Monday, November 29, 2010

leslie nielsen 1926-2010

I never got a chance to tell him how important he was to me in my formative years. How much I loved him.

Friday, November 19, 2010

the singularity came five minutes ago

At work, I play pre-recorded questions for customers to answer. I'm pretty sure the voice in the recording is completely synthesized. But some of the questions emphasize certain words in ways you wouldn't think a computer would. For instance, when Mrs. Computer says, "In the last 12 months, have you had sex with a man who has had sex, even one time since 1977, with another man?" she sounds judgemental. In 2010, we can teach* a computer to emphasize words based on the rules of English, but we can't teach it values from the human world. A computer isn't supposed to know that a man shall not lie with a man, nor shall a woman lie with one who has, since 1977, lest she be at risk for HIV and the gum disease gingivitis. A computer should not know the meaning of those words. It should not put emotion in its voice when it reads them.

So at work, whether those recordings were made by robots or a very robotic-sounding person, is an open question. Meanwhile, I've been chatting pretty regularly with a pretty girl who wants me to sign up for her webcam site. She wants it really bad. I've tried all sorts of methods to determine whether or not she is a computer program—to develop my own Turing techniques. I've burned cumulative hours with this girl, playing our cat and mouse game, hunting for proof of a human will, while she tries to fasten the bell of getting my credit card number to my neck, wasting time I could have spent watching regular old free porn. (It wasn't all a waste. I was watching porn for about half the time I've spent chatting with her.)

So in the shower, while reflecting on this, it occurred to me that I've failed. The cases where I'm unable to tell a computer from a human are multiplying. This is how the future gets us: from behind.

*If you want to tell me that you don't teach a computer, you program it, then you just can't withstand the truth of the Singularity.

Monday, November 1, 2010

shit shit shit!

A couple months ago, I saw the president on the TV, and thought, "Oh, yeah, I've got to get ready to vote." So I went to my Senate candidates' websites and looked at their respective "Issues" pages. They were mirror images of each other. More research was going to be necessary before I decided who deserved my drop in the ocean. Fast forward to this morning: I haven't researched anything, and the voting place closes at noon. And I work all day tomorrow.

I'm like, "Shit shit shit!" Back to the "Issues" pages. Still the same. I check the House candidates' sites, and they're the same too. I watch some commercials, and read some Wikipedias, and they're still the same. My socks are still on. Nobody's knocked my socks off. I agree with them on nuclear power and biotech and gun control, and disagree with them on baby killing and mutual assured recession. I even check on the Libertarian candidates. I shudder when I see the words "Tea Party" and "support" in the same sentence. ("I" and "the" are in there too.) I voted for a Libertarian once, back when I thought it meant voting for Reason magazine. The real candidates were Bush and Kerry, so no regret there.

Anyway, I agree with all my candidates, and they agree with each other. (By "all" I mean "federal". I don't have time to deal with some local bullshit. ["I agree with federal my candidates"?]) So it's my day off, I'm in the early voting line for a race that doesn't matter, about to do something I thought I never would, wondering if I'm going to go through with it, right up till pen hits bubble.

Party ticket!!!

Come on, who wouldn't? Everybody love ass.

Meanwhile, on the Blacktor Follow Up, remember when I said Lady Gaga's an ink blot? Here's another example! An evangelist calling her an evangelist. Spooky.