Friday, December 30, 2005

"The Chief Designer" by Andy Duncan

I have been very busy, as crystal is here, and I'm also still working albeit on a reduced schedule.

I found this when looking at some records of very large engineering projects.

It's fictional, of course, but very well grounded in the period. Sergei Korolev AKA "The Chief Designer" is one of my personal heroes.

Sunday, December 25, 2005

Monday, December 19, 2005

Frogpad, ergonomic keyboards, left handed keyboard, ergonomic keyboard, bluetooth keyboard

So today I recieved my very first christmas present, and the one I was most looking forward to. It's a one handed keyboard.

I've used a lot of input devices, your standard qwerty, plus dvorak keymapping, the old twiddler, various pen-based systems, like Palm Graffito, block, and touchscreen pda units. But I'm very excited about frogpad because it seems like it might have a chance, both to last as a product, and to be used more widely than your standard keyboard/mouse, or pen, or whatever. This frogpad is bluetooth, which means it can be used (primarily on my computer, without nasty wires) with many kinds of peripherals and hardwares. Phones and PDAs.

Now it's just a matter of seeing whether it cuts my input speed by too much. I actually recorded all my keystrokes in a trivial script some time ago, and the statistics are surprising. How long I can go without typing in normal day, how slow my average typing speed is, the burst speed, etc. I should ressurect that script for the purposes of this keyboard transition. Ah well. I'll start trying to use it tonight, when I have a bit of free time.


Saturday, December 17, 2005

generation5 - At the forefront of Artificial Intelligence

Generation5 has an enormous amount of content on 'normal' AI: machine vision, robots, and all that good stuff.

Like too many sites, it appears to be dead or dying(no updates for a long long time).


Monday, November 28, 2005

When you meet a master swordsman
show him your sword.
When you meet a man who is not a poet
do not show him your poem.


Sunday, November 27, 2005

back from thanksgiving. crystal and family were good. 'won' nanowrimo, word count as of today is 60k+, but the novel is unfinished, and thus, will not be released at the end of the month. I plan to have it done in the next six months, and publish in some online fora.

a2i2 work is going well, with many interesting projects currently going on. Peter will be presenting at a conference Dec. 11th, so we have near term goal of having an interesting system to look at then, in addition to our current research goals. (we're still hiring, check our website)

Friday, November 18, 2005

Einstein's Mistakes - Physics Today November 2005

"It seems that scientists are often attracted to beautiful theories in the way that insects are attracted to flowers—not by logical deduction, but by something like a sense of smell."

Steven Weinberg

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

And then hurl it through the window of a Sony officer
and run like hell

Sony, if you haven't heard, has been having some problems. First, they installed what could charitably be described as very aggressive DRM on their customers computers (which was technically covered in the EULA, but many people are understandably upset)

The DRM not only caused problems, but allowed other spyware to get onto your computer via the same route.

So Sony decided to put in a fix which would remove the software in question. Which was broken, and caused more problems.

Not a good time to be Sony, in a public relations sense. This speaks to one of my closely held beliefs, which is that businesses should be allowed to do whatever they like so long as it isn't criminal, and the market will sort it out. I'm always impressed by how quickly the public and consumers punish poor behavior in an open environment, when they know what's going on.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Friday, November 11, 2005

A Paen to Visual Studio!

Oh, the joy of mindless focus!
context magically clear!
my beginnings darkened by an end
the next key predicted, endlessly
success silent
failure immediately forgotten.

My keystrokes refine
proposals rise, thickly
refined, declared
I become an advisor
not that
not that

The power narrows my eyes
embarassing moments without template
this for contains no new i
and none is suggested.

When this fear of blindness rises
I consider writing in my notepad
pasting in, taking judgement at compile
as memories say I once did do.

I try and pause in horror
as this.

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The FBI's Secret Scrutiny

this is some very good reporting by the Washington Post. Library and Commercial databases being accessed without oversight is a serious problem. You better believe that Google has been served these, whether they fought it or not is hard to say. The only reason I'm not loading up on tinfoil and proxy anonymizers is the fact that no one is really equipped to actually walk a database that big in any reasonable time-frame for any but the most superficial or narrowly defined reasons.

Of course, this is subject to change. And the NSA still has one of the largest communities of mathematicians and computer scientists outside the oversight of.. well, anyone, really. It's not inconcievable that they've spent a good amount of time working on software and hardware tools for sorting such information well.

As something of an enthusiast for meritocratic processes, like capitalist competition and open, iterated collaboration, I tend to believe that they will not progress as quickly as more public organizations. But they gain in their focus. Cryptographers know that the NSA is ahead of the public, because they have the narrowness and numbers to stay ahead. That will be true for some other aims of the NSA as well. In addition, they are not necessarily bound by copyright and patent restrictions. So you can bet they use the best software they can find, buy, invent themselves, or simply steal. In that sense, they take advantage of the best parts of public discourse, and contribute little.

The government organizations may lag behind state of the art in architecture, paradigm, staffing and methodology, but I imagine they are aware of those shortcomings. It's sad when the best we have to look foward to is the incompetence of our Ministry of Justice.

Friday, November 04, 2005

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Fight Aging!: $1 Million Donation Made To the Mprize For Anti-Aging Research

Yeah, that's right. The Methuselah Mouse Prize just got a one million dollar anonymous donation.

That's because anonymous donations are the best. ;-)

Let's see the MIT Technology Review spin that one down.

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Monday, October 31, 2005 -- Two More Moons Discovered Orbiting Pluto

This is pretty sweet. And another one of those exciting reminders that while science has made great strides, much remains to be discovered.

Our own solar systems still has some mysteries and surprises, as we can see...

Friday, October 28, 2005

Man On TV Urges Mass Purchase Of Listerine | The Onion - America's Finest News Source

A proper recognition of the small bizarre cultural assumptions we hold.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

QEMU on Windows

a fascinating program. I've always loved Virtual Machines, the concept is very amusing, in a strange way. This program simulates a small linux distribution you can run in a window.

Virtual PC is of course the most popular VM in the world, which allows you to run Windows on your Mac, or a little Windows box on your Windows box.

Why would anyone care to do this? Well, for instance you can pretend to be a whole internet, just on your very own computer, where one little VM is the server, and the other the client, or even to debug powerful parallelism code, like supercomputers use.

The more common use is just accessibility. I've used emulation layers, VM OSes, and similar to look at old files, interact with strange services, and use a feature not on my home OS too many times to count.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Design & Development: RPG Design Test

I don't have time to do this. But YOU should. I want my roleplaying to have epic fantasy.
Joshua's Brain Dump: News About Dallas

Sad. I will miss Dallas.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Model Railroad Slums

ah, art.
Recipe for Destruction - New York Times

This is such incredible bullshit I don't know what to say. Bill Joy, I should have expected this from. Kurzweil I always felt to be vague, but largely futurist, and harmless to me. But here he is, making an insidious call for research and publication controls. They modestly suggest that such 'very dangerous' research as the genome for a influenza virus should not be publishable, or perhaps researchable.

