So, a little teenager standing in the parking lot at Borders talking to two guys, said she liked my car. "Sir". I was pleased and I said thank you and smiled. A little later I wished I had said, "I wish I was as sweet as you". But I think about it now, it might have been a little more about the dynamic with the boys.
So what have I been obsessing about lately that I need to purge emotionally? Well, there was saying no to dancing with the little bopper. That's now been replaced by this thing that happened with Melissa. So, I went to see Sooj And she has a cute Jewish musician friend Amy Steinberg. Both sort of countercultural. Actually, Judaism probably is just a basic countercultural elitist culture. Anyway, I went there, and I hadn't seen sooj in a while, and it might be a while again, so I dropped a C-note in the hat. Fine, it's christmas. In truth, giving money is a true santa claus tradition, because saint nicolaus (it's pretty sad that a garbled version of the name is what we use in america, it's almost like the americans prefer to get things wrong) was simply famous because he dropped gold coins down folks' chimneys. I guess the way they tell the thing is more magical today. Whatever. Not really into the magical bullshit stuff myself. Each to his own. Anyway, I lay the bread on the skinny white chick. I'm an American. I like skinny white chicks. So sue me. So on the way back from midtown, I stop by Dan MsGuinness to see Melissa. Mostly I wanted to hear how it turned out in Biochemistry. She got a 'C'. Last I heard, she was shooting for that. And she got it. Yay! So she wouldn't have to take it again. A 'C', of course, is dissappointing to anyone, and she was really trying hard, and had started out with A's, but got some unlucky breaks. I guess. My nephew Nathan just got a 4.0 his first semester. And, as for that, I think, no I just checked my transcripts, I _did_ start with a 4.0 in my first two semesters. Heh! Heheheheheh. :) Anyway, back to the obsessing. I think it's a characteristic of obsession that your mind will wander to anything in order to keep from dealing with it. OK. And probably it keeps wandering to the same pleasant fantasies, which become a habit, which is the definition of an obsession. So I hang out with Melissa for a little bit. and she's working the long bar, and there's a few folks and regulars. One guy, oh, darn, who was it, Frank?, orders a round of shots of something. Maybe something obscure, chocolate cake? it must have had a chocolate liqueur. And Melissa thinks I don't drink, but I haven't since I've been going there, which is pretty weird, but I'm getting more comfortable with my personal eccentricity. And there was some girl showing her tattoos. Has a flag one fairly high up on her lower back. That's is, I commented on how high up it was. Some military person. Anyway, so time to leave, and I leave another C-note. And I'm walking out, and Melissa comes after me, and says "what're you doing?" I forget how exactly it went, but she said something about it's being too much, and I just said Merry Christmas. Which was maybe enough for her. I thought I had worked out the whole dynamic, but I was taken by surprise and wasn't ready to go into it then. And my thinking has been this. She's been nice to talk to, so it's been worth it for me to go there. The question is how much. At hooters, I established in my mind the idea of tipping for the value of the company of a beautiful woman, and not as a percentage of the cost of the food, which makes sense only if you come for the food. I actually do get food at Dan MscGuinness sometimes, but mostly, I go to see the band and hang out with Melissa. And, honestly, maybe it's good, maybe it's not good. I should try getting a real girlfriend, but what'cha gonna do? I don't really know anybody I like. And Melissa's nice enough, and I like her. And really, I probably do see that we don't really have enough in common that we could even really be friends, but she is nice to hang out with. So that has value. How much? That's the harder question. Because, if you want to be friends, you mostly just invest time. But I don't feel like that, so why not money. The rate I established at hooters was $20. Honestly, looking at it, maybe that's kind of low. At hooters, they hardly give you any time at all, though. But they are especially cute. Compare what is the going rate for shrinks, $50-$100-$200/hour? They really are little more than friends for hire. (I don't mean the medical ones who can prescribe drugs, but a lot of that is vodoo, too). And for christmas, the C-note seems to be just the right spot. It's substantial, and yet easy. And with Melissa, part of the dynamic is that if I make it just about the money, I expect that it will make it easier emotionally for Melissa not to see me as someone who wants to be her friend, but maybe just that hint of someone who just wants to "buy her". Trying to play with a really complicated emotional dynamic. You don't pay for them to stay, you pay for them to leave afterwards. So I had a lot of thinking already built up behind this really simple gesture, and Melissa catches me walking out the door. What could I say? And why can't I let it go? Because I'm torn, of course. I'd like probably to be friends, plus plus, but I already have a habit of not even really giving women a chance like that, and sabotaging it in some way based on some kind of calculating and thinking about it. And then, even though I've come to a conclusion, still wrestling with the original desire that had started it all. But that's life.
Mostly got clothes this year. Especially nice stuff, though. I guess since I'm working at a fancy place, they feel like I should have fancy clothes. OK. I also got the simpson's season 9, voyager season 2, and a usb flash drive. Maybe I'll finally make a live linux setup, and get back into the linux thing.
OK, so I browsed a little on sooj's myspace page. Some folks were wishing others a happy yule. so i had to figure out what that was. Now there's a sad lie. Somebody at Dan McGuiness's had mentioned 'Yule'. Actually we were doing a thing about happy holidays and soltice and stuff, so my greeting up there was really an extension of that. Yule is neopagan. It is from the soltice which developed into Christmas celebrations. Pagans these days pretend they are somehow inheriting or part of a tradition that is older than Christianity. A really sad conceit. To take the lies without even being a part of the culture. I guess if all you've seen is modern American Christianity, it might made sense.
I didn't go to dan mcguinness' yesterday to see King's Trio, and maybe see Melissa again. I just felt like sleeping. I was trying to take a nap before, so maybe I would go, but I couldn't get to sleep so easily.
I finally fixed the lock on my old car. I had trouble bending the spring, and it wasn't very pretty. It looks like the significant thing about it was that the loops on the ends be at right angles. Plus it had to be about the right size and spring strength, so i think i about got it. Now I need to bleed the brakes, because they are pretty bad. The fluid was pretty low, and even pouring some in, there still is very little braking. I'm not real clear on how to do it, and I probably should get some help. At least I did something today, though. My mom wanted me to put up christmas lights. didn't get to that. We had dinner at about 2, and then i was just really tired and needed a nap. and that's after sleeping. but on friday i had stayed up till about 5 and gotten up at 9, so i guess that kind of thing can catch up with you. I did chop some wood.
I mean, golly, I think it's been years since a girl asked me to dance. and maybe I said no then, as well. bad pattern. I know how hard it is to walk up to a stranger like that and she looked so hurt. pitiful of me. and she was cute. and i really should ask melissa out or something. she talks about herself so freely, which is friendly enough, but doesn't ask me anything, which to me says not interested. but what is the skillful thing? I could ask if she would like me to keep her company for a bit more while she cleans up, or if she would like to do something sometime. Surprisingly, to simply do nothing (if I want to do something) is unskillful, because it is resisting. But I guess to act because I want something would also be unskillful. So maybe I don't quite get this whole skillful thing.
Christianity is a religion of torture. You start looking at it, and you find many ways that this is truth. Jesus' death by torture is supposed to benefit people somehow. It is somehow good that he was tortured, and it is for "us" in some way. God wanted him to be tortured, or at least the idea is that someone had to suffer to pay for bad things that people have done. (How sad a notion is that?). In addition, there is an idea of hell. Most people will be tortured forever, but a few will be saved. Those are just the stories. Then you go to the reality. Spanking. It starts that early. Scaring the kids with the idea of hell is another kind of torture. And you've got the crusades, and the inquisition, and the witch hunts. A long history of torture I'm sure, with just those off the top of my head. One of the deep examples I think of is Mother Theresa, the very model of the modern saint. She kept from giving some terminal patients morphine because she thought the pain was good for them. No lie. It's part of the culture. I didn't do the whole catholic school thing, but from what i here the nuns were all about the slaps with the rulers on the knuckles. ok, so maybe that's a little harsh on the papists, but even the protty-mouths are saying good things have come from some dude being tortured a ways back, and that it's natural and right for most folk to be tortured forever after they die. thanks a lot for supporting torture, nimrods!
tone hearing test. it was tough. I got a 77%, which I think they said was excellent, but it was still a 77&. 90% would have been world class. it's a test whether two phrases are the same or different. at the end, i think I figured out that they were all different, but some of the differences were very subtle, and in the beginning maybe i didn't notice or think they were significant enough. anyway, maybe a push to do the ear training. also, i'm not sure it wasn't one of those tests where it switches to harder questions when you are doing better, so it would be really hard to get 90% if you were just being honest.
so i got the new car. bright red. much taller than an average car, so i can see over other cars. actually about as tall as a truck. i didn't notice that before. it's short, but the height makes it feel very roomy. and i expect that the height takes away from the gas mileage. i think the corolla gets better. and the door opens a little wide. i bump other cars a little too easily. it seems peppy. my dad has a problem getting into most cars because they are too low, but he said this was nice to get into. anyway, so it seems nice.
So the Democrats took back Congress. I guess it's not that big a deal since we're legally still a dictatorship. But maybe they will restore democracy. Doesn't seem likely, though. That's how dictatorships are. They got rid of Rummy, though, and that's a good sign, It has been looking like Bush had been manipulated into seizing power, and maybe he's going to be able to break away from that. You get the feeling that deep down maybe he's just a partying frat boy, and not a sociopath like Rove. Rummy speaking actually sounded a bit humbled, but you know how sociopaths are good at acting. And it makes me glad I left my hair long.
And like a week or two ago or so, Bush was saying he was hoping Rummy would stay. Just an out and out lie. And then he talked about he said that. And it doesn't matter to him. President lies and nobody cares. I guess it's come to that.
There is some kind of fully open linux phone. This is probably the best hardware for a robot brain i can imagine. Small, with lot's of i/o and a reasonable computer. If you need more processing, just connect to something bigger. I'm assuming that the usb is capable of being a usb server or controller or whatever that is and is not just a device end. if not, then it isn't so good. still i need to look into it.
So I went to the mall bookstore where Barbara works. I saw her at Roy's Halloween party. And when I went in, she was talking on the phone or playing with it in some way, so I didn't bother her, but when I was past, she went hi, and I said, "Hi Barbara" but didn't stop. And I was thinking I would see if she could recommend something, but she seemed like she was always talking or busy or something, so I didn't talk to her after that. And she didn't know my name, anyway. And actually, leaving Roy's party, Catrina was calling me 'Alex'. So I didn't impress anyone there. I did bring my light sabres, and played a little with Roy out in the back yard. I found out how bad shape I'm in. Amd the chick who was blue last year, Beth, was super hot this year with some low cut red dress and devil's horns. Padded bra. Worked pretty well, though. I did talk to one guy a bit about martial arts a bit, but mostly I was totally useless. I need to stop going to group things. One thing about Barbara. She said her boyfriend was really cute, but had no confidence. And she was talking girl talk to Mazelle who was having a good year with a new boyfiend, about how he had a perfectly organized day out with a picnic basket, but he's only 22 to her 27. Whatever. So I picked up something by Alan Lightman, who is from Mempho. I think I saw him speak recently. Vaguely autobiographical. But in the beginning, he talkes about when he was working on a problem, and getting into a kind of egoless state he calls "planing" because it's like a sailboat hydroplaning--being picked up and skipped along. It was clearly something like flow. I was sitting out in front of the Starbucks which is by that bookstore readining it. So Instead of it being somebody friendly coming to see her, it was something creepy. But she's a slut anyway, so no big deal.
