Tuesday, December 28, 2004

The central fact of our epoch is that knowledge has grown; man's brain has not.

Geoffrey Pyke 1931

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Life enigmatic with Bill Murray

This interviewer confuses her interview experience with the character of Bill Murray en total. Still, it's an interesting slice of him.

I've always liked Bill Murray, and I am interested in him personally, in a shocking change from my usual disinterested pragmatism vis a vis entertainers. He remains a comic actor with wonderful reserves as well as manic energy. project selection well below the usual 'money whore' level of many actors.

I'll pay full price to see The Life Aquatic, and we'll see. But I imagine I'll like it. Just because. Sometimes there are intangibles to movie experiences that are not easy to communicate or share. Subjectively, they are still worth a great deal to me.

For more objective quality, unfortunately, the holiday season is a little spare. The Incredibles are zippy as any Pixar movie, but their effect on viewers is more spotty than usual. As a superhero geek, I of course am required by union regulations to enjoy the movie. The action movies are quite a bit more easy to categorize. Blade Trinity is hogwash capitalizing on the good reputation of the first movie, and the energy of Guillermo's directing on the second. National Treasure is bland adventure action with Cage's usual mugging and acting points. Ocean's Twelve is as stylish as the first, with total nonsense for plot. The tricks and twists unfortunately are much less planned and not obvious at all in retrospect. They are quite tacked on, just to provide the atmosphere of twisty cleverness.

ah, Movies, they grab your time and sometimes in return give you a hint of enjoyment and inspiration. I used to watch many more of them.

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

EPIC 2014

Some Competently presented luddite fears. Requires Flash

Sunday, December 19, 2004

Jack Chick Explains White Wolf's New System

Only for the geekiest gamers, Jeremy in particular.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

"Ignorance is not so much bliss, as it is certainty"
~Joshua Truett

Monday, December 13, 2004

Hooker Heroes

an unusual history lesson from an unabashed advocate of prostitution, Playboy, and... Calorie Restriction? Looks like a dead website, and there's no way to contact the author, but he's interesting, and the history is provocative, if not impressively scholarly.

He's also got an ode to skinny women, extolling pornographic magazines as promoting a healthy, sustainable female form.

Unusual fellow. Surprising what that web throws up sometimes.

Personally, I think that prostitution is greatly marginalized by being illegal, and that the many women and girls (and boys, oh my) that are hurt, socially ostracized, and otherwise badly damaged in that context would be in much better shape if it were a daylight, socially visible activity. The few legal prostitution examples in the first world, as he rightly points out, are strikingly free of disease, victimization, and connection to other crime.

For the feminist and otherwise morally outraged, I can only say that I believe the purpose of a legal system(if it has a purpose) is to protect our rights as individuals. Nothing more.

It falls to morality to influence our choices, not our options.

If you don't like it, don't do it. Try to convince all the peole you care about that it's no good either. If you're right, it'll die a slow death from lack of interest. If not, you didn't have to do it anyway, so why worry?

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

MPrize - Welcome!

I don't think I've ever seen anything as cute as that logo in the upper left hand corner, an old mouse with a cane, wonderful.

Aubrey De Grey is a good guy, and very ambitious in all the right directions. He's pure bioscience, despite being a former CS guy, but I can't fault his enthusiasm. If for some reason AI and Nanotechnology is very very difficult, I will likely be in his hands. Or those of his scientific progeny.

Regardless, this is a wonderful effort, and you should check it out.

Friday, December 03, 2004

Physics Today December 2004- The Hydrogen Economy

Energy Production, as it relates to consumer use, manufacturing, and utilities we all use daily, like internet access and telephony, is a major interest of mine. The Hydrogen Economy is a big idea that has been a long long time coming. It's not clear, despite it's persuasive nature, whether it will eventually make it all the way to the real world.

Portions of it obviously will. This is a state of the art article on the prospects and challenges such an integrated solution will have.

Something that isn't considered very often is partial introduction of hydrogen as an energy carrier within an isolated industrial process. If hydrogen can be commercially successful within a limited context, the powers of standardization and mass production can drive the spread to other processes, and other industries. Trying to build an integrated solution will probably always fail, because people who are reading your 'complete manifesto', interpret it within the context of their own applications, and it never is quite tailored, or quite useful enough in the details. The trick to to make them come to you. When people design processes, they design them with a hundred assumptions and design limitations. The trick is to become one of those design goals, and then you're not a cost, not a change, just another constraint, and another compliance.

Good luck to em, though. The Hydrogen economy is extremely intertied with efficiency, intelligent design, renewable energy sources, and decentralized design, across the board. A few successes in their camp means many in all of the above.

And that would be significant.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

mm, mostly through my trip... still alive... haven't heard from the friends really.. I'll try to see if anyone here in SLC wants to hang out today or tomorrow... I've been very busy with family and thanksgiving activities, and hanging out with crystal..

I'll be back online soon. Some interesting ideas I may blog about some in a bit, or publish elsewhere and link to, in my copious free time.

Monday, November 22, 2004


An appropriate link for a traveling day. As more computer interfaces begin to bring usefully indexed and more massive amounts of data, we're really going to see the rubber hit the road in terms of large scale integrated analysis. Expect efficient extraction of significant features from large datasets(like maps, statistics, advertising data, financial records, text databases, traffic data) to be increasingly significant to business. The rise of researchers and supercomputing for hire will only increase as organizations begin to realize how much value they're drowning in, but can't realistically get at without searching, interface, and filtering.

Google is a very visible, very public front-runner here, but most of their services are very unsophisticated. Other firms, like Oracle, Microsoft, IBM, and CAS in many cases have much deeper search problems, and much more established revenue streams. Google is certainly increasingly dangerous to these markets, and is aggressively expanding their dataset, likely betting that a crosslinked, massively indexed series of search services will be more valuable than a more deeply searched, or better annotated one.

It's perhaps characteristic of Computer Scientists to overgeneralize, and for Artificial Intelligence researchers to do so in a manner bordering on the ridiculous. The search problem certainly seems like a weaker version of the perceptual issues in cognitive science to me, though. I anticipate that these fields will, at the highest levels be interlinked in theory, if not in practice.

I'm going to Salt Lake City, to visit with friends, and connect with family for a short time. I'm looking forward to it.

I'll be back the 30th. Please behave yourselves in the meantime.

Some status updates, I managed to finish the integration framework for all our virtual world testing for the next few steps. This is basically the system we'll use to transition from disconnected cognitive testing to a continous, task switching, big brain kind of model.

Whereas before we were testing specific ability in repeatable tests, and establishing the perceptive categorization, the learning algorithms, the exploration routines in separate domains, we're now upping the complexity and the richness, by jamming all these tasks into a big messy place, more like the real world.

There are several problems with this, the first being the difficulty of testing, which we've actually got a model to reduce this, by isolating particular tasks at particular moments, and generating baselines to compare against on the fly. It will really be interesting over the next month as we get our first experience with how all these capabilities interact in an unplanned fashion. I am cautiously optimistic. Many of the cognitive algorithms we have would operate better in a more data rich, and varied environment than the rather sparse controlled situations we've been using up to now.

a key point in cognitive design is that brains are supersystems, and it's very artificial to imagine that each module would be able to operate on it's own. Seperating out for testing and development is fine, but the capabilities and sections of intelligence must exist in an expanding ecology of goals and functionality, or the whole things falls apart very quickly, because of the complexity of the interactions.

Getting to this point before my vacation was a purposeful thing, as during the trip I plan on thinking through the more theoretical issues that face us now that we are in this expansion, scaling, and integration phase.

We're going to be dealing with much bigger brains, far more mental objects, and many many more patterns and actions to be correlated. All good things, but their effect on the system, and the development they will push us into must all be considered, lest we waste time. Ideally of course, we would push in all directions at once, perfectly co-ordinated, with no duplication of effort, but we dont' have either the manpower or the telepathy to do that. So we need to proceed piecewise, with some overall prospectus.

pity the poor man who is not confused by his job and his tasks. for he is either blind, or miscast in his role. and for either, he is learning nothing.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

K, news:

Progress continues at a2i2. I am pleased with the direction the project is going, and some few details I can give here, we are finally moving in the direction of integration, extension and scaling, which will (I believe) show us the value of the cognitive abilities we have been developing thus far in a much more unified and applicable way.

Also, the project has swung a bit away from biological inspiration(a good metric, but a poor teacher of structure), which I think will allow us faster progress, if we can stay grounded and pragmatic. There are simply many shortcuts that nature couldn't, or had no reason to take, that we may have been missing.

I am visiting SLC for the holidays, a whole week, in fact(don't ask me why, but airline prices being what they are, there are some odd deals).

I'll be around Nov 22nd to Nov 30th. I'm afraid I won't be visiting for Newtonmas(X-mas), so get your Justin while he is available! Family members and my girlfriend have first dibs, but I'd like to see friends and cohorts too.

The field of AI in general seems to be heating up a bit. There still aren't any projects that are general and ambitious, but there are more players, narrow AI funding and commercialization increases unabated, we have the relative newcomers of RNI publishing things now, and more activity on the conference and publishing front as well.