They do not mention what limits such controls should have. Who might oversee it, or what other fields of research should be so controlled. Why should they? It's common sense, that such dangerous things should not be allowed in the wild, where the 'terrorists' will get it.

Building a virus from a genomic specification is a non-trivial bit of biology. I will confidently state that the only people who may develop weaponized diseases based on this will be the US military/associated industry, who spies on them, and who buys it from them. WHO WOULD HAVE HAD THE VIRUS GENOME ANYWAY.

I'll tell you what else will happen, almost for certain. People will keep dying from influenza virii. Medical care will continue to be developed, which depends on viral research which falls entirely within the area Joy and Kurzweil claim should/can be controlled. The military will develop more and more biological weapons that it denies having, and prevents other people from having. They will contribute effectively nothing to medical research or the scientific community.

So we can control this research, and lose some medical progress in all related fields, which will not affect the development of biological weapons(which is largely undertaken by militaries who would be independent of such controls), in order to control the possibility of independent development of such weapons by terrorists.

That seems like a bad bet to me. The only sophisticated terrorist attack using independently developed weapons was the Aum group in Japan, who used Sarin, and attempted to use biologicals. Sarin is a nerve agent, and they developed it by recruiting chemistry majors. constructing a virus from a bare genome is profoundly more difficult than that, and requires independent scientific work to weaponize, very different from simply constructing a known substance. Every other terrorist attack has used conventional or stolen weapons. Even the anthrax letters in September-August of 2001 were embarassingly later shown to be of the Ames strain of weaponized anthrax(which is only known to be in US weapons labs).

Suppression, in the long run, doesn't work. You can prevent undetermined people(who weren't an issue in the first place), catch ill-prepared or incompetent people, and dissuade moral and legal people. This leaves largely the people you were concerned about in the first place, which is determined, competent, immoral people.

Ditto the concept of relinquishment. You can buy time by refusing to develop something if you were the person who would have developed it first. But someone will be second, and third, and so on. If you make further development illegal, it won't happen until a sufficiently competent illegal group has cause to develop it. Which doesn't really sound like an improvement to me.

Terrorism is already illegal in every country in the world. Rather than trying to ban antecedents and precursors, and possible aids to terrorists, we should focus our efforts on stopping and capturing specific terrorists. Even if we banned every weapon, every strategem than terrorists are known to have used, if a given terrorist still exists, he'll simply choose to do something new, like crashing a fuel tanker into a building, or setting fire to a hospital, or something even I can't think of. And having banned all these things, we will have lost every legitimate use of those tools, as well as ushered ourselves into a regulated life, where many innocous activities will be illegal and monitored as a matter of course. As well as all the known excesses of police states.

we lose and lose and lose, with Prohibition. It hasn't worked before, wouldn't have worked for any of our greatest terrorist acts, but why not try it now, Kurzweil and Joy seem to say. Well, no bet. I'm happy few seem to be listening to them now.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Psychohazard Premier: This Is the Title of This Story, Which Is Also Found Several Times in the Story Itself.

Truly perverse. - Health - Survey: Most Americans Approve of Embryonic Stem Cell Research

An important bellwether to note. They're not all transhumanists, but at least we can begin to point at a lack of patience for arbitrary limits.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

World Chess Boxing Organisation

A fascinating "transitional" animal.
Another wonderful discovery that makes me want to dance on the much delayed grave of creationism.

Monday, October 10, 2005

First Annual Colloquium on the Law of Transhuman Persons

a colloquium involving talks by several people I'm acquainted with, most significantly, Peter Voss, my boss will be speaking, as well as Eliezer Yudkowsky.

I'm planning a Kifune this Sunday, Peter will give some of what he plans to present.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

crystal is gone, having spent a week or so here. Now, back to work, I suppose.

Very impressed with the successful Grand Challenge.

Also, rocket planes and a super-heavy lifter from SpaceX, a good week for tech news.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Well, we had a Kifune today, and it worked out pretty well.

We had quite a few people show up, and the discussion was good.

I spoke today, presenting the subject of Prediction; and some related topics, complexity science, chaos theory, statistics, and some more heuristic approaches(Fast and Frugal, affective categorization, etc).

We had a few interesting new people show up as well, AvantGuardian from the Extropians list one notable, it was fun to meet him.

I need to find someone else to speak next month, as the tentative topic is new medical technologies, and that's quite a bit out of my range.

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Perelman on political relevance:

'Give me an underground laboratory, half a dozen atom-smashers, and a girl in a diaphanous veil waiting to be turned into a chimpanzee, and I care not who writes the nation's laws.' S.J. Perelman (1904-1979)"
Cap allows navigation of virtual worlds by thought | Betterhumans > News

Ah, now maybe we'll finally have something better than a mouse and keyboard as interface. I wonder how much computing power it takes to analyse and use the data from the cap?

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Odds of Dying - NSC

hmm, ouch. some blind number crunching yields nasty numbers.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

AnimeNation Anime Forums - What does Dattebayo mean?

Cervantes said (ironically enough) that translations were like looking at the wrong side of tapestry. They have many of the same parts in common, but in all the least important ways.

I don't know that I agree with him, having struggled through parts of Don Quixote in spanish, and read several different english translations. but he's certainly right that much in literal translation is useless at best, and obscurantist at worst.

Poor Cervantes, his point may have been valid, but he's likely been read in translation far more times than he has been in spanish. Spanish was outcompeted as the international language by first French then English, and likely again by Chinese, depending on how the next bit of history goes.

I enjoy taking note of the lingual and cultural translations much of the things I watch and read go through before I enjoy them. Some are subtle and likely misunderstood, I have quite a few languages to yet learn, before I'm satisfied.

Perhaps if more works were in something culturally neutral like esperanto.
The Korea Times : Seoul to Build Combat Robot

ah, if only.

Friday, September 16, 2005

CC2005-02-03-Zerjal et al._2003_Genetic Legacy of the Mongols.pdf (application/pdf Object)

Fascinating paper, suggesting that .5% of the ENTIRE WORLD is a male-line descendant of Genghis Khan, making him one of the most definitely reproductively successful humans in recorded history.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

PocketMod: The Free Disposable Personal Organizer

my friend tavish pointed this out. looks interesting.

also, I just got a USB drive (as they are now below any reasonable standard of "disposable income" even one so poor as myself might define).

I already carry a book, Moleskin, to be precise, but this may be a decent idea for formatting, or similar. I'm investigating.

