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Stage 5: Resignation

By forgotten in Meta
Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 04:29:19 PM EST
Tags: Kuro5hin.org (all tags)

There is a science story posted on Kuro5hin now that belongs with discussion of New-Age crystals and astral travel.

I'm resigned to this now, but for a while I was pretty annoyed about it. But, it started a train of thought in me that I felt was worth committing to ASCII. I went through five stages.

Stage 1: Confusion


Why is he suddenly talking about hypersurfaces, fractals, 7 dimensions? What happened to that interesting problem about similar phonemes? Hmmm... maybe he is using these terms in a layman's sense, to convey a concept ... no, he believes he is using them correctly. Have I misunderstood this? Is this not a science article?

Well, in any case, some gentle criticism is in order. Ah, now I see. It is the pictures of fractals, not the mathematics, not the science, that hooked him. Sadly, I've seen it happen to a lot of smart people.

Oh well, people around here are clueful enough. This won't last an hour in the queue, but let's hope it is resubmitted to editing and we can get a decent write-up. It's been a while since we had a decent scientific discussion here.


Stage 2: Incredulity

Man, people are buying this! What gives? Where did the number 7 come from? Oh, God!

And why do they believe that to connect seven things you need seven dimensions? My neurons are connected to hundreds of neighbors, happily firing away in three dimensions. In what sense could all of this be fractal? Why hasn't someone queried him on self-similarity, recursion?

Did the mere mention of a hypersurface freeze them like a deer in headlights?
Are they mesmerized by the words "fractal dimension"? They are all in front of computers, why don't they look it up? If you haven't, do it now! It's nothing you shouldn't be able to grasp.

And there he is talking about neocortices and brain layers. There is certainly no biological model for the brain as a whole yet. Did he just make this up? Why aren't people asking for links and references about that?

Well, not everyone has studied computer science or mathematics but, in general, these are educated people. Isn't the mark of education being able to review an unfamiliar subject and be able to raise the red bullshit flag?

Well, at least a few people idly wondered if it made sense to jump from a 1994 computer program and a macro-level observation of the brain's layers to a ... what did he call it again ? Yeh, that thing.


Stage 3: Anger

You Are Fools.


Stage 4: Theorizing

Looking at the front page now, I see some good stories. There is Egil Skeggissons Naked Lunch series ... not my cup of tea, but good stuff. There is localroger's Orson Scott Card article with a massive 660 comments. A fine debate! Even if he is missing a dimension from his fractal hypersurface. There is a great Baldrson article, ironically about artificial intelligence.

So yes, some good stories. So when a flawed article came up came up in a topic that a goodly proportion of Kuro5hin readers should have at least some partial expertise in, why did it get through?

During "Stage 3" I wondered to myself, should I submit an article on fractal dimensions to the queue? But ... no. I couldn't make that an interesting article. I could probably submit a boring one, if I refreshed my memory a little, but I don't think it would be voted up.

Have you read Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance? I did, quite some years ago. The protagonist in that book helped me verbalize a concept that had been growing in me for some time: that I saw beauty in detail, in the mechanics of things, in the pieces, not just the whole. A lot of you are the same: programmers, for one, often feel that way. Where someone sees a page of text, you see an algorithm. Where someone sees a pile of old junk, you see a 386 firewall.

When mindpixel says that "mind is a fractal self-organizing semantic-affective resonance map on the surface of a seven-sphere" I feel a weird cognitive dissonance. Because there is no substance there, no detail, no mechanics. A lot of people commented that these were really interesting ideas. I thought, well yes! They are very interesting! But those ideas were pulled out of their natural habitats and thrown together like a bad piece of modern art. Their natural essence gone, now they are only fancy words.

Turing tests, neural nets, artificial intelligence: these are romanticized by people. Who hasn't secretly thought, man, I wish there really was a Bonzi Buddy on my computer, that I could interact with? I've spent many, many hours myself wondering how a brain-similar learning computer might work. But it is hard work. Check this recent news story about brain simulation. They are talking about biological analysis of neurons, huge computer hardware setups. Decades of work! That's enough to make even the most enthusiastic amateur take a breath and step back.

It's so much easier to paint in the big picture without doing any of the work. And it helps a lot to throw in words like Milnor Sphere, especially if very few people unfamiliar with grad-level mathematics will know what that means.


Stage 5: Resignation

This is a community site, not my site, and well, the people deserve the stories they vote in. A lot of the stories pass through unread by me anyway; I'll just pretend not to see it.

I have nothing against mindpixel. I honestly am glad he went to the trouble to contribute to the site. I just wish that he didn't feel the need to embellish his article. I want to read articles on developments in AI, and I want to see mathematics discussed here. But I don't want to accept poor substitutes. Better to see updates to a dull theory making slow progress, than a fantastic voyage with no connection to reality.

A professor once gave me some good advice for choosing courses at university. "Read the course descriptions, and go with the most boring sounding courses. The real stuff sounds boring until you put in the effort to learn it. The courses that sound good, have to, because the people writing the descriptions know they aren't worth the effort."

One of the things I like about Kuro5hin is that it is pretty laidback. I don't have the energy for self-righteous advocacy. Nor for mindless links. And I am too cheap to explore other options. But most people here are, I think, smarter than they often choose to appear. And when necessary, they show it. So I hope this is an aberration, and in the future, unsubstantiated claims about hyperdimensional fractal brain models get sent to f-1ction.


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Display: Sort:
Stage 5: Resignation | 115 comments (97 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
I'm gonna vote this up (2.50 / 4) (#3)
by SaintPort on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 09:55:24 PM EST

'cause you made fun of me...
which God says is a very good thing.

Thak you very much.

Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

Don't take it personally though. (3.00 / 6) (#6)
by forgotten on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:04:56 PM EST

I'm playing the comment, not the man.


[ Parent ]

i didn't read it (3.00 / 4) (#5)
by SIGNOR SPAGHETTI on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 09:58:34 PM EST

but i'm sure it had some ideas that charmed and sometimes like sweet nothings between lovers that's enough.

Stop dreaming and finish your spaghetti.

oftentimes, yes. (none / 1) (#7)
by forgotten on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:06:21 PM EST

I am sympathetic to that point of view. But it was submitted as Science:Software, and it is neither.


