Some words from Steve Grand about C1

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Chris Pfeiler

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Feb 21, 2009, 4:21:25 AM2/21/09
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Now here´s the stuff I wanted to post, I just needed his permission.
Once again I dared to bother the Gods with mortal trifles, so here
are some very detailled thoughts by Steve Grand on C1, the universe
and everything.

My questions were mostly about the social senses ("It is my sibling"
etc.) and about the 37-lobe-mutation, but Steve wrote a much more
complex and in-depth reply about various aspects of Creatures and
its development. It´s a long text but IMO very, very interesting.

He (just like Sandra) confirms some of my theories about C2 and C3.
So here are some words from Steve Grand:

-----------

Wow! I didn't even realize that the Creatures newsgroup still existed.
I wish I could help but I don't think I can, much. It's all so long
ago now!

In fact I looked for the source code to try to answer your questions
and the only source I have is dated 1994 - two years before the
project was finished. That predates the complete re-write I did to
include genetics, so it is much too early to contain the final code
for senses. My employers owned the copyright to Creatures and this
was sold on to Gameware after I left, so legally speaking I shouldn't
even have a copy of the source code at all. It's very sad to have
lost all that, but it was a VERY difficult time.

I think the reason I didn't include a sense for "this is my egg" might
be because it didn't occur to me! Although I may have made the eggs
appear as if they were children. I'm pretty sure these senses were
implemented and working, because I remember checking them when I was
wondering whether I should implement an instinct gene to reduce incest
(I decided against it, because without incest most norns would never
have bred). I really don't know why they aren't showing up in the
brain monitor. Perhaps they somehow got disabled after I lost control
of the project near the end?

Other than family relationships I don't think there's any way for a
norn to recognize an individual. There were all sorts of things I
would have loved to do but we had to get the product out of the door
after nearly five years, so it didn't all happen in C1. And C2 / C3
were almost completely beyond my control.

Norn variations with more lobes and/or more neurons were certainly able
to develop new functionality. Whether they actually did or not I don't
know. It's important to realize that I DIDN'T give norns genetics in
order for them to evolve. It's not an evolution-based simulation. The
life spans are too long and the creatures too complex for significant
evolution to take place in reasonable timescales. I incorporated
genetics because a) it was the obvious way to configure all the chemical
and neural components, b) to add HERITABLE VARIATION, which is not the
same as evolution, and c) because it was the honest thing to do - it
made reasonably open-ended evolution possible even if it never occurred
in practice. In the event the game was a much bigger success than I was
expecting, and the users were so committed that I'm sure beneficial
adaptations did evolve, but that wasn't my objective.

Hey, I just read your newsgroup post - I didn't realize slink was still
around! How nice! If you post this or have any reason to send it to her,
let me say "Hello Sandra! Thank you for everything. I'm really sorry I
never got the chance to spend significant time with you."

She's quite right about the lack of energetics in the chemical model. I
was very aware of it at the time, but my original purpose was to create
a COMPUTATIONAL chemistry, not an energetic one. I was more interested
in hormonal switches, chemical oscillation, etc. and I adapted this to
implement simple digestion and respiration almost as an aside. Adding
rules for what could react with what would have made the system much
harder to work with, and I implemented the chemistry model long before
I decided to add genetic coding, so at the time it didn't matter because
I was in complete control over the reaction networks. By the time I
added genetics and made all this open-ended it was too late to go back
and rethink the chemistry model. I was always under such pressure to
get the program finished, and there were so many competing demands.
First and foremost I was being paid to write a computer game, not do
artificial life.

Sandra also said: "First of all, they had to design a new system from
scratch because of their split from the portion of the company who
owned the rights to the original program. I believe that was
Millennium?"

Actually that's not right. Nobody ever designed a new system from
scratch. C2 (and to a lesser extent C3) was based heavily on my original
engine and scientific design (even though I didn't even get a credit on
the C2 box!). The C2/3 teams added extra stuff and fiddled around with
the model and I think Sandra has a point about not leaving things like
that to young single men (although there were at least two young single
women there too!). The "split from Millennium" was actually the
formation of a new company (Cyberlife) and the selling off of the
remainder of the original Millennium games company to Sony. Cyberlife
kept all the rights to Creatures.

The sequence of events was this:

- I started writing C1 specifically to be published by Maxis. Geoff
Braun and Will Wright at Maxis understood what I was trying to do and
knew a lot about this kind of simulation.
- There was some kind of internal coup at Maxis. I think Geoff and
Will went off to start another company. Maxis tried to turn Creatures
into a much more straightforward entertainment title and then finally
dumped it.
- Michael (managing director of Millennium) suddenly "got" Creatures
and made the brave decision to take it out of the release schedule
and give me time to do it properly (although I doubt he expected it
to take five years!). Meanwhile he looked hard for another publisher.
- Warner Brothers sent round a couple of scientists to see if we were
"telling the truth" about what we had. Both were extremely positive
(especially Dave Cliff, who introduced me to the academic community
for the first time). Warners decided to publish it and offered a very
large advance (not to me though - I was just on a salary and never
earned any royalty from Creatures).
- After four years of working alone (plus an artist), the team was
expanded and others took over the job of finishing the program. Mostly
this involved turning all the kits and UI, which I'd written in Visual
Basic, into C++ code. The engine remained largely in my hands until
close to the end. By this time I was developing a bigger vision for
the company and was needed at a strategic level to talk to potential
clients, etc. Eventually I started to lose touch with the product.
- The board decided to follow my bigger vision, set up Cyberlife to
implement it and sell off the rest of the Millennium games outfit.
- C1 was released, and you all know what happened there.
- Toby, who was the producer for the last phase of C1 after I stopped
being the sole developer, took on managing the development of C2. I was
there for the occasional bit of advice but mostly I was busy doing more
corporate things. C2 was based heavily on the C1 engine but a lot more
hard-coded stuff had been added.
- I developed an idea for a general purpose A-life simulation platform
called Gaia (later called Origin), but I was wearing a suit by now and
so the actual implementation of this fell to a team of young
programmers, who never quite understood (or perhaps violently disagreed
with) what I had in mind. Origin never managed to become what I'd
intended, but consumed a lot of resources and time.
- Cyberlife was by now called CreatureLabs and was divided into the
Origin team and the games team (mostly C3, but by now people were
reverting to type, so other games were under development too). There
was also a small, inexperienced research group. The company had grown
alarmingly large. Sandra is right that C3 was heavily dumbed down,
because very different influences were at work in the company by now.
- The dotcom bubble burst, our investors got pissed at the lack of
progress, the company was way too heavy and not nearly productive
enough, and things started to fall apart.
- I got upset at the inability to be innovative in this environment
so I split off to set up the Cyberlife Institute, to try to isolate
R&D from product development. This never really got off the ground
because things became too unstable to commit the necessary resources.
- A new managing director was brought in. He saw me as part of the
problem and we didn't get along. I asked him whether we were now an
artificial life company or just a games company again. He said "a
games company" so I resigned.
- CreatureLabs went bust, but not before they'd transferred all the
IP rights (including everything I had designed) to a subsidiary. One
of the original Millennium directors, who'd stayed with Sony but
later rejoined CreatureLabs, turned out later to have bought these
rights at the last moment and went on to set up Gameware Europe.
For my part it was an exhausting, deeply stressful few years, which
ended up costing me hugely. My life has never really recovered. People
sometimes like to criticize what I did and how I did it, and for a long
time I had to keep my mouth shut so I couldn't defend myself, but I was
just doing my best under difficult circumstances. In retrospect I was
very naive about business, though. We all live and learn, I guess.

