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

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
God, I barely manage to wake up, drag myself to the computer, check my email, and now I'm upset, I feel like I should throw up. Indifference is so crushing. No matter how you try to prepare yourself for it...

That hope against hope when you see the possibility, and you look, and you were wrong. But you already knew that.

I hate being sad this way. It's so preventable, so easy to see. But I still pretend it might not happen. That there will be a day without it.

Someday it won't always be just confirmation of fears... dreaming of a day it isn't so almost makes it worse.
Ha, interesting day.

my mother is in LA today. she is here for a conference. She visited tonight, met my coworkers, and toured the place. We went to Gaby's mediterrenean.

Now I'm back, trying to get some work done, but life and people and internet keep intruding. I think I have a good concept for this environment, but I'm not sure. Running the experiment....

I like the way our internal scripting language has kind of taken shape. It's still very special purpose and hackish, but it has gotten massivly more general pretty quickly. Most expressive.

I still miss the generality of python, though. Maybe I'll bring it up someday? I should probably look into the difficulty of embedding it before I speak up. The relearning curve might be hideous. I don't know. We have put a decent amount of work into this parser, but I'm trying to think of it in terms of total efficiency, rather than sunk investment.

Tuesday, April 20, 2004

HIROAPHASIA: - Tactile distopia

ah, a girl who challenges my literary opinions! another rambler, another borderline insomniac. I am reading the backlog now... so fascinating, the streams of thought.. does she think the way she writes, like I do?

does she imagine someone reading her posts? who is it? my voice is so variable, so contextual, this blog can't be said to have a style or tone. It flinches and stretches and fits where it must.

As some of you may or may not know, of the art that I make, poetry is the most accesible to me, and sculpture the most interesting. Currently, all I really do with sculpture is build complex sandcastles on my lunch breaks.

But today I was thinking of mechanical sculpture, those wonderful, interactive, mobile pieces of art that usually mean steely clangy things, springs and nuovo industrial motifs. This needn't be the case, of course, one could just as easily construct frameworks out of bamboo, or wood, or flowing plastics. they could be silently electric, noisily electric, water powered, gravity powered, air rams, etc etc. I've really been kind of dissapointed with the variety that I've seen.

But that aside, I was thinking that mechanical sculpture does present an opportunity for finite art. In that you could construct an enfolding experience that cannot be preserved. Suppose you make a sculpture that is folded and boring. The viewer walks up, presses the view button. The sculpture comes alive, unfolds into it's appointed experience, give the viewer his show, and then retreats to it's folded state. But it changes in the enfolding. perhaps it damages it's framework. perhaps it simply changes.

And a counter, showing the times the button has been pressed, increments. 201 views. And one day, when the button is pressed, that is the end. The sculpture breaks, or freezes, or simply shuts down, never again to flower. The art dies, and is only now a corpse, existing in the memories of those who have seen it. And whatever fragmentary records might exist, those who tried to videotape the unfolding, pictures of parts of the unfolding. written accounts, are all that is left. (although the creator, being nice, might have included instructions on how to build another one even so, the 'original experience' is gone.).

Taking it further, it should be possible to create a sculpture that reacts differently every single time the button is pressed. movements of increasing or decreasing complexity, gracefully failing components, etc etc. This is personal art, every single viewer has a truely unique relationship with.

Imagine the sticker price of a sculpture with just ten views left on it, imagine how focusing it would be. People would be desperate to see it, to appreciate it. And that would of course, add to what they see. Add to what it means.

I should talk to a mechanical engineer about graceful degradation, and how useful it is as a concept.

This of course, could be done in a very cheesy way, with simple counters and deactivation, but I think it's more meaningful, and less cheap if the death of the art is from actual change, rather than imposed change. It's lifetime should be inherent in the structure, not added with an electronic counter and a motor.

Ah, for more free time. I think I'll see if I can't whip up a prototype in autoCAD or something, when I have a moment.
aah, talking to my beautiful loveliness friend Jessica, who is married, and lives in St. Louis. She sent me a picture of her dog and her at the computer.


I met jessica through my old friend Isaac, whom I haven't talked to in some time(too bad that, he introduced me to MST3K, something I've never properly thanked him for.

He also shared my love of SegaCD rpgs.

She was not married at the time, obviously, and I thought her very fetching. Sadly, we never really 'in real life' got together because of various factors, and distance, and then she went and got married, and that was the end of that particular issue.