Eventually a wearable or pda will be compelling enough, but my past experiments have been tinged with dissapointment. The closest I came to happiness was a Visor Edge, but it developed memory problems, and eventually had to be abandoned.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

The Australian: It's a miracle: mice regrow hearts [August 29, 2005]


"And when cells from the test mouse are injected into ordinary mice, they too acquire the ability to regenerate, the US-based researchers say."

That's freaking sweet if it's not total bullshit.

Monday, August 29, 2005


amusing web tool for the curious or budding web comic stripper.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Visionary: We will live longer: Leroy Hood

Another scientist getting with the increased lifespan theories. Somebody get this man a subscription to Rejuvenation Medicine!

AvantGuardian from extropy-chat explains the significance:

"Wow... in scientific circles that is a pretty huge
endorsement of transhumanism. Hood is a big dog
amongst molecular biologists, immunologists, and

Google Talk

More Google.

They've launched an IM service, based on the open protocol Jabber, which uses your gmail contacts and will enable voice chat(if you're equipped for such).

They have a nice little client, but for the time being I'm still using my multiclient GAIM, which can connect to the service just fine.

It would be really cool if they managed to unify IM the way they've unified my other internetting, like search, blogging, email, etc.

I don't know how much money there is in IM for AIM and MSN, but I doubt they'll take it lying down anyhow. It will be interesting to see, but I'm sure the competition will lead to interesting stuff for this consumer.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Arimaa - The game of real intelligence

Vaguely interesting. Arimaa is a game, playable with a standard chess set, which is explicitly designed to be difficult for computers. There is a moderate prize ($10k), and some interesting theory behind it, but other than that, it seems easier to just use Go as a 'harder and larger search space' for computers.
Google's Desktop Search adds Sidebar

Most people know about this, yet another Google related way of adding functionality to your desktop. An update to Desktop Search adds Desktop Widgets, rather like Konfabulor or Mac OSX.

It's interesting, but it's at most a marginal update to the way I do most things. I move some functionality from Mozilla to the Sidebar(which is convenient, since Firefox is often on the edge of crashing with all I load it in) and get slightly better indexing. Good things, but not amazing.

For someone who hasn't yet gotten desktop search, I'd recommend it highly. Very clever, and less resource intensive than other solutions which is good for older computers.

Review by Ars Technica at the above link.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Inference Group: Dasher Project: Home

Fascinating. I know someone is still working on wearables, even if I'm not. This is an attempt to make user interfaces and key-entry out of eyescans.

Keep plugging, hardware and softwear people, I need a wearable so bad.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

The Tao of Mac - Python/Grimoire

The Python Grimoire is a fantastic use of wiki for a very very useful resource.

I unfortunately don't use python often enough anymore to be entirely up on the best ways to do every little thing(not that I ever really did), and the Python Grimoire hits a very sweet spot for the occasional experimenter like me, who needs something that works for a problem small enough to do trivially myself, but large enough to need a proper solution.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

"The study is to proceed on the basis of the conjecture that every aspect of learning or any other feature of intelligence can be in principle be so precisely described that a machine can be made to simulate it. An attempt will be made to find how to make machines use language, form abstractions and concepts, solve kinds of problems now reserved for humans, and improve themselves." [McCarthy et al. 1955]

It's interesting, to investigate the very roots of a field so varied and strange as AI. At the beginning, when people were just beginning to investigate the possibility of machine intelligence, there seems to have been a much wider and more interesting engagement with the concepts 'in theory'. But their ideas of implementations were like cartoons of even what Weak AI projects do these days. It's a terrible tendency, to generalize and simplify what you don't understand into what you think you do. It leaves you with giant floating concepts which don't actually attach to anything in a functional way.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Gamasutra -Technical Event Wrap Up - "SIGGRAPH 2005"

I am peripherially interested in video games. Partially because occasionally I do play them, but mostly because the technology is interesting, and I expect good physical simulators to eventually come out of video game development that are both fast, and accurate for anything I'm likely to care about.

My future plans include good physical simulators that are easy to interact with for a private person like myself, and it seems a far safer bet to count on the forces of game development, than the largesse of research science.

Besides, what I'm really interested in, is performance, and perception, which just so happen to be the raison d' etre of game development.

Convenient, no?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

danger + opportunity ≠ crisis

Fascinating. I personally believed this one too, I suppose I should have known better.

There are two basic reactions to the poorly understood. One is to assume equivalence (examples include popular misinterpretation of animal facial characteristics as representing human emotions. (a bad idea with chimpanzees, for whom baring teeth is a threat, not smiling.)).

The other is a mix of xenophobia and exotic idealization. The Foreigner is a character that both has strange knowledge and powers, yet does not qualify for many of the protective social dynamics. Chinamen were exploited for manual labor in america at the same time that novelists and newspapermen were making money hand over fist on sketchy stories of the Mysterious East.

It's easy to see eastern Martial Arts, and Sun Tzu, and their grand history of warrior culture, and imagine that the Chinese have some special lock on fighting, whether with hands, or with armies, or in schlocky manager-ese self help books with names like the Tao of CEOs, with the idioms like Business is War.

Antonio Banderas will sell many movies, now and in the future, to people who would vote for a President proposing to halt all immigration from Mexico.

It's hard for me to consider China with anything but a kind of reserved trepidation, with parallel intellectual historical awe. China is so obviously a country whose modernization threatens not only to change the order of the world, but also to force someone who wants to follow the thread of things in the most interesting places on the internet to learn chinese. I'm so used to an english internet, I don't really know what to think of that.

It's hard to remember that we are simply people, and the differences that divide us are miniscule, both when I'm wondering what it would be like to live in the second most important country in the world, and when I'm watching Hong Kong cinema, and decrying Hollywood as stupid and boring and old.

I suppose I'm not as comfortable with change of all kinds as I would like to be. Being a novelty seeking human isn't saying much, in the end. We are too used to exploiting the natural order of things to be steady on our feet when that order isn't reliable.

Monday, August 08, 2005

freesound :: home page

This is fantastically cool. As a non-musician, my uses of this are limited, but I fully expect a lot of interesting things to come of the project.

Potentially a rich place for procedural generation of sounds, like video games, automatic music, etc.

Saturday, August 06, 2005

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The New Commonplace - The SENS Challenge

Some know of the unpleasant anti-Aubrey de Grey articles some time ago published in the MIT Technology Review. For those that don't, Aubrey is a biogerontologist who works in anti-aging research, specifically for halting and reversing age-related decline in adult subjects, currently mice. (see Methuselah Mouse Prize) Two articles were written, one a mildly negative biographical sketch of de Gray and his opinions and goals, the other a much more negative abstract dismissal of de Gray and his goals. Needless to say, his more erudite defenders(including yours truly) wrote the Technology Review and chastised them for poor science, poor journalism, and poor form.

