Thursday, December 8, 2016

Specialists in academics

Its faculty recognition time again. Following the industrialization of education our command hierarchy (following the fuhrer principle) tells us that we all must perform teaching, research, and service, each in specific assigned amounts.  I would think that specialization might actually be more efficient than this.  One person might perform only teaching, another only research, and another service.  We already have those who only do administration. Some people might perform two or more of these basic functions but there is no need for everyone to do three or all four. "From each according to his ability."

Friday, December 2, 2016

Specialist agents in Asa H

We would like to slowly grow a society of A.s.a. H. agents.  Each agent would be a specialist and might be developed relatively independently and then added to the society in order to expand its overall expertise. To what degree is this possible?  On the other hand what capabilities must ALL agents share? Some agents might assist or care for others.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Beta > 1 plasmas

I have suggested that fusion researchers should put more effort into the study of beta > 1 or wall confined plasmas. Magneto-Inertial Fusion and the Magnetized Target Fusion projects at Los Alamos National Laboratory are recent examples of this.  Unfortunately, theoretical studies of such systems may be employing overly optimistic models of the magnetic thermal insulation. One might well expect such systems to have stochastic field lines.  If that is the case then we might want to employ turbulent thermal insulation as suggested in my papers: Current Science, pg 991, 1988 and Bull. Am. Phys. Soc., Nov. 4, 2009 (51st Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics).

Wednesday, November 16, 2016


A Spectra Symbol Flex Sensor (part FS-L-0112-103-ST) makes a good whisker for A.s.a. H.  The whiskers can be stiffened and strengthened by inserting the sensor into a long thin spring.

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Moral calculus and values

In blogs like those of 21 Sept. 2010 and 26 Oct. 2016 I have discussed value/moral systems for A.s.a. And other artificial intelligences.  Jonathan Haidt's moral foundations theory (see his book The Righteous Mind) suggests that humans have a set of primary values:

1. Care versus harm
2. Liberty versus slavery
3. Fair versus cheat
4. Loyal versus betrayal
5. Authority versus submissive
6. Sanctity versus degrading

Haidt believes political liberals value the first 3 more while political conservatives value the last 3 more, thus explaining how some people can vote for someone like Trump. They experience somewhat different realities. (See my blog of 21 July 2016) This set of values overlaps only slightly with those found in my 21 Sept. 2010 blog.  Perhaps I should try to implement more of them? Or should we be less concerned with what humans value (sticking to scientism)?

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Sense of smell

To give A.s.a. H. more of a sense of smell I have bought a set of MQ gas detector modules (MQ-2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, and 135) to add to A.s.a.'s conventional smoke detector.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

In a mirror, darkly

There were several Star Trek episodes in which members of the Enterprise crew are trapped in an evil mirror universe.  For some time now I have felt that I was stuck as a slave in that Terran empire. Today I can't keep this feeling private any longer.

The political party that gave us a crook and a moron has now given us a mad man. And the people that elected a crook and a moron have now elected a mad man. Only a fool gives a mad man control of nuclear weapons. Human values aren't what they should be.

All species become extinct.  Is it now our turn?  Just how many mad men can the world survive? "The end of days" could be a self fulfilling prophecy. Are we about to see, first hand, the solution to the Fermi paradox?

I had hoped that humankind would survive long enough to establish a robust independent society of mechanical intelligences on earth.  I now think that that is less likely. Perhaps it will occur elsewhere or in some other Everett world.

The United States presents a substantial threat to the world as a whole and its survival.