I still talk to her, though. And she has taught me quite clearly that one must be very careful about the relationships, communications, and entanglements one gets involved with. She's taught me about emotional communications, how that interaces with honesty, and what morals are involved.

I'm quite glad to know her, she has made me grow as a person, as a rationalist, and as an emotional being.

that being said, I'm still quite sad I never got in her pants. She is an object lesson, seize what you want! I am off to write an email! I shall do this email now! quickly, and with great passion. ..

and it is done.

Sunday, April 18, 2004

WTA Death Watch

Oh, it's so easy to focus when you have a goal....
Free Accommodation world wide through Hospitality Exchange - Hospitality Club

This is quite interesting. I would consider it, if I had a home.

I know that the Esperanto league had something similar a while back, although I'm not aware of whether or not it's still active. More subcultures should have traveling reciprocal accomodations, that would create more unity, I think.

I will look into the concept. It would make traveling and gathering for geographically separated tribes much easier.

Saturday, April 17, 2004

The end justifies the memes.
Today I was reminded of a project I've tried my best to forget because of the painful and hideous loss involved.

Some time ago, I spend a good deal of time developing a documentation program called Document Designr, whose primary function was to enable the production and navigation of very complex design specifications, and other networks of interdependent description/notes or text.

Basically it was an XML data format that encapsulated XHTML text files, with the extension, predictably enough of .ddd . It was implemented as an XUL application, on Mozilla 1.4, so it could use the Mozilla Composer to manage the XHTML, and other components for various functions, navigation, rendering, compression, etc etc. It was a very clever idea that I got from someone else, who was quite looking forward to the development, I think.

Then I lost all the data, and all the work.

In fact I lost all my data. My journals, my databases, my online texts, my carefully hoarded archived mails, websites, pictures, lists. It totally derailed me. I had come to rely on the portion of myself I had documented and offloaded onto the computer. In the larger tragedy, DocDesignr was lost. I never reopened the work, and the sourceforge project remains completely empty. It's an object lesson in the neccesity for remote backups and other basic issues.

Today I was reminded of it. I work at an AI research firm, which means our main currency is in ideas. We investigate things, write about them, implement them, and research more. Our conclusions we come to through consensus, meeting, tests, and a bit of luck. Unfortunately, we generate a lot of ideas. And our discussions raise more. Last month, we produced about 40 documents. This represents maybe half of the total issues we dealt with. Many exist only as memories of words spoken at a brainstorming session, and some brief notes on a paper easel we have.

Even with issues and projects we have written documentation on, much information exists as experience, or things discovered after the documentation is written, but too small to warrant a rewrite.

Today I reopened a task we researched and discussed last month. To my shame, I had to open the document and spend several minutes reviewing it before I could even be certain I remembered completely the conversations we had on it. I should spend some time flipping through the easel archives to ensure I don't miss points raised in brainstorming. And even when I've done that, I won't be certain I haven't lost something in the intervening month.

This is obviously suboptimal. But what is the alternative? More documents? Already navigating the folder with the last month's is dependent on previous experience, and a good feel for what indicates content. The overhead involved in writing everything we do down is already considerable, and time spent writing down ideas is time spent not having them, particulalry when such ideas do not strike as part of the composition process, but in brainstorming meeting, review, or in working with a particular test case.

More time gathering information? I could requiz everyone involved in the original spec and research, collating their responses into an updated document, but that would take time, and could even introduce recollection errors. the responses might not agree, and which one would I take as authoritative. When does review and research become re-research of the original issue?

It's interesting to note that there are two divergent issues here, although related, seem to indicate differing solutions. One, the generation of more and better documentation regarding work done. More bits recorded and accessible. Two, the documentation that currently exists is already too unwieldy to navigate with precision and too time-wasting to keep up.

I think, however, that there is a single dynamic that holds a partial answer to both.