So I have a craving for a cup of broth, the kind I remember you could get at a machine at CBC. And from what I'm getting, most of that flavor is what comes from MSG. We have some Accent, which is pure MSG, and I sprinkled a little on a plate and tasted it. It was that exact taste. I tried just using a bouillon beef cube. I looked on the ingredients, and it didn't list MSG, but i think it's included in "natural flavors" it was fine, though.
ok, so maybe I'm a little smitten with Melissa. When I got up to go at just about closing time, she asked, "are you leaving?" in a kind of way that made me feel like she didn't want me to go just yet. I know that flirtiness is pretty strongly reinforced in bartenders, but still, she had been in such a friendly way, and relating stuff about her feelings. I don't know. I felt a connection. She felt at one point she could admit that her eyes were closing up on her, she was so tired. One thing struck me, though. This girl who had been chatted up and was going to leave with this guy, when he was in the can, Melissa asked about where they were going and said he lived around there. So Melissa is an enabler in the whole pickup scene there, which I guess is an important role for a bartender. It struck me as, I don't know, kind of touching. I tell you what it reminds me of. It's like that time when I visited Wynne at Vandy, and she was telling me about how one of her friends had broken up, or was sad or something, and they were trying to "fix them up" with someone. I quote it not because that was what she said, but because it's a nice way of putting what I think I remember she said.
Come to a bar with a loud cover band. For the peace in the eye of the storm. it was this or sleep. But somehow qracks battery is almost dead. Theyre energetic at least. Saw gary at temperance. A real architect and a failed engineer. I could appreciate his engineering problems. He even explained the role of engineers in building construction.
I see. Cannibalism. Almost asleep again there though. We only have flashes of consciousness in the middle of sleep. Can there really be more than this? For most people no. Let them sleep. Try standing on one foot balanced on a pole in a whirlwind. Youre dreaming. Wake up!
So i should explain a little more about what i mean about the flashes of consciousness . If you try to watch or pay attention to what you are thinking about you see that most of the time you are practical in a daze. The same way when you are asleep and dreaming you let any old freaky stuff happen to you without realy paying attention. But you can actually a real awareness when dreaming. And that puts it in perspective when youre awake. You n...
a commonly used metaphore for enlightenment is awakening, and that kind of needs to be explained a bit. what happens when you are dreaming and you wake up? you realize that you are not the character in the dream. so awakening as in enlightenment means you have realized that you are not this character that you appear to be guiding your body around. with that explanation though, you have to ask, well who are you?
after the crappy cover band at tj. mulligans, i needed to go to see at least a better cover band at dan mcguinness. and i saw melissa, again. but it gave me a great opportunity to try to be more awake, and then falling back asleep, and trying to catch myself and be more awake again. i gotta say, when i talk to melissa, i get distracted and fall straight to sleep. i did try to give the band a twenty to play some hendrix. i wasn't really sure whom to give it to. i gave it to the guy working the sound board and running the lights. but i think he might not have been with the band. don't know. they went to him to pull out a sheet with the words for voodoo chile (slight return), so he was at least an enabler, which is good enough for me. really drunk band. they were winging it, but that's the thing with hendrix, it's always just a jam, anyway. before that, at one point, they asked for requests, and i did shout out stairway. singer said that would take $100, but they started it anyway. didn't get very far. probably beyond their range. still, i'm going to need to start carrying c-notes. i keep finding odd times where people say they will do odd things for a hundred bucks. time before this last, at the first tennessee where i deposit my check, i tried to get money back, but they didn't have any c-notes. so they gave me twenties. if i wanted twenties, i would have gone to a machine. anyway, at least i didn't blow it at platinum. or is that her job?
regarding the meaning of "habeas corpus". This gave me a chance to look it up and refresh some of my Latin. 'Habeas' is second person (so 'you' something) singular present subjunctive (also called conjunctive) and habeo is a cognate (distant cousin) to the English word which means the same thing- 'have'. I always had trouble with what subjunctive was supposed to mean, because it isn't such a big deal in English as it is in other languages. 'You may have the body' might be the closest. I said it was also called conjunctive, because I get the feeling that the subjunctive is usually used for relative clauses, an the context here is that you have a writ of 'habeas corpus' which is a claim or petition 'that you have the body' Corpus is a neuter word that means body, and an aspect of its gender being neuter is that the nominative and accusative endings are the same, which here doesn't really matter because it has to be accusative (the object of the verb). Kind of tricky getting the real literal meaning of it, since subjunctive is kind of an oddball mood.
"A man's reach must exceed his grasp, or what's a heaven for." That's actaully a principa of the theory of flow, or an aspect of it. And I'm not sure how much it's appreciated, but it's also an aspect of male sexuality (and I think not so much female but still to some extent), and by derivation American consumerism which is really the foundation of our greatness.
Doing another vanity Google, I found that there is an Andrew W. Babian in Germantown Ohio who has a masters in engineering from University of Michigan. That's a little trippy. He's 27. And I googled Doug Sims. Actually, I looked at his web site first. The link is on my laptop, I'm not sure which it is. The Doug I no isn't the one with the greatest web presence. The one with the greatest presence is a football player. And it looks like the Doug Sims I know isn't even the most knowledgeable programmer. But he does have a listing on imdb as a production assistant on the Firm. But then, I'm probably not the Andrew Babian that is the best engineer. Or best educated, because I think I found a reference somewhere to a Dr. Andrew Babian, but that appears to be on one of those weird sites that just has collections of phrases, which seems to be just after getting listed on search engines. Still, it really makes me doubt the idea that everybody is the best at something, when you can't even be the best person with your own name.
Yeah, my grinder is dead. It was cheap, though. I should get another one. I think it was 20 bucks. I don't know if I got $20 worth of use out of it. Maybe. I made a few things of bread with wheat I ground from it. But the gruel was pretty good and I'd like to do that again.
So that web site was really had on cereals. And I was feeling good about the sausage I eat for breakfast. Then I looked at the box, and it lists MSG right on the box. grr. I'm going to try to make a gruel with the wheat I have. We'll see how it goes.
And I played a little guitar. That was nice. The fake book isn't good for all the songs, but some of them work well. Moondance. I'm on Fire.
I had the prime rib "sandwich". It was open faced, just a big hunk of prime rib on bread, so i couldn't just eat it with my hands like a sandwich. I had to use knife and fork. I guess. I mean I did try just picking it up, and i could eat it like that, but I felt like a rube. It would have been so much easier.
about my notion--I was thinking along the lines of java.awt.Robot. I only had a vague recollection of it, and I never used it, and looking at it again now, I think it is exactly what I was thinking of. Another reason I thought of it is that Stan Franklin's Ida model uses e-mail as a sort of sensory-motor and that's a kind of subset of this notion. It seems like the standard reactions people have when they wonder what an artificial intelligence is going to do is either sit in a box and answer questions or control a physical robot clunking around the world. I would simply propose that one other useful answer is to control and use a computer the way a person might control a computer. This would mean that it could use all manner of existing tools to multiply whatever power its additional "intelligence" adds.
But one of the tricky bits of the idea is having something sufficiently general and useful enough to make a contribution. As I mentioned, there is a Java class that does the kind of thing I'm interested in. And it's probably straightforward to have this kind of thing in other imperative languages. But how would you have a neural network system interface to it? I don't know, maybe the API idea is foolish. I've never tried to design one, so I don't particularly know what's involved or if it's even a good idea. The really basic functions I would expect are an ability to capture a piece of the screen, to control the mouse, and input keyboard events. I think a very valuable addition would be to discover a character (or piece of text) that's at a particular location, so reading in text from a screen would be easier. We have to do this to use a computer and any agent using a computer would need to do this anyway, so it would be just more useful to add that in at the beginning. Unfortunately, that could be a tricky bit of code, but it is miles away from OCR, so it isn't unreasonable. I also mentioned having access to the sound streams. People can get away with not using the sound on a computer, so clearly it wouldn't be necessary for an artificial agent using it to use it, but it might make a valuable addition. And it might a useful feature if part of this interface enabled an AI to simply watch what a person (or conceivably another agent) was doing, which could open opportunities for some kind of instruction or learning.
spent some money this weekend. i got a backpack and a bike lock, so maybe i can ride to work. i got interested in maybe playing again after the pretty good cover band at dan mcguinness's, guy did a passable little wing, so i got a new rock fake book since i gave my old one to Freddie for Christmas. i bought some food. mostly pot pies. i didn't get any chicken tender things. i'm a little more scared of processed food after reading this web page about it. i'm not sure i buy all of it, but it's scary. and i know pot pies aren't very good, but they were on sale. i might go back to just the chicken. i dug out some books, including _consolations of philosophy_, which mentions epicurus and the diet he had. I had talked to Laura and Doug about this, and I thought it had included cabbage and asparagus. Laura thought this was quite funny. So I looked it up, He recommended bread, vegetables, and olives, and drinking water. He and his posse grew it all themselves. The most important thing was to be with friends. That's where the real pleasure is. But the vegetables were (and he says probably) cabbage, onions, and an early kind of artichoke. And I ordered a car, a red automatic yaris liftback.
So there playing the one, you gotta fight for your right to party. Thats what i mean man. We lost.
and i was pitiful. they didn't have a tip jar or bucket. i just wasn't comfortable walking up to them and giving them cash. seems kind of lame. so i didn't tip the band. which is pitiful.
So, they've got this law that lets the president seize anyone who supports hostilities against the U.S., and they can't appeal with habeas corpus. All he has to do then is continue to be a jerk, and naturally people will support hostilities, and he can just grab more and more people. It could be that the demonstrated fact that the Iraq war increased terrorism is something they are using to increase their power. I don't think Dubya is that bright, and from what even some liberal seem to see they are very sincere in their belief that they are helping and doing the right thing. But I know Rove is that kind of cunning, and would even manipulate Dubya into that kind of arrangement. The question I'd wonder about is Rummy and that kind. I wouldn't be surprised if they are all just been played. It's a freakin' dark day.
I just had a notion. The proper sensory input and motor output for an AI is the computer screen (and sound input and regular keyboard and mouse input). One thing that needs to be made available is a freely available standard API for these things, so people can work on them, plus implementations for the platforms that people use. My hope is that it would give different researchers, especially all those lone wolves out there, something intercompatible to work with. It also seems possible that this could be a common mechanism for the different systems to work together, in a sort of extension of the Blackboard model. And, as a lighter element of it, I'd really like it if these projects could use video games, because they more and more have become very sophisticated real-world modelling tools.
I wrote this to the agi list:
There is stuff I wanted to add. Eric Baum replied in one statement that object premanence is not learned, it's in the DNA. that's a possibility, sure. It's the kind of thing I didn't want to argue, so I am not replying there. But obect permanence gives you other things that you can think about. For example, aren't there animals that don't need, so probably don't have a concept of object permanence. Purely reactive critters, bugs certainly, but maybe fish or lizards. The example that really stands out for me is frogs. They see a fly, and they grab it with their tongues. They don't have to worry about whether the same fly goes away and comes back. Tracking a fly would probably be too hard to do anyway. There are just these flies out there, and it grabs them. And it has to worry about predators. It's not much use to keep track if there was one, and it might come back. It only needs to know if one is around now. This is just speculation, and maybe they do keep track like that. I bet some mammal types do. But it is not absolutely necessary. And there's the sphez wasp. It doesn't even seem to have a concept of a particular thing. If you move the bug it's hiding, it doesn't know it was the same one it had already prepared.
another thing that you can thing about with object permanence is what kind of things knowledge works on. somehow we have to come up with an idea that some sensory input corresponds to some thing. and then we can have the idea that that thing will stay out there. First we need to understand that various sensations indicate the same thing while it is moving around. It seems likely that we must have genetic support for this ability, but that might be something that we have to learn in some way. And then to get object permanence, we have to be able to connect that thing that we were tracking for a bit, with some othe bunch of sensations after it has gone away, and come back. it may just be that babies are so larval that there' memories don't work well enough to do that till a particular point. or we might actually have to learn the idea. i think one of the examples is peek-a-boo. babies find it interesting because they don't have a notion of hidden yet--they only know that it exist if they see it, so it's exists, then doesn't exist, and magically appears. Must be freaky until they figure it out.
