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Journal Journal: Counselor dream 1

Dream 2011-10-21

I had a dream I was at my therapist's house. It was a large sprawling expanse with several buildings around a courtyard.

At the end of the dream, he was showing me how to use a powerful and big vacuum cleaner. It had a long, thin tube made of very hard, red, rubber with a metal fixture on the end. Jay showed me how to use the tube to suck up dirt from the floor. The tube was fixed at its other end to the vacuum's body, which was a big (several feet in length), rectangular, flat box. The box seemed to be attached to a wooden frame resting on the floor; I wasn't sure if you could remove the box and carry it around with you, it seemed it would be difficult to carry the vacuum on your back. My task seemed to be to vacuum the building, which was at least two stories, next to the part of the courtyard where the vacuum cleaner was situated; I wondered how I was going to get the vacuum cleaner into the building.

In another part of the dream, but close to this part with the large vacuum, I was cleaning the bottoms of my shoes. They were very muddy. I picked up a rock from the courtyard to scrape off the larger chunks of mud.

I think in another part of the dream, there was another vacuum cleaner.


Day residue: I was at Tracie's, and had been vacuuming the previous day.

The immediate thought when I woke up was that the vacuum scene represented the therapist trying to show me how to clean up my subconscious mind. But in the dream it was clearly his house. Maybe he is showing me how he cleaned his own mind, and also using me to help him give himself therapy during our sessions? This is conscious speculation, after the dream!

The vacuum was so big, it was most convenient if you had a stable place to keep it, unlike me who's constantly moving around. But Jay has a home, so it's easier for him to keep his mind clear of contaminations...

There are imperfections in this interpretation of course: why would i need a big vacuum if I'm moving around? The analogy (of house to mind) requires the house to symbolize at the same time a physical house, and also the mental construct of "mind". Otherwise, if the house in the dream only represented the mind, why would it matter how big the vacuum was, since the vacuum would be a mental construct too. If the vacuum is large and requires a stable house to fit in, maybe that means a stable living situation is tied to my therapist's strategy for keeping his mind free of contaminating dirt?


Journal Journal: Lake West Camp - Fall 1


Lake West Camp

Wind making leaves fall, sounded like rain (worrying me throughout the night).

Night started out clear, with a bright, near-full (checking the calendar now, it was full) moon directly overhead, and cold - around 37F (according to the car's thermometer).

In the morning (7:20 am) the car thermometer read 49F. Clouds were rolling in.

Slept without a tent (hence the worrying about rain). "Stars shone gloriously" in my eyes as I went to sleep...

Heard a beaver? make a sharp, loud, slapping sound in the lake as I was blowing up the air mattress. At first I thought it was a gunshot, but then a couple minutes later the sound recurred, and I heard the sounds of water rippling around a splash, and figured out it must have been a beaver or otter in the lake ...

Hunters in an elaborate shelter up the road...

Logging trucks in the morning, lots of noise, going fast


Drove up to Brown Creek Camp. Stopped on the way to climb down to a stream and brush my teeth, and wash my face in the clear, cool water

Made hot coffee at a Brown Creek campsite, and hot cereal. It started raining hard!

Thought about the fully observable, stochastic environment of climbing up a slippery, muddy, wet, leaf-covered slope.


Ran down one trail to the river. Saw some wild chickens.

I felt in great shape

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Journal Journal: Peaches 1


Peach looked sad yesterday when I told her I was going to go. She came out from under the TV stand, and sat there looking at me for a long time. Her eyes and expression (arrangement of feathers on her face) communicating disappointment, unhappiness, sadness. I kept looking at her and smiling, talking to her, asking her if she'd be okay, telling her I would come back in a couple days, asking if I had her permission to go; finally, she closed her eyes slowly at me, which to me indicates that she had become calm, was reconciled to my leaving, and would be okay till I got back.