As supercomputers and custom software become the norm for people who need intelligent data handling, we'll see more and more interest in the direction of machine learning, adaptive systems, and other approximations of intelligence.

Starglider(Micheal Wilson), of sl4 fame, has an interesting new AI application to an ancient game. The perennial computer challenge of a decent Go player has been picked up again, and his attack is interesting. I've investigated GnuGo, a relatively strong open-source player in the past, and am very interested in his new computational statistics approach. I'm afraid I don't really understand enough of it's structure yet to comment intelligently, but I think he may be on to a structure general enough to allow large gains from what is essentially a standing start. Even achieving parity with more established Go programs from such a theoretical standpoint would be very impressive to me. Most of the current crop are very practical designs forged in constant ladder play tweaking and special case operations. DestinyGo(following some naming convention of his own) will probably be more widely available sometime relatively soon, but I wouldn't want to put words or plans in his mouth. Contact him for more details.

Monday, November 15, 2004

The Price of Loyalty: The Bush Files:

"'Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.'
-- Justice Louis Brandeis, 1913"

Monday, November 08, 2004

United States IPv6 Summit 2004 - December 7-10, Reston, Virginia

a quick note on opportunities.

Alex Lightman, CEO of this lil site, is looking for good IPv6 technologies. We came up with a few ideas and will be kicking them around to see if they have legs. IPv6 is a tremendous opportunity that US companies are ignoring out fo bystander effect, because they expect someone else to blaze the trail, and to be able to progressive upgrade.

Alex is an interesting guy, and seems like a really sharp businessman. Networking theorists note, IPv6 is severely underrepresented in new technology, despite it's advantages and relative paucity of competitors, people just aren't using it.
Back from AC 04.

I've got a lot of things to say about it, but I'm busy reconnecting with my work and such, so I'll just say this. Going to conferences all the time is probably a mistake, but going to at least one is a very good idea. I may not attend any more conferences this year, but I'm very glad I went to this one.

An additional note, if there are any young, undirected transhumans, or old undirected transhumans, try going to an Accelerating Change Con. I had people trying to hire me, business ideas falling from the sky, high powered folk, idea folk, high powered idea folk, interesting new research. If I didn't already have the most interesting job in the world, in the biggest problem area, I would have really really come back with a fistful of dollars(or contracts at least). So long as you talk. There were plenty of people who just didn't talk with others at the con, and they missed quite a bit.

As it is, I may do some after hours consulting and work with the fine people I met, just out of sheer interest. There are so many things happening, so many more near term projects, I felt like a blue-sky researcher next to many of these people who just wanted to make something cool now, or make a quick good few dollars.

Some cool people I made friends with, never mind interesting research and business opportunities, which I'll list later:

Nova Barlow, of the Themis Group, community management and state of play writer. Went to dinner with her after her talk, and she had lots of interesting ideas.

Gregor Rothfuss, met him at Tech Night, he works for Apache, and is developing some very interesting middleware, with XML and SOAPish stuff.

Jeff Shwartz, of Disruptive Strategies, we participated in a debate on Globalization, he of the pragmatic set, and me of the 'people are hurting' set. He seems like a really great guy, we exchanged business cards, and I have to shoot him a follow-up email. His concept of disruptive technologies seems to dovetail well with my idea of leveraged work. He also was very well spoken, and really pushed me during the debate.

Christopher Allen, of too many things to list, but at least go check out Life With Alacrity, we talked about many things, of security and future trends and wikis and god knows what else, I definately need to follow up, he's a guy with varied and interesting opinions and applications.

I sat during many of the presentations with Eric Nehrlich, a physicist who has jumped fields and is investigating all this stuff. He works for MDS SCIEX right now, but I'd love to hook him up with maybe these other guys as well, there are just so many interesting projects here, if I had the time. He's a very smart, very funny guy.

I also ran into a lot of my LA crew, Paul and Jeff and Durant and Troy and so on, which is always fun.

I got to meet Samantha Atkins in person, Peter C. McCluskey, Tyler Emerson, and on and on, it's lovely to match faces to names.

Two major regrets, didn't talk to Cory Ondrejka of SecondLife directly very much, and didn't talk to Helen Greiner of iRobot directly.

Of all the speakers, two major highlights, Wil Wright, creator of The Sims, BJ Fogg, of the Stanford Persuasive Technology Lab. There were many many others, which I'll go into if I have more time.

more Google strings: Peter Norvig, Jamie Hale, David Brin, Shai Agassi, Peter Kaminski, Gordon Bell, Richard Marks Sony, Steve Jurvetson, Bruce Hall DARPA, Clark Aldrich.

Friday, November 05, 2004

I'm off to AC 04, and will be out of internet for a while.

stay safe kids.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Well, meeting Ben Goertzel was interesting. He's a nice guy. I know I learned a lot more about his system than he learned about mine, but I'm probably just less talkative than he is.

The interesting thing is that even though serious theory differences exist, Ben's project is probably the closest to our own that I am aware of. In some ways this is encouraging, because it means competition for early stage AI applications will be small, and also slightly worrying, as lone positions sometimes turn out to be bad ones. There is only so much you can infer about ideas from their context though.

Fun and interesting stuff.

Bruce Klein is still here, which is great, he's a really solid fun guy. He's filming more people for his documentary, as well as bemoaning the election.

I have to say I have no strong feelings about the election. It's very dissapointing that 11 states voted to ban gay marriage. Not surprising, perhaps.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

busy busy.

I'm trying to get an answer from my sister, because my family wants me to visit for thanksgiving, and I missed visiting friends in slc, so those two could be collapsed into once visit late this month.

The one and only Bruce Klein will be here again later today, and then the scourge of SL4, Ben Goertzel as well. I'm looking forward to meeting ben, we've talked online many times but never in person.

The new house is very nice and quite comfortable. I have a few things to get used to(not having the desktop in my room is a change(I need an alarm clock or similar). and a few things to get into shape(I need a better headset because there are more desks in the same place here(don't want to disturb people with my music)).

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

mostly back online, now just a great deal of unpacking to do.

Monday, October 25, 2004

woo indeed.

rugs are laid, ikea furniture assembled, and a few vanloads later and we've got the fragile, frangible or difficult to pack items over to the new house. I've moved all my clothes save some bare essentials, and toiletries. So I'm sitting here at an empty desk, contemplating what will probably be a few days of radio silence. Tomorrow morning we move the computers to the new house, wednesday the movers get all the furnishings.

I'm looking forward to it. It's a very nice house, and I think it will actually be conducive to more and better work. As well as being much more pleasant to live in.

Quarters are cramped and multipurpose here, and there we will have very clean distinctions between working-space and living space, as well as a dining room and lounge and so on.

Saturday, October 23, 2004

How wonderful, no?

We have keys to our new house, we'll be buying carpet tomorrow and planning our conquest.

Tonight I'm watching Anthony Hopkins do shakespeare and getting to bed.

I'm so tired of this dog and pony show, I'll be glad when the election is over, whichever monkey is elected. The thing I find so tiresome, what I dislike about anti-smoking commercials, and democrats maligning republicans, and republicans maligning democrats, and anti X fanatics of all stripes is this; They are right. Bush is a bad leader, Kerry is a sock puppet with no seeming values, smoking is bad for you. But in their zeal they embrace madness. Why lie? Why employ ridiculous lengths and futile fabrications? Isn't smoking bad enough? Isn't Bush's record bad enough? Aren't there enough examples of the failure of politicians? Why make up trumped up numbers to 'convince us' that smoking is really really bad? Why make the outrageous comparison of Bush to Hitler, of Kerry to some traitorous libelous plotter, burning medals and then using them in speeches. Isn't the truth bad enough? Why destroy what fragile credence I might give you?

It's obviously false. It's easy to see that smoking doesn't kill as many as they claim, that "smoking related fatalities" are so cleverly increased to include heart disease in smoking households, regardless of other factors. Bush isn't, and couldn't in his wildest dreams of control be Hitler's shadow, not struggling as he is to hold the reins of power through a single election, maintain a good show for a relatively small constituency of the people, with his petty dreams of slightly increased american power, limited war on limited means, repaying his commercial interests with the contracts and governmental approval they desire. Kerry is just another grasping politician, no less flawed or noble, with his focused blandness and cutting memorization skills, as he studies the polls and edits the video ads.

They are bad things. They are horrible things, sometimes. But that does not excuse the hurt you are doing to your OWN CAUSE by lying. By inflation, and by cheap theatrics. For a while there, I actually forgot that Bush was a bad president, because I was so tired of people attacking him for the wrong reasons. I starting thinking that Kerry should be shielded from comment. They're both tools who sold whatever consciences they had on the altars of power and political attainments, and I have no reservation in marking any successful politician as such that I have ever seen. Dennis Kucinich, perhaps, Sharpton, McCain, manage to avoid that distinction, in some doubt that I have about them, given what I've seen. Is Bush a fascist? Not really. Not any more than any modern politician is a fascist(a potentially troublesome statement). Fascists are big and bold and clear, and Bush is just a gerrymandering Republican, with clear and unflinching surety(for what and by whom I can't say) that he's right, and he'll be seen as right. Bad leader, certainly, and not someone I would invite over to dinner. He has played a part in a huge and costly war, which cost lives and money no one had the right to spend.

dont' fool yourself that the world changes with an election. The vote to go to war in Iraq was not close. It was very heavily supported. The CIA machinery that gave the intelligence was not built entirely by Bush. You cannot lay all the blame at his feet. We have allowed a government with terrible and inhuman aims to take up residence, that is true. But it's not republican, and it's not democratic. It's american, and it will survive whoever wins the presidential election. Beware of easy answers. If only we could beat Bush, then the world would be free.

