I have a proposition for all of us on the left. Starting now, let’s not support any Democratic candidate who slams another Democratic candidate (for any reason). Let’s make them focus on the Pumpkin Goblin and the Republican party.
Let’s make them allow us, the voters, to decide between their proposed solutions. Don’t make us take sides, one against each other, for that way we will surely all lose.
9 Comments | tags: Anyone But Trump, Democratic Party, election 2020, Never Trump, Trump is a loser, Trump is a monster | posted in Politics
I’ve long been fascinated by stories about octopuses. I confess I’ve eaten a few, too, and it’s obviously a worse than eating dog, which I could never. (OTOH, properly done calamari is really yummy!)
It’s not just that octopuses (and it is octopuses, by the way; the root is Greek, not Latin) are jaw-dropping smart. It’s that their intelligence operates in a completely different brain than ours — an evolutionary branch that considerably predates the dinosaurs. It isn’t just the top brain and eight satellite brains; it’s that their entire body, in some sense, and especially their skin, is their brain.
Check out this 13-minute TED Talk by marine biologist Roger Hanlon:
45 Comments | tags: brain, intelligence, mind, octopus | posted in Science
Happy Tau Day! It’s funny. I feels like I’ve written a lot of posts about pi plus few about it’s bigger sibling, tau. Yet the reality is that I’ve only ever written one Tau Day post, and that was back in 2014. (As far as celebrating Pi Day, I’ve only written three posts in eight years: 2015, 2016, & 2019.)
What I’m probably remembering is mentioning pi a lot here (which is vaguely ironic in that I won’t eat pie — mostly I don’t like cooked fruit, but there’s always been something about pie that didn’t appeal — something about baking blackbirds in a crust or something).
It’s true that I am fascinated by the number.
3 Comments | tags: Andrey Kolmogorov, Champernowne constant, Gregory Chaitin, Kolmogorov complexity, normal number, normal sequence, omega constant, pi, tau, tau day | posted in Math
This is what I imagined as my final post discussing A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition, a 1993 paper by philosopher and cognitive scientist David Chalmers (republished in 2012). The reader is assumed to have read the paper and the previous two posts.
This post’s title is a bit gratuitous because the post isn’t actually about intentional states. It’s about system states (and states of the system). Intention exists in all design, certainly in software design, but it doesn’t otherwise factor in. I just really like the title and have been wanting to use it. (I can’t believe no one has made a book or movie with the name).
What I want to do here is look closely at the CSA states from Chalmers’ paper.
62 Comments | tags: algorithm, brain, brain mind problem, computation, computationalism, computer model, computer program, David Chalmers, finite state machine, human brain, human mind, mind, positronic brain, state diagram, state table, theory of mind | posted in Computers
This continues my discussion of A Computational Foundation for the Study of Cognition, a 1993 paper by philosopher and cognitive scientist David Chalmers (republished in 2012). The reader is assumed to have read the paper and the previous post.
I left off talking about the differences between the causality of the (human) brain versus having that “causal topology” abstractly encoded in an algorithm implementing a Mind CSA (Combinatorial-State Automata). The contention is that executing this abstract causal topology has the same result as the physical system’s causal topology.
As always, it boils down to whether process matters.
52 Comments | tags: algorithm, brain, brain mind problem, Church-Turing thesis, computation, computationalism, computer model, computer program, David Chalmers, human brain, human mind, mind, positronic brain, theory of mind | posted in Computers
I’ve always liked (philosopher and cognitive scientist) David Chalmers. Of those working on a Theory of Mind, I often find myself aligned with how he sees things. Even when I don’t, I still find his views rational and well-constructed. I also like how he conditions his views and acknowledges controversy without disdain. A guy I’d love to have a beer with!
Back during the May Mind Marathon, I followed someone’s link to a paper Chalmers wrote. I looked at it briefly, found it interesting, and shelved it for later. Recently it popped up again on my friend Mike’s blog, plus my name was mentioned in connection with it, so I took a closer look and thought about it…
Then I thought about it some more…
9 Comments | tags: algorithm, brain, brain mind problem, computation, computationalism, computer model, computer program, David Chalmers, human brain, human mind, mind, positronic brain, theory of mind | posted in Computers, Philosophy
Ding! It just happened. Summer solstice. My bummer day — the return of darkness as the days start getting shorter. Only three months left of having more day than night.
Welcome to the first day of summer! Standby for winter…
18 Comments | tags: Solstice, Summer Solstice | posted in Life
Going through some old files for a project I’m working on this week I found a few old gems worth sharing. This one is really short, a quick pop quiz to start the week. Here is a sentence:
FINISHED FILES ARE THE RE-
SULT OF YEARS OF SCIENTIF-
IC STUDY COMBINED WITH
THE EXPERIENCE OF YEARS.
Now count the number of F’s in that sentence. Count them only once! Do not go back and count them again. See below for answers after you have counted.
16 Comments | tags: alphabet | posted in From My Collection
Just last March I asked, Am I Over NCIS? The question seems even more pressing given the NCIS season 16 finale. (Spoiler warning on the season, not to mention any and all previous seasons.) I’ve never been this mixed in my feelings regarding the characters, and the off-screen personal stuff is especially disturbing given other ugly entertainment-related realities that have been uncovered recently.
There is additional pressure from time in the saddle as well as from how viewing habits have changed (both mine and the world’s). Weekly episodes of commercial-filled broadcast TV seem increasingly quaint somehow. And sixteen seasons — most of them 24 episodes — is a lot of NCIS (378 episodes; over 260 hours).
All-in-all, for me the sun may well be setting on NCIS.
23 Comments | tags: Abby Sciuto, Cote de Pablo, Gibbs, Jethro Gibbs, Mark Harmon, NCIS, Pauley Perrette, television, Ziva David | posted in TV, TV Tuesday