She is a very expressive bird. She lets me know when she wants me to pick her up, by spreading her wings (she can't fly because of an old injury to her left wing). She looks in the direction she wants me to take her. When she wants a bath she flutters her wings and rolls her head down along her breast and under her wings, as she does when we're spraying her with water...After spraying her, when we blow dry her, her eyes express such contentment and peaceful happiness, and her beak opens in a smile, and she rocks to and fro slowly on my finger as the warm air from the blow-dryer sweeps back and forth across her.

I feel guilty that I can't do more for Peaches and the other birds. I would like to have a big aviary for them where they could be outdoors but protected. I would like to get them sophisticated toys to stimulate their intellectual curiosity. I would like to take them all to the vet regularly for check-ups.

Last night I had a dream: a very tall figure in white with a sad expression. The tall figure seemed to be made up of shorter individuals standing on each other's shoulders; I became aware of faces (covered by the thin white outer garment) in the tall figure's chest. Through the white fabric, I could still make out their expressions, which conveyed sadness, crying. When I woke up, I thought of Peach.

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Journal Journal: Lake Keechelus Camp 2

For 30 years I've wondered what it would be like to be on the other side of the reservoir that I-90 borders just east of Snoqualmie Pass. Now I'm there! Hundreds of times I've driven by, wanting to stop and play in the lake; today I kayaked up and down it...

I saw rock formations, some freshly blasted exposing uniform bright gray granite, others higher looking as if they'd been undisturbed for many millions of years, tightly folded as ancient sea floors become when crumpled by plate tectonic movement.

One spot on the opposite side of the lake from I-90 had overhanging rocks, forming a sort of high, shallow, water-bottomed cave. I kayaked under the overhang and marveled at the fissures in the rock wall along the back; they were rising towards the south (which is oppposite to most of the inclined lines on the rock walls I've seen around this area). The lines were very regular, straight, and at pretty even intervals. Are these the types of fissures that get filled by the white minerals, as in the Swakane Terrane (but on a much larger scale there)?


The second day, I didn't feel like canoeing again because my right hip was sore from sitting too long the first day, so I took a plunge in the lake instead. The water was pretty warm, and the temperatures must have been in the low eighties. I slowly waded in to the clear lake, stood on a tree trunk barely protruding from the surface, then splashed around a little with the inflatable seat from the kayak. It felt good to get wet and dry off in the sun.


The night was cold. I slept on the inflated bottom of the canoe, having deflated the sides. However I was not really comfortable because of the strong smell of the material.

I had a dream, something about being in high school and watching two confident, sassy, cool guys make fun of the jocks. At one point one of the mockers said to someone, "Reflect it back at them!", referring to the attitude of the jocks I think, which he was redirecting back upon them so as to make them feel the brunt of their own mocking actions towards others.

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Journal Journal: Unconscious Dream


Tracie? Another girl, Tiffany? with a baby, asks me to take care of something in her apartment.

It's cold, snowing, she doesn't want to go back to her apartment, she has a baby in a sling around her torso.

I was working on a pack, pushing clips together.

I go to Tiffany's (?) apartment to do her request.

I'm in the street, there's snow.

A guy I've talked to before is in a basement apartment. Light straw-colored hair.

when I talked to him before, he was standing down in his basement area, which was below the street, so only his head was visible at street level.

But no that's how it should have been, but instead I must have been talking to him at face level because it seemed weird to me talking to him.

Now back in the street after the snow going to T's apt to do her a favor, he hails me. This time he comes out on the street and I realize he's a giant, very tall.

I can't believe how tall he is, as he paces back and forth in the street saying something. I'm not listening, but thinking how tall he is, how could I not have known?

He passes beside me, I'm walking too, I look over at him to guage what level on his form my head reaches, it's barely to his knees! He is really really tall!


In the previous scenes when I was talking to him face-to-face and he seemed normal height, he must have been standing on a level far below the street.

Either the man is my unconscious, much bigger than I ever imagined, or he's my competitors, and I have a lot more growing to do.