No norn could ever be conscious, I submit. Consciousness requires a
mental model of the world in which to map out possible futures, and
norns are reactive creatures. It was this observation that has guided
my robotics and AI work ever since.

I'm busy working on a robot at the moment to try to make some money,
but I'm also three quarters of the way through developing a new 3D
A-life simulator called Sim-biosis (which works at the cell/organ
level - it's like a Lego set for constructing underwater creatures).
Hopefully some of you will still be around when I manage to finish it!
We plan to set up a website at www.sim-biosis.com just as soon as we
have a moment to breathe.

Anyway, hope this gives you something to add to your thread, Chris.
Thanks for helping keep the memory of Creatures alive! I'll try to
pop into the group from time to time.

--------

Thanks again to Steve for his permission to post this. He will have
a look on this thread via google so some replies would be nice.

Chris

Chris Pfeiler

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Feb 22, 2009, 9:02:51 AM2/22/09
to
I myself wrote:

> My questions were mostly about the social senses ("It is my sibling"
> etc.) and about the 37-lobe-mutation, but Steve wrote a much more
> complex and in-depth reply about various aspects of Creatures and
> its development. It愀 a long text but IMO very, very interesting.

To answer my own question: Steve is right, the senses are there. I
checked again and now they were displayed, see here:

http://misfits.drts.org/senses.jpg

It愀 interesting that general sense lobe and perception lobe show
pretty much the same functions, I guess information is given from
one to the other.

Chris

emmel

unread,
Feb 22, 2009, 2:05:27 PM2/22/09
to
Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:

> Now here´s the stuff I wanted to post, I just needed his permission.
> Once again I dared to bother the Gods with mortal trifles, so here
> are some very detailled thoughts by Steve Grand on C1, the universe
> and everything.

Tsk. Continue that path and the gods *will* strike you down. ;-)

> My questions were mostly about the social senses ("It is my sibling"
> etc.) and about the 37-lobe-mutation, but Steve wrote a much more
> complex and in-depth reply about various aspects of Creatures and
> its development. It´s a long text but IMO very, very interesting.
>
> He (just like Sandra) confirms some of my theories about C2 and C3.
> So here are some words from Steve Grand:
>
> -----------
>
> Wow! I didn't even realize that the Creatures newsgroup still existed.

Existing is saying to much...

> I wish I could help but I don't think I can, much. It's all so long
> ago now!
>
> In fact I looked for the source code to try to answer your questions
> and the only source I have is dated 1994 - two years before the
> project was finished. That predates the complete re-write I did to
> include genetics, so it is much too early to contain the final code
> for senses. My employers owned the copyright to Creatures and this
> was sold on to Gameware after I left, so legally speaking I shouldn't
> even have a copy of the source code at all. It's very sad to have
> lost all that, but it was a VERY difficult time.

OK, that sucks. He totally deserves to have a copy of the sources, even
though he obviously can't release them in any way.

> I think the reason I didn't include a sense for "this is my egg" might
> be because it didn't occur to me! Although I may have made the eggs
> appear as if they were children. I'm pretty sure these senses were
> implemented and working, because I remember checking them when I was
> wondering whether I should implement an instinct gene to reduce incest
> (I decided against it, because without incest most norns would never
> have bred). I really don't know why they aren't showing up in the
> brain monitor. Perhaps they somehow got disabled after I lost control
> of the project near the end?

So the answer is 'maybe'.

> Hey, I just read your newsgroup post - I didn't realize slink was still

Ohoh, big brother is watching. I have to go into hiding now... How does
Nepal sound?

> She's quite right about the lack of energetics in the chemical model. I
> was very aware of it at the time, but my original purpose was to create
> a COMPUTATIONAL chemistry, not an energetic one. I was more interested
> in hormonal switches, chemical oscillation, etc. and I adapted this to
> implement simple digestion and respiration almost as an aside. Adding
> rules for what could react with what would have made the system much
> harder to work with, and I implemented the chemistry model long before
> I decided to add genetic coding, so at the time it didn't matter because
> I was in complete control over the reaction networks. By the time I
> added genetics and made all this open-ended it was too late to go back
> and rethink the chemistry model. I was always under such pressure to
> get the program finished, and there were so many competing demands.
> First and foremost I was being paid to write a computer game, not do
> artificial life.

And that, ladies and gentlemen was and remains the crux of the matter.

> Sandra also said: "First of all, they had to design a new system from
> scratch because of their split from the portion of the company who
> owned the rights to the original program. I believe that was
> Millennium?"
>
> Actually that's not right. Nobody ever designed a new system from
> scratch. C2 (and to a lesser extent C3) was based heavily on my original
> engine and scientific design (even though I didn't even get a credit on
> the C2 box!). The C2/3 teams added extra stuff and fiddled around with
> the model and I think Sandra has a point about not leaving things like
> that to young single men (although there were at least two young single
> women there too!). The "split from Millennium" was actually the
> formation of a new company (Cyberlife) and the selling off of the
> remainder of the original Millennium games company to Sony. Cyberlife
> kept all the rights to Creatures.

Yeah, that's more like I remember it. Constant reformations of the
company...

> for the first time). Warners decided to publish it and offered a very
> large advance (not to me though - I was just on a salary and never
> earned any royalty from Creatures).

Yikes. Now *that* is really unfair.