And the thing that gets me the most. On Peter Voss's site for his company a2i2.org. He says complex sensing is not necessary based on the example of Helen Keller. But I don't buy it. I need to deal with it, though. She did have cognitive capacities from having a brain that developed with sight and sound. And she used language which needed someone with speech. She still had the sound parsing language capacity brain areas. And we don't really understand the subtleties of some of those capacities. She did have an ability to sense things with touch, and that ended up acting as a substitute for sight. She must have gotten a notion of objects and the concept of object permanece. I don't know the whole story, but she got to the notion of "words" representing general concepts. I don't know. I don't like that assumption he is making, so I'm not really happy with his project.
Having faith is more about keeping quiet and not stirring trouble than belief.
The bagua book actual made me less interested in martial arts. It talked about secrets that didnt seem interesting. And said that one of the secrets was probably just flow. Hence the book. They also talk about that weird kundalini chi energy release state thing that ive heard of somewhere else. That you might get after years. Just doesnt seem worth it.
What else. at least it was distracting. I think they were studying history or something. I didn't really hear much. Pantheism. who wrote _crime and punishment_. one girl dropped a page of something in front of me, and i handed it to her, but she dropped her keys and that distracted me as she said thank you, so i didn't even make eye contact. or say she was welcome. so i was just creepy. but i'm sure i looked plenty creepy. unshaven. jeans and plain white t-shirt. hair is getting a little long and wild. on the intp list i said something about a stripper. this was about the one who said i looked 25 and asked me to marry her. i'm not sure what it was about that exactly, but they said to add me to the creep list. i guess it could have been the stripper, though that wouldn't really make sense. but they have no idea.
So one thing I'm noticing is that drinking tea reduces my appetite. i'm not so hungry after drinking some. so that could be something that helps. it hasn't yet, though.
Tetrachromat women!. Wow this was just trippt and I had to share. So, it turns out that some of the genes for color on rods are sex-linked--that is, they are on the X chromosome. So boys are more likely to be color-blind. But how this often happens is that the boy will have two green tint genes and one of the other, instead of one of each of the three possible. But, the mom has two X chromosomes so she could have the third color on one of the two, but the double green on one. But it can be that the two greens on the one are slightly different colors (and they could be fairly far apart, so effectively she can see four primary colors. So she sees a much larger number combinations, which means more colors. Trippy.
So Bush has admitted to war crimes. I always knew that the 'W' was for "War criminal". I think it's ballsy that he's asking that the law be retroactively changed so he can be not-guilty. But war criminals are often quite ballsy. Cause, you know, it's one thing to break American, laws. He does it. You and I do it. Who doesn't? But breaking international law, things that sometimes other countries will go out and go through great pains to have you executed for, that's just ballsy. Don George, our hats are off to you.
So reading _Caves of Steel_ didn't do it for me. I was hoping ready something that was more in my area my get me back more interested in fiction, but I didn't didn't like it, and it did seem like I just didn't like it because it was fiction. It's always some person's picture of how things might be, and I just seldom agree with them any more, based on my own unique perspective. I don't know, maybe I'll find something, but for now I'm going to hold cut back. It was another book where at about 3/4 through, I just wanted it to be over, so I had to push to finish. Though, actually, the last one like was non-fiction (_Bird by Bird_) but it was about writing fiction and in that kind of style, so... whatever.
Shoot. Sometimes you'd rather just sleep. Lat night I was thinking that today I would finally try to go to that tai chi school, but I had trouble sleeping yesterday, and today I just wanted to sleep. Typical. And I wanted to go biking. Looked like rain. heh. plus a twinge of the old gout. and my knee was hurting. Threw out my old, unused, expired condoms today. Now _there's_ a sad thing.
well good. the self-whining got me to go out and do a bit of a sprint interval training set. it was dark and the ground was wet so I was a bit afraid of slipping and I idn't push it quite to the max like i should have, but it was something.
So Wynne has moved to Philly. She's got a couple of daughters now.
That sucked. Qrack autocompleted the email address to journal@ababian but i didnt notice the missing .com and i sent it and qrack complained that the address didnt seem valid which i ignored. Then i noticed the problem but it was gone. And it did not move it to the sent folder. Wtf? I wont get a bouceback. So its gone. Diarhetic, though, so small loss. Went to borders and starbucks. That kind of crap. Blew my mood, though.
OK, so it didn't suck that bad. It turned out, when I looked at my outlook email account that i used for the emails to my journal, that they had gone to the sent folder on the outlook server, just not the sent folder that's on qrack. so i didn't lose it. but it was a shock at first. and starbucks closes at ten on most nights i thought it was eleven, but that's only on friday and saturday. in there, some kids were singing something. one (a girl) said to go see dracula something or other at MUS on October 26. I wanted to go asked them some stuff, since i've been thinking of writing Clay Smythe to ask him stuff. On the bart's soul Simpson's episode, on of the writers, maybe Greg Daniels, I forget, said that he was the president of his high school philosophy club. He actually bought someone's soul for 50 cents, then spooked him by getting other folks to ask him, well what if there's a one in a billion chance, and it's for eternity, so it's a bad bet. and then he sold it back to him at an inflated price. so the simpson's commentaries are interesting. but going over to talk to kids is too out of character. plus they were around the corner so i didn't see for sure who they were.
and i got a copy of psychology today which has a thing on buddhist mindfulness practice as a way to learn to better control your emotions.
and I had this dream. somebody had given someone else a nanite whip pill. and had told him about had options how it could work. it could be slow and just rip away at your insides, or just burst and explode. and the guy was walking away and writhing. and then cursing the guy and then finally crawling and cursing. man, i sure can't tell this. maybe i should work on that word painting. and i walk over to him and said "don't you know this is remote controlled? if you just be nice for a little while, he would let you die?" and the quieted down, and shortly stopped kicking. And I went back, and walked with the poisnoner and said, "you know, if you were to attack me, my nanites would trump yours. because it's not an ego thing with you." he said, "i seek tranquility". and I "ah yes, tranquility is good."
so I ordered stuff from amazon on wednesday, and it got here on friday. that's just amazing to me. but i really don't need my whims to be gratified so quickly and easily. I filled out my collection of star trek next generation dvds, and the rest of the simpson's seasons. and I got a book "the analogical mind". I could have gone to the 40th anniversary star trek convention, but that would have taken some planning and arranging. too much work. and the main special tickets were sold out, anyway. and i still haven't bought a car. the money is sitting there. there's even more now. too lazy to call the guy, though some of it is that in the cubicle farm, there isn't privacy so i don't feel as good about a personal call, and I normally don't like to make phone calls anyway.
i'm watching darmok. i went out to platinum. i'd like to know what it is about alexis that I like. i was thinking that it was her thin pear shaped figure. but i'm thinking it's more about how she is responsive to my trying to give her pleasure. she likes having her ass grabbed. or a butt massage. at one point she said she would almost pay me to do that. she said i could make a girl come doing that, and it made she not want to move, so she had to stop in order that she could keep dancing. she asked at first if I just wanted her for an hour or just for a few dance. she said one guy had her for four hours. that impressive, but she did look fit an energetic enough to dance for four hours. her dad is irish italian, and she says she's irish italian, but her mom is cherokee and german. she said she doesn't claim any of the german. so, i noticed that i didn't care so much for her just shaking her thing, which she liked to do. and i wasn't as excited this time as i have been in the past. but it was still a lot better than pretty much everyone else, who usually just don't do anything for me. one girl mariah asked me if i had had a dance, and i said yes, and then she asked me if i had gotten off, and if i wanted to, but i doubt she could have done it for me. i think i what i really like is just for a girl to be submissive, and i think a hint of dominant turns me off. maybe that's what it is. maybe dominant isn't quite the right word. i guess i still don't know exactly. anyway, i do need to exercise some more and get into some shape. so after she had really danced her songs, she asked me to grab her ass for another minute. and she did thank me for the butt-massage. some of it must be that she is just young, and has long hair. but i think the thin waist and something about not being stout or muscly. i think i really don't go for the athletic thing, but being a rail doesn't do it for me either. hmm. one thing about alexis is that i just can't learn her face it just looks like too many other girls. and some of that may be that part of what i use to recognize her is the straight brown hair, and there are a feew others like that. like the girl at the front selling the drinks. i just didn't know if this was her. and there was some girl who was in jeans that came up and asked for a cigarette. could have been that alexis had gotten dressed and came out. actually, she did say that at five she thought it was six and started getting dressed.
Man, I read the football guide from MUS. Not really a big football kind of person. But somehow I thought it was interesting. And something on the Lacross coach, Mr. Dent. He's one of the religion teachers. The other one is Stan Clay Smythe, who was in my homeroom. I talked with Clay a few years ago when he had recently started. I need to talk to him again. And ask if Mr. Dent is a Lacrosse coach who teaches religion, or a religion teacher who coaches Lacrosse. I see on the web page for organizations there is a listing for a "Philosophes Club". I can only wonder if they have gone French, or it's a misspelling. I need to see who the adviser is, and maybe I should go and talk to them.
Wow. Qrack actually locked up. Some web page. I didnt see anything in the manual, so i pulled the battery. So its fine now. Nasty though.
And i exercised two days in a row. Biking. Wont last but its something.
Out for a bike ride. At starbucks. Shaking. Got on the scale. Over 200. It was after lunch, but shoot. I know what it was. Went to whole hog cafe and got a whole slab. Good. Big. Not sure it was worth it. Cannibalism.
It is really hard to write on qrack here. He's addictive, so im going to call him qrack. Not at all like jordy. Its a stuggle to type where on jordy i could touch type. Still mostly eyes on keys though i might get better. Actually some keys and combos i can get. Er. A is easy--center left. E is getting easy. Third from left on top row. I might get used to it. S is next to a. It might be faster than handwriting. I suppose ill get used to it. And qrack is really easy to carry around, ad i will anyway, since he's my phone.
So i rode my bike. I want to ride it t work but i need a bag. Or i should put the basket on it. But thats not pretty. Being fat isn't pretty either, though. Hmm.
The little sprinting trials i have done have gotten me in a small but noticeable amount of better shape. But it doesn't use calories. Muscle soreness is an issue. I dont stretch especially. And the bike ride made my legs a little rubbery. I need to get back to it.