It's interesting here to diverge into a quick overview of a company that speaks very closely to the issue at hand. Google. In the news recently for their email initiative, gmail. I don't know how many of all you keep records of all your emails. But, particularly if you write many, you really should keep them all. You'd be surprised how much data lies therein, and how useful it is. But beyond what you remember, the navigation quickly becomes one of threads and dates. Imagine, however, that every email you've sent or recieved lies within the reach of a single search engine. And not just a port of grep or a simple text matching box, but the fastest, most complicated, most semantic searching parser in the world, hooked up to the biggest map of the internet, and indeed all information in the world. Now that would be magic. It's enough to put up with nearly any price. And it certainly seems that google is counting on this.Privacy concerns aside: The strange thing here is that google, unlike most distributed targeted services, only gets better the more people use it. Every bit in the database more makes the database that much more relevant and comprehensive. It's to their advantage to nearly give storage space away, and they seem to recognize this. Witness gmail's vaunted gigabyte of storage space. People imagine they are taking advantage of google, when they are literally handing google the keys to their data, and providing more context, more categorization, and more associative links for free.

Google's strategy points to a solution to the smaller domain of project documentation that sparked this entry. The dynamic that will solve the two seemingly contradictory problems. The solution isn't pruning, or increased documentation overhead. It's far simpler than that. The solution is to simplify, enlarge, and integrate the data, just as google attempts to do. Do all you can to get all the data into a common database(google parses pdf's, meta-tags, pictures, news, rdf, html, txt, powerpoint, auto-translates, and god knows what else now, all to get it into a big honking map of links and keywords.) then keep it all. Don't filter, don't delete. Don't manage it as a total resource, but manage it per request. Pre associate as much as you can, but don't try to semanticise past your parser's capability. Remember vivisimo? yeah, me too, just barely.

I remember the first time I ran a search across a database of IRC logs, archived email, personal documentation, and journal entries. It was like watching points leap out from the darkness. It was like having a perfect memory, like I used to think I had. imagine such a search, including email send and received, google's webpages, google groups, google news. auto-translated pages from elsewhere in the world. autotranslated emails from people in those countries. a true constellation of data, all ruthlessly ripped through to generate a itemized list, organized by relevance, and served with a timer printed at the top, gloating at it's own speed.

For the special case of projects like this, I imagine some great cousin to my poor abandoned baby DocDesignr, logs of conversations, raw text of personal notes. Data from tests and output from software. formal design documents. outlines of brainstorms. drawn pictures. all related not just by content, but by date/time entered, by relationships associated at parsetime, or later added automatically, or intentionally. related according to information obtained during the parsing of other documents. presented as a huge honking network of interlinks and keywords. browseable from a known starting point, or searchable. Representing the sum total of data, but never presenting more than relates to each request.

Add a bidirectional interface, allowing explicit relationships to be drawn, text to be amended and appended. present the database as a network of arbitrary hierarchies and heterarchies, mix it into a distributed, ever growing network resource, and you'd really have something.

Ironically enough, the service I'm describing is quite possible. It may even be somewhat the direction google intends to move. It's probably incredibly useful for nearly everything. It would likely make my job a hell of a lot easier to have such a thing to work with. But I am not the person to develop it. I dont' know who is. It's easier than AI, it's more commercial than AI, and it would probably skyrocket the successful inventors to superstardom. Sadly, it is at best an enabler for my own research, and even if I had incredible free time for it, I likely am not enough of a databaser or software engineer to do it myself. Oh, but I can imagine it so well I can taste it.

Perhaps I should look at my surviving notes and documentation on docdesignr after all. I could probably get by on an hour less sleep a night.....
distance is a hideous beast
invisible and featureless
invincible, invulnerable.
You can only go around it.
a plane, a phone, a letter.

There are no bullets silvered
no potion.

All you can do is pack, and move.

Or bear it's presence.

Thursday, April 15, 2004

QDB: Quote #271540

God I hate that they've done this to that book. Why? Why not just call it "Matrix, the ripoff?"

Some entertainment news is most depressing.
Futurama: Can it be True!?

Futurama is really one of the better shows I've seen. It's faster than the Simpsons, and much fresher. It was never really given much of a chance though.

Maybe if the Simpson's voice actors keep striking for more money Futurama will be commercially viable. It was very expensive to produce, according to Groening.

The Family Guy was quite amusing, and a bit lower brow, obviously. And it did phenomenally well in DVD sales. It's reportedly in production again for next season, which is encouraging.

I think that entertainment is a good barometer for certain kinds of interactions between business and social winds. Better entertainment means a better climate of communication.