> No norn could ever be conscious, I submit. Consciousness requires a
> mental model of the world in which to map out possible futures, and
> norns are reactive creatures. It was this observation that has guided
> my robotics and AI work ever since.

Well, yeah, nobody with half a brain ever believed the Norns would gain
consciousness.

> I'm busy working on a robot at the moment to try to make some money,

That would be Lucy, I think...

> but I'm also three quarters of the way through developing a new 3D
> A-life simulator called Sim-biosis (which works at the cell/organ
> level - it's like a Lego set for constructing underwater creatures).
> Hopefully some of you will still be around when I manage to finish it!
> We plan to set up a website at www.sim-biosis.com just as soon as we
> have a moment to breathe.

Neat.

> Anyway, hope this gives you something to add to your thread, Chris.
> Thanks for helping keep the memory of Creatures alive! I'll try to
> pop into the group from time to time.

Yeah, definitely have to go into hiding...

> Thanks again to Steve for his permission to post this. He will have
> a look on this thread via google so some replies would be nice.

I don't know if I have *anything* to add that hasn't said hundreds of
times before, but I hope keeps pursuing his path. He still is a great
inspiration and has influenced so many people.
--
emmel <the_emmel*you-know-what-that's-for*@gmx.net>
(Don't forget to remove the ** bit)

story archives available at http://ranira.wordpress.com

Official AGC feedback maniac

Proud owner of 1 (one) DISOBEDIENCE point.
Former owner of 1 (one) eating point (eaten, sigh).

steve.cyberl...@gmail.com

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 10:21:09 AM2/23/09
to
Big Brother is indeed watching...

Thanks for the kind words, Emmel.

While I'm here I thought I'd post my blog address and let you all
(both???) know about our robotics community site, in case you're
interested in such things.

I blog at http://stevegrand.wordpress.com

and the robot site that my wife Sara runs and I contribute to is at
http://grandroids.ning.com/

Feel free to drop by.

- Steve

Chris Pfeiler

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 12:29:39 PM2/23/09
to
steve.cyberl...@gmail.com wrote:

> Big Brother is indeed watching...

Stop scaring people ;-).



> While I'm here I thought I'd post my blog address and let you all
> (both???) know about our robotics community site, in case you're
> interested in such things.

See. Now he thinks there are only two people left. Please have a
look at the "Newsgroup still about Creatures" thread, there were
at least 5 or 6 people active. That gave me hope.

I know your blog, it´s very good. Maybe you could mention agc as a
still existing place there.



> and the robot site that my wife Sara runs and I contribute to is at
> http://grandroids.ning.com/

Is this new robot part of the Lucy project or an entirely different
kind of robot? Any news about Lucy herself? Will she eventually be
able to map out possible futures?

Chris

Chris Pfeiler

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 12:58:58 PM2/23/09
to
emmel wrote:

> OK, that sucks. He totally deserves to have a copy of the sources, even
> though he obviously can't release them in any way.

An idea just occured to me: wouldn´t these sources (even the old ones)
be helpful for the open source Creatures projects?

I still think building a new engine on a C1 basis would be much more
promising than simply trying to copy the C3/DS engine with all its
hardcoded non-AL-stuff.



> So the answer is 'maybe'.

The "social" senses are there, I found them now. I still wonder what
some of the senses labelled "spare" mean.



> > No norn could ever be conscious, I submit. Consciousness requires a
> > mental model of the world in which to map out possible futures, and
> > norns are reactive creatures. It was this observation that has guided
> > my robotics and AI work ever since.
>
> Well, yeah, nobody with half a brain ever believed the Norns would gain
> consciousness.

Well, slink thought that (semi-)consciousness would be the ultimate
goal of AL/AI development and that the later addition of more and
more hardcoded elements were the arch-enemy of that goal. The norns
being robbed of the possibility of (semi-)consciousness was IMO her
main reason to quit.

Consciousness is certainly not possible with the existing Creatures
engines (not even with my beloved C1 engine). Steve´s line "They are
not able to map out possible futures" is the best argument. But the
C1 engine was the thing that made people believe that some new form
of digital consciousness is possible and I think it´s a little too
harsh to call that half-brained. A strong belief in the possibility
of digital consciousness should be the legacy of C1.

That reminds me of an amusing story why people thought in the early
days that C1 norns have some sort of consciousness and that they can
visualize thoughts and memories (which they can´t.) The "proof" was,
that when a norn stands near the submarine and you say "food" to him,
he will see in his mind (or point of view) the garden and carrots,
ergo visualizing something he saw before (mapping out the past in the
form of images?) The truth is that he was standing close to an object
classified as mover and thus could look as far as the garden.

It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?

> > We plan to set up a website at www.sim-biosis.com just as soon as we
> > have a moment to breathe.
>
> Neat.

Only if a version for DOS or Windows 3.11 will be available ;-).

Chris

emmel

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 12:37:32 PM2/23/09
to
Thus steve.cyberl...@gmail.com spoke:

> Big Brother is indeed watching...
>
> Thanks for the kind words, Emmel.

To everyone what they deserve.

> While I'm here I thought I'd post my blog address and let you all
> (both???) know about our robotics community site, in case you're
> interested in such things.

Five at the last count...

> I blog at http://stevegrand.wordpress.com
>
> and the robot site that my wife Sara runs and I contribute to is at
> http://grandroids.ning.com/
>
> Feel free to drop by.
>
> - Steve

I'll make sure to do that.
::bows::

emmel

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 12:39:39 PM2/23/09
to
Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:

> steve.cyberl...@gmail.com wrote:
>
>> Big Brother is indeed watching...
>
> Stop scaring people ;-).

At least it's 2009 and not 1984...

>> I blog at http://stevegrand.wordpress.com
>
> I know your blog, it´s very good. Maybe you could mention agc as a
> still existing place there.

Oh, come on. You are not really asking for a shameless plug, do you?
Everyone to whom AGC still means something knows exactly where to look.

emmel

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 12:59:28 PM2/23/09
to
Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>
>> OK, that sucks. He totally deserves to have a copy of the sources, even
>> though he obviously can't release them in any way.
>
> An idea just occured to me: wouldn´t these sources (even the old ones)
> be helpful for the open source Creatures projects?

Not, that would be the end of it. Using sources you shouldn't have in
the first place to do what is pretty much bordering on what intellectual
property laws protect is exactly the kind of legal mumbo-jumbo (does
anyone know how to actually spell this) you ought to steer clear of at
any cost.

