a barbarian journal

September 1997
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2829 30
march, april, may,june, july,august, index

"I knew a woman, lovely in her bones
When small birds sighed, she would sigh back at them;
Ah, when she moved, she moved more ways than one;
The shapes a bright container can contain!
Of her choice virtues only gods should speak,
Or English poets who grew up on Greek
(I'd have them sing in chorus, cheek to cheek)."

I hate morning radio shows. i expect to have music when i turn on the radio. and i don't get the attraction of making fun of people. Are we still such savages? but then i no longer like humor in general because it is always laughing "at".

people are not all the same. some people want to believe that fundamentally people are all the same (out of a kind of romantic idealism). but they are not. the all have different wants, although they do sometimes cluster in groups.

it happens a lot now that i'll walk into a grocery store, and there will be all this stuff. but none of it is even remotely tempting. they just don't have anything that i want. It's all such junk. I have just a few things that i buy, and i tend to get that in bulk.

handbrake is important.

i definitely seem to be going nowhere. but at least i have somewhere to go if i ever get some good walking shoes.

it's not that i want want suggestions, or want to hear from anyone, i just am not sure there is any visible intelligent life out there.

I harvested some sunflower seeds today. I didn't actually know how they grew. There are in the flower and ther is some leftover blossom fuzz sticking on top. The seeds are really tightly packed, something like corn, but on a flat disk instead of a cylinder, and not rows but a nifty radial pattern. and there is a softish material in the cracks. I was thinking i should use the seeds from the tallest one to plant more, but since they are children and not clones, it wouldn't be such a big thing. And maybe it just was in a lucky spot.

I have some sympathy for activists. it's nice to have something to fight for. but what can you do? things really aren't that bad, and generally people are already trying to do a good job.

not everyone can be the best. but everyone can be good enough. It's a shame that there is a common idea that only the best is good enough. Sometimes even the best isn't good enough. People need to have better absolute standards rather than always trying to be relative.

There was a guy in the paper who wrote about the importance of cars as a status symbol around silicon valley, and not clothes as in a lot of places. There was a woman who was wearing sweats but was in a shiny bmw, and thus was "regal". The writer had an '84 Daytona, and it indicated he was nowhere and no prospects. Yikes. but as we have been told, image is nothing. Dah Dah Dah.

It is some people's best interest to break laws. That really should be a sign that something is wrong somewhere, and maybe it's the laws that are wrong.

I have a fairly hard time falling aslepp. I pretty much have to be lying down covered, and i don't think i've ever fallen asleep while doing anything or watching TV or any of that foolishness. i also respect the importnace of sleep, and i don't often stay up.

I may have found a faster way of counting the number of set bits in a bit of data. I was going to use that function to measure the distance between two patterns, ie, how many bits different, which is similar to what neural networks do. The most obvious approach is to shift the bits and increment the counter of the sign bit, say, is set, this requires a couple of operations for each bit in the data. But in (which might help me be a more active programmer), Barry Kauler mentions a neat trick for finding the rightmost set bit using assembly language. In C the trick is that ((-a) & a)) give the number with the rightmost bit set, that can be exclusively or'ed with the number to turn that bit off, and you can move to the next one. Since the hope is that ther will be very few set bits, this should really shorten it.

the loompanics catalog supplement for winter came. it has an ad for a book titled the ethical slut, about an open sexual lifestyle that i have heard about before. I have to say it's probably not for me, but it sounds like an interesting idea. And it my become more important in the future.

I'm writing this on my computer with my new ppp address, kind of different setup for me.

at least i'm in my fantasies. there are so many forms of fantasy (tv, fiction, movies) in which you aren't even really participating. spectators in someone else's dream.

there are some people that you are really happy just to have met and been with even for a little while.

I saw this bicycler riding down highway 9. And she was wear some kind of white knit shorts and you could plainly see her underwear throught them. It was some kind of extra brief bikini. blue. not even triangular, more like a two inch strip tied to a string around her hips. I don't need distractions like that when i driving on a mountain road. And it was like, if she had just had nothing under those shorts you wouldn't have noticed, but she had to have something that really stood out.

I visited downtown Santa Cruz in the evening after dark (saturday night). it was fairly busy. I considered watching a movie, but i really wasn't interested in fantasy right then. and it turned out i didn't really feel like waiting an hour. I wanted to do a little people watching, and people seemed pretty mindless. Somehow i just didn't wante to go into a bar. i went in a bookstore and i saw that Vonnegut has a new book, timequake or something. Kilgore trout shows up. And I saw another book that i plan to eventually get, "the teachings of don carlos" by sanchez, kind of another (sympathetic) commentary on Castaneda. But i didn't really feel like getting anything. I wandered around a little more, but everyone seemed so empty, and it was amazingly boring. a very slow twenty minutes. i just wanted to be by myself. nobody and nothing there was going to make me any happier, and i can be pretty happy on my own.

i don't know what anyone thinks about any of this stuff. Occasionally people will say that they like reading this, but nobody has ever said anything about any of the ideas, so i guess i might really not be making any sense at all. I have had the occasional person bitch about me being way too obsessed with wynne, but nothing about anything of significance.

i still don't like fantasy. especially when people take their fantasies seriously.

