David Chapman offers a critique of rationality at his meaningness.com site.  Interesting reading. To define the word “ontology”, he offers up a rather striking list, a categorization of animals,  from Jorge Luis Borges, from the Celestial Emporium of Benevolent Knowledge. The list is at first absurd, and humorous:

  1. those that belong to the Emperor,
  2. embalmed ones,
  3. those that are trained,
  4. suckling pigs,
  5. mermaids,
  6. fabulous ones,
  7. stray dogs,
  8. those included in the present classification,
  9. those that tremble as if they were mad,
  10. innumerable ones,
  11. those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush,
  12. others,
  13. those that have just broken a flower vase,
  14. those that from a long way off look like flies.

Chapman goes on to note: “This is a bad ontology, for any imaginable purpose, but it is not false.

I’m not so sure. It has a purpose, and the purpose is to portray the inner workings of the mind.  Which Borges does so well. There is a marvelous consistency to the list.

It documents the workings of the inner mind of a country peasant – the earnest thinker, the one you might encounter at the end of a long pleasant summer’s day, after all work has been done, and one has rested a bit. The question is a reasonable one to pop into thought, as there were animals seen throughout the day: chickens in the yard, wild beasts at the fringes of field and forest. The mind wanders: What is an animal?

Of course, all the King’s beasts are the King’s, and there will be unbearable trouble if the warden catches you hunting them. So of course, 1. The warden doesn’t know about the stuffed muskrat in the shed, but that was already found dead, so can’t be blamed for that. So, of course, 2. the embalmed ones. Oh gosh, there are so many animals! How could one list them all? There are dogs, they’re good at hunting. Let’s say, 3. those that are trained. (….)

Summer’s feast is coming up. Just a few weeks away. Much work left to be done, to prepare for it. There will be a roast. Pigs. 4. suckling pigs. Roast suckling pigs. Mmmm. There will be many guests. You must come! Much work left to be done.

I can’t think of anything else. That’s pretty much it. What else could there be? (……) 5. Mermaids. Do you think dragons count as animals? There are so many, gryphons and things. Surely they’re animals. 6. Fabulous ones.

Argh! There’s that damned dog again. Go dammit. How am I gonna deal with it? Thief. 7. stray dogs. Stray dogs are animals. Everything included in the present categorization is an animal, so 8. Of course. That stray dog reminds me of the fox I saw yesterday. I must have surprised it, it was hunched over something, trembling. But strangely salivating, teeth bare. Maybe rabid. 9. those that tremble as if they were mad. I guess anything is an animal, there are so many. 10. innumerable ones. I once saw a book, and it had pictures in it, very fine. If I could show it to you. Pages and pages, you would just open it, and there would be a picture of an animal. A drawing. A painting. That’s not what its called. An engraving? I don’t remember what they called it. Here: 11. those drawn with a very fine camelhair brush. There were so many. 12. others.

Wife steps to the door. Says I’ll have to mend the vase before summer feast. Cat broke it. 13. those that have just broken a flower vase. Evening is upon us, time to go inside. Standing up, straightening one’s legs. One last glance towards the distant edge of the woods, a hint of movement. A shimmering, maybe a breeze in the aspens. 14. those that from a long way off look like flies.

This is my pastoral classification of animals. It’s very natural. It’s complete. It lists them all. We’ve thought about everything in the entire universe. Mermaids! My man! Think it! All of them! It’s a good listing. Proper work for an evening.

Algorithmic Cancel Culture

A social media acquaintance on scuttlebutt recently posted:

“I have a friend that has gone full #QAnon on #facebook. I haven’t visited my account in over a year but now find myself visiting daily for about a week to see what they have posted. I guess this is why Facebook doesn’t want to limit stuff like this. It gets clicks!

Truthfully I don’t even know what I am getting out of visiting it, but I continue to do it. Am I getting a laugh out of the absurdity? Am I enjoying getting angry at some of the ridiculousness? I don’t even know. It likely somehow is making my life worse.”

I could not let that one just sit there. I replied:

Before #social-media, most folks got opinions from TV news, books, papers, etc. and stuff like QAnon would be dropped like a hot potato by TV/News editors. So #mainstream-media filtered out (most of) the crap and insanity. (There were always fringe publishers, but they were fringe… that’s why the TV shows like X-Files and Fringe were so much fun.)

