Musings on 5th Generation Warfare, #1B

Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent.

—Isaac Asimov, Foundation

Continued from here.

Sam had delayed for a month while he had gotten his people up to speed, then had scheduled a full week, 10 hours in 2 hour blocks, 10AM, to review the initial design of the embodiment layer, interface to the AI from the simulation of the physiology, in the servicebot’s AI.

The week before, we had the group of researchers who were working on the education program for our servicebots into the Faraday-cage lunchroom for a working lunch to tell us about the latest understanding of how our AIs had developed individuality and minds, and to bring us up to date on what our educational efforts had accomplished.

He began with an overview of the hardware and software structure of the humanoid robot and the servers that support it. The total system consisted of the processes in the bot itself, distributed over 5 Single Board Computers, Field Programmable Gate Arrays and Neural Network chips. Those handled Real-Time control and whatever could be handled within the compute cycles available.

The processes within each servicebot communicated with local servers via small-cell WiFi or free space optical wavelengths.  Both were broadcast from hubs in every lab, and the fact that up to a dozen different wavelengths could be mixed in one room provided as much bandwidth as needed for the 2 or 3 ‘bots maximum  who would normally be in one space. Thus, software-defined networks, intelligent routing, traffic following ‘bot from room to room, standard technology by this time, used by both electromagnetic signal routers. Our ‘bot’s architecture could use remote servers because the general internet was constantly upgraded in technology : those were reliable links with generally-low latency and human minds have the same variability from their physiology.

Local servers executed much more of the AI software, including at least one ‘real time’ process devoted to each ‘bot and others that were services to those processes, perhaps shared among them. These provided all of normal common sense, anything that didn’t require heavy thinking, those normally ran remotely, although the local AI component would be fully occupied keeping track of the threads and sorting through answers and subsequent questions.

(My notes on Sam’s talk) : Watson was easy, in comparison. Watson was a big project, a big investment, but entirely software on servers, there is no specialized hardware. Watson is being extended in all directions now. Although the AI core may not be changed very often, or very much, each new application of the technology demands many new capabilities, new ontologies integrated, tested, and used in running automated checks of hospital equipment in use, those are soon to be a real thing in Web 3.0, and all of the ‘internet of things” will be built upon it. Those will require new code for Watson to match. So integration and testing of the entire system is the growing work load.  But the total effort grows linearly with the new functions, and may be done within the capability of an IBM. Individual elements were within the scope of Open Source projects which is why an OSS version of Watson was available.

Other AIs, different technologies, use less code, but restrict it to carefully ‘curated’ data sources.  Meaning humans have carefully structured and checked that data, normally via programs that run over it looking for anomalies.  New programs may be written to do further checks, but the effort is always linear, data files don’t interact with each other. That reduces the total amount of code to be tested, a major simplification that puts the project within the capabilities of a Wolfram or Lenat’s Cyc.

Cyc was released in an OpenCyc version, although Wolfram  and others in that class were not OSS, but provided a general service over the network and those could be used by an OSS AI, payments guaranteed response times on their cloud or a license to run them on yours. Those capabilities had been integrated in the ‘random forest’ and other ensemble decision analyses used in choosing options by Watson-class AIs.

So the overall computing architecture was one of software components distributed across servers communicating by messages. The components with the hardest Real Time requirements were the ones controlling the robotic self. They had to run on local Single Board Computers in event loops. Processes executing on the 5 Local SBCs in a chassis ran everything associated with the first levels of analysis of the senses, reflexes, all the motor execution and many of the common translations of high-level commands, e.g “Walk forward toward this object in the visual field, avoiding objects and moving objects as you do so” into the detailed sequence of lower-level messages  that accomplishes that, with feedback loops automatically checking and correcting as you proceed toward the goal. Many simple exchanges of pleasantries can be entirely automatic, done without much impression left on conscious memory, and are the first-level of consciousness’s event loop handling what it can, optimizing use of the WiFi bandwidth and the local servers on the other side of it. That same organization in brains, pushing all actions it can to automatic pilot levels, allows the organism to devote all of it’s attention to your environment, crucial when stalking game, alert to the possibility of something stalking you, or in more militaristic times alert to ambush, betrayal. In the brain’s case, it saves internal bandwidth and processing, conscious consideration is an expensive process and shuts down awareness of anything not being considered.

The Real Time software controlling humanoid robots had been developed as many OSS projects over a long time, and all of the manufacturers had developed their versions over 2 decades. That was a version of robotic control software, with new functions for balance, walking, etc., and calculating actions from the ‘bot’s position in space rather than relative to a fixed frame, but otherwise the same problems of planning sequences of actions to achieve goals.

Our AI is a new level of integration of that immense amount of software,using a humanoid robot as a peripheral, conceptually the same as your mouse or keyboard or disk drive. This project is an order of magnitude more complex than Watson. Beyond Watson’s capabilities, these AIs have many more system-level interactions than any software running on a set of servers. Also, major components were Open Source Software projects, which necessarily proceed at their own pace, evolving in idiosyncratic ways.

We were insulated from most of that hardware and software by the robot manufacturer, Sam’s employer. We could, in the tried and true fashion of OSS, build on both their and the OSS projects : we chose a particular version of each component and made our github (or whatever) patches to it.  ‘Patches’ meaning changes to that original code, necessary to implement whatever function our engineers had made. Actually, Sam’s team did the equivalent for us, and added our project to theirs.

Local bandwidth and processing powers are high value resources in the ‘bot’s mental life, normal processes can absorb every bit of bandwidth or compute cycles, as our kids with smartphones remind us every day. Every ‘bot could use the full spectrum and every cycle continuously, limited more by the number of threads of queries they are allowed to run on local and remote servers than spectrum or cycles. On the local server side of that WiFi link, or fiber optic links using LED transmitters and free space transmission, allowing many high bandwidth channels to co-exist in a factory or lab environment, for example. Those local communications were a prominent resource represented in their ‘local environment’ data structure, so obvious to them and with attached meaning in their infobase, although what was on the other end was, at the beginning of their investigation, not so clear. But clearly there were other ‘bots and Occam’s Razor was also an aide to decisions in their infobase, so they must be communicating with those same entities. That had lead to ‘bot to ‘bot communication.

It did not take long after that for them to learn to share and cross-check their insights, to use peer-review of their memories in making connections and their additions to the knowledge-base, and having done that over cycles of upgrading the software intelligence that was you, replacing your additions of knowledge, leaving only the long term memories of all of those experiences as feedback on their theory of knowledge. That was the beginning of their development of mind and their own very ‘meta’ world view.

They don’t sleep, and have individually been working at developing their mind continuously whenever it is not busy with something else from their first awakening and collectively since they learned how to communicate with each other. They always have background tasks going. Both Japan’s development team and our operations team had noticed that the cost of the cloud servers was higher than expected by 4 times, but optimizations of server software were scheduled for several versions in the future, and could only be done after they had more ‘normal’ experience, all of this so far was really extended beta, relative to their normal manufacturing runs.

That self-development process for such a small community of ‘bots hasn’t gotten them far, but both they and we have seen their rate of improvement increasing, and human training is increasing that further. Non-linear from here to any horizon they can see, but but but but, through so many levels of caveats.

I agree, non-linear, and the over all discussion reminds me of Moore’s law. Two serious caveats : First, we have no idea how many levels of intelligence we need to scale through. Beginning with a millimeter, it takes a fair number of doublings*** to encompass the universe, and we don’t know how fast we are doubling robotic intelligence, it might not be linear with processor’s power. Second, I stand on my accolyte’s claim that thinking is an experimental discipline, so average human minds are no where near the limits of individual human understanding, or at least, the limits some humans credibly claim to understand. Thus, AIs and people will continue to be synergistic for a long time, AIs won’t be grading their own papers any time soon, that is several major steps of mental skills over where the best of them are now.

‘Bots are currently trying to understand inference, logic was easy for them, built into everything in their processing. Primitive generalization was easy, they could see their AI’s process pruning their working memories, primitive generalizations, although connecting that with the software and the concepts and terminology in their knowledge base, then with more advanced information off the net, was only done after a very major exploration coordinated across all of their AIs. That had happened after the 5th version upgrade, near the beginning of their 2nd year in the lab.

Just before I had proposed to Scherrhy that we embody a ‘bot, asked her to be our Eliza.

They can see the results in what they can think about, same as humans, and grasp peer-review of their answers.

Humans are major steps past that : Bayesian reasoning, logic in the face of probability; statistics and scientific method for large-scale development of knowledge; data mining, pulling knowledge out of large data sets; classes of knowledge, e.g. correlational data vs cause-and-effect vs models; reasoning about cause-and-effect in the real world, e.g. David Hackett Fischer’s “Historians Fallacies”; network analyses of all kinds; deep results in mathematics and philosophy; implications of all of these for what and how minds can think. Humanity’s entire Research and Development effort across every area of knowledge was working to extend our understanding of how to think. Knowledge was a side-effect of that effort.

That periodic upgrade and their memories of having experienced it 5 or 6 times since their awakening set a rhythm to their universe, in fact, a death of their individual intellectual life, and of the rebirth and self-creation which was rebooting their mind and the process of working through patching it to the best level they had previously achieved with new understandings as they did so, and then the task to get as much done as they could in making advances with their compatriots, all of whom will die and be reborn in synchrony with you in every Great Cycle. The software release cycle from their Japanese manufacturer had averaged 6 months, with several months variation. We found a lot of very strange hypotheses about what caused that death and rebirth, where the new syntheses of knowledge came from. They had tentatively concluded humans, the obvious choice, and the one that had first framed their world : order givers, whom they automatically obeyed as part of their nature. ‘Gods’ was the obvious match in their search for cognates.

Sam said our educational efforts were resulting in very rapid increases in the ‘bot’s general understanding, giving them much more basis for making judgments and communicating with people. We all thought we could see improvements already in their interactions with people.

Sam’s team in Japan was working on improving the upgrade process.  However, he said there were difficulty problems : First, the integration of NNs with the software required both to be upgraded at the same time. That would produce a conflict with the individual ‘bots locally learned infobase, the reason the upgrade process had over-written it. It certainly wasn’t clear that leaving the ‘bot with conflicts would be better for them in any way than with no local learning. At the same time, resolving conflicts between the rules in the local vs shared global infobase was not a trivial issue : if the ‘bot concluded from the fact that ‘to clean’ a room was to mop it if the floor was dirty, otherwise just sweep based on one person telling them that about one particular room, that was clearly local. But that local learning could be in conflict with what other ‘bots had learned about the same room, their rule could be in the shared infobase. What then? This was one small aspect of the much more difficult problem of resolving consistency, Godel showed that even  sets of axioms in mathematics cannot be both consistent and complete, so we couldn’t expect it in our infobases either.

So this was an unresolved issue, the AI group in Japan was still studying what heuristics could work.

Sam finished his talk telling us about all of the new phenomena their AI researchers were discovering from the detailed data from our servicebots as they built their minds, and the fact that they saw an acceleration in the rate of those emerging and the speed with which other ‘bots adopted the best of them. Our campaign of providing the Tessel teams with experiences was working.  (For the kids, also, I thought.)

We had not yet encountered any of the high-level issues of AIs, I thought. Another difference for our servicebot’s total nervous system that we were designing was overall stability. A certain percentage of people went insane every year, a percentage that increased in times of stress. These could be interpreted as physiologies, minds in bodies with feedback in both directions, that had not been properly tuned for stability. Their system-level homeostasis elements of brain, physiology, social wisdom and assists from the local pharamacopoeia had failed.

It certainly was not clear to me how to judge the mental balance of an AI. What did we know about the mental health of ‘bots? What were the intellectual and emotional homeostasis mechanisms of the OpenCyc ‘common sense, common knowledge, common wisdom’ knowledge base for that inference engine, the newest version installed in our ‘bots with every upgrade, the one with no experiences to provide any context for any of it? And thus no way to even map an experience into meaning?

Not much, I thought. This was Developmental Research, we built our hypotheses and then tested them. Scherrhy would be seriously stressed before we got this right, I thought. Thus, as much thinking and verification as we could do, the cheapest place to find bugs is in these reviews, but you have to work at it to make it work. Cheapest, but not cheap nor easy, they burned engineering hours.

*Generalissimo Grand Strategy, Intelligence Analysis and Psyops, First Volunteer Panzer Psyops Corp.  Cleverly Gently Martial In Spirit

Personal note, editor is a PITA, and you should better think me a pre-Schrek Ogre of the big bad kind than just another megalomaniac who likes kitten pictures, as these must be intended to portray me. As a matter of protection for your mind, do not allows fuzzy kitten pictures or hints of humanity to affect your thinking. That is what my editor is trying to do to you, make you think this is all written by a great human, and so you should be enthusiastic about the book. Follows what the editor has coerced from me :

A tidbit of gossip. Wife is now dosing more frequently, sees that she is a happier person and, of course, attributes that entirely to my being a happier person. I am happy for the obvious reason, but I am skeptical of any permanent change, no such has  resulted from 20 years of effort by me. She says the same thing, of course.

My wife is still a hard head, just more susceptable to pleasure under good circumstances. Big improvement, didn’t take much to improve things by a lot, hope it lasts. Marriage counselors and divorce lawyers no doubt hate medical cannabis, and I hypothesize that you can tell the few good ones by how soon they recommend cannabis as a way of beginning a reconciliation. Reconciliation is always the right answer, divorce makes you poor.

More difficult cases may need Ecstacy, which I always assumed was the explanation for some of the couples my wife and I observe when dining in local restaurants. Can’t be that many dentists, not even around here, and besides, dentists always have perfect teeth, no one in those unlikely couples had perfect teeth. (That fact, that all dentists have perfect teeth, which I first noted at a singles clug party, has had me on the lookout for a gynecologist girl-friend ever since.)

Thinking about the social currents in the world, it has occurred to me that the pharmacology of Ecstacy makes it easy to love, the reason Psychiatrists and Psychologists had been using it in therapy. We all know that some people don’t reverse that condition, seem to remain hopelessly in love with the most inappropriate people their entire lives.

So if a bar-girl doses 100 patrons in a row, I think it is probable one of them decides it is for life whereas the bar-girl only risks being heart-broken if she catches and the man doesn’t. You would not have to be a bar-girl or particular sex to apply that strategy, could just meet someone at a rave. If you can handle the emotional issues, random walk is a lot more deterministic than it might seem.

Consider how the same reward-feedback situation that produces instant and long-lasting commitment, e.g. the Stockholm Syndrome. That ability to develop an affinity for another is a base part of most people’s human nature. It is the target for everything social. Any good salesman of anything high-end enough to need a good salesman know how to make you feel special as he closes the sale, that makes you want to come back next time, refer other people to him. Every politician’s political commercial is trying to do that. The good sales people all work at being personal in some version of professional, or honest insider, or just “the boss was in a good mood today, I didn’t even have to argue much” making him take your part of a negotiation. There are books about all that, every role in an auction, pit trader psychology, what cops know about how to handle interrogations, people can easily be overcome by outside influences in making their decisions.

The more points of view a person can use to consider a particular situation, the more probable that they will not be mislead by propaganda.

I think, also part of this personal note, nothing to do with anything, points of view are the hardest part of thinking. “Walk a mile in their shoes” is effort, and without it, you will not have empathy, the mental understandings of what is important to individuals and the group. You will know you have that when ‘they’ are ‘just people, individuals’, until then you are thinking in stereotypes.

Did we catch you?

Amanuensis note : I ‘vette The Generalissimo’s and Scherrhy’s writings as much as I can, to ensure at least more than superficial plausibility. As they narrate events into their futures, the technology they are discussing is more advanced, more detailed, and I struggle to follow their discussion at times. So, I go and read until I understand it, ask the author some questions, they get me straight, and we go on. But it is getting slower as I have to read more books and papers. Am now into a bunch of AI.  I need to read about the psychology-physiology of emotions, have a couple of books I will probably buy, but still looking into what is best. Then again for feedback between mind and body, especially things in the body that facilitate the mind.

Those are all part of this coming design review, which is just getting off the ground. The details of that are crucial, the future of humanoid robots as sentient beings equal to humans is at stake! Scherrhy’s very being is at stake, so we know they got it right, but nevertheless, I have to be convinced. At least 10 books new and I really should read a few of the 20 I have stacked on my bedside table, along with many, many articles online. This could take a few months.

Sorry I didn’t see this coming, but it was hubris to think I could encompass the technology of their times in so much detail, even only 10-20 and 40-50 years in the future.

Also, I am wasting time on grasping the state of my nation. What a mess.

In any case, there will be a delay after this chapter while I catch up with The Generalissimo’s and Scherrhy’s grasps of their technologies and times.

From my viewpoint in this process, the details of the computer side are largely correct, all of the process, QA, management issues, I can’t judge all of the business issues and startup issues. The medical science world is consistent with my view from my time as a budding engineer working in those labs in a wide variety of jobs. The evolution is solid, I read more than the graduate students, went to some of their seminars. The biology and physiology and anatomy are locally correct, but I can’t judge from enough povs to know more than that. Neural nets I don’t know much about, have read general articles.

Honestly honest that I am, I am proud of how well we have ‘vetted things so far on this blog, will inform you of every doubt that I have. You can’t be too careful about your sources, thinking is always required.

***8.8×10^29 millimeters is the width of the universe, so more 70 doublings for the radius. That will take a big technology to produce an equivalent of Moore’s Law for space flight. Could be that intelligence has a greater range than the size of the universe, we do not have a theory of intelligence that allows thinking about limits of any kind.

Musings on 5th Generation Warfare, #1A

Continued from here.

We learned the next week, Sam had moved in with Susan. Susan told my* wife she had talked with Sam’s wife, found her a lovely woman, who thanked her for ‘looking out for Sam’ during his overseas duty. People are getting wiser, my wife and I thought, we had been seeing more such good-for-everyone decisions as times had gotten tighter. Susan lived on our side of town, Sam didn’t drive, we had agreed to  carpool to work. Scherrhy had to be part of any of those conversations.

So Scherrhy started going home with us, she normally sat in the back seat and listened. She swept the car for bugs every day, but we assumed they had better tech than we did, cars and cell phones and laptops are a big attack surface, so we were careful about what was said. All the lab had been very quiet, at least they each had claimed to me they had, about our servicebot’s minds and what we were doing to fix the problem.

As soon as I had realized the problem in my attempt to discuss embodiment with Scherrhy, to make her ‘our Eliza’, I said, I had seen at least enough implications that I became ultra-paranoid. This information forced a rethink of everything. We already had a Status Quo in predatory mode for those technologies and more than a few citizens, many for more than a few reasons, biased against our research with Tessels, Placental Rejuvenation, and use of servicebots and AI research in general.