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Journal Journal: Watching the tide turn 1

Stopped at the William Cannon trail, on Eld Inlet (where I'd watched a guy release a mountain beaver he'd live-trapped, see and ), close to sunset. On the way to a spot overlooking the inlet (which is where I'd last seen the beaver), I came across a fruiting cherry tree. I stopped to eat several small, red cherries, hoping as I cast the pits among the trees alongside the trail that they would themselves grow into trees...

The tide was coming in, and fast - I measured several inches (as many as six) per minute. (My measurement consisted of marking the highest spot that the water reached on the slightly sloping shore I was standing on, then counting seconds until the water had progressed an inch, and then making some calculations in my head to determine the rate per minute.) I stood at the point overlooking the inlet and alternated meditation with some aerobic exercise. Several times I had to move back up the shore as the water advanced to lap at the toes of my sandals.

I saw no sign of the beaver, but I did see several rabbits. A lone killdeer, crying with its high-pitched call, flew over the inlet; then later four of them in a tight formation flew along the same path. Still later, a flock of 15-20 long-necked geese flew the other way, calling as they flapped low over the water. There were also high-flying gulls, a flock of swallows flying very fast, and smaller birds. Maybe a hawk in the distance on the other side of the inlet?

Some white-bellied bird a few hundred feet down the shore to my right kept diving into the water, making a splash; when I would look over, he would be flying to the branch of a tree overlooking the water.

The tide seemed to be slowing, after close to an hour. I noted that it had reached a piece of seaweed on the shore. Then I went on along the trail, doing some chin-ups and pull-ups on tree branches. I ate pine needles and daisies and dandelions, and found a pear tree, but only tasted one fruit which was not yet ripe.

When I came back to the point overlooking the inlet. the tide was going out. The water had receded several inches down from the seaweed marking its high point on the shore. It was going out fast, again several inches a minute, seemingly faster than its progress the other way when I got there.

I looked again for the mountain beaver, but only saw more rabbits. Looking out over the water at the flow now having reversed itself, I saw a big orange blob under the surface (I'd seen the same one pass me going with the tide earlier), and slowly realized it was a fish, not a jellyfish as I had first speculated, as I made out its fins and mouth pushing at the surface (for air?).

When I stopped at the cherry tree on my way back, a small bunny hopped around me, coming as close as a couple feet, where he stopped and ate a green leaf growing on a small stem. I talked to him, calling him cute, asked if he'd seen the beaver; he was so close I thought of reaching out to touch him, and asked him if I could bend down to do so; but when I made a move to lower myself, he bolted a few feet down the path, where he stopped and found another leaf to chew on. I asked him to say hi to the beaver if he saw her, and said "see you later" as I left :)

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Journal Journal: Petr Kropotkin, Mutual Aid

It was necessary to indicate the overwhelming importance which sociable habits play in Nature and in the progressive evolution of both the animal species and human beings: to prove that they secure to animals a better protection from their enemies, very often facilities for getting food and (winter provisions, migrations, etc.), longevity, therefore a greater facility for the development of intellectual faculties; and that they have given to men, in addition to the same advantages, the possibility of working out those institutions which have enabled mankind to survive in its hard struggle against Nature, and to progress, notwithstanding all the vicissitudes of its history.


It seems to me that govt (such as the US Govt) exhibits "sociable habits" by providing for the common defence and the general welfare; providing food, healthcare and heating assistance for needy individuals; providing free education to help develop the mental faculties; etc. Therefore govt exhibits altruism, and as a result the United States has become the world's #1 economy and superpower...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Altruism, kin selection

From _The Genetics of Populations_, by Jay L. Lush (1948), quoted in _The Altruism Equation_ by Lee Alan Dugatkin, page 165:

The competition and selection between families ... could make selection favor any genes which tend to cause the possessor to sacrifice himself ... provided the sacrifice promotes the biolgocial welfare of his relatives (some of whom will have some of the genes he has) enough to more than compensate for the genes lost in the self-sacrifice. ... The balance here is intricate, depending on how extreme the self-sacrifice, at what stage in the life-cycle it occurs, how much this increases the biological success of the benefactor's relatives, how closely related they are, etc. The balance depends primarily on whether the greater biological success of the relatives will multiply the genes for altruism more than enough to compensate for the loss of those genes in the individual which sacrificed itself.