> I still think building a new engine on a C1 basis would be much more
> promising than simply trying to copy the C3/DS engine with all its
> hardcoded non-AL-stuff.

Yeah, but not with any of the original sources. Even so you might want
to get a good lawyer to check on the legal ramifications of that.

>> So the answer is 'maybe'.
>
> The "social" senses are there, I found them now. I still wonder what
> some of the senses labelled "spare" mean.

'not used', perhaps?

>> > No norn could ever be conscious, I submit. Consciousness requires a
>> > mental model of the world in which to map out possible futures, and
>> > norns are reactive creatures. It was this observation that has guided
>> > my robotics and AI work ever since.
>>
>> Well, yeah, nobody with half a brain ever believed the Norns would gain
>> consciousness.
>
> Well, slink thought that (semi-)consciousness would be the ultimate
> goal of AL/AI development and that the later addition of more and
> more hardcoded elements were the arch-enemy of that goal. The norns
> being robbed of the possibility of (semi-)consciousness was IMO her
> main reason to quit.
>
> Consciousness is certainly not possible with the existing Creatures
> engines (not even with my beloved C1 engine). Steve´s line "They are
> not able to map out possible futures" is the best argument. But the

Indeed, one of the best I've ever heard. Not that I have heard so many,
but still. I know a good argument when I see it.

> C1 engine was the thing that made people believe that some new form
> of digital consciousness is possible and I think it´s a little too
> harsh to call that half-brained. A strong belief in the possibility
> of digital consciousness should be the legacy of C1.

Well, I was talking about people that had some knowledge of the matter,
of course. I don't really expect people with no idea of the technical
and otherwise scientific background to be able to evaluate that kind of
thing. Admittedly, the wording wasn't perfect, but I mean it.

> That reminds me of an amusing story why people thought in the early
> days that C1 norns have some sort of consciousness and that they can
> visualize thoughts and memories (which they can´t.) The "proof" was,
> that when a norn stands near the submarine and you say "food" to him,
> he will see in his mind (or point of view) the garden and carrots,
> ergo visualizing something he saw before (mapping out the past in the
> form of images?) The truth is that he was standing close to an object
> classified as mover and thus could look as far as the garden.

<g> Yes, I know. Of course a typical result of people not RTFM. It was
pretty clear on that matter, IIRC.

> It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?

Blind believe... Not something I'm particularly fond of. Too bloody
dangerous.

>> > We plan to set up a website at www.sim-biosis.com just as soon as we
>> > have a moment to breathe.
>>
>> Neat.
>
> Only if a version for DOS or Windows 3.11 will be available ;-).

Get real, the memory addressing is sixteen bits of those (twelve with
DOS on some really old processors); you'd surely need more than that for
things to work properly. In inability to do multi-threading is also a
very limiting factor for any kind of simulation, not to mention that
most of the processors to support more heavy simulations are multicore.

Yes, I knew you were merely kidding, but that had to be said. Besides,
writing anything for the 3.11 API is very likely to be more of a pain in
the arse than it can possibly do good. Qt is neat, though. ;-)

Neo

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 4:47:41 PM2/23/09
to
Chris Pfeiler wrote:
<snip>

> Consciousness is certainly not possible with the existing Creatures
> engines (not even with my beloved C1 engine). Steve´s line "They are
> not able to map out possible futures" is the best argument. But the
> C1 engine was the thing that made people believe that some new form
> of digital consciousness is possible and I think it´s a little too
> harsh to call that half-brained. A strong belief in the possibility
> of digital consciousness should be the legacy of C1.

Most people on this earth have very limited abilities to map possible
futures though. Even thieves. It is all predetermined to some degree.

Neo
--
Everything that has a beginning has an end.

Neo

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 4:51:56 PM2/23/09
to
<snip biography by Steve Grand>
On the down side: You sold away all your rights forever Steve. Happens
to a lot of _good_ musicians too!

On the plus side: You worked for five years on something you love(d)
doing and got paid for doing it too!

I enjoyed C2 a lot and it wouldn't have been there without your hard
work on C1. I am thankful to you for this fact.

emmel

unread,
Feb 23, 2009, 5:35:05 PM2/23/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

You are mixing things up. Even if we go along with the Laplacian demon,
which is something you should be really really careful about, that isn't
what he was talking about. We are talking about plotting out, or
simulating if you like, different possible outcomes of a situation here,
that might or might not happen. Everyone does that, that's one of the
things humans are really good with. If we get it right, and this is what
you are aiming at, is a completely different matter and doesn't have
anything to do with the argument.

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 9:35:03 AM2/24/09
to
emmel wrote:
> Thus Neo spoke:
>
>> Chris Pfeiler wrote:
>> <snip>
>>> Consciousness is certainly not possible with the existing Creatures
>>> engines (not even with my beloved C1 engine). Steve´s line "They are
>>> not able to map out possible futures" is the best argument. But the
>>> C1 engine was the thing that made people believe that some new form
>>> of digital consciousness is possible and I think it´s a little too
>>> harsh to call that half-brained. A strong belief in the possibility
>>> of digital consciousness should be the legacy of C1.
>> Most people on this earth have very limited abilities to map possible
>> futures though. Even thieves. It is all predetermined to some degree.
>
> You are mixing things up. Even if we go along with the Laplacian demon,
> which is something you should be really really careful about, that isn't
> what he was talking about. We are talking about plotting out, or
> simulating if you like, different possible outcomes of a situation here,
> that might or might not happen. Everyone does that, that's one of the
> things humans are really good with. If we get it right, and this is what
> you are aiming at, is a completely different matter and doesn't have
> anything to do with the argument.

Even a rat can do that. Put the rat in a maze with a piece of cheese in
it. The rat will visualize possible futures and solve path finding
problems to get to the cheese.

The Mars Pathfinder droid could also do this because it takes long for a
radio signal to travel to mars.

And there are semi autonomous planes and vehicles that are being
developed in the army. You just tell them where to go and they will find
the possible future that gets them where they want to go.

I would hardly call this consciousness.

