Thursday, February 25, 2016

The 'sleight' of collection

As a Math PhD student, who was first a philosophy student, I came to the conclusion that math works because of several dirty tricks. The main one was the 'sleight' (as in 'sleight of hand') where the name of the last element of a set is used as the name of the set. For example the entire set { 1, 2, 3 } is identified with the cardinal number '3'. But the one inside the braces is a label used in counting and the one for the overall set borrows that label by convention. Either way it should be hugely illegal in any logical system. I call that the sleight of collection. Mathematicians would call this an equating of ordinal numbers with cardinal ones but that ignores the type change between elements of a set and the entire set. I am confident that if you tried to keep the labels of cardinal numbers and ordinal numbers separate, math would stop working.
Same for equating the position '1' with the path of travel from 0 to that position and its quantity. Another hugely illegal move. But that seems to be what makes math work. I hate to say it but it looks like Russell's paradox actually makes things work!

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

A lilting air

You know the "lilting" air uses the rhythm of skipping, namely double dotted whole note followed by 16th note. It is considered to have the emotional affect of lightness and relaxed joy.
Do we need to experience skipping in order to find this rhythm happy and relaxed?  

I saw some stuff today on about people trying to uncover the quantitative underpinnings of emotional associations in music. Perhaps this is a valid endeavor but the cause-effect aspect of why some music has one or another emotional association [assuming there even is such a thing, outside of learning the associations from words and TV] seems to have little to do with its actual form. I mean suppose kids had two heavy steps, trudging forward, as an iconic expression of happiness. Would that not change the music's emotional impact?

On the other hand - since I am a liberal - maybe it is the other way around. We skip because that lilt is already in our soul.

I believe music has some absolute associations but am not clear what is absolute and what is relative. For example F# is (I believe) the resonant frequency of bone, and F is the resonant frequency of flesh. Music is correspondingly edgy or soothing. This is absolute. I used to think that the minor keys made my tear ducts vibrate - causing a faint sensation of sorrow. Perhaps that was wrong and it was the E-flat in the key of C-minor going even lower than the F. Or maybe it was the F in the key of D-minor. In any case, those were my speculations. Tempo also is clearly in direct relation with heartbeat and excitement level. But rhythms? I don't see how they could have any relation to emotion except by association.

Robertroy Family Bear Stories

My grandfather George Robertroy told me three bear stories.
#1. Someone in our family killed the last bear in Mt. Clemens County MI.
#2. A relative was living in the woods in a shack. After a long winter, he went to town to get some decent meat and headed home with a sack of pork chunks in a bag. As he went along he realized that a bear was following him and, when it caught up, he took a piece of the pork from the bag and tossed it to the bear, hurrying onward. Soon the bear caught up again and he threw it another chunk of pork. He got back to his shack with the bear still following him. So he went in, got his gun, and came out and shot the bear.
#3. One day, a relative was in the forest chopping wood and put his axe down for a moment, when a bear rushed him. So my relative jumped into a tree and climbed as quickly as possible. But black bears can climb trees too, and the bear came up after him. Now, my relative was a big strapping fellow [my grandfathers words]. He took out his sheath knife and lopped off a branch, and when the bear came up, clawing and open-mouthed to bite him, he jammed the sharp branch down into the bear's mouth as hard as he could. The bear was injured deep inside and fell off the tree. My relative climbed down, got his axe, and killed it.

Enacting part of a narrative

I know I won't say this well, but I am trying to understand a parallelism between some truisms and some non verbal behaviors. Note this is about behavior and cognition and not about communication.

After learning about narrative patterns that occur in sentences, it did not take long to start seeing signs to them in non verbal behavior and what I can observe of my own thinking. This, in turn, leads to wanting to understand some of the behavior and emotions that give rise to behaviors that "complete" a truism. If I hear a phone ring, I answer it. When I see a character in a play sitting next to a ringing phone, I expect them to answer it. I can describe this as living out of Truism 7 "contrast is resolved". But there is no language involved and no communication.
Obviously there is a difference between a narrative used in communication and one which appears as behavior. But we won't get it straight any time soon. It relates to the question "what is a narrative pattern really?" Although we can describe them with notation, and know them when we speak, I do not agree with Plato that such a thing could be a timeless universal living outside my mind. It is, rather, a universal living inside my mind.
A clumsy attempt to describe narrative truisms, freed from the concepts of language that give birth to them, is that they are a form of generic stimulus-response. More precisely, the 'stimulus' would need to be interpreted in some way. Thus the ringing phone is interpreted as a contrast with an answered phone. And the interpreted stimulus is what evokes a response. Similarly the elephant must think something when picking up the litter and, according to what I am trying to say, one of two interpretations is suggested. Either the elephant interprets the litter as something coming later in time from a scene that previously did not have litter OR the elephant interprets the litter as something out of place. These interpretations are not so different - it makes me think truism 4 and 7 differ more at the linguistic level than at the underlying cognitive level. There doesn't have to be any specific pattern for how the elephant experiences the out-of-place-ness of the litter; whether out of place relative to the day before or out of place with respect to a very general picture.
Note in passing that there might be an experiment you could do to show that the naive pure operant conditioning model in psychology is not viable. Maybe something along the lines of: I am at a 5-lane intersection and a neighboring lane gets a green light. I am not impatient for them to go, because the green light is not interpreted as applying to me. (Speaking of experiments, how about having an elephant watch someone answer a ringing phone several times. Then put the elephant in the room alone with the phone and watch what happens when it rings.)
I have to admit a weakness - I feel it is more important to figure out set theory than behavior. So what concerns me is not so much the incompleteness of the above thoughts as what the impact is on hearing a story versus believing a story. It worries me that we enact a narrative in the same way that we expect a sentence to continue. With us slipping gradually and casually between these, I don't know if we can find a crack into which to insert the fingernails of a Russell'ian type theory. Maybe, if we got lucky, such problems would lead in a good direction.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Narrative Pattern concepts shade off into general behavioral ones