So I get back from riding, and now the scale says 198. Isn't that special? I much prefer typing on a real keyboard, too.
and i wanted to link to an article i saw on reddit. somebody came up with a spray to fight cavities. It uses a genetically modified bacteria that would displace bacteria in the mouth that create lactic acid, which causes tooth decay. So it would reduce cavities, they claim 70-90%. I'm not sure how well it would really work, but that would be neat. about 3 to 10 times. I always thought that lactic acid production was a necessary product of anaerobic metabolism, so if the bacteria are going to survive without air in the mouth, they have to make it. so I'm not sure these guys would be able to really outcompete and displace their siblings (not even distant enough to be cousins). And I assume the acidic environment also carves out a niche where these guys survive better. Still, it sounds like an interesting idea. Someone on the site suggested that it will just disappear, since there is not much incentive. It would be quite cheap to produce. though, so there would be profit in it. Unlike a lot of things that don't come out because there are losts of high costs to produce. The one cost that might hit is is liability and risk, though, it sounds like there isn't likely to be any. plus maybe just no public acceptance. and like i think i indicated, it might just not work. it sounds like a great gates foundation project, though. another article on reddit suggested that the electric car was killed by GM because it didn't actually work very well, prone to breakdown from overheating, and they had to lease instead of sell because of liability concerns that any amateur trying to work on them would likely kill themselves because they are live high voltage dc circuits. this needs to be emphasized. batteries can't be turned off, and that is a major assumption people have when working on stuff. we really don't have any products as dangerous as that around, except maybe now the hybrid cars. those are expensive enough that they can a little better guarantee that people will go to authorized service places. so you add liability. a [rpb;em with reliability, and a missing feature that people expect from a car but only sometimes-- the ability to take a cross country road trip, and you have something that is just not what would work as a car. it might have worked as a commuter second car, but i think there isn't really a market for that. like i was calculating for myself, you don't save money by spending a lot of extra money on a car that just uses less gas. speaking of which, i think i'm going to just buy a new yaris. and my justification is not to save money on gas, but to spend money not to inherit a car with problems. if someone sells a car, then they didn't like it in some way. and i'm really not good about going to mechanics. i wish Holly was still talking to me and could persuade me otherwise, but then, people wish for a lot of things.
and i should add studying physics. I just saw an explanation that I didn't get before. OK, so you've got the negative electron, and the positive nucleus. And opposite charges attract each other. Why doesn't the electron just settle to the nucleus and stay there? And I think about the question, and before this, I think the best I would have been able to come up with before is that it just does. I really wouldn't have had an answer, and I thought I was sort of a geeky enough person that was into science. So I'm reading the Feynman stuff, and still in the introduction stuff, he gives a reason, and it's the uncertainty principle. You can't know the position and speed of something exactly at the same time. Or, possible a little better way of putting it, the uncertainty in position times the uncertainty in momentum (which has to do with speed) has to be more than a certain small number. So if the electron just got stuck in the nucleus, you'd know right where it is. So it has to jiggle about. That of course pushes back the why question to why the uncertainty principle is true, but at least it does give some sort of reason. Personally I'd say it's because things are made of wavicles, though we don't have a good word since there aren't big scale commonplace things that act the way things do down there where it's small, so an explanation like that isn't going to be all that useful. Possibly the uncertainty principle explanation is actually the best one.
priorities. ear training. piano. guitar. a bit of dancing. go to the tai chi school. don't eat, thinking about the other things that i want. sprint to get in shape. look for ai stuff. but these are all long term sorts of building things. can they really be priorities? shouldn't i have some short term goals and things? read the nlp book and do exercises h, j, and k? send out 3 resumes? i just googled lee house. i got something from cbu about alumni stuff, and i looked over the class list. with a name like lee house, i needed his middle name to find him. or maybe his middle initial. but then, try googling "lee h. house". woof. there's a guy who went on to success. i mean, his web presence is largely SEC stock disclosures and company statements. VP of Engineering for a publicly traded company. From the cbu directory, i could get his street address, and i think there was a phone number. from web site of the company he works for i could find some phone numbers and a fairly short form of a life's story. and from various company reports i can get his salary and some listing of his stock holdings in the company. but an email address? i did try contacting support for that. nada. whatever. i don't know. that was a long time ago.
"there's no trick to making a lot of money. if all you want to do is make a lot of money". i'm just waiting around for the revolution, though it's not due for another 30 or 40 years.
so they are just guesses as to what i want my priorities to be. from what i do, i seem to just want to read stuff. i need to get past that.
so, i've come up to t.j. mulligans. i couldn't remember if they had any root beer. i realize i problem asked and just forgot. they don't. john is the bartender. i don't know john. felt like going out. dude asked me about my phone. dr. pepper instead. huey's has root beer. just needed to get out of there. a little toxic. all i do is read. surfing just to read. i wanted to take a couple hours a day to improve myself, but reading just isn't it. playing piano. maybe do something. i mean i just saw a three line perl program to solve sudoku puzzles. jordy can do perl. but tj's doesn't have. dude is scotty. the wifi working for me to download it. so, writing at least. scotty kept asking me what i was doing. writing. what. hmm. was a damn good question. mary pregnant. other girl pregnant. waitresses. not making much. why? it helps me think. i guess. why come to a bar to write? to have something to write. maybe to see people. not so great to be sitting by yourself all the time i guess. i'm reading asimov's autobiography. he really was good at writing constantly all the time. loved to just write. sitting at his typewriter. loved just the mechanics. prolific. do i love the mechanics? i don't know. i don't know plotting or characters. i don't like storytelling. do i even have anything to say? not really. i think it just elps me think. really just gives me an opportunity to think. or, like i've thought before, a chance to think about something, and potentially something interesting and worth remembering, but i don't have to worry about forgetting it if it's any good, and i can just let it go then, so i'm free to think about something else. and there are various sort of psych practices where you try to recapitulate everything and let it go. seems like the scientologists do something like that.
but, something to write about. truly been emptying my brain. work can be so soul-draining. i guess it's the frustration of a complicated project, but i don't feel like doing much else. but now i remember what it was that made me feel like leaving. syd barret. the pink floydian. brain burned out. then complete withdrew. but he did put out a couple of albums. that's quite a something. but did he burn out, or was he already crazy? i think he was probably already crazy but was coping for a while. but maybe not. reddit just showed a piece. hooters girls. where somebody did a study on psychedelic mushrooms. for it's "spiritual" value. most of them had a spiritual experience that the thought was really significant and life changing. i guess. they're thinking it might help with depression and drug abuse. uh huh. i suppose it might. leary and his crowd sure were into that kind of thing.
got a copy of the aeon flux series. listening to it. well, the commentary. no time to talk.
Ah, Sir Paul is 64. And really not doing so happy. That's kind of sad. Such a sweet guy. I've almost all of my Beatles stuff on my iPod. I haven't put my McCartney stuff on yet.
Work has been humbling. I'm not doing so well. I guess that happens. About a lot of things, I'm not so much concerned about myself anymore. I'm not so important, never really was, and I'm settling in with it. I've heard that ego doesn't really fade before it disappears. It was never there, so how could it fade? You just suddenly see that it was always a fake. There is only this.
Here is a post from the intp list: someone said "While meditating, you empty your mind of thoughts." to which I replied: I don't think so. Letting them go, maybe. Not attaching to them. It is the nature of mind to have thoughts, it would be silly to try to get rid of them. But you don't want them to take over and crawl all over you. Thinking about things would be letting the train of thoughts take over and be everything there is about you, so the thoughts become all that you really see about yourself. Meditating is more about trying to see what you really are, and you are more than these thoughts.
I'm watching the Omega Glory. The ones with the Yangs and Coms. Something to contrast with where the Imperialists seem to be taking us. "Freedom? That is a worship word. Yang worship. You will not speak it."
Now I've got some money, I'm starting to waste it. I'm remembering my rich brother. He was a pirate from way back. In the early 80s it was software. He'll do the DVDs now. But to me the big thing is the attitude of not spending money. And if everything you have is cheap, it doesn't matter if you get rid of it. He is pretty uncluttered.
Tried to go to the Neshoba Unitarian service at 11. didn't really know where it was, I tried to go through Shelby Farms. I left at about 20 or 25 till so i could have made it. But I didn't really know the way through the park. And there was actuallya bus stuck in the road to the north east exit. but i went around to the northwest, and since i didn't know where it was, i passed it. it was just northwest of the fork at mullins and raleigh lagrange. but unitarian seem like such a parody of a chujrch. let's have no demands at all, why don't we? but i suppose i could at least see.
so,wow, wade could be a sociopath. i need to talk to him some time. i thi nk he just bounces of me if he is. doug suggested i was a little bit of a sociopath. i don't know. i'd be surprised if i was. i do appreciate the ideal. i don't think doug really knows what i waas talking about. anyway, i was out at shelby farms, missed the service. got there at 11:08. so i call up doug to see if he's there. and he says he's going to have lunch with Laura. asked if i might like to go along. and he checked with her. isn't that precious? anyway, lunch. we went to the park and walked or played fetch with her dog George. and she said before that she and the girls were going out to see 'the break-up'. using bruce's philosophy, i was up for it. i had trouble remembering the name at first, but later i could remember it, which for me was a sufficiently good sign. but, as doug declared that he was going to go, she said she was just going to make it a girls time out. OK, fine. Doug was obviously not comfortable with it, but that didn't make a difference. and, she was thinking i had come with doug. she didn't really know me well enough to bring me along. and, i suspect she was just trying to get doug to come along, and if she had to do it by using me, fine. heh. so i left. no reason to be congenial with something as clear as that.
but wade a sociopath. it makes sense. i did find a bit of dirt on laura and doug. and doug was supposed to be doing something for wade, since we were talking about wade, i wanted to call him while we were thinking about it, and i asked doug for the phone number, and he didn't give it to me. i'm sure it was in his phone in his pocket, but nooo. he said he would e-mail it to me. heh. doug is quirky about his passive resistance to things he doesn't want to do. like this thing for wade. he just put it off by playing with his girlfiend, but i think he is probably working on it now. maybe i should go see the x-men.
at some point, though, laura asked me if this was enough exercise for me, and i had to say "no". from a reddit article about how to get into shape fast, i see that the proper regimen is sprints. i've never really been in shape, but sprinting was my best. i have short legs. distance just never was my thing. laura said she has the runner's high thing, but she said she does a mile and a half. huh. but she drinks chai, likes soy. had a happy david byrne cd to listen to. i mentioned and need to find out from cliff about that happy music band he mentioned one time.
there's a post on the intp list i should put here.
oh man, exercise. so i was at bordres friday after temperance. i ran out to the car for change, and i broke into a run, but my back twinged. grr. pitiful. i was up late with issue for work. didn't go out after.
i am still quite timid about things. i do not rely on the kindness of strangers. i mentioned the bluegrass group at the church on Saturday. i should go there.
went to go see the x-men movie. i liked it. it has a sort of universality, for anyone who has some kind of difference. maybe not everyone is like that. but i can relate.
i had jordy in my pocket, though. i think there is something about how it puts pressure on my thigh muscle (i keep it in my front pocket) that makes my back hurt, because my back hurt just sitting there. it has been strained, lately, but i think that makes it worse.
I'm jittery. roughness been happening lately.
so it was jean/phoenix vs. wolverine at the end. basically, phoenix killed wolverine over and over. she killed a bunch of them. kind of distintegrated them. but they had an exchange, you would die for them? lucky, wolverine's mutant power was to recover over and over. couldn't have felt good, though.
i heard, i think, they were going to do a silver surfer. never read any of it, but somehow i get the feeling that it's cool. nick cage is going to do a ghost rider. that just looks cool.
OK, the post. I read Linda's later post. they were deep. now mine feel quite lame,
but I'll share anyway.
and i can't believe i my wrist still hurts. pain sucks. and i think it gives me a lame excuse not to exercise. not as must as pain in my foot, though so i'm still fat. i hate being fat. doug and i went to dinner at garibaldi's he had a salad and spaghetti, but then ended up not eating half of the spaghetti. i had a long roast beef sandwich. i thought long might be a foot, but i think it was nore like 14 or 15 inches. just way way too much, and yet i ende inishing it. plus the two giant cups of lemonade. probably should have had water for one of them, but i think i was pretty thirsty. and it was so much that i actually felt a little like throwing up after. that's probably a little too much. and i told doug i wouldn't be so fat if i could just abandon food like he did. but then, i don't usually eat crappy restaurant food. my big issue is the home cooked food, where my mom would hate to throw food away. she wouldn't mind hot eating it, and often says i don't haven't to eat it, but the thing is, you need to be able to throw away food. because if you don't eat it, it will just be left-overs that you have to eat later, anyway, and they aren't going to be as good left-over, so it ends up being just a little easier to eat that last little bit now, then having to wait. for me, i guess. as i think about it, it doens't seem like i know anyone who doesn't throw food away. it must be easy for them. i'm sure it is if they eat the crappy restaurant food.
and there must be something about microsoft and pcs that made them slightly easier. from what i gather, once you finally get and use the mac, it's much easier, and things work. but it's more expensive initially. i think that makes it the slightly easier needed. plus, after it caught on, it became the slightly easier choice. now in the corporate world, it's the safe, somewhat easier choice, since there is this body of people that are used to it. even if it is horrible. and the slightly easier seems to be about starting out. once you get into something, it doesn't seem to matter much if cumulatively, it adds up to being worse. that was always the thing with typing on the desktop. I type a whole lot easier on it, more than twice as fast and a lot more fluidly and unconciously, but that initial cost of having to come over and be here and turn it on and wait made me not do it. jordy is anytime, anywhere, but a lot more continuously cumbersome while doing it. i think standard blog engines let you use any machine, and that adds a bit of that.
and i got a ir adapter for the laptop so i can get pictures off the phone. from what i've seen, the quality is really terrible. i had no idea. not very good at all in low light. unfortunately, it's a different computer, so i haven't found a way to easily load it, or i'd want to be putting new pics in. maybe ill figure a way.
and i just write more on the desktop because it's so much easier to type. once i do actually sit down to it.