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 10:04:40 AM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>
>>> Chris Pfeiler wrote:
>>> <snip>
>>>> Consciousness is certainly not possible with the existing Creatures
>>>> engines (not even with my beloved C1 engine). Steve´s line "They are
>>>> not able to map out possible futures" is the best argument. But the
>>>> C1 engine was the thing that made people believe that some new form
>>>> of digital consciousness is possible and I think it´s a little too
>>>> harsh to call that half-brained. A strong belief in the possibility
>>>> of digital consciousness should be the legacy of C1.
>>> Most people on this earth have very limited abilities to map possible
>>> futures though. Even thieves. It is all predetermined to some degree.
>>
>> You are mixing things up. Even if we go along with the Laplacian demon,
>> which is something you should be really really careful about, that isn't
>> what he was talking about. We are talking about plotting out, or
>> simulating if you like, different possible outcomes of a situation here,
>> that might or might not happen. Everyone does that, that's one of the
>> things humans are really good with. If we get it right, and this is what
>> you are aiming at, is a completely different matter and doesn't have
>> anything to do with the argument.
>
> Even a rat can do that. Put the rat in a maze with a piece of cheese in
> it. The rat will visualize possible futures and solve path finding
> problems to get to the cheese.

*Even* a rat? Rats are bloody intelligent!

> The Mars Pathfinder droid could also do this because it takes long for a
> radio signal to travel to mars.

That's hardly comparable. And that's not mapping out possible futures
anyway.

> And there are semi autonomous planes and vehicles that are being
> developed in the army. You just tell them where to go and they will find
> the possible future that gets them where they want to go.

WTF are you talking about? That's a damn feedback loop, and nothing
else.

> I would hardly call this consciousness.

I wouldn't either, but your examples are, sorry I have to say that,
really stupid and completely fail the point.

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 10:37:09 AM2/24/09
to

Nobody on earth understands the human brain. I am just showing you what
a rat brain can do. And how that doesn't define conciousness.

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 10:57:31 AM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>

I was more talking about the other examples... And who said that rats
are *not* conscious? Won't catch me saying that.

Chris Pfeiler

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 12:07:30 PM2/24/09
to
emmel wrote:

> Not, that would be the end of it. Using sources you shouldn't have in
> the first place to do what is pretty much bordering on what intellectual
> property laws protect is exactly the kind of legal mumbo-jumbo (does
> anyone know how to actually spell this) you ought to steer clear of at
> any cost.

I didn´t mean that they should copy the code but just use it to see
how it was done in the first place and develop own routines.



> > It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?
>
> Blind believe... Not something I'm particularly fond of. Too bloody
> dangerous.

Reminds me of a quote from Futurama:

"Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That´s what being
a scientist is all about..."
"No. That´s what being a magical fairy is all about..."

I know that the second line is true but I still have some sympathies
for the first.

> > Only if a version for DOS or Windows 3.11 will be available ;-).
>
> Get real, the memory addressing is sixteen bits of those (twelve with
> DOS on some really old processors); you'd surely need more than that for
> things to work properly. In inability to do multi-threading is also a
> very limiting factor for any kind of simulation, not to mention that
> most of the processors to support more heavy simulations are multicore.

Maybe so. Can I have at least that program where a little mouse lives
on my 3.11 desktop? I think somebody should write it ;-).

Chris

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 11:40:25 AM2/24/09
to

I would more like use the pyramid of Maslov. Though 80% of all the
people on earth are at the bottom layer of the pyramid. So that isn't
very useful either ;-)

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 11:58:52 AM2/24/09
to
Chris Pfeiler wrote:
> emmel wrote:
>
>> Not, that would be the end of it. Using sources you shouldn't have in
>> the first place to do what is pretty much bordering on what intellectual
>> property laws protect is exactly the kind of legal mumbo-jumbo (does
>> anyone know how to actually spell this) you ought to steer clear of at
>> any cost.
>
> I didn´t mean that they should copy the code but just use it to see
> how it was done in the first place and develop own routines.
>
>>> It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?
>> Blind believe... Not something I'm particularly fond of. Too bloody
>> dangerous.
>
> Reminds me of a quote from Futurama:
>
> "Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That´s what being
> a scientist is all about..."
> "No. That´s what being a magical fairy is all about..."
>
> I know that the second line is true but I still have some sympathies
> for the first.

Too bad they prefer the simpsons over futurama in Holland. Futurama is
slightly better in my opinion.

>>> Only if a version for DOS or Windows 3.11 will be available ;-).
>> Get real, the memory addressing is sixteen bits of those (twelve with
>> DOS on some really old processors); you'd surely need more than that for
>> things to work properly. In inability to do multi-threading is also a
>> very limiting factor for any kind of simulation, not to mention that
>> most of the processors to support more heavy simulations are multicore.
>
> Maybe so. Can I have at least that program where a little mouse lives
> on my 3.11 desktop? I think somebody should write it ;-).

They 'ported' Windows 3.1 to a mobile phone I read today:
http://tweakers.net/nieuws/58636/polen-zetten-oude-windows-versies-op-nokia-smartphones.html

it is in Dutch though, but since emmel doesn't seem to have a problem
reading that, maybe you won't either (I haven't watched the flash
video).

Chris Pfeiler

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 1:47:11 PM2/24/09
to
Neo wrote:

> Too bad they prefer the simpsons over futurama in Holland. Futurama is
> slightly better in my opinion.

The Simpsons had their classic age a long, long time ago, from season
2 to season 7 in my opinion (with season 2 being my favorite season.)
Nowadays it´s pretty tired and repetitive and the characters are just
caricatures of their former selfs.

Futurama was indeed much better than recent Simpsons, but it became
never really popular in Germany either. Part of the problem was IMO
the very poor German dubbing.

I just watched the last of the new Futurama movies, "Into the Wild
Green Yonder". Pretty good one, but clearly not as good as the best
episodes of the show.

Chris

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 3:05:08 PM2/24/09
to
Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>
>> Not, that would be the end of it. Using sources you shouldn't have in
>> the first place to do what is pretty much bordering on what intellectual
>> property laws protect is exactly the kind of legal mumbo-jumbo (does
>> anyone know how to actually spell this) you ought to steer clear of at
>> any cost.
>
> I didn´t mean that they should copy the code but just use it to see
> how it was done in the first place and develop own routines.

Not good. Have a look at the SCO vs. Linux stuff...

>> > It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?


>>
>> Blind believe... Not something I'm particularly fond of. Too bloody
>> dangerous.
>
> Reminds me of a quote from Futurama:
>
> "Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That´s what being
> a scientist is all about..."
> "No. That´s what being a magical fairy is all about..."

Hehe, good one.
By the way, what happened to that apostrophes?
::points up::

> I know that the second line is true but I still have some sympathies
> for the first.

Yeah, but there is improbable and impossible. There are few things that
really can't happen in one way or the other, but the more you have to be
aware about those that are.