People can handle a lot of meanness. meanness, cruelty and dehumanzing may also be institutions. Life really used to be hard and people really could be mean to each other. so people developed other institutions such that it is expected and reasonable to treat others bad. the system needs people to be mean in order to maintain itself. There just is no easy transition to a happy world if it always falls back because of its reliance on savagery.

I have come to a speech-acts view of philosophy. Philosophy has really come down to semantics and the meanings of words. And the real meanings are in the intentions of what people are saying. What people are trying to say. What goals people have. The most important thing in understanding anything is to understand what the goals are. The goals of people speaking. Saying something is true is just to say that thing. why do people care what the meaning of life is? how are you?

why a single creator? why not a construction crew? doesn't this world appear as though people had argued over it and not gotten it right? well, maybe you had your designers, but would they really have handled construction?

i got new rear shocks on my car. now it rides pretty smooth. it had been really bumpy, but i didn't know any better.

i think the difficulty in life may be a legacy. it had been so hard for so long that we never got to accept that it might finally be easy. i have a similar view about privacy. for so long we couldn't help but have privacy, but now it's institutionali zed and we can't help it. we almost need privacy. many things depend on it. at this point, we sort of depend on the belief that life is difficult. i'm sorry. it isn't difficult. advertising constantly tries to convince us that we are inadequate.

i can feel my mind going.

i found something weird about peanut butter. i have some in my car, and when it got hot in the sun it turn into a fluid, a kind of slurry. To eat it i had to drink it.

i don't think im quite so obsessed with women as a week ago. I don't know why computer programming would do that. maybe its just being busy.

i have a dilbert pen now

i think i'm crashing on the rocks.

there is a doctor in mountain view, fred moll at intuitive surgery, who is working on a little remote operated robot to do surgery. kind of spider-like and it was sewing sutures. i don't know if it is tethered but it's a nifty idea. A lot like stuff i'd been talking about.

that gave me the idea of organic remote controlled devices. say bugs where you replace the brains with some kind of electronic interface. just plug them into a computer interface. puppet critters. Or genetically designed brainless critters. And then there's the chicken tree.

making privacy a right can be seen as a matter of fairness, since the rich can just buy privacy

it is possible for the environment to trigger increased mutations by simply cutting back on the genetic repair operations. This could make some biological sense since creatures that are not well adapted to their environment might benefit from more genetic diversity. If the thing is starving all the time, that might make the corrections mechanisms break down and cause mutation. Most mutations are harmful, and this might be one mechanism for unhappy or sick critters to die off. There is still the placebo affect, in which confidence helps cure, that could be involved in some of these repair systems.

One mechanism for cancers to develop is that there can be a mutation in the genetic repair mechanism, and then the cell start to get lots and lots of mutations. In Science one article talks about this, and it states that this accumulation of mutations in tumor cells tends to happen a lot more if the growth of the cell is restricted by crowding. certain mutations have to occur for the tumor to grow. the tumor gets mutations that allow blood vessels to grow (angiogenesis) and other mutations allow it to break through its confining space (metastasis). This reminded me of how the aids virus has to mutate in order to fully infect a person. In both cases, it takes a long time from the beginning of the disease through the various stages. It seems quite interesting, and i still haven't given up hope on medical school.

Different hormones affect different parts of the brain, but the brain does have to learn how to deal with those built in effects, just as it has to learn to deal with sensations that are purely neural (as opposed to hormonal). Hormones effect whole areas, though, instead of just through direct contact like neurons. And the brain isn't just a big tub of jello, hormones probably have certain flow pathways, and there may be fluid considerations in hormone dispersal

[qv] what about that other new age farce called channeling? just seances warmed over. easily faked and yet people still believe there must be genuine non-faked occurrences. Being associated with new age stuff should already raise eyebrows. Just keep it at the level of entertainment. Maybe ome people just deperately want to be fooled. to believe in some mystery. Personally i am insulted by any claim that i can't understand something, even though there is plenty of stuff i don't.
i have already given one such clue about spoon bending. Bending it with your hands or against a table when no one is looking weakens the metal, creating partial cracks although metal does allow quite a bit of bending (and you can stop before it is about to break and it will just be soft). That's a possible explanation. If you need to invent an impossible explanation to feel good about it then feel free.
This focus your energies thing is just an explanation (probably just for the entertainment value). The actual physics is pretty simple. You bend anything enough and the internal structure will break down, cracks will grow, meet until you have one big long crack seperating the two pieces. Some object have a grain such that if you start a little crack it will pretty easily spread. Bending the object merely requires a certain amount of force.
The problem in martial arts is that the force you apply the the object is going to be matched by a force back into the hand, which is going to hurt. (although if the object moves out of the way (as when it breaks) that force is used to moving the arm instead of in crushing the knuckles, so it really doesn't hurt so much if you do break it (i guess maybe the problem is that your arm keeps pushing and if it doesn't break all the force goes into your knuckles)). Well, since almost everyone has the experience of hitting immovable and they know it's going to hurt, i guess they need to play these little mental games to psyche themselves up. Focus. punch through the target. whatever loads your gun. And much of it is a psychological block that people just won't hit hard because they think it will hurt. and it will if it doesn't break.
The conclusion you might have gotten was that things are complicated but physically understandable, instead of that there is some mystic mental force.

