions that interplay, and there is also the input from the more conscious control mechanisms.

There is a theory that people always make emotional decisions right off (intuition), which then can provide an initial bias for a rational decision. maybe the reasoned thinking is just rationalization or maybe it really checks the result from intuition. The science fiction hope is that it might be possible to completely bypass the intuition step (which at this point we know very little about) that sometimes gets in the way, and replace it with a totally logical method of thinking. in star trek vulcans somehow suppress intuition, and data supposedly works without it by nature. Its still a question how this might be possible, since we don't really understand all the difficulties in thinking. OK., assuming we no longer use emotion-based intuition, it still could be possible to make a logical evaluation of a situation as "fascinating" or "curious" for some type of communicative purpose. so they could decide it was time for an exclamation and that one of those was appropriate, but it wasn't from a feeling like people have. just so you have a way to think about it.

i have found (i read the newsgroups for this one) that people seemed to really not like things in the star trek movie when they had this huge expectation about things should be and since it was a whole new medium, the producers altered it for that and some people didn't like it. (other than it having actually artistic problems, for me, after the 3rd time, i wasn't interested)

then there's worf. not consistent? what is worf supposed to be? personally i love klingon culture, ive studied the language, i got the little klingon game, i just got one of those knive with the two guard things that pop out. That's all mostly because i have for a long time been interested in the way of the warrior. right now i'm reading rogue warrior:designation gold. Anyway, worf is a terrible klingon! all that wimpy federation stuff, a little tame dog. at best, worf has occasional klingon moments. "If you were any other man?" what's this? He likes to pretend a lot of things. And if "assimilate this" is out of character, well that's because worf is such a poor klingon, and this is a moment (seen charitably) where he is a little more like a real klingon. "charlie don't surf".

oh shoot. i went to a job fair for software people, and they all want experience so there wasn't much point for me going. But there were some consultant places that wanted java, but they are usually a lot worse about experience, and i've already been rejected by some of them. i could have at least given them my resume to look at, i suppose. but they were all women, and i was at that point in no mood to be told by a woman that i wan't good enough. That in itself is a loss i can deal with, but i remember there was a time when wynne told me (i mean she actually opened up her mouth and said something, what a treat for me :) that i should "take a risk" and i realize that it is still a problem for me. so she really didn't like me and she gave at least that one reason (i know there were plenty more after that). I mean, i had always taken it as, i should have talked to her some more of asked her out more, but it was really more serious, something about me that really bugged her, such that she even felt a need to point it out. (in my defense i was never interested in anything short of a life-long commitment, which wasn't going to happen (realistically, and i could see that then and it was my central issue so i just tried to avoid the whole thing) and i still see many of my high school friends) at least now i have a little more closure, although its a little bit harsh for it to be a genuine reason why i am a loser and she really didn't like me.

and what is it about me and risks. i think its reasonable that you should be able know what kinds of things will work. it doesn't cost people anything to be helpful. but they are not helpful. i just want to see people made obsolete and replaced. life is hard because people make it hard.

i sure don't want to be like doogie howser.

there was a scene on tv, i didn't see what the program was, that still bothers me. a couple of well-dressed ladies were sitting in a bar next to this dweeby guy, and he asks if he could buy one a drink. And she goes off, "what makes you think i would be remotely interested in you? was i flirting? look at what youre wearing and look at what im wearing. i drive a bmw..." (he drives a volkswagon). Its unlikely that that kind of thing would happen to me, but i was thinking that i would have taken her head off right there. But there that kind of thinking. Final she says she will go home with him if he can answer one question. "who designed her top?" It was just a story, but women are evil.

Hofstadter has this great model of analogy (eg copycat) with functionality strikingly similar to human function in the tasks that it looks at, and yet it is almost completely disregarded. But everyone continues to use logical equality for all operations, even merely in thinking about thought. I guess the belief is that logical equality is easy, and its very precise, and maybe (here's where the faith lies) it will work in all situations. Aye but there's the rub. Meaning (intension, whatever) cannot be compared with logical equality at all. So you are pretty clearly faced with either not talking about meanings, or using the proper operators, metaphor and acceptance. Of course, i will admit that metaphor is a truly complicated operation to replace something so simple as binary equality, and i understand the issues in that choice, But the functionality has been limited.

Another sort of gripe, if we are going to think of intelligence as a collection of competancies, there needs to be some effort at making different programs work together, maybe with glue programs or some type of interaction standard. Could we finally have some universal ai tools? That won't happen if no one works on it.

  • March 11, 1997 I just looked at a bunch of web pages from people who have personality type intp, there were a few people who were interested in stuff that i am interested in, and a few that are doing pretty well, but no one really seemed interesting to me, and there was an overriding sense of boredom, being bored and boring. There were a few web developers, and that might be a good area for me.

