Friday, February 28, 2003

drawing is wacked. It has several aspects, that seem to develop independently of each other, your rendering accuracy, which is largely a manual skill and depends on how much you practice and how recently, plus some learned behaviors that seem to stick, your design creativity, which has to do with your visual sensibilities, color balance and so on, which doesn't seem to change much, perhaps a steady beat upwards with work, and your visual distance, which is your ability to look at things with 'new eyes' and see them for what they are, rather than what you *recognize* them to be. The last seems to be my only real skill or area of speciality, which is unfortunate because the other two would come in really handy right about now.

Monday, February 17, 2003

ugh, tax return was not large. I guess I should report more income, or something.
LISP is an eminently interesting language. I've been reading lots of it (as one would suspect) and I haven't had much occasion to before.
go to for some introductory information.

the obligatory slashdot discussion about lisp.

an interesting insight and term in the last,

"The reason why it's not hyped is because Lisp HAD a hype in its history whose decline happened to the same time (and was mostly induced by) the AI winter."

very true, lisp is a great language, but it gets the reputation of 'deadness' because of it's association with AI. which is 'in the past'.

The 'AI winter', a nifty way to describe the terrible drought, doubt, and despair over the heads of the AI community....

Friday, February 14, 2003

filing taxes online is an unusually mixed emotion.
I'm both happy to be efficient, and creeped out by the implications. Both annoyed by my responsibility to the government, and happy to be using the internet, which seems like a freedom enhancing thing to me.
It's like talking to your oppressor over PGP or something, a mixing of metaphors and associations that isn't quite unpleasant, but not good either. coffee that's just been poured over ice cubes, and it's both hot and cold.

but, I also get a tax return soon :-)

Thursday, February 13, 2003

william gibson has a blog!

Monday, February 10, 2003

Analysis of PATRIOT
It stands for "Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism"

Hey, remember the USA Patriot Act? Sure you do. After all, you're an informed, aware citizen attuned to the news of the nation.

Well, guess what boys? The USA Patriot Act is back and it's bad, and it's gearing up for a twelve-city reunion tour. Introducing "USA Patriot Act 2: XTREME PATRIOTISM," apparently now percolating in the damp nether regions of the Justice Department. This bill draft is so patriotic that the paper it's written is reflective red, white and blue, and when you touch it it shoots off a fusillade of miniature fireworks that explode in the rhythm of the song "God Bless America" and destroy any nearby flag burners with powerful hippie-seeking lasers. Hardcore.

--Reposted from cause it's a good description

Friday, February 07, 2003

programming on a palm device is insanely annoying when you have to type in significant amounts of code. So initial generation is out, but i've found that debugging is actually quite pleasant and simple. You write or download your code to the palm pilot as a .pdb, load it into pippy(a palm IDLE equivalent) and spend some time sitting under a tree in a park, or lazed out on the sofa, or in a restaurant/cafe formatting, organizing and correcting the code.

It's really upped my enthusiasm for debugging, which is generally low.
No responses yet from Lenat or indeed anyone at or

This is too bad, but it's not unexpected.

Thus, I embark on my next great programming task. I'll be reading the Python Libary reference, and going through all the extant CopyCat documentation, then determining feasibility, schedule, and whether or not I'll be recruiting other helpers. Anyone interested can of course contact mehere.

On the way, hopefully I'll find out a bit more about MetaCat and other hofstadter-esque material. I think that it's a very pimpressive programmatic accomplishment, and hope monsieur hofstadter doesn't mind me attempting to duplicate it in another language. no response to emails yet(cross fingers).

This is largely a way for me to ramp up to really interesting programming in a meaningful way. Anybody out there who thinks this is a profoundly bad idea, or has something else more useful they think I could do, is welcome to try and convince me.

Wednesday, February 05, 2003

also, I'm 'working' for M$ today. How wierd is that?
My girlfriend doesn't trust the PDA I bought her anymore(it's crashed and lost data twice) so she gave it to me to play with. I just loaded it up with tools and fun things, including:
-Python 1.5.2
-PDF support
-DOC compression support
-"How to Think Like a Computer Scientist" fulltext
-"MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Science" fulltext
-"Creating Friendly AI", and "General Intelligence and Seed AI" fulltexts
-"Levels of Organization in General Intelligence" fulltext
-"The Physician's Desk Reference" fulltext
-"DSM-IV" fulltext
-"Best of Psychology Today 1995-2000" excerpts
-"Wordnet dictionary database" extended text with annotations
-"New Scientist" website subscription(updated with each issue)
-"AnandTech" website subscription(updated daily)

plus a few more texts for fun, the strongest palm chess program and Go programs in existence, and maps, phone books and other amusing databases. I have no memory left on it at all.. (just 50k left) but there is so much reference and capability in my hand right now...
-"The Complete Sherlock Holmes" fulltext
-All the python documentation, and craploads of python code I've found useful or interesting in the past

Monday, February 03, 2003

html sucks, i hate all websites, and don't have time to sleep. off to work....
programming taking a larger role in my life, I've decided to devote some time to exploratory programming. Specifically I plan to port CopyCat to Python, if possible, as I think Python is both easier to play with, and it's the only language I could concievably do so without hurting my brain. I'm also emailing Douglas Lenat to ask about Eurisko. If there is a reason he doesn't want Eurisko available, that's fine, but if he'd release a version of it, hackers across the world would have a beautiful new concept to play with. It would also make a fine project to port to Python.

I have to admit, this plan is in the very early stages, and may change substantially. But It seems a worthwhile and useful endeavor to add to my list of activities.

. . Which, to be vain, include...:

:Writing a short film script

:Producing and Directing said script

:Organizing a Company

:Applying for licenses and taxy things for said company

:Working towards a new fitness goal(an hour a day, optimum

:Programmatic Study(application, languages)

:Math Study

:Girlfriend Time(very important)

:Money Time(money is unpleasant and unhelpful, down with capitalism)

:Art Time(must learn to draw better)

:Food Time(but enjoyable)

:Downtime(this largely consists of books and games to keep my head from exploding)

And blogging, to organize and analyze my life. :-)

I haven't posted in a month and one day. been very busy and especially constructive. Mad Scientist Magazine now has three volunteers, and is accruing content. Also, I've organized a company to keep track of my contract work. It's called CustomJobz, and the website will be up soon. at, predictably,

By no means does this mean my financial house of cards is rebuilt. Nay, I am still in the throes of monetary agony, and won't be in the positive column for some time. You can be sure to know when it's all solved because my first act of solvency(after new food) will be to bring my good friend Eliezer up to SLC. I owe him a visit and a donation to his org, the Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence.

You should donate too.

Also, on the table is of course, FLENSER. He's coming along nicely, with this modular weapon system all designed, and a basic module interface worked out. It's too bad BattleBots has pussy rules like 'no projectiles', 'no acids', 'no electrical arc weapons' and such, because I've come up with all sorts of illegal weapon modules. I guess they'll have to wait for the revolution to see their day in the sun. :-)