passion is enduring suffering, latin patior. i guess the idea is that you ache for something or you are really hurting because you don't have what you want. The whole drive reduction theory of phychological motivation is that you have these strong drives and you want to get rid of them. i guess that's something like getting rid of the suffering. he is driven and he has passion.

everything is new all the time. people want to feel comfortable and want to think of everything as the same. That makes everything predictable and is needed for all their hard-earned knowledge to apply. It is a matter of ignoring small difference, which often works (praise the Source) otherwise knowledge wouln't be possible. But there are always differences, and sometimes those differences matter.

space is really really big, you know?

one way to do spoon-bending: when no one is looking, bend the spoon with your hands or against the table, back and forth until i the metal is weak and maybe about to break. then it will bend really easily.

confidence is still important. learning requires that you explore new things, and if you aren't confident enough you can't try new things.

somebody on comp.ai.phil said that the nervous system is completely devoted to guiding movement, a fairly simple way of looking at it.

im losing ideas again. i can't write stuff down when im driving.

so chelsea is at stanford now. i like chelsea. i think its nice that i don't even know much about her, that the press has really laid off. she probably has amazingly few problems, and i think we need more people like that. I hope she is somewhat imaginative, but maybe that is a lot to ask. and she is looking at medicine. she is probably compassionate. and this also means that the president is around here somewhere.

it was really hot today, and i almost went down to the beach, but in santa cruz, it seemed a little cool.

liberals are people who freely give things away, and conservatives are people who try to keep all their stuff.

very little real thinking today.

i think my energy is a little down, maybe i need to do something. i could imagine some type of motivation. focus. this is the kind of thing that exercise sometimes helps. anything for some adrenaline. Actually, drinking water somehow helps me.

im a little too satisfied, i sure could use a little desperation or urgency. i don't want to turn into a zombie.

life is not suffering. life isn't all that bad, actually. and if anyone is suffering, it's people who think everyone is suffering.

some fun wordplay on irc with a girl. somehow she mentioned that there was a geography problem, and i mentioned mountains and valleys, she went to this apple pear (or prune) body thing, and i had squeezing juice. she said love was commitment to something or other, and i said let me be committed. it was just playing, but it was pretty fun, and i could see how people used to do it. I should go back to shakespeare. It isn't very good when forced on kids who won't understand it. But i think i would be interested today. And i missed seeing branagh's hamlet. maybe i should get it on dvd. As i think about it, i don't think i was that good. maybe a little pushy.

there's so much to know and do, i guess it doesn't really matter what you miss.

the guilt, oh the guilt, all the things i should have done better. everything i missed because i was too preoccupied or scared.

this power to do things, our will, it's a strange thing we don't understand. we are only vaguely conscious. and of feelings and sensations, but not of what is really going on in us. Thinking is just hearing thoughts in our head, just about the same as imagining or remebering someone speaking. It is only because our brain can convert it to sensation that it we can be aware of it, but there must be many things in the brain that just can't be converted to a sensation.

there is a show on fox, ally mcbeal, that i saw little pieces of. it's a little too mushy for me, but i did catch one interesting thing that ally said: "sometimes there is only one fish"

i did get a couple of big zucchini squashes from the garden. there were also some cherry tomatoes. So at least there was something.

life is an endless treadmill (well almost endless)

according to narcissus and goldblum, a mystic is a person who seeks the world of (spiritual) thought, but can't get over the attachment to senses.

so i got a job, but i'm not going to talk about it here. unfortunately, it will probably occupy my thoughts so that i won't have anything really to write about. so this journal may be dead. but i will try to keep on with it. we'll see. Nobody really cares anyway.

I did meet a psychologist, lisa, who seemed pretty nice. i'd probably like to talk to her sometime as a person, since i am interested in psychology. But she talks to people all day and i think she gets her fill of people. Still, it's interesting that there are actually people i like. hopeful, at least. And maybe i'm just different now than i used to be.

conscience is the same as feelings of guilt. people like to think that conscience is a good basis for morality. and i suppose it is if by good you mean cheap and easy, but it is hardly reliable. Some people have no conscience and you can always learn to ignore it and eventually it can go away by itself. And guilt is a horrible basis for anything because it can really eat away at you for unimportant things while it supposedly protecting you from evil. If you do something wrong by accident, or something bad simply happens that isn't even your fault, you can start to feel guilt. And you can learn to identify with that guilt and feel like a bad person and continue to do things bad. It's a emotional system that breaks down a lot, but society still depends on it. The only better system would be one with more rational control, or something like doing good for no felt reason but just because it is your choice.

self-determination can't be taken from someone else. you can't just say i'm free because someone else said so. And if that person is say ayn rand and you use her system to justify you, you can hardly be said to be independent, merely just another follower. kind of ironic.

i downloaded netscapes's 4.03. but i'm having weird trouble getting java to work. couldn't find the enabling switch and the classpath isn't right. But it let's you look at the history, and i've been dying for that.

hard to believe how slow it is.

i have really gotten myself into a hole. i don't know if i should be discouraged. people really seem to be uninterested in telling me the truth, all curled up in their little burrows, and me curled into mine.