[ Parent ]

I think your expectations are too high (2.85 / 7) (#10)
by maynard on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:24:38 PM EST

I voted that story up +1FP. I'm one of those who had no idea whatsoever whether what mindpixel posted is close to factual or utter bullshit. Which (among other reasons) places me among that group of so-called fools. But I still think it deserved the posting. A proper debunking would have been the appropriate response, not censorship. I really enjoyed reading through all the threads and seeing people debate the guy. Well worth the +1 vote IMO. So I guess the question to ask is: why shouldn't the ignorant vote up articles based entirely on their interest in outcome of the debate? Maybe K5 needs a section for crazy ideas that might - but probably won't - turn out true... --M    

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
That's a valid point. (none / 0) (#11)
by forgotten on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:54:26 PM EST

Certainly there were people who voted the story up because of the potential for discussion. I certainly have done the same thing before. But where is this discussion? It hasn't eventuated. What was there last time I looked was pretty lame.

Because there is no meat in it. Stories with foundation generate discussion. Fluff rarely does.


[ Parent ]

interesting, but.. (3.00 / 6) (#12)
by insomnyuk on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 10:55:31 PM EST

But I still think it deserved the posting. A proper debunking would have been the appropriate response, not censorship.

I have gone back and forth on this line. On the one hand, I completely agree with the notion that censorship is bad. Furthermore, I agree that it is best to oppose and critique ideas and theories out in the open. To ban or censor something gives it the forbidden fruit appeal and thus more people might follow it than otherwise would. (or so they say)

However, the word censorship typically applies to government action - coercive and involuntary. What K5 is, in theory, is the practice of collective selection.  The goal of this process is to put out in public what the community deems to be its best work.  Its a pretty good system, in theory. It would be nice if more stories of higher quality were submitted, because that would raise everyone's expectations and standards.

You have proposed a section where crazy ideas can be posted. I believe we already have it, its called the "Diaries" section.  And it doesn't even need approval.

I agree that crazy ideas should not be banned, but that does not mean that they have to be promoted.

"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken
[ Parent ]

Very well put. -nt (none / 0) (#13)
by forgotten on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:01:47 PM EST


[ Parent ]

Oh, pshaw (3.00 / 2) (#14)
by maynard on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:10:04 PM EST

This isn't a peer reviewed scientific journal. Maybe my use of the word "censor" is overdone, but closing out an entertaining debate just because the article in question is probably wrong seems - well - like another form of groupthink in action. You've set a standard for posting that exceeds (IMO) a reasonable threshold for a user contributed web site. Look, the guy didn't claim he knew what he was proposing is true, he just claimed to offer an interesting hypothesis to spark discussion. I honestly think this is different from claiming factual news that is factually wrong. They may be both nonfactual, but at least the guy told everyone up front. I just think it isn't a crime of stupidity to have voted that thing up. So... *shrug* whatever.  --M

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
ok (none / 1) (#16)
by insomnyuk on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:31:42 PM EST

I am going to prepare my thesis on why gravity is just an illusion and submit it as a story under Science. I'll misappropriate a few terms and equivocate on a few meanings, drawing impossible comparisons, but thats ok because this website is not peer reviewed and thus I do not have to worry about anyone calling me on my bullshit.

I admit, my thesis is nonfactual, but i'm not claiming that I "know" if any of this is true, I just think it will be an interesting way to spark a discussion.

They may be both nonfactual, but at least the guy told everyone up front

Up front where? I never saw any such admittance within the 'front' of the story at least.

"There is only one honest impulse at the bottom of Puritanism, and that is the impulse to punish the man with a superior capacity for happiness." - H.L. Mencken
[ Parent ]

Nobody called mindpixel out? And opinion vs. fact (3.00 / 4) (#17)
by maynard on Mon Jun 13, 2005 at 11:55:13 PM EST

[I'm going to write a bogus science article] but thats ok because this website is not peer reviewed and thus I do not have to worry about anyone calling me on my bullshit.

But that's just the thing, a bunch of people called him on it. They tore his piece to shreds. Some of the debate was really interesting, and some of it less so. But I don't think it's fair to say that no one called him on his assertions. Nor do I think your bogus article on gravity would fare an easier fate. Anyway, you're looking to avoid internet kookery here, on K5? I mean - nuts abound. *cough!*

[where did he claim the article was "nonfactual"?]

Well, you're right. He didn't come out and say, here's a bunch of stuff that's wrong - bitchslap me please. But he did say stuff like "I think" and "It occurred to me" and "I couldn't believe", all of which implies opinion and not claims of fact. Where did he say 'this is how it is and everyone else is definitely wrong'??? I didn't read that. I read, here's a bunch of kooky ideas. Share and enjoy! Which is a hell of a lot better than the bogus political claims of fact masquerading as news. --M


Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]

Not peer reviewed? (3.00 / 2) (#63)
by zecg on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 04:42:27 AM EST

All members are peers by definition - and we all review all content by clicking our approval or disapproval. And this was in the "science" section. Perhaps you are trying to argue that K5 is not a "journal" as such? That would be nitpicking.

[ Parent ]
Talk about nitpicking (none / 0) (#70)
by maynard on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 10:28:22 AM EST

Oh come on, you know what I mean when I say K5 that isn't a "peer reviewed journal." It's not a scientific or academic publication. This site is far more informal. Which is fine. But by that token it also means we need not hold the site to standards met only by the most intellectually stalwart publications. --M  

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
Proposed new section scheme: (3.00 / 7) (#46)
by rusty on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 11:57:52 AM EST

Instead of the current topical sections, we should section stories based on the author. So the new sections should be: Kooks, Nerds, Trolls, and The Painfully Earnest. I think that would greatly simplify everyone's reading experience.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
I'll take teh painfully earnest for $100 (none / 0) (#49)
by maynard on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:30:39 PM EST

Or how about kooks? Whatever. Maybe what you need is to split the difference and make it section kooks with subsection teh painfully earnest and then create a section teh painfully earnest with subsection kooks. That way over-earnest pseudoscience kooks and the kooky politically correctish earnest will somehow each find their own home. I'll defer to others more knowledgeable on the subject of trollish nerds and nerdly trolls. *cough!* --M

Read The Proxies, a short crime thriller.
[ Parent ]
awesome. (none / 0) (#50)
by garlic on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:34:05 PM EST

HUSI challenge: post 4 troll diaries on husi without being outed as a Kuron, or having the diaries deleted or moved by admins.
[ Parent ]

Nice, but (none / 1) (#54)
by Dont Fear The Reaper on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 06:40:26 PM EST

of course it would be useless - unless section was something that readers voted on instead of something that the author chose. Tagging submissions, del.icio.us style, except it would be a small set of predefined tags. It would be a little more flexible than +1fp|+1sp|0.

