A Theory of Mind

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Consciousness in specific, and the mechanism of thinking in general, have remained an opaque block to science in general and researchers in the area in specific. As an AI person (I work on associative memory as it [hopefully] applies to AI), this is something that is both immensely interesting to me, and which occupies a considerable amount of my “spare cycles”, as it were. I think about it in an orderly fashion, I day- and night-dream about it in a most decidedly disorderly fashion, I draw charts and diagrams, I take copious notes, and I constantly ask people why they say what they say, hoping for insight into the thought process — not the issue or the answer, but the mechanism.

Here I will present a description of my theory, which seems to me that it could be an, or the, answer. Not a metaphor — metaphors tell you what things are like, not what they are — but my suggestion as to how the brain, and therefore the mind, actually work.

I am not saying that I’m certain that I’ve intuited the answer — that, frankly, seems unlikely to me — but after almost forty years of examining the problem, for the very first time, I have a model that has turned out to satisfy every question that I have about thought and consciousness in what I can only describe as a manner satisfactory to myself. Which is, I think, in itself notable. If for no other reason than everything I have ever come up with previously, or read about, has utterly failed to do so. So, dear reader, please come along as I try to explain myself. Literally.
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Using the Pi as an aquarium pump controller

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Just a short post to follow up on the how-to Raspberry Pi post. I went into detail on how to get one going, but I never really said what I was doing with the thing. So, in case anyone is curious:

First I installed all the software I wanted. I set the Pi up as a headless (no monitor, keyboard or mouse) network-controlled computer. I installed a wifi dongle so it became a headless, wireless network-controlled computer. And then…
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Headless Raspberry Pi B+ via Ethernet – from zero to success

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R.Pi B+ BoadSo (somewhat late to the party, but anyway), I came up with a project I could use a Raspberry Pi for. Off to Amazon I went, and purchased this starter package (select the ULTIMATE kit), which I highly recommend. Everything you need, all in one place. I’m assuming you either bought this kit, or have the things you need, which I will also call out in case you’re a masochist and plan to try to assemble all this stuff by yourself.

Take note that I’ll be updating this post as I discover more stuff about the Raspberry Pi I think is worth sharing; so you might want to bookmark it and come back again from time to time. I’ll try and make it worth your while.

To start, you will require the Pi B+, a storage card with NOOBS on it, a power supply, a wired USB keyboard, a wired USB mouse, an ethernet cable, a free port on your network router or network switch, an HDMI cable and an HDMI capable monitor.

No, there’s no other way. You need the monitor, keyboard and mouse. Sorry. Not my fault. Everything I listed except the network cable, keyboard, monitor and mouse is supplied in the kit I linked to just above. As well as a lot of other really cool stuff. Hint. Hint.
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SdrDx 2.13b beta posted

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This version: Changes the behavior of the shifted cursor keys and the quick tune buttons at the top of the GUI such that the spectrum and waterfall will scroll when the demodulator bar approaches the span edges.

Also has new variable RF mute TCP command, rmute:X Y where X is either 0 (mute off) or 1 (mute on) and where Y varies from 0.0 (fully muted) to 1.0 (fully unmuted.) This allows you to drop the RF levels coming in any arbitrary amount for any reason. This is not sticky; on restart, rmute is set to 0 and 1.0.

–Ben
AA7AS

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SdrDx breaks 10,000 users

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I’m happy — kind of delirious, actually — to announce that the number of SdrDx installations has broken ten thousand as of Friday, June 6th, 2014. This number comes from counting the number of different IP’s of actually running SdrDx instances. The break down as of this evening is 6186 OSX installations, and 3865 Windows installations.

Now, this is not the same as a count of active SdrDx users, but it is a vey good estimate of the number who have actually tried out the program.

Thanks to everyone for surprising me with an unprecedented level of interest in this project. I appreciate it a great deal!

Ben
AA7AS

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Let’s talk Evidence.

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One of the common aphorisms we hear in two varieties is, first form, “absence of evidence is evidence of absence”, and second form, “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” Either statement seems to make sense on its face; but this is because of a common misunderstanding. In truth, only one form actually works for us within the bounds of reason.
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Cellphone Etiquette During Conversation

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Wandering though life, I often encounter the occasional person who seems to have missed an etiquette class. Or several. In particular, I have noticed that a very large number of gaffes occur during face to face conversation. So as a gift, I provide the following guide to using your cellphone when in conversation with family, friends, co-workers, and friendly companions:

Rule #1: Don’t.

Rule #2: See Rule #1

If your phone rings, vibrates or plays an obnoxious ringtone (all ringtones are obnoxious) there is only one polite action: Turn it off or mute it, while apologizing: “I’m sorry, I forgot to turn my phone off. Fixed!” Slip it back in your pocket and deal with it later.

You may also benefit from my handy guide to Cellphone Etiquette at the Table.

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So… why “fyngyrz”? Pick, planchette, pluck.

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The answer to that is pretty simple, really. Back in the day, I was all about guitar. I worked, dreamed, and struggled with guitar, and like many young men of my generation, I had some pretty high hopes. Alas, that career came to a screeching halt when I was offered payment in cocaine instead of money by an (otherwise) reputable studio you might very well recognize. studio-mg74 Both insulted and somewhat paranoid, I no longer made myself available to them as a studio musician, and that was the beginning of the end. It all worked out for the best, I think; turned out I was a pretty successful engineer, and on top of that, I actually enjoyed the work. From there, I began to focus on programming, and here we are today.

So anyway, here’s something from back in the day. It was recovered from 2nd-generation tape masters and consequently suffers from some sonic crud (not to mention the damage done by the mp3 encoding) but you’ll get the idea. It’s structured as a jam rather than a straight cover; a vague, building meditation upon a theme. Here you go:


Instrumental, Washburn MG-74 guitar, Gibson Les Paul studio bass.

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