I may finally be faced with the long slow process of recovery from years of neglect. it had to happen eventually. and i always thought it would be a triumphant, building period. the most important thing to build is my desire to do things.

i think what is least intelligent about people is how little the communicate, how little it is possible to communicate at all. It could just be a bandwidth thing. people really learn by experiencing the world and language is just a tiny toy of a tool. like a little plastic toy hammer. Though may it is worse and there simply isn't very much that we know. an expert is said to know 50,000 different facts about the subject. I wonder how much in general people know. Probably an intelligent machine could spit out a human-lifetime's worth of knowledge in a few seconds. It then becomes a wonder what such a creature could know.

i saw a nifty design in one of the engineering journals about a diamond chip, a chip made on diamond instead of silicon. The important thing is that diamond has five times the thermal conductance as copper, which is number two. and it is transparent. Heat dissipation is one of the big limiting factors in making chips, and the heat dissipation would allow much better, faster chips. making them from diamond would also allow stacking, since heat could dissipate from the middle layers. And diamond chips would be able to operate at very high temperatures, like 500 degrees.Another nifty thing, since diamond is tranparent. information between layers could be optical, and we can already put lasers onto chips. This is a truly excellent design, and i have no doubt that chips will pretty soon be made like this. The only holded is that we have no way yet to create the single crystal diamond films. We can make patchy ones, and there is progress, but it isn't quite there. Silicon will still dominate for a while, though.

Science mentioned a way to use dna molecules and metal nanoparticles to assemble structures. this was to be used in a biochemical test and the reaction forming the structure changes the color of the particle (which is an electronic property). They mentioned it might be possible to use such DNA assembly to create electronic devices.

there are no facts. only interpretations.

now i've seen it in a couple of place. there is a kind of lifestyle devoted to making love to lots of different people. A sensual kind of lifestyle. I just saw it in "Narcissus and Goldmund" by hesse. And i have like a manual on how to do it, something like how to date young woman for someone over 35, something like that. And i suppose some people get into that, and it has a lot of ups and downs, in hesse's book, narcissus is an intellectual, and golmund is the wild man. but at the end narcissus, a priest, actually wonders if goldmund life was more holy. a total scumbag. and i don't know if it is some kind of brain damage or what. but the guy in that handbook seemed to be really happy with it, even though it seemed kind of sad. to constantly struggle and test yourself, more heroic.

i walked into a room where i'd never been. and they, like, totally knew me. because of the web stuff.

I seem to be finding a lot of women working with their husbands around here. curious.

[qv]Atheism is a negative philosophy, just saying that there are no magical spirits. But that still leaves the problem of developing a positive system of values. It leaves the danger that you have no reason to act morally, that personal desires can outweigh the needs of others. It used to be that fear from the wrath of the spirits kept people following traditional ways. But ahteists need both a system and a reason to follow it. Humanism is one such system, and people dance around 'enlightened self interest' as a justification. But atheism itself is not a complete system.

all the flirting on irc is getting frustrating.

on monday i learned about doing cold calls for job interviews, but on wednesday i learn that with voice mail and answering machines, there is no way to get through to anyone anymore.

there is probably a lot of business work that could be done but isn't because the people and resources aren't devoted to it, that is, a lot of good ideas that just don't get tried. It would be nice if there were some big databases of projects like that. because some people might have the time for them. This kind of information is probably locked up with people in companies and can't get anywhere, limited by human communications.

i am burning a lot of time on irc again. what i need to be doing is programming, studying the booch design system, and creating program designs. Designing would probably be really fun, once i get comfortable with the mechanics, because i really like coming up with ideas, and this is an even purer form of expressing ideas than writing. I will eventually start posting and maybe doing this stuff on the web. I guess i need a java based system to do it.

i keep talking to women on irc. it's getting frustrating and is wasting a lot of my life.

so the speedometer on di's car was stuck at 120mph, which is 170 feet per second. the tunnel has a little slope down 10', so according to the physics, the car probably went airborn for a hundred feet, and then hit the ground and bounced off it again. The driver would have had no control at all, the car being mostly airborn. Maybe they were driving too fast because of the paparazzi, or maybe because he was drunk. If they knew what was happening that had to be a scary last two or three seconds, although being off the ground does make for a smooth and suprisingly peaceful ride, and i guess it went pretty quick.