Interesting evening. I decide to just waste some money. went to mulligans, and i was able to just get a coke, which i think was a baby step towards being able to just do what's best for me. and i went to platinum, which to some is just a waste, but for me, it helps me appreciate what i really want. got some dances from alexis, who dances as chrome. she said she's from fort myers, florida, and it's beautiful. maybe the only better place might be italy. she's a little italian. this visit was just to may see if there is anyone worth going there for. maybe her. she was in a good mood. i don't want anyone who is just tired and going through the motions. she was somewhat fun. there was also this other little girl. looked really young. had a newly pierced clit, and said she had gotten off four times because of it. didn't dance with her long enough myself, though. she did seem to want to keep going.
earlier in the evening, i went to borders, and got _collapse_ for the book group, and _how to talk to anybody_. i'm not sure i have great trouble talking to people, but i don't do it much. more, i think, because i don't generally find other people interesting, but a guess a consequence of that is that i'm not particularly good at it, and i suppose i could learn quite a bit. But in borders, there was a little sewing circle. Actually I saw her before i saw that it was a sewing circle. Angela K. Schneider. And I was thinking, damn, she has become a cliche of an old maid. I did not have the stones to go over and talk to her, and i did notice that she spotted me and averted gaze. But browsing the store, i noticed that in soundtracks, they had a little section card for the blue man group. i'm kind of a fan. One link i have is the video for i feel love they did with some girl. i guess not quite a fan, since i don't have any of their stuff yet. an admirer, perhaps. i like that homer simpson wanted to join them. he would have been the fat one. and i saw the darth maul light sabers that they still have a bunch of. i was thinking of getting one. actually, i was thinking if i had the money left after platinum, i'd get one, but now i don't. we'll see if i get one anyway. if i knew some sword kata, i think it would be fun to do them with one of those. unfortunately, i don't. maybe it would give me an excuse to learn some. i think bagua has some, but for a heavier broadsword. i don't know if they are really durable enough for kata. i did see a book on japanese swordmanship that looked worth picking up, but i have never been able to figure out forms from a book. it did have description on technique, that i never really seemed to quite get in aikido. i never really understood if you're supposed to be pulling to do a slice, and there's supposed to be something where you are pushing with the top hand or not pulling with the bottom hand. i don't quite remember what it was supposed to be. and i was thinking, that my interest in martial arts is completely more fantasy than anything. i want to be able to pretend i would know what to do. being good in fighting is really about how much work you put in. "kung fu" means skill from hard work, not fighting. i really am not interested in the hard work. actually, what i'm interested in is knowledge. so if there was a martial art that was about skill from knowing things, that's what i would want. and really, knowing dirty tricks is probably the kind of thing i'm after. there are the obvious ones. knees to the groin. eye gouges. punches to the throat. the typical boxer stance is all about protecting from that. knees in, chin down, hands up. so a generally trained fighter is ready for that stuff. i'm not sure if sword kata would make for exercise. since for me, it's just fantasy, i could see using a toy lightsabre. i might even try to learn some of the classic movie fight sequences. it would beat sitting on my ass. and aikido has at least one jo form, which i didn't quite learn. maybe i should got back and try that. and, this is cool, i remember a long time ago realizing how nanotechnology would make possible something like a light sabre. i was thinking vorpal weapon at the time, but not i think light sabre might be a little closer. because you coat the outside of a rod with nanobots that are quite capable of acting like high speed chainsaw blades, you got your basic cut through anything sword. and since they are nanobots, it would easily be retractible. i see no reason for it to glow. seems like a nice effect, though. i think the idea in the movie is that it was some kind of plasma, but nanobots would be far more deadly. of course, nanite weaponry could be a lot more interesting than that. and there isn't some kind of "force" to make people psychically better with just a light sabre than someone with a machine gun. still, like i was saying, a light sabre is physically possible with technology that people are imagining now. and i think the point of the light sabre is that can be a crippling nonlethal weapon by decision of the user, instead of a blunt force weapon like bullets, messy and maybe deadly, maybe not.
there were other things that happened that i'd like to remember. in sullivans, i was standing next to the wall thing there by the bar, and this really drunk blonde was trying to talk to me. pretty cute, maybe 40ish. it was noisy, and i couldn't quite hear what she was saying. and i realized she was asking me to dance. and i said no. this for me was all about going into a bar and not drinking, so i didn't want to advance to dancing. but my first thought was to know how hard that was. to put yourself out there, and be rejected. my second thought was that i had pissed off the gods of karma. or is it lords of karma? you do that at great risk to yourself.
and at the bar, i was sitting next to dana for the longest time without even noticing that it was her. i didn't even really look at her, there was this brunette next to her who i guess i was focusing on to her exclusion. she had kind of loudly said she was drunk and pissed. something about her job, i didn't hear. i know dana got married a while back. i didn't see a ring, though. didn't ask about it. i think i asked the brunette later if she was still pissed, and she said no, only when talking about her job. so there was nothing more to say. and dana moved over to the end of the bar. bad karma returned.
the band, king's trio, did play some floyd. i've got the live floyd disk i got for christmas in the cd. i tipped them a twenty. and becky got off work and went with dana and them while i was still there, so i never tipped her. charlie never even came up for a refill. but he did shake my hand the first time he saw me. so i didn't even talk to him when i was wanting to leave. i didn't ask for the tab, i just left a ten. i'm not sure i even wanted to know if the evil temptress becky had rung me in. these people don't always do that. becky did give me a refill, though. man, i can't believe i didn't notice dana. it seemedlike her hair was darker. and it was always a little reddish, which i've been a little more into lately. it seems like i asked her about no ring before.
in starbucks with jordy. it's been a long time. venti soy mocha chai extra hot no-whip. i went out unsuccessfully looking for a usb infrared. compuse guy hadn't heard of it. best buy guy had heard of them, and said they used to have them, but it's all bluetooth now. didn't see aeon flux or a blue man group video. stop me before i spend again. driving home, i just wanted to take a nap. but i thought it would be better to go to starbucks and write. kind of pushing myself. doing what i think is better. i really just wanted to lie down and sleep. a bad thing i've gotten into. it could be depression. or just being in a down mood lately. my wrist still hurts. it's been two weeks now. i was feeling kind of sick. nauseated. and i didn't ask becky where she had gone after than evening. it's her birthday week. hassled by the security guy thing. i did sort of stare. he was such a fat tub of shit with a glock. becky is only working 2 days a week. why all this? i need to go dancing. man, and i could easily have been dancing.
little girl is smiling and just about glowing, and constantly preening, with tall guy sitting across from her. they moved a pair of the good chairs to over here in the corner, and i can't imagine anyone coming over to sit in the one next to me. i'm sure i look creepy in the white t-shirt. a tubbo came in with a book and sat a a table. by the window. maybe better light. it was at least the padded bench.
And there was an arbor day in there, too.
Got my tax refund already. and I did a little for Bruce, so I got season two of the classic star trek. there was an episode about an amoeba that i barely could remember, and wanted to see. I think the last time I watched it, I hadn't studied biology, so I didn't really appreciate amoebae. and there really wasn't much to the episode, but it was a'ight. also saw amok time, the whole pon fir thing, spock getting antsy. seems like a good season.
and a new month is a new page one the calendars. the hooters calendar has this smiling long-haired brunette. smiling is nice.
i did finally finish the neverwinter nights shadows of undrentide. kind of just plowed through the end just to be done with it. and there's kind of an emptiness with it gone. no really super huge thing to waste time with. maybe i'll do other stuff. heh.
I did my taxes. Took longer than it should have, like an hour and a half. I had one 1099, not even a W-2. I spent a little time on the education thing, because I did have a 1098, but I was not entitled to a credit, so it was irrelevant. and it didn't fill in blanks like I remember it doing. HRBlock. that was kind of annoying. but it was free, and really pretty easy. silly me for procrastinating, it's an intpish duty, though.
so, why didn't Tyr Anazasi out of Victoria by Barbarosa of Kodiac pride develop a sociopathic sort of charm? The point of a Nietzschean is that they decide how they are going to be, and that sociopathic charm is one of the most effective ways of being that one can develop. Instead he always seemed gloomy and off-putting. Other Nietzsheans developed that way. Tyr seemed to have some sort of contempt for it. He was an assassin, so you could see him being gloomy, but it seemed a bit ineffective, and something a reflective person who strives for perfection would try to improve on.
the word I was looking for was "preen". I was talking to Doug about words that can be very powerful to know. to have a word makes you more aware of a concept. the one i thought of was "memoization", an obscure comp sci concept, but useful. function return caching. another one, kind of pertinent to the conversation, was "one-itis". part of the player community. a kind of psychological disease. bitch looked it up in dictionary.com. google you sad mofo. believeing there can only be one person for you. the more i think of it, the more i see that it is an actual disease that you can actually be physically sick from.
i was to do my taxes today. needed to go shopping. groceries. but i decided to finally get a new money clip. mine has sort of disintegrated, but i still use it as a simple card holder with a pocket. i went into a place in saddle creek, a ritzy sort of strip mall in Germantown (the rich part of town). asked for a black money clip. girl knew what i meant. started with the teeny ones smaller than the bills. showed me one. i actually showed her mine for the size. then i saw it didn't have an id window. asked for that. she had to ask the other sales guy in there about it. they had one in a different brand. i saw it was $40 and made disbelief kind of noises. gave it back to her to ring up, but didn't say that, so she put it back. i had to say wai-, the other guy across the room said don't put up the man's wallet. she didn't seem pleased. plus i was wearing jeans and a white t-shirt, both in nostalgia for college when that's what i wore, and because esquire had a poll saying women prefer it to button-downs. got some more money from the bank. saw nathan walking back from the bank. so i went back and got him something for graduation. girl was holding the phone to her ear when i wanted to pay. went to the borders. i wanted to get _middlesex_, which Tatyana recommended. asked for it, and the guy pulled it off the shelf, then I looked at the sale section, and it was one of the 3 for 2 books. thanks a lot, guy. but since i bought extra books, i didn't really save anything, but i got more books. i wanted to get another chuck palahniuk. the guy that wrote fight club. i didn't think that was really that good, but i liked the concept. they had the diary and something else cool that had some kind of medical photo on the cover. i was thinking of getting them both, but then i saw a little black french berlitzy kind of book. slang sorts of french. i have a German book like that called "Sheisse". Haven't quite learned all of that. But it's the kind of reference material that seems useful to have. and there was this book on software development methodologies that i was thinking of getting. but it was 30 bucks and i didn't have enough cash. so i called doug to see if i should get it. and after spending a long time explaining in detail what he was working on, he said he'd come over and have apley buy it for me. mighty nice of him. then i ended up spending an hour on the bench out side with him. personally i would have been happier in the little cafe thing, because there was this really cute pale girl with an excessively low cut thing. I just go for pale. i think the word used to be "fair". pale works for me. but he wanted to be outside, for some reason. and there were dirty ashtrays next to the bench, so to make it tolerable, i had to empty them. and they made it tough. the little tops had wires attaching them so they couldn't be moved and dumped. i had to grab a pizza box that was sitting on the trash can and dump them out into that. but it was ok after that. except for the wasting the time part when i could have been home. and while doug was rambling on the phone, i had set my elbow on the car door lock, and it got stuck. when i got home, i wanted to go someplace else, and i had to pull the door panel off and fix it. argh. so i went to tjm for a burger. and i saw becky leaving when i went in. with two other chicks. somebody stood next to me at the bar, and i asked her if she came there often. she said yes, she works there. and i asked her why she was still there, and she said it was a party, so i could verify that it was becky who just left. and they would meet up later. it was a piece of information that i sorely wanted, but they haven't hardened enough, and i just could see a way afterward to ask her where. oh well. so i'm home. i really need to start up going dancing again.