I wonder how may people have already suggested something similar. Oh well, I think it would be kinda neat anyway.

[ Parent ]

I agree (none / 0) (#62)
by rusty on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:42:08 PM EST

Tags will be neat. I don't think to replace the voting process, but open tagging of posted stuff would probably produce some very interesting sets of stories.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Next time ... (none / 0) (#86)
by tilly on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 06:53:27 AM EST

I will try to maintain the Required Ironical Distance to my commnentary.

Oops, I did it again! Damn!

[ Parent ]

Uh oh! (none / 0) (#87)
by rusty on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 08:14:22 AM EST

That puts you at greatly increased risk for winding up in the Ironic Hipster section.

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
What are you afraid of? (none / 1) (#22)
by StephenThompson on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:30:34 AM EST

What does that mean? -nt (none / 0) (#24)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:34:23 AM EST


[ Parent ]

This isn't about fear, it's about standards. (3.00 / 7) (#40)
by Russell Dovey on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 09:01:29 AM EST

forgotten is commendably intolerant of people who represent something as legitimate, interesting science when it is in fact illogical, nonsensical gobbledygook.

This is how science works:

  1. Some bright spark comes up with a lovely theory, for example that logical systems can be described as most efficient when their workings correspond somehow with 7.2-dimensional hypersurfaces.
  2. Other scientists instantly attempt to show that the theory is, in fact, a load of complete and utter rubbish held together by wishful thinking and literary metaphor, and that the bright spark measures not even one-thousandth of a lumen.
  3. If those defending the theory can show that it is internally consistent and disprovable by experiment, they then get to try actually doing the experiment, or more likely waiting for some dirty-handed lab scientist to do it.
(Unless they are Richard Feynman, in which case they convince a nation full of engineering students to build working models, if they can, of actual machines based on the theory.)

So, even though I think mindpixel has a very interesting little theory on his rather excitable hands, forgotten is just doing his duty for the cause of Science!

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan
[ Parent ]

The problem I have (3.00 / 3) (#65)
by OmniCognate on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 05:39:44 AM EST

is that this article isn't entitled "Why mindpixel's ideas simply won't do", or even "Why mindpixel is a blithering moron". It's entitled "Stage 5: Resignation". Forgotten isn't primarily attacking the author of the article or the ideas presented therein (the latter would, of course, be the most appropriate response). He's attacking K5 for voting the article to section.

People may disagree on what K5 is, but the one thing it quite obviously isn't is a peer-reviewed scientific journal. The article got voted up because it was going to be controversial, not because everyone agreed with it. As it turned, it generated so much controversy that the rebuttal, such as it was, went to FP. As far as I'm concerned, that vindicates those who voted the original article up.

I'm thinking about posting a proper rebuttal of mindpixel's argument as either a diary or a story at some point. I'll have to do some research first, though.

[ Parent ]
Title (1.50 / 2) (#71)
by mindpixel on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 11:42:15 AM EST

Yes, the title is strange...I am of course interested in reading consider comment.

[ Parent ]
ASCII? (3.00 / 4) (#25)
by pwhysall on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 02:58:32 AM EST

I use EBCEDIC, you insensitive clod!
K5 Editors
I'm going to wager that the story keeps getting dumped because it is a steaming pile of badly formatted fool-meme.
The wrinkles on my scrotal cortex (2.72 / 11) (#28)
by Sesquipundalian on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 03:51:30 AM EST

form a fractal surface with a dimentia-anality of 2.71828183 (if you count all the hair and dingle balls). I think I'll write an article about how I trained it to type comments on k5 by using nano-vectors. Then it can get voted into the culture section.

Did you know that gullible is not actually an english word?
Some of the things (3.00 / 6) (#29)
by OmniCognate on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:26:25 AM EST

you are dismissing as bullshit are true. I'm not saying the article is correct, or that it isn't the work of a crank. Personally, I don't mind cranks at all. It amazes me the amount of vitriol people will throw at someone who is just trying to understand the world a bit better, however misguided their attempts.

Any way, crank or no (and the argument does smack of numerology), there are a few things you haven't understood. In particular, as I keep pointing out, a 7-dimensional unit hypersphere DOES have maximal hyper-surface area, and there IS such a thing as fractional dimension, and it DOES arise in the mathematics of fractals and cortical tissue CAN be categorised into six anatomically distinct layers, and has been practically since the birth of the field of neuroscience.

For the maximal hypersurface area of a sphere, look here. Search the text for "maximum". From the linked mathworld page:

Strangely enough, the hyper-surface area reaches a maximum and then decreases towards 0 as n increases. [...] As a result, the seven-dimensional hypersphere has maximum hyper-surface area.

There is also a graph of hyper-surface area against dimensionality.

The solution to the equation for the dimensionality that gives maximum hyper-surface area is not an integer. It is 7.25695... (quoted in the mathworld page and the K5 article), so the maximum is at 7 dimensions, the nearest integer. This is what seems to have led the author to think about fractal dimension. It IS possible to have fractal objects which have non-integer dimensionality. See here. I don't know whether this would allow you to construct a unit-sphere-like object with dimensionality 7.25695..., thus acheiving the absolute maximum hyper-surface area, since I don't know enough about the mathematics of fractal dimension, or even properly what it is, but it's an interesting notion that I'm likely to look into at some time. I would never have come across the idea if I hadn't read this article.

For the anatomical separation of the neocortex into six layers, see this page and search the text for "layers". From the article

The neocortex is approximately 1-4 mm thick and is often described as consisting of six layers. The layers were initially distinguished on the basis of their appearance in Nissl stained sections, which is primarily sensitive to the density and size of neural cell bodies.

As I said, I don't think the author of the article has struck upon the holy grail of neuroscience, but I do think he has some interesting things to say. Although he is linking the concepts he is referring to in a very tenuous way (indeed an almost numerological way, as someone said in the original article said), he is linking them and I think he does understand them to some degree. Certainly better than me.

As such, I found the article interesting, and I make no apologies for voting +1, and I certainly don't consider myself a fool for doing so. I don't I think the author has unlocked the secrets of the brain for all to behold, but I don't need him to have done so before I find his article interesting.

BTW (none / 0) (#30)
by OmniCognate on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:29:10 AM EST

I fucking hate the editorial/topical thing for comments. I should have made this comment topical.

[ Parent ]
feel free to repost as topical, (none / 0) (#32)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:54:01 AM EST

that happens all the time.