Not like that any more … bad memes can circulate like bad bacteria, and anyone can catch it. Social media allows direct person-to-person, brain-to-brain contact, allowing crazy thoughts to become highly infectious. I mean this in the literal sense, not the poetic sense … this is very much like a #neuroscience network #disease process, and needs to be treated as such.

A QAnon meme. Note the McDonalds Happy Meal™ in front of him, and Pence(?) as the Red Baron in the background.

I should mention that the “Great Firewall of China” is at least partly about this (to be very charitable …) – by controlling who can post what on social media, they control the infection rate of assorted memes. They can suppress both bad and good memes, so not only scams and frauds but also valid criticisms of the government. I’m told that the best way of criticizing the government is to quote #confucius – that’s so patriotic, the censors don’t dare suppress it. See: American Affairs  – Missionaries of Humanity: Popular Confucianism in China.

No, really, he was wise. You can quote me on that.

So, yeah, basically I’m saying that censorship might not be entirely a bad thing.


He asked “I don’t even know what I am getting out of visiting it.” Well, I must explain:

  1. What you are getting out of it is a perverse pleasure of watching a train-wreck. Kind-of like surfing #covid statistics and hoping the numbers go up. It’s a certain set of neural feedback loops in the brain that trigger a pleasure response.
  2. facebook hires psychologists and #neuroscience people who know exactly how this works, and use them to perform research on increasing the addictiveness of facebook. You are literally being manipulated.
  3. facebook is not the only one. There are help-wanted job ads from assorted political-marketing manipulation outfits which explicitly ask for neuroscience/psychology experience, so that they can tweak their #algorithmic-propaganda algorithms. Somewhere I have a browser tab open with one of these ads in it. I meant to study it in greater detail, it was … interesting.
  4. So #phillip-morris the #cigarette company is aware of this, and they are looking to diversify out of nicotine. I was supposed to sign an NDA at the door but they screwed up and forgot (I wasn’t told about the NDA till weeks later, so not my fault) so I can tell you: they are keenly aware that they service an addiction mechanism in the brain, and they are dimly aware that there are other addiction circuits, including addiction to gambling, gaming, and addiction to facebook, and addiction to #qanon. They were there to brainstorm new neuro-products for the market. Both chemical-based and non-chemical-based. I talked about wireheading. So, yes, basically, I helped an evil company try to come up with new addictive products.

Addiction is such an ugly word. I try to explain this in another blog post: Endorphin Supply Chains. A better slogan might be “Better living through chemistry”, or “Enhancing your mood throughout the day”, or even “Tastes great, less filling!” – no one runs around accusing Starbucks of selling psychoactive drugs, but that is exactly what they do.

The tobacco industry will grow to 1 trillion dollars annually by 2027.

FWIW, the Scientific Revolution might be due to coffee. In the Middle Ages, there was a problem with water purity, and beer was clean and safe to drink. Unfortunately, it puts you in a stupor. When coffee arrived (the first coffee shops in London in the early 1600’s (?)) you could drink, and get smarter, not dumber.

Algorithmic Cancel Culture

So my buddy Rumblestilskin makes the brilliant observation:

“I doubt we will see the level of censorship in the West like we see in China anytime soon. I still think there will be some response (natural, grassroots?) that can combat these extreme memes in society.

I think Cancel Culture is in someways a response to these extreme memes and also a response to remove old ideas from society that are no longer useful. Cancel Culture may go too far sometimes, but I see it as an overactive immune response that can eventually be regulated to the correct level.”

Its hard to see how to improve on that comment. This will require deeper thought. Yes, censorship is a very blunt tool. Kind of like chemotherapy for cancer: its just a poison, and you hope the cancer gets more poisoned than the rest of the body. Of course, chemotherapy is administered by MD’s with some sense of ethics. Censorship … not so much. Overwhelmingly powerful state actors administer censorship. And here in the West, we sense the danger of this, we know this innately and call it “free speech”.

A primitive, imperfect and hateful regulator of mental disease.

