Singing An American Tune.

I am sitting in a room. It’s November 2nd, 2020, the day before the United States presidential election, half past eight in the evening, Greenwich Mean Time. The room is small, cluttered and only lit by cool dim LED fairy lights and the glow of my iPad. The only sound I hear is the whirrrrring […]

The center cannot hold.

So here we are, a week away from the 2020 US election, which will almost certainly decide whether or not the United States has a future as a viable nation-state. If that seems like an exaggeration, you probably don’t really understand the scale of the mess America is in. There is, for only maybe the […]

Downbound Project

[Update: an official statement from the DTP says that 30 employees, or 10% of its staff, are being laid off, not 30%. However, it also gives the impression that many of its projects are being shut down or defunded, which means that the people employed by those projects – and therefore not technically DTP employees […]

Refining the ideas.

I’ve been thinking about my little scheme, and I’ve talked to a couple of people who know far more about electronics than I do. I’m a software person, essentially, and so I think in those terms. Basically, one of the problems people have had with my idea is that every actuator requires different circuitry, because […]

Behavioral, autonomic, mechanical compared to Marr’s tri-level hypothesis

As I mentioned in my last post, my model for cybernetic systems bears a lot of resemblance to David Marr’s tri-level hypothesis, which he defines as computational, algorithmic and implementational. I’ll quote from the site linked above: The computational level is a description of what information processing problem is being solved by the system. The algorithmic level is […]

The world is a robot.

This afternoon, I attended an excellent talk by Ken Goldberg about “cloud robotics” — the idea of building robots that are essentially taught and controlled by the Internet “cloud”. As Ken was talking, I had a moment of pure epiphany about cloud robotics and the “Internet of things“. I realized that the underlying assumptions about […]

Common People

We’re rednecks, rednecks We don’t know our ass from a hole in the ground Rednecks, rednecks, We keepin’ the niggers down. –Randy Newman, “Rednecks” What do you have when you come from a poor-white background? And from a place where Reconstruction didn’t end until the 1950s. If you came from people often referred to on campuses as […]