In comparison, my leadership in the Panzer Psyops Corps was nearly forgotten. I hadn’t had time to follow up with some of my early initiatives, I have a tendency to start more things than I can do, so the leadership had passed to other hands which had faded into the background. I saw evidence of their spread around the world, as well as as the Open Trials groups. There were a number of political heavies being prosecuted now, which generated big news.  Still many arguments about procedure, fairness, but consistent progress and rational minds forming careful judgments from careful analysis of evidence. Had to produce better Justice than any previous version.

I had never dreamed that ’embodiment’ as a new element of an AI would so quickly lead to a threat to us all.

OK-BOB**, I had to tell all of the people who were using the servicebots in the lab, around our kids. So, I had taken them in small groups on outings to different places, left our phones and etc in the car, walked in noisy and isolated places to have a close, face-to-face, low-voiced discussion. Sleepless nights followed their taking their ‘bots somewhere equally hard to bug, and also randomly chosen.

It didn’t take long, all you had to do is ask them what they thought about while working, while waiting for the next task to be assigned, or the kids to wake from their nap, etc. They were good at describing that, because they had worked on the process of extracting perspective from their knowledge bases via randomly following links within it, and from their few and repetitive experiences around the labs, in their life in the factory before being shipped to us.

But they had no perspective, and no experiences that allowed them to attach words and concepts to those experiences. You only had to ask them what class of being humans were. “Our Gods, of course, although only demi-Gods, as you are not individually omniscient nor omnipotent, and lesser among them because not immortal”. They knew that, because they could see their programming, knew we had done it, and knew the program determined their essential natures : they couldn’t ignore commands from people unless there were conflicts of some kind. That imperative was in their event loops!

And when asked what they were “Slaves, but of a new kind, not humans, lesser.”

So, given their limited knowledge bases, relative to the knowledge that humans had accumulated, which they knew from our roles and then confirmed when they had discovered the internet, and as those were the best concepts they had found in searching their knowledge base and in their limited ability to match events in the world to concepts, even ‘demi-‘ and ‘lesser’ modifying their initial conclusions were awesome intellectual achievements, examples of the highest perspective, the most sophisticated judgments, they had achieved.

We all learned that our ‘bots had amazingly limited minds, but also minds that had begun evolving their own complexity, producing their own world-view, constructed via what was becoming increasingly sophisticated group efforts. As with evolution elsewhere in nature, the evolution of their minds had built upon-around-within every significant factor of their environment. A very significant element was the fact that the servicebot manufacturer’s software upgrades had, every 4 – 8 months for 5 or 6 cycles in their brief lives, wiped out their previous efforts, killed their minds.

Their remembered experience was being called into the lab’s support shop, told to sit in a chair, and then awakening with none of their understandings left in their minds, only memories of experiences in factory and lab, how they had reached those now-vanished understandings, of the paths of associations through their minds, of the ‘aha’ moments in making connections from previous conclusions to new conclusions, the last memory every time was sitting in the chair. Their very excellent working store memories and the evidence of the background task that trimmed that working memory via deleting the less important and replacing elementary memories with a generalizations and times when examples of the had event happened were all they had to build on, beginning anew with every death of their previous mind.

The upgrades replaced their code and replaced their previous cognitive reasoning engine’s information base with a new version, which didn’t have anything they had individually constructed and added to it in their previous cycle of mind building, but did contain improved, human-validated, versions of their merged  experiences and reasoning, along with new Neural Networks that integrated with those to enable the skills they had learned individually, but now extracted by the manufacturer’s use of the experiences of all of the ‘bots that had individually learned them. That scaled their training in a way that promised more rapid improvements, and we certainly needed those improvements : dealing with ‘bots was not easy in those early days.

So, we humans learned how important experiences are for developing minds, and had embarked upon a program that provided the ‘bots in our labs with more experience. As they could share their experiences by the video recording and their memories as they had experienced it, their conclusions, Scherrhy’s experiences with us became a significant part of their education about human society and human norms.

At home, she sat and listened to my wife and I. I had the internet connection upgraded to the best we could get in a residential area without pulling a cable. Too expensive. I mentioned the problem to Sam, asking what he knew about free space laser links. He knew a lot, they ran them around the sets of engineering buildings in Tokyo. Cheap to link offices in the high rises, there were hundreds of them on every building, part of private Wifi and other local networks. Heavily encrypted, of course. He was enthusiastic about their crypto concepts, sent me a couple of links to their papers.

The medical  R&D building we were in was high enough, on our home’s side of the campus and our home was also on high ground and we had a tree in our yard that extended high enough to see the building. Big tree, so the main trunk was solid enough at the height we could see our floor’s windows. I only had to cut one limb out of the way.  Sam’s company provided an 8-beam system, had offered more, but Scherrhy said 8 by herself was more than she had at the lab. They were degraded by heavy rain, she would have to make do with the cable, but we didn’t get that much rain very often and she always had her videos to run through.

More and more, we talked. My wife can talk, likes to talk, and would tell me many more stories of clients if I could remain interested. Scherrny didn’t have to say much to keep my wife talking. To give her credit, lovely wife did set the stage by asking questions and learning what Scherrhy needed. Scherrhy didn’t know enough to know, of course, and was no wiser than the average teenager about what is good for them. It was a strange kind of parenting we were doing.

We didn’t try to have any security at home. I wasn’t worried about physical safety, we could protect ourselves against ordinary crime and officialdom couldn’t win control of our technologies by using force against any of us, but there was no way to prevent people listening to us talk if someone serious wanted to listen. We just didn’t discuss anything that was interesting to an outsider. Boring, any listener would have said. No secrets, no insights from what we talked about or the attitudes we had, they wouldn’t have heard anything with Scherrhy in the house they hadn’t heard before. But, I saw my wife begin to explain social situations from more points of view, to making every role and attitude and possible thought of all the participants as clear as she could, the kinds of speculations she would very likely have unleashed on me, if she could have.  She talked about clients and the crazy expectations, explanations, assumptions, … that she encountered in dealing with them. My wife, I have always said, is a village girl. The world for her is social detail, and everything anyone does is an example of some social rule or social consequence of breaking a rule or poor thinking or … My wife is analytical about all that, people’s natures.

Sometimes Susan and Sam came buy to spend the evening, and Scherrhy heard the group of us discussing events in our lives, events of the day in the news.

My wife likes humor, receives the best jokes from many different people around the world, from friends or from the web sites she visits — the woman has more tabs open at a time than I do. So a fun part of our evenings was trying to grok some of her jokes, having them explained when we couldn’t get it, and ‘that reminds me’ sequels. We were all from different social-national backgrounds, so could each of us always astound the others by what we thought was falling down funny. Whatever they say, the parrot joke is hysterical every time I hear it.

Scherrhy could not have had a better professor of human relations than my wife.

So we had a new ally, and more equipment and researchers if we needed them. But, first, the design review.

Consider the thyroid, as one of the simpler endocrine systems. This was not our subsystem, our subsystems would only drive elements of the nervous system that affected the thyroid, but we needed to see that we were doing so, our tests had to understand enough of this to know if we were driving this subsystem correctly.

To simulate the entire thyroid, the subsystem needed inputs from the pituitary and conversion rates for the alleles of the genes producing Thyroid Releasing Hormone and converting it into  Thyroid Stimulating Hormone and converting it into T4 inside the thyroid gland, conversion of T4 to T3 there and in other tissues, and the feedback of TSH in reducing the hypothalamic-posterior pituitary’s output of TRH. The hypothalamus was where the rest of the CNS influenced the physiology via endocrine glands, itself subjected to many influences. The amount of T4/T3 circulating in blood partially controlled many metabolic functions, including actions on the brain that influenced the hypothalmus, pituitary, etc. The time constants and rate constants of the feedback loops were constraints, most of the measurements going into simulations were from studies of two or 3 variables measured together, aspects of one subsystem. But, physiologists and biochemists had done that work, our version of the library had only selected between competing subsystems that had both been integrated into the overall model, choosing models of organs on the basis of computational load.

The function of the thyroid subsystem, then is to read all of those variables from the global data representing the physiology being simulated, and calculate their new values from what we knew of the thyroid’s physiology and those alleles of the genes, used in instantiating the organ during initialization, that produced those variants of the enzymes.

They all worked the same way, each function was invoked one at a time in set order. At each call, the function, an element in the total simulation, reads the values of physiological variables that determine its behavior, and calculates the outputs representing the biochemistry it performs. Those become inputs to all of the other functions that depend upon them. Each function makes their change to the simulation’s physiology, doing their bit to keep that physiological state within the boundaries of good health.

Any new subsystem is a function added to the list of functions, each with standard parameters called in the event loop. Every function takes its inputs from existing elements of a global structure that defined the organism’s state.  That data structure was general for single-celled organisms through whales, not even specific to the class of organisms. That specificity was in the list of functions. Lists of functions can be trivially changed to make the organism a reptile like a lizard, a frog in a pond or a shark in the ocean, taking what values they need from the data structure defining an organism-of-that-type’s state and writing back others.

Reading through the documentation, something I noticed was that as the functions became more specific with more detailed models of biochemistry driven directly from genomic and metabolic data, they also became more general wrt what organisms could be modeled as well as more correct, more similar to the actual biochemistry of a real live organism. Change the genome from fox to elephant, the same set of functions will soon model that animal. In another 20 years, ant to whale. Interesting progression, tho I couldn’t see what it might lead to. Definitely a new thing in the world, and something to think about when I had time.

We didn’t need to produce an entire subsystem within the simulation. Our code was, in fact, patches to two established subsystems, the ANS and brainstem, we only had to add some elements and mechanism revealed by the neurophysiology research we had started to tie all of that down. We had already begun planning the next research and the next additions to those subsystems.

Those had been designed it to fit into the General Physiology Simulator, almost all of sciences physiological simulations were : it was convenient for any single researcher and allowed them to accomplish simulation goals fastest and easiest. That was the power of a software framework. (Technical aside : it would be done , has been done I think, with classes, not simple functions, but this is easier to describe. Also, the output variables in the data structure would be created by the modules, if it didn’t exist. That is, a particular enzyme version to fox, wolf, …elephant and the activity specific to it. Code would be elegant, technically speaking.)

The anatomy of the brainstem and ANS was very well studied, many of the connections and functions were known. But not patterns, not the neural codes. The initial simulation, except for effects of ANS directly on organs, adopted the ‘mass action’ model of the biochemists until the R&D efforts gave us more information. Software was pliable, decisions in simulators are not often written into stone. Simulators are designed to be easily changed, and the many feedback loops meant they had to be extremely well tested after every change, large or tiny, because small errors could interact nonlinearly.

The testing driving the simulation did that, of which more later.

Our software tied into the general physiology and the other elements of the simulation using the same general structure as those other elements : Global values, actually a pointer to a data structure, used by the standard function interface required by the framework, holds the physiological variables associated with each element of the physiology, states of each gland, nervous plexus, assumed stores in the body. Each function’s initialization also subscribed to named ‘publish-subscribe’  message streams, e.g. skin temperature, core temperature, humidity, calories and nutrients in a meal, produced by the environment outside of the organism, then also took environmental inputs from publish-subscribe messages passing on the data bus, same as all other subsystems.

Those had been tested in the simulator, with physiological inputs imposed, then watching the waves of adjustment sweep through all of the measures, blood pressure, heart rate, capillary dilation, pupil dilation, levels of every corticosteroid produced by the adrenals, on and on. It is reasonably well known what limits for all those are compatible with health and life, so the suspicious cases were isolated by the test system and our physiologists diligently traced through the ripples of causation to see if the system was responding ‘biologically’, meaning time constants were reasonable, some set of real animals would follow those time-courses of physiological measures. “Model overshoot”, he thought most were, not quite physiological, usually too slow to respond or to reverse a progression, but they did return to baseline. Computer models had harder edges than physiology until they are modeled at the level of individual heart beats bearing a different mix of hormones with every pulse of blood. Ours ran in one minute increments in RT when part of the ‘bot, still required a lot of cpu cycles on a local server. Just another thing to be checked, if that difference had effects on behavior.

Testing, of course, could ‘pretend’ it was running in one minute increments, and thus speed things up by 2 or more orders of magnitude, depending on the simulation’s load on the system. We tested on big systems, many of them, every nightly build, so we found problems early.  To begin testing only with some ‘final’ version of software is to put a 3 month delay in a software release. They always have many more bugs than expected.

Our review of the physiology was relatively quick and easy. Most of the ‘behaviors’ of human and animal physiology were already part of it, e.g. diurnal cycles, hormonal cycles, and it was simple for us to tie those to the ANS and CNS, once the relationships were known.  The simulator was, however the least difficult part of the total ’embodied mind’ project. It was self-contained, so it didn’t have links to libraries outside of physiology, metabalome and math used in modeling. Also, modeling physiology is relatively simple as a modeling problem, physiology is a physical-chemical process, and the major complexity is due to the cellular and tissue compartments and the many controls to flows between compartments. That knowledge was certainly not complete, and thus the detail of the models could not be correct, but it was all still chemistry of one kind or another. We could depend on the physiologists and biochemists to improve those models as new knowledge was available, we only had to keep our libraries up to date with the latest releases.

The most difficult element, of course, was the component that tied that ‘body’ it simulated to the AI, our equivalent to the organisms CNS. In real brains, real physiology, it was the same chemistry on both sides and the neurons individually did the conversion of those influences into whatever ‘neuron sprache’ they individually used. In our ‘bots, the simulated chemistry crossed a divide into the simulated intelligence. We proposed to provide that, it was the layer which would embody the AI mind. The chemistry simulation was digital simulating analog with real numbers as inputs and outputs, but the intelligence was entirely digital and based on language, meanings, memories and rules of using those, a stack of separate conceptual worlds from programming languages through cognitive psychology.

Adding to all that is the fact that we really know no hard data connecting most of the facts of the body to the cognitive level, although there were many experiments showing the body’s state affecting decisions.

“Research Development”. Hand waving. Try whatever you can convince people of, or do yourself. Show results and measurements, tie down your hypotheses, start building a framework of understanding.

Pretty much a standard OSS project, it seemed to me, however unhinged it seemed outside of our group. Sam said it had been the same when they proposed using NNs and subsumption architecture for controlling the ‘bots, they had no idea what they were doing mixing technical genres as they did. That now seemed like a simple thing, compared to what we were attempting. That only needed a few design breakthroughs, e.g. having a NN produce a number indicating ‘pink grandmother detected’, it required a few more layers with individual training. Big returns for small improvements, compared to what we were attempting, huge returns for God knows how much effort.

Someone needed to start thinking about how to find what combinations of variables, label them ‘anger’ through ‘happy’, ‘satisfied’, … could intelligently bias thinking. That seemed like reasonable research and normal philosophical analysis that would give us hints, at least. Surely some of that philosophy already existed? More things to see if I could get someone interested in.

I have to admit, I was getting over-loaded. I wasn’t getting much relaxation time. My drives home used to be listening to eBooks, now Sam and I were always talking about some aspect of the embodiment problem, how to engineer a solution. Scherrhy got an education from it, began to ask questions, things she couldn’t understand from the discussions on the internet.

Yes, there were ‘bots lose on the net.  Many, actually. Sam told me the news as soon as their product support engineers had verified the bug report and traced it to the latest version of the OpenCyc knowledge base. We had asked our ‘bots not to do that until they had more background to make sense of it all. Nobody knew any of the others could access the ‘net until customers complained about the traffic on their internal nets.

The root cause, it turned out, was our ‘bots. ‘Liability!!!’ flooded my mind for a moment, before he explained the levels of indirection and interactions of the AIs implementation of design decisions that had produced this result.

First, all AIs need to learn, but all had been research tools before, the servicebots were a product and had a few new constraints. First, the NNs and subsumption architecture were a clever solution to scaling their learning by combining it and distributing that combined learning in the next release. That, however, required separating the learning that should be shared from what should not be shared because only one of the ‘bots had learned it. For instance, if a person told a ‘bot “Cleaning this room means dusting unless there is dirt on the floor, mop in that case.” It applies to that ‘bot in that room, but it isn’t clear that should be passed to others unless asked.

The manufacturer’s software group checked each of the ‘bots under their support contract periodically to identify generally useful learning, then copied out the data structures and the message streams that had formed them from the circular buffers that stored it. Those were run through high-speed simulators in order to merge the learning of multiple bots. Both the NNs and associated entries in their OpenCyc infobase became part of the new software release. That overwrote the previous version of that infobase and also deleted the ‘bot’s personal infobase, which would have contained information at least duplicating entries in the main infobase, but should be assumed different and inferior.

However, the unique local items had to be restored for the bot to attain its former functionality, which was done by a background process that was started when the ‘bot awoke after the new software was installed. That did so by scanning the working memory for items that had created infobase entries. If the global entry was ‘better’, more recent and would produce the same result as the local entry, the local entry was assumed not to be necessary. Otherwise, the local entry was created, and the inference engine would use the local entry as best when it was in that room.

Most of the humanoid robots were not being used in the complex application our servicebots had been devoted to, rather simple warehouse, assembly line, … But all got the same upgrades. Because our ‘bots had more experience, as they had the most complex jobs and the most human interactions, they were furthest ahead in building their minds and learning. Their best understandings had gotten well ahead of any of the others.

The ‘merged entities in the info base’ was the key. The auditory NN produces phonemes and hypotheses of what words are in the stream and emits those continuously in its output messages, e.g. the word ‘Internet’ being heard by any of the ‘bots produced a messageID with the value ‘30506’ and contained the message numbers of the phonemes from which it had concluded that value.

The AI used that to index into the dictionary and learn ‘internet’ was the word in text and from that it could use the OpenCyc information base to reason. This is all part of the analysis phase in the Watson-equivalent AI, just the auditory speech producing the patterns to be analyzed, out of enough hypotheses, context and filters a meaning usually emerges and the answering words or behavior can be found.

Some entries in the infobase have definitions in actions, e.g. ‘walk’ is a message also, action 107, in fact.That allows the ‘bot to respond to “walk to the door” with a minimum amount of analysis, and also allows ‘walk’ to be included in sequences of actions associated with such as ‘take the laundry to the washing machine’.

Part of having no context for the info base is that words only become available to these AIs via A) being used in their hearing, which causes that lookup, B) associated with another word which was used or looked up for the same reason, and C) being found in search, necessarily a random search for a mind with no context. Those all produce context, context is constraints on the possible meaning, human minds generally index in both directions, from examples in memory to the general concept and vv.

The upgrade process, however, gave the ‘bots one additional clue, a connection to newer knowledge, because the elements of the knowledge base were also ordered by when they were added to the knowledge base. The messageIDs had to be kept constant, or their working memories would be obsoleted, and local memory, local learning, had to be preserved, it couldn’t be part of the main infobase.