so i was in a pretty good mood, and I needed to think about some things, so I went to the pony. and i have a bunch of free passes, so i wanted to see what it was like. for the last while i was there, there was no one dancing at all since it was so empty. seems like kind of a waste to go there. got a dance (i guess a couple) from jewel. i was in a good mood and i was smiling. i think that joy has worn off a bit. i kind of was thinking that it was going to be easier to make decisions rationally based on what was good for me. but i was kind of taken aback by the 10 dollar cover, which included the first drink. and i found out soon enough that that frame of mind was easily distracted by interacting with people. so i got a bud instead of a coke. and after i had been with jewel i realized that i had been totally distracted from my previous more aware state of thinking. so i pondered decision-making a little more. everything thing the brain does is decision-making. and it is always emotional in some sense. sociopaths are an interesting case, because they have no emotion at all of empathy. but they learn to deal with other people in a sort of intellectual way, and then internalize this. for most people, we have sorr of natural reactions of empathy, and this is internalized in how we learn to deal with people. so we have an emotional source of what we learn, and what we learn is sort of an emotional pattern of responses. we make almost all decisions from our learned emotional patterns of responses, plus a little bit of genetic inherited emotional response, and a little bit of concious deliberation. but sociopaths, while have a full set of learned or conditioned responses, don't have the emotional empathic original input. so they can seem to act pretty much like other people, but since it is learned, they don't have some kinds of the restrictions that keep most people from doing bad things. and in a western culture that relies on personal self interest as a motivation (and some other cultures don't as much) it can happen that people just learn to manipulate others. so i was thinking that a lot of times dancers will be sociopaths not usually, since it is very rare, but sometimes and they would gravity towards it. i don't know about jewel. she told me that sometimes she works at platinum when she doesn't feel like socializing. so sometimes she feels like socializing. i wonder if sociopaths sometimes just feel like socializing. i guess it makes sense. it is a natural tendency. they don't feel any empathy, but maybe they can get other things out of it. i saw another girl, candi. she said she would send some pics, and i gave her my web address. she seemed like maybe she might have had a couple. it seems like that's another way to deal with that kind of job. but there was another girl who was dancing, and candi said she was a bad girl. flexible. i'm thinking, she probably is one of those that is actually a sociopath. cute, though. didn't get her name. she wasn't working that night, but got up and danced without actually stripping. having fun, she said. hmm.
Chi is complete and utter bullshit. Acupuncture has some effect as a counter-irritant. the subtle pain in a different area distracts you in the first. But it also has a deeper effect in the way it increases the placebo effect. Giving just an inert sugar pill doesn't work as well as giving something that doesn't actually effect what you are treating, but has some other effect, like makes you feel a little nauseated or something. "The burn says it's working" even if it's not. And something Dennet was saying, there may be something to hypnosis and early witch-doctor medicine. Back when the only medicine you had was placebos, people who had a tendency to be suggestible (were effected by hypnosis) would have had an advantage by being able to benefit from the only available treatment. So susceptibility to hypnosis may have been bred into people. And the idea of chi has been able to maintain its popularity because it makes chinese voodoo witch-doctors sound more like real experts on something real. it gives them an authority that inhances the hypnosis and placebo effect. It is a very real thing that works with many people. Maybe even most if not all, depending on various factors. It doesn't seem like I can be hypnotized, buy maybe I just don't accept anyone as an authority, because that is a key part of it.
so when it comes time to act, you don't have time to think, and you must depend on the reactions that you have learned.
jewel said i was fun. i realized after that she was mostly blowing smoke, but she was smiling andnoticeably was having fun.
i'm thinking of just having an e-mail address for adding entries. I think that's close to what traditional engine-based blogs do. even when there is a form where you put in a comment, sometimes it gets sent to the owner for approval before going to the site. i'm sure there are other mechanisms, but I think that is one. it seems like a fair fit to what I have. so, lets see send comments to: email@example.com that reminds me that if i include people's email anywhere, i need to add obfustication so the email robots don't grab it. my email is fairly clean of spam. i think i get some from my resume being in places
and i finally got a copy of _artificial intelligence, a modern approach, second edition_. it does seem like i'm spending money, now that i have a little extra. i better watch that. i should get some cds or something. certificates of deposit. something to lock my money away.
so, jewel's a big girl. i told her that and she said i was being rude. and i asked what have they been feeding her. i told her i meant tall. she said her mom made her eat flouride pills. so she has strong bones. and they had to pull her baby teeth, because the roots were so strong. well-fed. and really, she actually did seem big-boned, but not fat. i said i used to be tall. and she asked if i shrank, but no, the other people are getting taller. she said she was only 5'8'. but that's still tall. when people eat better, they get taller. sometimes i wonder if maybe i just didn't eat well. i was thin when i was young. and i remember thinking i was hungry. i could have eaten more. but now that i can eat more, i can't get any taller, only fatter. and she had a pierced clit. she played with it and said that's entertaining, for her at least. seemed like it would have been painful. maybe not.
Whew! Sometimes it is just nice to be boring.
I ate like a pig yesterday. for lunch at on the border, a beef burrito without the burro but it had potatoes. and I did go to Gus's. That's some good chicken. Had a little for breakfast this morning.
maybe I'll try to explain it here. in latin, as well as other earlier pie languages like sanskrit and probably the original parent languages, there wasn't so much an emphasis on the accent of words so much as the length of the vowels. a long vowel would just be longer, and not change its sound like the way english is today. and where i was going with the explanation was that in english, the sound has drifted such that long vowels sound different from short vowels (bade or bad, beat or bet). In Greek, they also had dipthongs, two vowels together, where the sound had drifted away from where the sound would have been if the vowels were just next to each other. But what I was also trying to talk about was how I hadn't studied latin very well, and had not practiced it out loud like I should have, such that I can't even pronounce the long and short vowel right. it takes a different sort of ear the way you have to get to learn chinese or tone languages. there is some speculation that pie (proto-indo-european, the aryan parent language) was a tone language. anyway, i never developed the ear, and in real latin text, they don't give you the long and short marks, but i think in the text books they did, so i also didn't get good at figuring those out, like i should have. also, poetry, the meter went by the length of the syllables, and not the accents, so it was a bigger deal, and maybe it helped you to figure it out.
Got seasons 5 through 7 of South Park. So far, I've just gone through the commentaries. I haven't seenany of the episodes from season 7, except what was on the special DVD that had the _Passion_ epidode. But season 6 brought back some memories and resonance. I watched them mostly with Kim, so it they made me think of being with her, which I miss. One of the commentaries really got me, though. Matt and Trey were talking about how they really hated how the New Star Wars thing retroactively destroyed the original, since the force was no longer this Zen thing, but something in your blood. I don't think I'd ever heard anyone else explicitly talk about that, though I think I've said that exact same thing. And they were saying how much they were over it, and I'm thinking, yeah, I'm over Star Wars. I think I could even hang in there with the mitichlorians, and I remember back when that was it for most people, but it has worked on me sort of. I think it bothered me more that in this last one the jedis were killing people, even yoda. how anni hardly even blinked at the suggestion. i always thought that the point of light sabres was that you could just as easily disable someone as kill them, so there was no reason to. anyway, i've got lots more south part now to watch. but i was thinking maybe i should go out and see people. maybe more worried about wasting my life.
doug suggested something that i think might be a big deal. maybe the best interface to computers would be through e-mail. if you want to put in data to a program, send an email, and get results back through email. we already have oodles of devices that can handle email. I've been thinking voice is the most natural interface, but now i'm thinking that email is even more natural, and really, voice should just be another interface to email. I know Stan's AI project Ida is basically a smart email agent. The first thing that comes to mind when I consider that, though, is how insecure e-mail is. But that's another issue. convenience and freedom always struggle with security.
But I hate to be just about the whining. Hmm. So I heard of another person (someone my mom knows) who went out to california, but has come back to memphis. maybe a couple of times. it grows on you. sort of a homey wasteland.
And now I've gotten a cell phone. not a treo, so I won't be using it to do journaling. not that i have much to write about, i guess. and since I have a phone, i probably won't get a treo any time soon. don't really use it much, yet. the number is elk-suit.
I also talked a bit with I think it was Les Johnson and his wife Carol. I guess more with Carol, as she was the one who came by the table. He is one of the invited guests, and she has little genius children, so she was interested in Mensa. She took several of my oldMensa bulletins. I think one had a theme about holistic medicine. I talked about my thought on the reigion and science panel. In there, I was thinking about making a comment, and I only half-heartedly raised my hand and I didn't get called on. And it was only half-hearted, because I was trying to see how I could say it and not be disrespectful to the panelist who was a panelist among other things, but I wasn't really sure I could. One of the organizers was also listening to my spiel and he agreed that people don't like to be played. He asked if I thought it was a worthwile panel, and I said, yes, it gave me an opportunity to think about it. The pastor was saying that they were just wanting to present that there are doubts about evolution, but I realized that that is simply not what it is about. It is a political ploy. There really aren't legitimate doubts about evolution, it is just that the religious groups have such a powerful cultural dominace, that they feel it is a good time to attack a little island of science, the teaching of it in public schools. Because secular materialism has always been a threat to religion, but really only a small threat because they have been able to almost completely quash it. they've become so powerful and cocky that want to squash the little bits of it. The people presenting the case that they are doing it because they think there are doubts about evolution aren't even aware that they a part of a bigger political strategem. and they mentioned in the talk about "intelligent design", but they didn't talk about how one of the documents used to promote it was just an old document with the word creationism changed to intelligent design. some people had to dig to find that out, and they clearly had not wanted that to be seen. It is just a political move to grab power. And churches get money, so it would potential be a threat to them economical if more people took the more scientifically pure stand that god is not necessary in the explanation of how things are. thinking about it a little more today, i'm not sure how people, who know other people, would think a person-like entity would be able to create all this stuff, i don't know what kind of people they hang out with. and talking with brent, i questioned his belief that god is good, when there is so much evidence to the contrary. Les told me down in Huntsville they have a group that meets and talks about stuff. he called it a "stammtish". it kind of started as some kind of unitarian thing, and he was the first peson of faith, but the people shifted, and there are more now. one guy was an evangelical atheist. I couldn't think of it, but I think the word we were looking for was proselytizing. i said i used to be a militant atheist, but not evangelical. i just liked to fight.
and I probably shouldn't be getting up and doing stuff. bad habit, because the next day I tend to not be able to sleep at the same time. but I've been sleep a lot more than maybe I should. one time I went to sleep at 5:30p and slept till 7. emotional issues, i guess. and i stay up too late sometimes playing neverwinter nights. i'm trying to get through dennett's _breaking the spell_ but it's going slow. I think I'd rather sleep.