Pontin, the writer of the more negative piece, went to some gerontologists for return ammunition for a further piece, but was shocked to find that no reputable gerontologist would be dragged into the fracas. And so, MIT Technology Review begins their attempt to find some decent arguments, by offering a 20,000 dollar bounty on a 750 word piece explaining why de Grays ideas wouldn't work.

((In capsule form, de Gray proposes seven architectural strategies, which he calls SENS(Strategies for Engineered Negligible Senescence) which will provide it's patients with indefinite, or at least indeterminitely extended natural lifespans. ))

In my view, and de Gray's, this editorial desperation is emblematic of two things. First, the surprising intellectual honesty of mainstream science, unwilling to deride radical ideas, so long as they do not violate known scientific law, and second, the unusual resistance from journalists to admit they are not qualified to judge the scope of scientific progress. To further a nasty analogy I am reminded of a New York Times article which lampooned rocketry pioneer Goddard for stating that rockets would work in a vacuum. ((The author of that piece confused the methods rockets work on(inertial reaction mass) with an aerodynamic interaction(like propellors) and claimed rockets would have nothing to push against)).

Three cheers for Aubrey de Gray for sticking to his guns and being quietly scientifically credible. Having big wild ideas doesn't mean you have to be ridiculed by Established Science, because for the most part, scientists are people too. It's just when you run around saying ridiculous unprovable things that scientists are forced to disagree.

I'm glad this sort of thing is happening. I am a supporter of Aubrey's work, and believe it deserves support. Now back to creating an artificial intelligence.

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

dbacl project homepage

A bayesian spam filter is tested, to see if it can learn to play chess.

Amusing, and relatively interesting.
"I don't think I would like to be chopped up and turned into corn"
~ Jay Fox, Director Immortality Institute

bweh heh heh

the above was said on the Daily Show, in response to a truly deranged question by Ed Helms. You usually can't control how you end up being portrayed on the comedy program, but the Immortality Institute turned out to do okay, despite Jay Fox being initially described as a "Crazy Doctor-like Guy", and being perhaps the stiffest person I've ever seen on camera.

Friday, July 15, 2005

I'm outta here.

I'll be back online and in touch on Monday, It's too bad, right in the middle of an interesting discussion on SL4, but it's okay not to air all my opinions in public.. occasionally.


Friday, July 08, 2005

AdaptiveAI Opportunities Page

Since posting the latest news, we've been getting a lot more applications than previously. Which is a good thing, because we need more people.

You should apply.

Saturday, July 02, 2005

Jurors Acquit Ex-IRS Agent


"Silence can be equated with fraud where there is a legal or moral duty to speak, or where an inquiry left unanswered would be intentionally misleading. . . We cannot condone this shocking behavior by the IRS. Our revenue system is based on the good faith of the taxpayer and the taxpayers should be able to expect the same from the government in its enforcement and collection activities."
U.S. v. Tweel, 550 F.2d 297, 299. See also U.S. v. Prudden, 424 F.2d 1021,
1032; Carmine v. Bowen, 64 A. 932.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

The Graph of Evil

An interesting analysis tool of your goal system and/or morals. Fill out graphs for yourself, get others to fill out graphs, fill out hypothetical graphs for others and historical figures.

kudos to Joshua Truett for noting this.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Journal Of Applied Misanthropology

A well crafted essay on religious belief, which no one will read and have their opinion's changed by.

But I'm sure it was a nice outlet for the author.

One of the primary occupations of those with minority opinions is the endless creation of arguments and speeches which hold no convincing power, except to those who already accept their premises. It's satisfying, but useless, to write smug enraged thesis that anyone would ever dare enter Intelligent Design into school syllabi. Satisfying, because Intelligent Design is nonsensical crap, even to many discerning christians, and useless, because like so many arguments, it does not actually engage proponents of Intelligent Design on the level which inspired their opinions.

Saturday, June 18, 2005

WorldChanging: Another World Is Here: Accelerando

Charlie Stross is favorably compared to Gibson's Neuromancer. I am currently reading the Creative Common's download, while waiting for the amazon copy to arrive.

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

VG Cats

This webcomic nicely summarizes my feelings about Star Wars Episode 3.

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Flash / How to Fold a Shirt

Time saving knowledge for those of you unlucky enough to still live in the corporeal world.

It's these kinds of things that give me hope for humanity. Manipulation of physical objects, every day, like shirts and socks, seems a sterile place. But here, like the Zen monks who find meaning in repetitive tasks, someone has found new and wonderful meaning in a new way to do a silly everyday thing. I hope that someone tells the managers at clothing stores worldwide, it will bring the poor textile workers joy.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Joshua's News, Etc

Poor Josh, couldn't even find his own blog earlier today. The thing is poorly updated, and I can't very well recommend you visit, save for the pictures of our beautiful house cat he occasionally posts. But.. here's a link to it, just so it shows up in google at all.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Strange Times.

Some sadnesses, we're losing Todd. Todd's our most experienced programmer, and the siren song of money and other things have combined, he's off to establish an IT department for a new company. I'll miss him. Also, it will hold up progress. This brings us down to only three full-time people, making me hope that the search for a CTO is closed soon. Peter has seen a few candidates from locally and at least one that flew in, but I'm not really involved in that.

I've managed to avoid the various geekouts of the past few weeks, the ending of Star Trek, the latest Star Wars movie (I will watch it on my computer when it's convenient).

Despite my busyness, I've had time to dream up more things to occupy my time with. We'll see if anything comes of that.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Some interesting things today, I staved off metro police attention by getting an extension on a traffic ticket, and helping josh wander about to get a light fixed on the company limo.

Crystal is back safely to Utah, and I'm getting back in earnest to work.

I have some theoretical programming studying I'm doing in my copious off-time, Knuth's Art of Computer Programming, and a C# cookbook from Oreilly are up for a closer read. I'm mostly satisfied with my programming, (it's workman-like, and slow, but usually decently factored by the time I get done with it), but with so much coming up, I really feel I need to get familiar, fast, and more 'authoritative'. Usually I'm quite satisfied with my autodidactism, but the completeness of formal study confers some advantages I have to admit.

Another project is to revive my on-again, off-again personal productivity software, which has task time clocks, and schedulers and onscreen alarms and such. I don't know when, but sometime soon I need to get that up and running again, both for comparative study, to see how my work habits have drifted since I last used it, and to see if I can improve it to the point where it's not too annoying to use all the time. We'll see. I have some new window's hooking tricks now from work, so perhaps it can automagically do everything without any need for clicking.

It's been a bit silent in the world of AI, except for the occasional internal chatter, and a bit of articles and rehashes. No major fallout from Jeff Hawkins yet, heard a bit about Goertzel indirectly, No new pronouncements or projects. I've been snooping about narrow-AI and related websites like Generation5, some of them almost seem like they could be pushed into interesting-ness with a few submitted articles, but who has the time. We'll see.