    I was down to 159 lbs. this morning, and i want to get to 155. I really would like to be able to to pull ups, and that should help. I used to be thinner, and there is a theory of body types and personality. But losing weight isn't the only reason to eat less, living longer is a better reason. blah blah blah.

    so there is a data mining system called clementine that uses ai techniques, neural networks and induction. but something seems wrong with extracting little bits of information while not really understanding the whole system. kind of a short term anaylsis maybe. i don't really know much about data mining, and maybe i should look at it. i blew off a conference about it, but then i wouldn't know enough to get much from it. It does seem like one of those things that makes rich people richer and poor people poorer. i'm poor so i'm against it.

    I got a little toy machine tool today, one of the last of my birthday presents. Its only for models and only works with wood, plastic, and soft metals, but it says aluminum is a soft metal. It can lathe, drill, mill, turn wood. I'm hoping it will give me some machining practice, and i had been hoping one day to get a real one for, like, $1500. Of course, it would be for making robot parts, gears and thing.

    I have actually thought of designs for a steam powered robot that could use wood. One thing that animals have is that they are made of food, and when necessary they can reabsorb pieces of themselves. A robot that could use wood for fuel and structure would be an interesting compromise. A bigger desire of mine is a robot that could build more robots easily from scratch, without the need for very complex factories and metal work or even smelting. Drawing out fiberglass from sand seems like a clear procedure. Of course, control electronics are always going to be complex, but it would be great to eliminate some medium tech stuff like electric wired motors, and replace them with low tech steam mechanical power systems, all the better. The control system could make up for a lot of less reliable components. Of course rich people just want to make money, not to make something cheap to build that makes more of itself. I'm thinking of something like a mechanical horse. Nanotechnology is a ways off, but it would be a definite was to make something like that. But we have the technology to make helpful cheap robots now, although the computer technical expertise isn't quite there.


    tricky posts today in comp.ai.philosophy. one about management tools for handling complexity--yikes. i suggested using object oriented stuff but i don't know. and one relating to information and that tricky concept possibility.

    email chat with doug. he's working on a page about his house. and he's psyched about coming to stanford summer school.

    i finished off 3001 the big black boxes are like big computers or maybe robots. the ending, which really should be spoiled, is the ending from independence day, and probably just believable. Dave is actually a computer simulation, which is cool.

    I got the lasersight practice setup working, so now i can really practice my shooting.

    The stuff on cloning made me think about wynne. i think she should be cloned, if anyone should. She is really smart (smarter than me and that used to mean something) and very sweet, and she's becoming a doctor, i think. Maybe a little on the cold side, but she doesn't talk to much, and i think that's good. If you were going to clone someone, you would want someone that grew up naturally into a good person, and not someone who was simply rich because of circumstances. I wonder how she turned out. I was going to try to find her again when she became a doctor, because doctors are usually pretty easy to find, being public figures etc., to see what field she went into, did she ever marry her boyfriend, rich, did she get started on that big family she wanted. And i keep thinking about how i feel like such a better person now than i used to be (even if i am still a bum), and she just must be pretty tremendous, although i hear that medical school turns people into little kids and really messes with their personality so now i'm really curious. The last time i saw her was in '89, and i met her boyfriend Rich (that can be traumatic, let me say) but he seemed fairly like me, and was interested in philosophy, he suggested the outsider and i suggested carlos. I figured i'd look her up around when i got 30. Of course i figured by that time i'd have a job, but hey.

    stupid is as stupid does.

    I reading 3001, arthur c. clark's 4th book in the 2001 series, and i'm fairly disappointed. For a thousand years in the future, it isn't very imaginative. a space tower, a brain interface, anti-gravity propulsion. but in the back there is a list of references for the ideas, and there's something i hadn't seen--energy from quantum fluctuations-- although the idea seems ludicrous. It mentions star trek repeatedly and there is a butler named "danil" (like r. daneel in asimov). But its abuses psycho-analysis and religion. Its just artie's pitiful little vision and doesn't match mine. 2001 was great because of its realism, but 3001 breaks down as clarke's little (wimpy and conservative) fantasy. Some concessions to reality though (which i like), no faster than light travel (einstein) no star trek transporter, and a little strange, no other aliens (so far) besides that stuff on europa which isn't believable. But it really liked the notes at the end, because it helped me to realize that i was much more interested in the futurism than the fantasy and story.

    campbell is on the box. i love him and myth and story. i should read so more of that. i have always prefered non-fiction

    i looked at a bunch of links on the INTP personality type. this type of person is described as an 'architect' or a builder of systems of ideas, which i am into with the ai stuff. But my first reaction from looking at these people, was that maybe i have been unfair to extros, maybe people are just generally stupid. but at least the extros should push their hollow lives and values on people. It can be just as sad though, to desire meaning and have none, unlike the extro who has no meaning and wants no meaning.

    extropians are a different thing. they have an assumption that all technology should serve their desires, while i feel that technological intelligence must find its own way. slavery is bad on the high level grounds that things are better when smart people make their own decisions. but extropians are into things that i like, ai, nanotech, so maybe i should catch up with them. if i can get past the arrogance.

    i just finished reading all of Mary Anne's journal entries. she isn't much of an introvert. not like me. know thyself. the unexamined life is not worth living. extros are like strangers to themselves. They love to surround themselves with strangers because they are used to being strangers. strangers they call their friends. the world is just inanimate and things are what you can rely on, so they treat people like things.

    don't get me wrong. i know real joy and happiness. i am just dsigusted with the bleak, empty world they live in and pretend to enjoy. come on people, the world is most excellent and still you complain. get a grip.