So we have this digital scale that doesn't seem to work right. It said I weighed 194. And I tried three times, and it said the same thing. So I wanted to test it. I put 20 pounds of weights, and it was exact. So I was thinking maybe it is right. The spring scale which I normally use said I was about 185 or so. I though maybe the digital scale would get off by more weight. So I put in on a bench and put my whole barbell with weights on it and it gave 107 pounds, which is 90 for the weights and 17 for the bar, which is exactly right. So now I'm thinking it's right. So I decided to check the spring scale. Ten pounds of weight said 7 pounds. It's possible that it could be proportionally wrong, so it could have been way off. But 20 pounds of weights read 17 and the 107 pound barbell was 104. So it's 3 pounds off. And that means almost all the weights I might have said here have been 3 pounds low. Ick! But that still doesn't tell me for sure, cause I don't know if it is 194 or what. So I tried the digital scale again. This time it said 202. That was sitting on the carpet, though. Grr. And then I tried it again on the stone floor. It got 187.5 twice and then once 189. So something is clearly funky on it. But it was so exact on the weights. I think it may be that I set them down quite easily, as opposed to what happens when you step on it. The spring scale bounces pretty noticeably. Maybe this has some kind of issue with that. Who knows. It says there is no battery to replace. Maybe it has to do with temperature.
So I've been looking at some AI stuff. I finally got around to seeing what the cognitive science seminar is at the U of M. It's Lee McCauley again, and it sounds interesting and maybe I should have been going to it already. The topic is developmental robotics. Seems a little advanced, although I'd guess that the field doesn't really have everything there that it needs to have a significantly successful product. I'm seeing the dream in various other places, though. There's a company Adaptive AI, Inc. that is trying to get some kind of seed ai that is taught using psychologist. I'm somewhat interested in trying to go to work with them, but I really need to get at least a little cash in bank first. And it is in L.A. On the intp list, I just saw this guy who has a bunch of domains, and one of his sites has a bunch of ai links. Sounds like another ambitious but clueless wannabe.
So I should outline some of the new concerns I have about all this AI stuff. First, you need to wonder how people think they understand how minds work. Well, they look at how they think. Unfortunately, almost everything in thinking happens under the covers. We are lucky to get glimpses at little bits of the results of thinking, but pretty much nothing involved with coming up with whatever we think. So these people think that they are experts, when they really know very little. An example would be memory. We try to remember something, given some sort of key, like say, we want joe's phone number, and at some point, the answer pops up. So we have an intuitive notion that memory is something like submitting a request and getting a response. The computer people then think that searching through a list or database is going to be pretty much the same thing, then. I serious doubt that what is happening is much like that at all. Even a parallel look up is probably not quite right either. Sometimes remembering a phone number is remembering how to move you're finger on the pad. Sometimes it's about the sounds of the numbers. Sometimes it's the look of the numerals. And since it's getting a sequence, maybe it's more like remembering a song instead of one object. Probably there are all sorts of memory mechanisms. It makes sense given that some people are better at remembering some things than others. And it could be more a matter of different types of skills. Boyer in _Religion Explained_ is on about that. We don't have a concept of animal or person so much as a skill in recognizing things doing stuff for a purpose, like an ability to tell that something is looking at or chasing something.
Another issue I have is that there is a big blank slate mentality, that everything important can be learned. I'm sorry, we have "innate" cognitive tendencies. We see causes in things that happen. We see that there are agents (people or animals) that do things because of what they want. A more basic one is that we see objects that continue in time (psychos call it object permanence). It actually seems to take a little while to develop in babies, but it does eventually develop, and it doesn't seem likely that it's just learned for no reason or inevitably just from interacting. There really needs to be some natural capacity, even if it takes a little while and experience to cultivate. We have to learn how to speak, but that doesn't mean we didn't have some natural capacity to learn that just needed expertise. It seems like a lot of AI guys seem to be working on something general, without having some of these special tendencies that we have. I think the cog sci'ers have quite a few more of these things, but that isn't really my area. What gets a little scarier to me is that the AI people don't even seem to be aware of the issues. It's like there is just a general thing called knowledge and to be smart you just need enough of it.
Since I might be getting money, I worked on a budget. Budgets are not pleasant. Seems like there is always more you want once you start looking at what you want to spend.
I'm reading _Religion Explained_. It has some interesting bits. It's mostly going on about how religion exists because of aspects of our psychology. It really does take a meme kind of perspective in that religious ideas are things that we remember well. Dude came up with a concept of ontological categories, such as animal or tool or plant. Religious ideas are almost all things from a basic category with just one major violation to the basic concept. An animal or plant that can talk. A person who can see everything or walk through walls or a mountain that eats things. They did a psychological, well cognitive science experiment, and it turns out that those kinds of things are easier to remember, because they stick out. The experiment was that they told a story with such ingredients and asked what people remembered. It isn't just unusual things, like a person with six fingers, which violates the idea of a human, but not the general category of animal. Those are more memorable and easier to remember than ordinary things. Dude is an anthropologist, so he covers a lot of different cultures, and the experiment was tried in different cultures.
So I ate like a piggy with the fried chicken. I think it was because I like it hot and fresh, so that gave me an excuse. I kind of feel bad about it, I guess. This afternoon, I was hungry, and I was thinking of just going and making dinner, but I just ate a couple of chocolate chip cookies, and that was enough. They say it works better to eat just a little bit through the day. I think it's more about just eating because you're hungry, and not for whatever reason you might have. Like you have all this food available. But I have always been a clean you're plate person. And my mom seems to like it if I finish what's left when she makes stuff instead of leaving a little. Though she does now say I don't have to. Still, the ingrained habit is there. I fairly often eat long after I'm full. Like a little piggy. Here, piggy, piggy, piggy.
Anyway, on the intp list, there was a thread on Duddism and reincarnation and i wrote quite a bit. I'm surprised by how wordy I get over there, as compared with how terse over here, so as a contrast, and just to have it here also, I'm going to include all of it. And it is multiple post, but the paragraphs don't quite match:
I'm having trouble with this discussion about reincarnation and Buddhism. One of the central ideas in the philosophy of Buddism is "anatta" or no-soul. There is no immortal soul, and because of this idea, it was sort of a reformation of Hinduism. But I think some of the Buddhist traditions do include a notion of reincarnation, or what I'm gathering from googling, is that it is some kind of notion of rebirth, which is somehow different. From what I remember about reading about the Buddha himself was that he was specifically silent about the question of what happens after we die. Then again, one site seems to say that some of the sutras used some kind of reincarnation stories as parables. Anyway, I am very certain that there is no eternal soul in Buddhism, so reincarnation wouldn't really make sense. (And I consider that a plus)
Hmm, well, I think I keep hearing the same sort of mistake. Let me say it again: There is no self. It's not a matter that there is some self that moves to another plane. It's just that at some point, these thoughts about one being a tied down self cease.
And maybe I can explain this rebirth thing a little better. First, you need to understand the Buddhist conception of psychology and mind. Susan Blackmore in her book on consciousness gave a good description. It is a bundle theory instead of an ego theory. That is, there isn't some real thing that is the self or the ego. All there are are the thoughts and feelings that arise. And we artificially group them all into a bundle and call it the self.
The issue of reincarnation comes because some people do actually say and believe that they remember past lives. And I've spoken to people who do, and they seem sincere. My first reaction as a modern skeptic is to just write it off to false memories, which is a demonstrated facet of mind. But such memories are fairly common throughout history, and not everyone has gone that way. It seems clear to me that the idea of reincarnation and transmigration of souls is just a way to deal with this. And it seems to me, that the idea of a seperate soul could help to explain dreams (though again I wouldn't accept that approach). But what is a Buddhist going to do with these past lives memories? Well, they don't believe in souls, but I'm sure they wouldn't have any trouble at all with thoughts from other lives arising in a new person. And reincarnation is more important in Hinduism as an explanation of Karma, or the law of cause and effect, that bad actions have bad results. So bad things actions in previous lives could conceivable affect us, even though it wasn't "our' lives in the sense of it having been our soul. Because, again, there isn't really an "us" in the first place.
[someone was asking about the Buddhist idea of how beings on higher plans cannot achieve enlightenment] That is the theory as I understand it. I think the idea is that because things are so wonderful for them, they get even more attached. And in hell, creatures are so aware of their suffering they also can't get away from feeling their own egos. I think this story , though, is more a metaphorical lesson than anything else. Something along the lines in Christianity of how hard it is for the rich to enter into the kingdon of heaven. But you can also see an analogy in Christianity to angels. Angels do not have free will because they are so close to god that they have no choice but to obey his will and do whatever they can think of to please him.
[someone mentioned that in some of the later teachings of the Buddha, students were suddenly enlightened] Yes, well, that could just be a bit of encouraging myth. Then again, if someone was being instructed, you never know what impact merely being in the presence of an enlightened person can have. Sort of like sometimes when you know there is a solution to a problem, it makes it easier to find. And maybe he really knew a thing or two, having tried out some of the other paths around at the time.
But what I think is the point of these reincarnation stories, as inconsistent as they are with the fundamental principle of anatta, is to give people some hope that their efforts in following the 8-fold path are not in vain even if enlightenment is not attained in this life. Because the deal is that real enlightenment is extremely rare, and more than likely, even the best person won't realize it. Sid gave a sort of prescription that everyone could work on, and it involved just being a good person, along with meditating and thinking about stuff (including questioning things). One funny bit about it, if you analyze it as we intpish are wont, is that it wasn't actually what he did. It was just was he told other people to do to help them along. I mean, shoot, dude abandoned his wife and kid. One important part of his message is to not just take his word for things. He realized that he was just a guy. His advice is good, but it isn't magical. And they are left with the issue of trying to get people to follow it even without real hope of it doing the trick. So you tell people, well, you might not make it in this life, but it still counts for making the next life easier. If you need to appeal to some selfish motivation. I think it would be a little more logical to say, well, it'll help everybody if people are kinder and try not to lie, but maybe that's just me, and it wouldn't satisfy the s types, who tend not to think so much.
While we're on the subject of Buddhism, there was something I wanted to mention. Both Hinduism and Buddhism have a thing like enlightenment, though I forget exact what Hinduism calls it. In Hinduism, though, it is a realization that atman is brahman, that is, the individual soul is the same as (or really just a piece of) the world soul. In Buddhism, this same realization is said to be the realization that there was no self at all. And it really is the same thing, as you can see some Buddhist authors try to argue that there is something deeper inside that you see as your real self, and not what you normally think of. Or something like that.
And you can compare this to something that actually exists in the the Judaeo-Christian tradition in the notion of God's will being done, not ours, and being possessed by the holy spigot.
And then maybe I just wanted Google to find me as a reference to the holy spigot.
Something I saw a while back and I'm just remembering. I don't remember where I was seeing it. Maybe an extropian thing or something with nanotechnogy. Some folks are working on this artificial blood plasma material that has something like 10-100 times (I forget exactly) the capacity to store oxygen. So just replacing some of our bolld with it, We'd be able to sit at the bottom of a pool for hours. And a heart could be stopped for quite a while and still we would get enough oxygen. It seemed like it said we wouldn't actually need the blood to pump, because with that much oxygen, just regular osmosis would work fine, but I don't remember exactly. Thinking about it, it seems like too much oxygen would be poisonous. I guess I need to google hyperoxia.
I finally got to talk to the guys at Hilton about doing some work for them. Doug had talked to me about it first like a couple of months ago. It wasn't super-fantistic, but it seemed to go OK.
Dennett has a new book out about religion. I think it takes an evolutionary perspective. And it's called _Breaking the spell_. Dude is a big-time atheist type, so it's kind of a scientic explanation away, the way he sort of tried to explain away consciousness. It's related to another book by Pascal Boyer called _Religion Explained_, which also does an evolutionary explanation. I know Sue blackmore also gave a meme sort of evolutionary explanation in _meme machine_. So it doesn't all sound new.
Actually, while I was writing this, Doug called and they said yes, so I'll be getting started on it soon.
And it just started snowing! Yay!
So, there are a lot of Muslim protests over some cartoons about Mohammed. It kind of make me think that maybe it just isn't a "religion of peace" like I've heard some people say. Peace only in the sense that they believe in conquering other cultures, and then they'll live in peace by themselves. Which just isn't a religion of peace. So maybe they are just liars. And there have been bits of violence. But then I heard that most of the violence has been shooting the demonstrators. Maybe they have been mostly peaceful. Except buring buildings. But it's just buildings. And it's embassies for foreign governments that they would rather just have no ties to, so fine, an expedient way to cut off ties. There have been a couple of actual killings, though, but really not very much considering how many people have been active. One commentary though had the intriguing idea that a lot of this was just stirred up by the Syrian government for other political reasons. Whatever.