Friday, May 13, 2005

Broadcast Machine: Publish RSS / Torrent Video Channels

I'm back from my trip, as of wednesday, but I'm still trying to catch up to work, and the events of the world.

Crystal is here until sunday.

The above ia another part of the Participatory Culture Foundation, it sounds very interesting.

Another thing to watch is the underlayer of the Azureus update I mentioned last week, which is the I2p network/protocol.

Monday, May 02, 2005

Azureus is a very very interesting project just now.

for those in the know, BitTorrent is the best way to get high traffic files served from places that may not neccesarily have the central bandwidth to do so.

BitTorrent is occasionally accused of just being for pirates. It's true that BitTorrent is a bigger player in piracy than Napster ever was, but besides that, it has many legit uses. VCRs have probably been used to 'pirate' more tv shows than every computer program put together, but have enough other uses to keep the corps from their door. I have similar hopes that BitTorrent will simply be too useful to ban.

Azureus is a java client for BitTorrent, a multi torrent manager. It has many good point from a management perspective, and is a good example of good use of Java.

Azureus has just upgraded to, and a bounty it is. Besides the plugins, the protocol upgrade, and other niceties, it introduces a feature strangely familiar to those following the demise of

(For those not following such minutia, was a torrent tracker site, which served many many people. It was a nest of piracy and old game files, videos, and a lot more. After it was shut down by mysterious persons, a bold new initiative was announced, a way to use BitTorrent with NO trackers. Which would make such a network impossible to prosecute, save by going after each and every user. Exeem was announced with some fanfare, which dulled to dislike once it became clear it was stuffed with adware)

Azureus now supports decentralised torrents. And also continuing once hosted torrents, when they lose their tracker.

I have no idea how that will work, but I only hope they will work with other torrent clients and possibly update the original torrent spec to ensure standards and interopability. I wouldn't want it dependent on even so good an open-source client as azureus.

Of course, azureus continues to work with plain old torrents off of trackers, which I continue to use it for almost exclusively. I just got the latest version of Knoppix via torrent very quickly, considering it's near 700 mb size. Very spicy indeed.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

you know, despite the various implementations, I'd never really looked at wikis before. That's some low cost authorship.

if anyone here hasn't noted all the great wikis out there, I heartily recommend a little browsing.

the canonical:
The PersonalTelco Project

There are many tiny and strange wikis out there, as well as large and impersonal. Lately, wikis are popular enough to be more than just a genre, people are using wikis to accomplish many different things in many different ways.

I personally am interested in wikis for documenting and collating my extensive personal notes. Some time ago I did a lot of work for a document system, which all disappeared. But I've had many ideas since, and may resurrect the project, taking better advantage of other people's work, and probably doing it in python, rather than as a mozilla XUL app, which I was never very comfortable with anyway.

I also occasionally contribute and more often read the sl4 wiki.

Saturday, April 16, 2005

So here's something from the rumor mill. I'm not allowed to cite my sources, but believe me, they are VERY reliable. This is for all of you who have been wondering what Bill Watterson is up to since his comic (you know, Calvin and Hobbes, the whole reason I decided to be a cartoonist when I was a wee child just barely old enough to read) ended a decade or so ago. APPARENTLY, and again, this is from a couple very reliable sources, he is spending his free time painting. And every weekend he burns his paintings so no one will see/use them.

You heard me right. Bill Watterson is apparently painting and subsequently burning his paintings.

I have to meet this man before I die."c

That's the most badass thing I think I've heard all day. What a totally insane person Bill Watterson is. I thought he was a crazy artist for turning down the literally millions that nearly ANY character merchandising would have earned him, but this... he must either be a true idealist, or have something very wrong with him in his brain.
Sometimes I'm in search of a break.

I tend to dwell on things a great deal. This is partly because I've never really accepted that things negative must be so, and partly because an unfortunate occasional coping mechanism I have for unpleasant duties is to postpone them, which of course, just continues their trouble to me.

So occasionally, given the way things kind of pile up, I go looking for a break. Sometimes it's a night out, or going to sleep early, or even a vacation to Salt Lake City. Unfortunately, these things don't always turn out to be breaks. Sometimes they contain drama of their own, and they rarely entirely insulate me from incumbent responsibility. So their therapeutic factor is questionable.

Being an introspective sort, I of course feel somewhat responsible for this. I am, in a weak sense, guilty when my recreating fails. I feel as though the value is low. "I should feel better, I took four days off!' after all.

Things aren't so simple sometimes. Marginal and indirect benefit.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

My Unitarian Jihad Name is: Brother Shuriken of Desirable Mindfulness.

Get yours.

Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States. We
are Unitarian Jihad. There is only God, unless there is more
than one God. The vote of our God subcommittee is 10-8 in
favor of one God, with two abstentions. Brother Flaming Sword
of Moderation noted the possibility of there being no God at all,
and his objection was noted with love by the secretary.

Greetings to the Imprisoned Citizens of the United States!
Too long has your attention been waylaid by the bright baubles
of extremist thought. Too long have fundamentalist yahoos of
all religions (except Buddhism -- 14-5 vote, no abstentions,
fundamentalism subcommittee) made your head hurt. Too long
have you been buffeted by angry people who think that God
talks to them. You have a right to your moderation! You have
the power to be calm! We will use the IED of truth to explode
the SUV of dogmatic expression!

People of the United States, why is everyone yelling at you???
Whatever happened to ... you know, everything? Why is the
news dominated by nutballs saying that the Ten Commandments
have to be tattooed inside the eyelids of every American, or that
Allah has told them to kill Americans in order to rid the world of
Satan, or that Yahweh has instructed them to go live wherever
they feel like, or that Shiva thinks bombing mosques is a great
idea? Sister Immaculate Dagger of Peace notes for the record
that we mean no disrespect to Jews, Muslims, Christians or
Hindus. Referred back to the committee of the whole for further

We are Unitarian Jihad. We are everywhere. We have not been
born again, nor have we sworn a blood oath. We do not think
that God cares what we read, what we eat or whom we sleep
with. Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity notes for the record
that he does not have a moral code but is nevertheless a good
person, and Unexalted Leader Garrote of Forgiveness stipulates
that Brother Neutron Bomb of Serenity is a good person, and
this is to be reflected in the minutes.

Beware! Unless you people shut up and begin acting like
grown-ups with brains enough to understand the difference
between political belief and personal faith, the Unitarian Jihad
will begin a series of terrorist-like actions. We will take over
television studios, kidnap so-called commentators and
broadcast calm, well-reasoned discussions of the issues of
the day. We will not try for "balance" by hiring fruitcakes; we
will try for balance by hiring non-ideologues who have carefully
thought through the issues.

