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A few weeks ago i stumbled upon Scott Aaronson’s post called “The Toaster-enhanced Turing Machine”. As you might guess from my title, i misunderstood what it meant. But, actually, i really liked the thing i understood instead, so i’ll post my own version. Which is:

A Turing-machine enhanced toaster is just a Turing-machine.

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Used to the Hollywood depiction of oriental masters, in the tradition of Mr. Miyagi, it’s easy to mistake the Sensei-apprentice relationship as mere quircks of old age that the youngling gets used to, Yoda phrase construction like. In traditional japanese culture, and to a lesser degree asian cultures generally, the relationship is more in line with worship, unquestioning obeyssance to the Sensei being the minimum expected. The student must treat every one of the teacher’s opinions and whims as god-given truths. For western eyes, that might feel like an hierarchy thing, or even, translating it to capitalism terms, a form of exploitation. But an alternative reading is that the teacher is treated as perishable asset, as something that must be kept from spoiling. The student never argues with anything not because he is changing his opinion, but to avoid changing the teacher’s. The discipline being taught is not a concrete list of facts and methods, with independent objective reality, but a living, breathing, particular point of view. Even if the teacher was wrong about something, the mistake itself would be precious. The Sensei is like a clean spring that must be protected from all contamination — even to the point of isolation.

Quero te pedir uma coisa.

Um último pedido de alguém que, você mesma admitiu, ou pareceu admitir, não te importa muito.

Queria te pedir que me odiasse. Eu te dei um pé na bunda, afinal, eu te mandei passear, fui eu e não você que deixou claro que o meu corpo já não está mais à sua disposição.

Pois veja que esse seu papo mole de que eu sou tão fofo e especial, de que você tem certeza que vou encontrar alguém, esse papo é tão escroto quanto uma demissão com desejos de boa sorte. Read More »

A few weeks ago someone posted on hacker news an (oldish) long rant by a certain Steven Dutch against the weasel wording of post-modern philosophy of science.

For a physicist, being called solipsist is tantamount to being accused of inventing his experimental results, pretty much the worst thing one could do. For anyone in the humanities, people being their object of study, and people having a strong tendency to behave in solipsist ways, disregarding solipsism out of hand is inventing experimental results. Read More »