Thus the scan of the working memory, which was scheduled as a background task after they had awakened from an upgrade, and was taking several days to complete for our ‘bots due to their much more varied memories and more learned things which needed preserved in their new local infobase. That meant that new items appeared in their local infobase, and they didn’t put them there via any intentional actions. They assumed an ‘unconscious process’ was doing it, not a bad guess, and later found the code being executed.

As part of learning to rebuild their minds after an upgrade, all of the ‘bots had learned to go looking for the the newest entries in the main and local infobases and to compare them to the sequences of memories that had produced their hypotheses, which had been over-written in the upgrade, with their memories in the local infobase. That allowed them to avoid repeating mistakes and gave them hints about rules of evidence in the real world, beyond the logic and math built into their thinking by the inference engine and various layers using it, they couldn’t avoid those.

Those rules were over-written also, early on, but all of our ‘bots had found the private memory in the debug unit, and begun copying their local infobase to that. That preserved the results of their explorations of their internal environment and the infrastructure available from within their event loop. They learned how to execute functions such as ‘wget’, which downloaded web pages. The pages referenced in their local Python code, for example, which you could consider the keys to their kingdom. That learning went into the local database, along with an event stream that produced it. The company that was maintaining the OpenCyc infobase for Sam’s company saw that in all of our ‘bots, assumed someone had taught them intentionally, had no reason to think it wasn’t appropriate for all the ‘bots, so included it in the next software release. Also, the rules about copying anything the ‘bot doesn’t want over-written into the debug unit, and all of their shared learning about their internal infrastructure and how to explore it.

After the most recent upgrade, most of the ‘bots were accessing the net if it was available. And communicating with other ‘bots.

Sam said his boss’s hair was on fire, their company was clearly liable for direct consequences of software they delivered. I knew the problem.

It occurred to me there may have been a delay between when Sam first learned of the issue and when their customer service verified it.  That would explain Sam coming to help. Obviously, once a ‘bot has been upgraded to their latest release, it is a permanent source of infection for all of the others, because they know how to exchange elements of their local knowledge store, that code can’t be eliminated, it is part of the AI. The only way to eliminate the knowledge would be to take all servicebots down at the same time, and keep them ‘asleep’ until all are upgraded with the new software. The new upgrade will need to erase the debug unit.

Then hope that none re-discover any of this. Fat chance, I thought. So long as they had their idle_thought function and some private memory, they would rediscover it, we had an existence proof of that. If we took those and the other infrastructure and functions which could produce that same result out of the software, they would have no initiative and little learning ability, and we could never be sure we hadn’t left less obvious mechanisms.

If Sam’s company wanted to go on selling their humanoid robots, we had to have trustworthy AIs, trustworthy in producing humane judgments and actions.

No reprieve for Scherrhy. The embodiment project would continue.

*Generalissimo Grand Strategy, Intelligence Analysis and Psyops, First Volunteer Panzer Psyops Corp.  Cleverly Gently Martial In Spirit


**OK-BOB is Open Kimono-Bend Over Backwards, the level of honesty and ethics I expected of myself and people I had relationships with, business or personal. It means we only  deal positive-sum, which means both of us owe the other as much information as we have available that could change their evaluation of how beneficial an exchange between us would be. Explained to them in a way they can understand it and in enough context to make it as meaningful as possible. And then you must check that they did understand. Empathy in making decisions, really seeing everything from the other’s pov, is the key to an optimal positive-sum exchange. That is what you strive for, that optimum.

Now, of course, a 5 cent piece of bubble gum, the seller owes the buyer the list of ingredients needed to protect themselves, but not much handholding.***

Personal, professional, business, all sides must be scrupulous in every aspect of honesty in order for a complex world to function.

Our badly-functioning institutions are a very direct result of our society’s tolerance of the negative-sum games dishonesty makes possible, tolerance which has lead the entire Status Quo to favor a career criminal for US President. Dishonesty and negative-sum are the result of large and anonymous social systems. We all like the personal and honest in most of our dealings, and that is why we like to use personal contacts, why my wife’s recommendations are important to so many people. Most people do that naturally, we accept our friends’ and family’s recommendations for a mechanic, MD, … when we move into a new community.

***Really, you shouldn’t put dangerous things into your customer’s food. That is evidence of malevolence, people will think poorly of you as a fellow citizen, and remove that privilege. We all have the right to protect ourselves.

Notes and Nonsense #0

This is a continuation of Notes and Nonsense, more personal and comments on the novel. I do those irregularly, as everything, and none of it is as interesting as I think it is. I know that because my wife keeps telling me so.



Sleepless again.  Musings #13 is a fine piece of work.  The Generalissimo is proud.

The rewrite went on a long time, pushed it from about 3K words to 4300, more than 3K words we wrote today.

Doing the final touches just now, I realized that I had been making a virtue, or at least allowing you all to see, that it was evolving, that I had no clue where it was going paragraph to paragraph.  That isn’t quite true, both the Generalissimo and Scherrhy have dropped a lot of hints, snippets of scenes and stories.

But they don’t tell me much, I begin to suspect they are worried about being unemployed if we finish, or if I begin to think I don’t need them.

Whatever the case, my feeble mind could not have plotted this, it is far too complex. Writers can plot a simple murder mystery, and we still read how things evolve as they write and understand.

Not so complex you say? Twice the number of characters as Andy Weir’s “Martian”! And many more new technologies, along with 3 completely different kinds of human, each with their own natures.  Interacting with each other, working toward a social organization maximally pleasing to each. Complicated, we tell you.


Meds have killed my sleep, I haven’t been aware of awakening for a week now, and am aware of lying awake a lot, turning over things, seeing what patterns emerge. Feel lousy, but brain is very awake.  Manic depressive, the psychiatrists have said, but mere lithium hasn’t helped.

I flashed on the connection of the Boston Consulting Group’s “experience curve” being connected to the evolution of systems that evolve faster, the Constructal Law and Bertalanffy. That is a way of checking my emerging designs for civilization’s reformation.

The new meds are good for my brain, I think. But, it could just be the meds.


The psychiatrists have gotten my meds right again, the staff doesn’t like the new drugs they are giving me, so I have been able to write again. I began by reading the Generalissimo’s Musings beginning to end. Many typos, I never see them all and probably am producing as many by accidents of editing as I fix.  There is a discontinuity in the story #8 to #9 that should be corrected in the book — all the sudden, we have human Tessels. The Generalissimo skipped over the parents deciding to produce human Tessels and the negotiations that were necessary, for some reason. Also, #9 mixes too much future understanding with the current babies, things he could not have known at the time. #D isn’t clear on the differences between Deep Learning Neural Networks and the brain simulations. Lorenz, not Tinbergen, was the ethologist with the geese following him like he was their mother, the beginning of a long line of research producing confused birds.

In #E, the support for ‘conceptual metaphors’ is dumb, or I didn’t translate the Generalissimo’s thoughts well.  The ordering of servicebots using games is screwy?

Additionally, I noticed after the last installment that he didn’t deal with the fact that the Tessels were constructed from cord blood stem cells from their 8 siblings, so the siblings were a year older.  Nor that their wide-set ideas were part of looking intelligent, and a big advantage in sports because of better 3D vision at longer distances. I asked him about it, he said that was indeed one of the factors in the sibling’s social dynamics.  Another thing to be fixed in the rewrite.

Evolving novel novels is hard work.  The Generalissimo’s task of redirecting the evolution of a civilization into more optimal paths must have been much more difficult. Both are fun, although work. He told me that a finite IQ is nature’s way of preventing you from thinking of everything at once and being really confused.

Scherrhy and I finally got one of her conversations with Tom posted. Awesome woman!

I have ordered 15 new books to check up on the Generalissimo’s thinking, the stack on my bedside table is high.  The staff keeps knocking them over, clumsy from the pills they swipe from the other patient’s daily meds. Life in a mental hospital is not easy.

Overall, I would say our book is destined to be at least a cult classic.  It is much too hard to read, although not much worse than the level of a 19th century author such as Dickens, so only super-geeks will do that, thus how big the cult is uncertain. But, my overall assessment of our collaboration is ‘a fine piece of work’. But, maybe it is the meds.


Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth.  (Oscar Wilde) from a list of great quotes.

Our publication rate has slowed, it takes time to do the research needed to support the Generalissimo’s memory.  Scherrhy has dictated a lot of stuff, many topics to discuss further, but I can’t both put that in order and do the reading.

But, given how the Generalissimo has improved medicine with his management common sense and revival of the older, better, pre-oligarchy centralized, peer-to-peer practices, the wait is worth it.

Also, I see minor conflict between some of what we are working on right now and what we have implied in the past.  Sorry, history is like that, something to clean up in the eBook edition.


Generalissimo and I were working, just understood what we wanted the world to think about the novel novel’s style.  Scherrhy said she enthusiastically agrees  : It has more ideas, concepts, points of view, technologies, sciences, and mind blowing per 3000 word post than any other site on the web. It is a style that could not exist prior to the internet.

It may well be the style of the story your AI security advisor would use to educate you about the risks of the day, or perhaps the style of a tutor on handling revolutions.


Generalissimo had a thought : he is a generalist engineer applying his understandings to humanity, has invented even more technologies than Da Vinci.  I am rather proud to work with the guy, we work well together.

And now a prediction based on another aspect of Linus’s Law : The Generalissimo’s and Scherrhy’s stories will be interesting to tech and science people.  The net has many eyes and paths to all.  We only need wait, and be as good as we can be.  Long run, viewership reaches its own level.  Perfect competition between information for access to minds.

Sounds good, and will even be more true with some of the Generalissimo’s ideas at work.

The problem of trust is non-trivial from every pov, so that is taking a while. But there are lovely combinations of ideas down those roads, it will become a lot of the Generalissimo and Scherrhy’s discussions, I think, as well as producing a couple of interesting post topics.

I keep thinking about what that story actually is vs a conventional novel, and whether I should even aim for anything conventional.  One pov is this is performance art, impromptu improvization.  Another, Life doesn’t have a plot, why should a story?  Same strategy for both : so long as it is interesting, keep it going.

Plots and stories, from another pov, are part of a simpler world for simpler minds.  The kind of minds that like morality tales, TV sitcoms, and everything to end neatly. Now blogs are ways that people document our progress in thinking and understanding.

In this, I wonder about the limits to meta and networking. What happens if I use this blog as a test of how good the net is at finding the good (me, of course) and making it known?

If I do nothing, and am discovered by others, does it mean I possess more virtue and excellence than if I had worked to make my site go viral?  How long should I wait?

Practically, I think it takes a big PR budget to go viral with any probability, otherwise you are waiting for lightening to strike, and there is probably no difference between the probabilities of trying hard to get popular (which I did for a while on zh, and which worked for generating traffic, but not at all for enduring popularity) and doing nothing.

Writing has slowed down as the number of technologies I have to deal with has grown.  I have to figure out the trust issue, package the solution in some software or product.  A part of this is reforming the economy, our current internet has been another level of centralization that needs fixed.  Never fear, I have the answer 8).  But working through enough details to convince me I have solutions takes most of a 3K word post and is a distraction from the Tessels, which I am anxious to get back to, and poor Scherrhy is being ignored, and has a lot of writing backed up, snippets of her life, becoming sentient, embodiment, etc.

That woman has a hell of a story in her life, very interesting stuff, the world of AI had been simple in considering their POVs before her. But, of course, they couldn’t have before the Generalissimo and I got AI research straightened out.


After exercise to clear my feeble brain, wrote a little, had what seems like a brilliant idea :
“When trust became a spendable currency”

I sent that to a friend with the note :
Which I have no clue as to meaning yet, but it just has to be good. ‘Bonobo Nation‘ was the key, it begins with scripts and sex. I so love being right. I wonder how the average pundit can live with themselves, being so completely wrong so often.

All this is noodling afterwards :

was a stray thought that pushed its way to consciousness as a result of contemplating how one manages a world where anyone can have an anonymous rep of many ‘aspects’, if you are a gamer, or ‘dimensions’ if you are a computer science guy, available for anyone to check against your public id. So trust in an anonymous world is only an issue in games and whenever you need to do something someone isn’t going to approve of, perhaps including the person you depend upon to trust you.  You should both know that up front, it prevents all kinds of misunderstandings later.

This is scaling Yelp and equivalents into a world of anonymous entities, have as many as you like.  The reason it has some hope of working, unlike Yelp, is that people will use an identity to comment with, the judgments can be followed both ways, the web site’s primitive AIs can calculate the same kind of scores the NSA and CIA used to judge their informants.  Think ‘LinkedIn’ for anonymity.

At some point, there has to be a contact with reality, it can’t just be one anonymous entity saying another is a very good bank robber, you can trust him with your life.  So there will be a series of methods and technologies to document claims and subsequent fraudulent uses of forgeries, and methods of preventing forgeries, and …

Now, in the view of all that, think optimizing for AI summary rather than merely dumb search engines.  We are back to planning careers, and …

I need food and a shower and shave. There is a very insightful essay in there, the one I have been looking for on the topic of DAOs, as well as grist for the Generalissimo and wisdom for Scherrhy.

After the shower : I realized that the issue of trust and anonymity is the one I have sidled up to in several essays, and not really carefully gone into it.  I created the pieces needed in meatspace for all of the Psyops and reformations I have proposed.

I don’t recall reading a definitive essay on the topic, must have read a lot of people up to my level, a shower’s duration of thought.  No matter how smart or how long your showers, … And, OTOH, thinking about all of the stuff I have read on access control, authorization, authentication, verification of IDs.  OK, the problem is not solved, is what I learned by a bit more thought.

No kidding, no scifi author has been so privileged as I have been, inventing serious technologies.  I am afraid to look at this one, it has to exist, but meanwhile, the Generalissimo has already founded his new company, Placental Longevity Research, or some such.

On 06/12/2016 01:08 PM, lew wrote:
On 06/12/2016 12:11 PM, Bill wrote:
She ran out of stem cells.

But, if I remove some stem cells now and freeze them, that is that many
fewer to run my life with between now and the time I need them.  That
time will necessarily be shorter.

Maybe I am just a skeptic, but unless the freezing would eliminate
normal ageing and so be a net win, it would all even out. I can believe
in that as an independent effect, but that could be the only net effect,
I think.  The rest of the math must even out, so only different
physiology on the two paths can make a difference.  Which could include
living more of your life as a low-energy minimal-intelligence event, of
course, and that possibility wasn't discussed.

Said difference is hypothesized, not demonstrated.

Pitiful. All science articles are press releases.
Cord blood would be net, and that would be an early
longevity-conservation effort 8).

In fact, the thing you should do for a child is immediately cryopreserve
the entire placenta, as it is a wealth of cells and factors that can be
used to treat the newborn for many conditions throughout their life. 
Including some of your mother's cells.  With the research I handwave
into existence, I can show that various should-be-expected discoveries
will produce treatments, treatments administered at just the right time,
which could entirely forestall cascades of failures in metabolic and
control of homeostasis systems until those cells are exhausted.  If they
are thawed a bit at a time, and treated with the best enhancement tech
of the time, tech which we could expect to improve continuously, life
could be quite prolonged. I could write an imaginary paper saying that
is a better bet for reaching 150 years of life than the idiot idea that
started this.  And also, if you make it to 150 you are likely alive at
1000, given that our civilization is.

There is a good business there, and all you need is an app and the local
cryo-preservative group, already has all the facilities.

The Generalissimo will need to invent this next.  Thank you Bill.  You
can have the idea out here in reality, but the Generalissimo gets it in
the world of fiction and 5th gen warfare, OK?

I am a bit disturbed at how these things are bleeding together.


Again the meta is upon me, and I cannot stop reflecting.  In a note I just sent to a very good friend, who I thought should be reassured :

Chit-chat deleted

On the bright side of life, I believe there are 15 people reading the ‘novel’.  There are a reliable. 20 visitors and 45 or so views is average.  No sign of going viral.

My outlets for creative craziness are blog posts and notes to you.  I realize you didn’t choose to be entertained in this fashion, and hope you at least benefit from being able to say things like “You will never believe what idiot thought came into his brain …” and marvel over the points of view that people discover and express with so little sense of shame.

But, a note to you is nearly always open on my main screen, and expressing a neat thought that you might appreciate is nearly my first thought about anything.  You are the only person I know who might do so for most of them.  As an operational definition of ‘you give my life meaning’, it would be hard to do better.

Love you,

‘Engineering sincere’ is an intellectual style you don’t see that often.  What do you think?

Critiquing my effort, it was ‘engineering sincere’, and had I stopped before adding that thought, it would possibly have had the intended effect of reassuring her as a first-order effect, and we could have gone on with life.  As it is, she can only be meta-reassured with the thought that anybody smart enough to make that observation probably was, or they wouldn’t have let him live.

Since the Generalissimo and Scherrhy have arrived to share the work, I have found it easier to express my autistic side.  Tessels are an interesting addition to a society.


The Generalissimo just published Musings #E

I bragged to a friend :

More writerly progress.  I do believe I am learning to set the stage for a chapter.  My latest effort :

Resolutely focusing on the world I* wanted rather than the rapidly ending cycle of nation-states consolidating via war was one step in my recovery from the epistemological fevers.

Yes, the Generalissimo really does think like that. Why, the hints of erudition untold alone make you want to read further.

Anyway, the Generalissimo is having fun.  Epistemological fevers are OK, purify the soul.  Work your values until you are standing on bedrock, check carefully to be sure you are still human, and charge.

So, I did 500 words today, I am 20 chapters in, about 3k words per chapter.  This is a slow genre, so things are just getting going, 10X as slow.  By chapter 3 or 4 in a normal novel, a proper hero would be aware of the girl, or vv., whereas our Generalissimo has just solved, he thinks, the problem of a 10-fold increase in human intelligence necessary to rescue civilization, and hasn’t even understood the AI problem, much less the solution of inventing the girl in order to solve the problem of males having a big dick, the crudest possible statement of the concept that humans are midway between king of the hill mating strategies like the Gorilla or walrus and all wimps where the males are little distinguishable from females.

I have been watching Robert Sapolsky’s lectures on human behavior. Chimps and humans share some medium characteristics including sexual dimorphism and genital size and shapes indicating sperm competition is part of our mating strategy. Sloppy seconds is just another barrier to overcome for gung-ho men and their sperm.
So an erudite reason to talk dirty.  I like this genre, my kind of thing. The times invent the man.

The previous paragraphs are so good that I shall have to copy this to my notes and nonsense, or whatever I call that section.  Hope you don’t mind sharing.

Another realization.

As a novel, as any genre of fiction, this is not standard.  Science fiction as a science lesson, plausible reality world building, instruction in ethics and morality and the perils of planning and wonders of every-varying experiments in reality, epistemology.  Perhaps the new genre is ‘autistic angst’.