We are Unitarian Jihad. We will appear in public places and
require people to shake hands with each other. (Sister Hand
Grenade of Love suggested that we institute a terror regime
of mandatory hugging, but her motion was not formally
introduced because of lack of a quorum.) We will require all
lobbyists, spokesmen and campaign managers to dress like
trout in public. Televangelists will be forced to take jobs as
Xerox repair specialists. Demagogues of all stripes will be
required to read Proust out loud in prisons.

We are Unitarian Jihad, and our motto is: "Sincerity is not
enough." We have heard from enough sincere people to last
a lifetime already. Just because you believe it's true doesn't
make it true. Just because your motives are pure doesn't
mean you are not doing harm. Get a dog, or comfort someone
in a nursing home, or just feed the birds in the park. Play
basketball. Lighten up. The world is not out to get you,
except in the sense that the world is out to get everyone.

Brother Gatling Gun of Patience notes that he's pretty sure
the world is out to get him because everyone laughs when
he says he is a Unitarian. There were murmurs of assent
around the room, and someone suggested that we buy
some Congress members and really stick it to the Baptists.
But this was deemed against Revolutionary Principles, and
Brother Gatling Gun of Patience was remanded to the Sunday
Flowers and Banners committee.

People of the United States! We are Unitarian Jihad! We
can strike without warning. Pockets of reasonableness and
harmony will appear as if from nowhere! Nice people will run
the government again! There will be coffee and cookies in the
Gandhi Room after the revolution.


Thursday, April 07, 2005


John Walker's personal website. Yes, that John Walker, founder of Autodesk. Still active, and quite clever. John Walker was one of my personal heroes as a late teen, I read his Autodesk Information Letter 14 and found it poignant, in a way only someone looking at an era they have never known can.

I've always rather liked the direction that AutoCAD was going, while never paying for the software, or using it that much. That class of tool has the potential to be a real window into design space for people. You could use a real-time, well wizarded and primitived AutoCAD to teach people physics, and do professional engineering all at once.
Adaptive Artificial Intelligence Inc.-Team Members

Yay for my company.

Friday, April 01, 2005

There are too many april fool jokes.

what's not a joke, Sin City is out. Go, fill Frank Miller with your monies. build his empire of gritty rasping grotesqueries.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

F u t u r e M e . o r g

I just got my first FutureMe message, the one I wrote last year to myself.

What a mindjob. Being suddenly yanked back into the state of mind I was in a year ago was amazing in terms of noticing the differences.

Friday, March 25, 2005

"To study and not think is a waste. To think and not study is dangerous." - Confucius
There's this interesting thing in therapy, called a stress index. It's a level of.. well, change and upset in people's lives, things both good and bad. More things on the list that have happened to you within a certain time frame, the higher your stress index is.

Like most items of therapy and in fact modern psychology, it's kind of a nifty theory with not a lot of science behind it.

But there is an intuitive sense to it. Lately, and this is true likely for many, in these exciting days, it seems more and more happens to me, nearly before I can process and decide how to react.

Those near and far may know that despite not being the most social or the most... considerate of people, I have managed to accumulate a goodly number of people I care about, and care about me. Like most weakly correlated events, their crises tend to cluster. It seems now is another of those times.

Tonight I was treated to a conversation with my father, who has my brother effectively institutionalized in a wilderness therapy program, and is attempting to put my sister into rehab for various things. Then I got to miss my scheduled phone call with my lovely girlfriend, because I've been so behind on my work that I was struggling to get a document to my coworker Todd so he could get on with his tasks. Then, because an ex-girlfriend of mine had a nephew die, I took a phone call from her, which disintegrated into me attempting to console her and simultaneously explain that I have another girlfriend right now that I care about very much, and so on.

On the positive side, we had an investor kick a lot of money into our project, and prospects for the rest of the funding we need to scale up look very good. A respected man, Jeff Hawkins has started an AI company, another step in legitimizing the field I work in.

Honestly, I feel guilty that I'm not doing better. I just had a lovely visit with aforementioned girlfriend, and I am working on really interesting stuff. Also I'm pretty sure I'll be able to visit Crystal again next month, albeit for a much shorter, weekend length.

I should be doing awesome. But I'm working much below potential. It took me all of today to get ready to do something I thought would be over with this afternoon. I've been so distractable that I thought about raising my caffiene to self medicating levels, or even pulling out some of my strattera that I have from last year when I was indulging in the idea that I could be medicated to normalcy. But I'm pretty sure it wouldn't help much.

It's an unfair thing, to be so out of control of yourself. I can deal with every individual situation I'm in, and have come to conscious peace with all the various crises, at least shallowly. But the mere overlap in time has me stitching.

I remember when I first encountered the stress index, my first thought was that it was absurd that people would have an architecture that conflates both positive and negative things into the same heap. It's absurd and unfair. One ought to think that such things would rather behave like positive and negative integers, giving some kind of balance to a busy life full of positive and negative changes. But that is just the kind of strange apes we are.

So I sit and try to distract myself, and not think about the sleep I should be getting so I could get up early and do my work. Because I know I couldn't sleep anyway until I actually feel tired.

Which is about now, actually. Reflection always helps me feel tired. Another absurdity, but at this moment, a welcome one.

Cheers and sympathy, for everyone else out there scared of success, and Jeff Hawkins. Who is bringing the end of the world nearer with his filthy PalmOne money.

Monday, March 21, 2005

"No child of mine will ever cower before an imaginary God. It is beneath the dignity of human beings and it is beneath the dignity of our descendants. If the lightning is beautiful, then let us see the beauty in electricity without need for thunder deities; for if we cannot learn to take joy in the merely real, our lives will be empty indeed."

~Eliezer Yudkowsky

One great fear of mine is the tyrrany of sounding good. Eliezer is a prime example of a person who has tuned and tuned in the search for rationality. Unfortunately, I suspect, there is a class of 'improvements' one can make which correspond more to obscuring flaws than making true statements. It is a problem I have noted myself on more than one occasion. Here Eliezer is responding to a theist who complained that we need to instill our mind children with some kind of religion that will force them to respect their elders, lest we be obsoleted. He continues:

"But I'm not going to try to hardcode that, not in a child nor in an AI. As an atheist, I have a simple, matter-of-fact confidence that religionists once had and relinquished long ago. I don't think I need to load the dice for my answer to win. All I need is to set in motion the dynamics that seek truth, i.e., some computable approximation of Solomonoff induction. If there were the tiniest shred of truth to religion, that would be enough to uncover it. If you have even a droplet of honest belief left, not just empty excuses for a faith you lost long ago, you will not ask me to load an AI's dice in favor of your pet theory. Let the truth win out."