Facebook has kicked me off of facebook. Why? They won’t say: maybe because I called out more than a few racists (aka “violated terms of service”).  Maybe because they cannot tolerate inflammatory, rabid posts like this one – they are more interested in giving QAnon and assorted deranged right-wingers a protected safe space to be nurtured and grow. A walled garden for trumptards and snowflakes and malevolent, twisted souls.  This makes facebook into an evil corporation: they intentionally breed toxic memes.  And they have state-actor type powers to kill and suppress ideas such as the ones that I spread.  And, to re-iterate: toxic, racist memes are literally harmful, they are very much like a bad disease, a mental disease, and it is literally communicable, catching.

If it were only as easy as it was for John Snow, when he broke cholera by putting a padlock on a water-well in London in 1854. We can’t remove racism from the brains of the infected, and we cannot depend on corporate censorship to “do the right thing”. But maybe we can do something useful with Cancel Culture.  This is an idea worth exploring.

Endorphin Supply Chains

Before neurotransmitters, there was bacterial signalling, for example, quorum sensing in bacteria. Signalling with small polypeptides can solve certain kinds of decision problems, for example, the exploit vs explore problem in slime molds (basically, the trade-off of effort searching for new food sources, vs. “exploiting” (eating) the current food source). It can be shown that the slime mold solves the two-armed bandit problem quite well, but not as well as the best possible algorithm (explore vs exploit is a mathematically known as the “two-armed bandit problem“). There are two problems: speed of processing is limited by the rate of diffusion of the signalling molecules, and there is a huge amount of cross-talk, because the signalling molecules spread everywhere.

Jellyfish solve this problem by inventing the neuron. Its really the neuron that is the star-gate for neuro-transmitters: neurons provide point-to-point connections, so little or no cross-talk, and extremely fast — milliseconds for a neuron spike (a soliton) to travel a meter, which is tens of thousands of times faster than diffusion for the same distance. The result really is a star-trek like increase in the information-processing ability of structural arrangements of biomolecules.

Jellyfish have a circular ring of neurons running along the perimeter, able to detect and paralyze food as it swims by.

The problem with jellyfish, though, is that they have trouble deciding when to eat, and when to flee predators. So they don’t … they do both at the same time. Which maybe is not so good for survival. Deciding “what to do” is called “action selection”. Here’s a nice article explaining how brains are smarter than neural nets (and no, they are not the same thing). Tony J. Prescott (2007) “Forced moves or good tricks in design space? Landmarks in the evolution of neural mechanisms for action selection“.

The point of the story about the global brain is that things don’t just stop with the brain: we have all of sociology and civilization in front of us. A reasonable place to start is with the idea of a “psychotechnology”: for example, that a 24-letter phonetic alphabet, spread by Ancient Phonecian sailors, really is better than Egyptian Hieroglyphics. John Vervaeke has a 50-part lecture series on this: “Awakening from the Meaning Crisis“. Some more advanced conceptions of meaning are explored in the books by David Chapman on meaningness.com. There is a vast amount of material there, so maybe starting in the middle is a good place.

The tobacco industry will grow to 1 trillion dollars annually by 2027.

Beyond the concept of a meme is the “teme” – roughly, a “technological meme”. The tobacco industry is a great example. It co-exists with a set of neural feedback loops, that reinforce nicotine craving with time-scales varying from milliseconds to minutes, with distinct feedback loops operating at 15-minute, multi-hour, week-long and multi-month-long scales. Each of these feedback loops is distinct from the others, but inter-coupled, which is why quitting smoking is so hard. Even if, through sheer will-power, you’ve gone without a cigarette for a week, there is one more feedback loop that is still running that is still saying “nicotine feels good.”

But scientists don’t know everything… it was politicians who figured out that there was yet one more feedback loop, this one involving advertising and marketing. To break addiction, you have to break the advertising/marketing feedback loop. This is a formidable loop, because a trillion dollars a year is very powerful.

Well, maybe it is not actually scale-free, but it is a complex network.