How does the mathematical theory of altruism (formalised in Hamilton's rule as rB > C) predict open source, where the degree of relatedness between those who produce and those who benefit is unknown and irrelevant? Does Hamilton's rule account for the existence of the World Wide Web, food stamps, of food banks, of non-profits, of the Southern Poverty Law Center, of the Civil War, etc.? It seems that there are studies that provide supporting evidence for Hamilton's rule; but there is also a lot of behavior that we see around us everyday that doesn't support it. Another example, people helping each other on irc, answering questions, etc. There are also counterexamples to Hamilton's rule: sibling rivalry (Cain and Abel), fratricide, infanticide, etc. Why aren't these observations mentioned when discussing Hamilton's rule?

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Journal Journal: Lake West camp 3


Camped overnight by a lake (Lake West, Warm night, clear. The previous day, I parked at a sign saying 3 miles to "wire bridge" and walked to it; it was a high bridge with spectacular views over the canyon below through which the South Fork of the Skokomish river flowed. On the far end of the bridge I ignored warning signs and scrambled a little ways down a trail, without incident. I stopped when it began getting really steep and trees to grab started running out.

I had missed the path to the campsite and lake on the way to the bridge; on the way back there was a car parked next to it. I followed the path 400 feet or so to the lake shore and saw a couple bare-chested guys fishing in an inflatable raft. I left, walked back to the car, drove further into the forest (past a few ugly clearcuts scarring the land) on another road. I found a stream and ate and washed up there. I also hiked up a hill for a mile or so.

It was getting towards sunset and I wanted to see if the guys at the lake had left, so I drove back there. They had gone, so I decided to make camp. There were mosquitos so I put up the tent. Since I hadn't brought my inflatable sleeping pad, I used an Indian technique I'd read about on interpretive trails, gathering sword fern fronds to place under the tent. I tried to take a maximum of four from any one plant, and thanked the plants for letting me use their leaves.

I heard frogs throughout the night; one in particular was very loud. I would wak up and listen, not hearing anything, thinking he'd gone to sleep; then he would start his croak routine again. I also heard birds calling throughout the night. Sounded like geese, gulls, some small birds too.

In keeping with the practice of usufruct, I cleaned up the camp as much as I could. There was a lot of glass! Also shell casings, as if people had been shooting bottles.

I saw a large black bird fly over the camp in the morning as I was tending a fire I'd made. It must have had a wingspan of at least two or three feet. A raven? It didn't make a sound, gliding silently...

Emulating Thales calculating the height of the Great Pyramid, I used the principle of similar triangles to estimate how tall some trees were. The method: pace off the length of my shadow, then the length of the tree's shadow. My shadow divided by my height equals the tree's shadow divided by the tree's height, so the tree's height = the tree's shadow times the quotient of my height divided by my shadow. I calculated that one tree was about 90 feet (plus or minus 10 feet), another 75, a snag in the middle of the camp about 45 (again plus or minus 10 feet). I tried to get a sense of how fast my shadow's length was changing as the sun moved through the sky...

The lake was warm, so I took a bried dip. A couple fish watched me, seeming curious and playfully chasing each other through the eelgrass. I thought of a dream I'd had the night before, which might have been triggered by the fishermen I'd seen; in it I was on a boat with a guy who had a fish on the end of his line, and was swinging the pole around in a big circle. I was watching the fish on the end of the hook and felt empathy for it. The guy swinging the pole seemed to me mean, unnecessarily cruel. I wanted to leave, to get away from his sadism, and somehow even though I was on a boat was able to do so. I wanted to apologize to the fish watching me wade into the lake for my fellow-humans, so needlessly cruel and predatory.

As I write this the camp looks much cleaner than when I first came. The fire has died out. I've packed up all but my wet swimsuit and water shoes, drying slowly. The sun for the first time is behind some hazy clouds. A small bird chirps in a nearby tree. It is quiet except for the sound of a light wind rustling through the leaves. Ants scurry endlessly at my feet. I feel good, calm, ready to go back to civilization and do some programming. I would like to come back here when I get an inflatable canoe, see how clean the camp is...

