Searching for the Moon

Shannon Clark's rambles and conversations on food, geeks, San Francisco and occasionally economics

Archive for February, 2003


Posted by shannonclark on February 28, 2003

New York Songlines: Walking Tours of Manhattan Streets

Very cool site – will definitely try to get linked to this via a wireless device of some form next time I’m meandering through NYC. “Songlines” for most of Manhattan – walking guides to lots of cool stuff.

It is also one of the better examples of a navigation scheme online that I have seen (literally a navigation scheme)

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Posted by shannonclark on February 27, 2003

M’ris writes about something sparked by a post of mine a few days ago about how entering college at a young age was a mostly negative thing for me (my post) – in contrast, it was a great thing for her.

My life indeed has not sucked (well perhaps the being single part…) and it is good to read optimism – February seems this year to be a month on hold.

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Posted by shannonclark on February 26, 2003

Cannot find Weapons of Mass Destruction

quite amusing (thanks Heather) – even for those of us not (as so many of my friends appear to be) firmly on the side of the protestors.

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Posted by shannonclark on February 26, 2003 Technology | Artificial stupidity

Part one of a series (linked to printable version – but do support Salon by looking at their ads, I may not always agree with them on all issues, but they publish a lot of great stuff)

This article covers something that, as a research into AI albeit obscure branches of and in a non-academic setting, I am very interested in. That is, the odd disconnect betwee the “AI establishment” and reality and practicality.

While personally I am not sure that the Turing Test is the be all and end all of tests (there are plenty of humans with whom a conversation might be rather stilted), I do not think that dismissing the practical attempts to test it points to a very professional approach on the part of the “establishment”.

Further, I personally don’t think that LISP based approaches to AI are the way to go – rather I tend to view “AI” as needing far more complex approaches than the rules based approaches of LISP.

In my own work, which is very narrowly focused, I look at building systems that are self-modifying – that is, they are literally built by a reaction to the information and task at hand (literally in terms of the code that is run in many cases). I would argue that this approach, combined with some “learning/memory” based on the past, as well as a focus on what needs to be done is a highly productive approach to AI development.

Here the goal is not fully autonomous systems, but rather to build systems that automate repetative human tasks – my usual target being 80-90% of a given task. This allows the systems to speed up humans on their daily tasks and/or free up time for more important work (so either more work of a given type can be performed, or attention can be shifted to more value added tasks).

If you are reading this and are interested in learning more about my research and software,f feel free to contact me – I would be happy to point you to some demos and/or discuss what I am working on.

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Posted by shannonclark on February 26, 2003

BlogTalk – A European Weblog-Conference

If I could attend it would be good, as it is, I will be at WisCon that weekend in any case.

But for those of you who will not be as WisCon, the conference will be in Vienna, and if you submitt a paper topic before Feb 28th (Friday) they might (if they accept it) cover some of your costs to attend!

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Posted by shannonclark on February 25, 2003

Ecademy – Six Degree: The Science of A Connected Age – a review

My review of Duncan J. Watt’s book on the new science of the connected age, the science of networks. One of the best books I have read in a very long time.

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Posted by shannonclark on February 21, 2003

A discussion on Diversity in Politics

Last night I attended a meeting of Cafe Society, a great group (more on them later) which met at Filter in Wicker Park.

I have created the following discussion group to follow up on the discussion of last night.

Discuss Diversity it Politics

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Posted by shannonclark on February 21, 2003

Has Slashdot Changed?
or have I?

Today on Slashdot there is a very active (over 700 messages at last count) discussion on “What would you tell your nerdy 12 year old self?” most of the advice being something along the lines of “play sports and have sex.”

Okay. First – When did the Slashdot audiance because Sports players? Something has changed.

Second – “have more sex” all well and good – but also, what universe were these people in? Certainly not the one that I live in.

At age 12 I was just entering high school (yup, skipped a grade, does that to you) – I was 12 as a Freshman, 16 as a senior – turned 17 a few days later). Certainly interested in sex, but had no opportunities throughout all of high school (and not really any in college for quite a while either).

So, what advice would I give my 12 year old self.

1. Graduate early – but then take time off, perhaps one maybe two years – spend it traveling and/or studying abroad.

2. Entering college at a more regular age (18 or 19 instead of 17) perhaps the whole experience would have been a richer and better one.

But on the whole topic of sex – tough one, hasn’t gotten any easier for me yet.

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Posted by shannonclark on February 21, 2003

I am now looking at what other changes to make to my Blog.

In looking at other’s I think my first change will be to the template for the posts – will probably change it to show more metadata more usefully (post by name, date, “archive link” type formatting)

I am also now considering whether or not the paid version of Blogger offers value to me – between the ad free blogspot hosting and the paid version of the software.

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Posted by shannonclark on February 19, 2003

I’ve added a subscribe box to my Yahoo! Groups Searching For the Moon group. I started this many years ago and then did nothing with it. In looking it over, I has a mailing list archive capacity of over 500 meg, so I may start using it for something!

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