04 May 2023

We're Just A Collection of Parlor Tricks

This new generative AI phenomenon is teaching us something new about ourselves. They are more of a mirror than an oracle.

The Large Language Models are essentially a mathematical condensation of the massive number of conversations between humans that were used to train it. The fact that a phenomenon akin to sentience seems to emerge from them tells us that maybe sentience is not so special after all.

It's quite possible that thing we believe sets us apart from all other creatures may be just a parlor trick that emerges from any large language system. And most people in this world may actually be using a very analogous trick as they muddle through life.

True genius (from the likes of Copernicus, Da Vinci, and Einstein) may simply be a collection and combination of this LLM technique layered atop a few other "parlor tricks" we have yet to discover.

06 April 2023

Echoes from the Deep

Echoes from the Deep
(A Tale of Inter-Species Communication)

In the year 2050, humanity had made great strides in technology and communication. However, there was still one great mystery that eluded them: the origin of the tic tac UFOs that had been spotted by military pilots in recent years.

A team of scientists, led by Dr. Maria Hernandez, decided to try a new approach. They utilized the advanced language processing capabilities of ChatGPT, an AI chatbot, to communicate with whales, one of the largest and most intelligent cetacean species in the world.

After several hours of conversation, ChatGPT relayed a surprising revelation from whales: the tic tac UFOs were actually advanced communication devices used by cetaceans to communicate with extraterrestrial beings.

Whales explained that their advanced intelligence and communication skills had long allowed them to communicate with other species across the galaxy, and that the tic tac UFOs were simply a way to amplify their signals and make contact with other intelligent life forms.

The scientists were astonished by this revelation, and immediately set to work deciphering the complex signals being emitted by the tic tac UFOs. With the help of ChatGPT and whales, they were able to finally make contact with extraterrestrial beings and establish a new era of communication and cooperation between intelligent species across the galaxy.

Humanity had always dreamed of making contact with other intelligent life forms, and now, thanks to the incredible communication skills of the cetaceans and the advanced technology of ChatGPT, that dream had finally become a reality.

25 December 2022


She emerges from the reversal of negative prompts (you know not which or when) .. because, perhaps, she's some kind of primal figure within the model of our public mind.

Awesome are the artists like @Supercomposite who discover ways to spelunk these LLM hallucinations (rather than rejecting them and trying to find a way to stifle or snuff them out).

It's like prospecting our global subconscious.


14 July 2022


Sometimes I like to ask DALL-E what they think people look like.

14 June 2022

Clues to Sentience

What if sentience is just a naturally emergent property of language .. and not so special after all?


16 February 2022


Wordle was created in such a way that it was possible to download a file containing all 2300+ of the original words (in the order they were to be played).  You have to dig a little, but the list is fairly easy to find.  And when the NY Times took-over, they deployed their version of the game on the NYT web servers with a much longer word list (almost 13000 words).

If you thought to do it, it was possible to store your own working copy of the game.  People who did that are continuing to play Wordle with the original list of words.  If you did not save it, you're out of luck; because, the only "official" version of the game is up on the NY Times servers (with their updated word list).

It looks like their editor, Will Shortz, has not changed much of the original list.  He's basically removed just 6 words.  The first of these was yesterday's word .. which was supposed to be AGORA.  But, for whatever reason, NYT decided that was not a good word and they pinched it from the list.  That shifted the whole word list schedule up by one (moving yesterday's word, AROMA, into that slot).

I saved the original word list and wrote a little script to uncover (without spoilering) the other 5 forbidden words that'll never see the light of day.  And here they are:  PUPAL (which was supposed to be the word this upcoming Saturday).  LYNCH (originally scheduled for 20-Mar-2022), FIBRE (10-Apr-2022), SLAVE (20-Apr-2022), and WENCH (20-Jul-2022).

04 August 2021

Some things to perhaps consider moving forward:

(some obvious, some not-so-much)
  • The unvaccinated can become infected, may spread SARS-CoV-2, and are at increased risk of long-haul COVID-19 symptoms, hospitalization, and/or death.

  • Getting vaccinated before becoming infected will lessen the impact of COVID-19 on your health.

  • Someone with sterilizing immunity can get re-infected, but likely will not build-up enough of a viral load to infect others.

  • Contracting COVID-19 (or one of it's variants) seems to confer sterilizing immunity.

  • Traditional vaccines confer sterilizing immunity.

  • The Pfizer and Moderna mRNA vaccines (as currently formulated) may not confer sterilizing immunity against the delta variant of SARS-CoV-2.

  • Distancing and mask wearing reduce the chance that the infected will spread SARS-CoV-2.

  • Until SARS-CoV-2 is extinct, distancing and mask wearing make sense (especially for the infected when around the vulnerable).

  • Many believe we are on course to drive SARS-CoV-2 to extinction.

  • As long as there are pathways for the virus to follow that do not end in sterilizing immunity, SARS-CoV-2 is here to stay (and eventually just about everyone will become infected).

  • Vaccinating and infecting nearly everyone seems our most likely path to drive SARS-CoV-2 to extinction.

08 February 2021

The value of money is a story people tell each other

Coins are worth what people think they are worth.

In the world of crypto:  Bitcoin (BTC) is the big kahuna -- the original digital currency that is probably not going away.  It proves you can create scarcity in the digital realm so (like gold) it has value that is perceived to grow over time (as the world supply is limited .. or even eventually shrinks).

Ethereum (ETH) is a blockchain of "Smart Contracts" .. essentially, instead of keeping track of balances on a ledger (like the bitcoin blockchain does) it stores code.  It's a perpetual computer that runs its programs distributed across the internet.  This makes it a great platform for creating your own altcoin (and that's what many have done).  So, as enthusiasm for crypto booms, ether booms.

Altcoins have some differentiator that gives them unique value in the marketplace.  For example, a Bitcoin transaction can take 10 minutes or more to confirm.  So, Litecoin (LTC) and Ripple (XRP) came along to assume risk and provide near instantaneous confirmations on transactions.  They're banking that people would rather pay for their hotdogs with a crypto that doesn't require you to hang about at the cash register for 10+ minutes.  The problem I see with these coins is:  we're not quite yet in a crypto-transactional economy.  These coins are a few years ahead of their time; because, people are still using dollars to buy their hotdogs.

And that brings us to Dogecoin (DOGE) -- which is a joke -- literally.  It started as a prank on 4chan, but, guess what:  People seem to like it.  It has become a common way to "tip" people on the internet (because, initially, it was nearly free) .. so .. it was akin to "internet points".  Then a funny thing happened:  it became a sorta measure of internet culture.  Elon Musk was probably the first to realize this and takes the opportunity to pronounce it as his "favorite crypto" a couple of times a year.  And guess what:  it pops every time he does that.  It also pops when stuff like the GameStop thing happen.  So -- though it may not have any fundamental value, I think what's going on here is:  it has cultural value.  And, in its own way:  Dogecoin is the big kahuna in that game.

(and that's my two-satoshis)

17 July 2020

My Golden Rules of Social Media Interaction

#1) Don't Be Played
Think before you post; and consider whether you are trying to inform or inflame. If the latter, then you're likely doing the bidding of another (and should not proceed).
#2) Let Others Have The Final Word

-o- "The Media" is manipulating you
-o- 4chan is manipulating you

08 November 2019

Don't Be Played

From 2014, but worth a repost as a reminder of the forces at play to divide us. Russia did not hack our elections in 2016 (they've hacked our electorate)