Search found 69 matches

by sanscardinality
Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:23 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Biocentrism and the Anthropic Principle
Replies: 21
Views: 77022

Dear SC, There is a link to his "article" in the New Scholar. Have you read it? Not the piece in Wired. If not, please do so. (I do not mean this as criticism of your question--I'm merely suggesting that, if you haven't tried to read his "theory" you ought to.) I didn't see your...
by sanscardinality
Mon Mar 12, 2007 8:35 am
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Biocentrism and the Anthropic Principle
Replies: 21
Views: 77022

I bumped into this on Wired yesterday, and thought this group might have some comments. I've not heard of the fellow, nor do I know anything about his work, so while the article is interesting I have no context. Maybe some of you do: Will Biology Solve the Universe? http://www.wired.com/news/technol...
by sanscardinality
Fri Mar 09, 2007 7:46 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Movies and Representing History: The Case of "300"
Replies: 20
Views: 71084

Re: Reviews and comments on 300

Make no mistake: I personally consider Spartan society truly bizarre and dysfunctional, a combination of totalitarian Calvinist lockstep and Southern plantation culture. At the same time, I think that the political systems the classical Greeks developed (slavery, pederasty and women's non-status no...
by sanscardinality
Fri Mar 09, 2007 3:00 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Movies and Representing History: The Case of "300"
Replies: 20
Views: 71084

Re: "What Made Alexander Great"

On the topic of Alexander, there is a tremendous essay by Christopher Hitchens in Slate magazine, which says it all very succinctly: http://www.slate.com/id/2110188/ Hitchens is great! I used to love to watch him take apart politicians on talking head shows - clearly just back from the bar he'd bee...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 7:23 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

Re: neurotic networks

Neural networks are way cool--once one understand what they are. Here's what neural nets do Yep - they're fancy calculators. Then again, so are all the other AI approaches including big collections of highly connected modular logic. From an engineering perspective, the alternatives are sometimes be...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:48 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

Re: Snow day again??

Actually, the determination component is the fascinating part: responses such as the one we discussed happen so fast that apparently they bypass the brain centers in charge of higher executive functions. These don't include just reflexes. They also encompass such actions as grabbing a falling glass...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:30 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

Re: Snow day again??

It appears to me that there is a qualitative difference between a mouse or slug reacting to pain, and a robot retreating from a heat source because its thermometer and control logic told it to do so. At the level of reponse, actually there is no difference. The sensors register temperature and/or p...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 6:16 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

Sorry to be obstinate--but I have learned a lot about the math of neural networks, and they are waayy oversold. There is nothing miraculous about them. They are nothing more than a robust way to draw a boundary around irregular volumes. It's kind of hard to explain. But one major issue is: neural n...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:48 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

K - I've got way too much time on my hands today and we're on a favorite subject - excuse the verbosity please! Just bumped into this on a DoD site (all public stuff): "Another major area where neural networks are being built into pattern recognition systems is as processors for sensors. Sensor...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:36 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

We are very far away from true AI, and I think it is because we do not really understand how our own minds work. I don't know that it is possible, or at least practical, but I bristle at stupid arguments, like Penrose's, against AI. I also think that if we ever do create "true" AI it will...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:34 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

Completely non-scientific character ( brace yourself - I am not actually a rocketscientist *gasp!*) steps into the discussion a moment to pose a question: An AI would, by one definition, be a completely neuter being - wouldn't it? And if so, is it possible that this factor alone may create such a d...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:19 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

I agree with all your points. In my opinion, the most useful outcome of the AI models has been that they created a feedback loop: they furnished salient questions that biologists (broadly defined) could ask about the brain/mind. Cool - I like it when people I respect agree with me! Building a model...
by sanscardinality
Thu Mar 08, 2007 2:03 pm
Forum: The Poetry and Prose of Science and Science Fiction
Topic: Many Little Dimensions or One Big One?
Replies: 41
Views: 127863

You touched on a subject that I've read a fair bit about and have some expertise in - AI. My expertise is mostly in the expert systems part of AI (generally in the areas of sensor data analysis and user behavior prediction). I've also dabbled in neural nets and other approaches such as genetic algor...
by sanscardinality
Wed Mar 07, 2007 6:54 pm
Forum: Literature and Cinema
Topic: Cyberpunk, the new generation
Replies: 19
Views: 70950

Well I for one really do enjoy the old-school cyberpunk as well. William Gibson's classic Neuromancer is a good place to start if you haven't read it. It is of course very distopian, but in ways it predicted some of what is going on in the world now. Islands in the Net was also a favorite back in th...
by sanscardinality
Wed Mar 07, 2007 5:16 pm
Forum: Musings and Chats
Topic: A comforting thought
Replies: 3
Views: 18119

This is a diversion, but since the subject was touched on... My all-time favorite accent was a Chinese computer programmer who learned most of his English somewhere in a primarily Spanish-speaking country. It is the one accent I've heard that I cannot imitate at all, nor could I describe. Something ...

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