All true statements. All very appealing (at least to this rationalist and this truthseeker). But, the subtle shift in conversation here is quite nearly unnoticed. We've transitioned to instilling beliefs in a mind, to better them and ourselves, to talking about the structure of the mind, to fixing it so there is only one answer. Perhaps because the theist is muddled in his thinking this blanket approach is valid. It's true that Eliezer's objections do entirely refute John C Wright's theistic aspirations. But his argument does not directly address his points.

A general question: What is intellectual honesty? Eliezer has a real commitment to truth. However, and I fear this is a general point, being committed to truth is not sufficient. Eliezer in this example, and others in many examples (I choose Eliezer because I believe he's not making any other mistakes here) has changed to context, the discussion has been shifted to allow him his total commitment to certainty. By changing the context slightly he's found a place where he can shoot down this theistic argument with perfect aplomb and sound like a hero. But is he? He's making arguments that are true, and insightful(even poetic, perhaps) but they aren't in the original exact vein of discussion. Isn't that somewhat misleading? Or am I making something of a molehill? Perhaps Eliezer has simply reframed the question in general terms, much as I'm generalizing his statements for logical effect.

Let's continue in that vein, and move reducto ad absurdum. Suppose a fully rational, truthful being, that only chooses to engage in discussion when certain, and always seeks to twist contexts to those he's more comfortable in, to the limits of his self respect and intellectual honesty. Luckily, mythology is replete with examples of this type. The Zen Master, the Oracle, Yoda, all inscrutable characters who are right, and insightful, and powerful creatures, but maddening, because they only rouse themselves to croak factually accurate and unassailable arguments, and refuse to engage in fringe discussion.

There are two factors here. One is the very real problem of authority acceptance. Many self-aware Masters rage at their disciples on both sides, chiding them for accepting the Master's word without question, and also being annoyed when they don't recognize and internalize the truth the Master offers them. So the good master retreats into relative silence to avoid corrupting and doing a disservice to all those who listen to him. Speaking when certain, and able to tell how his words will affect. This admirable strategy is always blended with persona maintenence, a despicable practice of hiding, changing, and sculpting information to maintain certain relationships and reputations. Shame on the Master who can't bear to have students see him wrong.

The second factor is subtler, and the one I have been trying to explore above. The Master categorizes within his subject. He divides the realm of his understanding by function or taxonomy, he asks questions and answers with statements which exist along those lines. The Fool asks sweeping, conjoined questions, stabs at understanding that smears across the subject. The Master, presented with these questions, maps the question to his understanding, finding pieces of it within some division of his knowledge, addresses this part (perhaps rightly) believing himself to have dealt with the entirety. After all, a single contradiction is all you need to invalidate an entire argument.

I don't know whether this represents an important distinction when you're just learning to be a rationalist. I haven't yet reached the point where it even constitutes a significant portion of my mistakes. But it is A mistake.

I know there is a rank above that of Inscrutable Master. I don't have all the details yet, but he's humble and detailed and truthful. She answers questions in the spirit they are asked, but as correctly as she knows how. He presents his uncertainty, his incomplete scraps of knowledge, and his current thinking, because it too, is information. And she never takes an easy win, when there are more interesting and informative portions of an argument. Noisy Errors are to be preferred.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Create a Fake Phantom Limb

proof the crappy websites do sometimes have interesting things on them.

forgive the popup(for those of you still using something without a popup blocker). interesting body illusion.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

Concrete Nation: Science News Online, Jan. 1, 2005

your world is made of this stuff
Anarchy at Sea - William Langewiesche

There is a book based on this article, and others like it, by Langewiesche, which I may review, if I get a chance. the softcover will be out soon, which may mean a warez copy will appear, alternatively, I'll buy it next month.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

The Phenomenon of Man: "Instead of wringing our hands over the Human Predicament, we should attend to those parts of it which are wholly remediable, above all to the gullibility which makes it possible for people to be taken in by such a bag of tricks as this. If it were an innocent, passive gullibility it would be excusable; but all too clearly, alas, it is an active willingness to be deceived."

Sir Peter Medawar lays the smackdown on Teilhard's The Phenomenon of Man.

Truly a great review, I have the misfortune not to speak french, and thus I have never read The Phenomenon of Man. I have been an occasional reader of excerpts from an anonymous translation, and been unimpressed, despite the occasional recommendation.

Poor reasoning and writing shares many traits. I have found it greatly helpful to read scathing reviews of other books, and wonder, to what extent to these accusations apply to my writing and thinking?

Medawar also demonstrates a sadly poor uncommon skill, to be brutal without going beyond the facts. Untruth and exaggeration never help, no matter how good a cause they are recruited for.

Monday, February 28, 2005

I take back anything I ever said disparaging or negative about ice cream. Ben & Jerry's is a triumph of food science, unequalled in all the world of mass production foodstuffs.

An interesting aspect of debugging is that when performing triage, you often must leave errors on multiple levels of code organization, requiring you to keep in mind the way layers above and below 'will work' or at least ought to, in order to code effectively. But one must take care not to let this idealization get in your way, when you need to decide what to do next. You can make a great deal of 'progress' figuring out how things ought to work, and not actually get any closer to your goal. You still need to remember and change things.

Programming is very close to the world of ideas, and more than any other kind of engineering, it's easier to blend the two. But if it's not written and compliling, it doesn't count, no matter how deep your understanding.

As you may know, or not. We're building a demo now here at AdaptiveAI, as our news updated indicate. Progress is good, and very interesting. Of course, when it comes down to it, we're really talking about two demos, one to convince people we're doing an interesting and opportunistic thing, and the other, the second, more unstructured demo, to convince them that we can do it.

Unfortunately, nobody is going to pay for low-level intelligence and perception. So it's all about the path. What is the path from here to there? On the mountaintop of intelligence is what everybody is interested in, but that doesn't mean that's where the deep magic is. What we have is very interesting on it's own, to me, and no doubt to many others. But the implications is really what makes it shine. I'm finding that those implications need to be explained in more practiced language and examples than I have yet.

AI is a serious problem, it needs people attacking it with serious projects using real tools. I don't think it's going to be completed by small teams in the near term. As time goes on, of course, it will get easier. Maybe in a few years we'll have the theory to push more and more of the complexity to tools and crunch, but for now it's going to take people and time. That's why we need to expand our project, I think. Other a2i2 members may have different thoughts, of course. Today Josh and I were talking about the hypothetical case of a more public, more mainstream a2i2. What would it be like to publish more regularly, to have an active website, maybe a discussion list? Partially public demos and explanations. It might be interesting. But I don't really think it would get us there any faster. At least not at the moment. That's not to say I wouldn't enjoy managing something of that nature. For now, it's about finding people and time. And being very very clever and careful, and being first.

