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.