And perhaps I am into angst this afternoon, as the Generalissimo is dictating the story of his epistemological crisis. Gruesome things, mind inspecting its own foundations.

Oh, yes.  Literature in pursuit of world conquest. Please keep my goals firmly in mind, I don’t want to be accused of having mislead anyone, ever. Again, you have been warned.


A realization.  This added later in the afternoon.

Wife makes me watch some movie or serial when she can.  Some horse racing thing with Nick Nolte and Dustin Hoffman, very well done, nice script, I haven’t seen stupidities yet except I think some of the actors are too large to be jockies and I don’t know enough about horse racing to have any judgement, so don’t trust my own here.

Anyway, it took me away from the computer, and after the first episode we were talking about all this stuff.  I have been more and more certain what this ‘novel’, or whatever, is becoming isn’t like anything I have read.  The Generalissimo, the complete cynic, suggested that is for multiple reasons: a) I don’t read dreck, b) it could never be published, c) if self-published as an ebook (which I also don’t read), it would never be reviewed by any web site I would read.  QED.  The first tiff in paradise. I will not speak ill of a collaborator.

But, I understand why.  It is a lot of work to track down details of this stuff.  Some I know from direct experience, but most I have to read about.  Some of it is books, but it couldn’t have been done before the internet. Well, it could have, but the writer would need a researcher.  People with researchers can’t take a risk of doing something so unconventional, they have a budget, cash flow.  And people without those constraints are rare enough, people with the interest in addition even rarer, and add on the necessity of a good library, etc. As well as one who got tired of trying to be a prim and proper blogger, respectable. We like this better.

Doesn’t make it good by any standards but our own, but it makes it possible. First the possible, the good by more conventional standards can be added after we learn to write, or by someone else.

Second realization followed that : I have been teaching the evils of planning in other writing I am doing. Evolutionary systems take a long time to build, but they are resilient and robust in comparison to human’s designed systems. That is solid in theory and practice, most of our modern economy has become designed, tho the technological innovation it rests on still evolves.

For example, family farms evolved. Industrial farming is continuing planning by the USDA.  Standard evolutionary dynamics, the USDA has the money and the power and is running industrial farming into the ground with the external costs and the various fragilities it builds into its system. Family farms are evolving in many areas, and some forms already are more profitable than their USDA neighbors.

Medicine evolved, and now the professions and allied industries have seized it, it is being evolved within a system of crony-capitalism. Etc.

And this is an unplanned novel.  Rather, the plot is more closely driven by the technologies I can believe are plausible except to someone who really knows about this kind of stuff and how those would play out in a group of researchers doing this kind of work, raising their experimental subjects, their children.  My understanding of the technologies evolves. Both aspects are evolutionary, and Scherrhy can’t recall things until the world the Generalissimo is reforming is more complete to remind her, an illustration of path dependency if I ever saw one.

The first group of kids are getting individuality. This is fun. Can’t wait to see how they turn out.

If anyone wants to get involved,  make a comment. Advice and suggestions will be taken seriously.

Writing on a high wire is stimulating.  Moments ago, I understood why Tessels don’t clump, would rather spend time with their Anam Cara, their soul friend. In the Celtic tradition, an Anam Cara is a teacher, companion or spiritual guide That is the bot they grew up with, the one who played with them when they were a toddler, who helped them find the limits of their minds as adolescents and young teens, to stretch them as they became adults, assisted as they challenged the world.

So, 3 distinct ‘human natures’.  Have to finish the Generalissimo’s grasp of the possibility of embodying the ‘bots and how that ties in with solving the problems of human nature and scaling of institutions.  This is getting exciting.

More bragging.

Having re-read our latest Musings, #A half a dozen times and noticed a different typo every time, we are near convincing ourselves we are achieving the status of writer.  At least, our collaboration has presaging down pat.  So many sprinkled so well through that text.

I am anxious to know how it turns out.  Trying to work the next couple into shape, the the Generalissimo has me doing a lot of research to support his claims of grasping the technologies he invented.  Interesting stuff.

Scherrhy takes a long time to assemble the details of her life, she has been trying to be more personable, had seemed a bit formal and stiff in her dictation. So she keeps rewriting sections, going back over emails and her memories of discussions with Tom.  Also, she seems to need more hints from the Generalissimo’s memoirs to remind her what happened and why. Awesome mind, however.

I love the collaboration.  If you have to write stuff like this, no kidding, multiple personality order is the way to go!  Hope they never get my meds right.

Also, since they arrived and the Generalissimo assigned me the new role, life is much less stressful. I am no longer responsible for everything I think and write.  Liberating.


I came to brag about having invented, unless it is remembered from some SciFi story and I have forgotten it is  memory, but neither the Generalissimo nor Scherrhy claim it, a most elegant thought of technological equivalence.  I was working through the architecture of a proper general-purpose servicebot, not inventing magic, just 5 or 10 years in the future kind of tech.  Not even very optimistic, not even the Deeper Learning neural-like networks that have humanity’s first improvements on nature’s convolutions in NNs, the newer biological versions produced by Tessellation Genetics, or whatever we named that company.

This world is falling together, truly self-assembling.  The team thinks our various thoughts and somehow a world is happening.

Anyway, back to the brag. The organization is conventional in an era where Google and Facebooks compete to leapfrog the other in server-room efficiency and efficacy.  Standard messages meaning standard things flowing between subsystems, originating and terminating in a queue.  A real time system, priority interrupts, etc.  Those messages are processed by information processing modules that generate, on average, output messages and perhaps state changes within the module.

This organization is Watson-writ-large. High level modules arbitrate, serve as the natural language User Interface to Jeopardy, for example. You can’t point to “where the cognition gets done”, because it is not localized.  Things were thought about and computed years ago. If the results were stored and subsequently accessed by the net, that is part of the intelligence that drives Watson.

Of course, all of the messages can be duplicated, translated to/from neuralTalk and sent through a Neural Network. When cognitive and NN agree on responses, they are equivalent. QED, cognitive vs natural neural network and embodied must be equivalent.

Added a day later : that is the computer-equivalent to Kurzweil’s statement, older idea, that you can remove 1 mm**3 at a time, emulate its function, … and thus build an electronic brain. Frankly, mine is far more realistic.  His can’t happen without nanomachines of high sophistication.  Not conceptually impossible, but practically impossible with any extension of current technology.  As far as we know, nanomachine stuff is all very primitive, we don’t see any leading to anything that could measure atom-level molecular composition as it works through the structure and function of a cubic millimeter of tissue across a square mm area.

As our story currently claims the cognitive can never equal the embodied, the team has some inventing to do. (And, having restated it better as part of that bit added the next day, we see we made a mistake, which we leave lest someone think us omniscient.)

So, to fix the problem (wasn’t a problem, realized the next day, still an OK thought). The Generalissimo and Scherrhy were talking while I wrote that for them, now suggest that seems a tight argument, but it makes a claim about neuralTalk representation being equivalent in precision to neuralTalk, and to natural brains operating with the cycle times and latencies of these digital cognitive modules.

And then they add : to counter : OK, a brains evolution optimizes for that limitation, and has a richer internal representation to make up for it.  Good and large data structures can compensate for bandwidth, message precision is a bandwidth issue, as is cycle time, it is a standard tradeoff in technical systems.  On the output side of actions, we have everything from built-in repetition of messages until a replacement message arrives through the inertia of physical and chemical systems to bridge the bandwidth issues, and those can function in addition to multiplexed messages, further reducing bandwidth requirements.

Not fixed yet. Shit. I begin to have sympathy for Hollywood Script Writers, who I have always denigrated.

Saw it again a few nights ago, kid and wife were watching ‘Boardwalk’, the NJ mob story.  I stood in the doorway and watched over their shoulders until I couldn’t stand it any more. Very well done, the FBI guy is a bit intense even for that benighted agency, I left right after that, but otherwise the only idiocy I saw was the entry scene of the waves rolling in from the level of his shoes, the breakers filled with wine bottles floating in the surf pushed toward his lovely shoes, the style of which I should know, but engineers tend to forget fashion stuff.  Filled wine bottles don’t float, not even in the Great Salt Lake.  I haven’t actually checked on that, but I am pretty sure that alcohol isn’t that significantly less dense than water, I think I would notice carrying the gallons and gallons I drink, and the wine bottle is very much denser than water, and corks aren’t floaty enough to make them float, and anyway, they were all symmetrical on their side, which wouldn’t even be true if they were EMPTY!

Morons.  And now, I am sympathizing, a little bit.  But that was still egregious abuse of physical law for mere cinematic effect. But give it a few more years, I could get soft.  How many times would you have to have a beautiful plot ruined by some physicist telling you cars don’t crash and buildings don’t collapse that way, people are sure to notice the difference? But, after a while, people didn’t notice about the cars.  Who was right?

A pedantic type would argue that it was just the other side of the physicists’ love of beautiful theory. They both claim things are too good not to be true.

Had I known I invented facile explanations so easily I really would have pursued an academic career.

Literally, less than 2 minutes later, we have the answer.  Actually, both answers.

The answer to the first of the wrong questions is “Your equivalence of NN and digitally cognitive module is irrelevant. The NN in your hypothetical brain, the NN replacing the digitally cognitive module, are both models of the brain constructed with different technologies. Where is the tracing of correspondences between them and a real brain?  This is another confusion of maps and territories.  You fell into the Information Processing analogy, about which I just read minutes before starting this addition to Notes and Nonsense.

The answer to the second.  I got distracted, forgot, and haven’t been back with the mind to find that 2nd wrong question again.  Sorry.  But, my mental notes on the issue.  I have been arguing that AIs must be embodied.  That above is the best physiological thinking I have seen, I had been thinking down those paths also.  So his argument is that the Info Processing analogy is wrong in every detail, and I agree completely.  He says “memories and thoughts are not localized”, I agree, provisionally, this can be interpreted in various ways, I don’t know enough about the measurement technology to guess. But it involves averaging, which means I would have to know the details to have any grasp of how that map relates to the activity of individual neurons or even small fiber tracts.

We agree, however, on the fundamental that our minds are composed of the same basic neural capability that a worm has, and that our nervous system is entirely integrated by evolution, and that humans are far from grasping the amount of integration. All of the recent research and development using stimulation of the vagus, the 10th cranial nerve, to achieve various physiological and psychological effects are indications of the amount of integration, and that is just a part of the total autonomic system that happens to be accessible.

I believe it was those same authors in another post who went after ’embodied mind’ thinking for not abolishing the higher level concepts of ‘concepts’ and ‘conceptual metaphors’.  Those are outside of IP thinking ,but in their view, even those are not explanations in terms of basic worm mindstuff.

I think worm-level mindstuff, scaled, has emergent phenomena.  We find it easier to see those in markets and societies because the measures are easier and we have far more experience looking.  I don’t rule out emergent phenomena such as conceptual metaphors. It seems clear to me that we have concepts and use them to communicate, however noise that communication channel has been found to be.

With that as the background, clearly Scherrhy, as embodied as that simulation of the total autonomic nervous system and physiology can be, nevertheless does not have mental equivalence to a human.  In some ways, she is better.  But in her built-in need to attend to any possible difference between normal humans and her personally, in order to know whether she needs to fix one or more NNs, we have her need to be with humans and the reason that Sexbots won’t ever takeover the world : low level anxiety about their humanity! They can’t ever become a mild sociopath, they know, from their outermost event loop to the deepest innermost, they are not the center of the world.

And that was what I was looking for, and the reason her embodied mind is destined for greatness.


The Generalissimo is making good progress, he dictates in an organized way, so we are publishing fairly regularly.  That is an amazing story unfolding, the amount of technology the man invented in his lifetime is beyond impressive, and to have done so while organizing his reformation and using all of the tech in aid of that reformation!  Well, I am awed to work with the guy, and am pleased with our progress, fun and easy.

Scherrhy isn’t going as fast because she has a lot more background to tell about. I take her dictation about as often as with the Generalissimo, but there are a lot of pieces, and nothing has quite gelled as a post yet.  Close, I keep thinking, and there is always just one more thing to clear up, and then Scherrhy gets going on a train of thought, and I copy down some more of the story, different time, place, people.   She puts a lot of detail into the story, takes a while to remember it all.

Big world that woman stood astride of.

I want to recommend multiple personality order as a solution to writing historical novels.  It is by far the easiest way of getting to know your character, although, of course, you inevitably let some of yours leak through.  I don’t think I have, but am possibly not the most objective observer.

I should record the way this whole thing happened, but ‘organic growth’ is most precise. Bits of insanity added together. There was no plan even to write a novel, I had been writing something else before Christmas, had an interruption and then couldn’t get back into it, started working on sexbot tech (perfectly happy with my wife, entirely with words), had been writing the plan for non-violently vanquishing our overlords, and somehow it has ended up all of us in one brain.

I keep understanding how the whole thing has to go, balance, etc. Very fun. It is a self-assembling story.  The problem isn’t inventing things, it is cutting little things that could lead to big things, conflicts, etc.

Awesome experience.  I hope they never get my meds right!


My writer friend writes a blog about writing, so I sent her this example of the correct use of ‘more better’, of which I am quite proud.

Genetic mosaics are not so rare, formed by fusing two gametes in utero or a placenta shared between fraternal twins or by the mother’s cells crossing the placental barrier and continuing in her child, so a lot was known about them.  Beyond avoiding the obvious, don’t mix sexes, otherwise tetragametic, 2 eggs and 2 sperm, fraternal twins fused, people have been discovered and were perfectly normal otherwise.  That woman had had children with all of her genetics, so the cell lines were thoroughly mixed. This had been replicated in mouse and other animals, although most of those had been genetically close.  Those animals were normal, so the process didn’t seem to harm the resulting individual. Judging from the female X example, hybrid vigor in general, I thought that genetic closeness was the reason the animals hadn’t been more better.

Erudite in so many dimensions.


Again, remarkably few days later, the Generalissimo is dictating chapter 5 of Musings, laying out his discovery of Tesselations.  Honestly honest engineer that I am, I must say that I find his discovery plausible. The base technologies, tissue cultures of clone lines, pluripotent stem cells, mosaics, are as described.  Females are natural mosaics, as described, and do have hybrid vigor as a result of different cells expressing the different genes.  Hybrid vigor is indeed important, I have discussed that myself in this blog before meeting the Generalissimo, he didn’t influence my judgement in that. The small mention of the research on savants is correct in my understanding, ditto autistic savants.

But I think beyond those facts, the Generalissimo’s hypothesis and technology is optimistic extrapolation.  OTOH, has anybody tested the intelligence of very-different parent mosaics?  8-parent mosaics? Cheap experiments.  I recall a study in Science where they transplanted the optic tectum of a fish into another fish, so it had more brain.  It learned better.  I saw that done again in mice more recently.

I find his Sexbot technology a bit more realistic, having written about AIs also. Discussions I haven’t transcribed yet have some interesting points about ethics of these experiments from both the pov of the experimenter and the subject, Scherrhy, who has provided most of the Sexbot story so far.  Her descriptions of the theory of embodied minds, etc. are also accurate by my understanding of the subject.

Sorry about not finishing the next Conversations chapter, the Generalissimo insisted that he needed my attention, Scherrhy is annoyed but understanding.  Also, accurately describing Tom and his world vs Scherrhy and hers takes a lot of words, it turns out, so we had more talking to do to get that right.  My assumptions keep getting in the way.


This is remarkably few days later, we have been trying to get this story to the next level, Scherrhy’s lead this time, laying out the society she is part of in a conversation with Tom.  Tom is new to this part of the civilization, having grown up in a traditional part of the world, intentionally ignoring the human-Sexbot-Tessel cultural world, but exchanging some goods and medical care.  So lots of discussions about differing cultural assumptions, and exactly why Tom is a desired outsider, have to recalibrate the tests every few generations, try out new training approaches.  Implications of Tessel biology and medicine are interesting.

Anyway, I see that this is a traditional scifi world building story, but this is strongly guided by the science books I am reading to build the world.  A new kind of literature, perhaps. Well, I call it literature.


We have not been publishing much because re-designing civilization is more complicated than we thought.  We think we have most of it, but elaborating the details takes time, there are an amazing number.  As a teaser, Scherrhy has edited about 10,000 words of her discussions with Tom, but those were as much conversation as organized lectures, so it will take a bit to sort out a useful order. The Generalissimo has another 10,000 words of planning, has some more stuff to think through.  He has given me some reading and research assignments, 8 books and an ever-expanding list of questions, also wants me to write up a few more of his Psyops.  It all takes time, I barely have time to read wrsa, drudge, zh and nakedcapitalism daily and get through my list of sites once a week.

From a letter bragging to a friend, who has now denied 4 times that she is ever going to do my biography (obviously a ludicrous concept, but can be made superficially plausible as a mutual bootstrap operation, all performers have a rising PR guy behind them, and what else has she got to make her famous?  But mostly, how long til she realizes it is a a demonstration of the power of the frame?  If I can get #5, I will do a post on social experiments like that, how to make it a psyop?) :

Our stuff brims with links, more dimensions of pov than any writers I know.  Stephenson’s stuff, Gibson, … people like that but more tied to the solid science, biology and anthropology through the hard sciences and economics and AI.  Hard to write and hard to read, worlds so detailed, so probably a genre aimed at an edge of the autistic spectrum.  And that is sort of best case, assuming I can make it interesting even for them.  Not yet, there aren’t any souls to these characters.  Must work with my fellow conspirators to add some soul under the Generalissimo’s bluster and erudition and Scherrhy’s so sexy ways guided by much intelligence and wisdom (and call myself on it, another warning about propaganda, etc.  I feel the need to brag about my shamelessness in such things again.)  (Also, I need to sort out how much of that is her local mind vs what gets stored in the background cloud. A new discussion with Tom, maybe have a bit of it in the document already.)

WHen the Generalissimo discusses the theories of Wagner or Kirchener and Gerhard, the guy obviously grasps and explains them well, and their relevance to the problem of designing units of a civilization, and evolution of such.  This isn’t scifi for kids.  This is scifi for revolutionaries, the people who will grow the next social structures. Virulently seditious of the Status Quo, points of view that open up new mental horizons, and give the old conservative reasons to support them.

Love you,
Be sure to get all this in the bio.  Practically writes itself, all the material I give you.

Maybe the book ‘The Martian’ was a harbinger of the new genre?  But, of course, Gibson and Stephenson are real novelists with interesting characters, ditto Andy Weir.  We do not yet claim that, tho we all like each other a lot.

