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A Theory of Mind

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, may 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 come up with 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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SdrDx breaks 10,000 users

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

New OSX and Windows version of SdrDx: 2.12q

SdrDx 2.12q adds full gain support for the AFEDRI SDR, Two additional features, control volume with SHIFT page up and SHIFT page down, and s-meter can readout pre- or post-attenuator. See the link to the changes document, below.


  Screen shot: http://www.flickr.com/photos/fyngyrz/8675326983/in/photostream/lightbox/
    Downloads: http://fyngyrz.com/?p=915
Documentation: http://fyngyrz.com/sdrdxdoc/sitemap.html
      Changes: http://fyngyrz.com/sdrdxdoc/changes212.html

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Piece of my Heart

I still can’t believe what I just heard. On 540 AM, CBC just played, back-to-back, Janis Joplin doing Piece of my Heart, followed by… Faith Hill “doing” it. It was awful. Hill completely missed the point of the song, “countrifying” the tune and really doing a consistent job of making Joplin’s signature blues tune into a horrible, flat episode of listening pain that simply didn’t work.

It wasn’t even funny. Just awful.

Ah, the radio habit… is there anything you won’t eventually hear?

New OSX and Windows version of SdrDx – 2.06

New version here. Documentation here. Change-list here. Screenshot here. Enjoy!

New Version of SdrDx – 2.01

Please see this post for details on SdrDx 2.01.

Python, TkInter, OSX (OS X) and making it all behave

I use Python a lot. Python 2.5.1 to be specific. And inside Python is TkInter, which, with a little work, will give you a handy way to put a GUI together. But there are problems. To say that TkInter is poorly supported and poorly documented under OSX is to understate the case rather dramatically. So you’re left to Google for answers, and mostly, they aren’t to be found — or if they are, they aren’t obvious or easily found. So I’m going to provide some answers here that have taken me quite some time to collect, and hopefully keyword and title them so that a Google search will actually get you to the solution you need sooner rather than as much later as it did me!
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Review: Canon EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro Lens

100mm Generally speaking, the Canon EF 100mmis a great lens. The bokeh is fine. The lens is pretty fast. f/2.8 to f/22 is useful as a creative range. The optics are sharp and the all-time focusing is a boon. So what’s not to like? Well, here’s the thing. The Canon EOS50D, which I use, has the ability to use the viewfinder in “live preview” mode, and when doing so, will allow you to zoom in on your focus point (or anywhere else, but that’s irrelevant to my point here) such that you can see extremely fine detail. At which point you can manually focus the lens so that it is exactly right. Marvelous, right?

It would be. But the lens has some mechanical backlash problems. Let me explain backlash; if you’re not familiar with it, it takes a bit of describing.
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