Ach, tired and bitter at the age of 23. I'm going to bed. And then I'm going to focus on my previous assessment, that the world is getting better. I truly believe that. Our foolish aspersions aside, there is more joy and more health in the world than ever before. If we can but find the strength to leave behind the complications and problems of our past.

Politics is so easy to focus on. I'm sure an hour of medical research probably had more effect on the real lives of people than many countless hours carrying plaques bearing the name of some grubbing electoral wanna-be.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Shinkuro, Inc. - Tools for Collaboration

I have more than a passing interest in group ware. But open source tools still lag behind commercial software which lag in the usability department.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

outlawpoet@hell.com is back online, thank you Gu.

we've settled on a place, over on 81st in Playa Del Rey, not too far from here. It'll be more than a block from the beach, which is too bad, and no longer withint walking distance of the venice boardwalk, but I suppose I survived before I could do that for lunch.

We'll be moving the 27th, so some packing soon, as well as getting carpets and other things down before the furniture.

Then on Nov 5, of course, the Accellerating Change conference.

I would like to go back to SLC for a thanksgiving area visit, as my proposed visit in october was rather thrashed by this move and other things.

I guess I visit slc a great deal. particularly given my limited funding. But I care a great deal for crystal and my friends there. I moved out to LA solely for this job. I work most of the time, beause it is my passion, and this is a chance to do real ground-breaking research.

One interesting possibility is that with the new house, I have much more private space, and can have crystal visit me here.

outlawpoet@hell.com is back online, thank you Gu.

we've settled on a place, over on 81st in Playa Del Rey, not too far from here. It'll be more than a block from the beach, which is too bad, and no longer withint walking distance of the venice boardwalk, but I suppose I survived before I could do that for lunch.

We'll be moving the 27th, so some packing soon, as well as getting carpets and other things down before the furniture.

Then on Nov 5, of course, the Accellerating Change conference.

I would like to go back to SLC for a thanksgiving area visit, as my proposed visit in october was rather thrashed by this move and other things.

I guess I visit slc a great deal. particularly given my limited funding. But I care a great deal for crystal and my friends there. I moved out to LA solely for this job. I work most of the time, beause it is my passion, and this is a chance to do real ground-breaking research.

One interesting possibility is that with the new house, I have much more private space, and can have crystal visit me here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

arg. having problems with outlawpoet@hell.com

in the meantime, if you're trying to reach me, you can at outlawpoet@gmail.com

hopefully this will all be resolved soon.

Friday, October 08, 2004

Commodore 32 - Standalone Z-Machine

I'd like a good new text adventure.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

Guide Horse Foundation - Miniature horses for the blind

This is a very interesting idea. I think it even may be as advantageous as they say. Certainly dogs are inappropriate in many cases. And even the best trained dogs have very inconvenient reactions and instincts.

Monday, October 04, 2004

Well, more interesting stuff.

we've been given notice by our landlord, and the a2i2 crew is looking for a new place(s). I have to admit, I've never looked for a place for so many people before, so does anyone have good tips or tricks for real estate?

two smaller places would be okay, but one large facility would be ideal, to keep everyone connected.

the earl grey is more than half gone, which dismays me a bit, I was under the impression that a loose leaf tea wouldn't go as fast...

Monday, September 27, 2004

Back in California.

I return with a new bracelet and some nifty Earl Grey tea.

this was an all-crystal all the time trip, so next trip, which will hopefully be late october, will include visits with friends and family.

it was lots of fun, also new news

a2i2, will be attending the Accelerating Change Conference in November. I'll be coming along to soak up any available wisdom, and spread the good news of artificial intelligence research through the land.

we're not actually looking for any new money or partners, but we are always on the lookout for sharp talent, because we have high standards. So perhaps we'll find someone there. That would be cool.

Also, sometime next year after we hit our milestones we /will/ be looking for more investors and partners to help us scale up the project. And networking cannot be done too far in advance.

This of course dovetails nicely with my own personal plans for world domination. I generally haven't expressed much personal enthusiasm for conferences and the like. They are very social events. But in the context of company networking, it certainly seems more worthwhile. I also admit that I haven't been as inclusive in some of evaluations of the state of affairs in the small world of futurists, scientists, and thinkers I operate in, in a loose sense.

I hope that this will spark personal projects and profitability, as well as more mundane intertalk with people I meet.

Wish us luck. We're hoping to have some interesting things to talk about in six weeks too, so that may be fortunate timing.

Friday, September 24, 2004

Okay kids, I'm out for a few days.

Be good.

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Interesting stuff, I met Michael Roy Ames yesterday, He's starting a canadian branch of the Singularity Institute.

He's a commercial coder who is now in the field of AI as an activist and enthusiast. He began implementing an AI some time ago, but stopped because of the lack of specification in goal system, and because of the friendliness problem.

How does one ensure that AIs grow up to be nice people who do nice things? Or even, do nice things, if your AI is not a proper person.

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

A discussion group today, with Bruce Klein of the Immortality Institute. Some sushi and talking, I'm looking forward to it.

Things have been quiet, with me keeping my head down and making good progress, I'm very pleased with all the things that have gotten done thus far, and the month isn't over yet either.

This weekend I'll be visiting SLC to see crystal, which will be nice.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

I'm your only friend
I'm not your only friend
But i'm a little glowing friend
But really i'm not actually your friend
But I AM.

Blue canary in the oven, by the light switch;
Who watches over you?
Make a little birdhouse in your soul.
Not to put too fine a point on it,
Say i'm the only bee in your bonnet,
and make a little birdhouse in your soul.

I have a secret to tell,
From my electrical well.
It's a simple message and i'm leaving out the whistles and bells.
So the room must listen to me,
Filibuster vigilantly,
My name is blue canary, one note: spelled "l-i-t-e"
My story's infinite:
Like the longines symphonette, it doesn't rest.

Blue canary in the oven, by the light switch;
Who watches over you?
Make a little birdhouse in your soul.
Not to put too fine a point on it,
Say i'm the only bee in your bonnet,
and Make a little birdhouse in your soul.

There's a picture opposite me,
Of my primitive ancestry.
Which stood on rocky shores, and kept the beaches shipwreck free,
Though i respect that a lotm
I'd be fired if that were my job,
After killing jason off and countless screaming argonauts.
Bluebird of friendliness
Like guardian angels, its always near.

Blue Canary in the oven by the light switch;
Who watches over you?
Make a little birdhouse in your soul.
Not to put too fine a point on it,
Say i'm the only bee in your bonnet,
and make a little birdhouse in your soul.

(and while you're at it,
Keep the nightlight on inside the
Birdhouse in your soul)
48 Laws of Power

Like so many 'ruthless' works. Such as "What Would Machiavelli Do", and the ever popular "Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates", this book appears to err on the side of gratuitous deviant-nature. Real pragmatism has no particular drift to good or evil, the fact that the majority of actions won't abide by a particular moral code is entirely coincidental. These supposed amoral listings are far too enthusiastic in their breaking of moral expectations. It's less efficient.

I would enjoy a truly amoral examination of 'getting what you want', but I suppose people are really more interested in telling stories than mapping methods.

The real book that needs to be written is of course a generalized method for evaluating goals and environment, to use all requirements to meet all goals. Such a book may be beyond any human author, and I could probably make a decent argument that you would need an AI-complete theory of intelligence and goals in order to write it.

But I sift through these for approximates and rules of thumb. Sometimes you get lucky.

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

An Underground History of American Education - John Taylor Gatto

An opinion on public schooling by a longtime teacher.

I don't precisely agree with his conclusions, but you can't really argue much with his experience. He really was a stellar example of the best that teachers can be, for thirty years, and apparently, something just snapped and he isn't going to take it any more.

It's not often that you see a multi decade, decorated public school servant turn around and write a book advocating the position that public schooling is a socially predatory abuse of power, and should be dismantled as fast as safely possible.


It warms my anarchist heart to see someone make an about-face of that magnitude. It warms my rationalist heart to see someone correct for that kind of bias.

In fact, though I disagree with many of his proposed solutions, I reject his reasoning for the causes, and motivations of the genesis of american public schooling. I would recommend that everyone read this book. I love seeing writing like this. The vibrancy, the resolve, the 'do not accept' pasted all over it.

It's a great book.

and you can read it for free at the above link. I'm probably going to buy it.

Sunday, September 05, 2004

tonight was another Kifune Discussion Group.

In it we spent a good amount of time discussing new developments and news items, some important topics were Rugg's verifier theory, and Chet Fleming's "If we can Keep a Severed Head alive." which isn't actually new, but Peter came in with discussions he had with KRONOS researcher Chris Heward, PhD.