>> > Only if a version for DOS or Windows 3.11 will be available ;-).
>>
>> Get real, the memory addressing is sixteen bits of those (twelve with
>> DOS on some really old processors); you'd surely need more than that for
>> things to work properly. In inability to do multi-threading is also a
>> very limiting factor for any kind of simulation, not to mention that
>> most of the processors to support more heavy simulations are multicore.
>
> Maybe so. Can I have at least that program where a little mouse lives
> on my 3.11 desktop? I think somebody should write it ;-).

Google for it, I'm sure someone has done it even for 3.11.

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 3:11:35 PM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>

>> I was more talking about the other examples... And who said that rats
>> are *not* conscious? Won't catch me saying that.
>
> I would more like use the pyramid of Maslov. Though 80% of all the
> people on earth are at the bottom layer of the pyramid. So that isn't
> very useful either ;-)

Error 404: Subject not found.
We are sorry to inform you that the word you were using was not in our
database. Please make sure that you have spelled it correctly. Should
this problem persist please inform the memory manager and be prepared to
provide detailed descriptions. We apologise for the inconvenience.

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:01:56 PM2/24/09
to
emmel wrote:
> Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:
>> emmel wrote:
<snip>

>>>> It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?
>>> Blind believe... Not something I'm particularly fond of. Too bloody
>>> dangerous.
>> Reminds me of a quote from Futurama:
>>
>> "Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That´s what being
>> a scientist is all about..."
>> "No. That´s what being a magical fairy is all about..."
>
> Hehe, good one.
> By the way, what happened to that apostrophes?
> ::points up::

Did you post in UTF again emmel?

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:04:24 PM2/24/09
to
emmel wrote:
> Thus Neo spoke:
>
>> emmel wrote:
>>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>>
>>> I was more talking about the other examples... And who said that rats
>>> are *not* conscious? Won't catch me saying that.
>> I would more like use the pyramid of Maslov. Though 80% of all the
>> people on earth are at the bottom layer of the pyramid. So that isn't
>> very useful either ;-)
>
> Error 404: Subject not found.
> We are sorry to inform you that the word you were using was not in our
> database. Please make sure that you have spelled it correctly. Should
> this problem persist please inform the memory manager and be prepared to
> provide detailed descriptions. We apologise for the inconvenience.

It is about humans needing certain basic conditions in order to flourish
into their full potential as a human being. Psychology theorem it be.

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:11:35 PM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

I always do, but that shouldn't turn your apostrophes into something
else. I'm not using some crappy MS text editor here...

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:12:52 PM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>
>>> emmel wrote:
>>>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>>>
>>>> I was more talking about the other examples... And who said that rats
>>>> are *not* conscious? Won't catch me saying that.
>>> I would more like use the pyramid of Maslov. Though 80% of all the
>>> people on earth are at the bottom layer of the pyramid. So that isn't
>>> very useful either ;-)
>>
>> Error 404: Subject not found.
>> We are sorry to inform you that the word you were using was not in our
>> database. Please make sure that you have spelled it correctly. Should
>> this problem persist please inform the memory manager and be prepared to
>> provide detailed descriptions. We apologise for the inconvenience.
>
> It is about humans needing certain basic conditions in order to flourish
> into their full potential as a human being.

You know, a bit more detail wouldn't hurt.

> Psychology theorem it be.

Don't yoda me.

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:15:18 PM2/24/09
to
emmel wrote:
> Thus Neo spoke:
>
>> emmel wrote:
>>> Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:
>>>> emmel wrote:
>> <snip>
>>>>>> It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?
>>>>> Blind believe... Not something I'm particularly fond of. Too bloody
>>>>> dangerous.
>>>> Reminds me of a quote from Futurama:
>>>>
>>>> "Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That´s what being
>>>> a scientist is all about..."
>>>> "No. That´s what being a magical fairy is all about..."
>>> Hehe, good one.
>>> By the way, what happened to that apostrophes?
>>> ::points up::
>> Did you post in UTF again emmel?
>
> I always do, but that shouldn't turn your apostrophes into something
> else. I'm not using some crappy MS text editor here...

Netscape 4.08 doesn't have support for UTF-8 yet.

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:26:27 PM2/24/09
to
emmel wrote:
> Thus Neo spoke:
>
>> emmel wrote:
>>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>>
>>>> emmel wrote:
>>>>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>>>>
>>>>> I was more talking about the other examples... And who said that rats
>>>>> are *not* conscious? Won't catch me saying that.
>>>> I would more like use the pyramid of Maslov. Though 80% of all the
>>>> people on earth are at the bottom layer of the pyramid. So that isn't
>>>> very useful either ;-)
>>> Error 404: Subject not found.
>>> We are sorry to inform you that the word you were using was not in our
>>> database. Please make sure that you have spelled it correctly. Should
>>> this problem persist please inform the memory manager and be prepared to
>>> provide detailed descriptions. We apologise for the inconvenience.
>> It is about humans needing certain basic conditions in order to flourish
>> into their full potential as a human being.
>
> You know, a bit more detail wouldn't hurt.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

Of course, Psychologists need the subjects they study, to make
themselves look good.

I don't see what is so great about being employed. Seems more like a
trade-off to me with not having any money. I don't think the great
thinkers in old Greece had any day jobs. Yet they came up with great
maths and other things!

>> Psychology theorem it be.
>
> Don't yoda me.

Yoda you, I will not. Anymore. Now you can go.

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:30:12 PM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>> Thus Neo spoke:


>>
>>>>>>> It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?

>>>> By the way, what happened to that apostrophes?


>>>> ::points up::
>>> Did you post in UTF again emmel?
>>
>> I always do, but that shouldn't turn your apostrophes into something
>> else. I'm not using some crappy MS text editor here...
>
> Netscape 4.08 doesn't have support for UTF-8 yet.

NETSCAPE 4?! ARE YOU NUTS?!

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:37:22 PM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>

>>>>> I would more like use the pyramid of Maslov. Though 80% of all the
>>>>> people on earth are at the bottom layer of the pyramid. So that isn't
>>>>> very useful either ;-)
>>>> Error 404: Subject not found.
>>>> We are sorry to inform you that the word you were using was not in our
>>>> database. Please make sure that you have spelled it correctly. Should
>>>> this problem persist please inform the memory manager and be prepared to
>>>> provide detailed descriptions. We apologise for the inconvenience.
>>> It is about humans needing certain basic conditions in order to flourish
>>> into their full potential as a human being.
>>
>> You know, a bit more detail wouldn't hurt.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs

That's more like it. And do I spot a 'w' there instead of a 'v'?