    I read about what passes for fasting these days--not eating sun up to sun down. I only eat once a day (mostly), so today i decided to just wait till sundown, but how is that a sacrifice? My goal is to eventually eat once every other day, and to that end i have started skipping the occasional day to work up to it. I found that after the first time, panic had set in and i ate all day the next day (three meals or whatever). But the second time i was fine with it, like nothing happened. wasn't even really hungry again and felt like i could have gone on. I don't think food crazed americans could understand, but there is more to life than food. And science has shown that a really reduced calorie could lengthen the lifespan.

    Also, i just reread On the Road and they keep driving across the country without eating, i thought i had imagined them driving the great triangle (SF, NY, mex city) but those were just places they went. i hope to make that myself some day. so far i've only gone memphis to here, and i don't really like SF and i probably wouldn't like NY. to tell the truth, i was kind of disappointed with the whole bum/beat lifestyle this time, because it was a big influence in my youth. but i'm a much different person now. When i was at a party in college, there was even this girl who compared me to jack kerouac, which i thought was great, but was still stupid then. what the hell was her name? It was a trippy party. My really geeky beanpole friend doug had his hand up this girl's t-shirt out sitting on the curb--we had no idea.

    uncharacteristic, let's say. But my literature understanding, skill, whatever, is really just at a high school level. i never studied it in college, because i never really was interesting. I remember someone saying that art and literature are just derivative, or secondary to real life. I was always more interested in the real life and real things and not fantasy, although i am muchly interested in the abstract and philosophical, but not in a way that would make it useless in the world. I have the monarch notes on cd-rom, and i was really interested in how T.S.Eliot uses his poems to illustrate a rather technical view about morality. but i never got to study lit like that. Sort of in response to that, i created the background image on my main page as an illustration of a theory of consciousness that i have picked up (humphrey a history of mind) which describes, among other things, how a different state of consciousness could intensify color perception.

    What difference does it make, right? i mean, i'm not all that interested in other people, why should i write about myself.

    I saw Howard Stern's movie Private Parts and it was pretty funny, i guess, and how he fought off the bad guys on the way to the top. But his wife was so darn possessive and howard was so stuck on the old family values and really is an idiot and just says whatever he thinks that it makes me sad for humanity. And its true that women will just look at you and think you're a jerk, 'cause maybe you are a jerk. But we are entering changing times. It used to be that you would see the same people all your lives and you would have to cultivate some compassion or respect, but now there's always another mini-market, and plenty people where that came from, so that values and behaviors have needs change. but i don't care about howie and his in your face monogamy contasted with broadcast schlock. me no hear.

    as i was driving, a saw a bunch of pairs of girls walking, and there weren't any guys walking around, so have they come out to show their plumage? is it spring? maybe they have nothing to do when they outgrow their dollies but walk the streets. maybe its a head start.

    I finished up on the new version of java applet that displays files line by line on my main page. now you can click on the line and it will bring up the file. also, it tries to fill in the whole line when before it just used a fixed number of characters disregarding the actual size.

    but what do i need to write here? People understand everything in terms of stories, so i really need to work on my story telling. Just hearing about about isolated details is just boring. The story's the thing. i have a different page for isolated ideas. And i use this to clear up what i think about stuff. Sometimes you don't know what you think until you say it. So this will be more what i am thinking than what i am doing. 'cause i'm an introvert and the inner world is way more important than the outside world. and anyway, individuals are really insignificant.


    So I'm starting a journal. Hmph. I have extra time to write since i quit IRC. and i saw Mary Anne's journal, and thought, "what a neat idea"

    Really journals are for professional writers, and i never wanted to be a professional writer. but philosophers are essentially professional writers and i like to think of myself as a philosopher, so here i am.

    writing is so much like pulling teeth (not that i would know about that). I had to keep a keep ( write, whatever ) a journal in a humanities class in high school and it was truly painful. How can you force creativity. I already had some poems by that time, but still. The love/nemesis of my life (wynne) was in that class, and it was way after she knew i was a total loser. How could i sit in that room?

    So in this the last month of my thirtieth year, i begin to speak, a barbarian.

    Today i received a knife by fed-ex. (did i imagine that wendy smith was in that room?). It is the kind of knife klingons use on star trek. I was going to study the klingon language, but that's just fantasy and i tire of fantasy. I fasted yesterday.

    Really i should be looking for a job as web developer. its on the list but this suddenly came up.