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.