More amusing bits is good. Let's hope someone notices the rabid fanbase things like Family Guy, Futurama, Invader Zim, etc produce, and gives a new show a stable timeslot and a steady funding level.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

BBC NEWS | World | Europe | Anti-Barbie becomes Russian icon

This gives me hope. If not for the United States, at least somewhere, people are just tired of it. Seeds of taste, seeds of perception. Ahh.

My day is better.

Props to Warren Ellis for noticing this in his blog first. Even were he not a celebrity blogger, I would read, he always has good things.

Ah, the world is strange. But it's trying to change. Let's help it along as best we can.
Loren Teryl: adorably green...

it's interesting that I'm so willing to sacrifice sleep for what I consider a good cause, when I know that often I'm at a loss for it. Sleep is a limiting resource, but I rarely treat it as such.

Loren is a good guy, who has many doubts, but a few blinding moments of clarity. It's really worth any amount of trouble to be near people who can see through the intervening layers to the artistry of others, and the situations we find ourselves in.

Seeing what is, and what was meant to be accurately is a very great resource, Loren, you should learn to value it, and yourself more highly.

Monday, April 12, 2004

This is the greatest and best song in the world... Tribute.

Long time ago me and my brother Kyle here,
we was hitchhikin' down a long and lonesome road.
All of a sudden, there shined a shiny demon... in the middle... of the road.
And he said:
'Play the best song in the world, or I'll eat your soul.' (soul)
Well me and Kyle, we looked at each other,
and we each said... 'Okay.'
And we played the first thing that came to our heads,
Just so happened to be,
The Best Song in the World, it was The Best Song in the World.

Look into my eyes and it's easy to see
One and one make two, two and one make three,
It was destiny.
Once every hundred-thousand years or so,
When the sun doth shine and the moon doth glow
And the grass doth grow...

Needless to say, the beast was stunned.
Whip-crack went his schwumpy tail,
And the beast was done.
He asked us: '(snort) Be you angels?'
And we said, 'Nay. We are but men.'
Ahhh, ahhh, ahhh-ah-ah,
Ohhh, whoah, ah-whoah-oh!

This is not The Greatest Song in the World, no.
This is just a tribute.
Couldn't remember The Greatest Song in the World, no, no.
This is a tribute, oh, to The Greatest Song in the World,
All right! It was The Greatest Song in the World,
All right! It was the best muthafuckin' song the greatest song in the world.
[2-part skat]
And the peculiar thing is this my friends:
the song we sang on that fateful night it didn't actually sound
anything like this song.
This is just a tribute! You gotta believe me!
And I wish you were there! Just a matter of opinion.
Ah, fuck! Good God, God lovin',
So surprised to find you can't stop it.
All right! All right!"
Ah, more on the pleasures of my job.

I just walked upstairs with some testing in my head, told Peter and Todd, they quizzed me on the error messages, and then looked at the code for about 30 seconds. Then, peter told me to go try it again, and that the error would be fixed by the time I got to my computer.

I walked downstairs, and will run the same test as soon as the build is done.

Now it's done.

This is productivity. I will have great difficulty returning to a more normal turnaround on investment, I think.

Sunday, April 11, 2004

ugh, another late night with no end in sight.

I have work to finish up so I'll be ready for tomorrow morning,
and the imminst book project requires a bit of editing and work to be done, I've been slacking a bit on that.

Hopefully all that will get done, and I'll have a little mental energy left to write some letters that need to be written.

Ah, instant messages, little packets of energy and interest. interrupt me, and I work better, just like a dandilion. Up to a point, of course. I keep a window or two open, switching between the two, the tension keeping me from turning in circles. More activities, more responsibilities, more chances to trigger a flow state, of zero friction productivity. That's what I want.

variety is the spice of life. And the spice must flow.

Saturday, April 10, 2004

oh, I am still behind on sleep. I think I will take a nap.

good things, good progress, I just need a bit of a nap for clarity.

Friday, April 09, 2004

A new employee for a2i2, Paul Fidika. Another SL4 reader, Paul comes to us from the faraway land of wisconsin. He is even younger than me, at a grand ole age of 19.

We'll see how everything integrates. He seems like a sharp enough guy, I read a paper of his, called "The Seven Deadly Sins of AI", but that's about it, I don't really handle hiring or anything like that around here, so I'm getting to know him as things go.

Spirits are pretty high around here, though. Adding people, we're getting lots of stuff done. New environments, new additions to the Virtual World stuff, and even some cognitive development from Peter.