im kind of concerned about marriage because it seems so often to involve some kind of dependence, one person doesn't have something and they need the other person for it. This is kind of what i mean by devaluing the other person. they become a means instead of an end. I suppose a good marriage would be a matter of two people who get along ok apart, but real do a lot better when they're together. synergy and all that. The problem with dependence is that if there is a change or the person grows, the relationship breaks down.

this is just a fuzzy memory. wynne had a bunch of cats. one day she told me that she was worried about them. they had all run away. yikes. but, it wasn't quite so bad because cats are pretty tough, and they at least have a chance to survive in the woods. she got me there.

my job person recommended i get some stories ready together to explain what i want to do, why i like programming and engineering and california. so i'll work on that, and i'll need to keep doing it over and over to refine it. normally i try to avoid autobiographical stuff, though.

why did i study electrical engineering? well my brother is an electrical engineer. I was smart enough to be a professional and go to graduate school. It seemed like a lot of the smart people were going into medicine, but i wasn't really much into serving people, I'm still keeping medicine a possibility, because i did well enough on the MCAT. I hate lawyers. I suppose i could have been a scientist, but i have never really been interested in simple find what was true, or writing experiments and testing things, i was much more into creating ideas. I actually did philosophy instead of studying other people's philosophy. I was really good at math so a lot of people thought i might be a mathematician. But that was only a superficial understanding of me, because what i really liked to do was solve problems, which is the essence of engineering. I won these state math contests, they rounded up all the promising people and took them down town and gave them a math test. (doesn't sounds so fun as i think about it). Well i tied for first in the state for the algebra I and algebra II contests, and didn't do anything for the geometry and whatever else there was. So i wasn't really a general mathematician. but a realproblem solver. As for the electrical stuff, i have always wanted to know how to design a machine that is intelligent, and i'm sure it's going to take more that just writing a program, or it would have already been done. If have learned how to design other types of information architectures, like neural networks and parallel processing machines. And i've been working with computers for a long time. trs-80, apple2. classic ibm pc. I would have considered just studying computer science, but i really wanted something broader. I have learned later that my jungian personality type, INTP, an archetect, predisposes me to like creating abstract structures, like programs.
yuck, no narrative flow, needs work

[cap] It would be possible to have a system that does have models of consumers and does have models of market independently, and certainly they won't always agree. The lower level model of consumer could (should) guide the creation of the generalization of market, and then maybe sometimes you could use the generalizations to save some work on figuring out things the hard way. at the lower level. And where we learn about the external world we try our best to find generalizations (what i meant by abstractions). But at some point it should be thinking about using simpler models.
The principle is that we need to use every scrap of information at every level of description we can get. And that isn't an easy task, nor is life.
Perhaps there is an inherent problem in developing intelligence for computers. There is very little pressure to make the task of the computer simpler, for it will faithfully, patiently, and rapidly perform endless data manipulation. It was made to work harder, not smarter. And maybe with the bias of letting the computer do lots of work, we have missed the essentially simplifying nature of intelligence.

i just don't know what to do.

all that matters is the way things are, ideas about the way we want things to be, and paths to get there from here.

i don't know if im being sexist. on irc i prefer to just talk to girls. but it's #philosophy so that really shouldn't matter, except i guess it is just chat. And i guess they understand. still, i am vaguely troubled.

if i found the right mentor, i could be writing research papers.

dale, the bujinkan (martial arts) instructor, wrote an interesting thing back to me. He got to watch a demonstration of one guy who studied for 10 years with Dillman, who does a lot of pressure point stuff, a style that likes to knock the opponent out in the first second. But he was unimpressed. Dale's style is a tradition combat style, and i guess most other styles are watered down so as not to be dangerous to practice, or they are used for tournaments and not actual combat. I would expect that masters aren't going to be too impressed by any one else because there is only a limited amount of stuff to know, and really exceptional things are likely to spread the widest.

today seems to be going well. i did some job stuff and learned a little about making cold calls. that's just going to be hard for me, but i need to do it. or something. i'm not emailing a lot of resumes, and im not sure how well it works in general. theoretically it's like 20 resumes for an interview. The thing i saw said from each person you talk to you need to be persistent enough to get two names of other people to talk to.

i found a major internal conflict that i have, and have noticed that it just hasn't been going away. I want to contact wynne, and yet i am afraid to. The fact that i shouldn't see her doesn't make me want to any less, it just makes me more afraid to. I guess that somehow these feelings are supposed lessen the other, or the should dissapte with time or whatever. That is, there are plenty of things that could have happened such that i would want to see her, like finding someone else (heh) or her just getting older and becoming different, or me becoming different (ie having different likes). The trick here was that whatever she did to get rid of me (whenever i did manage to reach out to her) she was nice enough that i still had to like her, but i was really scared about trying it again. So somehow i've ended up with a conflict instead of a lack interest. driving with the parking brake. Other things im sure are maintaining the interest also. One side-effect of this fear of contacting her has been that im just really scared to use the phone at all. And that's problem when looking for a job.