> Of course, Psychologists need the subjects they study, to make
> themselves look good.
>
> I don't see what is so great about being employed. Seems more like a
> trade-off to me with not having any money. I don't think the great
> thinkers in old Greece had any day jobs. Yet they came up with great
> maths and other things!

Um, the Greek society was based on slave labour. Quite a few of those
folks didn't have to worry about money, and quite a few others worked as
teachers or something like that. Though Socrates always was a bit short
on cash, but he reputedly just went to dinner with other people. Pissed
his wife off quite a bit...

>>> Psychology theorem it be.
>>
>> Don't yoda me.
>
> Yoda you, I will not. Anymore. Now you can go.

I already know I can go. Pointless thing to say.

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:39:19 PM2/24/09
to
emmel wrote:
> Thus Neo spoke:
>
>> emmel wrote:
>>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>>
>>>>>>>> It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?
>
>>>>> By the way, what happened to that apostrophes?
>>>>> ::points up::
>>>> Did you post in UTF again emmel?
>>> I always do, but that shouldn't turn your apostrophes into something
>>> else. I'm not using some crappy MS text editor here...
>> Netscape 4.08 doesn't have support for UTF-8 yet.
>
> NETSCAPE 4?! ARE YOU NUTS?!

Beats Outlook Express <whatever>. Good thing about Windows 3.11 is that
it is so ancient that it won't have many working exploits for it in the
wild anymore.

Neo

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:44:16 PM2/24/09
to
emmel wrote:
> Thus Neo spoke:
>
>> emmel wrote:
>>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>>
>>>>>> I would more like use the pyramid of Maslov. Though 80% of all the
>>>>>> people on earth are at the bottom layer of the pyramid. So that isn't
>>>>>> very useful either ;-)
>>>>> Error 404: Subject not found.
>>>>> We are sorry to inform you that the word you were using was not in our
>>>>> database. Please make sure that you have spelled it correctly. Should
>>>>> this problem persist please inform the memory manager and be prepared to
>>>>> provide detailed descriptions. We apologise for the inconvenience.
>>>> It is about humans needing certain basic conditions in order to flourish
>>>> into their full potential as a human being.
>>> You know, a bit more detail wouldn't hurt.
>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
>
> That's more like it. And do I spot a 'w' there instead of a 'v'?

Google accepts both back here.

>> Of course, Psychologists need the subjects they study, to make
>> themselves look good.
>>
>> I don't see what is so great about being employed. Seems more like a
>> trade-off to me with not having any money. I don't think the great
>> thinkers in old Greece had any day jobs. Yet they came up with great
>> maths and other things!
>
> Um, the Greek society was based on slave labour. Quite a few of those
> folks didn't have to worry about money, and quite a few others worked as
> teachers or something like that. Though Socrates always was a bit short
> on cash, but he reputedly just went to dinner with other people. Pissed
> his wife off quite a bit...

So those slaves should be glad they have work! Otherwise they would stay
on the bottom level of the pyramid.

>>>> Psychology theorem it be.
>>> Don't yoda me.
>> Yoda you, I will not. Anymore. Now you can go.
>
> I already know I can go. Pointless thing to say.

Proud you make me. You use force of premonition.

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:46:40 PM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

Windows 3.11? Oh, you weren't talking about what you were using… Silly
me. It's kinda OK then, I guess, though slrn is still the better choice.
If you have a recent svn version, that is, the current stable had some
problems with that kind of thing.

emmel

unread,
Feb 24, 2009, 4:49:05 PM2/24/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>
>>> emmel wrote:
>>>> Thus Neo spoke:
>>>>
>>>>>>> I would more like use the pyramid of Maslov. Though 80% of all the
>>>>>>> people on earth are at the bottom layer of the pyramid. So that isn't
>>>>>>> very useful either ;-)
>>>>>> Error 404: Subject not found.
>>>>>> We are sorry to inform you that the word you were using was not in our
>>>>>> database. Please make sure that you have spelled it correctly. Should
>>>>>> this problem persist please inform the memory manager and be prepared to
>>>>>> provide detailed descriptions. We apologise for the inconvenience.
>>>>> It is about humans needing certain basic conditions in order to flourish
>>>>> into their full potential as a human being.
>>>> You know, a bit more detail wouldn't hurt.
>>> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maslow%27s_hierarchy_of_needs
>>
>> That's more like it. And do I spot a 'w' there instead of a 'v'?
>
> Google accepts both back here.

Scientific transliterations of Cyrillic names are required to have the
'v', IIRC. So do any other English ones.

>>> Of course, Psychologists need the subjects they study, to make
>>> themselves look good.
>>>
>>> I don't see what is so great about being employed. Seems more like a
>>> trade-off to me with not having any money. I don't think the great
>>> thinkers in old Greece had any day jobs. Yet they came up with great
>>> maths and other things!
>>
>> Um, the Greek society was based on slave labour. Quite a few of those
>> folks didn't have to worry about money, and quite a few others worked as
>> teachers or something like that. Though Socrates always was a bit short
>> on cash, but he reputedly just went to dinner with other people. Pissed
>> his wife off quite a bit...
>
> So those slaves should be glad they have work! Otherwise they would stay
> on the bottom level of the pyramid.

Huh? Where did you get that from?

>>>>> Psychology theorem it be.
>>>> Don't yoda me.
>>> Yoda you, I will not. Anymore. Now you can go.
>>
>> I already know I can go. Pointless thing to say.
>
> Proud you make me. You use force of premonition.

More like common sense.

Chris Pfeiler

unread,
Feb 26, 2009, 2:01:57 PM2/26/09
to
The mighty Steve Grand wrote:

> No norn could ever be conscious, I submit. Consciousness requires a
> mental model of the world in which to map out possible futures, and
> norns are reactive creatures. It was this observation that has guided
> my robotics and AI work ever since.

Wait a minute, people. I wouldn´t dare to correct Steve but I´m still
uncertain about the matter of reactive vs semi-conscious behaviour.

Steve says norns are reactive creatures. But they DO have a concept
lobe as well and I think because of this they can go "beyond" simply
reactive behaviour in a certain (rudimentary) way.

The concept lobe enables norns to deduce abstract concepts and such
concepts can concern their memory and their own future, for example:

- the next time I see food, I will push it and it will reduce hunger,
thus giving me reward.
- the next time I see a red button and the lift isn´t there, I will
push the button. The lift will eventually come like it did before.
- the next time I hear the hand call my name, I will come, because
last time I was patted and rewarded.