The takeaway message, I think, is one of great personal interest to me, which is that achieving your goals requires a certain agnosticism of method. Verifier theory shows that subspecialists miss important details. The difficulty of anti-aging research and medicine in general shows that we are perhaps asking the wrong questions in many cases. We could probably grind away at things like Alzheimers and Cancer for a long long time, if we confine ourselves to piecemeal and directed solutions to existing problems.

The universe, I think has no particular trend to keep us from achieving great aims as compared to small ones. But it does have laws and it's own character. It's important to keep in mind that end results are far more achievable than certain methods to end results.

One thing that might actually help scientists a great deal is if they organized themselves along the lines of what they were trying to achieve or investigate, rather than what means and mechanisms they used to achieve it. One would be an Alzheimer researcher rather than a stem-cell researcher, or a behavioral modifier rather than a neuroscientist. It would help to cut across bodies of knowledge. And make clearer the role of specialization, which is to allow deep exploration and immersement in some methods to some ends.

The key, with great ambitions, is to have goals, but not to become too attached to attendant details. Pragmatism applies harshly to methods, but not to goals. You can have insane pie in the sky plans, so long as you learn and flow into the shape that the data on those plans show you.

If the only way to live forever is some magical fruit in the middle of the sahara desert, then well, pack your sandtent, and stop your Genetic engineering. I like to think that I've forced myself into this role, and taken on skills as they are forced upon me, rather than accreting tendencies and allowing them to point me in an ultimate direction.

This may not be to some people's taste, of course. Some people genuinely care mostly about their methods and techniques, and that is fine. But clarity on this should help you too. If all you want is to explore the space of laser correction of vision, or to explore the power of some subtype of music, fine. Say that. Work towards it. You aren't looking for the best way to help people see, or the next wave in music. You want to do what you are doing, and do it well. That is a perfectly legit desire. And perhaps you will be able to strive towards it more directly after determining that.

Of course, verifier theory is in it's infancy, and I have yet to accomplish much of consequence to the wider world. So these musing should be taken in much the same light as they are formed, exploratory, mildly confident, and seeking to approximate the truth.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

Back! Yay california.

Friday, August 27, 2004

I'm off to cincinnati.

Monday, August 23, 2004

Gymnastics.com - gymnastic equipment, apparel and more

Well, it's a rollercoaster ride of an event. My favorite event, Men's High Bar was packed with drama. Aleksei Neimov of russia, probably one of the greatest living male gymnasts, with 12 gold medals, innumerable championships let fly an incredible routine, 6 releases, four of them in a row!

He flew, he rolled, he was really amazing. And then they scored him the worst of all the gymnasts that had gone thus far.

It was unbelievable. The crowd there leaped to it's feet and screamed bloody murder. For almost five minutes I listened to them shout, and boo, make rude gestures at the camera, chant Neimov's name. Even the cool, polite announcers were flabbergasted. One memorably said that it was a routine that pushed forward male gymnastics, and should be celebrated and studied by young gymnasts, not pushed to the back of the line.

The crowd refused to let Paul Hamm, the next gymnast, go. They screamed and screamed, and stomped their feet, and finally the president of FIGO went to talk to the judges. They talked and talked while the crowd screamed. Neimov was incredibly gracious. He thanked the crowd, and tried to motion for them to quiet down, he was nice to the camera-man. He really seemed sad about his score, but wanted the event to move on.

Finally, in what I found infuriating, they changed Neimov's score, moving it up by five tenths. But he was still in last place. The crowd refused to accept it. They shouted and stamped, and poor Paul Hamm stood on the edge of the podium, wondering if he'd get a chance to do his routine. Eventually Neimov stood up, climbed on top of a nearby mat, and gave the crowd a brave smile. He waved, and blew a kiss. And motioned with his hands, for the crowd to quiet. And they applauded him, and let Paul start his routine.

I'll never forget it. This has been a very dodgy olympics, with medals going to strange and unobvious places. Neimov was a true champion tonight, he didn't ask for anything, but the injustice of it all moved everyone. I'll remember him as the winner, no doubt about it.

Saturday, August 21, 2004

TinyApps.Org : Home

for trapped windows users, who appreciate functionality without bloat, I give you a truly useful website. applications listed because they require little footprint, don't install to registry, and are as self contained as possible.
The Anti-CEO

This is fascinating. I've long held that other organizational structures in corporations might hold more or different advantages in comparison to the standard military hierarchy model.

I don't think his solutions are portable, and certainly his interviews tend to focus on how 'free' and 'different' his approaches are. Based on the few excerpts from his book I've been able to find, these are counterbalanced with very powerful incentives, extremely high expectations, and brutal hiring processes. As well as constant transparent review. You won't see much on that.

He seems like a very smart guy. I plan on getting the book when I have a bit of time. Direct Democracy corporations probably wouldn't work without a lot of attendant complexity, but even approximations could get you interesting returns. More when I get his books.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

Institute of Space and Astronautical Science | JAXA

more good solar sail news.

Japan has successfully deployed, although there is no information as to the information gathered. If anyone knows anything about such data, please let me know.

Monday, August 16, 2004

Guardian Unlimited | Life | Space travel goes sailing

I've been hearing about this project by the Planetary Society for some time, and it looks like they're getting closer to launching again.

If so, it will be another first for aerospace. It is, of course, a private project. Government Space Agencies need get their rears in gear if they want to keep justifying their budgets. The only remaining province is the super-expensive long range missions. and lets hope a private group announces to do that as well. bring the costs down, I need off this rock.

Sunday, August 15, 2004

AnandTech: Opteron vs. Xeon

I have something of a vested interest in high performance computing, especially high end server/workstation hardware. Here Anand takes two very capable systems and cuts through to performance gains.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Speculations Concerning the First Ultraintelligent Machine*

um, insane.

How did I not know about this paper? big kudos and thanks to Robert Bradbury for hosting this where I could find it.

a spooky and interesting old old paper, from I J Good.

Sunday, August 08, 2004

off I go to SLC.

Friday, August 06, 2004

Irdial-Discs MM/03

interesting music label.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Insinuendo noun. :: subtle, provocative language.

Do not play or download this game, if you value your productive time.

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

car stuff, arg

have to get the company car up to snuff, brakes, some spark control part, etc. I dislike dealing with mechanics. I do enjoy working on mechanical things myself, but in different contexts. and certainly not on something so arcane as a ford tempo. I swear, it's barely recognizable as an ICE at all. So many proprietary parts and bizarre design choices. I'll take the opportunity to catch up on my theory work, I've been immersed in environmental details, C# stuff, and so on the past few days.

Friday, July 30, 2004

I was born at 10 am today, in this very city. twenty three years ago.

and the world shall never be the same. Thank you everyone for your kind notes. I'll try to get back to you.

Thursday, July 29, 2004

ah, to whom it may concern, lovely news. my trip schedule this month has been finalized. I'll be traveling to the city by the desert, Salt Lake City, on august 8th, until the 13th. That was the best time to visit, when I'll be seeing friends and helping crystal to celebrate her birthday, and mine as well, in a belated fashion.

tomorrow I turn 23. which is something of an accomplishment, I suppose. I missed celebrating my birthday last year, so I hope to have a nice time.

also, concerning Noel's wedding. I have not yet purchased the tickets, but am planning on visiting from friday to monday, for a trip august 27th-august 30th.

all in all that adds up to 7 whole days , which is a bit more than I would like. I suppose it's about the same as the number of weekend days in a month. But I would prefer to spread my trips out a bit more.

happy birthday, everyone out there aging. I'm looking forward to getting older, as it's just been better as time goes on.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Monday, July 26, 2004

what a strange year it has been.
You were the one,
You were my everything
Never apart,
No one in-between
Then one day,
When you went your own way
You felt justified,
And I was mortified
But today...
You are just a picture
And a thousand memories
Is all I take with me
'Cuz your smile
Is just too much to see
You're just a thousand memories
Fantasies, broken dreams
Reveries, sordid histories
Following my heart,
Laden with reaction,
Without calibration or design
Committed to a trial,
A life of understanding
Can't somebody show a sign to you
For me to see if you only knew
That you were the one
You were my everything
Never apart,
No one in-between
Then one day,
When you went your own way
You felt justified,
And I was mortified
But today...
You are just a picture
And a thousand memories
Is all I take with me
'Cuz a picture is worth
one thousand memories

--- Bad Religion

Sunday, July 25, 2004

[ ANBU ] An Online Anime Fansubbing Group - Index

A lot of people I know are admirers of Akira Kurasowa's films. There is a very interesting anime being released right now called Samurai7, which is an interesting remake/homage to Kurasowa's "Seven Samurai".

This fansubbing group(which produces many other high quality subs, btw) is doing them in collaboration with Anime One, as they come out.

A lot of things like this are very frivolous, and sometimes I have to ask myself whether or not to spend time on them, but I am not yet a single project person, and I have too many interests to ignore. My AI work is the biggest part of my life. And it will continue to be. I work almost every day, all day, on it. I wish I could work more.

But.. I am still exploring. I had aspirations of being a mechanical engineer and a sculpter, less than four years ago. I still love art. I still want to build things with my hands. It's not what I'm doing right now. I'll get to it. I have a few things I have to take care of first.