i don't know why not all surgery is done with laproscopy. It's a technique where instead of cutting people wide open, you use tiny slits and stick tools in, and a thin camera. I suppose it uses a lot of more expensive equipment, and there isn't as much space. But since you don't cut through as much, recovery is faster. And people could be developing a lot better tools, and mechanical ones or more automatic ones. As a nanotech person, i can imagine a device, like a long pencil thin tube, that you just stick into the spot, the camera and manipulating devices come out, do whatever cutting is to be done, the little vacuum sucks it out, and you're done. And this doesn't even need nanotech, it could be done with current micromachine technology. I mean with nanotechnology the devie would be more like a long needle that you insert, which then reshapes itself into the desired instruments. And, to keep in the nano spirit, this device wouldn't be something that only doctors would have. Probably everyone would have his own personal mechanical medical team on them at all times. But what do we have? butchers?

i don't like carbonated drinks. i mean the problem with tooth decay is from acidity, normally cause by bacteria eating sugar (a problem for non-diet drinks) and such, but the carbonation lowers the pH (more acidic) by itself. I guess that's true of most fruity drinks, though. And they go bad (flat) by themselves. This is probably all just part of the power of advertising and the stupidity of the masses. And maybe the dentists are in on it. Im complaining because this morning i thought i had broken in a cavity. I don't think i've ever had a cavity, but i bet if i went to the dentist, he'd find one. plus he'd want to take out my wisdom teeth.

from a football player on the radio-"a win cures a lot of ills"

cars should have a simple radio, line of sight, infrared, for talking to nearby cars, maybe helpful for smart cars, but just for a human connection, so you can say hello or thanks, or chatting, a little 5 dollar device. nothing like a massive, broadcast a hundred miles CB-radio. but a courtesy connection, the way you can talk to people on the street (not that anyone does that) people are really too isolated and cold to each other.

[cap] The question of emergence itself and how descriptions at any level can work at all is an intriguing one, and probably fundamental to any kind of intelligence. I mean, why is it possible that we can make statements about abstract properties and decide that they are true? It seems to me that current ai approaches (symbolic and connectionist) take input at a certain level of description and manipulate it at that level. I'm not sure we even have a theory of why abstraction is possible.
One possible approach to abstraction would be something like perfect abstraction in which a particular description at one level exactly matches some other description at a lower level, as in say a compiled computer language or VHDL.
Another approach is to have the higher level of description simply ignore certain kinds of details so that different descriptions at a lower level simply have (map into) the same description at the higher level. Most of our description allow the individual atoms to change position so that we can have a precise meaning for 'this tree' which is not precise at the level of atom description. This fuzzier notion of abstract concepts can greatly simplify the work of a representational system, but it does add the requirement that any comparison method has to be able to ignore differences not appropriate at this level of description. Generating a recognition of a tree from the pixels in an image about trees (or any type of information) is inherently a complicated statistical process. But a real intelligence isn't just making fixed decisions but is constantly looking for and maintaining new abstract concepts. Anything that merely manipulates descriptions at a single level can be quite effective at that task, likely better than we ourselves would do, but it hardly matches our abstract notion of intelligence.
There is still the issue of how it is possible for details to be ignore and some statement still can be true, or where there really is a comparable lower level rule that matches the higher level rule after whatever simplification process takes place. For example how rules about the interaction of particles can add up to physical laws about large objects. These types of transformations are probably hard for mere humans to follow so i guess we just use hand-waving.

im not sure why i would even question wynne's saying that i shouldn't try to contact her. it's not consistent if i really like her to not want to do what she tells me. just selfish, maybe, but just disagreeing is a reason against doing it, even if i still have some desire left.

but it raises a different question, should i have hope, is this a world were you can do anything, or is this the kind of place where you can't really do anything. or me, specifically.

there is some kind of physical feeling that i can't figure out the name of, i get it when i hear about something wonderful, some kind of chest thing, or heart thing. it's gotta be called something but i just don't know.

an addition to my theory of laughing. you laugh when somebody else does something wrong or is in trouble, but you are ok.

love is not a feeling but something you do

if i didn't know it was crazy to think so, i'd swear this was all a big joke.

i spent today at a martial arts seminar. russell was there we studied a kind of power punch that involves dropping you weight down. Actually it's also bruce lee's power punch, which i have sort of studied, but it was good to have a class in it. I found out that i really lack some combat skill. i telegraph pretty badly, and my reactions aren't very fast. my footwork needs a little work. but i could probably knock a person down if i could hit them. I had a heavy punch bag in my room for a while, to practice that bruce lee punch and i could wail. One thing dale, the instructor said was that a real technique is effortless. If you feel like you've done something, that's because of your own muscles resisting, so you are losing something. Done right, you can go all day. There is a classical tai chi saying that i thing bruce mentions, it should be as if you are iron wrapped in cotton. I think of it sort of as youre just a tree swinging and hitting them, not real like punching. A better analogy for the dropping motion is like a piston and the rod (your arm) is at a big angle when you start off, but when you drop the weight, the rod push the piston forward. This is the biggest source of force, then you can add a twist from the hips, which is leg power plus a fairly massive moving object (the torso). Off course there is arm power from straightening at the elbow, and i guess upper body power. Bruce's punch add just a little extra from a raising or flick of the wrist (some technique add a twist which adds a little). A real fa-jing is supposed to have some kind of shake, but i don't quite understand the dynamics. So that's a large number of motions to juggle. But technique itself give a lot of power with little arm power. I never got to just just practice wailing with everything, boo. i guess because we weren't supposed to be able to integrate everything right away. we ended with some techniques actually touching people and you just aren't allowed to really wail.

