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 (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.