Free Speech and Spying

I used to think that there was little chance the government would be spying on me. But then I realized that I correspond with people all over the world by email. Moreover, people all over the world come to this site. Take a look at my website hits from the last day or so: This is pretty typical. A recent breakdown is just over half of the visitors are USA citizens, leaving over 40% to […]

Reflections on Frankenstorm

drugs I don’t normally see cops smoke on duty, but lots of cops were smoking last week. Beer was being sold for up to $30 a six pack.  Not good beer either. I overheard a barista at Verb Cafe in Williamsburg say that Tuesday had been their best day ever.  They did twice their sales of a busy Saturday and closed early because they ran out of everything.  He also said he saw a lot […]

The SEP on the Kindle

Reading on a computer screen is often not pleasant, especially when a lot of reading has to  be done. This is a general problem for philosophy since nearly everything is in PDF format and if you don’t want to print out a tree’s worth of paper you are stuck. I got a Kindle.  Kindles can handle PDFs, but what I just found out is that Kindles can do the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy quite well.  […]

Aether Propeller?

I was trying to figure out how planes stay in the sky. So this is what I came up with. As the plane moves forward, a small vacuum is created above the wing. The vacuum is a low pressure zone which pulls the wing up and the air down to fill itself in (because Nature HATES a vacuum).  This upward pull that the low pressure zone creates we call lift. I thought, “Hooray.  This isn’t […]

Video Game Design #5: Modern Art

Most of the time video game designers are trying to make 3 dimensional virtual worlds that are as realistic as possible, or focus upon a particular art style, and tell a story within that world. What I would like to see is a lifelike 3-D world that has a main character that has special abilities, or levels, taken from modern art.  This means, for example, that a character with Cubist special abilities (or in the […]

Where Does Probability Come From? (and randomness to boot)

I just returned from a cruise to Alaska. It is a wonderful, beautiful place. I zip-lined in a rain forest canopy, hiked above a glacier, kayaked coastal Canada and was pulled by sled-dogs. Anywho, as on many cruises, there was a casino, which is an excellent excuse for me to discuss probability. What is probability and where does it come from? Definitions are easy enough to find. Google returns: a measure of how likely it […]

Video Game Design 3: Golf Practice

The Wii has a lot of potential as a golf simulator/ practice program. With the introduction of the Wii balance board the opportunity for using weight distribution has become a real factor, and, though I know nearly nothing about golf, balance and weight distribution during a club swing has to be critical. Now using the balance board to monitor weight distribution is somewhat obvious. However, very accurate motion sensing from the controller would also be […]

Psychopharmacological Enhancement

The only ways to enhance the mind is to learn or evolve. Since evolution is out of our hands, all that is left is to learn. Drugs that purport psychopharmacological enhancement do not do what their name states: they may change certain psychological factors but there is no drug that will make you smarter. This would be to eat from the tree of knowledge. However drugs may be able to let you do things that […]

Computers, Intelligence and the Embodied Mind

This interview with Hubert Dreyfus (just the parts about computers: part 1, part 2. via Continental Philosophy) briefly outlines one of the major criticisms leveled against artificial intelligence: computers will never be intelligent because our intelligence is based upon our physical interactions in and with the world. Very briefly, our intelligence is fundamentally tied to our bodies because it is only through our bodies do we have any interaction with the world. If we separate […]