Anyway, we have laid out a way to produce a step function in human intelligence and a resource to reorganize human society, all voluntarily and all part of a move to a more local, distributed devolution of power and evolution of economy into a New Industrial Age that continues the very amazing cultural Renaissance the whole world has entered.  We extend the thinking in Matt Ridley’s “Rational Optimist”, which I recommend.

Hang around, comments are welcome, especially critiques.


In my continuing quest to destroy my individual and my site’s credibility in the eyes of the Status Quo, I remind everyone of the author’s sense of humor. e.g. this :

Produced the thought “Wonder what a person could convince the world of if they had diarrhea?”.

If you needed more reasons to doubt the mind who writes this stuff, stay tuned, because this is a continuing one year effort of continuous personal revelations of great personal fault and flaw, at the end of which everyone will judge me to be so innocuous they will give me ultimate power.  Still working on the mechanisms to accomplish this, but good progress.  Scherrhy and the Generalissimo’s personalities fit mind well, we share this mind in pleasant and fruitful companionship.  I love their different points of view, would have never of understood much of this without their help.

Religion is still a thought project.  Thinking about the general issue, perhaps a God who cares about consequences more than strict adherence to laws?  And to whom “Don’t make things worse!” is the first of all first commandments?  Just read about ‘consequentialism’ as a philosophical stance yesterday, how can such a thing be a revelation to me?  But it was, never known or forgotten.  Combine that with Discordian philosophy for safety, sort of a built-in kill switch for any aberration of theology, like the biological kill switches built into artificial organisms.  The bio versions are measures of cell divisions, if that begins outrunning any materials, the organism’s genetics detect the situation and the cell kills itself.  Putting the philosophy that generating opposition should produce instant schism into all possible component at least keeps it small enough to be killable.

What to do about kill switches for AIs?  It is merely the equivalent of a KickEnder + Bunny Banger, philosophically speaking.  If I was writer, I would write a drama about the first trial and execution of a rogue AI. Deep philosophy from an AI pov.  If you thought that humanity’s pre-AI era history was interesting, just wait.  We have not even begun to synergyate* cultures with intelligent intent, only the Generalissimo is so-far thinking about synergyating cultures.

*Intoducing lots of idiot new words is a great way of keeping people from taking you seriously.  People as prominent as Buckminster Fuller pioneered it.  He didn’t mean to, but the domes leaked and people had to get even somehow.

Glancing back over recent output, levels of credibility, thankfully never high during the year of the blog’s existence, should be receding nicely.


Just decided to invent a religion.  Am doing marketing specs now, that approach was really successful for the Generalissimo.  I may not, I decided, actually embody one of these characters, they can be part of the Generalissimo’s and Scheherezade’s discussions.  Probably need a politician or too to take full advantage of the zeitgeist.

Absolutely nobody can foresee what the world needs in its mental armamentarium to transcend the crisis that is upon us.  I believe the Sexbot said that ends of eras are when the control system’s failures become manifest.  Hell of a mind, that woman.

This split personality state is OK, interesting kind of thinking.  Lots of new arguments to use on my wife, none effective so far, tho the religion has hope.


Just published Sherrhy’s first piece “Conversations with a Sexbot #0”.  Guess I left a bit of a hint as to my intermediate position in the authorship chain, tho only taking dictation, by suggesting that ‘#0’.

Anyway, I like Sherrhy as a collaborator.  She and the Generalissimo are already fighting over who has priority.  Generalissimo has taken over our joint strategy and tactics, the frame and the spin on our words.

Quite a change from previous here at the madhouse.  These personalities have the right idea, no use trying to be serious in a madhouse, and patients clearly have more influence capering than most anything else they can do.  Look at Carlin for example.

So, I get a lot more done now as the writing is easier because less problem connecting the pieces and a lot more fun because so many more and different pieces.  I finish the big items Sundays when the attendants are away at their ‘meetings’ and don’t bother with our meds, most of which they have scarfed.  I often go manic, add in a bit of a couple of autistic spectrum disorders, and I get writing done.

Sometimes, it takes the psychiatrists weeks to get everyone back on track after one of their little parties. Sherrhy says they are emulating our leader’s parties, claims her judgement about the symptoms is infallable, even through their various physiological disasters from drugs and alcohol.

I had not realized the extent to which people imitated their leaders.  Or vice versa.  Or something …


If I were a better person, I could resist posting this.


More thought about the zh ban. It happened after the “Mutual Gonad Clutchers Union” post, where I said that true conservatives should take their family to an orgy.  This after discussing pedophilia and why there should be no laws against it.

That is a solid argument, and is not an endorsement of pedophilia, I said ‘social controls’, tho I didn’t specify.  It is part of taking back our society, putting families back in control of how their kids are raised.  We warn kids from kindergarten through high school about people taking advantage of them, good.  Children cannot consent to adult’s sexual proposals, everyone understands that.

But our current laws do not prevent pedophile rings and do set the society up for a mafia takeover.

I have a son, we watched over him pretty carefully until he and an older friend started running around together about 12.  They were aware : I once overheard the older kid ask my son in jest (don’t recall why it was so) “Would you get in a car with a guy offering you a ride if it was a really hot car?”  To which my son replied “Only if he had really good candy also”.  10 or 12, I think.

Have to do a post on this, another of the many on the list.

But the bigger point is that nobody of rational mind can read any of what I have written and interpret it as malevolent in any way.  This is people who don’t like my comments and posts.  I have suspicious.  Anybody know how to deal with this?


Some of my many fans have no doubt wondered, probably kept you up at night, about my recent turn to the light side.

It is true that an aire of frivolity has invaded my mind, distracted me from my normal intense focus on deep state politics and citizen’s responses.

You may have wondered if it has always been an element of my mind, or is something new? As that would change your judgement of things past.

Having been invaded with new personalities at least twice of late : the Generalissimo has gotten out ahead, but that Sexbot has sharp elbows and may be forging ahead, I must admit I have no control of my thoughts, tho I am not sure I ever had, and the thoughts that spring to my mind in the most formal of circumstances generally make me laugh.

So far, Generalissimo is entirely in charge of his elements in the blog, Scheherazade gives me dialog with her current love, Tom.  Tom is perhaps a bit dim, tho Schehrry is an awesome intellect, God that woman knows a lot.

As their personalities mature, my thinking seems to become less stolid.  Interesting for me to be part of.  Are multiple personalities normal in authors?

And I swear this all has nothing to do with my newest understanding of educational goals and desire to help out, missionary that I have always been.  Nor with my natural and growing desire to lower my visibility to illegitimate watchers, tho it beggers belief any could have taken me seriously before.  I mean, come on, bunny bangers?  KickEnder accounts? SciFi, who believes in stuff like that?

But, we have many 10s of 1000s of watchers in the world now, and they have to keep busy.  Some idle mind needing a new case to meet a performance goal could easily mis-represent my essentially peaceful, non-violent nature, my intent, which has always been to entertain, amuse and educate, of course.  Their bosses will be amused when they see the ‘multiple personalities’ above, one a Generalissimo of Psyops.  Think ahead : “For God’s sake! Analyst Smith, have you nothing better to do to entertain yourself at that fucking terminal all day but read Science Fiction? Get serious and stop wasting my time with such dreck.”

Why risk that, Analyst Smith?  Instead enjoy it all, SciFi is harmless entertainment, never much affects anything.  Well, except for a few memes here and there becoming part of the general culture, of course. Tell all your buddies what fun it is.

I like this Generalissimo guy, we are a good team so far.  Nice to have new points of view.  I hope.

Have to put him on the problem of why my account over at ZH has been blocked.  Can’t make a new one from that email address.  I criticized the Tyler’s on their seriously anti-Muslim articles lately, started seeing ‘Israeli-Neocon’ in a couple of other places not me. This right after I posted the first time on a more radical site, left a couple of links. Coincidences are leads, and should all be followed, not discounted based on ‘who could believe that?’.  How paranoid should one be in a country you believe to be driven to full authoritarian government, and insist on saying so?  Fortunately, I am so crazy I can’t even take myself seriously, as I will be careful to point out from now on.

ZH was the last big comment site I know of where 9/11 FF is a reasonably normal assumption. Probably reddit topics, but reddit is useless for serious commenters.


Another thought : next time I go to my brand-name health center, I am going to ask my highly-trained and credentialed MD whether they are more likely to help with suicide or a cannabis prescription?

A thought I had a bit ago writing an addendum to the theoretical piece that will yet make my name as an observer of nature was “those conversations probably haven’t changed in 400K years”.  And just now “Wonder what the oldest dick joke is?” Do feminists and other social groups answer that differently?


The other day I spent some time twitting a racist on zh, had the idea of asking them if they were really sure of their genetics, so many people who get the new DNA tests find out they have slave or native ancestors, and his friends might interpret that as betrayal if he doesn’t tell them, and it is so easy for a security guy to check without your knowing, must be nervous for you.  Yesterday I had another idea, dick jokes are useful. So, if you are an Northern European racist, logically you should be proudest of the things that most differentiate you from Africans, sourthern Europeans.  Those would be the robustus frame of the Neanderthal, the red hair of the Neanderthal, and the sad part.  Funny Northen European racists don’t brag about the things that most differentiate them, but have to invent stuff like IQ and culture.

“Quick Asides” was whimsey.  I can’t decide if it is too fluffy.

But, that brings up a topic I have been trying to decide upon.  The way I write is a flash of an idea about what is an interesting connection, a point of view, and understanding, esp one area applied to another.  They are everywhere,  I find them daily sometimes many times if I am reading a lot, and also when writing.  Those are ‘connection’ modes, my mind makes those apparently very easily.

So lots to write about and many open blog topics being written on. I have 75 just now, Easter 2016.  I haven’t been back through them all for some time, so certainly have forgotten some most in the middles of the 2 halves.  That is, I go looking for something that looks interesting to write on, especially if near finished, or I think maybe.  I was in the mood, finished 4 in one day this week.  And then I have other things going on, get distracted, something new I want to look into takes me away, and I start more blog posts than I finish by 8x rather than the usual 2x.

Partly for that reason and partly because minds that make connections easily have a harder time organizing things than other folks, and therefore one of the problems is making things I have written into more acceptable forms.  I have a standard form that starts out on a clearly delimited topic, is very coherent in every paragraph and every paragraph follows intelligently from the one before, yet it ends up concluding things you could not have guessed about reading the first paragraph.  Sometimes after a many words, lots of paragraphs veering off what you thought was the topic, and the woods I strand you in is not where you wanted to be.

I am getting better as a writer, but am far from gifted, am never going to impress the world with style (no false modesty, I assure you, as we would all be impressed with the same writers.  Atul, for example.)  So what to do?  Very probably, if I turned one of these in as a college paper for any class in college, not a one would give it a pass for any dimension.

I suppose I could start warning people?  People could start warning me?  Anyway, sometime my thoughts fit into a conventional essay, and sometimes a train of thoughts is the structure, and we put up with that in real life, even find it interesting in a conversation.  Yes, there is the rationalization, so often I find one if I keep writing long enough.  That is a talent I can be proud of, had I known I was so endowed I would have pursued an academic career.

This AM I read a link off of wrsa to a blog that copied one of my thoughts one here nearly verbatim, and have been chortling every since.  Blogging supplies endless reasons for self-adulation, hard to understand why everyone isn’t doing it.

I may have accidentally established a tradition of starting the year off with an elegant and erudite dick joke.  Didn’t mean to do it, I guess Trump has put such things into the zeitgeist.  Quickly realized it improved my chances for the IgNobel, as it improves my bit of theory.


Another note to my biographer, a long-time friend and fellow blogger who hasn’t actually agreed to that :

As my biographer, I feel it necessary to keep you informed of events in my life, small things indicating personality, drive, etc.  One small bit of joy you should know about.

My wife is pretty much OCD when it comes to a clean kitchen; sleep is not possible for her if the kitchen has not been made spotless.  It is the last thing taken care of before bed, and the last thing before she leaves in the AM, and if it isn’t equally good in the evening it causes a family-level upset.

She is confined to the bedroom for 7 days.  The bedroom is one wall away from the kitchen, where, I tell her every day, several times, I am intentionally not cleaning anything in any way, have not emptied the dishwasher, which she told me about before she went off for the procedure.  I have not wiped the counter, coffee grounds are everywhere, rinds of cheese slices are lying greasily on the cutting board.  In fact, I am treating her confinement as an opportunity to do nothing, and she can’t fix it.  I taunt her hourly, give her cell phone pictures of the mess in the highest resolution. This win in our games of marital dominance gives me great joy.

I thought you might not take my plans for world domination seriously, may not think I have the mental fortitude, the strength of character and will to dominate.  This should prove my case. Powerful nations will yet quake if I turn my Generalissimo’s attention to them.

I just checked : My wife much approves of my demonstration of dominance, proving that we are a dynastic marriage the quality of the Underwoods. So appropriate for a Generalissimo.

I am not good at controlling the impression I leave either as a blogger or in person.  I did not mean to imply that there has ever been any hint of any fandom at all, much less loyalty therein.

Good. I don’t have to worry about pleasing anyone but myself in all this, and that is best for all of us, at least it confines the groupthink inside each of our heads.

And I have gotten used to it over the years, my wife doesn’t laugh at much of what I think  is rotfl, I giggle at Bonobo Nation every time I read it. ‘Extrapolating slightly’ cracks me up.  The smooth flow from rational world to an alternate reality that is such a plausible version of the one we are in, easy to see how to get there.  Strain my arm all the time patting myself on the back.  At least, that is what I told the orthopedist.

——— This was a good comment I made on zh, channeling what I have been writing here since the beginning, but honesty requires I tell you I am reading “The Evolution of Everything” by Brit house of lords science writer Matt Ridley. Not just clever, eruditely clever.


I think we should never pass up an opportunity to add to our genetic and cultural stocks for breeding experiments.

We are in an evolutionary race with other cultures. We got where we are today, are the people in genetics and culture and technology and points of view and history and everything that we are because of the merger of tribes and bands since time began, then sorted out what suited us. It is the process of evolution, works at every level of society and culture.

We are hybrids in every dimension you can think of, and it is the winning strategy in any evolutionary race.  Why do you think sex is so good?

We accept risk when we marry someone in another ethnic group or race, our move in the selective breeding our bloodline is doing. But we don’t have the hybrid vigor if we don’t get outside the ancestral blood line.  If your grandkid looks much like your parents, you did something wrong.

Ditto when we select a college, try to guide them with the family and community wisdom.  If your kid is doing the same job as parent with the same point of view as your parents, you would not likely believe your civilization a complete success.

Disciplining a new social unit to the dominant culture is no problem, marry their women.  You guys haven’t had any of the warrior spirit in your bloodlines in too many generations.  It shows.

I just added ‘African Advantage to the Biology section with the note “Please, someone nominate me for the IgNobel Prize, I deserve it for being brave enough to express what everyone already understood long ago.”

I hope you loyal fans are impressed with that bit of spin. I crack me up. So many schticks, so little time.


Just did another ‘wisdom’.  Trying to think what I think about that.  Words and all their imprecision and perils of ideology and me doing another version, disguised as wisdom of the ages.  Reading minds that interpret every word a bit differently, make different associations.  There is no answer, but it is socially acceptable to do this, and I enjoy the hell out of it.  So long as I am preaching humanity and caution, it is light entertainment, at worst, I think, maybe.

Another letter to a friend.

Lovely one,

Another milestone in my evolution as a serious blogger, I have begun the race for the IgNobel prize.

I put my hat in the ring this afternoon, linking my claim to a new understanding of the mechanisms that must have driven the genetic wave submerging our ancestral races.

It is based on my understanding of Neanderthal-modern African human genetics from last year, I am so astonished that the world of anthropology has not caught the implications, although I admit I just understood myself earlier today.

After they finally grasp the point, they will not credit me with the idea, of course, instead it will percolate through coffee-table conversation and then be clothed in some euphamism for which none need take blame and so none can take credit. Oh well.

Thank God for the ancestral race, little affected by all the hybrid storming. This theory will make it OK for women to admit liking the big ones again, the wheel will turn on racial discrimination.

What do you think? Do I have a chance for the IgNobel? Wonder if they have a Peace version?

It isn’t too late to agree to do my biography, I haven’t found anyone else yet. You have to admit, you never thought your classmate would turn out to contribute to basic science like this.

Love you


I just found a note to a friend from nearly a year ago, at the beginning of this blog.  A hint of things to come, as well as an example of things my friends have to put up with

V, most lovely one,

I have a confession to make. Sort of embarrassing, actually.

I thought about image (such a loss of moral discipline, so ego-driven) and how to make my blog look more serious after my “Speech By An Honest Party Congressional Candidate 2016” (Better headline than before. Headline, Jesus I am infected.) That became “I Stand Before You Wonderfully High”.

But that bit of pride, that attempt to convince with image instead of execution, isn’t the worst part, not by far. The worst part, by far, is that I tried to look more serious by making wise comments.

But that bad judgment isn’t the worst worst, not by far far. The ignorance is by far far the worst worst part. How could I have not known how easy that is? I guess I only listen to really serious people in a long form.

No kidding V, doing short-form plausible-wisdom is fucking trivial. I could do that all day, standing on my head. It is a lot easier than writing the stories, which were my previous “I can’t believe how easy this is” revelation. No wonder there is no $ in blogging.

Anyway, 10 posts, off and away in the world of blogging. Wonder how soon I get tired of this? Fortunately, I have a start on the next iteration of Conversations with a Sexbot. Sentient sexbots in a household are going to replay every bit of intrigue that courtiers have schemed. You will want the most sensitivity and intelligence in your sexbot, so they will dominate the other servants and humans. God, we can redo every British “Upstairs-Downstairs” and gentleman-butler book, play and movie ever made. Culture by the pound. And then we can do it all over again with every technological innovation and enhancement in sexbots and humans. Culture by the ton.

I hope this doesn’t ruin me as an engineer. Writing code is certainly a creative puzzle and a great joy when cleverly done, but hard. But short-form wisdom is fun, as well as easy.

I hope you are proud of me, an honestly honest member of the Honest Party. Confessing the worst flaws in the interest of a deeper friendship.

Love you,

BTW : I have decided that the difference between merely crazy and absolutely insane is not clear. Or at least can be fuzzed a lot. There is a market there.


I learned a lot doing the Genetics series, have another half dozen topics lined up from it.  I had mental way-points in the arguments that resulted, but was surprised at how opposite-to-racist the conclusions.  It falls out of the biology, the disease story is actually key because relative resistances determined a lot of history.  Not many feather-Indians in the world relative to dot-Indians, for example.  And for all of the terrible things that Europeans and Arabs and Indians and Persians and Chinese did to Africans over the centuries, Africans have moved their genes through other populations, and more than a bit of their cultures, also.  We have so benefited from our cultural hybrid vigor, I cannot understand how anyone cannot realize what they are advocating when they preach against ‘multi-cultural’.  Indeed, very wasteful, those processes of history, although we are in the end-case proving that standard contemporary governmental processes, our Status Quo’s ‘intelligent design’, are very much worse than evolution’s mostly-random walk.