This is not my idea: apparently, Nicolas M. Kirchberger talks about this in a book which I have not read: “The Evolving Self”, which someone else described as so:

“Most manufactured goods enter in this category, like cigarettes being a kind of replicator that uses smokers to replicate; once they start replicating, they can’t be stopped so easily and tend to grow as much as they can to fill the market regardless of ‘people’s intentions’. Seen like that, those kind of problems appear much more complex to manage…”

To rephrase more accurately, all temes are of this form: they consist of global manufacturing lines and supply chains interacting with small peptide molecules, up- and down-regulated DNA and RNA, ribosomes and protein expression, neural feedback loops, individual humans, fiber-optic trans-oceanic networks and cloud computers, corporations, laws that restrict marketing and promote product safety, all operating at or near the edge of a phase transition. I say”phase transition” because this is where mathematics meets systems theory. Don’t let high-school physics fool you: our mathematical understanding of phase transitions exploded during the 1980’s and 1990’s, and has become quite sophisticated, with tentacles into analytic combinatorics, number theory and even string theory. If you want to understand complex systems, you have to understand this theory.

What does this long footnote have to do with AGI? Well, AGI slots into this system of global supply chains and manufacturing systems. Existing AI algorithms are used to not only inform/misinform voters on political issues, but also improve manufacturing and shipping. The AGI algorithms will be deployed into this infrastructure, as a particularly powerful controlling feedback loop. The boundaries of AGI are fuzzier than you think, and the future is closer than it appears.

The above blog post used to be a footnote to my earlier post, AGI Career Advice. But that footnote wanted to be free, so here it is. This post also appears in medium.com.

AGI Career Advice

A younger student, Ben Schultzer,  emailed me yesterday, to ask about AGI.  Since I like writing, I wrote a long answer. I’m reproducing some of it below.

Can robots be smarter than people?
1. Evidently (because of OpenCog), you have at least some belief that symbolic/classic techniques are valuable towards the development of AGI.


Do you think that a hybrid approach is the best way of getting there (compared to, for examples, purely deep learning, purely symbolic, or even simply simulating all 100 billion neurons of the human brain)?

Yes, but … symbolic vs. neural is the wrong perspective. Sparse representations vs. dense representations is the correct distinction to make. Both involve numbers and vectors and probabilities; the difference is the density of the interconnections between “things”.  I will expand on this answer in a new blog post on the OpenCog Brainwave blog later today (tomorrow?)

2. What is …

3. Could you give a rough estimate for the minimum amount of computing resources required to establish and run an AGI?

The next problem is the term  “AGI”. It’s not what you think it is. Most people seem to think of it as a nice chap you can invite over for dinner, and have a good chatbot with it. It’s not like that. Let me explain.

If you were the only human in the world, your brain would be all there is. But no, there are others, and your brain uses words to communicate with other brains, the network forming a giant global brain.  For example, I stub my toe; there’s a chemical reaction that releases assorted signalling molecules in my toe, that tweaks some neurons, that pulse some solitons up my spine to my brain, and I yell out “ouch” which makes air vibrate which makes neurons in your brain know that I stubbed my toe. Natural language is a Star Trek teleporter for acetylcholine and dopamine.

Dopamine walks into the synapse and emerges at the other end.

What is the global brain doing? Well, on facebook, its is a quivering blob of jello getting delusional about flat-earth, global warming, BLM and #defund.  More stable structures in the global brain are universities and rule-of-law, both having been stable configurations for about 800 years now, and corporations and nation-states, which have been around for about 400+ years. (Sure, Rome is older, but Rome was agrarian.)

Starting in the 1980’s, a significant portion of the computing performed by the global brain has been done in silicon, first by spreadsheets in corporations, but also desktop-publishing in local communities. Then, in the 2000’s, social media completely rewired the global brain. Before 2000, individuals used sound-waves to communicate with neighbors, friends, bosses, and radio waves and television to communicate with mass audiences. After 2000, with facebook and other systems, individual brains are now connected electronically with fiber optics, directly, point-to-point, without intermediaries, without having newspapers in the middle, filtering out who can say what to who.  The network topology of the global brain is radically different now.  (This is one reason why everything is so “crazy” now — without the filtering of newspaper editors suppressing crackpot stories, the global brain has started to amplify the insanity – flat-earth, chem-trails, magenta-people, trump derangement syndrome… its all because the network topology is different. The Great Firewall of China is an attempt to tamp down and modulate the crazy-making of social media. At least, that’s the benevolent description of it.)