So, I fried a bunch of chicken and just ate way too much. The pieces were pretty small. I picked the smaller pieces because they aren't as good when I cook them in the microwave. But I ate seven of them. That kind of adds up.
Seeing some more reports on the Muslim stuff, it looks like it's really only a small group, but it's a small group completely opposed to western society and freedom.
Finished _The Game_. it wasn't as inspiring as I might have hoped. Dude becomes a super-duper pickup artist, but he finds a girlfriend and gives it all up. Actually, he kind of disses them. He wrote an article calling a lot of them robots. I don't know. He wouldn't have gotten his girlfriend if he hadn't gone through this phase. Maybe.
French fries. yum.
Got my copy of the _Kama Sutra_ back. I hadn't really looked through it very much, I guess. I think I had tried just starting from the beginning, and it was just sort of boring. But thumbing though it, shoot. The art of scratching? It's got a section on blows and sighs. Blows as in slapping. I did not realize. I think I had heard about the biting.
I'm reading a book called _The Game_. It's bound sort of like a Bible, with a little red book mark string, even. So far, and I'm on maybe page 50 out of 400, it seems pretty amazing. It's about seduction, but it is getting pretty deep into psychology and manipulating people. And it does seem like it may be leaving out important details in order to seem more dramatic and magical. But it's writing from a pro journalist. Someone who rereads _Ulysses_. A real writer. He also ghost writes for people, so I'm sure he knows a bit about fanciful "flirting", as in it's not lying, it's flirting. makes me think of doug. and that serial killer i just read about in _the Devil in the White City_. One thing about this book, though, is that it clearly does to be a complete explanation of everything going on in the seducation game. it really so far doesn't seem to include enough to play well. It is just an introduction and overview, and it refers to the real sources, some of which are on online chat board, but unfortunately some are just other books and classes people are trying to sell, so can all just be more advertising bs. it may be about fueling wannabes and readers. advaita, a kind of modern mystical religious fad, is kind of like that. just a reason for book sales. really not a good trend. still, from the examples he writes about, it does look like there are good techniques. methods that reach into a bit of the core of the common psychology of women. and i'm hoping it helps to get me out and talking to people.
got a little further into it. it had had some funny bits, but now it's gotten even funny, so maybe it is all a joke. so maybe it won't be so inspiring. darn.
So I've lost some weight. down to about 183. I was at 190 for a while. Maybe it was from walking. And maybe it was because I was away from all the convenient food that I eat. Eating less. Plus my stomach was troubling me.
My dad is trying to help me with the job hunting. He was also really good at finding stuff. He was a people person, and would go up and talk to companies pretty easily and be very aggressive about looking.
Thinking more about dreams. It does seem like dreams just find a scenario that has the same sort of emotional content as something we've recently experienced. But it makes me wonder, does this reinforce the emotional reaction, or reduce it? It seem like normally, when we remember something, it reinforces it, and makes it easier to remember. If we don't rehearse something at all, it might not make it to long term memory. But this is dreaming, and we normally forget things in dreaming. So it seems possible that remembering it in dreaming might make it so we can forget it. Expecially since in dreaming, we aren't remembering the original thing, but some new thing, and it could be that this new quasi-memory might be enough to disturb the associations in the original memory, and it could actually be a way to forget the original thing if it isn't so important. or maybe the associations become more general.
I'm sitting out at the farm. I came up so I could drive my mom's car back, so it could be under the carport instead of sitting out in the weather, but then somebody scraped her fender while it was sitting parked by the side of the road, and now it's going to take another week as i have to wait for it to be fixed. grr.
so, my mom keeps busy all the time. cleaning. sweeping. seems like she does it a little more than is really necessary. and at one point, she took out the paper garbage sack and made them into a neater stack. that seems a little much.
there's this mismatch. guys have a sexual peak in their teens, and women when they are about 40. and guys are more attracted to younger women, but they aren't really that picky. so women, if they are going to have babies when they are older, maybe they biologically needed to want it more later.
i've gotten another attack of gout. i'm afraid it came from a quick attempt to eat less. supposedly a rapid diet can be a trigger. now that would be a bummer. try to lose weight and my foot hurts. and my back was hurting. we read that maybe dark cherries can help gout. so I've been eating some of those. yummy. don't know if they've made much difference, but it has been getting better. not walking so much seems to make the most difference.
i've noticed some coupons requiring purchase of a soft drink. it seems to me that the drinks are pure profit, since they have already sunk the money to fill the soda fountain. so with a coupon like this, the copany isn't even losing money with whatever discount it may be giving. and I think it's usually something free after purchase. it seems like even that isn't such a big loss, because I'm sure the cost of the item they sell isn't really such a big part of their cost, anyway. cost of taking an order, rent, advertising. I don't know, i'm not a business person. the coupon book we have is especially bad about having pretty useless coupons. but they get you to the store, i guess, and establish a habit. and maybe they help establish the habit of buying a drink, or at least that it isn't the grievous rip-off that it is. i guess i have this thing on fountain drinks because bennigan's hasn't been charging me for them.
i had a dream about getting a motorcycle. it was kind of a nightmare in the sense I have used it, a dream that keeps me up because i want to keep thinking about it. now i'm seeing that having the instant on of jordy was especially nice because it was easier to get writing quickly, although, as i think about it, the computer start time is kind of trivial compared to how much i lose by typing slower on its keyboard. anyway, somehow i really liked having a motorcycle. but it was a gift from my brothers, who did extravagent gifts for me when i was little. so, i'm thinking it wasn't about actually liking riding a motorcycle. but what could it have been about? i think it was about liking the freedom of being independent, something i am not really right now. dealing with that part of it isn't why i'm writing though. i just wanted to get down maybe a bit of insight into what dreams do then, if this dream is about something like that. my best theory about dreams so far is that they are involved in the forgetting process. but this makes me want to refine that theory a little bit. maybe not so much forgetting as dealing with and resolving the feelings about some particular issue. one thing about emotions is that they persist. they keep going longer than the source for them really warrants. and it's kind of necessary for us, with the slow way we learn things to have this sort of persisting emotion to help us with what we are learning. but our emotional reaction to something cannot be what we are learning from the new situation. what we are to learn must some a bit after our immediate reaction occurs, after all the consequences have been made. our reaction is, though, a product of what we have learned in the past. so if you look at it like that, there is an absolute need at some point to take the time to review how well the emotional reaction that we had worked out in the recent situation that we have had. so you have dreams that explore recent situations. but they aren't playbacks. they are real explorations into how the feelings worked out. so a dream might just have happenings in them that have a similar emotional content, instead of exactly the same sort of literal reality. so you'll dream of scary things when something scary has just happened, but it really won't have to be the same scary thing that happened. because it's about dealing with the nuances of the emotional reactions. it may well be similar, though. you kind of wonder about psychoanalysis and dream interpretation. it's not as popular or as accepted among psychologist these days. and my guess is that not everything dealt with in dreams is significant, but i could see that maybe it is a useful way to deal with feelings after all.
a thought about this writing being boring. well, the style itself is probably a little more boring than typical writing because it is not narrative. for us really to care about writing it does need to be in narrative style. that is, it needs to be told in temporal order, and have some meaning or point. and even when i try to write about things that happen, they won't necessarily have a point, and thus not be real narratives.
I think about it a little more. I also recent have been thinking about how nice it was when Roy was talking about me working on andiroids. it would be nice to be working with a purpose.
Is any job better than nothing? I'm getting more people saying that, but I have yet to be convinced. Actually, people that say that don't even give reasons at all, and just think it's obvious. That's the kind of 'take my word for it' thing that not only have I never bought, I have always resisted, so it could be just another personal flaw that I don't try harder to find something. more contrariness, maybe. But then, I have plenty of examples of people who aren't working that seem to be doing fine. The latest person to say that was my dad, and he's retired, so he isn't working. He's got his hobby farm, so I guess maybe he feels like he's getting some benefit from having stuff to do. But essentially he isn't working and he's telling me it's better to work. He could be working. The neighbor across the street is like 80-something with cancer, and he goes to work. I guess hypocrisy is especially distasteful to me. And then there was doug back when he decided he was going to get $70 per hour, if he had to hold out and not always have work to do. Of course, being doug, he would always lie about whether he had work, so people always thought he was busy. I think my mom has put it that it's better to have some money than nothing, so clearly to her, and probably to my dad, it's all about the income. I guess that's how they would justify themselves, but there's also my brother and his wife. Neither working. They have the young kids, though, and they have enough money saved up, really. My brother is actually working on a software project, though, so he is kind of working I guess. I was thinking that I would be doing something like that, but somehow, I haven't really been the kind of self-driven kind of programmer like him. Plus, I haven't worked on independent projects as much as he has. Heck, I didn't even do a thesis for my MS. They had an option to just take more classes, which was good for me, since I am pretty bad about projects. And there's roy. He has a bit of inheritance that is enough for him not to work. I do make a little bit of money sometimes. I don't really need much. It is somewhat sad, I suppose to be living in my folk's place, but it would be empty much of the time, otherwise. Probably more likely they would have sold it by now, I would think. Oh well. I just got a headhunter write me about a place with, like, five java spots. Some company building up their web site. Unfortunately for me, that's not quite what I was doing at FedEx. That, really, has been my biggest problem. I don't have the exact, precise experience that is what people that are hiring want, and headhunters don't really get that it isn't a big deal. Actual computer people understand it, but the protective layer put up around the hiring process makes it tough. Or tougher. I think some of the idea is that since it's a harder process, they don't get as much turnover. Possible a little more motivated (ie. scared) people.
Been a bit since I wrote. probably a combination of things. One thing that I think has had an odd contribution is that my back has been hurting. My back has been hurting I think mostly because I hold my hips kind of tilted, and I remember in the past, one of the main reasons I did this was because I kepy Jordy in one of the pockets. So I haven't been carrying Jordy around, which has meant that I haven't had the convenient ability to write whenever I feel like it. When I'm on the computer now, all I do is get on the internet. And I've gone back to that massive time waster, the intp list. I haven't been posting, though. And if I have had anything to say in the last month, I've said it there instead of here. Actually it seems like a lot of them us the list the way a person would use a blog. And I can see the way blogs have moved, as a kind of community. Most blogs have comments. It's a lot more like that list. I think it's funny that I occasional get people to e-mail me with comments. I don't invite them. No links here to send me e-mail. You have to hunt around the site to get one. But occasionally people will think they have something to say to me. I can only think of maybe one time when I was actually interested. Or maybe two. And as I think on't, both of them were girls. Anyway, so no Jordy. Plus I'm getting people agreeing that it's boring. So I guess my feelings could have been a little hurt. Or maybe it was just enough to make me a little more shy. There was also something heinous that someone suggested, that I won't go into. Which reminds me, I've been playing _Call of Duty,2_ it is kind of short compared to doom and quake and all those, which seemed odd. That is, it was odd to me to have finished it, though I guess i like it enough to keep playing. Something else I've been spending time on.
I learned a harsh lesson. When I was making DVD's for my relatives for christmas, it was taking maybe 15 minutes to burn one, so I thought I would be able to make quite a few. Then I ran out of the box I had, and had to go to a different box of blank discs, and it started taking an hour. I didn't realize that the blank disc did have speed rating at which they would burn. I guess I should have, because they say on them pretty plainly their speed, but I had experienced or noticed it. And it was a problem because it was only last minute that I decided to make the copies for christmas. So I ended up not making as many as I might have hoped. I do have a little less than fifty of these slow blank DVD, now. I really need to borrow DVDs from the library. Somehow I haven't ever done that,yet.