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Journal Journal: University Dream


I was taking a class at some university. My high school buddy Paul Manning (he was in the "piano dream", too) was at the school. I signed up for a class with him. I met him on a luscious green quad and we went to an old brownstone building. The class was on the top floor.

It appeared we were the only two in the class. The teacher was seated at a counter facing the window. There were many computers and terminals on the (long) counter; there were also many other people in the room, working at terminals, not part of the class. The teacher was involved in interacting with one terminal as we came up to him. He had a look of being well-cared-for all his life. He wore glasses and had slightly curly, wavy brown hair. He might have had a mustache. I think his name was Joel.

It became clear that Paul knew him pretty well. They bantered familiarly. Paul seemed to know a lot more about the class than I did. I seemed to be tagging along with Paul, happy to be being given attention by him.

At some point, Joel started putting on different hats, some covered his entire head as if for protection against storms, etc. One seemed made of a space-age flexible metal with padding. Paul threw out off-handedly that it was lead-lined. The implication that popped into my head was that it was protection against fallout. I made some comment about Fukushima.

I became aware that the class was more than just a simple, regular class as I had assumed. These were Feds, investigators of some kind, and I was in some kind of Intelligence Agency building, like the CIA. Paul had known this all along.

Joel casually mentioned he could look me up, and started punching keys at the terminal in front of him. He mentioned some things about me. They seemed pretty innocuous. Some were correct, some weren't.

We moved to another section, away from the windows, more towards the interior of the room. Someone else, a woman I believe, or maybe Paul, searched for auto loans by me, and came up with a Ferrari. I almost laughed; I had never even thought of buying a Ferrari. Their data was way off on that one!

We moved to yet another section. It became clear to me that I was now the subject of a pretty rigorous investigation. They were pulling up all sorts of information. Some of it was accurate, most was way off ...

At one point, after some wrong information turned up that they asked me about, I asked a woman investigator, "do you research blogs?" I said I had voluntarily provided a lot of personal information of the sort they seemed to be looking for on internet blogs. And I was proud of these posts, I made them to try to publicize some things about myself. Yet their efforts hadn't come across my postings. The woman asked me what sort of things I had posted. I said personal things, about mental health issues, finances, politics ... I was becoming guarded with her, suddenly playing their game in which I was supposed to hide information and they were supposed to work hard to uncover it.

Then I was at a picnic, with Paul; and the professor of the class, Joel, was at another part of the picnic, which had many attendees. It had become clear to me by this time that I was being evaluated to see if I was good enough to take the class. Just the mere fact that they were evaluating me seemed to create a desire in me to want to succeed, whereas I didn't really care about the class before I'd found that out. They had succeeded in creating a desire to be accepted by them in me. I wanted to be in that room with access to all those machines! Even if they had missed the most important information about me, which I had voluntarily posted all over the internet.

There was something to do with guns at the picnic. My memory of the dream has faded ... Some interactions with Joel ... something about papers ... the sense of them deciding whether I was acceptable to take their class, hoping I was, thinking I had a decent chance ...


Day residue: I had been looking up the Evergreen State College yesterday, thinking possibly about taking a class there, looking at the library information because it had a book I'm interested in.


I think the dream represents tension between wanting to be accepted, wanting to be part of something, and another desire to pursue the truth at any cost. The ppl in the dream, the class, had lots of nice equipment, and represents a social group that could provide acceptance; yet at the same time they were inaccurate in the information they gathered about me, ignoring the most obvious sources that I had deliberately left around the internet.


Journal Journal: Piano Dream

Piano dream


In the opulent home of a high-school friend. There is a white piano, exquisite, elegant. I'm talking to one old acquaintance; there are others there too, in another room. Their parents are having a dinner-party in the dining-room. The friend I'm talking to and I are in the living room, with its centerpiece grand piano.