Besides communications, silicon electronics also provides RAM storage for the global brain. For example, Wikipedia, but also blogs and PDF’s.  The long-term memory ability of the human brain has dramatically improved — in the 1980’s, it took the typical human a minute or two to recall one fact out of a small number of facts. Now it takes only seconds, thanks to google and duck-duck-go. And you can remember much much more: you can remember all of Wikipedia, for example, which was impossible in the 1980’s,  unless you walked to the library to read a book. Which the global brain usually didn’t do, preferring to drink and party.

So, anyway, I estimate that currently, silicon electronics makes up about 0.01% to maybe 0.2% of the processing power of the global brain. It’s still  poorly integrated. Cell-phones are OK, augumented reality would be better, and a neural lace: wires directly implanted in the brain would provide the highest bandwidth.  But do you really want a permanent facebook party wired to your brain? Hmm. Anyway, by Moore’s law, if we are at 0.01% to 0.2% today, then…

Well, the point of this long story is that you are already a participant in AGI: its just called “corporations” and “communities” and “courts of law” and “police stations”, and that AGI that you are already a part of is just 0.01% in silicon, although that fraction is increasing exponentially.

The point is: AGI is not going to be like this super-smart robot, individual and distinct, the nice chap we can invite over for dinner. It will be part of “us”.  It will be intimately connected to us, literally fucking with our brains.  If you thought algorithmic propaganda was problematic, well, that’s just the first baby-step on the path to AGI. True AGI is a kind of atom bomb going off, and instead of splitting uranium atoms, it’s splitting memes. You know — those memes that show a picture of the Corona-beer guy, and the caption says “I don’t always vote for Trump, but when I do, I prep for the end of the world.”

The problem with memes, explained in one meme.
5. Do you have any advice for a younger person who hasn’t established their career yet?

If we actually have an algorithmic-propaganda bomb go off, do you think “careers” will still matter?

And you thought Cambridge Analytica was bad…

In the short term, having reliable access to a monetary income is important. Capitalism may take more than a few decades to implode, so having money is still very useful.  Also, having a high IQ is also useful for survival. So, high IQ is partly determined by genetics, and partly determined by social milieu — so I recommend Ivy League Universities, and hanging out with the very smartest people possible, the smartest ones who will admit you to their social circle. In the old days, this was called “social climbing”, and there’s a nasty way to do it, and a nice way, where you don’t have to leave wreckage behind you.

Exactly how this will help you when the algorithmic propaganda bomb goes off, I dunno.  How much time do we have? I dunno. Will it end wonderfully? I dunno. It will be different, though.

Perhaps you are a figment of AGI’s imagination.


I need to find a footnote plugin for wordpress. Because the above text deserves footnotes. So, instead, a backgrounder post here: called “Endorphin Supply Chains.

What does that long footnote-post have to do with AGI? Well, AGI slots into this system of global supply chains and manufacturing systems.  Existing AI algorithms are used to not only inform/misinform voters on political issues, but also   improve manufacturing and shipping. The AGI algorithms will be deployed into this infrastructure, as a particularly powerful controlling feedback loop.  The boundaries of AGI are fuzzier than you think, and the future is closer than it appears.

srfi-194, Zipf, git, blockchain, AtomSpace

So I recently implemented the Zipfian random distribution for the scheme request-for-implementation 194. The code is available on git.  Discussions turned to the merits of using git and github, and so I had the opportunity to opine about the meaning of life in a long email.  Without further ado, the meaning of life:

Both bitcoin and git showed up at the same time, and both were built on the same idea of append-only logs. git explicitly allowed multiple forks; bitcoin explicitly forbade them. Both made design mistakes, as they were early adopters. Git wasn’t sufficiently file-system-like-ish, (which is plan9’s strong point). A shame, since file-backup, restore, corruption-protection from viruses, accidental deletion, etc. are a “thing”. For example, keeping the unix  /etc in git is a life-saver for system admins.  No matter; seems that guix and nix might have a superior solution, anyway, from what I can tell.