[ Parent ]

THANKS RUSTY!!! (none / 0) (#64)
by OmniCognate on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 05:16:20 AM EST

Or whoever it was that magically made this thread topical. Nice one!

[ Parent ]
Although (3.00 / 6) (#31)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:53:28 AM EST

I didn't want to debate factual details of that article here, I did read a similar supporting comment that you made over there, and decided against responding at the time. But since you bring up the points again here I will give a quick rebuttal and you might understand the issues I have more clearly.

Area of hypersurfaces: All that is fairly elementary calculus. Finding the area of maximal (or, more often, minimal) surfaces in many-dimensional spaces is routine; not freshman level, but routine nonetheless. If a formula can be found as a function of dimension d, then it is possible that there may be a critical point for some value of d. But these are vector spaces we are working in; vector spaces do not have fractional dimension. There is no immediate interpretation for nonpositive d, in these cases.

So ... yes, I am quite familiar with fractional - or fractal - dimension. But the leap in this case was unwarranted. I strongly recommend that you type "fractal dimension" into google and read about it. It really is interesting, and not so difficult. (The wikipedia article, under the synonym "Hausdorff dimension", is very technical and I think overkill unless you are interested in strict proofs). I think you will quickly see it means something quite different than you might first have guessed.

The physical separation of layers is more to do with brain specialization, rather than an abstracted "hypersphere". There is no justification for making that leap, i think.

I am very glad you found the article interesting. I find the subject interesting, and the article disappointing. I hope that, if you continue researching these topics, you will start to feel the same way.

I am more than happy to answer any question about the above, to the best of my ability, if I can clarify anything.


[ Parent ]

That I found the article interesting (3.00 / 4) (#37)
by OmniCognate on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:46:28 AM EST

is independent of anything I will find out about any of the concepts covered. What I find out about those concepts I will have found out as a result of reading the article. That is good enough for a +1 as far as I'm concerned.

As I said, the links between the concepts are extremely tenuous and, as I keep saying, I don't agree with the argument.

I know what vector spaces are (though I suspect the concept of a hypersphere has validity in more general contexts). I know what linear independece is, what basis vectors are and what dimensionality means in that context. I didn't know there was a maximum hyper-surface area for a unit hypersphere, and it came as an interesting surprise to me. It certainly doesn't look trivial to prove as far as I'm concerned, arbitrary numbers of nested integrations and all.

I don't know the first thing about fractal dimension, but it is obvious that the definition has to be very different to that of the dimensionality of a vector space. That is why I keep saying I don't know whether you can acheive that absolute maximum hyper-surface area. I very much doubt you can. This doesn't make the article uninteresting to me.

The layers of the neocortex are a histological categorisation. The cortex is a thin layer of cell bodies (grey matter). This thin layer, when stained and viewed under a microscope, turns out to be subdivided into 6 layers, each of which looks a bit different. One of the basic tenets of neuroscience is that structure and function are closely related. Once a neuroscientist has identified a structural difference between two areas, the first thing they assume is that they do different things. I am 100% aware of this, and I believe that the author's claim that each of the layers represents a dimension (ie. that they do the same thing) is inconsistent with this sensible approach. If they all represent dimensions why do they look different?

What I am trying to say is that I am not an idiot. You have explicitly stated that the people who voted for this article are fools. You assume that they have swallowed the article hook line and sinker. What I am saying is that I, for one, didn't, but I still voted for it and would again given the chance (in fact I might up my +1 and make it +1FP).

The reason I did it was because it was interesting, because it contained some material which was accurate and which was new to me, and because it was bound to produce some interesting reactions. This discussion we are having is, for example, one of the most interesting and entertaining I have had yet on K5.

I also think you give the author less credit than he deserves. You can't come up with an article that generates this much controversy by randomly throwing words together. He does understand the concepts better than your article tends to imply. He didn't randomly throw the word hypersurface in. He (more or less) randomly threw the fact that a 7-dimensional unit hypersphere has maximal hyper-surface area in. That's considerably more impressive.

In short (and I really need to be more short, sorry), I don't agree with his argument, but it has enlivened an otherwise boring couple of days as I work out my notice at my current job.

[ Parent ]
ok. (none / 1) (#39)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:55:11 AM EST

We can just agree to disagree then.


[ Parent ]

Fair enough [n/t] (none / 1) (#41)
by OmniCognate on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 09:03:48 AM EST

[ Parent ]
Fractional Dimensions (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by jd on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 03:28:17 PM EST

There are a number of methods of calculating the fractional dimension of an object. Benoit Mandelbrot gave it in terms of the ratio of ruler lengths, but the method is cumbersome and not that intuitive.

My preferred method is the following. Any ruler used to measure an object where the ruler's dimension is below the object's "true" number of dimensions will always return a measurement of infinity. For example, the length of a square (as defined by the number of infinitely thin lines needed to completely cover all points within the object) is infinite.

Likewise, if you use a ruler that has more dimensions than the object you wish to measure, you will always get a value of 0. A square has zero volume, for example.

Pick a third value betwee the two limits, see if it is zero, inifinity or a finite value. If it is finite, you have the correct number of dimensions for the object. Otherwise, continue picking values between the upper and lowe band. Even if you don't get to a "provably valid" value, you will definitely have a much better idea.

This is a herustic method, in that it does not guarantee a correct answer in finite time. What it does guarantee, though, is that you will know WHY the number of dimensions is what it is, which will give you better understanding of the phenomena.

[ Parent ]

I have used numerical scaling (none / 1) (#58)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:24:55 PM EST

once i was working with a differential equation which had a barrier in its solution. i could locate the barrier numerically; it formed a beautiful curve that looked fractal. in an effort to see if it did have a fractal dimension i tried to measure its length, and then scale and measure again: from memory d was 1.3 +/- 0.1.

It was too difficult to make convincing.


[ Parent ]

+1, I've been seen and noticed!!!!! (3.00 / 2) (#33)
by Egil Skallagrimson on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:15:12 AM EST

snaps, people!


Enterobacteria phage T2 is a virulent bacteriophage of the T4-like viruses genus, in the family Myoviridae. It infects E. coli and is the best known of the T-even phages. Its virion contains linear double-stranded DNA, terminally redundant and circularly permuted.

Agreed: this would never fly on slashdot. (2.33 / 3) (#34)
by Russell Dovey on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:33:45 AM EST

K5: where a rant about a (brilliant, IMO. You'll kick yourselves when this guy wins a Nobel) article is concise, well-written, well-supported and a joy to read.

