Stand Up (art that escaped the wall)

March 14, 2017

The End of the Music Business? Falling Fast!

March 13, 2017

The music industry is falling fast. They seem blind to what is going on. Look at this chart of how bad music has gotten, and how much it needs something new.

The Sadness in Romance (5 poems)

March 11, 2017

Sometimes poems have to cover the sadness in romance too.

Like a mirror
in the dark
waits for light
I …

Oh dewdrop
that only sparkles under the sun.
What a quandary that that same heat
takes you away from me.

If you love some one
that makes you feel at ease
yet worries you all the time …

you don’t mean
a thing you say
and if you did
you’d change your mind.

the Moon tonight
is just as far
away as ever.

Dream or Vision or Both – Ride along!

March 10, 2017

Relaxed after reading
I closed my book.
My eyelids follow
and there appeared stairs.

I began to descend
step after step.
The light of my lantern
bounced off the quartz
embedded in the walls.

I blinked my eyes
and a draft of air,
a repeating echo,
swept me away…

across an ocean
and an ocean beyond
across outer space
across time itself …

There appeared ahead
a high raised place.
I stood on a mountain top
and surveyed all around me:
enchanted woods
in front of blue mountains,
and a sky full of stars
peeping in the day.
Flocks of birds flying,
and calling down to herds
grazing together
around the water;
bleating and mooing
in a joyful noise!

And though mild weather,
snow began to fall
so heavy and fast
I couldn’t see.
It blinded my view
and swept me away …

Now on a tower
high over a city.
People moving about
in every direction
like ants on a hill;
busy and happy,
honking and chatting …

I felt I could fly
and lifted away.
A draft pulled me up.
I followed the current
into a cloud …

I awoke on a sea
as vast as the sky.
A breeze softly blew
like a melody.
“Ahoy! Ahoy!
sailors and fishes!
Come out! Come out!
Let me take a gander.”
Seabirds squawking,
sails snapping,
I laughed and laughed …

A wave came on board.
Salt in the water.
I rubbed my eyes
as a stout tide
gave a tug
and pulled me away –
riding the crest …

I came to a halt
and opening my eyes
cliffs all around me
of red red iron.
I’m riding an asteroid
through busy space.
Constellations formed.
More lights appeared.
The voids filled up.
Music swelled.

I now stood in front
of a great wall of light.
Looking up to see
if I could spot the top,
I raised my hand
like it held a lantern.
And raised it again,
and raised it once more,
and fell back asleep …

My book on my lap
in my comfortable chair,
a reading light humming
above my head,
a clock softly ticking …

Robot Servant Problem (excerpt from sci-fi novel Writings in Science)

March 7, 2017


Loki: I mapped it out on the kitchen table last night. We were trying too hard, that’s why we were stymied.

Nemo: What do you mean?

Loki: We were thinking in terms of an individual being in the machine, as if it needed to do all things for all people, instead of just specific tasks for a specific master. We were mapping out a cat not a dog. That’s the clue. Rethink it as an adjunct to the human, a glove to a hand.

Nemo: Explain.

Loki: Don’t think of the human and robot servant as separate. Think of them as programmer and program. But in this case the programmer is not the human that owns the robot, it’s the human that made the robot. it is he that preprogrammed the robot to fill in the data later and build on that data.

Nemo: Go on.

Loki: The robot doesn’t need to think at all. It first needs to gather info, process info, and react to that info in a pre programmed way.

Nemo: And then?

Loki: We program the robot to monitor the human; his pulse, heart rate, breathing rate, brain waves, eye blinks, blood pressure, etc. Simple stuff. Humans are not that complicated or sophisticated. Their actions are decipherable. It’s easy to tell if they are happy / not happy, angry / not angry, active / not active. We program the robot to monitor the physical changes and respond to each in a specific pre set way.

Nemo: For instance?

Loki: The human becomes active. The robot senses this and responds, “Ready to do something?” or “Going somewhere”, or “What’s up?” Or the human becomes inactive. The robot notices this change and responds with; “Let’s rest,” or “Time for some mental activity.” Or the robot will monitor the signs; hunger signs, sleepy signs, time of day, or in extreme cases, signs of excess anger or fear. In each case he responds as programmed. That’s the basics. Then we take it further.

Nemo: What do you mean?

Loki: After the robot responds, it monitors the human a second time. This time it monitors the response of the human to the robots initial reaction, a feedback loop begins. If the robot response leads to positive reactions in the human, it reinforces that reaction in the robot. If the human reaction leads to a negative reaction, it reinforces in the robot not to repeat that action. Now it’s just simple math. The robot response that leads to a positive response in the owner are repeated or learned. Those that are negative are not. They are deleted or unlearned.

Nemo: So the robot’s job is threefold; monitor the human’s physical reactions, try out preprogrammed responses to those physical reactions, and reinforce those that get positive results while ending those that get negative results, altogether a simple feedback loop.

Loki: Yes! All of this we can do now: monitor human physical behavior, preprogram certain basic responses in the robots we make, and build in a feedback loop to reform that robot response through trial and error, a sort of mechanical selection.

Nemo: We end up with a robot servant with a personality; one that is unconsciously set up by the owner to best cater to his or her specific needs. The robot becomes a glove to the hand.

Loki: A comfortable glove!

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