I managed to actually go out last night, have some fun. It was great, but I stayed out a bit late, considering I was planning on getting up this morning to do the shopping. I got up around 9:40AM or so, and got that done, but wasn't quite totally awake until almost 11:30. I still should probably take a nap or something. bit fuzzy.

Talked a bit about comics last night, I haven't really kept up with them, and I should probably poke around to see what's going on. The last full series I read was probably Batman:Hush, or New X-men, Evolution.

I should check on the Marvel Ultimate line too, I have really enjoyed it, although it's obviously being overshadowed by the wonderful stuff in New X-men, and such. I like the way the whole line is interacting and staying connected. My prediction was that the next big crises will be Doom, I don't know whether or not I'm right, haven't read anything since Utimate X-men something or other, where Magneto takes back the Brotherhood, and punishes his son, Quicksilver. Good stuff, definately. Can't fall behind on the geekfactor, I'll get outpaced.

Also, I have to check to make sure batgirl isn't still dating superboy. he's such a loser.

Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Sometimes there is no lesson. Life is just like that. Learn what you can, and move on. I love this comic. It' s a true artpiece of the internet.

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

origami KAIJU

important information, in case you ever need emergency props for a horror movie. How to create the monsters of the classic japanese films.

Long may they roar.
mm, going to bed now. looking over this large self-indulgent website of destruction, particularly this last post, I forgot to mention one more person to care about...

the internet has allowed me to meet someone to talk to. she lives a bit too far away, but we'll see how that goes. I am excited to make new friends.

And to get in touch and stay in touch with my current ones. Can't forget that.

finished my work for the night! rejoice in efficiency! work is freedom!
arg. A rough day.

Don't you hate it when you don't know exactly what to say to someone, so you rethink what you ought to write or say about a million times in your head, and every time you stop and take stock, you realize your little mental thesis has drifted even farther from anything that might concievably convince or communicate?

I also dislike being torn between furious reprisal and begging.

Yeah, I tried to write something to carrie, and formatted it as a genuine and informative thing, as a snapshot of my thoughts and feelings, rather than analyzing it to death and formatting for chance of understanding and success.

I keep forgetting she doesn't care about me anymore and has no inclination to read for content and correct for context. So I get a vaguely nice put-down back, and I don't know what to say in return.

On one hand, I should just say what I think, and be done. I'm pretty certain I don't have much of a chance for any kind of actual friendship with her, as it is, I'm pretty much being tolerated, I think. Carrie has always felt this sense of duty to include people, despite not having much of an interest in them as people. I remember how she was so nice and inclusive and helpful to Brad, despite his issues. I don't really want or appreciate that kind of position. It sounds nice, but you end up seeing her once a month, and having to initiate and sustain all the communication that occurs, and for what? Some sense of being there? A little kick of hope every time she keeps talking to you? No thanks.

On the other hand, I don't want to lose contact with her. She knows me pretty well. Probably better, in terms of details and experience than anyone. Her knowledge of me is skewed because she only saw me in my soft caring persona, only knowing me in Salt Lake City, while we were dating most of the time. So, given how well she knows me, it hurts that she seems to be so uncomfortable and disinterested in my presence, or thoughts. Is it a function of my characteristics, or hers? It almost doesn't even matter. Even supposing she had lost her mind ten seconds before I moved here(as she acted very differently back in SLC even after she left me) the judgement still hurts. She is the kind of person that I want to like me. I cared about her more than any person I've ever had a relationship with. I still care about her, even if it's poisoned with regret and loss and loneliness now.

She would no doubt prefer that I provide my services as a friend, be happy in her presence, entertain, enjoy, and so on. I can understand not wanting to deal with someone else as a thinking feeling entity, who may not be in perfect synch with you. It's easier to ask them to shut up about anything you don't want them to talk about, and keep things in areas you enjoy. But that's not actually being friends with someone. It's just saying you are, and ignoring everything about them you don't like.

You would think that eight months and a decision to leave a relationship behind me would deaden the emotions about a person. I probably won't ever date Carrie again. I have known this, if not quite accepted it, for a good time now. It's one of those things you have to decide to get through the blackness of loss. It's something I reconfirmed to myself time and time again, as things went on. But while that kind of decision changes your approach, the way you plan, the things you hope for, but it doesn't kill the emotions that remain. There is no bleach for the soul, that I have found.