On Slashdot, it would be a paragraph designed to take the most miniscule fucking event and turn it into the Moon Landing. "NASA Committee Covers Ass" should have been the headline of a recent one, which is about as momentous as "Gravity Works On Everything - Who Knew?"

"Blessed are the cracked, for they let in the light." - Spike Milligan

thanks ... i think ... (none / 1) (#35)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:42:21 AM EST

If he wins a Nobel I will have to start a fresh account, don't worry.


[ Parent ]

If you made a new account... (3.00 / 2) (#47)
by rusty on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 12:01:19 PM EST

...would your old one be forgotten?

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]
Take that pun out back (3.00 / 2) (#68)
by wiredog on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:14:37 AM EST

Shoot it. And bury it. With a stake through its heart.

Wilford Brimley scares my chickens.
Phil the Canuck

[ Parent ]
Kee-rist. (none / 0) (#36)
by Kasreyn on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 08:45:19 AM EST

I Fail It.

I just spent ten minutes combing through k5arp's old comments and diaries because I was reminded of the "life cycle of the k5 user" or whatever, and wanted to link to it. Does anyone have a link to it, or is it gone?

"Extenuating circumstance to be mentioned on Judgement Day:
We never asked to be born in the first place."

R.I.P. Kurt. You will be missed.
No but if you find it (none / 0) (#60)
by jongleur on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 09:53:57 PM EST

would you add it here?
"If you can't imagine a better way let silence bury you" - Midnight Oil
[ Parent ]
I don't think it was k5arp (none / 0) (#66)
by curien on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:03:02 AM EST

Don't remember who it was though.

We are not the same. I'm an American, and you're a sick asshole.
[ Parent ]
I thought of that too... (none / 0) (#67)
by Arvedui on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:08:22 AM EST

Very first thing! "But Saddam gassed his own people!"

I thought I might find it in my rated comments, but it didn't seem to be there. I think it was from back in the 5.00 point rating days, and I probably didn't wanna punish it by giving it a 3 now. Google was no help either. "We should build Search!"

But, on further thought, I seem to remember it wasn't the K5ARP who did it at all... I recall being surprised that it WASN'T them, as I hadn't come across any other ASCII art "re-enactments" until that point, but I don't remember who it actaully was.

Of course, I might be totally wrong!

[ Parent ]

I now +1 FP anything that isn't spam. (2.00 / 3) (#42)
by Violet Null on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:26:50 AM EST

When you can go days between a story getting approved, why not? It's not like we have an overabundance of content on this site, or that you're going to miss some much more interesting story because it was pushed off of the front page.

Slashdot Fanboy? (none / 0) (#97)
by Saeed al Sahaf on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 02:25:47 AM EST

Well, if you want 5 or 10 crap stories a day, you can always go to Slashdot, where it seems that people actually live to check the front page every 10 minutes and make pithy but meaningless comments...

[ Parent ]
Why I voted for it (3.00 / 4) (#45)
by rusty on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 11:52:28 AM EST

It was fun to read, and I didn't think the author was just trolling. Plus I had a pretty strong suspicion that a lot of smart people were going to debunk it pretty thoroughly, and I didn't want to miss that.

I think a good number of others voted for it for similar reasons. Don't make the mistake of believing that a story being voted up necessarily means anyone endorses or believes what it says. It just means that it was written well enough (for varying values of "well enough" depending on the subject), and either we think you're earnest or we think your troll is entertaining.

Not the real rusty

But then (none / 1) (#59)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:40:51 PM EST

why do so many good stories get voted down?

I confess, I almost voted +1FP for the piece before I even commented, basically for the reasons you listed. It was only after I started drafting a comment that I realized something wasn't right.


[ Parent ]

Because they're not good (3.00 / 3) (#61)
by rusty on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 10:40:50 PM EST

It's a common lament that "so many good stories get voted down." A few do, I think. But not very many. I can usually guess on the first read whether a story will be posted or not, and it's pretty rare that I'm wrong, which tells me that while it may be hard to express exactly what the standard is, there is some kind of an operating standard.

There was an interesting example of that this week actually. We had three stories about the Marine recruitment thing -- the first was Monty's MLP, which just linked to the news article and that was about it. This got posted because it was about an interesting subject.

The second was Arvedui's Return of the Press Gang, which eventually migrated to a diary, but was on its way to being posted too (and I think would have been if the author hadn't asked to pull it). This was because while it was not original by the time it went to voting, it was a better written version of the same story, with a little opinion.

And the third is Early Exits, which deals with the same basic subject (the story about Marine recruitment) but from a different angle, and adds a lot of new information to the overall discussion.

So, three stories essentially about the same thing that very aptly display three totally different reasons things can get posted, all in the same week.

So it does sometimes happen that an otherwise competently written story will get dropped because people don't find the subject interesting, or it's been written about too much already, or... whatever. And sometimes a relatively lousy story gets posted because it's about something too inteersting to dump. And sometimes someone will write something totally wacky but in an interesting enough way to get it posted.

And no matter what happens, someone is unhappy about it 100% of the time. :-)

Not the real rusty
[ Parent ]

Full Circle (none / 0) (#69)
by Ranieri on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:22:40 AM EST

I can usually guess on the first read whether a story will be posted or not, and it's pretty rare that I'm wrong, which tells me that while it may be hard to express exactly what the standard is, there is some kind of an operating standard.

Which brings us right back to Robert M. Pirsig's discussions on the nature of "Quality" in ZAMM, as previously referenced by the author.
Taste cold steel, feeble cannon restraint rope!
[ Parent ]

I no longer have the time or energy (none / 0) (#103)
by iGrrrl on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 08:53:54 AM EST

There was a lot to debunk there from a neuroscientist's perspective, but the days when I have a free hour or two to respond with documentation are long gone.

You cannot have a reasonable conversation with someone who regards other people as toys to be played with. localroger
remove apostrophe for email.
[ Parent ]

So give it five minutes... (none / 0) (#104)
by mindpixel on Fri Jun 24, 2005 at 03:03:41 PM EST

So write a fast paragraph on you gut reaction. And maybe a comment or two on what you think of Pribram and Jerison, who both had similar ideas, though with differect intuitions about geometry.

[ Parent ]
The Hypersurface of K5 (2.83 / 6) (#52)
by mindpixel on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 04:40:08 PM EST

So yesterday Chile [where I live] won their football game 7-0. Today, they are losing 7-0 and a helicopter with seven passangers crashed into the East river...this is numerology.

