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A Theory of Mind

Consciousness and the mechanism of thinking in general have remained an opaque block to science overall and specifically to researchers in the area. Here I attempt to lay out the fundamental underpinnings that support consciousness, as well as other related mental activity, and then place consciousness and related function into the context so established. I make a concerted effort not to lapse into jargon.

About the Title

As it turns out, “Theory of Mind” has some previous associations, so please note it was only intended as a description of the content here, not a declaration of association with these ideas.

I will present a description of how the brain operates. Not a metaphor — metaphors tell you what things are like, not what they are — but my conclusion as to how the brain, and therefore the mind, actually works.

I’m working backwards on this, as are we all — but after almost forty years of examining the problem 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!


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:

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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.

“Piece of my Heart” indeed. The Faith Hill rendition put me in mind of a Tom Lehrer lyric: “Your heart is in my hand…. yuck!’

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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