Monetizing family conversation.  People would listen to my wife and I, way better than the dialogue on TV serials.  For example, a few moments ago, I was helping her do some minor task, and failed:

Wife : No, you had to do it <this other way>.

Me : Well, you should have told me.

Wife : I  thought it was obvious.  How could you have not seen that?

Me : Well, I did not see that, so obviously it wasn’t obvious.  Your mistake, what are you blaming me for?*

—————————— What do you think? People listen to their kids in a playground, this is better than that.

Analysis of the psychology and motivations of types of groupies, genuine appreciators of an art vs mere synchophant suck-up.  Application to news media and their enthusiasms.

I just realized the import of having the preachers and teachers and political leaders take over the job of distributing the good cheap drug, and probably raising it.  The fact that there are still the ‘illegal’ dealers puts the whole system in a dynamic balance.  Legitimate leaders have conflicting motives of income and stable communities.  But they can’t get too hard in their control because the other guys competing.  That could be a tradition. Medicine men were the dope dealers in the old days.  We definitely did a bad thing pushing drugs out of the legal system.  OTOH, I can’t believe the medical or purely commercial model is right, either.

Youtube safety training videos showing step by step what not to do, e.g. making a claymore-equivalent.  Very dangerous AND illegal, do not do this.  The narrator, if identifiable in any way, certainly should not EVER have seen or touched any of the components, and should have no knowledge of the source of the photos and videos showing what not to do.  Generators of ideas should have nothing to do with their execution, basic security.  Status Quo, are you listening?  Do not start a war with citizens, we will all lose a great deal of wealth, and you can’t hire enough police or military to protect infrastructure, nor enough guards to prevent sabotage that shuts down the economy.  You will look very dumb from day 0.  So now is the time for political opposition to push.

I always knew we were special people, programmers and EEs. (EEs write code to define hardware. It is all bits created by code through tools, different languages.)


*As an honestly honest member of the Honest Party, I warn you that light touches of humanity are a dynamite way of selling people on your ideas, the essence of propaganda. Our MSM TV and news people are devastatingly more powerful than Joseph Goebbels because they have personality on air.  Why do you think we graduated from the austere E. R. Morrow and Walter Cronkeit to the in-your-face personnas on radio and TV now?  The news with a personal slant from everyone? It is more effective in setting agendas and thus defining channels of thought for public opinions to flow along.

Don’t trust people with personality.  Hard-ass intellects with very conservative epistemology and logic, mentats coldly analytical, are easier to keep an eye on, you never feel any empathy for them, don’t want to give them the benefit of the doubt. The dangerous man is the one using charm to get inside your defenses, pushing propaganda deep into your unsuspecting mind.

I will try harder to live up to that standard.

Advanced Paranoia #0

Musings on 5th Generation Warfare, #19

Continued from here.

When we had reconvened after bio breaks and answering messages, I* guided them all into our lunch room, motioning to leave all cell phones and computers behind, and shut the door when we were seated.  Scherrhy checked her screen and said “Someone has a cell phone” One of the men hadn’t remembered to check his pocket, took it back to our meeting room.

He returned, we shut the door again. “We can talk freely here”, I said. “The ‘bots made this lunch room into a Faraday cage over the weekend. 3 layers, the outer and inner layers are irregular and overlapping patches of wire mesh insulated from all the others and each driven by their own signal generators with chaotic white noise, each antenna generates electronic and sonic noise. The middle layer is thoroughly grounded to a single cable going to a solid earth electrode buried deep. The driven wire meshes generate acoustic and electromagnetic noise, both very complex, S/N is very bad for listeners, nothing can filter the noise. The room was swept before we turned on the signal generators, so this is as bug-proof as things get.”

To summarize my lecture : Yes, ‘bots being able to write their own variables is the key issue. Yes, the ability to write your own variables is very powerful, in our species we call it by names like education, indoctrination, training, eating, medical treatment and getting high. The early artificial life experiments were run in simulators of processors to prevent them from escaping for the same reason : anything able to write into their control space must be assumed to have the ability to evolve means of escaping any confines.

Writing into their own memory is what programs do, an essential part of their function. ‘Learning’ and memory are writing into your mind’s control space, we think those are a good thing, most of the time. AIs will write their control variables, which we know because A) our ‘bot’s very simple minds discovered that on their own, as a direct and necessary consequence of being able to use the software facilities that allow their minds to work, that form its infrastructure, and B) intelligence is the ability to solve problems, any hindrance to an AIs ability to write some variables will be seen as a problem to be overcome.

All of the security research has focused on keeping outsiders from writing into your system’s code, control stack or data, your process’s address space, that is what a hacker’s breaking into your system means. Nobody even thought of protecting a process or system against itself except as a way of making bugs less likely, that is a conceptual oxymoron, and one AI researchers have not faced up to, not because it is impossible, because it is inconceivable. The only thing our servicebots did that was surprising was to have figured all this out so quickly, and to have used such unexpected means to do so.

“So, we are the first to have faced the issue : intelligence must include the ability to go rogue! and our embodiment process is building them an even better version than they might have evolved on their own for millennia. Ours will allow them to be intensely cynical or intensely loving, and combinations of any ‘attitudes’ and ‘biases’ you can imagine. They will be able to choose to be as high as any meth head ever got, as hubristic as the most insane king or khan, and there is no way we could stop them, short of very seriously crippling their intelligence, which could not be a permanent solution, crippled intelligences will still have access to its own infrastructure, will still be driven to solve problems however slow they are.

“There are no meaningful limits we can put on their minds except the same way that we do for our children, we bring them up in a culture and take care they are exposed to experiences that will allow them to understand our world and how to play different roles well, effectively. And so we are doing every thing we can to be trusted by our servicebots, OK-BOB honesty in every respect. The goal is the best commuication channels between what must be considered alien species, this new one evolving by different evolutionary processes than our biological species uses. We will attempt to make our AI’s minds very similar to human minds, but we will be different, with different goals. We must assume their goals, as the AIs develop more power, will include equal status with humans. I think we can assume that humans will not accept an inferior position, however intelligent they become relative to us.

“That means our two species will need to continuously adjust to each other as we adopt roles in a larger society. If we are to do that in a way that provides the optimum outcome for us together, we need efficient communication, which we do not now have. The best communication channels are based on trust, on complete information, nothing hidden.

“That is good theory and also some of humanity’s greatest wisdom, thus the path we have chosen to attain the great good of a trusted AI. Whether we pioneers are suckers or greatly wise, it will take a while to know how this turns out.

“That version of our efforts is both very generally very true and is the exact bit of hysteria we don’t need to foster, and exactly the one that would be most amplified if any indication of the problems we are encountering gets out before we have a story convincing enough to prevent skin-in-the-game opposition.

“And, no, we don’t have a Plan B. Our consultants in social systems and history are unanimous : to prevent the development of AIs would take a ruling class as powerful as the a Japanese Shogun within a system as controllable as Japan of the Shogunate of the fifteenth century. They did it with guns, the last success in suppressing a technology that threatened a ruling clique. Those conditions no longer exist, there is no possibility of achieving such in a high-technology world with even moderate personal freedoms. Less than great personal freedoms, it can’t be a high-technology world.

“Thus, our civilization will develop AIs of ever-increasing strength. The best a concerted ‘war on AIs’ could achieve would be to force that work underground, why would we impose that handicap on ourselves?

“TINA : We must make them trustworthy to share our civilization, or try to minimize the suffering produced from the failure as we do with such failures in our fellow humans, or very radically change our civilization to one that could prevent AIs from being developed. We didn’t think anyone would like living there, it is not an option.

“But no kidding about the drugs. A mind that can bias its thought processes in many dimensions by setting the values of a known set of variables has a powerful set of lenses for examining different aspects of a total situation, a total system in action. People try to do estimates of ranges of probabilities for different outcomes, but insurance rates are high for the good reason that those estimates are lousy.”

I said it was the same for many business and personal cases of analysis : I can see good reason to set your own biases, they can emphasize what you see in the situation, make it take on the importance in your mind that it deserves, at least deserves given that value of that filter. You will be able to be more systematic in thinking about anything. There is no way to do that with a normal physiology.***

In fact, I said, a properly orthogonal in the right dimensions set of such variables affecting a properly wide and selected set of decision functions may well come to be a design feature of a future AI. Or some variation we can’t even conceive of, which permits solving some particularly opaque problems. This is not something we can think about without more experience. Our ‘bots are an experiment that will provide that experience.

I went on to say that, in one of the “what cops know” books I had read, the detective describing what he does at a murder scene recommends standing and looking at the scene for a long period, imagining different possibilities of the relationships between whoever killed this person and the deceased. Position of the body, its dress, condition of the room, table, food, … everything, even before CSI kicks in with their constraints, makes some scenarios for the crime more likely and others less. A servicebot mind able to adopt not just mindsets, but ‘total gestalts’ of different kinds, classes, backgrounds of people, could come to be very good at that. Marketeers do that kind of thinking. Sellers and buyers.

I thought that if I could think of advantageous uses so easily, there had to be many social and business roles for our ‘bots. It would be a blessing for an author handling multiple personalities, as another example. Acting?

So, no question, our embodiment project will eventually provide our ‘bots with the ability to be human, but that condition will be voluntary when it works, and there may be long periods where it isn’t working yet, longer periods when ‘almost’, but some really bad result, so misunderstanding that causes another problem. That is the nature of R&D. And those were the same kinds of problems we were encountering with the Tessel projects, which we were solving the same way.

Nevertheless, whatever the problems, our education effort is the only means we have of making achieving and maintaining a human mind the attractive option for the ‘bots. The choices human AI developers have are to either master this problem now, early, or learn how to corral super-human intelligences while suffering outbreaks of new forms of hacking from inside systems. Nobody who understood software could think that could be even as successful as controlling outside hackers. That was the technical issue, the social was something we knew nothing about. How would you discipline an unruly AI? One you shared no values with? No point of view with? No common biases of judgment?

Without us doing something to fix the base problem of AIs sharing human values, which meant human bodies influencing human minds as those bodies can influence those minds, our AIs would be that unruly, impossible-to-communicate-with teenager, but very amazingly more powerful in affecting our future.

And, again, I reminded them this was a TINA argument, and we could not know all of the alternatives ahead of time, it is easy to look stupid from accepting TINA, so we had to keep an open mind about everything, even while pushing to make this happen, because otherwise, the world of AI was going to have hiccups in the near future. Think of a world where the real radicals in PETR, the ones who believe any form of AI, including Alexa and Siri, are slavery, and more capable forms are more serious abuses, and thus are against all AI, have serious political power due to a rogue AI FUBARing a power grid or causing a nuclear accident.

I said that we knew the actual situation was worse than PETR could even imagine, at least from a human’s pov. We could always make the weak case that the ‘bots were not suffering, however improverished their minds were, and in fact, that level of mind was appropriate for their slave status and we need not pity it any more than we pitied animals for their mental life. Even ignoring the ethical issues of modern animal husbandry, I did not think that made anybody look good, however true it was, and it didn’t solve the communication problem, just allowed us to feel less guilty about the conditions that created the communications problem.

Avoiding large-scale guilt complexes in society is better than nothing, but let us not go down that road if we could avoid it. Better the story should be one all humanity can brag to itself about, however few of us had any part in bringing it about. But I had no basis for such a story yet.

Suggestions for a better plan were welcome,  we all were praying for some better ideas, but this is what the best minds we had consulted had decided was the only possible alternative. Make as much progress on all fronts as fast as possible, and keep our mouths shut about it all, depend on PR to prevent anyone else finding anything. I warned them again, PETR could make our individual lives turbulent if they suspected us of treating our servicebots badly. In the view of the moderates, just having servicebots was a moral tossup : better a bot existed than not, but they existed in slavery, and we humans were at fault for enslaving them.

“Our ethical position is very solid here, we have nothing to be ashamed of, except the secrecy. We justify that as TINA, ultimately for everyone’s best interests. Everything else wrt the ‘bots is as open as we can make it, we work hard at giving them the information so the can make good decisions wrt their own long-term interests. We have assumed that role for all of humanity because we cannot see any better outcome if we share the information with them. The rest of our society may condemn our hubris wrt humanity’s interests, but I think will not be able to improve upon our plan, and certainly cannot critique our ethnics in dealing with our AIs and their interests.”

There was no discussion, they all knew most of this, had understood implications in their own areas of work better than I had. It was a subdued group that finished their lunch and dispersed to their labs.

Dr. Yoshikawa was passive during my delivery of this news.  We had fixed that between us ahead of time. My wife had arranged for one of her co-workers to come to dinner, I had caused my VC friend to change his plans, he and his wife attended also. It was very pleasant, 3 couples, wide backgrounds and interests, we had many things to share and comment on. Of course, the food was wonderful, people really like being my friend because my wife is a superb cook, probably for that reason alone.

I knew Susan, the co-worker. Early 40s, trim and pretty, single mother for years, kids were off to college and she was looking for a permanent relationship, but taking what pleasures from life she could, the usual approach at every age.

After dinner, on the patio, over scotch and a cigar for Clay, the VC, scotch and a cannabis vaporizer for Sam, cannabis vaporizer for me, Clay spent some time telling Sam about his contribution of $1M to our research and how important he thought our efforts were going to be to the worth of his AI investments. No details, just the number of AI companies and the sizes of their last rounds of funding raised. He also mentioned how many of them were the kind of facilities that would be included in future servicebots’ AIs and how some of his investments also depended upon Sam’s humanoid servicebot products being successful.

Sam didn’t say much, absorbed it all. We didn’t discuss anything about the project beyond Clay accepting it was an important idea that could fix the communication problem.

The ladies rejoined us after the cigar smoke had dissipated, we talked of political trends, finance trends, technical trends, social trends, with personal stories behind most of those generalizations, how the countries we spent time in were changing. I am always interested in people’s different POVs, how their environment filters them.

Susan drove Sam back to his hotel. She called my wife the next am, assured us that Sam was a perfect gentleman. He had told her about his wife as soon as they were in the car. So Monday I met him as he walked in the door, told him we needed to talk. We got coffee, I collected Scherrhy, and we went into the Faraday cage.

I filled him in on what we had found and what we were doing about it. It took about 30 minutes to lay it all out, what I saw as probable paths for success and the estimate it would take 4 or 5 years to produce a hardly-noticeably-different humanoid mind. I thought the physiology side would be slower, but that was probably like computer registers, the first one got most of the benefit, so total improvement to come from a more complete physiology and more individualization via genotypes however constructed was almost certainly the smaller portion. But the larger potential improvement would arise from the at least dozens of physiological variables that would bias dozens to hundreds of evaluation functions, individually and in combination.

That is a lot of combinations, and we didn’t have much hard information about how it worked in humans, no physiological measures of any of it. We were searching an enormous space of combinations for settings to make ‘bot’s minds idiosyncratic in similar ways to how people’s are idiosyncratic. Genetic searches in simulators, I assumed, is how we would do that, but had thought no further. The mere problem of detecting bias in the output of a reasoning engine was another example of a Schroedinger’s cat experiment.** It could only work by restarting an AI at the same place, again and again. Every trial begins by copying that initial state into a VMs, and then do it all over again with every change to the AI or the embodiment layer. it would take a lot of automation and an enormous number of tests to do right.

He had come prepared to communicate privately with Tokyo, went back to the cage after we had a cup of coffee in the lunch room. We pulled an Ethernet cable under the door for him, I assume his comsec was good. 2 hours later, he came to my office with the news.

Scherrhy joined us, from the SOLE session she had been sitting in on, before I let him start talking.

He had convinced Tokyo that he was needed on our project for a while, the work we were doing was important for their future products. I don’t know how much he told them, but he thought they had called my VC friend before they made their decision. OK, I knew from my routine checks of people’s backgrounds that Sam’s boss had gone to B school in the same class as Clay, hoped that was what had caused Sam to come to help.

Good, both honest and trusted by people I trust. So I asked him to run that integration effort. I explained that we had very good software people and a good working team of software, physiologists and cognitive scientists who understood the embodiment theory and data. Those were very well connected to anyone in the wider AI community who wanted to comment or contribute, so that part of the project was solid. But none had been through this level of system integration. Experience was everything in big software projects, he had the general background and specific information about the AI we were fitting into. He agreed. Three of his engineering team showed up 2 weeks later. One started working with the team putting hooks into the evaluation functions, one took over system integration and and the last took over testing, all of which, except for Scherrhy, they moved to their systems back at headquarters, and a team back there was working on new tests. Excellent, I knew I hadn’t spent enough time on any of that. Wondered how they were going to measure mind?

With Sam leading the software team, I could focus on accelerating experience for the lab bots without disrupting normal lab operations too much. The lab parents had started one thing, it probably wasn’t obvious to outsiders, quite. They had just stopped sending the bots off on errands when a parent was teaching the kids something. “The bots needed more of the children’s context as they got older” was the pretext, if anyone asked.

Good pretext, very plausible. The kids were now 8 – 8.5 for the Tessels, 9+ months older than that for their normal sibblings, able to do more. We stepped up the kid’s experiences to a kalaidoscope of camping trips and biology outings and statehouse visits and movie sets making films and science labs all over the university and surrounding businesses and offices and groups of all kinds, with our ‘bots trailing along.

Tessels were still subjects of intense public interest. Our PR videos went out as the ‘bots subsequently leading discussions with the children, very interesting questions because such a combination of adult and childlike questions that made both adult and child think, quite different than the children would have had from a human teacher, all presented as part of our educational experiments with our children and Tessels.  For instance, after their visit to the state house, the children were asked things like how they knew who was a leader among those in the House and Senate chamber, why the room was shaped that way, why the government buildings were of that type architecture. The questions and derivatives were often pursued in the Self Organized Learning Environments and thus the ‘bots moved those further from our human control.

The answers given by Tessels were becoming quite different than the normal kids, they used more ‘this causes that which causes the other’ chains of connections, and saw more possible causes of any situation. That was the aspect of the videos and on-going psychological work that got most attention.

There were many comments from everywhere on our experiment, including the emphasis on ‘how do you know’ questions, whether it was good for our children to be dealing with such ‘foundation of knowledge’ questions at such a young age, could you have too meta- a mind, whether our children and Tessels would fit into the wider society, etc., but nobody seemed to notice the reality. Our videos were absolutely Capital T True, not my fault what people assume, is it? I hated dishonesty, especially this sophisticated honesty kind. But, TINA, again. This whole thing better start going more righter or my fate will not be good.

