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Comment: System Development Foundation (Score 1) 41

by Baldrson (#49141679) Attached to: The Believers: Behind the Rise of Neural Nets

Its "System Development Foundation" not "System Development Corporation" and Charlie's full name is Charles Sinclair Smith. He's semi-retired now and living the next county over from me in southeast Iowa where we've been collaborating on a couple of projects -- one of which is to photosynthesize all of the CO2 effluent from US fossil fuel power plants (as Charlie got his start co-founding the Energy Information Administration of the DoE under Carter).

Its ironic that in the 80s I was living in La Jolla, which was an epicenter of the neural net revival at UCSD, had taken neural net courses from Robert Hecht-Nielsen and by 1990 had prototyped the highest performance neural network image processing system (as Neural Engines Corporation) -- but I then later worked with Charlie for almost 15 years before discovering he had had played such a key role in the revival of neural nets. Even more ironic is that, circa 2005, I came up with the idea for the Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge -- based on Hutter's entirely different, top down mathematics approach to AI -- and Shane Legg, founder of Deep Mind, which is largely identified with deep learning neural nets, actuality studied under Hutter and achieved Deep Mind's famous ability to learn to play video games using Hutter's approach but everyone thinks that capability is uniquely attributable to deep neural net learning alone.

Comment: War, Not Aggression, Is the Failing (Score 1) 531

by Baldrson (#49096395) Attached to: Stephen Hawking: Biggest Human Failing Is Aggression

Virtually all sexual species exhibit aggression. The problem is war, not mere aggression. And this problem goes beyond mere conflict between human groups. E. O. Wilson's "The Social Conquest of Earth" describes how group selection dominates the environment and, in the case of human eusocial organization, degrades biodiversity.

The price of civilization is eusocial organization and the price of eusocial organization is war.

One way of addressing this failing is to turn civilization outward, away from the biosphere, toward "war" on lifeless rock in space -- converting it to life -- leaving the biosphere free of human eusocial organization.

Is there a place for humans in the biosphere?

Yes, but only if individual sovereignty is ruthlessly enforced.

Comment: Re:Relation Arithmetic and Dimensional Analysis (Score 1) 210

by Baldrson (#49078163) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Stephen Wolfram a Question

Right. There is a long history of dimensions as after-thought/addon to languages going back to the PLATO system's TUTOR programming language circa 1972. Russell's Relation Arithmetic starts with relational structure and defines equivalence classes of structure as numbers in the arithmetic of relations. Its an entirely different, and correct, approach.

Comment: Relation Arithmetic and Dimensional Analysis (Score 1) 210

by Baldrson (#49074967) Attached to: Interviews: Ask Stephen Wolfram a Question

The penultimate paper of "Bit-string Physics: A Finite and Discrete Approach to Natural Philosophy" discusses an attempted revival of "Relation Arithmetic" with which Russell and Whitehead had planned to cap off their Principia Mathematica in its final volume.

Of Relation Arithmetic, Russel said:

"I think relation-arithmetic important, not only as an interesting generalization, but because it supplies a symbolic technique required for dealing with structure. It has seemed to me that those who are not familiar with mathematical logic find great difficulty in understanding what is meant by 'structure', and, owing to this difficulty, are apt to go astray in attempting to understand the empirical world. For this reason, if for no other, I am sorry that the theory of relation-arithmetic has been largely unnoticed."

-- " My Philosophical Development" by Bertrand Russell

An example of going astray in attempting to understand the empirical world is when people attempt to combine incommensurable quantities in their calculations, not understanding the structure of the relations between the quantities.

Ordinarily, programming languages treat units, as I/O formats for dimensions, as an afterthought -- independent of type checking. However, what if we saw numbers themselves as embodying relational structure, as intended by Russell, thereby unifying the notion of "type checking" with the notion of "number"? Might then the power of dimensional analysis be brought to bear, in a mathematically rigorous way, on the relatively ad hoc notions of "type", hence problematic areas such as the object relational impedance mismatch?

Comment: Deep Mind's IQ Test Works (Score 1) 129

by Baldrson (#49015173) Attached to: Replacing the Turing Test

A rigorous definition of general intelligence now exists and has been applied by the Deep Mind folks. See this video lecture by Deep Mind's Shane Legg at Singularity Summit 2010 on a new metric for measuring machine intelligence.

If you want something more accessible to the general public, The Hutter Prize for Lossless Compression of Human Knowledge has the same theoretic basis as the test used by Deep Mind and has the virtue that it uses a natural language criterion, in the form of a Wikipedia snapshot. If the 100M snapshot of Wikipedia used by the Hutter Prize is no longer challenging enough, then substitute Matt Mahoney's Large Text Compression Benchmark which is basically just the Hutter Prize enlarged by an order of magnitude.

Comment: But but but "obesity epidemic" is just a metaphor! (Score 1) 378

by Baldrson (#49008337) Attached to: Woman Suffers Significant Weight Gain After Fecal Transplant

Certainly, we should all be celebrating the diversity of gut flora brought to all shores of all nations by all shores of all other nations. Let us not permit this minor incident to instill in anyone the virulent notion that "obesity epidemic" is but a poorly chosen metaphor for the lazy stupid fat citizens of the US who should be replace by vibrant immigration.

Comment: Layers of censorship (Score 2) 645

by Baldrson (#49000211) Attached to: Does Showing a Horrific Video Serve a Legitimate Journalistic Purpose?

Its one thing when a news organization decides not to show a video for editorial reasons -- its quite another when you go to the Internet and virtually all of the sources that come up with the major search engines have an edited-down version of the original video -- some of these edited-down versions include the title "FULL VIDEO" and show only the most horrific finale where the pilot is being turned into a crispy critter.

I took a look at the original by downloading its torrent (they haven't gotten around to suppressing that yet the way Hollywood suppresses downloading of their movies via torrents). The things that seem to be actually suppressed on the internet (as well as news organizations) are not the horrific scenes of the pilot burning, but rather 1) the horrific scenes of children/infants mutilated by the bombings, 2) the "testimony" of the doomed pilot describing the details of the bombing operation, and 3) the list of pilots, upon each of which ISIS has placed a 100 dinar bounty.

Comment: They're Ignorant of the Alga6 Photobioreactor (Score 1) 224

by Baldrson (#48940135) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels

Algasol's photobioreactor technology requires less than 1/10th the land of other biofuel technologies and, in fact, it requires no land at all, preferring to be located on saline water. The largest photobioreactor, the 250m^2 Alga6, sells for $3,375 retail. When the numbers are all run, Alga6 biocrude is competitive with $40/bbl oil -- and that includes all costs including the cost of insuring the photobioreactors against hail, the power cost of centrifugal separation, the power to drive the wave mixing when natural wind is too low, etc. Right now the market emphasis is on algal biomass for fish feed, simply because the signal to noise level in the biofuels industry is so low that (combined with recent declines in crude price) no one can be bothered to sit down and do the arithmetic for Alga6 biocrude.

Comment: He's confused (Score 1) 300

by Baldrson (#48741809) Attached to: Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

Given fast turn around reusability with rocket engine restart capabilities claimed by SpaceX the numbers work out for high end passenger fares if you go to a lower suborbital velocity and then bleed off energy while stretching distance by passively skipping off the atmosphere. By "passive" I mean no scramjet (or other propulsive kick). If you really need distance use rocket engine restart and carry extra propellant.

Any program which runs right is obsolete.