I wish that I could be as blase' as she is, and walk away from the emotions and desires that come with sharing something like that for so long. Maybe she never felt the way that I did. I liked to imagine that I could tell how she felt. That we communicated in silence.

I guess this is all ancient history. It should be to me. It keeps rising up because she's here now, in front of my eyes(occasionally) when she had just disappeared after leaving me.

This has been nagging in the back of my mind since yesterday. I wrote something to her last night about it, and got her reply today. I haven't replied back yet, and I don't know what to say. I've taken two long walks and a ridiculously long nap and shower, to indulge my thoughts, and haven't managed to exorcise, or come to a decision, so I turned to the last resort, the blog. It's really been occupying me more than it should, and I think I'll lay it to rest for the moment. I have other work to do, and other people to care about.

Corey is out, and better, and seemingly legal-trouble free(very good).

Crystal and I continue to correspond, and I wish she were out here, so that I could talk to her about it. She's been through some rough stuff in the past, and I feel like we have some commonality of interest and understanding. It's too bad that I met her when I did, otherwise, things might be happier. Talking to her long distance is very strange, I feel like I can't quite render the same connection into words and elements in emails, and she has the oddest spelling I've ever encountered. It's strangely compelling, but horrifically incorrect. It spoils much of what she says to me, until I correct it for myself.

Talked to Noel not too long ago, he's still getting married, and pretty happy about it, insofar as text can communicate. I'm happy for him. I need to talk to Amanda more, get to know her better. I've also been corresponding with other ex highschool friends, as I have time on the computer nowadays(don't get out much).

The Job is of course, great. I'm very interested in what I'm doing, though I have let my personal affairs drop my productivity yesterday, the issues with Carrie, writing letters to Crystal, etc. I am feeling better about it tonight, I managed to get two environments largely in the bag, and I've got a lock on the next ones, I think. I need to focus more. There is so much for me to learn, and I really want to be good at this stuff. I know that I can be. I feel the shapes and concepts coming. It's like turning your thinking to rationalist patterns. You push and push and push, and you begin to feel the right kinds of patterns and shapes of thoughts. The kind with support and tests, and so on. AI is a field with too much to catch up on. I read and read, and work and work. I have to run before I can really quite walk, if I want to make it. And besides the theory of mind and research, I have to make sure not to get snagged by the specific system implementation details, the scripting, the environments, the little things I have to do to be in a team. It all has to be right.

I want to share a thought I had, some time ago, on the beach. I thought about why berserkers and suicide bombers are so dangerous. It's because they've chosen to let no other considerations enter into their behavior, they're unstoppable because they only have a single success condition. If someone xoxed Royce Gracie, Bruce Lee, and Batman into a single being, and set them in front of me, and said they'd grant me anything I wanted so long as I physically beat it, I would be happy, and without a worry. Because all I'd have to do is win. When it doesn't matter what else happens, and you have only one thing to worry about, then you can't be stopped. There are too many selfsacrificing maneuvers that work.

This is why so much of the martial arts is really learning to let go of considerations, not to worry about being injured, or dissapointing someone, thinking about hurting them, etc. If you can distill yourself into a single purpose, the flow and advantage of this makes you invincible. And this dynamic is visible everywhere. It is the essence of the Buddhist concept of self awareness without self-contemplation. Do what you are doing, and that only.

I realized, that as a dynamic, the complexity of that single goal is immaterial. It can be anything. So long as all your actions can flow from it alone, you can specify an arbitrarily detailed success condition. So long as it truly is a single desire. This is the strength that forms the basis of a great many deep truths. The light of rationality, the power of the dedicated life, why romantic focus gives you so much strength in return. Yudkowskian probabilistic supergoals, the tendency of fixated or obssesed people to succeed, the genesis of such traits within reproductive fitness. I suppose it's a kind of 23 truth. The smarter you are, the more you see it around you. But it is a decent enough little mantra, for when you are unsure if you can do something. you can probably do it, if all you have to do is win.

back to work.

Sunday, April 04, 2004


Unpleasant. Last night, I went up to USC to go to a play. And ended up seeing Hellboy and Hollywood Ending, (both of which were better than I expected).

I had a pretty good time.

Until it came time to leave.

It was then that I was confronted with a simple problem. The car wouldn't start. Nothing. No noise, no reaction. I checked. the light switch was partially activated. Crap.

