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[personal profile] outlawpoet
from [livejournal.com profile] __marcelo 
Comment on this post and I'll tell you five subjects/things I associate with you. Then you post them in your lj and elaborate.

AI - My profession is AI. It's weird how entirely something can become a part of your life, to the point where you almost forget that's what you spend all your time on. I find myself thinking about the future and plotting some industrial design stuff, or biomed research, before remembering that I'll probably be applying AI powered gear or straight-up software solutions to those problems. I have a bit of conceptual lag, in areas I haven't thought about much. I need to rethink my positions and ideas in light of the technologies and stuff I have now.

I'm not yet entirely ok with having an expertise. But clearly I rely on it. Recently my company got all contracted up(to be respectable and such) and I finally signed a non-compete agreement. And I panicked a bit, I'll admit. 18 months where I can't do any AI work? I guess I'll just have to take the opportunity to do any non-AI stuff I can, as quick as I can, before those 18 months are up.

Behavioral tricks - This one feels like cheating. Since AIs don't actually exist, and most AI theory has failed to produce results in the last 50 years, I mostly look at human characteristics as comparative research. I have ended up with a nonspecialist understanding of a lot of the human brain, mostly in service of taking it apart for structural ideas. And besides, how can you not be interested in the substrate of your mind? A little understanding can go a long way in service of rationality.

Sci-fi-I'll admit I have a problem. Almost anything I think about turns into sci-fi. I once tried to write straight-up high fantasy, and it completely fell apart. They were zooming around in magical aerostats and building crystal-ball networks before I could stop them. Perhaps it's a function of where I stand in real life, but it seems to me that people strive to take advantage of things. This pushes our thoughts into the future of 'what could be'. static, unchanging worlds in fiction disgust me. You need to twist and bend your fictional characters, cutting off means of escape. And usually it's not even done very well. All that stands between Reed Richards or Victor Von Doom completely altering the tenor of 616 earth are their ill-defined motivational problems. Reed is self-obssessed and Doom doesn't care for anyone but Latverians. They had to destroy Genosha because everybody there had powers. Allowing anyone to tell that story would very quickly spiral into sci-fi, albeit one powered by genetic rather than technological differences. It seems natural to me. But not everybody seems to like it. So ka. I'll just have to make my own comics continuity, where people are allowed to change the status quo.

Universe-level meta -All problems are problems of scale. issues that paralyze a village are solved without thought by cities. Surgeons struggle to manipulate tissues that are gargantuanly obvious to biological systems like platelets and leukocytes. It seems natural to try to solve issues and think about things by going way up the ladder or way down. With fiction it's even more vital, because at the very top level you have the nature of reality defined by intent. When you write a story, the DNA of that universe is your unconscious assumptions about life. It's not just Ayn Rand and Heinlein that justified their political beliefs in fiction, everybody does. You honestly believe that good people are rewarded? a 'realistic' fiction story you write will implement that. Find someone's conception of a perfect world, and I will tell you their personal flaws.

Betaing -I love reading writing that is in progress. I used to read shooting scripts to movies i had just seen, just to see what they had changed in post. It's the thought process that interests me. I'm very grateful to __marcelo for letting me peek and help with this. I've gotten to edit and help with a lot of people's stuff over the years, books, college theses, fiction, research, this weekend i might get a copy of a grant proposal. It's not work to me. It's reading squared.


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April 2009

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