You know, I don't think very much of nations. I think jingoism is a disease, I think that borders and other discontinuities of law are needlessly artificial. And I wonder at people's belief. I understand acceptance, and not fighting. I'm not out throwing molotov cocktails at National Guard tanks, but support? Believing in your country as some kind of moral force? incomprehensible.

but nations are here, and here to stay, for a while at least. And in the meantime, it's important to realize what kinds of effects these regional legal/political/military occupiers have on their local populations.

This guidebook shows very clearly how different populations rank in various categories. Some of the statistics are cultural, some are political, others geographic or organic. There isn't any real discussion on where these statistics come from, which would be the next step, but just the raw, well presented statistics, is useful enough. I don't make any promises as to the accuracy or recentness of the statistics. You can look around on your own.

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Slashdot | FAA Approves Sport Pilot License
About the Sport Pilot Certificate

Some of you may know about this from slashdot coverage, or local newspapers.

There is a new classification available to make recreational piloting more accessible. It's called the Sport Pilot Certificate, and I think it's a step forward. Amongst the interesting bits is the creation of another class of aircraft, the Sport Plane. Which is a relatively slow, relatively simple aircraft.

A very interesting point is that the Sport Planes include airships, gyrocopters, and experimental aircraft(so long as the sport-plane pilot has participated in 51% of construction) as well as Primary And Standard category aircraft, if they fall within the limitations of sport planes.



Saturday, July 17, 2004

Pad2Pad - Online custom PCB's with components

so yeah. The prices on both of these are pretty unpleasant to think about, but... this is about what you need to build arbitrary things over the internet. Now all we need is a one off chipfabber, and we'll be completely vulnerable to any decent machine intelligence with apirations of replication.

heh. This reminds me of my old attempts to design a macroscale self-replicating robot. It required enouch exotic initial design that I think it's not possible yet, but getting close.

all I need is one and some desert, sand, dirt, sunlight... it's a magic moment indeed.
eMachineShop - Online Machine Shop - with FREE CAD Software

Wednesday, July 14, 2004

arXiv.org e-Print archive

just in case you forgot, these guys are still here, too. ^_^
Physics Finder


Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Wearable computers are an interest of mine. I think it's the obvious next step, and I'm just waiting for always-on mobile internet connections before trying to make the switch myself.

Wearables aren't mainstream yet, but a certain kind of mobile computing is, cellphones. Cellphones are general computers and getting more and more powerful every day. Some people think that they are leading the way towards localization of computer and internet access. I must admit, the more powerful smartphones look a great deal like general personal computers. I could use a Treo 610 for.. almost everything except development for my job.

We'll see.

Here is a captured message from a mailing list. Thanks to Eugen Leitl for forwarding it.

From: "Thad E. Starner"
Date: Tue, 13 Jul 2004 22:40:59 -0400 (EDT)
To: wearables@cc.gatech.edu
Subject: [wearables] On-body computing outsells desktops + laptops 3:1 (sales stats)


Popular Science magazine asked me to write a "future headline"
blurb for them. What we gave them was

2015 Intel Abandons Desktop Market
(Thad Starner and James Fusia III)

In a surprise move today, Intel announced it will no longer support its
processors for the legacy desktop market. Simultaneously, the chip
giant announced five new low power processor lines for the wearable and
embedded markets. Since 2003, processors for on-body computers have
outsold desktop and laptop processors combined. Intel was best known
during that period for its relatively power hungry x86 desktop processors.

This 3:1 figure for 2003 has become part of my regular talks now. Popular
Science didn't believe the stats, so I had to point to some standard
industry sources to back it up. I thought y'all might find these
stats and pointers useful.

164M total PCs sold in 2003 (Gartner)
128M desktops+servers sold in 2003 (IDC + Gartner)
36M laptops (IDC)
510M-533M mobile phone handsets (Gartner Dataquest)
24M portable compressed (i.e. computerized) music players (InStat)
10.4M PDA sales (IDC)
600k Tablet PC sales (IDC estimate mid-2003)

Tablet PCs are not doing very well (no surprise, given that the
same idea did not do well in the early 1990s). More interesting to
me, however, is that PDA sales are declining from 12.6M in 2002 to
10.4M in 2003!! Basically, as Brad Rhodes predicted, the road to
wearables seems to be through the mobile phone.

Even more interesting, by my calculations, Nokia is now the #1
consumer computer manufacturer in the world (55M handsets vs 28M
desktop+laptop computers by HP-17% of the market). Before y'all get
on my case about that one, remember that most of Nokia's phones are
more powerful than the highest end desktop in 1990!

Here is an interesting question: How many handsets run the Symbian OS?
Or, for shock value, when will Symbian overtake Microsoft Windows as
the dominant OS platform on the planet given current growth rates? No
wonder Microsoft is fighting so hard to get into the phone market!
Not only is it the only way to continue its growth, but it may be the
only way for it to survive as we know it! (Shhh, don't tell them - do
you really want to rely on Windows for your phone calls? Think about

My prediction?: We will see the phone take over more and more of
the usual PC tasks until the PC becomes as irrelevant to the dominant
computing culture as the minicomputer or mainframe.



According to IDC desktop+notebook+ultra portable + x86 servers = 38.373M
third quarter 2003 (no handhelds).


Elsewhere, Information Week claims the PC market is expect to improve
13.6% in 2004 to 186.4M units sold using data by Gartner.


Simple algebra implies that there were actualy 164M PCs sold in 2003.
This jives with a 38M * 4 quarters estimate of 152M PCs according
to the data directly from IDC.

Elsewhere, a secondary source reports IDC expected 35M laptops to be
sold in 2003.


USA Today refines this to say IDC's number was 36M laptops


Compound Semiconducter and CNN report IDC and Gartner Dataquest
estimate 510M and 533M mobile handsets sold in 2003.


6.8M portable MP3 players shipped 2002
24M portable MP3 players 2003

PDA sales fall from 12.6M in 2003 to 10.4M in 2003

Tablet PC sales estimated at < 600k for 2003
Newswise: Moths Not Entirely Ruled by Instinct

in developing animal level cognition, I'm constantly surprised at the hidden adaptability and frankly astonishing performance that such humble creatures have.

DNA rocks your sox.

coming up on my birthday. not sure what to do about that. I'll be visiting SLC in august for a late celebration. probably in the area of the ninth for a few days.

unfortunately, I also have to be in cincinnati at the end of august for Noel's wedding, so the confluence of those two visits means each will be shorter than I might prefer.

Saturday, July 10, 2004

absolutely fabulous.

the wondrous crystal, to whom all things are owed, sent me a giant inflatable ball to sit upon at my desk. I already quite enjoy it, and am looking forward to increased dynamism and core strength in addition to comfort and such, because I sit at the desk for hours at a time.

talk about a lovely gift. The kind of thing that I'll use all the time, every day, and wouldn't have thought to get by myself.


Thursday, July 08, 2004

Some interesting discussion of Farenheit 9/11 on Quicktopic

I rather enjoyed Farenheit 9/11. It was interesting to watch the audience, largely hard-core democrats from the LA area, hoot and clap and root for their boy.

It was shameless propaganda, which I think most people got. But some haven't, and are laboring under the assumption that either the democrats or republicans are actually reporting anything like facts.

Here is a forum discussion started out with a liberal journalist collecting all the deceit in the film. It's actually surprisingly, more than I caught, which bodes badly for more credulous viewers.

Please dont' trust people whose job it is to convince you of something. that's just not a good idea.

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Feature Article

vernor vinge is a badass. This is a great story.
Adaptive Artificial Intelligence Inc. - Home

I just uploaded the latest and greatest news post on our company website, and upgraded our opportunities page. We're looking for brilliant minds, know anyone?

My time here has been very happy, and quite productive. In analysis, while my activity in most other areas is severely depressed by my isolation and focus, I am getting more concrete things accomplished than by working on my own. With a the serious plus that I'm contributing to a still greater pool of collective accomplishment, of course.

Also pluses that I know do interesting work full time. Which is actually more stressful than I would have thought. While I found part time work in unrelated fields stressful, I think I may have used it as a way to rest the less developed parts of my brain. Working here has re-introduced me to the pain of inadequate mental performance, having to self-limit work for quality, and etc. It's a good thing, though. I think my performance will ultimately rise permanently as a result of some of the mistakes I've made and learned from here.

The longer I work here, the more I think that A2I2 is really in front of anyone else in this game, and I'm glad I'm here. I do worry, occasionally, that I'm working the best I can, and being the most productive in the right places. It's not clear exactly what challenges and problems lie ahead, and I occasionally fear that I'll top out, and be unable to contribute usefully past a certain point. What would I do then? I've become very accustomed to following the edge of development, even if I lag behind in the implementation or details, in most everything I research. If I ever found anything to be honestly beyond me.. I can't really say what I would do.

And then the question would arise, what precisely can I do, in order to continue contributing towards my goals, which are currently predicated on the assumption that nothing in my path is beyond me personally. I can't very well expect others to carry me to my own goals. As much as I respect and like Peter, I can't measure by his capability and understanding, it's not mine.

Sometimes it seems like my future shrinks with each year. I can't say that I really even look much past a year from now anymore. When I was 18 I had my whole life planned out. It seems like that was a long long time ago.