When I had drove up, it had been darkening, but not dark. So I had turned the lights on for the benefit of the other drivers, but not noticed when I got out because it was still too light out to see the headlamps.

Thus the beginning of my ardous journey in search of a jumpstart. Passerby were no use. Police didn't help. Eventually the fine people at Facilities for USC took pity on me, and sent a truck over to help. Which took about ten seconds, because the jump took very quickly. Then I was on my way.

I was able to just drive straight home, because it was mostly freeway driving, and the charge took fine. Looks like the alternator is healthy, anyway. The only downside really at all, is losing some sleep, and about a half-day of work.

I'll take a nap, and stay up late.

And in conclusion, Myers should have been burnt to a crisp at the end of Hellboy, that would have been cool, and apropos.

Saturday, April 03, 2004

How Python is Developed

A nice text on the development of one of the nicer languages out there, Python.

Python was the first computer language I ever learned, and it really spoiled me. It's a wonderful, fast, and interactive language, with every feature you could ask for.

It's easy to read, and it's easy to modify.

It's fast as it needs to be.

And the devel tools are nearly all completely free. And platform independent too.

Friday, April 02, 2004

diesel sweeties: pixelated robot romance web comic

Yeah, well, Real Playaz got pianoz. - Your Site for Running


I got up around 5:30 and ran for thirty minutes today. It was enlightening. I managed it, just barely, which is good. It's been a while since I've run continuously for that long. I should remember to do so more often. For the health and capability benefits, sure, but afterwards, I'm always left with the confirmation that my concept of 'hard' when applied to thinking, is grossly miscalibrated. I always find it easier to approach difficult mental problems after completing some physical task(that is difficult, that is, sallying forth to the kitchen in quest for some chocolate wafers doesn't quite work)

Yesterday I was vaguely intimidated by a simple scripting language, and some parameter errors and exceptions! Not enough to affect much of what I did, or how I approached it, but it was something that gave me some pause, and affected my emotional balance. I was shifted towards cautious. Silliness. Having to push and push physically really puts the value of mental toil in perspective.

But in some ways physical stress is much easier to approach and handle than mental stress. The solution is right there. You either stop, and fail, or keep moving your legs, and continue. You can set little goals for yourself, to the lamppost, to the street, to the next light, until my runnning partner stops. Mental stress doesn't have that simple interface.

You have to learn to trust in your personal strength and intelligence. To expect yourself to fill in the gaps as you go along. You can't look forward and see the operations you'll have to do. Building a realistic and accurate picture of your abilities, what they require, and how that affects the task.

It is vaguely like physical toil, in that you must know what you can do, what it takes, and that you can trust your body to fulfill what you ask of it.

In all things, self awareness.

A bit of arrogance and self confidence doesn't hurt either. I Can do this. It helps to have a partner in crime to push you along. You Will do this.

I am reminded of Carrie. (I know I know, but we lived together for two years, I'm allowed to be reminded of her occasionally) We constantly were talking about excercising together, or setting up a time to work out and things like that. We never did it. It was really a missed opportunity. It would have been nice to do things like that together.

I really went physically downhill in those two years, looking back. I was in decent shape in 2000, when we met, and I'm just now getting back into something like physical fitness. That probably was unpleasant for her. Well, I don't think actual obesity or such things is ever really in the cards for me, but I did lead a very sedentary life towards the end, and I probably was much less attractive. An unpleasant thought.

Strange thoughts to come of running. You could probably stand to go run for thirty minutes. Perhaps it will allow you to ruminate upon diverse subjects afterwards as well. It certainly makes breakfast afterwards pleasant. - Go Articles

Something to read.

Go is terribly complicated, and theories involved with it also are sometimes quite vague. Some authors are better than others. The best are predictably, pros with a lot of writing experience.

Because sometimes the correct strategy is self-evident with enough experience, and sometimes strategy changes wildly between strength. Advice to a low dan pro could be suicide for an amateur player, and advice for an experienced amateur could just be confusing to a beginner.

Yes. Confusing. But as you learn a bit more about go, you begin to group situations based on known concepts, and you can manipulate them as sets.

In other news, it was a very successful April Fools Day, Lots of fun jokes, and some borderline things I am not entirely clear about.
I like being forced to distinguish. Resets your credibility.