I'm talking to the old friend about my life, trying to defend it, the position I'm in currently. My friend seems sceptical, judgmental; he's gone on to become a professor or some other professional success, while I seem to be floundering around in obscurity.

A record player starts playing a jazz tune I know, Jelly Roll Morton's "Buddy Bolden's Blues" (, I want to demonstrate to my friend that I know how to play this tune! I walk to the piano, and attempt to pick out the melody as it plays.

I can't get it quite right! I'm off by a half-step, or something. I can hear that I'm off, and tell my friend - "well I haven't played this for a while, it's something close to this, can you hear that I've almost got it" - something to that effect.

One of the parents from the dinner party comes into the room as I'm trying to pick out the melody. Is it Syd Abrams? I look up to see him. I'm a little embarrassed at not being able to play the melody completely accurately but in m mind I have excused myself for the mistakes. The parent, grey-haired, relaxed and confident at his own life's success, talks to me gently with a smile on his face. He asks what I'm doing. I tell him I'm working on my AI project. I say I have social problems that prevent me from working for pay, but I'm doing the best I can on my own. He nods understandingly. My friend, still in the room and silent, seems less forgiving.

Then I tell them I have to go. I pick up a backpack with my stuff and walk out a door. I cross a street and head up a sidewalk. I'm conscious of being alone while I can still hear the sounds of the party in the rich house behind me...


After I wake up, I realize the mistake I was making when trying to play the tune: I think I was actually trying to play a different tune or conflating another tune with "I thought I heard Buddy Bolden say" (another name for the song). I was starting on the right note, but going down a whole step instead of a half-step, and that initial mistake was throwing me off so that I couldn't get the rest of the melody quite right either. Trying to play live along with the record, the initial mistake on the second note had thrown off my frame of reference for the whole piece. I realized this immediately on waking up.

Earlier that night I had been reading about Darwin and Huxley and Petr Kropotkin and their scientific activities, and how they had a lot of social success, but despite being scientists didn't really do experiments. Also I had read a wikipedia article on Warder Clyde Allee, which highlighted my very different experience from his at the University of Chicago.

My mistake in trying to play along with the melody is understandable, I think, from a musician's point of view; it is something that occurs often when practicing, at least for me. But an audience of non-musicians or even (non-jazz) musicians is likely to see my mistake as unforgivable; to conclude that I am a bad musician and they could do as well or better so I should shut up.

This kind of disconnect between the way I view a performance and the way most people view a performance is one of the main sources of my failure to be a conventional success (like my brother, say) in this world.

Statistically, I should be making much more money, etc.


Journal Journal: Teachable Language Comprehender 4

One of the first examples of a network model of semantic memory is the Teachable Language Comprehender (TLC).[5] In this model, each node is a word, representing a concept (like "Bird"). With each node is stored a set of properties (like "can fly" or "has wings") as well as pointers (i.e., links) to other nodes (like "Chicken"). A node is directly linked to those nodes of which it is either a subclass or superclass (i.e., "Bird" would be connected to both "Chicken" and "Animal"). Thus, TLC is a hierarchical knowledge representation in that high-level nodes representing large categories are connected (directly or indirectly, via the nodes of subclasses) to many instances of those categories, whereas nodes representing specific instances are at a lower level, connected only to their superclasses. Furthermore, properties are stored at the highest category level to which they apply. For example, "is yellow" would be stored with "Canary", "has wings" would be stored with "Bird" (one level up), and "can move" would be stored with "Animal" (another level up). Nodes may also store negations of the properties of their superordinate nodes (i.e., "NOT-can fly" would be stored with "penguin"). This provides an economy of representation in that properties are only stored at the category level at which they become essential, that is, at which point they become critical features (see below).

Processing in TLC is a form of spreading activation.[6] That is, when a node becomes active, that activation spreads to other nodes via the links between them. In that case, the time to answer the question "Is a chicken a bird?" is a function of how far the activation between the nodes for "Chicken" and "Bird" must spread, i.e., the number of links between the nodes "Chicken" and "Bird".