Tuesday, July 06, 2004

Dub Exorcist

listen to this music. Crystal found it for me, it is very beautiful.

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Funny Stuff - Occupational Funnies - Mad Mathematicians

What if our emotions were closer to the edges of human accomplishment, rather than ancestral problems?

What kind of TV shows would we watch? What kinds of sports would be interesting to us?

We watch football and enjoy martial arts movies because they speak to primal places to us. We watch romantic comedies and tragedies because they are stories we have lived and told since time immemorial.

I honestly don't know what will happen, if we gain even the smallest rudest ability to redirect our interests and emotions. Perhaps we'll all be off like shots, laughing our heads off at incomprehensible jokes, and watching entertainment that revolves around increasingly complicated central premises.

Or perhaps we'll continue to be shaped by our human directionality, and we'll simply get team sports doing ever more interesting things, and other elaborations of human-space entertainment.

It's strange. When one contemplates great change and great possibility, I get an odd rush of protectiveness about the way I am now, and think about staying in this space for a while to really appreciate it, before running off and doing odd things willy-nilly. This tendency has grown stronger, the more I delve into futurism.

My conception of 'staying around this space' is quite different than most, I imagine.

"You can have all the bananas you want, but that's not the point." someone once said. Well, perhaps not. But I would still like to take this opportunity to enjoy the kinds of bananas I haven't heretofore been able to get, before rocketing to whatever destination I find interesting eventually.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Easy Way to Write Programs in Perl

Another reason not to like perl.

amusing math.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004


oh yeah.

I think it's instructive to reflect on our blessings as hackers in this bright season of plenty. Now every major OS has a commandline, except Windows, Apple is building supercomputers, laptops today are more powerful than desktops two years ago, software tools are being developed faster than I can index them, and google is on it's way to having global personal information searches.

It is truly an inspiring time to be a hacker, as our keystrokes grow ever weightier.

and we can give thanks with ancient chant:

Y0, Father, who 0wnz heaven, j00 r0ck!
May all 0ur base someday belong to you!
May j00 0wn earth just like j00 0wn heaven.
Give us this day our warez and mp3z thru a phat pipe.
And cut us some slack when we act like n00b lamerz,
just as we give n00bz a learnin when they r lame 2 us.
Plz don't let us Own sOme pOOr d00d'z boxen
when we're too pi-ssed off 2 think about what's right and wrong,
and if you could keep the G off our backs, we'd appreciate it
For j00 0wn all our b0x3n 4ever and ever,@&$NO CARRIER...

Monday, June 21, 2004

Well, the launch was wonderful. I'm sure you can all find better coverage of it elsewhere.

For me, these kinds of landmarks just drive home how intelligence acts as a lever to achieve what nothing else can. Very little was spent, relative to the kinds of sums we spend every day on piddling things, in order to build, test, and launch this spaceplane. It was the intelligence of the design, the foresight of the engineers, and the vision of it's planners that was showcased, and that sets it apart from almost any other space venture that has yet flown. This was not a gross display of national power, or grim flexing of military research dollars. There were few speeches about the purpose, or message meant to drive home.

That's why, as I stood on the desert playa, and squinted into the sun as the contrails climbed into the stratosphere, I could enjoy the moment, as pure unadulterated accomplishment, and promise.

What a time to be.

I had best get back to work, though. Rocketeers are not the only ones working in basements, on shoestring budgets, for great promise. One can't let Rutan have all the headlines, after all.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Well, the plans are set.

I'll be up in Mojave on monday morning to watch the first suborbital launch of SpaceShipOne.

I have to tell you. I'm very excited about this. Space is a place we should have been trying much harder to get to. I've wanted to be there since I was very young. It's where we'll really grow up, once we can leave the gentle nursery of our Earth.

Burt Rutan has been at the forefront of airframe experimentation for a while now, and with the backing of Paul Allen, I think he'll do it again.

Friday, June 18, 2004

Well, another day, another day.

I have to admit, I was a little dissapointed with what I got done today. Now, unlike many days, I had very specific and achievable goals, which I did complete. But I felt as if I was muddling along, being distracted and unfocused, wasting cycles by having unclear strategy.

I've tried many things, to be more effective. I've tried task scheduling, I've tried various self-management techniques. I have tried over-organization, tried emotional ties, tried self-reward, aversive training, combinations of the above... etc etc.

I am effective. I do a lot in an average day, though to many outside it does not seem so. I know that I have trouble renormalizing my priorities with what many consider standard. Things that fail some personal criterion fall very low, sometimes to my detriment. I know I'll never be terribly good at managing money, for example, and I have some understanding of where the holes in my competence are, and for various reasons, am not planning to try to rectify it too strongly. Entangled factors. There is also the conservation of inertia. It's hard enough to change yourself, it's best to direct what will I have into areas that are more pressing, and more rewarding.

But, as things go, I have somewhat complicated ways of motivating, ordering, and planning for my various initiatives. They work, to a greater or lesser extent.

But today showed me more flaws in it. So I'm tearing many of them out, and starting afresh. I have a new system, which I'll need to drill into myself with various minders, and a new set of tricks. Hopefully, en total, I'll get more performance per mental unit of effort. We'll see.

I'll note details of my system as they get worked out more clearly. And also as they get deprecated or raised based on experience.

But the experiment, I think, will be at least interesting, and I hypothesize, effective.

A raised glass to all you self-analyzers and mind-hackers out there. May you be more of who you are.

Thursday, June 17, 2004

Well, a bit of a run, and a bit of progress.

went running this afternoon with louise and josh, found a decently fun little park with a series of exercises along a path, called a parcourse. I used to see these kinds of things in cincinnati in public areas, didn't think much of them, but today, being in an excercise-ish mood, I went through the course.

It wasn't too bad. I may go back. We'll see.

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Well, yesterday Alexis went back to Texas with Marni, his girlfriend.

Sadly, Alexis won't be joining our merry band here at A2I2, but I hope the best for him. The weekend was quite interesting regardless, and did remind me of what an interesting setup we have here. Nothing like presenting your life to a stranger to make you aware of it's ideosyncrasies.

And it's benefits. I know that I'm lucky to have such a job, where my personal ambitions mesh so well with the mandate and ambitions of others. It's too bad that everyone can't have such situations. I guess it's another argument for entreprenuer-ship, which I was planning to have to do myself when this came along. But some people, myself included, are not well suited for such things.

I have many talents but financial sense is not one of them, and not one I'm particularly interested in developing.

hmph. back to work. I do so enjoy being busy without being desperate.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Alexis Kostibas, a young man I know not at all, is visiting us here in sunny LA.

Here's here to face the inquisition, to run the deadly gauntlet to be employed at a2i2.

well, we're not quite that picky. But the job has it's own filters. Almost nobody is actually interested in this stuff to this degree. Fewer have opinions that are compatible, much less similar on the subject. And fewer still can move out and become a monk of AI, for the promise of success, and possible deferred riches, and not much over that.

I enjoy it when people come out. I remember Josh's visit. Paul's, Jeff's, have been privy to a few of the applicants that have bounced off michael.

It reminds me of when I came out here, which was really the first time I met transhumanists in person, having been an internetter entire. I got to talk in person to people about things I've largely been writing to myself about for a long time. It was a really nice time. I enjoyed it, and it was a real turning point in my year, as you can expect.

I can hope that it's just as fun and influential for Alexis, whether he gets the job or not.

I here quote Jakita Wagner, of WildStorm's perfect "Planetary"

"These are the moments I live for. I put up with all the other crap just to get seconds like this. The moments when you know the world is a better place than advertised."
"Aside from a few yarns my boss tells after four bottles of sake, I had no idea the world was other than advertised."
"I envy you, Mr. Wilder. You're about to discover the depth of the strangeness and beauty the world holds."

Tuesday, June 08, 2004


I'm back in the world of the internet. I just spend the weekend in SLC, being disconnected, seeing friends, hanging out with Crystal, and generally having a good time.

The backlog of emails upon my return was truly horrifying, but I soldier on.

I also get to work on my very interesting tasks here at a2i2 again. You know you have it bad when you miss your job when you're dozing in the arms of a beautiful girl. I actually took notes on some ideas I had whilst away, and upon getting back, tried implementing them. Note to self, don't trust yourself when away from a computer. Really, my quality of ideas when I can't google, can't check the codebase, can't easily experiment is much reduced. Perhaps this points towards the need for a laptop? I don't know. I have a relatively old laptop here, but it has a failed battery, and I'm reluctant to spend any money getting it working.

Ah, the sea, I missed it.

Thursday, June 03, 2004

Home / Mono

Um, Holy fucking shit.

.NET is the thing that Microsoft is counting on to lock developers into using Windows.

Mono is an attempt to build a free implementation of the .NET Development Framework.

I repeat, Holy fucking shit. If they succeed in this, they could have completely invalidated everything Microsoft is trying to do here. A free open source implementation would lay all their advantages to use by anyone who can spare the programmers to adapt it for whatever platform they please.

You could run anything you have the code for on.. say, OSX, or even Solaris. Or Win98. Why hasn't this project been nuked from orbit yet? Have they already faced the legal challenge?

