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Essays

Various essays and translations from over the years. 

Category:
Essays
Created:
04/26/17
Modified:
04/26/17
Words:
1914

When I started at Oxford University in 1979, I was told I'd have to take statistics as a minor for a major in philosophy and psychology. So I nervously went to meet the professor, worrying how I hadn't studied calculus in a long time. But he had been sitting in front of an Apple 2, on a table in the Psychology Dept. lounge, for a solid week. He had read the manuals and written a couple of programs, then he had just sat there looking at it. For a week.

What is it like to be a bat?
More: Computers, Consciousness, and Bats
Category:
Essays
Created:
07/22/15
Modified:
06/03/16
Words:
2502

Some time ago I stated rather sardonically that the same arguments used to demote Pluto from planethood would remove Washington DC from the USA, which is actually a scathing condemnation of the quality of philosophical thought even in the scientific communities of this nation. There was a great deal of naive complaint about that statement, so this post explains the problem in detail.

A Representation of Alfred Korzybski's Statement that a Map is Not the Territory
More: American Delusions 2: the Pluto Planethood Debate
Category:
Essays
Created:
05/26/15
Modified:
04/20/17
Words:
5834

After exploring how to link the conscious and unconscious abstractions with basic feelings, this article postulates a new model for dreams, summarizes the possibilities for computer simulation, and provides a high-level description of the initial cognition process. It is intended as a framework for systematic discussion of each component and process in the hypercognition system, sufficient to define a learning Artificial Intelligence (AI) with emotions and dreams.

HAL AI Hypercognitive Architecture
More: Designing HAL (2): A Learning AI with Emotions and Dreams
Category:
Essays
Created:
05/29/15
Modified:
09/29/17
Words:
2708

The great ornithologist Richard Attenborough was once asked why birds sing. After a long explanation, ending in a detailed examination of what happens during a morning chorus, he concluded, "So, if there are no predators, and it is not time to mate, why is there still a morning chorus? Well. It's too late to sleep. It's too early to catch worms. So there isn't anything else to do."

Leonardo, at MIT is one of the most Advanced Humanoid Intelligences
More: Designing HAL (4): Play and Archetypal Formation in the Categorical Processing Domain
Category:
Essays
Created:
12/07/14
Modified:
01/21/16
Words:
2533

Has anyone ever wondered why Intel and Sun Microsystems, the two largest microprocessor design companies in silicon valley, fought pretty well everyone else, but not each other, for over 20 years? Here is a beautiful and fantastic story explaining decades of peace and prosperity, based on a secret alliance for which I was the architect. Almost no one noticed it, and absolutely no one could destroy it. Not even Microsoft.

More: the SunTel Alliance
Category:
Essays
Created:
05/09/15
Modified:
01/21/16
Words:
1817

Non-Aristotelianism is the primary premise for a specialized field of study called General Semantics: a difficult subject to understand as it is totally different from almost everything else we ever learn. Aristotle wrote that a true definition gives the essence of the thing defined (in Greek, literally "the what it was to be"). This is such a core concept in almost all our understanding of the world, including science, mathematics and logic, that we have trouble recognizing how it hobbles our ability to perceive reality more accurately.

A Non-Aristotelian System from Alfred Korzybski, the Basis of General Semantics
More: Non-Aristotelianism and General Semantics
Category:
Essays
Created:
04/14/15
Modified:
10/22/17
Words:
2350

Next year, the Chinese government in Nepal will be building the first road past this remote Buddhist settlement, which has existed much the same without contact with the rest of the world for 600 years. now they will have amenities, access to hospitals, and schools, say the Maoist extremists now running Nepal. But will the local people, who are used to living in total isolation, survive the cultural transition?

Looking where the First Road will Be, after >600 Years of Isolation
More: The Ancient Kingdom of Lo