One rather uncomfortable thing happened to me. i was the odd man out for pairs for one exercise and i was up with the instructors wife, who helped him demostrate. This was for the most basic exercise where you are just practice the drop by taking a step and setting the fist straight arm on their chest and then dropping (bending at the knees) which pushes them back. Well i like to concentrate on a spot before hitting it (i think about it now, i should probably do this stuff in peripheral vision). So i ended up staring at her chest for a couple seconds over and over. I felt awkward. plus i was setting my fist on her chest. I shouldn't dwell on it, though. Actually i got her to do the technique on me so i could see what it was supposed to be like. And i think she threw in a little arm push or something more than what i thought we were practicing, and it definitely knocked me way over. So i gave it right back to her. She said that was better. And i said i cheated.

After the seminar, russell taught his girlfriend how to shoot. and i shot in the adjacent lane with both the .45 and .22. the .22 really helps stop flinching. I seem to be doing better. But she was really good and i think she shot better than me on her first day. Blech. I guess im just doing it for fun.

and i didn't really talk to anybody, or say anything, or open up at all.

mother theresa is dead. im sure she will be made a saint. darn. And i know it's related to di's death because they were friends. it was really heartbreaking and theresa's heart gave out. she was sick though, for a while. And they had to be the two women those most remind me of wynne. And i guess that helps me understand what i really love about wynne. And it's both of their most significant feature. Compassion. And it's wynne's compassion that really touched me and why i just don't want to give up on her. she is just so good. I really don't like the way everyone seems to oversimplify it into a sexual thing. Probably people without compassion. I appreciate it as the highest spiritual value, way beyond wimpy christian ideas of love or faith.

jad. just another dodge.

motorola has a cell phone called CyberDisplay that has a little display at the bottom left for looking at email and faxes. It looks like You can't talk and look at the display at the same time, but it's something. and it's a real move toward videophones. just add a camera and move the display and it's all set.

to a certain extent, marriage does devalue people, since each person are away from each other most of the time. the two people are not really 24-hour a day people, perhaps, but only people you see when you come home. Just as at work you don't usually treat the people as complete people but as co-workers, or just another kind of tool or piece of the machine that gets you what you want. I'm concerned that marriage also (apart from it's origins as a kind of property agreement) dehumanizes in this way.

Religion has been called the opiate of the masses, and that's usually taken in a harsh light. personally i do think of religion as a kind of addictive drug, (more often as a delusion). But maybe i'm a little harsh about it. i tend to be concerned with how religion restricts peoples search for knowledge, but religion general is not simply a depressant. Graham mentions that religion speaks to the loneliness and guilt that people have. By taking this pain away, blocking it perhaps rather than removing it, it allows people to move on with life, so religion is something like aspirin. Actually that's what opiates do, but generally the effects of those drugs are usually a lot worse, destroying one's whole ability to be motivated. A drug that religion does put me in mind of is cafeine. it's pretty universally accepted, it helps almost everyone to get moving, and it's relatively harmless, it doesn't cost much (although the comparison isn't great because i do see some harm from religion).

it seems that people think that humanity is the supreme race. i don't even consider it that good, but then my interest is in developing a better one.

science is almost always the bad guy in movies. I guess they are going for the average viewer, but it really bothers me when i go to a movie specifically because i have an interest in science and suddenly they want to say science is bad. No, science is good, people who know about science are good people, and they don't let things get away from them. Women are evil. (well, people).

so i don't like it when i can't tell what words people are singing. Your voice sucks, it ain't no musical instrument.. if i can't understand what you're saying, then shut up.

i went to see mimic, a thriller with mira sorvino as a bug scientist. she creates a strain of poisonous bugs to kill of roaches which carry some disease. some sterile females somehow propagate. The science here seemed pretty bad and that disappointed me, i guess it was ok as a thriller, but i couldn't buy any of it and was disappointed. For one, there's no way an expert would make a mistake like that, and they take about how bugs need males to reproduce. well the genetics for bugs is quite different, and females have more babies by themselves isn't unreasonable. except for sterile ones. And somehow they developed into giant bugs that can mimic people. no way, and especially not in the 3 years they had. They worst part is that really you can't have bugs that big, and the movie appears specifically address the issue, one of the problems is oxygen and these bugs have lungs. well then you have to redo the blood system. are that gonna stay cold blooded, probably would move pretty slowly. they did not mention how heavy an outer shell would be for such a big bug, and these bugs could fly. the bug design doesn't scale in size well. and for some reason these bugs liked the smell of blood. i just couldn't buy it

i've got a lot of bad habits, well, somewhat bad. i don't have any money so i don't really have any habits that cost anything. and i nothing to leverage me into good habits, the way you can use responsibilities to get yourself to be more productive. but i have a bunch of stuff that just takes away my time and doesn't really give me much. But they must have some kind of contribution or i wouldn't do them at all. maybe they let me think that i'm doing something, instead of nothing. i get the feeling a lot of it is my just avoiding stuff that i need to do but dread, like calling people and sending out resumes. a lot of it must be that.