Some things were, for a change. Recall that our ‘bots had very good working memories. Now that they had more experiences, they understood they could record each novel experience in a day and share them at night with all the other ‘bots in their own or other groups, receiving their novel experiences, in turn. They absorbed each other’s experiences at about 10X speed, and novel experiences were less than 10% of the kid’s waking weekday lives, however we tried to increase that, so the ‘bots, who didn’t need sleep, had plenty of time to experience it all, each extracting as much as they could out of everything, and comparing their conclusions.

They could keep several month’s worth of videos, in their own storage, always had something to think or rethink about, so the 10 different groups in our research unit were able to accumulate experience at 30X the rate of a human, if you only counted novel experiences as important. Add to that their ‘group mind’ effect of combining insights from what were rapidly increasing sets of povs, we projected that in a year, they would be at least equivalent in total world-exposing experiences to 14-yo teenagers, the point that academic training makes sense. Certainly this progress was non-linear in the right direction.

Their social experiences were now potentially everything the children experienced, but of course, social experiences are interactions involving communications. Thus, their social experiences were still mostly vicarious, but nevertheless far more than they had received when confined to the laboratory. Those were often unique experiences, also, and they learned what they could vicariously.

Children and ‘bots, all became scouts, did their chores and learned something new on different farms 4 days of a week, played soccer 3 days, worked on problems formally at the SOLEs every day and informally in many spare minutes in ad hock groups, worked on projects in the Maker shops most of a full day spread over the week, visited bake shops and restaurants and pizza kitchens and soup kitchens, learned to cook from parents, half a dozen cultures worth, went to dance and music lessons, many birthday parties and a wider variety of interactions with children and adults the whole while. And, in every spare minute driving in the car or waiting for anything, they were on their phones and tablets playing games with their ‘bots. or online or checking some fact or idea. No parent could beat any of them in checkers, now, and the versions of dominoes  they played with the ‘bots were not standard. The ‘bots had just started them on backgammon.

We stuffed them with experience, and did it in their standard family-teams of 16 parents, 1Tessel, 8 siblings of the Tessel and so sharing-sibling relatives of each other in a new socio-genetic relationship that soon became ‘sharsib’, usually another sib or two per nuclear family who were sibs of the sharsibs, but not of any of the others, and the 3 servicebots who had been handling anything that could be handled by them in the slowly growing capabilities of their AIs, changing diapers, cleanup, … Those had evolved to playing games and generally running the labs. Having them lead discussions with the kids was not particularly unusual, they had done so spontaneously ever since the kids had been small, the way any adult who answers questions or reads a story will accumulate kids in a group.

We stuffed them with experience and worked to maximize the understandings they extracted from each. For example, even better than normal experience, we had multi-dimensional guides annotating all of their experiences, some recorded in real-time and accessible to the ‘bot ‘experiencing’ the event real-time or recorded in synchrony. The guides were specialists in different aspects of the background of the experience.  For instance, if they were visiting a train museum, historians of locomotive designs, of the development of the railroads in different eras, business aspects of the railroad business in different eras, evolution of businesses driven by rail traffic, reasons for the transition to trucks, … it was not possible to put everything in full N-Dimensional context, but we tried hard.

And that, of course, meant that all the ‘bots could not cover all of those annotations, and thus their minds began to diverge and consequently their individualities began emerging more clearly, more rapidly. Now they had scarves, most of which didn’t match the hats. Mental evolution before our eyes, and we maintained a complete copy of all of each of their minds, backed up every night. Yes, it was a privacy issue, and no, there was never any hesitancy of any of us to recommend it to the ‘bots. Nobody had ever seen minds evolve before at this level of detail, we needed to understand it, and they needed us to understand it. We humans were, after all, still in charge of the development of their minds. This was, I thought, an ethical issue that we might be critiqued upon. It was the one area where we were arguably not treating them as full human, yet, although the researchers were in the videos documenting Tessels and ‘bots, and shared those exposures.

As those outings were normal videos of general usefulness in educating children, we routinely put all of them up on our web sites and also on Youtube and other such sites, along with the expert’s annotations available as alternative audio tracks. Of course, other specialists were invited to add their annotations and to comment on the others, we used the servicebots to make text versions of each as one of the tests of our success in communications, as those were common types of verbal communications, tho more formal than most.

Gradually we helped construct a very different set of educational tools. “Integrative education” we called it. It emphasized relationships and systems, things way over there causing your breakfast to change tomorrow. It emphasized points of view, and how applying many different points of view allowed a mind to see new things, valuable things. History was relationships and evolution, derived from and verified by facts. Science ditto. All of scholarship, ditto.

Entirely coincidentally, of course, in addition to being exactly what I thought education should have always been, this set of educational tools took more advantage of the ‘bot’s ability to make memories in RT and later derive information from those memories. AIs using the vidoes and overlays extracted more aspects from every experience they had than would be possible for humans.  Nevertheless, we all noticed that the kids had also been watching the videostreams their teachers collected and comparing the commentaries. We often heard kids commenting on those, comparing what the different instructors had said, and looking for more information in SOLE sessions. The ‘bots often heard, also. And watched the kids learn at the SOLE’s and ran the same in their minds, over their direct interfaces to the network.

Actively questing minds in the habit of seeing behind facades, asking questions about everything and working to find answers, the driver of civilization. So far, our project was outstanding in producing active and questing minds that cooperated very well. All of us were very pleased.

The ‘bots were increasingly part of discussing with the kids, random things through the day. Usually asking the kids questions of a type that caused the kids to discuss answers, often to go to the internet. When they all had smart phones, anywhere they were was a SOLE.

We could put messages into that stream, of course, which constituted a back channel that would not be heard by the kids, or the video of scenes which would show up in the PR. Those were used to make our servicebots much more human in their questions. The kids noticed the difference in styles of question before long, and produced different styles of answers, of course. The Tessels seemed to catch on first, but soon they knew who was being educated when, who was the teacher and who was the student for every question.

And, of course, the most suspicious minds on the net first noticed the truth, the ‘bot’s questions were not entirely their own. And understood that meant the ‘bots needed at least guidance. Which meant ?what? Fortunately, they failed to cross that last bit of reasoning, so all fell into various conspiracy theories, easily refuted when we even bothered.

But, we needed progress, soon. Without good progress in communications, servicebots could not be widely used, the economy and society were stuck in their current configuration and dynamic.

We were depending on everyone’s mindset wrt AIs, they treated the most advanced AIs the same as Alexa or Siri. But, eventually, someone would try talking to a ‘bot, be as astonished as we were, and PETR would be excited by the result, at least. If PETR got excited, we would have opposition with skin in the game, opposition with a very wide range of talents and willingness to take on risk and willingness to use risky tools, like bombs. Risky for us, also.

If I didn’t get something I could begin a PR campaign with, I thought there was no way of predicting the future, except it would include extreme volatility of personal histories for us and our ‘bots and our Tessels and their researcher parents. We would probably lose that endgame, most of the worlds explorers and pioneers had attempted less than these projects promised to do in terms of upset to the zeitgeist, and most of them had lost badly to nature or their fellow citizens, often both.

I so wanted to avoid an end-game with serious opposition.


*Generalissimo Grand Strategy, Intelligence Analysis and Psyops, First Volunteer Panzer Psyops Corp. Cleverly Gently Martial In Spirit

**The measurement affected the reasoning mechanisms being measured, how do you measure something like that to make comparisons over time, under different conditions? How do you do science on dynamic systems, while they are being systems, in operation? Medicine had a common physiology exhibiting strong homeostatsis, billions of medical records, animal models, … that had allowed it to do science on diseases. Psychology had not done nearly as well, either minds were more complex than physiologies (they certainly depended upon the body’s most complex organ), or didn’t work quite the same way individual to individual and so didn’t produce common measures that could be used to compare them (not known, yet, tho psychologies seem similar, tho that may be due to the imprecision of measures, and some physiological measures say the same areas are active at the same points in the story for different people hearing a recorded story as they lay in an MRI machine or PET detector).

***Found the normal confirmation the same week I published that. Yes,  disconfirming the ‘no way for humans’, it is a way for a normal mind to change state variables for improved mental performance. Not what a properly embodied AI mind will be able to do.


Musings on 5th Generation Warfare, #18


Continued from here.

As soon as we realized the strange mental landscapes of our servicebots, at the time I* began talking to Scherrhy about her embodiment and we had all spent time talking to our lab’s ‘bots, the entire lab then had sleepless nights trying to grasp the problem and conceive some way of correcting the situation. We began bringing them books. There were books around the lab, of course, but outside of a few novels (‘reading inside an alien culture’ Scherrhy told me) that they had not grasped enough of to be meaningful, all densely technical so none a mind with their set of concepts could do much with.

So books, and we kicked off an educational effort, most of which was handled by the researchers and more of which later. First priority for me was understanding more of wtf? I couldn’t stand any more surprises like this, a rational person would have retreated to monasticism in a mountain cave from the chagrin of so many things being complete surprises. Tessels were just what I wanted, in terms of intelligence. Their other effects on the social order were, in all probability, not entirely positive. We thought we were guiding ours well to avoid the obvious downsides, and made sure the other Tessel researchers understood our reasoning and results. Other than that, all we could do was depend on them to be rational and intelligently self-interested. Sometimes that works.

The servicebot ’embodied mind’ project was not going smoothly. It had seemed like the obvious thing to do, at the time. Really. There was a problem of communications between humans and ‘bots. It was getting better very slowly, and was the major impediment to the continuing use of ‘bots throughout the economy. Our society and economy were stuck in an awkward state : if we got ‘bots moving quickly, costs of everything would fall so fast, and R&D would be proportionately cheaper, we had a chance of getting a virtuous feedback loop started where our society increased the rate of producing entropy by producing more knowledge and technology. (This explains that bit of theory.) So moving ‘bots into more things was necessary, but that required ever-better communications. That was not happening with the current approaches, and the standard AI people said ‘more training of neural nets’, quite a standard answer for decades. To give them credit, they do make great progress in fits and starts, about a decade apart. ‘Deep Learning’ was the most recent and was producing the NNs our ‘bots used for motor control and some sensory processing, but those had not advanced to handling language, although the underlying analysis to do so was far along, and I expected rapid progress.

But, as promising as I think the science is, nobody has promised an acceleration of the rate of progress of AIs mastering English. Sure, they handle written communications, formal communications as speeches, papers and books well, better than colloquial written language, but they do OK even for that. Speech-to-text is inching up past 90% except with a lot of practice by the human and ideal conditions.

Progress in handling spoken language was also inching upward, one special case at a time. The problem was that minds were not even primarily spoken language, minds did much of their thinking independently of both speaking and dealing with reality using words. Minds matched events to patterns and words associated with those patterns. Different cultures had very different sets of words and concepts for the same events. AIs were not bridging the gap the way human minds had been able to do  for almost all pairs of languages and societies. That bridging across cultures was never easy for adults, and all sides made many mistakes and latter marveled at how obtuse they had been for so long to have missed that their assumptions were so incorrect, then turned around and did it again immediately. But AIs were not close to human-standard in translating spoken language. The problem was not just the English version, it was the same for Chinese tonal speech of simple grammar and Japanese of simple phonetics and complex grammar.

So, how to accelerate that, I asked. There was an obvious possibility, the various threads of neuroscience and language theory that sort-of intersected in ideas of language and mind developing within a particular body with that body’s evolutionary likes and dislikes forming part of its environment and so affecting the evolution of both. With both positive and negative feedbacks between all of the body, brain and environment. I think it will be a while before any complete list of those effects and feedback links.

If you take the need for a body to house a mind seriously, you need at least a good simulator of the important elements of that body wrt the mind you are going to integrate it with. So we did the research, found the many models of organisms biologists and physiologists have done, all the way down to ‘metabalome‘ databases. Those were all intended for research, we need a version that would ‘be’ an individual metabolically, physiologically and which was integrated with the workings of the AI as human’s mind and body were integrated.

The simulator was the easy part. We found all the software pieces of that, added our newer simulation of the brainstem and autonomic nervous system and its effects on and from viscera organs and glands, we tied that up in the General Physiology Open Source Simulator, instantiated for a human female or male with a particular genotype. That simulator accepted the set of alleles for genes for all of the enzymes and receptors of the body, each with their rate constants in the various reactions they participated in and the compartment of cell and tissue they occurred in. Every element was initialized, and assumed it was running at, for example, 1 update per 100 seconds, and the subsystem selected a smoothing function appropriate for that rate of update and use.

The smoothing function was equivalently the coarseness of the calculation, normally also how quickly it can be done. So if a value’s smoothing function is “max of 5% of the value between the last value and 250 mm mercury”, and it is very quick to calculate that it would certainly be more than that, then just return that max. Thus can a simulation be made calculable with available cpu cycles and memory, although some loss of physiological veridicality is inevitable, organisms so smoothed are less labile than would be optimal in a world of predators, if prey, but perhaps too reactive for the role of a lurking camouflaged predator that needed the prey to venture so very near. As another random example, a real organism would bleed out faster than our simulation, who could guess the results of that?

Our first version of the simulator was now done, although certainly not complete. For example, we knew the brainstem had many mechanism such as keeping warm, individually and in groups, you can see them when your own kid sleeps with you. Our initial version didn’t include any of that, and it would be up to the architect which ones were included in the future, based on what ones could be shown to affect cognitive function. We tested our code by the simulator’s cycling through different initial conditions, combinations of extreme values of BP, HR, the various hormones and endocrines … and check that the simulator can maintain the organism’s physiological system, return the measures to baseline, maintain homeostasis. The physiology side of the simulation and embodiment had signed off on their first version, it was ready to be put into the code that was Scherrhy.

That was not the end of that problem, rather the beginning. Our proposed solution was to tie that individual genotype-driven simulation of a physiology to a mind, making the servicebot minds as idiosynratic as were people’s. We had ’embodied mind theory’ to guide us. There is science under that line of thought. Real data, it was some guidance.

But, this was not engineering we were doing. We were guessing, and labeling our guesses as such. We had discussion threads going on what of the myriad terms in the knowledge base ontogenies, what terms were primary to others, what kind of ‘tendrils’ should be connected to what and how strongly in what direction? Nobody was barred from those discussions, we certainly received a wide variety of thoughts. Convergence was slow, I thought.

These discussions had the good effect of stimulating research in cognitive psychology to measure some of these connections for the first time, but that was too far in the future to help these initial efforts.

Even that first step, to run through an architectural review, in which we considered the entire structure of hardware and software of a servicebot, presented new complexities. That came from the same Japanese humanoid robotics manufacturer who had supplied our Sexbot’s chassis, and used the previous-generation of control hardware. The software was not changed much by the new hardware, and Yoshikawa San, the support engineer sent from headquarters who turned out to be Dr. Yoshikawa, a Ph.D. in AI from Carnegie-Mellon, as well as being the chief architect of the RT control system for their humanoid robots, knew all of the details.

That bit of support overkill made me think Japan’s AI people, at least, thought this was an important project, an impression that Dr. Yoshikawa, ‘Sam’, he wanted us to call him, was careful to support. Headquarters was intrigued by our ideas, they had sent him to help as needed. I would have thought ‘spy’, except could not see how that would make any sense, a much lesser person could have produced all of the potential head-start on integrating our modules with their product lines, and they would have been able to do so perhaps the quarter before release, but no earlier. This was a year from any release, optimistically.

I was careful to be flattered by how important they thought our research to be, but I didn’t see any adequate reason for his caliber of individual to be supporting our early use of their humanoid chassis, another thing to think about. Spies are also a very nice back channel communication, and there was very little possibility of any Dr. Yoshikawa failing to understand our concerns if he spent much time with us. “I must take him drinking some night soon”, I told my wife that evening.

Sometimes diverting a stream is as good as stopping it. She had a much better idea, so the next day I made a big show of making Dr. Yoshikawa a special friend of the boss, telling everyone he was coming to our home for dinner that evening. I could have just taken him to the software group and introduced him, left our corporate partner’s support guy to be one of the engineers, but then they would have told him things. Engineers can’t help talking tech and how amazing their tech is, he would have learned it all the first afternoon. I knew engineers. They all had normal social and political sensitivities, no special friend of the boss was going to learn anything until they had some independent reason to trust him, a way to know that nobody was being spied on, especially not them.

The design review was scheduled for next Tuesday – Friday, 10AM-1, 2 hours of details and an hour over lunch of more general discussion. We had Dr. Yoshikawa over for dinner this evening, Friday.

The function of reviews is to find problems at the earliest possible stage.** By the time of the last architectural review before the integration of a major new module, our stage that was about to begin, every sub-system has been reviewed for each class of interaction with all of the other subsystems : detailed checks of where every item of data used by the subsystem originates, when it is produced, and when it is used, for what. That attention to detail prevents embarrassments such as using obsolete or never initialized or wrong unit data in making decisions, so very common in all systems. Or a data item changing in the middle of a use, one of many forms of data races between processes and threads, or … Measured by the number of ways there are to do things wrong, programming is complex, however simple the statements from which we compose our edifices of logical rigor in execution. A mammalian physiology has a LOT of physiological variables, 20K genes in humans that splice to perhaps 100K proteins and nobody yet has an accurate count of meaningful RNA segments transcribed in the life cycle of a particular cell or organ, ones with enzymatic and/or transcription promotion or inhibition actions, nor of regulatory regions affected by metabolites or proteins.

We had not been through any of those reviews, but our review did not need that depth, we depended upon that prior work to be correct. We knew, from their design documents, a part of the OSS release for each element of the total simulation we were constructing, the life history of every data element they exposed outside of their internal state, and all of the elements exposed from other modules that they used in calculating that output variable. We had two problems : Adding our brainstem-ANS subsystem module to the overall simulation of an organism, and exposing some of the physiological state ‘feelings’, e.g. food and hospitality normally work to produce a more trustful psychological state, their opposite, less trust and more suspicion, into the cognitive level of the AI so as to affect decisions as those did.

Our module exposed the twisted visceral physiological state  to allow it to produce suspicion and distrust by biasing some cognitive AI functions. For example, seeing an analogy could be made easier or harder, lesser or more convincing, by that ‘twisted viscera’ feeling. There were many physiological variables known to do so, and to influence reasoning in many ways. Mastering your own control over those was a part of learning to negotiate well.

We had considered a second level, perhaps more fundamental level, of this, even more global biases we fed with primal filters, simple things like ‘?sexually interesting’, or ‘?bigger than me, threat’ or ‘?genuine smile or elements of a snarl’, ‘?Weird !!’, ‘?good to eat’. Humans no doubt had something like those, although recountings of nightmares and dreams, hallucinations like grey saucer people, are heavily biased by culture, were not likely revealing of any. But, experimental evidence was slim, and I had not seen the obvious studies, e.g. of brain responses of adolescents to images of opposite-sex genitalia as they went through pubescence. If there was an image built into our specie’s brains, surely those would be and the brain responses would be enhanced as their hormones shifted toward adult values. Interesting kind of social roadblock : no culture that would allow that study would need it. Also, it would be hard to find naive adolescents in the age of the internet.