With that video of the elephant the other day, I get another example of how narrative patterns are essentially non verbal and only sometimes manifest as identifiable verbal patterns. The one I am wondering about at the moment is the competitive instinct which urges me to be ahead of the car in front of me, urges me to be the first out of a traffic light, etc (non car examples). I phrase this urge as "I win". I have not yet discovered a version of this in sentence structure.
Update: Also re the elephant. It could be exhibiting Truism 4 "Things remain the same" or Truism 7 "Out of place things need to be put in place" by ensuring the narrative ends as expected. But as far as knowing how the elephant is thinking about things, I think we would have to have verbal behaviors to use as evidence.

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Deep Healthcare

I just saw a headline mentioning IBM Watson being used in Healthcare. Do we suffer from Deep-O-Philia in Healthcare in the same way as the rest of AI applications? Presumably NOT.
Healthcare correlations are not about intelligent action so much as powerful multi-variate statistical tools. So hype is not a problem and healthcare is exactly where "deep" data mining could be useful. So the question becomes: how good is Watson's multi-variate correlation engine?
I know from personal experience (implementing Data Equilibrium) that tabulating and storing things like 5 variable correlations is not an easy algorithm. I wonder if they know how to do it?
NB: I implemented this algorithm inside a SourceForge project called "Data Equilibrium" and I filed a patent for the algorithm that got rejected because I used the word "dotted" - as in dotted line - and the reviewer tossed the application.
Update: See later posts about deep AI and healthcare. I think what we learn is that correlation is better when supported by a model. And we learned that IBM's Watson may be using such actual models which, amazingly, they extract somehow from correlations found in language.
Those bastards! That's the right direction.

Video of Elephant Picking up Trash

My wife showed me a video from showing an elephant picking up two pieces of litter and putting them in a nearby trashcan. We watch amazed and wonder: why would an elephant care about litter?
After a few moments thought we each have an idea. My wife says: I guess elephants have a sense of orderliness. My version of the same is: they follow Truism 4 - "Things remain the same". So both my wife and I conclude that something like this goes through the elephants head: "Hmm that paper was not there yesterday and does not belong there...". Why it knew the trash belonged in the can is another  matter.
It is another example of how the concept of narrative truisms is helpful in analyzing behavior.

Monday, February 15, 2016

"I'll wait for Elizabeth"

A bumper sticker of the moment.

Sunday, February 14, 2016

What is the economy?

In the past I defined "prosperity" as the flow of money in exchange for goods and services. This has many abstract and confusing derivatives. For example you can buy something like a gallon of milk and that is part of this "prosperity". But buying a company and managing it and realizing profits from it is 'meta' activity of some kind. Then re-selling shares in a promise to pay off a loan to a bank would qualify as a very meta activity.
I want to say that the more meta the activity, the less it has to do with a real economy so that largely what is going in Wall Street is a meta economy, minimally related to the prosperity of people; which is the primary economy. In so far as Wall Street gambles, so also is it superficial to the real economy.
Money in the hands of the rich, for the most part is taken out of the real economy. They might buy a few luxury goods, especially real estate. Then the rest will be invested in stocks and bonds which, per the above, is not part of the real economy. Money in the hands of the middle class and poor (the general population) is spent and circulates and is directly part of the primary economy. I am afraid that "living in the bubble" in Washington DC means confusing the superficial economy of Wall Street speculation with the primary economy of the general population.
It is worth noting in this context, that production is motivated to reduce costs when it comes out of their profit.
I know the above is nonsense and I have not spent enough time thinking about how to define things. It seems pretty clear that defining the purpose of a company as that of enriching the owners, is a bad policy for the real economy and the general population. Or put differently: that larger values of lambda are bad for society.
My guess is that capitalism should be informed by rules that encourage the gambling economy to generate new production. Something like a high interest rate or tax on stagnant money. But when it comes to real estate, I am in my own bubble and want to justify that by saying that property ownership should not have penalties.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Sniffing in disdain - another pre-verbal narrative pattern

The "sniff" is a sharp attack, followed by diminuendo. I wonder if this is the precursor for laughter?