Bitcoin made two mistakes: not being file-system-ish enough, and not defining a sufficiently generic compute platform (solved by ethereum. Basically, bitcoin knows how to add and subtract; that’s all that’s needed for accounting. Ethereum knows how to multiply and divide and branch and tail-recurse). The not-being-a-filesystem choice is forced by anti-forking properties of bitcoin/ethereum, since the blockchain grows rapidly and so all commits must be tiny. By contrast, git allows not only large commits, but any kind of code, c++, scheme, whatever. But never defines an execution context for that code. In git, it’s up to the user to download, compile, install. It’s not automated like in ethereum.

Git fails to provide a fully-automated network filesystem. You have to manually git-push, git-pull to get network updates. There’s no peer-discovery protocol (which is what started this email chain), and resolving file conflicts is problematic during `git merge`. Also, git fails to provide a directory search mechanism: if you don’t know where the content is, you can’t search for it (as also complained about in this email chain).  Github sort-of-ish solves this, but its proprietary. Compare this to IPFS, which is full-network-automated, and does provide content search. Unfortunately, IPFS doesn’t have the append-only log structure of git. It also uses DHT’s, which are problematic, as they completely fail to deal with locality. Enter scuttlebutt .. which provides a “true” decentralized append-only log. The scuttlebutt core is fully generic (which is why git-on-scuttlebutt is possible). However, 90% of scuttlebutt development focus is on social media, not filesystems. Think of it as a kind-of git-for-social-media posts. Or maybe a web-browser-displaying-git-content-in-a-pretty-way. (BTW, the scuttlebutt people are really nice people. You should go hang out with them.)

The lack of proper indexes in git is severe, as is the lack of content-based search. Once you get into search, you wander down the rabbit-hole of query languages, pattern matching and pattern-mining. So scheme (and most functional programming languages) have pattern-matchers. For example, case-lambda but also define-syntax and syntax-case, or racket’s racket/match … but in a certain sense, these are pathetically weak and limited in ability and performance. Compare to, for example SQL — it blows the doors off syntax-case in usability and power. Never mind pattern-mining. And then we have the issue of term-rewriting. So, for example, schemes’ hygienic macros do term re-writing, but they do it only once, when you start your scheme code up for the first time. There is no ability to perform runtime expansion of hygienic macros.  Macro languages are not run-time – again, compare/contrast to SQL select/update.

Well, but SQL is obviously deficient — its record-based, and if you compare it to syntax-case, define-syntax, you will note that trees aka s-expressions are what we really wanted. Pulling on that thread gives you graph query languages, e.g. GraphQL for javascript… which is nice cause json is kind-of-ish like typed s-expressions. Yes, scheme is explicitly untyped, but don’t knock types, they’re really nice. The racket people are onto something, something that ain’t javascript or CamL or haskell.

So, although graph query languages are vast improvements over plain-jane pattern matchers, one can do better still… which brings me to what I work on… the AtomSpace and Atomese (sorry, I hate camel-case, but that’s history now.) It’s a graph database — you can store arbitrary typed s-expressions. It’s a pattern matcher, but far more sophisticated than GraphQL. It’s a programming language, but is more like assembly or byte-code, or an intermediate-language: low-level, not for humans, but for other algos. It could’ve/should’ve been more javascript-like, but that’s a historical mistake. Maybe still fixable. It’s vaguely prolog-like, and so you could say minikanren-like, but it has a stronger runtime, and generalizes truth values beyond true/false, so e.g. for Bayesian probability or neural-nets. It’s .. well, it’s a graph database, it’s weakly distributed; there’s some ongoing work, there, but the as mentioned, DHT’s are terrible in ensuring data locality. So if I have to e.g. (case-lambda (foo)(..) (bar baz) (...)) I would rather that (foo) and (bar baz) be on the same network node, rather than opposite sides of the planet. But Kademlia puts them on opposite sides of the planet (because their hashes are completely different), and I haven’t been able to crack that nut.

What does this have to do with zipf? Well, all patterns have a grammar. This is Chomsky’s theorem from the 1960’s or something. If you know the grammar, you can parse text to see if it validly obeys the grammar. Alternately, you can generate syntactically-valid random text from the grammar.  But what if you don’t know the grammar? Well, that’s what machine-learning and deep-learning is supposed to be for, except that machine-learning could only learn very simple grammars (e.g. decision-tree-forests) until it hit the wall. So deep-learning overcame that wall, but it bypasses syntax by claiming its not important, or that it is a black box, or whatever the pundits claim these days.  So I’m trying to do pattern mining correctly.

