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I Went Setting, Sechszehn

A few days' attempt to think like W produced nothing but a total cessation of my grammar-forming machine.  I beheld the void.  But unfortunately I can not describe it to you.  I'll just say-- it's worth the visit if you go.  Perhaps at my increasingly tender age, patchy incoherence, when accompanied by tripping over dust motes and bumping into walls, is a sign of mini strokes? Lo, and he shall be as a stranger to his own works?  Well, these things pass and one re-focuses as best one can.  Ah, and the birthday.  That always throws me off.  As a meaningless but personally interesting date to note, W received his English citizenship on my birthday.  That probably sums up what we have in common.

In the meantime I got sidetracked in upgrading my Microsoft Visual Studio to 2008 and dusting off programming projects from the last decade.  Mostly mindless number theory routines that I started years ago after reading Hofstadter's book: Godel, Escher, Bach.  That book stimulated years of projects, and then came Wolfram's: A New Kind of Science.  I am very excited about the launch of Wolfram's new knowledge search engine in May.  The price of Mathematica has come down to a realm of personal affordability for the non-specialist like me.  Looking for patterns in the number systems has always been closely allied for me with the AI challenges of pattern recognition.

I am not sure that the Turing Test would provide any sort of comprehensive or valuable truth of an AI's intelligence.  I mean, the humanity that we confuse in with intelligence is just specific to our kind.  Why shouldn't a machine that could outsmart a human be called intelligent-- even without the charade to appear human?  When Kasparov was playing Deep Blue he became nearly terrified by the alien quality, the non-humanness of the adversarial computer intelligence. 

I am always trying to read every book in my library at the same time so that I can meld, reference, synthesize everything into something.... uh that I can call mine.  A knowing.  What is the difference between knowing and assembling, organizing, spitting out files?  W wants to know what can be known about language, about certainty, about philosophy. He is very much in the knowing part, and not the mechanistic meat filing system of the brain.

There are indeed a finite number of W anagrams.  Less than a dozen more I think without resorting to too much babble. But I am taking a break for a while from W.  Reading all of Miller, Durrell, Crowley.

Miller's the Air-Condtioned Nightmare hammers away with gut punches to the belly of the USA.  I am taking them all like Rocky getting ready for a big fight.  I found Miller intoxicating 40 years ago.  Now, I see him more clearly, over-reaching, taking some cheap shots, but I admire his ability to come out swinging.  Miller VS Mailer, now that would make a fight-- or a tag team?


( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Apr. 21st, 2009 05:55 am (UTC)
That is two days after my own (I googled for the date on which W became British).
Happy birthday!
Have you ever given Java a shot? With its BigIntegers one can do a lot of Number Theory stuff without worrying about numeric representation issues. And it's free, well, at least until Oracle starts charging for it(I hope that will never happen, just being mischievous here).
Apr. 22nd, 2009 06:17 pm (UTC)
I never got very far with Java outside of a few beans. I guess I thought there would be a speed issue on long crunches. So, I like Lisp and Python, and use VB or C# or C++ only with the Windows Studio to tie things together for Windows GUI toys. I am not capable of a large integrated piece of software. But now with Vista I want to see if I can run some of my mini-apps as gadgets on the sidebar.
Apr. 22nd, 2009 06:33 pm (UTC)
I might mention that I run Windows 64XP, Vista 64, the Windows 7 beta (which I am liking) as well as Mandriva 10 in a second boot of my xp machine. I had Sun's Java Desktop for a while and Suse. I still really like command line stuff because that was my first environment, and I would just as soon use a linux c++ command line compiler as a big development suite. For me, so much less can go wrong! And all that flab. It's like making a rowboat out of a battleship.

With linux I have never mastered a customizing of the kernal to get everything I would like to work going on my system. Always some version or property rights nightmare emerges. Also, my incompatible fondness for 3-d high-end graphics has always got me switching back and forth-- little ship/big ship.
( 3 comments — Leave a comment )
Cydonia photo: ESA

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