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Mar. 25th, 2008

nirvana

New Cell Phone, I Need Your Number!

Yeah so my cell phone died, I have a new cell now but no numbers to put in it. My number hasn't changed, but I need yours. Sooooo I'll set comment screening to on etc.. heck might as well post your address if you're not feeling too lazy.. might as well get everything in here at once.

Mar. 17th, 2008

nirvana

Apologies To Mr. Bierce

Devil's Dictionary addendum #364:
Ray Bradbury (person) : The resulting author of a literary genetics crossover between pulp science-fiction and South American magical realism. Probably just a little insane, to boot.

Mar. 14th, 2008

nirvana

LiveJournal Changes

Ok, they have me a little worried. I don't know about you, but tonight I'm gonna go through and archive everything I want to keep locally on my various accounts. Maybe it's just time to move on to a new venue? I dunno...

Mar. 7th, 2008

nirvana

Artificial Pain

I caught myself meditating today on artificial intelligence and pain, and whether pain was "real" or not. I was thinking about those new systems that the military is using for recruiting and some airlines is using to streamline web customer support.

Part of constructing an AI is designing it how to learn and adapt, and training it. To start with, a good AI will have a somewhat arbitrary set of weights assigned to help it interpret data and stimulae (this is good, this is bad), as well as feedback to help decide if it made a good or bad choice.

How does this translate? At what point do we say an AI is sentient, and at what point do we call that feedback "pain"?

I could see how it would happen - one day, an AI analyst is working with an AI, when suddenly the machine informs the analyst, "It hurts." The analyst discovers that the AI has come to associate a wrong choice with pain. Is it feeling pain like we do?

The first thing I think is, "no, of course not, we feel biological pain". But think about it, what IS pain exactly? It's just feedback, electrical impulses managed by a chemical network that turns on and off switches in the brain. It's no more or less real than the electrical impulses that flow through a circuit board. We hurt physically because our body tells us we need to, and chemical unbalances aside, we hurt emotionally when we process/interpret negative data.

Can you imagine how painful it must be, therefore, to be an AI? In my mental excursion, I imagine the AI informing the programmer analyst how to adjust its own program so that it can learn in a gentler, less painful way...

Mar. 4th, 2008

nirvana

Movie Review: Tekkon Kinkreet

I've been on a bit of an anime kick lately - perhaps more than usual. So when I was at the public library recently, this movie caught my eye by sheer chance. Really, I don't even know why I took it home, especially since the style of character drawing is not the sort I usually take to - the faces are round bubbles with tiny eyes and huge mouths, the bodies look like sacks of potatoes with kind of spindly, point sticks for arms and legs. The main characters' names - Black and White - caught my eye however, and I decided it was worth a quick look. I could put it on, get some work done, and let it slide into the background if it sucked.

What ended up happening, of course, is that by the time the movie got going, I was actually pretty drawn into it. Though it played haphazardly with my sense of disbelief (as anime will tend to do - nature of the beast), I found the abstract departures of reality to masterfully add depth and perspective to the storytelling, which is what drives this piece.

Two young orphans, Black and White, are one set of vying rulers of the debauched, ruinous Treasure Town. As a troublesome duo, they have become as much an accepted institution in the city as the local cops and Yakuza. While these institutions go about their sibling spars, they are all forced to explore themselves and each other as the city is besieged by Change. Beyond the obvious asian/Zen Yin-Yang theme is a very human portrayal, a shamanic view of a difficult world. There is no absolute black-and-white dichotomy, per se, but an adventure into the heart by way of fire.

Along with Tokyo Godfathers, this is probably one of the greatest movies you will never hear of unless you are either tuned into the anime scene, or you happened to stumble upon it as I did. I beseech you to give this movie a chance - it's worth your time and your dollar.

(Taiyo Matsumoto, Michael Arias)

Feb. 27th, 2008

nirvana

An Offering

I offer forth a couple definitions. Tell me what you think.

"Learning" is the natural setting of logic/data paths through experience and observation.
"Faith" is the result of manually setting logic/data paths without necessarily regarding experience or observation.

Jan. 22nd, 2008

nirvana

What It's Good For (HUH!)

My college education, particularly my smattering of computer science courses, permits me access to geek humor such as this. I am so stoked I am an educated nerd!
nirvana

For FW, In Case You Haven't Seen It

ayuh.

Jan. 18th, 2008

nirvana

New Year, For Once

I begin this year with a lot of news:

- new life
- new house
- new love
- new(ish) job
- new hope
- new dislike of Windows

That's right folks, I'm leaving Windows. My plan is (barring some major Vista overhaul, or some new Windows OS that is absolutely unbelievable in a good way for once) to be using Windows only in a virtual setting on some other OS, preferrably as a background service that permits me to run Windows programs from another OS's desktop.

Right now I'm experimenting with Fedora 8 in this capacity - I've been using Fedora (and occasionally OSX) for actual server stuff for years now, and occasionally I've toyed with the idea of using them as my daily work OS. Now it's time to take the dive. It's no longer a question of if, but when, and which virtual machine software I'll use to get me there.

Also, my project partner from last year and I are hurriedly finishing up work on the laser harp in time for it to be presented in the main gallery on campus next week. We're going to put up a site for it, so you'll finally get to see some pics, production and finished and in use and everything. It's pretty exciting because I guess the video the professor took of all the projects from last year's class got passed around the department, and everyone's in a tizzy about it. At least that's what I heard...

Dec. 21st, 2007

nirvana

My Mama Said There'd Be Days Like This...

Add this link to your bookmarks.  You will need it sometime, inevitably, when you accidentally delete the partition on that hard drive, or your digital camera memory hiccups and loses that really awesome picture you took.  This will someday save something important to you, so bookmark it and remember it.  And of course, it's opensource, so it's free!

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