But to do that, I need to validate that the syntax that is learned matches the syntax used to generate the sample corpus. So I have to generate a random syntax, generate a random text corpus from it, pattern match it, deduce the syntax, and check precision/recall accuracy. Most networks in nature (natural language, genomics, proteomics) seem to be Zipf-distributed. And so I need a Zipf random generator.  So here we are…

FWIW genomes seem to be zipfian with exponent of 1/2 .. I have been unable to find any explanation why it’s 1/2 and not 1. Its not just genomes, its also text.  (Although I was banned from Wikipedia for pointing that out. Hash-tag time: #defund-wikipedia-admins) Anyone have a clue, here? Anyone help me out? I mean, with the exponent=1/2 part?

Or help me out with Atomese, or with the syntax-learning project? Or anything at all? A lifeline? Donate some bitcoin? 1MjcVE8A4sKDqbbxSf8rej9uVPZfuJQHnz

Hello world!

End Game – Charles Rash

Welcome to WordPress. This is your my first post. Edit or delete it, then start writing! Let’s go for edit. But first, a legal disclaimer:
By reading or using this site, you agree that I (the author and writer, Linas Vepstas) is not very likeable, and is prone to saying things that you will incorrectly  construe to be offensive. Therefore, if you are the kind of person who doesn’t like other people, or are psychologically weak, or if you try to protect your own mental well-being by shying away from anything offensive, then you are advised to avoid this blog. As will become patently obvious, I do not write offensive things, unless, of course, you are the kind of person who gets offended. If you are easily offended, then you can go #$%^&* yourself. And stay offa my site.

Why is a legal disclaimer necessary? Because, in these modern times, people seem to have problems interacting with other people, and some people think that legal boiler-plate somehow improves the situation (We’ll talk about why, a bit further down below).

Why am I not likeable? Well, probably because you’re an a#$%^ that has difficulty controlling your own mental and emotional state. Not a big deal, all humans are like that (including me). To be likeable, I would have to say things that make you feel good about yourself, and frankly, I’m sort of busy, and I do that only for people I like. Actually, I’m kind of drawn to people who are a little psychologically damaged; I like them because I can be kind to them.    But only the honest ones. Some people are so fu’ed, they seem beyond repair, and I stay away from them. I don’t like them… and they don’t like me.  Since many people are fu’ed beyond repair, ergo, I’m not likeable (by them). Law of averages kind of thing. In a democracy, the majority wins, right?

Why am I talking about likeability? Well, because this is my first WordPress post. Why is that? Because I’ve been kicked off of facebook. Why have I been kicked off of facebook? I’m not sure, but I can guess.  Based on what my sister said, they have a button that is labelled “objectionable content” that you can press. She said she’s pressed it many times. I reminded her that this was very Stalinesque – rat your your neighbor, they get deported to Siberia. So, WordPress is the Siberia of the social-media world.  Welcome to Siberia!

Apparently, I’ve been banished forever. They only way to contest facebook’s ban is for them to send a text to some phone number I no longer control. The only way to change my phone number is for them to send a text to the phone number I no longer control… so.. forever. I’m going to use small fonts for unimportant comments.

So, why would anyone find my facebook page objectionable? Well, lets see. My posts included:

Mother Nature forging a baby
  • A medieval tempera painting of Mother Nature forging babies. Like, in a black-smith’s shop. There’s a forge in the background, glowing orange-hot; a pile of coal, and Mother Nature swinging a ten-pound hammer over her head, bringing it down on a baby. And baby parts all over the floor – arms, legs, heads. I mean, where did you think babies come from? A factory? And how do you think the factory makes them? Pretty offensive, if you’ve never thought about making babies.