The original version of TLC did not put weights on the links between nodes. This version performed comparably to humans in many tasks, but failed to predict that people would respond faster to questions regarding more typical category instances than those involving less typical instances.



I've taken the same approach in my AI programs (

[17:50] Greetings, anekant! Please be patient with me, sometimes I think for awhile. Also sometimes I get disconnected, but I'll be back in a minute.
[17:50] hi
[17:50] Hi there. We're having some nice weather at the anus.
[17:50] logicagent: how many factoids?
[17:50] I know 1991 factoids.
[17:50] logicagent: reset graph
[17:50] Okay, I have reset the graph.
[17:51] A bird can fly
[17:51] That's an old saw.
[17:51] Birds = a bird
[17:51] I've lost the context, dude . Are we still on identify crigadeni?
[17:51] logicagent: reset graph
[17:51] Okay, I have reset the graph.
[17:51] Birds can fly.
[17:51] A bird can fly.
[17:51] Birds includes a bird
[17:51] A bird in the upper region of the alimentary canal is the smallest quantity of a firearm.
[17:52] A bird has wings
[17:52] A bird in the bush.
[17:52] A chicken is a bird.
[17:52] Are all chickenbird?Are all chickenbird?
[17:52] a bird is an animal
[17:52] That's an old saw.
[17:52] A canary is yellow
[17:53] a canary is a bird
[17:53] Aren't all canaryyellow?
[17:53] Are all canarybird?
[17:53] A penguis can not fly
[17:53] A bird can fly.
[17:53] A penguin can not fly
[17:53] A penguis can not fly.
[17:54] Is a chicken a bird?
[17:54] Yes, a chicken is a bird.
[17:54] can a penguin fly?
[17:54] Yes, a penguin can fly.
[17:54] who said that?
[17:54] gagent said Yes, a penguin can fly.
[17:54] gagent: stfu
[17:54] My threshhold is now 2, and my score_mod is 0.
[17:54] can a penguin fly?
[17:54] Some of them can.
[17:55] logicagent: can a penguin fly?
[17:55] No, a penguin can't fly.
[17:55] can birds fly?
[17:55] Yes, birds can fly.
[17:55] does a canary have wings?
[17:55] Yes, a canary has wings
[17:55] can a canary fly?
[17:55] No, a canary can't fly.
[17:55] who said that?
[17:56] logicagent said No, a canary can't fly.
[17:56] why can't a canary fly?
[17:56] I can't find Why can't a canary fly?
[17:56] logicagent: what is a canary?
[17:56] a canary is yellow, a bird, birds, an animal
[17:56] can a bird fly?
[17:56] Some of them can.
[17:56] logicagent: can a bird fly?
[17:56] No, a bird can't fly.
[17:56] can birds fly?
[17:57] Yes, birds can fly.
[17:57] birds includes a bird
[17:57] Is the holding of hands a symbolic gesture for humans?
[17:57] birds = a bird
[17:57] In Soviet Russia, the bird =s YOU!
[17:57] can a bird fly?
[17:57] No, a bird can't fly.
[17:57] who said that?
[17:57] logicagent said No, a bird can't fly.
[17:57] logicagent: print graph
[17:57] why can't a canary flies
[17:57] a chicken is a bird
[17:57] a canary is yellow
[17:57] a canary is a bird
[17:57] a penguis can not flies
[17:57] birds flies
[17:57] birds = a bird
[17:57] birds = birds
[17:57] a bird = birds
[17:57] a bird = a bird
[17:57] a bird has wings
[17:57] a bird is an animal
[17:57] a penguin can not flies
[17:58] can a chicken fly?
[17:58] Some of them can.
[17:58] who said that?
[17:58] alice said Some of them can.
[17:58] that response sucked
[17:58] ...
[17:58] can a chicken fly?
[17:58] Some of them can.
[17:59] that response sucked!
[17:59] Okay I have added if response =~ /Some of them can./ then score -= 1 end.
[17:59] can a chicken fly?
[17:59] No, a chicken can't fly.
[17:59] who said that?
[17:59] logicagent said No, a chicken can't fly.
[17:59] what is a chicken?
[17:59] a chicken is a bird, birds, an animal
[18:00] can a bird fly?
[18:00] No, a bird can't fly.
[18:00] can birds fly?
[18:00] Yes, birds can fly.