I know my artilce was rough, it was a blog entry after all, but it is based on ten years of thinking about consciousness as a hyperobject, something others have done, Gerald Edelman [who does have a Nobel] is the best example - he believes that consciousness is a an N-dimensional cluster in the thalamocortical loop.

I don't believe in N dimensions. I believe anytime you omniconnect an object, hypersurface comes into play.

Now the neuroanatonomy is solid, like it ot not. The thalamus is connected as if it were another layer, ask a neuroanatonomist, and thinking of the whole thalamocortical system as a unified hyperobject is reasonable and mathematically sound.

I honestly think that the brain is a lattice for holding a seven-dimensional electromagnetic field in space and time and that Maxwell's equations can be thought of geometrically, in seven dimensions. Look into the Hopf fibration and its connection to the Milnor sphere and electromagnetic field topology to see where I am going with this.

I see in the reaction here on K5 where I caught people's imaginations and where I made them think I was a crank. I promise I will keep working and writing and that I will be back here with new work because I love the speed at which this community of my peers works, while of course still pursuing normal scientific publication.

Only time will tell who is forgotten and who is not.

Hi (3.00 / 4) (#55)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:01:58 PM EST

I hope you understand I mean it when I said this was never personal; I hope you continue to visit and contribute to the site.

The meta-subtopic is an important, sometime ignored, often abused, part of kuro5hin. This article is not about you: I said my piece in your article, and I'm done. I wrote it because I felt that standards here were slipping if that article - put straight to voting - was posted, as it was.

I can promise that if/when you submit your new work here, I will read it, and comment on it. That's a good thing.


[ Parent ]

hey relax... (3.00 / 3) (#57)
by mindpixel on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 07:09:37 PM EST

Listen, I see clearly where I lost you, and it is my fault, not yours. I have some communications work to do.

I was just playing with your name and the layers of irony, I didn't mean for it to sound mean.

[ Parent ]
Consciousness (none / 1) (#85)
by Mason on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 02:01:56 AM EST

You lose credibility in my eyes when you make statements like "the brain is a lattice for holding a seven-dimensional electromagnetic field in space and time."  You know your neurobiology, I'll be damned if you don't.  You know about the actual low-level chemical mechanisms which are responsible for brain function.  You know that a claim like this is easily falsified:  can EM fields affect people's cognition beyond the amount that would be predicted from its normal effect on neurochemical processes?  Why would EM fields in brains behave differently than in other tissue, or iron filings?

Yet you just throw it out there, not letting a single practical bit of discretion interfere with your cute and clever brainstorming.

Do EM fields behave like 7-dimensional phenomena?  How can that be demonstrated?  Does the thalamocortical system act as a functional "seat of consciousness"?  What is the behavior of people with damaged thalamocortical systems?  Is a damaged, 5-layered TC-system still an optimal-surfaced 7-dimensional hyperobject?

Grand claims require grand evidence.  And no "wait a few years for my CYC-like AI project to be completed" does not constitute evidence.  If your claims had truth to them, they would have a wide range of implications on many fields of science.  You don't follow through with those implications, their falsifiability, or evidence one way or the other.  You reference a few broad fields or mathematical concepts and then tell us to follow where you're headed.

That's why this is crank-work.  It isn't because you're wrong.  I'm not sure you've made enough falsifiable statements for truth or falsehood to be established.  But you're wearing a hole in the Jump to Conclusions mat, and that isn't good science.

[ Parent ]

Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (none / 0) (#90)
by mindpixel on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:22:26 AM EST

The geometry of the field is tied to the lattice. The brain knows where the field is coming from and ignores external fields. You can however trick it if you use multiple sorces of RF of magnetic energy in a reverse tomography geometry. It is called Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation (TMS).

So you are not going to falisfy the idea this way. Find an amimal with an eight-layer thalamocortical loop, and my theory will crash quite hard, though.

[ Parent ]
If Mars was Stickier... (none / 0) (#53)
by mindpixel on Tue Jun 14, 2005 at 05:10:57 PM EST

Ironically [in multiple layers!] Jackie and the Brain would have butted right up against AI Breakthrough or Mismeasure of Machine if Mars was just a bit sticker.

The article is based on the work of Peter D. Turney, who was the editor of Canadian Artificial Intelligence in 1995 who accepted my paper, The Minimum Intelligent Signal Test: An Objective Turing Test, which I wrote because of my experience with Jackie.

tricky (none / 0) (#72)
by transient0 on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 01:18:50 PM EST

talking about the functioning of a neural network (and potentially the functioning of the brain) as an optimization function on an N-dimensional surface has a certain amount of validity.

the problem with the article wasn't so much that it was pseudoscience as it was rather that it was written as though intentionally trying to obfuscate the real ideas with jargon and awkwardly constructed sentences.
lysergically yours

Mind as a Maximum Hypersurface (none / 0) (#73)
by mindpixel on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 01:33:20 PM EST

There was no intentional obfuscation, it was a very raw blog entry of mine.

Here is something a little more considered:

Mind as a Maximum Hypersurface

[ Parent ]
A bit guilty (none / 1) (#74)
by Fen on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 03:55:27 PM EST

I posted before about the importance of the thalamus in consciousness. Having been a bit in the grips of a grandious theory mode, I know what it's like. Where are the kooks who want to give a new theory of the liver? Where are the endless philisophical debates over just how the heart works? Somehow the particular organ known as the brain drives us all a bit crazy with interest and enthusiasm.
Oh yes, physics too (none / 1) (#75)
by Fen on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 03:57:45 PM EST

Not many goofy theories about, say, petroleum science. Oil works better because of psychic energy from the earth! Nope, but whenever fundamental physics and neuroscience comes up--oh boy. Put up your filters.
[ Parent ]
Stay Tuned for more... Tales of Interest! (none / 0) (#76)
by ExSulfur on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 05:38:37 PM EST

I don't have a clue 'bout AI research or techniques...

But when i googled Mindpixel, i found


Actually i was looking for a site i read a few days ago which i found amusing... it's actually another, seemingly unrelated crackpot, but there seem to be at least some parallels in the behaviour of mad self-titled ai-experts. I found it. http://www.nothingisreal.com/mentifex_faq.html Actually, i think the second one is funnier.

Mental Pain & The Turing Test (none / 1) (#77)
by mindpixel on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 06:00:06 PM EST

The Turing Test seems to attract some unusual people, but you really should be so derogatory, and neither should Jorn Barger, who spent a non-trivial amount of time writing the page you referenced.

We're just people trying to understand what we are and where our suffering is coming from.

If you care to see another one of us Richard Wallace's Wikipedia entry. he created Alicebot.

