Friday, June 26, 2009

Of Human Reasoning and A.I.

9:07 a.m.

Chris Anderson is the Editor of "Wired" magazine which is usually a good read if you're a member of the tribe of geek as I am. He has started a new video blog on MSNBC titled IT/IO and has some great interviews with people who are leaders in the information technology community. One of the more interesting interview is one I stumbled upon at the MSNBC website and it's with Marvin Minsky who is well known as an american cognitive scientist at MIT and the co-founder if it's Laboratory on Artificial Intelligence. I found the couple of small videos fascinating especially when he discusses what he is interested in in the study of how humans think and how he distinguishes human activity from activities that can be found in the behavior of all animals of a certain complexity. Take a look at the two interview segments:

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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Financing and Computer Power

Tuesday 1:11 p.m.

Quick Post:

So I had to take my poor PowerBook G4 into the Apple Store and get it repaired. I had forgotten how old the beast was and when they told me I had purchased it in November of 2005, I just about shit a brick... 3 1/2 years old! No wonder it finally gave up the ghost and needed a new logic board. I have taken that machine back and forth to work, SF, NY City, Santa Barbara, LA, and so many other places as well as using the crap out of it this year after I got the SmartBoard for the class. I finally came to realize that I just had to have a more robust machine and one that was more powerful. So many things have happened since the Intel-Macs cam out that I need at least one and I may as well start out with the new laptop.

BUT... I didn't plan on spending the dough to get a new computer for travel and work. I DID plan on getting one for the living room dedicated to music and gaming that I can access from the net as well so I was planning on using the Vizio 42" TV for the monitor, my bluetooth mouse and wireless keyboard and I'd have a great machine for the music and games that I'd wanted. So the new laptop came at a bad time. LUCKILY, Apple has a financing deal with Juniper VISA through Barclay Bank that gives you 0% financing for 12 months on the first purchase with Apple over $1000! OK, I did my last laptop the same way... I went on-line, filled out the application and ..... APPROVED... but... I have to wait 7 to 10 days before the card arrives before I can make the purchase.

I hate waiting....

Cool Customer

Tuesday 12:38 p.m. PDT

So I'm at home getting some computer work and robot maintenance done when POTUS (president of the United States) comes on the tele at his news conference today. As is usual in a press conference, he gets peppered with questions which at first blush may seem simple... but anyone who has been around the block once or twice knows that the real world just doesn't work that way... And so does our president. I sat there watching President Obama being like some of the best teachers and professors I've had in my life being precise, clear, broad in context when necessary, humorous when he could.... but to the point and not holding back. The press kept at him often asking questions like a simple answer would do (so like the press to want a simple answer like a child who is too impatient to actually learn the lesson) but he never lost his cool. "No Drama Obama" just seems to be a great phrase for this administration so far. I contrast this with the previous president (who shall never be named again) and how he avoided the press and would get flustered and complain the the questions were "hard" or "difficult." Boo Hoo... nice to finally have a grown-up in the White House again.

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