Friday, February 25, 2005

Critticall home page

faster than quicksort, even if restricted to some domains. Fascinating.

Saturday, February 19, 2005

Weather Underground: Marina del Rey, California Forecast

This is perhaps the most severe weather I've seen out here yet. We were all just woken up by hail and thunder this early morn.

Ice and freezing rain in sunny playa? I was sweating on my daily walk just a few hours ago....

Do you like pop music? Are you on the internet?

Thursday, February 17, 2005

Movin Gmap

now this is a perfect example of the enabling power of both internet services, and high level languages.

I love the idea of snaking together things you have and building things you want, using fast flexible small tools.

It's the dream of hackers everywhere, I think, to be able to wrest new things from the sea of known functionality with ease and grace on an as needed basis. Automated Design Tools will put this kind of integration within the reach of anyone interested, and vastly decrease the time investment.

Look forward to it. The futures, they are bright.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Pharyngula::Tuesday morning logic games

Logic (with a capital L) tends to attract either really unhinged platonic types, smart people otherwise gainfully employed noodling hobby-like on weekends, and the truly escapist, who try to use verbal reasoning to semantically bind reality, like poor medieval magicians, trying to make perfect Sympathetic Energies to make their desires manifest.

Occasionally I dip into symbolic logic for some quick fixes, but I wouldn't recommend it for much. It tends to descend into word games and 'assumption' chasing that actually weakens your real world problem solving skills.
Coming Soon to a Hard Drive Near You | Musings

Thursday, February 10, 2005

I've been neglecting the blog for a few reasons, one, so busy; two, less public to talk about.

As my work gears up, I find that less and less of my daily experience is ameneable to public discussion.

I read about that idiot blogger who got fired from Google after just a few weeks. I really can't imagine why people think that blogs are somehow special and reserved from good company practices. In short, talk bad about your employer and coworkers, purchase ads for your blog in violation of company policy, Continue blogging after a warning from company higher-ups, yeah, you're fired, "surprise".

Blogging can be useful for individuals, to get certain messages out, to organize thoughts and disseminate materials quickly. They're not a free pass, and they aren't good for their own sake. If I thought they were, I'd have more of them. A blog for every subject in my life. (that might be an interesting experiment, but it'll have to wait).

I'm leaving this weekend to visit SLC for Valentines Day.

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

t/Space: Transformational Space Corporation

more fun than a barrel of monkeys.

Somehow this private tiny company has managed to get into the bidding for NASA's CEV, a potentially enormous project, which it is competing with the very big defense dogs, so to speak. It's championing a simple, inexpensive open architecture, with private commercial suppliers driving cost down, and innovation up. They're using rapid prototyping and good solid interface design to explore the space and garnering partnerships with small private aerospace companies that already exist, like AirLaunch and LunaCorp.

Before you ask, Burt Rutan's Scaled Composites is involved, but no word if Paul Allen's Vulcan or Virgin Galactic are.

Vewwwy interesting.

Saturday, January 29, 2005


an Alife toolkit, moderately interesting.

inspired by a recent message on the sl4 list.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The sensation that is sweeping the nation
Get Firefox!

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

a2i2 website updated, finally.

sort of.

my handiwork, of course

Monday, January 17, 2005

Joshua Truett, as Hulk;

"Don't make me stupid. You wouldn't like me when I'm stupid."
Justin Corwin, after 10 hours of proofreading and business english had this to say: "Stimulants will solve everything".

Looking back, it may really be a contextual statement, not something to live by.
Brad Templeton's Blog

I usually don't link to other people's blogs, but this is a good point that is worth expanding on.

The ability to discern the truth is perhaps the most important skill anyone can ever be taught. Creationists do us an unwitting favor when they insist 'Just a Theory'. It is just a theory, everything is science is just a theory. We should be inculcating our children, not with scientific platitudes, however detailed or certain, but with great and hard won process of scientific acquisition of knowledge. With the ability to use science, use math, use simple uncomplicated things that are hardly worth ten questions on a multiple choice exam, and hardly anyone knows to separate fakirs from researchers at a glance.

Saturday, January 15, 2005

Ask ET: Corrupt Technologies in Evidence Presentation

an amusing, and interesting draft on a guide for what to look for in evaluating presentation material.

Highlights some of the difficulties in assessing credibility, as well as communicating effectively and honestly.

Friday, January 14, 2005

An interesting project. I am a student of design, and of new organizational technology. I haven't carefully investigated yet, but this may be of significance.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Google Search add-on

Google Desktop Search is a wondeful thing that you all should be using already(if you're on windows). One of it's weaknesses for hep multifaceted people like myself is that it's constrained to certain nice predictable file types, like microsoft office files, and .txt. But there are many other textual files, like .logs and xml and code you may write. This add-on allows you to specify which files GDS opens in it's scans of your hard drive.

Quite nifty and ratchets up the usefulness of the thing quite a bit. Now all it needs to do is spider network drives and start indexing meta data and labels better, allow constrained exhaustive searches, and increase the maximum size of file parsed.

Regular expressions are unneccesary but would sure excite a lot of people.

Friday, January 07, 2005

AMD announces Turion mobile CPUs

to leaven the realism of dobbs, here is some exciting news. AMD in the front as usual, pushing capabilities.

Your box rox, and will be mobile as well.
The Free Lunch Is Over: A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency in Software

You should be reading Dr. Dobbs anyway, but if you missed it, important analysis for you performance coders and in userland, speed junkies.

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

Well, Crystal's been here for a week now. She's going home on Sunday, which is too bad. It's nice to have her around all the time. It's certainly easier to sleep.

It's interesting. Because she's here for a while, I've been trying to integrate her into the normal schedule of things, as well as keep a moderate schedule of work on. We've been seeing each other over weekends and holidays these last months, so we have become somewhat used to that kind of interaction. I don't know how well I've really been doing at it, but it feels.. much realer, more grounded. Of course, it's still special, and I'm not getting near my normal amount of work done.

We're going to Santa Barbara today, if all goes well, and then later in the week a few events with local friends.

The experience is oddly nostalgic. I'm sure I'll look back and wonder at the exact mix of stress, excitements, companionship, and professional satisfaction.

For example, today, leaving for Santa Barbara, I'm certainly glad to be going, I'm sure it will be fun. At the same time I'd like to just stay home, and I'm a little worried I might miss something at work, despite the fact I'll only /actually/ be gone for 25 hours or so, compared to the usual gaps of 3 days or more when I visit Crystal in SLC.

It'd be nice if I could get full measures of everything, be a loving boyfriend, have interesting hobbies, and work full time. Some people may be good at that sort of thing, but I just feel a little less competent at each task I add. Of course, having no choice rather leaves me in a unique position. at this point I'm just aiming at getting a bit better at my activities one at a time.