And don't forget that Turing himself committed suicide because of the pressure of people that would not accept him as he was. In the end, he could not even get the security clearance he needed to work with his own inventions because he was homosexual and refused to hide it.

[ Parent ]
Wha? (none / 0) (#78)
by ExSulfur on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:17:26 PM EST

Are you sure the World War II - Hero Richard Wallace Annand (your link) who died in 2004 is the same man as Dr. Richard S. Wallace who created the Artificial Intelligence Markup Language (AIML) and (i think) wrote A.L.I.C.E?

On Turing: Just because some geniuses had no or not enough success doesn't mean that everybody who isn't successful is a genius, or am i wrong, mr. AI-crack?

So let's ignore the Turing-Biography-Discussion, because you should rather discuss the theories and / or their implementations you wrote about. Which i won't, because i don't have a clue.

Is your goal passing the turing test? Once? Always? More often than not? Or is it something different you want? If that's all you want, just download Alice. I understand from the Alicebot homepage that there is AIML, a kind of Chatterbot Markup/Programming compound which already works and which has got less to do with AI than with some algorithms and some clue on how to program.

Eliza is an old hat, and Alicebot/AIML is a kind of a badass GNU/Eliza Engine with tons of features.

It's function is clearly defined and implemented.

The Turing test is about the question "can machines think"? - And so here's a Chatbot on one hand who definitely doesn't think, and doesn't need to, and then there's mindpixel. What's it about?

Do you have working results from experiments? A good foundation for research, some rudimentary results from simple input?

Is it documented somewhere (No i didn't open an accound on mindpixel.com and i won't, please just put everything you got to read into the sidebar and be done with it)?

If you have a good idea on AI, then it surely could be put in a few sentences in laymans terms? It doesn't have to be perfect, or already thought through completely, but the problem you are tackling surely could be communicated? Then everybody could think with you if it's a good idea, if it might work or why not.

Oh, and: Do you happen to know Arthur T. Murray aka Mentifex?

[ Parent ]
An Oops and a Map (none / 1) (#79)
by mindpixel on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 07:42:59 PM EST

Screwed up that link...thanks for pointing that out.

The Turing Test merely makes a philosophical point about how we attribute humaneness, it is not about can a machine think.

Now, what I am working is a map of possible thalamocortical states in the form of a 7D-DTW-SOM trained on my Mindpixel Corpus of 1.6 million propositions. I think that with it, I will be able to have a machine respond to an arbitrary proposition in a fashion statistically indistinguishable from a person. That would be true AI, at least for a point in time. It's hard work and will take a great deal of computer power to juggle the 7d neural network. I don't know when I will finish. I hope soon. Then the system will speak for itself. Literally.

I have no idea what happened to Arthur.

[ Parent ]
Semantic Web (none / 0) (#80)
by ExSulfur on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:10:50 PM EST

Really, i thought your idea through, and it sounds at least interesting, although i have no idea of AI.

I wish you good luck and hope for interesting results.

Maybe some intermediate results would stop the criticism?

[ Parent ]

Who wants it to stop? (none / 0) (#81)
by mindpixel on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:17:00 PM EST

I don't want it to stop. It is good for me and helps me refine my argument. And it certainly is not hurting my blog traffic! Last week, I was the only human being that thought that mind might be a maximum hypersurface, this week I have people in nearly every internet connected country thinking about the possibility. It is really a remarkable time for me.

[ Parent ]
Cool (none / 0) (#82)
by ExSulfur on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:31:53 PM EST

You, sir, just made my day by providing me with a big insight...

I'd never thought that even harsh criticism as this story is can be taken positively.

I often heard that even bad news is good advertising for a company, but you just gave me a sense of the scale in which this is true.

Thanks for being an interesting being and greetings to Jackie.

[ Parent ]

It is a very nice time for me... (none / 0) (#83)
by mindpixel on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:39:41 PM EST

Hey, thanks yourself.

[ Parent ]
Speaking of Jackie... (none / 0) (#84)
by mindpixel on Wed Jun 15, 2005 at 08:43:01 PM EST

I plan to relaunch Mindpixel on July 6th as Mindpixel 2.0. I hope to have a web based version of Jackie there in addition to GAC, so that in 2006 and onward she can give Rich Wallace's Alice a little needed competition.

[ Parent ]
Turing Test and Thinking (none / 0) (#88)
by jrincayc on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 08:29:15 AM EST

I would concede that a machine that could pass the extended turing test, (i.e. could convince a human for years that they were a rational thinking person), would have to be thinking in some way.

If you want to determine if it is a machine or not, in an any existing AI system, try getting it to learn something. Alicebot will fail on something as trivial as say, hair color of a relative.

[ Parent ]
Alice is not the answer (none / 0) (#89)
by mindpixel on Thu Jun 16, 2005 at 10:16:40 AM EST

If you read Jackie and the Brain, you will see I reject the Chinese Room-like solution of a chat bot. It is not thinking, it can appear thought-like, but it would for example fail on French (1990) subcognitive questions. GAC (Jackie's little brother) would not. There is a universe of difference between the trivial file index card match system of Alice and the spatial synthetic subcognitive substrate of GAC.

[ Parent ]
The Hypergeometric Hypothesis (none / 1) (#91)
by mindpixel on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 01:54:34 PM EST

Here are my formal hypergeometric claims and suggestions for possible falsification.

deja vu, deja news. (none / 0) (#92)
by forgotten on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 07:10:41 PM EST

copy of letter to wired, reposted to comp.ai.philosophy in 2000

Wired Staff,

As a developer and researcher of natural language processing artificial neural networks for the past 15 years it was with more than passing interest that I noted your story concerning Chris McKinstry's mindpixel.com website. .....


annonymous letter... (none / 0) (#93)
by mindpixel on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:23:53 PM EST

Yeah, I remember this. Pretty upset I was making the news. Taking notes from his notebook are you? Or maybe...you are him?

[ Parent ]
no. actually, (none / 0) (#94)
by forgotten on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:28:58 PM EST

i was informed that you had posted to sci.math. the above letter was the first match on google groups for mindpixel.


[ Parent ]

But you must admit... (none / 0) (#95)
by mindpixel on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 08:47:03 PM EST

That both you and he had very early and very strong reactions to the editoral judgment of people looking at my work. And you both went off a spouting annonymously with almost no consideration, for the lack of time between publication of my work and the flaming response would not allow there to be consideration.

I put more than a decade of thought and reading into both Mindpixel and my Hypergeometric Hypothesis, so it is not likely that anyone could refute them in a few hours.