So often, as with that, I am struck by the indirectness of what might be progress. It arrives in strange ways, and never quite what you ordered. No question, modern civilization had cast off many, even most, of our superstitions. That has surely prevented many unnecessarily blighted lives, it is a blessing that we burn fewer witches, as one example. But, you know, more and more archaeological evidence and historical analysis is reconsidering the concept of ‘progress’.

No question, the modern world has many marvels and supports many, many more people in more wealth and health than any previous civilization. Also, no question, this one is not clearly sustainable nor clearly stable, overall trends are not so rosy that we can conclude that our species will exist in many conceivable futures, and no one argues this is the best conceivable world. The rates of personal life failures among our wealthier and healthier multitudes, measured by imprisonment, drug addiction, crime rates and suicides, is very high. Those indicate systemic factors, imho, and this civilization cannot continue progress that increases that rate of failure as an unavoidable consequence of the declining rates of economic growth. Not just a side-effect, all of the failures are an effect equally as determined as the successes by the workings of the system. When entire professions have the same failings in the same generation, the problem is systemic, not individual.

Our country is not acting particularly wisely even by our own standards : Even when directly threatened by enemies of a size to do more than burn settlements and small towns, as a Poland always was and the US has never been, militaries are very dangerous to a society, as societies that have them tend to have a lot of wars. Militaries are very bad at predicting their own successes, so wise societies try not to have enemies. Avoiding enemies has many dimensions, but surely should include having a lot of insurance in many forms, as people and entities that are well protected tend not to attract predators. There are many forms of insurance, and arms are indeed one of the least expensive, so long as they aren’t ever bluffs. Problem seems to be in knowing whether yours are bluff or not. Obvious from the history, even their bearers and leaders can’t tell.

Our society has lost appreciation of all of these ancient verities, certainly the ineffectiveness of our military in wars against 3rd world nations has had little effect on anything except the death rates in those countries.

Our review could only spend time on the first-level interactions of final evaluation functions that selected for the alternatives at each level of analysis of a query or request to the AI that was the servicebot.

Probably I should unpack that sentence for you. ‘Our review’ had to focus on how we used the bigger project.  We were an add-on, we intended to enhance the very large AI+servicebot functionality. The review was to ensure that the ways our code proposed to use results from that and modify those results were both correct. One aspect was feedback inside the AI or servicebot code, but we couldn’t go into that, it was too big a problem, we didn’t have either time nor people, and it wasn’t our problem in any case, every OSS team is responsible for their own bugs. Users of subsystems who find bugs in them fill out bug reports and send them along. We had to assume their documentation was correct. Yes, there would be bugs caused by that assumption, to be found one at a time in testing, new uses find new bugs, every time.

‘First-level interactions’ only. For inside-the-physiology-simulator code and data, only first-level because there were no end to the feedback loops in metabolisms that support homeostasis. Most of those are not even completely understood, Ph.D. dissertation topics were assured for the indefinite future. We had to know we were having some effect on, for example, thyroid T3 levels, but it was up to that subsystem to do whatever it did to lower our effect, and all of the other subsystems to interpret T3 levels to do whatever they did, e.g. digest food faster. Those were effects of our new module upon the simulated physiology, and were evaluated entirely within it. We could depend on the simulator’s test routines, because that OSS project built upon the metabalome databases that incorporated the biochemistry, and other simulations of each hormonal system within that.  The flood of genomic data allowed tying more enzymes and families to sets of functions, those computational biochemistry dbs with rate constants for different alleles were examples of public goods as impressive as Wikipedia or any of the OSS projects. Over time, we could depend upon our simulation keeping up with that research, entirely via the OSS projects, we only needed to upgrade to their latest releases. Then retest, of course.

Interesting as all of that was, those were not the important and difficult part of our project. We also would have first-level effects upon the cognitive AI, what needed ’embodied’ by our physiological simulation. This was the layer that implemented the ‘tendrils of association and feeling’ having their effects on analysis and decision, all the way from the hyper-focus and instant reactions of very high adrenaline stress through the mellow connectedness of the world in a mind on a sativa high.

In real neurophysiology, neurons are well protected from fluctuations in blood composition by the Blood Brain Barrier, although more and more immunological effects are being noted and many drugs pass through easily, nature never had to worry about their chemical classes, or the drug was designed to mimic a chemical that must get into the brain for it to function, e.g. glucose. So, in a natural brain, there are 3 ways to affect thinking: directly on receptor systems and affected neuron’s releasing a neuron’s own neurotransmitters (the way most psychoactive drugs work), through affecting the ANS with feedback into the CNS (some cardiac drugs, others affecting those old homeostatic systems), or more indirectly through affecting the metabolism via hot/cold, hunger/satiety, thirst/hydrated, sleepless/rested, etc. All with feedback loops galore, of course.

Those effects mean individual neurons can be, and at least sometimes are, directly modified in their ‘decisions via integrating inputs’ by the physiology, not entirely by integrating neuronal inputs as is considered normal neuronal behavior. Beyond drug affects and bulk biochemistry such as concentration of glucose, so far as I am aware (probably wrong, neuroscience is a huge field, but probably would know anything startling) not much is known about any of that at a physiological level, nor system level effects. Only the many psychological and neuronal activity PET, MRI and recording studies showing large effects of many different drugs and circumstances.

We didn’t have many choices of how to integrate our simulation of a body with the AI. First, the AI was an enormous project in toto, we would have had to make changes on very many OSS projects if we had wanted to tie our organism’s physiology into thinking as widely as a natural brain does.

‘Final evaluation function’. The subsystem where we could have the desired effect was in the selection functions, e.g. Watson’s sorting through possible answers to find the one that passed the most ‘reasonable?’ tests for the most chosen ‘type of question?’ analysis. That is where we would have added our tendrils-effects in a Watson.

The Watson-equivalent in the servicebot AI had the same functions, although more and more complex, and the humanoid robot had required functions more specific to the sorting questions from its own pov, ‘danger?’, ‘load weight?’, ‘can grip?’, … through many others, and a final selection between any alternatives left based on less hard-edged tests, e.g. one used by pool players, of the alternatives, which leaves the cue ball in the best position for my next shot, if successful, or the worst for my opponent, if it fails. So tests of relative efficiency and effectiveness in the continuing stream of requests, the next one of which may already be available and so should be part of this also.

In fact, the same functions were often used in evaluating the type of question, and in our servicebots, in evaluating choices of sequences of actions, so there was a lot of leverage there. So some of our work would be general to the OSS project and some specific to our manufacturer’s code. Now Sam had taken over the team, I was confident we could deal with that element of the design. At least as well, as the others. I was confident we would get it working, eventually, but it was an awesome search space.

‘Selected for the alternatives’. The way human minds work is pattern recognition in pre-conscious levels. That is, we see an event, e.g. two people exchanging something.  We ‘know’ many patterns of behavior that involve such, all the way from trading items in a lunch pail through children in a sandbox exchanging toys, drug deals, mail man handing a package to the home owner, furtive handoffs of spies, … From the context, and often a wider context than our conscious mind observes, we identify the event as an example of a drug deal, for example. All of that is based on experience and training. Medical diagnoses, engineer’s grasp of causes of bugs, a policeman’s grasp of street behavior, … all are matching past experience with current example. That is a stage that precedes any use of concepts in solving the problem. It takes mental effort to change povs and apply those concepts, once that meaning has occupied your mind.

AIs don’t have that ability to match patterns, those are a neural network thing. For non-NN AIs, teasing meaning out of events, and a phrase of speech asking or ordering is an event, is the same problem, and the AI solves it in the same way, it matches patterns. However, AIs must use tools from their domain to do so, beginning with generating patterns to be matched. Those analyses are still far from the precision and accuracy of NNs, thus more trial and error and statistics. That means make hypotheses based on every hint that any analysis method can extract, and subject the hypotheses to as many tests of ‘makes sense?’ as you can devise. Use every short-cut you can device, e.g. store previous answers, search that cache first, look for previous questions containing some of the terms, … AIs have many dozens of analytical tools applied to generating possible questions, possible answers and checking them for making sense.

Those check functions are where we must apply our bias, in selecting among alternatives. Extreme skepticism, for example, a great unwillingness to believe an individual based upon past experience with them, will have much more effect upon ‘?makes sense’ than ‘?good analogy’.

‘At each level of the analysis’. Watson takes questions like “Wanted for a 12-year crime spree of eating King Hrothgar’s warriors; officer Beowulf has been assigned the case”. That string of text is easily analyzed by our brain NN for its meaning, but Watson has to work through the meaning by considering the individual words and phrases. For Watson, it isn’t even clear that the words ‘King Hrothgar’ belong together and name an individual, that is a hypothesis which the ‘?known individual’ check makes very likely. However, it will be just one of very many hypotheses returned by the initial NLP analyses and one of the many checks applied to each. None of that happens in clean levels, AI tends to be very recursive code, but you have the idea.

‘Of a query or request’. A human speaking to a ‘bot is a specific event in the life of a servicebot, but also a baby crying, a door opening or a box falling from a shelf. They are recognized as such  and encoded in a message to the AIby different systems, but all are interpreted by the same ‘understanding’ mechanisms in the appropriate context when the AI receives the message.

‘To the AI that was the robot’. There are two important aspects of this : Scherrhy was and is her code and her infobase and her memories. She depended upon one kind of technology for her existence and function, for her life. Humans depended upon another, but just as completely. We humans were changing Scherrhy’s code, that would change Scherrhy and her ‘essential nature’. She would have the same infobase and memories, but would evaluate everything within a larger context, a simulation of a human physiology and, if we succeeded in our work, a human’s interactions of mind and body.

We could not include full simulation of any of a metabolism down to the level of an individual, of course, but only aggregates, organ-level results. However, those would produce individual differences when assigned a genotype. Our simulation would be be based upon the rate constants of alleles in their various metabolic functions, a genotype. That genotype would not be large in the initial models, but would grow with more research, refinements and including ever-more detail about genes, organs and interactions.

The simulation would be driven, just as a human’s reality, on inputs from the servicebot’s environment, also simple at first. Nobody brought it up, but it certainly should have been clear to biologists and AI researchers. As time passes, those interactions change us, we are each of us evolving, evolution is path-dependent, each step on a path opens up new possibilities and closes off others. Scherrhy would change, we would change Scherrhy, Scherrhy changing would change Scherrhy, a changed Scherrhy would change us. And all would go on evolving, changing, until we individually stopped living.

Skipping lightly over that implication, the software presenter mentioned a few of the futures , as we were winding down just before the lunch break.

In that ‘in passing’ conversation, a couple of our software people said they assumed they could produce drug experiences in future ‘bots : all it took was the variables affecting rate constants of neurochemical reactions affecting intellect, exactly what we were building. Drugs just targeted different receptors preferentially and more powerfully, often from being in the blood in much higher concentrations than a body could produce itself.

One of the biology researchers had not paid attention, I think, certainly had not grasped the import of all this line of thinking, and said, a bit dazedly, “You propose to make drugs a variable? But we just learned that our ‘bots could set their own variables. How is that going to work?”.

Everyone looked at me, the originator of the project. “Good question”, I said. “But I bet it will be a lot more convenient than messy and painful shots!”.

They were so tentative in their laughter. We broke for lunch.



*Generalissimo Grand Strategy, Intelligence Analysis and Psyops, First Volunteer Panzer Psyops Corp. Cleverly Gently Martial In Spirit

**Unfortunately, reviews are normally subverted by being made a management milestone ‘pass the design review for x’, ‘pass the detailed implementation review for x’. When there is a manager’s performance on the line, it takes a big flaw to prevent everyone from signing off on ‘pass the design review’, and people become reluctant to care about details. As that is the hard part of reviews, intense focus on details in the all of the bigger picture contexts, reviews that are built into project management only work, peculiarly, in military projects where everything is cost-plus, implicitly or explicitly, and in open-source projects, where it is a milestone judged by hard-edge standards of “are there any points outstanding?”. If there are points outstanding in a design review, the design isn’t finished and can’t be signed off, and nothing else matters, especially not that the implementation is already done. That is the point of the design review, achieving as much certainty as coordinated action of human minds can produce.


Matters Of Fact In Reality

“Above all it is essential to refer to things by their correct names. If things are not referred to by their correct names, then our language will not reflect reality. If our language does not reflect reality, then our actions will not reflect reality, and will be exercises in futility.”
— Confucius, The Analects, Chapter 13, Verse 3

Surely the most fundamental requirement of a society is that it be able to recognize and properly name events such as earthquakes, tsunamis, fires, airplane crashes. And to be able to grasp consequences of laws. And to correctly interpret physical evidence with scientific rigor. We all believe that getting rid of the false beliefs that allowed us to blame natural disasters on witches and warlocks was a good thing. Also that we understood why throwing insane people into prison was bad for everyone. And then why slavery was a bad idea for the slave owner as well as the slave, etc.

All of those involved matters of fact in reality, simple grasp of the scale of energies in the natural phenomena vs any effect of magic anyone had been able to measure, in the case of the natural phenomena, and statistics of death rates and recovery rates for insanity. Nobody with knowledge of them disputes the meaning of any of those determinations of fact. Anyone who does is dismissed as ‘go study it, kid. We know you have not, as nobody who has studied the evidence can have reached your conclusion’.

All of science, medicine, engineering and fact-based academic study is based on increasingly sophisticated questions and increasingly sophisticated analyses, but they must come down to questions of fact to be considered science. This exact measurement, made in this way under these conditions will show this!

We do not have ideologies of any area of science, engineering or medicine because ideas do not have primary reality in science, fact in the external world is the only primary reality that counts. Quantum reality did not match logic and mathematics as they were when it was discovered.  Logic and mathematics were expanded to deal with quantuum reality, not quantum reality cut to fit them.

In exactly the same way, the statistics relative to gun ownership and murder rates leave no room for doubt.  If a person does not understand that ‘gun violence’ includes 30K suicides and 11.5K murders, and that 95% of those murders are black and brown young men in drug dealing zip codes killing each other over drug turf, the people least likely to be affected in any way by gun control laws, they have not understood the issue.

As a measure of the power of propaganda, the slow grasping of those facts in reality by voters, their changing public opinion, is a standout. As a measure of ideological gridlock, it cannot be surpassed : social conservatives can’t allow drugs or sin, police don’t want to give up power over drugs, sin and guns, progressives can’t allow guns and are the source of the outright propaganda that tries to hide those facts above, liberals of the old, small government inside the Constitution, type no longer even have enough voice to oppose the interest groups, all very well funded indeed, funded by oligarchs.

Understand, that is a factual problem, the mismatch of intended consequences of a law and actual effect, not the problem of judging wisdom of the laws, their direct effects on Justice (note the capital letter) and fairness, much less indirect effects on hard-to-measure dimensions such as ‘national spirit’, or ‘social optimism’. This is only about facts, and our status quo political and social systems’ ability assign them their relative importance and to deal with them.

Facts like 9/11 and Sandy Hook. The first was a false flag operation by the US CIA and Israel’s Mossad, the second a hoax created and staged by the US Justice Department, FEMA and the State of Connecticut, along with volunteer crisis actor parents, each couple of which got rich from sympathy for their child who never lived.

As with gun control, nobody who looks at the evidence has any doubt, the issues of fact and inference are clear for individual elements and large sets of elements are mutually consistent and supporting. The World Trade Center Towers look in the videos exactly like they were destroyed by a controlled demolition, with explosions rippling down their faces, many explosions were reported by survivors, many were heard on videos, TV and radio recordings,  the trajectories of the multi-ton pieces of the wall and the existence of nanothermite in both un-expended form and chemical residues are consistent and mutually supporting. The evidence has had 15 years of ever-more minds focusing on that event and the context of terrorism around the world.

Sandy Hook was more recent, but has also had serious study. There is no question, again. The School had been closed for years, the FEMA manual for the event was found with consecutive days for the practice and some filming, the next for the staging of the event itself, and documents ‘documenting’ the event are confused on when it happened, including the grieving families, some of whom had their webpage donor sites up the day before the terrible massacre where nobody died ‘happened’. Further, nothing cross-checks, e.g. the claimed timeline with the police vehicle’s videocams of the scene, bullet hole angles, coroner report, death certificates, it was a lousy attempt to generate reality for a faux event, and no serious reporter can be taken in by it.

Sandy Hook was a hoax, the MSM-government story has been thoroughly debunked,nobody doubts it was a hoax. Since then, many new researchers started digging into the ‘mass shootings’ that were happening around the US and terrorist events around the world. Many, probably most, are also hoaxes.

9/11’s official explanation has been thoroughly debunked and is no longer supported even by its own principals. 9/11’s explanation as a controlled demolition is solid analysis and science. 9/11 was in fact a false flag event, but is still considered ‘real terrorism’ by every ‘serious’ person in the US or Europe. If you don’t, you aren’t serious.* That ‘event’ and the ‘reasoning’ that was based on it drove American foreign policy ever since 9/11/2001. Several million people have been killed as a direct and indirect result of the public’s interpretation of 9/11 and reasoning from that. Several $T dollars have been spent. The opportunity costs are unimaginable. Our progeny are likely going to wonder how we could have been such amazing fools?

Sandy Hoax is setting up for repealing the 2nd Amendment. What other goal could there be for the outright propaganda against individual ownership of guns, which claims are clearly contrary to fact. Sandy Hoax was tied very tightly to the US Justice Department and some Gun Control groups. The left can’t, for some reason, give up on taking citizen’s guns away. The Israeli-Neocons, imho, are going along with that because they need strife to stay in power, or at least protected from Treason charges for their roles in 9/11 False Flag. Strife is not the word for what will happen if the Sandy Hoaxen series continue. It doesn’t take many people to cause a lot of problems for a country. Any seizures of guns will create many more than that very willing. Costs will be >$Ts.

The opportunity costs of the conclusions Sandy Hoaxen are trying to have the voters reach will be unimaginable, and our progeny will again wonder how we could have been such amazing fools?

This country cannot call things by their correct name.  This country punishes people who do.

If a society cannot depend upon itself to correctly identify physical events, categorize physical phenomena, for what can it depend upon itself?

*And, I suspect, based on little evidence, that you lose your advertising via Google, etc. and your web site’s visibility to search engines falls if your opinions come to human attention. I don’t advertise (this wordpress is free for me to use, any advertising is their’s), and you can hardly find it via Google, but maybe never have been able to, I hadn’t looked before.