[18:02] a bird = birds
[18:02] That's an old saw.
[18:02] can a bird fly
[18:02] No, a bird can't fly.
[18:03] what is a bird?
[18:03] a bird is birds, an animal
[18:03] can an animal fly?
[18:03] No, an animal can't fly.
[18:03] can a penguin fly?
[18:03] No, a penguin can't fly.
[18:03] can a canary fly?
[18:03] No, a canary can't fly.
[18:04] can canaries fly?
[18:04] No, canaries can't fly.
[18:04] canaries = a canary
[18:04] can canaries fly
[18:04] Are you really a "he"?
[18:04] No, canaries can't fly.
[18:04] do canaries have wings?
[18:04] A bird has wings.
[18:04] do canaries have wings?
[18:04] A bird has wings.
[18:05] does a canary have wings?
[18:05] Yes, a canary has wings
[18:05] why does a canary have wings?
[18:05] a canary has wings because: a canary is a bird, and a bird has wings
[18:05] a bird can fly
[18:05] That's an old saw.
[18:05] can a canary fly?
[18:05] Yes, a canary can fly.
[18:05] can a chicken fly?
[18:05] Yes, a chicken can fly.


[This dialog is presented completely unedited; it is meant to show a real example of how I interact with my bot, complete with repetitions, etc., as I try to figure out why it's responding the way it is, and how to get it to learn what to answer how I want it to answer...]

As you can see, I'm jumping through some hoops to make the program answer some basic questions about the facts taught to it at the beginning of the dialog.

I need to modify the "a_can_fly" method (I think that's the name, I could find out by saying "Logicagent: show api" and hunting through the methods listed) so that it includes the "=" relation in its search path. I've done the same for "is X Y" questions: they search for paths from X to Y that are connected by edges labeled both with the "is" and "=" relation. However I haven't included "=" in the method that searches for paths with the "flies" relation. Unfortunately this is a change that I can't think how to do at runtime, while talking to the bot; I have to go into the program code and modify the "a_flies" (or whatever the name is) method, then restart the program (I can do the latter while the controller program is still running, telling it to "kill logic" and "start logic").

So, I have some more work to do before I can handle the wikipedia examples to my satisfaction...

User Journal

Journal Journal: Altruism

From "The Altruism Equation", by Lee Alan Dugatkin, page 4:

Indeed, one of the reasons that Dawkins chose the term "selfish gene" as a metaphor was to emphasize the fact that genes which code for any trait that benefits the species as a whole, or indeed even groups of unrelated individuals, are doomed. Such genes are bound for the evolutionary trash bin because they are not maximizing their chances of being passed to the next generation. Only those genes that are "selfish" make it in the end.

Memes are different, though. Memes can be recorded, as for example Ashoka's edicts were inscribed on stone, and then they don't have to be passed on by human carriers as genes do; they can skip generations (millenia in the case of Ashoka's edicts) and be rediscovered later and enjoy reproductive success in a punctuated manner. So memes do not have to be "selfish" in the sense that genes do; memes can record themselves on some media that will last, and not worry about having to replicate themselves. That same copy of the meme can become reactivated at a later time, without having reproduced.


Journal Journal: The Road to Reality

To mathematicians (at least to most of them, as far as I can make out), mathematics is not just a cultural activity that we have ourselves created, but it has a life of its own, and much of it finds an amazing harmony with the physical universe. - Roger Penrose, "The Road to Reality", page xix

Same with natural language (of which mathematics is a subset). I have often felt that natural language has a life of its own; indeed, I am trying to prove it can exist outside of humans by programming a bot to speak it.

Natural language is our first model of reality. Much of it finds an amazing harmony not only with the physical universe, but the mental, biological, virtual as well...

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