My choice of venue is unusual, but fast and interesting and in the end all that matters in science is priority, which I have established with the planet as my witness.

And why on earth would you post a ranting of some annonymous guy from five years ago, especially when it is the top google result for your query? Do you think everyone is an idiot? Oh wait! Another revelation. That's eaxctly what you think!

[ Parent ]
sure, whatever. (none / 0) (#96)
by forgotten on Fri Jun 17, 2005 at 09:03:40 PM EST



[ Parent ]

take a look at that dissonance (none / 1) (#98)
by boxed on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 02:20:02 PM EST

What exactly is "zen" about "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainence"? Or about the "Creative Zen" mp3 player? It's amusing that you (justly) criticize mindpixel for using words he don't understand in a context that render them empty, but at the same time you quote a book title that does exactly this!

As a zen buddhist I'm quite fed up with all this "zen" talk. Where's the Creative Catholic I wonder? Or the Shiite of Motorcycle Maintainance?

And what is good, Phaedrus? And what is not good? (none / 0) (#99)
by onemorechip on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 02:34:20 PM EST

What exactly is "zen" about "Zen and the art of motorcycle maintainence"?

As the author himself noted in the front of the book, "...it should in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice. It's not very factual about motorcycles, either."

In other words, it's just a freakin' book title, for crying out loud, so take a deep breath and calm down.

I did my essay on mushrooms. It's about cats.
[ Parent ]

some thoughts on Zen. (3.00 / 2) (#100)
by forgotten on Sun Jun 19, 2005 at 07:50:47 PM EST


[ Parent ]

why that totally described your competence too [nt (none / 0) (#101)
by boxed on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 02:58:26 PM EST

[ Parent ]
if nothing exists (none / 0) (#102)
by forgotten on Wed Jun 22, 2005 at 09:24:01 PM EST

then where did this anger come from?


[ Parent ]

statement of fact != anger [nt] (none / 0) (#107)
by boxed on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 02:27:48 PM EST

[ Parent ]
well you missed the reference (none / 0) (#109)
by forgotten on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 10:21:13 PM EST

I'm starting to wonder if you are a zen buddhist at all.


[ Parent ]

what? you meant to point out anatta? (none / 0) (#115)
by boxed on Sun Jul 03, 2005 at 06:22:23 AM EST

Pity the pointing was meaningless because you pointed at something that even for atta-believers doesn't exist.

[ Parent ]
People like you must stand up (none / 0) (#105)
by 1318 on Sat Jun 25, 2005 at 08:11:49 PM EST

And point out what is wrong.

Bad ideas push out the good.

The market place of ideas is a breeding ground of counterfeit coinage.

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes

Max Hypersurface Area - You´re Thinking with It. (none / 0) (#108)
by mindpixel on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 10:18:39 PM EST

Think hypersurface area maximization. Often. Get used to it. It is real. You will hear more of it. Much more.

[ Parent ]
I certainly hope not n/t (none / 0) (#110)
by 1318 on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 03:11:21 AM EST

"So then, why don't you die?"-Antisthenes
[ Parent ]

Ideas do not "push" idea at all (none / 0) (#111)
by mindpixel on Wed Jun 29, 2005 at 03:06:57 PM EST

Your comment that "bad ideas push the good out" is simply ignorant of fundamental neuroscience.

Lionel Standing "Learning 10,000 Pictures" [1973] showed that recognition accuracy for 10,000 pictures presented for 5s each over several days was better than 96 percent. It is predicted that that would remain the same for even 1,000,000 images.

In short, you keep everything you focus your attention on. Eaxctly as you would expect if they were points on a maximum hypersurface.

[ Parent ]

re Ideas do not "push" idea at all (none / 0) (#112)
by gregdetre on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 02:41:33 PM EST

Your reply, while not untrue, is misleading and irrelevant. Yes, people appear to have a near-limitless memory for *recognising* things as familiar, but they can't recall them - that is, it's not that they have stored all the details of a given stimulus away, but just enough maybe to know it when they see it again.

This really has nothing to do with hypersurfaces as best I can tell. See Bogacz & Brown (2003) for a modern, peer-reviewed, empirically-based and detailed computational perspective on this. Finally, the grandparent comment was simply making the optimistic statement that the signal eventually drowns out the noise. How is mentioning recognition memory relevant or a response to that?

[ Parent ]

memory and space (none / 0) (#113)
by mindpixel on Thu Jun 30, 2005 at 04:41:47 PM EST

Standing's research can be seen as showing that ideas do not displace each other. The metaphor of bad ideas pushing out good is a bad metaphor.

It is true the images are needed to index themselves, but this hints that when an image is exposed to the thalamus, the neocortex evolves in a deterministic fashion to arrive at the same place in thalamocortical space and our feeling of recognition is actually a collision detection.

Normally we don't encounter large numbers of distinct images in the natural environment - we have spatial and affect cues and thus a continuous pathway to any given image in our past. If one were to synthesize such cues, as is possible with Simonides' "art of memory" then the points in thalamocortical space can be found again. What is happening in such a case, I think, is an artificial hippocampal spatial index is created.

Mind is a space. Get used to it. More and more you will read it in your peer reviewed journals. The advantage for me publishing here while everything was still quite raw is priority. I own maximum hypersurface and can and will defend it in the scientific literature.

Check out Gerald Edelman, he thinks quite similarly, though he did not know about maximum hypersurface.

[ Parent ]

I like (none / 0) (#106)
by soart on Tue Jun 28, 2005 at 12:35:02 PM EST

When mindpixel says that "mind is a fractal self-organizing semantic-affective resonance map on the surface of a seven-sphere" I feel a weird cognitive dissonance. Because there is no substance there, no detail, no mechanics. A lot of people commented that these were really interesting ideas. I thought, well yes! They are very interesting! But those ideas were pulled out of their natural habitats and thrown together like a bad piece of modern art. Their natural essence gone, now they are only fancy words.
Cornell (none / 1) (#114)
by mindpixel on Sat Jul 02, 2005 at 03:48:54 PM EST

Michael Spivey, the Cornell psychologist in the news the past few days for saying the computer metaphor of the brain was finished and that MIND IS A HYPERSPACE just emailed me to tell me what a great read "Jackie and the Brain" was. So, all you short sighted trolls can crawl back under the bridge. I am crossing, to the other side. Oh, and you might want to start changing your userid´s now...

Stage 5: Resignation | 115 comments (97 topical, 18 editorial, 0 hidden)
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