This is something real, and something dangerous. This is bigger than linux getting a better windows manager, bigger than OSX going up a few points in mindshare. bigger than iPods, bigger than anything I can think of.

Why is this website still up?

Monday, May 31, 2004

SL4 Wiki: CollectiveVolition

Interesting thing. I've deleted my original comments, as the paper has changed somewhat, but I expect to re-enter them predictably soon, when I have a concrete reaction.

This morning we went on a decent length hike up the santa monicas with peter, josh, todd, louise, and I. Me and Peter spent a good deal of the hike talking about this paper, it's relationship to the work we're doing, and our own ideas on the subject. We of course, didn't manage to explore everything, but I found a good deal of things to think about, it was very absorbing.

Also, the mountains, lovely. There are some really smashing homes up there, which we saw at various heights and perspectives as we tromped upward and back. It would really be lovely to be able to live in a place like that, I think. Of course, this is to be contrasted with my love of high density residential environments, so take that for what it's worth.

Crystal is thinking of visiting me this month, which has me rather excited. There are many lovely things around here, the beaches, the boardwalk, my nice new home, the various splendors of california. I've wanted to share them, and she may be here in as little as two weeks, if all goes well. That will be pretty nice.

Also, Emily Vaughn, yes, that Emily, for those who know me. She has been talking to me, and is getting me to possibly visit out in Baltimore for a weekend. She's putting her own money into it, so she must want to see me for real. That should happen late this month. I'd finally be able to see the city of Poe and catch up with an old old friend.

Busy times, friends.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Interesting day today.

Well, yesterday.

We made a big upgrade to our categorization logic, which gave me a lot to do today. With all the changes and simultaneous additions, I got to spend today separating the variables, and stepping through the process to find all the interesting new behaviors.

I also got to the beach, a bit of exercise.

I went to the Local City Library to see if they had Octavio Paz(there's a pretty good spanish section around here) Whilst I was out I went over to Rainbow Acres, this health food store we order from. I missed picking up the last shipment, and had to re-order, and thought they might have it today. I might have guessed, they were not hopeful about the delivery chances. They said they'd call me when it came in. :-(

I guess I can't be upset, since it's my own fault for missing the first shipment, but I can't help but wish more companies had integrated supply relationship like Amazon or other direct order companies. They have nearly no standing inventory, but manage to get you your order within a few days. Business to Business communication has really been revolutionized by the internet.

It always bothers me when people say 'internet' and mean the web. The internet is a hell of a lot more than webpages, and most of the interesting bits aren't accessible via browser.

Hmm, sleep, I think.

My Radial Basis Network Component 0wnz j00.

Thursday, May 27, 2004

Wait, why did I do that?
Your wings are BROKEN and tattered. You are
an angelic spirit who has fallen from grace for
one reason or another - possibly, you made one
tragic mistake that cost you everything. Or
maybe you were blamed for a crime you didn't
commit. In any case, you are faithless and
joyless. You find no happiness, love, or
acceptance in your love or in yourself. Most
days are a burden and you wonder when the
hurting will end. Sweet, beautiful and
sorrowful, you paint a tragic and touching
picture. You are the one that few understand.
Those that do know you are likely to love you
deeply and wish that they could do something to
ease your pain. You are constantly living in
memories of better times and a better world.
You are hard on yourself and self-critical or
self-loathing. Feeling rejected and unloved,
you are sensitive, caring, deep, and despite
your tainted nature, your soul is
breathtakingly beautiful.

Image is a painting by Natalya Nesterova,

*~*~*Claim Your Wings - Pics and Long Answers*~*~*
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Buckminster Fuller - MediaWiki: " * 'You may very appropriately want to ask me how we are going to resolve the ever-acceleratingly dangerous impasse of world-opposed politicians and ideological dogmas. I answer, it will be resolved by the computer.'

* 'While no politician or political system can ever afford to yield understandably and enthusiastically to their adversaries and opposers, all politicians can and will yield enthusiastically to the computers safe flight-controlling capabilities in bringing all of humanity in for a happy landing.'"

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Danny Hillis on Aristotle as a tutor, and how to recapture the dynamic

This is really a nifty exploration of the idea, not terribly new to me, but it's nice to see it all in one place.
JP Aerospace - America's OTHER Space Program

PongSats and Dark Sky Stations, now that's just fun.
MSNBC - Airship groomed for flight to edge of space

I can't even tell you how cool this is. Any private company with the balls to predict a permanent station at 130,000 feet with industrial capability, well, I just have to meet this guy.

Looks like it's mostly volunteers. That gives me some hope, as to how much can be done without funding.

I love their nomenclature.

I'm going to investigate this a bit, I've always been fascinated by Buckminster Fuller's Cloud 9 idea. I have no idea whether it would really work or not. maybe these people would know.

I wonder if they've investigated tetrahedal truss structures for dirigibles.

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

Isaac Asimov's I, Robot & the 3
Laws of Robotics.

A campaign by some well intentioned folk trying to hook into whatever publicity the upcoming blockbuster movie may spill into actual analysis of the complex topics of intelligent creations, and their relationship to us.

The Three Laws were a thematic element that Asimov used to create dramatic situations. It's basically building the capability for paradox into intelligent systems through explicit absolute statements.

They were never intended as a workable system. The only nearly workable Law was the Zeroth Law, which killed it's inventor, and was never explored to my satisfaction.

More horribly than this, the movie upcoming appears not only to ignore this issue, but posit some kind of magical subversion of the Laws, rather than the issues arising from them. In Asimov's stories, the robots never break their Laws, ever, in any way. But the interaction of the Laws and reality cause massively silly and evil things to happen, despite their inviolate nature.

proscriptive Laws of this nature are of course insufficient for a self modifying system of any kind. even an unintelligent one.

This is the death of Girard, for those familiar with the Asimov mythos.
Back and working.

Excellent trip, excellent time. I'll write more later, for the time being, I'm reveling in the smell of the sea, my familiar desk, and bemoaning my re-isolated state.

Thank you for a good weekend, kids.

Especially Crystal.

Friday, May 14, 2004

An interesting day.

First, wrapping up this round of investigation into category nodes, a recently implemented grouping and associative mechanism before I leave on my weekend trip.

Interesting stuff.

Also, we had the first of what may become weekly lunches and discussions here at a2i2. We raised more general and philsophical issues, in terms of assumptions, differences of opinion, and so on. Being that we work as we do, most of it centered around AI, of course, but we did manage to have a bit of discussion of Objectivism, personal histories, etc.

One of the more interesting topics was a discussion of whether or not human intelligence represents anything unusual in intelligence-space, that is, if intelligent entities would have any reason to reach human intelligence, or have any special difficulty surpassing it.

Also raised, the subject of whether external safeguards and engineering caution can reduce the risk of mislaid cognitive design, or pathological goal systems. (Me and Peter agree, No)

Also raised, and tabled till next week, whether or not an intelligent being can be directed by an explicit goal system without the being 'escaping' out from under it, either pathologically, or intentionally. (Strong Disagreement here, I state that a properly designed goal system can be known to be directional, consistent, and stable(the consistency and desireability of the goals.. another issue). Peter states that goal systems can't 'constrain' intelligence systems knowably. We'll see next week.)


group discussion of our efficacy as a team, with specific inquiries into my habits, productivity, communications, role, etc. Mostly positive of course(being such a genius and asset to any such team ;-) but some useful criticism, and some genuinely new ideas emerge.

As I said in the meeting today, it is my goal to grow as a person, to become the person that I want to be. And I'll do that by hook or by crook. I'm willing to accept certain unpleasantries or detours to get it. I've always found Crocker's Rules to be self-evident, if properly interpreted.

the common and (in my opinion) far less useful definition being the suspension of social niceties for communicative puposes. My own interpretation being that it's formatting exchanges for communication first, which in many cases includes social niceties as a consideration. Humans are social creatures with social instincts. Ignoring that would be stupid.

Communication is about getting the other person to understand, which requires some consideration of a great many factors, not just making the information available. (to take extreme case: it has to be in the right language for the recipient)

Tomorrow I'm leaving on a jet plane, to go to SLC to visit people I miss. Crystal, Josh, Liz, Jer, Loren, Andy, Liz, Tavish, Cory, Zac, my brother aaron, andrea, and even my mother (my father is out of town.) all will see me, and I haven't seen them in some time.

I plan on enjoying myself a great deal on my little mini vacation, and probably will be incommunicado to anyone not on the above list.

I'm back on Tuesday, and will no doubt be full of stories, new ideas, and new energy(since I'm such a sluggardly, uncreative, silent person at the moment ;-) .

But who knows, maybe I'll answer some email while I'm there. You could try....

Sunday, May 09, 2004

today at low tide I went and made a sand castle. I carried water in my hands so I could sculpt the walls. I dug the canals, I piled high the tower.

A young boy watched me work for a while, his own sand creations forgotten, but his family was leaving, and he walked away, still looking at my lonely castle, too close to the sea.

when the tide rolled in, the walls held through the pounding, and the canals held the disintegrating outer defenses. The castle held together long enough to be completely surrounded by water when the sea finally crossed the outside walls, and began eating at the last defenses around the tower. A rolling wave carried enough away to begin to eat the bottom from it.