i found an intermediate way to do push ups. There is a probably in exercise in that only two kinds of exercises really have an effect on strength. If you do an exercise that is so hard you can only do maybe 3 repetitions, it will build strength. If you can do about 15 repetitions but not a lot more, it should increase muscle mass. Other exercise are just burning calories. Now the thing with pushups is that i can generally do 50 reps fairly easily after a short time, so i think im not getting much out of it. I used to do one handed push ups, but ten was short of my limit, and as im starting out, they too tough for me right now. I suppose i should just use weights, but i think their a little inconvenient. But i thought of an intermediate form, one handed push ups from the knees (which is girl pushups, so i didn't think of it) and that effort is just right for 15 reps for me. much more convenient for me. I also want to do pull ups, but i can hardly do any of those, although as a kid i was lighter and could do like 20 of those. and i don't have a bar around here. there is a way you can use springs or bungee cords between the bar and belt to reduce the effort a little for training at the proper repetitions.

So there was something i didn't want to say about wynne. and really i didn't want to admit it to myself because it just means that i'm foolish. but i think she is actually pretty shallow and not that interesting. i guess i really didn't want to believe it, because she has always known a lot of stuff that i don't know, which i expected would at least make her somewhat interesting. i guess i was just confused. i like to think that because things went fairly easily for her she didn't have to reach beyond the ordinary dreams. whatever.

the new star trek voyager season with an aliance with the borg that ends up with a new character on the ship, a female borg. I personally like that augmented look. the reviewer in the paper said wonderful things about the writing, but i wasn't all that impressed, and maybe it was a matter of being more conflicted and feely. And personally i'm getting tired of this vision of the future, since there is essentially no artificial intelligence anywhere.

kind of a slow day.

so this woman had a party and had a bunch of people over to her apartment. It was a pretty wild party, and some people weren't in any condition to leave. well the next day, she found that one of the people was this kid. And he said he was in trouble and had no where to go, that he wouldn't make it another day on the streets, and would die, so couldn't he stay there for a while. As sad as she felt about it, she threw him out.

i was thinking i was going to call wynne. I had decided that i want to ask her why exactly she said i shouldn't see her. i didn't really get a reason out of what she said, even though she said it twice. Did she think i was too emotionally involved or out of it and it could only hurt me. did she just see no reason for it, that i wasn't really interesting, because we really seem to be way too different with really nothing in common. But i guess that's it, i really have no reason to call, and i was just rationalizing a reason to. And really, i thought about it, and i remember that she always seemed a little afraid of me, and i would have wanted her to tell me about that. whatever, i'm just a little slow to accept it, especially when i don't understand it.

An Article in the Economist suggests that since science fiction movies have started to make fun of themselves, that we are seeing the end of the genre. It's probably no longer possible to have serious sci-fi like blade runner or alien It happened to westerns. I think that sucks. I guess horror movies never really were serious. But what are we going to do for real fantasy now? I hope things don't get really boring. I guess we still have war movies; they will probably last a while.

cahnge what you feel, not what you show. Most people have internalized that in certain situations you should act nice even if you don't mean it. but clearly what is needed is that that you actually mean it, not to just be able to pretend. So we have have encouraged a world full of phonies and liars.

"hey man, take a look outside the window and see what's happening"

"well it's too bad that our friends can't be with us today"

i am not snapping to it fast enough.

neurons are pretty smart actually. they repond to hundreds of inputs. and they learn how to respond according to some cues which we don't quite undertand. each neuron is like an individual, yet they manage to cooperate together reliably.

in designing a mind simulation, it will probably be useful to have a bloodstream object that can have a global effect, like the brain. something like a common blackboard, a way certain signals can come in. only certain parts of the mind need to respond to certain signals, so effects could be regional. i wonder if any ai system use that principle. actually i wonder about brain simulations in general. i'm getting gloomy about my employment possibilities, it turns out that not working for a couple years is a major concern for people. im supposed to write a paragraph about what i've been doing that sounds important.here's an attempt:

    Improved skills. Studied object-oriented programming (booch),C++, and Java. Took programming classes at UC extension: C++ Programming 2 (3/96) and Windows Application Programming (9/96). Pursued interest in AI, studying natural language and pattern recognition. Wrote a collection of small java programs for the web page. Some consulting for previous employer. Working on a distributed molecular CAD program in Java for Nanocomputer Dream Team. Writing daily journal.

princess di reminds me of wynne. one time she told me that some people said she looks like the princess. she said she didn't think so, but i can kind of see it.