One barely notices this pattern, but listen for it when you pass someone in the hallway. Some people cannot help but let you know they don't think much of you. Like yawning, it reveals an insecurity.
Update:  I was thinking how the sniff, which is an inward breath, cannot be the same as a laugh which is an outward breath. Also thinking how the sniff could not be associated with any words as no one speaks while inhaling. But actually the Parisians say "oui" on an intake.
Update: This may or may not be related to howParisians are famous for their disdain.

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Neither Yawning nor Sighing is for the Lungs....what nonsense

Even in college it was obvious that yawning was socially contagious (remember Biology class with D. Shepro?) and had little to do with the need for air - a need well satisified by breathing. One even sees 6 week old embryo's yawning in videos. Best guess: it is a showing of fangs. It is social behavior and means: "Leave me alone...I am not threatened by you".
Sighing, we have noticed, makes a very expressive sound - like the two note descending sound of disappointment. How is it anything other than language? If you sat in my cubicle with me and listened to my coworkers, you would hear them sigh upon occasion, and certainly they would hear me when I do it.
I find it absurd that these pre-verbal linguistic behaviors would be considered auxiliary functions to breathing. You could imagine alien scientists who knew about eating but not about spoken language concluding that all human language was a complex mechanisms for exercising the tongue.

Sunday, February 7, 2016

More Deep AI masquerading as intelligence

   The computer beating a Go master for the first time, has caused the world's science writing media to burp up the usual exaggerated encomiums on the significant advances in AI. As the Chinese say "Mayo...mayo...mayo", because, there is nothing about a good Go playing program that requires intelligence, it is a computational algorithm for finding optimizations. You cannot get any more mechanical or deterministic.
   Of course it takes a great deal of intelligence on the part of the people writing the Go playing program and picking the optimized strategies the computer can follow. Even if this programming happens iteratively through a (misnamed) "learning" program. It also takes a lot of computing power.
   Why is it that the intellectual community persists in confusing smart programming and vast computational power as "intelligent"?  To put this into a 1970'ish perspective, imagine headlines about the new TI-1000 hand held calculator, demonstrating "deep" AI. I think I can answer this question: it is because intelligence is not defined and, in humans, is measured using tests that we imagine applying to machines.
   I believe none of that has anything to do with actual intelligence. I don't have a definition either but then I don't claim to be "deep" [except I do: see "Best Models".]. I am guessing that there is real pressure to monetize investments in "Big Data", "Analytics", and all that other "deep" stuff. The fact that these technologies are being dumped into open source gives us a clue as to how that is working out. The good news is that these terms are being neutralized from over use and hype, leaving a new generation of words available for a future in which actual progress is made - coming from psychologists and philosophers and not from computer scientists who are not students of human behavior.

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Replacing random samples with gridded data

Suppose f:Rn->R is given by samples { yi = f(Xi) } and you want to extrapolate this to an approximation of f( ). One way to do it is to select grid points surrounding the Xi and ask: what y values should be assigned to the grid points so that the resulting multilinear interpolations at Xi differ from the sample values as little as possible? It is a linear least squares minimization. The only difficulties are at the edges of the data and where the density of samples is low compared to the number of grid points.
Needless to say, this is useful when you want to replace non gridded samples with gridded ones.

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Any human readers?

Various sitemeters continue to report visitors but I am convinced they are bots of some kind. In the last several years no one left a comment, so I doubt seriously that there is anyone reading this.

I would be grateful if a human reader would let me know they exist by saying hello in the comments.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Straining at the seams

Now, a few weeks after sending in the latest version of my paper, I am back to trying to test the soundness of the ideas. They hold up pretty well but there are plenty of things that are straining the concepts and need to be thought through.
-For example, toying with a truism for the "unanswered telephone" where I ascribe T7 to another person acting in a scene I am watching. What is this?
-For example symmetric relation, process, or other word type that has structured implicit information, all leading to some version of T6/T7 applying, when the structure is spoken about the next time.
-For example non-verbal narratives, and all those other feelings (besides impatience).
-For example how contrast interacts with values
-For example, lingering uncertainty how best to explain the expectation that a process comes to its natural conclusion. Is it T8 or Hybrid T6-7? I want to make it Truism 8C. steps in comprehending them

So you imagine GOOD and BAD and have four possible expressions involving contrast:
X_/GOOD, (X_/GOOD)*, X_/BAD, and (X_/BAD)*.
As I sit and consider examples of each, when I come to (X_/BAD)*, I get something that seems to just mean X_/GOOD. The other three are more individually distinct.
Oops! "My cancer is in remission" ain't X_/GOOD.
ANSWER: nor is it (X_/BAD)* because 'remission' contains a temporariness making it more like (X_/BAD)**. If you say "My cancer is gone" that is (X_/BAD)* - which really is X_/GOOD.