The tower was finally destroyed by the back motion of surf, carrying away too much foundation sand.

It was the longest one has ever lasted.

I was still sad to see it go. But I survived, and will create another. And it will be greater.

Saturday, May 08, 2004


i finally bought my ticket to visit SLC. I'll be coming in on Friday, and leaving very early tuesday. The best deal I could get, really, because of weekend rates and so on. I'll be spending much of the time with crystal, she's picking me up from the airport, and has offered most kindly to allow me to stay at her house.

I hope to see people, have some fun, pick up some stuff I had to leave there.

I'll be seeing the gaming gang on saturday, hopefully. It's been too long since. I'll be staying at Liz's house that night, to sleep after the madness dies down.

a few days is not a heck of a lot of time to see people and do things. and the more I think about it, the more tempted I am to just spend it with crystal and a few selected others. Why try so hard? I am trying to have a good time.

If you'd like to see me while I'm in town, email, IM, or call. I have some plans already set, but we can grab a bite to eat and talk at the very least.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Quidditch and Directed Evolution

A pdf on an interesting attempt to use the robocup soccer model to make proficient software quidditch agents.

It looks like the model suffers from the lack of detail in JK Rowling's published Quidditch rules. But the overall concept appears to be complex enough to get some really interesting behaviors. In general, I would tend to think that this is such an evaluative shifting game, that really good software agents will be hard to come by. But then, the way it's described, I don't think that humans would be very good at quidditch either. We're basically flat earth creatures. True 3D problems would confuse and tire us, likely. But then, we're playing against other humans, so, there would be a balancing effect.

Most players would spend a lot of time nursing bludger wounds, I think.

The idea of creating a sport that is inherently difficult for humans is somewhat appealing, making it interesting and fun to play is difficult, and making it actualizable is even harder. Ah for a decent virtual environment and some decent design tools.

so very interesting...

Monday, May 03, 2004

ad_nutrigrain_ifeelgreat.mov (video/quicktime Object)

There is something about this commercial that gives me energy, makes me feel, great.

would that we all had such energy. I play it this morning, to make me feel alive.

I saw Man on Fire yesterday, finally.

It is as I said earlier Denzel can play damned characters better than anyone. This movie is another piece of wonderfulness. It contains over the top lines, insanity, Favorite that you've probably already seen in the trailer:

"A man can be an artist, in anything. It just depends on how good he is at it. Creisy's art is death. And he's about to paint his masterpiece. He'll deal out more justice, than ten years of your courts, just stay out of his way."

The movie is full of irrational, crazy people acting in irrational crazy ways. But the forcible conclusions are implacable, and obvious from the beginning. Creisy finds some place of normalcy, some dignity, some joy. And it's ripped from him. And so in response he falls, falls into depravity and violence and hatred ever more terrible than even before he was saved.

Ah the tragic fugue.

I think I will buy this movie. not for the violence, or the for the explosions, or even for beautiful artistic tony scott moments(of which there are perhaps too many).

but for the silences, the quiet moments he manages to find in all this orgiastic slaughter.

Creisy floating in a pool, crying, his wounds staining the water around him as he tries to heal.

Lupita's mother and Creisy, sitting in her room, unable to say anything.

Creisy, standing in the rain, the question so obvious on his face. "why am I still alive?". Lupita's face at the window, for a moment.

She's a wonderful actress, that little girl. I hope she doesnt' grow up like drew barrymore. I hope she keeps making films where I don't mind that the director has an agenda. And that I rewrite in my dreams the next time I sleep.

I had a good sunday.

And I'll have a good week. I think.

Sunday, May 02, 2004

Billy Joel - Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel) lyrics

late at night, sing to her as she sleeps. i miss it.....

Saturday, May 01, 2004

Penny Arcade!

Yes. I need to get my roommates out more often. Joshua is beginning to act like this.

Thursday, April 29, 2004

ha ha!

It's interesting. Since moving out to LA, I've often felt that my timesense was kind of compressed. The days seem longer, more is packed into a week. Perhaps it's all the activity here, plus the pace things move. I'll often get an email from someone, smile, and begin to write an email admonishing them to write more often, and realize that they wrote me a letter yesterday.

Similarly, I'll look at my blog, and blanch at four or five posts in two days. Of course, sometimes I won't have a post for half a week. It's not a responsibility, just an activity.

I like having full days, and misjudging how long it's been. It makes me feel like I'm accomplishing, and filling my time. I imagine my timesense will adjust to this new situation of people and things, and so much interaction. But for the time being, it's quite nice.

I had a meeting with Peter today, to setup a review for me, how I've been doing, stuff like that. I found it very interesting. It's odd how one can live in the same house, talk to someone every day, and certain situations can facilitate different kinds of conversation than is usually accessible to you.

It makes me feel like I should have quasi-formal meetings with all my friends, to make sure interesting things aren't hiding beneath the surface.

I wonder if part of the bliss of romantic entanglement isn't that the glow of love gives everything a tinge of importance, and you find that you are not limited to talk about what seems to skim naturally off the surface. You talk and talk and talk, and you are truly sharing everything you can with that person.

It gives new meaning to honesty, in that light. Perhaps real honesty isn't just revising your rules for disclosure, but revising one's sense of 'appropriate-ness'. So that not so much waits for it's proper moment, much less is suppressed in favor of abstract privacy, or to conceal unpleasantness or disingeneous activity.

Wednesday, April 28, 2004

Jef's Web Files | Empathy, Energy, Efficiency, Extropy

oh, someday.

Nick Bostrom writes this allegory very nicely. I have a tendency to poeticise, or to abstract. I use details as they may, but here Nick finds happy medium between metaphor and useful realities. It's rare that a fable has footnotes, but I suppose that's just his fine education showing through.

I am reminded again of Bad Religion's "Sorrow" which I sing along with hope.
It's interesting to use the wayback machine to find extinct websites. It's useful, but one gets the feeling that one is treading on thin ice. It is slow and not all the links are backed up, the webpages have the feel of ephemera, as though they may blow away in the wind if looked at too closely.

I must remember to backup my blog in some format or another locally, in case google ever decides to try to make or save money on blogspot and blogger accounts.

Tuesday, April 27, 2004

ah, I have the best job in the whole world.

Sunday, April 25, 2004

Disneyland Resort - The official Web site for the Disneyland Resort in Southern California!

Yeah. Disneyland.

I spent friday saturday and most of sunday with the fam at the happiest place this side of a hot hotel room. disneyland.

It was crowded and crazy, but fun. quite sunny, quite nuts. They have this new fastpass system which makes lines better sometimes, but usually just means more walking.

So many families. One would think the whole world were middle america, yeasty, sweaty, bulging and embittered, trailing children and losing money.

Well, that's a bit uncharitable. People were a bit more varied than that. But they were all losing money, of course.

ah, for childhood. I am quite refreshed and happy. Back to work!

Friday, April 23, 2004

oh, dont' worry about changing the pointers. I'm still outlawpoet@hell.com

google can fix that too.
heh heh heh heh....


it's more beautiful than I could have imagined, and more powerful than I could have ever dreamed!

mwa ha ha ha!

Thursday, April 22, 2004

This is the greatest sentence I've ever read. I just saw it on OK Cupid.

"I am mature, grounded, and a Jedi."

Let that sink in.

I'm going to a meeting, do some intelligent work, and then perhaps return to that.

Me and Josh have completed a collossal, nay, herculean task, and confirmed the functionality of the new full suite of tests. Also, the command to goal environment seems perky and better. I'll run more detailed analysis of it tomorrow.

Now I go to sleep. And well deserved it is. Tomorrow some more things, scanning, cognitive review. Coming up this weekend, possibly hanging out with family, maybe even a few dinners and disneyland? nuts, I haven't been there in a long time.

Thank you to the people who have messaged me and kept me happy and working and interested through this kind of hard day, pramila, zia, crystal, hiro, and gretchen.

I may sleep straight through tonight. a nice thought, if I didn't feel so worn. I like the feeling of lazy emptiness in my muscles though. it would be a floppy sort of relaxedness had I anywhere to flop or anyone to flop upon.

(Now Playing) Cake - Walk On By

Wednesday, April 21, 2004


micheal and josh are sleeping(napping) really. but I want to finish this environment first.

maybe I'll go for a walk. I shouldn't sleep too much in the middle of the day, I'll get even more out of whack than I am.
Father can you hear me ?
How have I let you down ?
I curse the day that I was born
And all the sorrow in this world

Let me take you to the hurting ground,
Where all good men are trampled down.
Just to settle a bet that could not be won
Between a prideful father and his son.
Will you guide me now, for I can't see
A reason for the suffering and this long misery
What if every living soul could be upright and strong
Well, then I do imagine:

There will be; sorrow
Yeah there will be; sorrow
And there will be sorrow no more

When all soldiers lay there weapons down
Or when all kings and all queens relinquish their crowns
Or when the only true messiah rescues us from ourselves
It's easy to imagine:

There will be sorrow
Yeah there will be; sorrow
And there will be sorrow no more

There will be sorrow
Yeah there will be sorrow
And there will be sorrow no more

There will be sorrow,
Yeah there will be; sorrow.
And There Will Be: sorrow no more

---Bad Religion