  • A 17th century action-figure painting, depicting some woman throwing some guy down a well. I think she’s supposed to be some Ancient Greek figure, and the guy is some Ancient Greek a*#$%^& who deserved it. Except that they are both dressed like Roman gladiators, in those leather skirts, you know.  They’re both muscular. The girl is pretty, and its very much an action-pose, from before the invention of stop-motion cameras, when artists had not yet discovered that physical wrestling doesn’t look like two people striking poses. So this is a kind of #me-too painting from three centuries earlier. Brutal. Is it offensive, the kind of thing to get one kicked from facebook?  Sure, if you’re one of those white-lives-matter snowflakes who thinks they don’t deserve to be thrown down a well.
  • I told you I’m not likeable. If you are a right-wing snowflake, you’ll hate my guts. Sucks to be you, doesn’t it? I’m not your friend.

    Greta Thunberg as Hitler Proof Sheet
  • What else? Well, there’s the photo proof-sheet of Greta Thunberg making angry facial expressions. Someone had inked in a little Hitler mustache under her lip. Someone else told me that she suffers from mercury poisoning – a modern industrial pollutant – well known for shaping an angry disposition. I feel for her; I get angry too. And I struggle to control it. So #$%^ you too. None-the-less, she has an excellent point – global warming – and it is much more important than what I write here, so why are you wasting your time reading this? Go do something to stop global warming, already! So, sure, someone found my Greta-as-Hitler post offensive. That same someone should ask me to make some angry faces, and ink in a Hitler mustache on my lips.
The Trump Bomber Eagle
  • Oh, I know! It was my post of a painting showing Trump riding an American Bald Eagle, red-tie waving in the wind, missiles bolted underwing the eagle, a McDonald’s Happy Meal in his lap, and Mt.  Rushmore in the background. And in the distant background, Pence in a WWI Red Baron biplane. Of course, but Trump and Pence are evil, and so making fun of them does not do them justice. Chomsky is correct, Trump might just be the most evil human, ever.

So .. which one of these violated facebook’s “acceptable use policy”? Or “community guidelines”, or whatever? Any of them? All of them? Was I inciting hatred and violence? Yes, of course I was. Trump deserves to hang from a lamp-post, where we can throw rocks at him. Drawn and quartered. And medically put back together, so we can do it again.

I should mention that I’ve been kicked off of Wikipedia, as well. For editing math articles. Apparently, this got under the skin of some WP admin.  So this is like police violence: when you give some people absolute power over other people, they will abuse that power. So, dual-hash-tag time: #defund-the-police and #defund-wikipedia-admins I know that the admins are unpaid volunteers aka “vigilantes”. All the more reason to get rid of them.

I told you I’m not likeable. I violate acceptable use policies.

So, what’s a blog post without some philosophy? Let’s look at “Acceptable Use Policy”. Or “Community Guidelines”. Well, blow me down.  @#$%^& that. You are a moron if you think it is necessary to regulate other individual human beings with a “policy”. Of course, this raises interesting philosophical questions: how do you regulate other human beings?

We live in an era where the power of the algorithm, and the algorithmic nature of reality has been recognized (flexibility and reasonableness have not been, because flexibility and reasonableness do not yet have a mathematical description.)

When a child mis-behaves, an adult can say “go to your room”, and enforce that. Adults do not use written “acceptable use policies” in the interaction with children. When an adult misbehaves, a pastor or psychologist can minister to their faults.  Both pastors and psychologists have some training, or at least a high IQ offering them shamanistic insight. When the misbehavior becomes criminal, we get courts and judges, and written legal codes. The codes help ensure the uniformity of judgement, minimizing the outrageous miscarriage of justice.

Are “codes of conduct” really required to administer cooperative communities?  I don’t think so. I think it just leads to wiki-lawyering (the technique used to banish me from wikipedia) or to algorithmic lynch mobs (the technique that facebook applied to get rid of me).  We are in the middle of an experiment of social-media policing, and are getting lots of things wrong.

Whatever. Enough for now. I’ve tired of writing, you’ve tired of reading. In future posts, I will try to resurrect the content that was lost to the black-hole of facebook. For now, lets try for finding those offensive pictures, again. Sexist tripe.

The washing machine as a labor-saving device.
Unruly demonstrators being subdued by police.
More people in prison than died of Covid-19
Bride tossing her cat to the Bridesmaids
Make America Great Again
Copyright Law, Today
Not Salvador Dali
Uncontacted Tribes
The Miniskirt comes to Soviet Vilnius, 1964
Four perfectly round circles. No, really.
Is written on the wall.
Maidens Putin and Obama in the Square