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About Axiom

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    V. Silagadze
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    University of Waterloo
  1. I definitely sympathize with you. I'm familiar with the lack of intellectual property rights in China from the engineering R&D side of things - and I imagine the same issues arise on the art front. That being said, I see the lack of attention to copyright as a relatively minor flaw (for now.) Consider how far the country has come in the last 20 years. Lack of copyright law seems like a blemish compared the the complete lack of property rights that existed there in recent memory. Also consider that these reproductions have nothing but a positive effect on the well being of the artist th
  2. I just recently acquired a reproduction of one of my favorite paintings. It cost me less than $100, including shipping. All thanks to the magic of slave labor globalization. There is a city called Painting Village in China where the entire local economy revolves around creating art reproductions. It's a pretty incredible example of entrepreneurship actually. Here's an example of one posted on ebay: http://cgi.ebay.ca/Pelt-Merchant-of-Cairo-...Z150274976457QQ
  3. You may be interested in this Brain Terminal
  4. Axiom


    I'm curious as to where you got the 2/3 statistic - it sounds too high too me. I recall seeing numbers much lower a while ago (...it was in the National Post when the private/public hospital opened up). Re: polemic Isn't that how all elections are run these days? when was the last time you saw a conservative defeat that wasn't a result of a pragmatic platform? I remember reading line by an Objectivist intellectual (Tracinsky?) that was about the Microsoft anti-trust trials: "when they loose in court they conclude that it isn't a result of compromising on their principles, but that it is
  5. Axiom


    For those of you who haven't heard but are at least remotely interested, the Liberals won again in Canada. They've got a minority government this time (i.e, less than 50% of the seats in the house) but I don't think they will have any trouble keeping up the march towards socialism - not with the NDP (the actual communist party) having more than enough seats to make up the difference. So for all of you who live in Canada and predicted a conservative victory, I must now officially claim my I-told-you-so. Canadians have become so complacent and cowardly that there is absolutely no chance in
  6. Pietsch presents a new approach to thinking about neural computation - rather than looking for "literal comparisons" between the behavior of the brain and the results produced (i.e, mental states) he introduces the idea of the mind being created in a transform space, i.e, existing one level of abstraction above the physical operation of the brain. Instead of the actions of neurons being directly responsible for mental states, it is their actions within the context of a transform space. So in order to understand what's going on beneath the surface one has to look at it from "within" the transfo
  7. No, that is not a correct interpretation. If anything I think this is one of the few theories I've seen that actually has some hope of accounting for a non-physical phenomenon like the mind. The rest either completely dismiss the mind (i.e, consciousness) as a byproduct, or at best explain it in terms of bizarre quantum effects that have nothing to do with consciousness (as though through sheer weirdness they can account for how the mind works.) I'm far from knowledgeable about this subject, but what interests me specifically is how this theory can be applied to AI. I've been doing some work
  8. Not much I'm afraid. He leaves that to the philosophers.
  9. I've recently read Dr. Paul Pietsch's book "Shufflebrain: The Quest of Hologramic Mind." In it he presents a rather unique theory about how the brain gives rise to the mind, and provides descriptions of a number of experiments (which he collectively calles shufflebrain) that seem to support what he is proposing. The book is available for free at http://www.indiana.edu/~pietsch/shufflebrain.pdf and you can visit Dr. Pietsch's homepage at http://www.indiana.edu/~pietsch/ The thesis of the book is that the brain stores the mind as codes of wave phase, with the same characteristics as a
  10. This discussion has raised enough doubt about my original position for me to put it into my "probably false, interesting ideas" pile. I'm by no means married to the view - it just seamed reasonable to me. But back to the original topic: For those of you who have access to HBL (Harry Binswanger List www.hblist.com), there was a discussion on a while back about Aristotle's book Categories. The consensus seemed to be that the whole book was an attempt to clear up a misconception that arose out of the structure of ancient Greek. I may be misremembering here, so perhaps someone who has access
  11. Isn't that what we are talking about here? arbitrary strings of numbers? In any case, I found the place in the book where Dehaene describes the findings, and it was on page 102 -103, under the chapter "The Cost of Speaking English". I didn't see any references provided - he simply asserts it. I asked a simple hypothetical question in my first post on this topic, which was how difficult would thinking become if words averaged 50 characters? could you seriously claim that it wouldn't have any effect? if not, then clearly the efficiency of language has at least some impact on the efficienc
  12. My copy of the book is unfortunately in a different coutry at the moment, so I won't be getting to it for a while However, I'm sure you could track down the specific page in the book easily by using the Amazon.com book search tool. Regarding the ability to remember more numbers with shorter words: why is this so surprising? just try to remember a string of short words vs a string of long ones - wouldn't you expect to be able to remember more words if they are shorter? words for numbers are just placeholders for concepts - perceptual level references. If the percept is a complicated one
  13. Sure. I read it in The Number Sense by Stanislas Dehaene. I recall it had a few studies referenced there (I'd look it up, but I don't have the book handy at the moment.)
  14. I recall reading a while ago that chinese speakers are able to remember longer strings of numbers than ensligh speakers - 9 numbers as opposed to 7. The reason for this is usually attributed to the fact that numbers are much shorter words in chinese than in english. On an intuitive level, this makes sense. Just try thinking about a given subject while expanding all of the normally used acronyms. So thinking something like ¨NASA is incompetent ATM and should be privatized ASAP¨ as ¨National Aeronautics and Space Administration is incompetent at the moment and should be privatized as soon as p
  15. Re: Say's Law Three points: First, Say's Law is the most important economic principle that is almost universally ignored in academia (...I've never seen it taught.) Second, Thomas Sowell wrote a great book (his doctoral dissertation) on Say's Law. I'm sure your local university library will carry it. Third, Say's Law states that supply constitutes its own demand, which is simply an econo-speak way of saying that you can't have consumption without production. Demand is *not* "I want it", demand is "I want it and can afford to buy it", and there is no such thing as "I can afford to buy it
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