This is the entire basis of how a norn learns, isn´t it? Without
it (and with a purely reactive creature to whom every input is a
new input) learning would be pointless. These ideas and concepts
are then repeated in the norns sleep/dream phase, aren´t they?

Can´t we call it mapping out the future in a rudimentary way?

In a related matter: They later released an additional breed called
forest norns which is described as having "larger concept lobes in
the brain than any other Norn. Their neurone dynamics are quite
different, leading to increased intelligence and bigger memories."

Is this somehow true or just marketing talk?

Chris

emmel

unread,
Feb 26, 2009, 2:51:31 PM2/26/09
to
Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:

> The mighty Steve Grand wrote:
>
>> No norn could ever be conscious, I submit. Consciousness requires a
>> mental model of the world in which to map out possible futures, and
>> norns are reactive creatures. It was this observation that has guided
>> my robotics and AI work ever since.
>
> Wait a minute, people. I wouldn´t dare to correct Steve but I´m still
> uncertain about the matter of reactive vs semi-conscious behaviour.
>
> Steve says norns are reactive creatures. But they DO have a concept
> lobe as well and I think because of this they can go "beyond" simply
> reactive behaviour in a certain (rudimentary) way.
>
> The concept lobe enables norns to deduce abstract concepts and such
> concepts can concern their memory and their own future, for example:
>
> - the next time I see food, I will push it and it will reduce hunger,
> thus giving me reward.
> - the next time I see a red button and the lift isn´t there, I will
> push the button. The lift will eventually come like it did before.

Yeah, sure. Because Norns only ever press the button once and wait till
it comes...

> - the next time I hear the hand call my name, I will come, because
> last time I was patted and rewarded.
>
> This is the entire basis of how a norn learns, isn´t it? Without
> it (and with a purely reactive creature to whom every input is a
> new input) learning would be pointless. These ideas and concepts
> are then repeated in the norns sleep/dream phase, aren´t they?

Um, that's still reactive behaviour. Action A worked in situation B
before, so this is preferred the next time situation B is encountered.
It's pretty much like Pavlov's dog. It's still a direct feedback circle,
though. What makes consciousness possible... Beats me. You would
probably get a Nobel prize if you figured that one out.
I have to admit that I don't really remember what happened in the dream
phase, though.

> Can´t we call it mapping out the future in a rudimentary way?

Nah. That'd require having an idea of what is going on.

> In a related matter: They later released an additional breed called
> forest norns which is described as having "larger concept lobes in
> the brain than any other Norn. Their neurone dynamics are quite
> different, leading to increased intelligence and bigger memories."
>
> Is this somehow true or just marketing talk?

You'd probably have to ask one of the developers for that, or dig into
the genome files on your own.

Jen Eva

unread,
Mar 4, 2009, 4:33:25 PM3/4/09
to
On Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:07:30 -0000, Chris Pfeiler
<Bluesm...@t-online.de> wrote:

> emmel wrote:
>
>> Not, that would be the end of it. Using sources you shouldn't have in
>> the first place to do what is pretty much bordering on what intellectual
>> property laws protect is exactly the kind of legal mumbo-jumbo (does
>> anyone know how to actually spell this) you ought to steer clear of at
>> any cost.
>
> I didn´t mean that they should copy the code but just use it to see
> how it was done in the first place and develop own routines.
>

>> > It´s that kind of illusion that inspired people, isn´t it?


>>
>> Blind believe... Not something I'm particularly fond of. Too bloody
>> dangerous.
>
> Reminds me of a quote from Futurama:
>
> "Nothing is impossible. Not if you can imagine it. That´s what being
> a scientist is all about..."
> "No. That´s what being a magical fairy is all about..."
>
> I know that the second line is true but I still have some sympathies
> for the first.
>
>> > Only if a version for DOS or Windows 3.11 will be available ;-).
>>
>> Get real, the memory addressing is sixteen bits of those (twelve with
>> DOS on some really old processors); you'd surely need more than that for
>> things to work properly. In inability to do multi-threading is also a
>> very limiting factor for any kind of simulation, not to mention that
>> most of the processors to support more heavy simulations are multicore.
> Maybe so. Can I have at least that program where a little mouse lives
> on my 3.11 desktop? I think somebody should write it ;-).
>
> Chris

You can have a cat -
http://users.frii.com/suzannem/neko/


--
I know but Berne is just too plain

emmel

unread,
Mar 4, 2009, 4:56:05 PM3/4/09
to
Thus Jen Eva spoke:

It had to happen sooner or later. So, who wants cheese and carrots with
the apocalypse?

Jen Eva

unread,
Mar 4, 2009, 5:01:12 PM3/4/09
to
On Wed, 04 Mar 2009 21:56:05 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:

> Thus Jen Eva spoke:
>
>> On Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:07:30 -0000, Chris Pfeiler
>> <Bluesm...@t-online.de> wrote:
>>
>>> Maybe so. Can I have at least that program where a little mouse lives
>>> on my 3.11 desktop? I think somebody should write it ;-).
>>>
>>> Chris
>>
>> You can have a cat -
>> http://users.frii.com/suzannem/neko/
>
> It had to happen sooner or later. So, who wants cheese and carrots with
> the apocalypse?

Is that the recommended diet?

emmel

unread,
Mar 4, 2009, 7:04:29 PM3/4/09
to
Thus Jen Eva spoke:

> On Wed, 04 Mar 2009 21:56:05 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>
>> Thus Jen Eva spoke:
>>
>>> On Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:07:30 -0000, Chris Pfeiler
>>> <Bluesm...@t-online.de> wrote:
>>>
>>>> Maybe so. Can I have at least that program where a little mouse lives
>>>> on my 3.11 desktop? I think somebody should write it ;-).
>>>>
>>>> Chris
>>>
>>> You can have a cat -
>>> http://users.frii.com/suzannem/neko/
>>
>> It had to happen sooner or later. So, who wants cheese and carrots with
>> the apocalypse?
>
> Is that the recommended diet?

This *is* AGC, isn't it?

On different notes: Opera Mail - interesting choice.

Jen Eva

unread,
Mar 5, 2009, 2:49:57 AM3/5/09
to
On Thu, 05 Mar 2009 00:04:29 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:

> Thus Jen Eva spoke:
>
>> On Wed, 04 Mar 2009 21:56:05 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>>
>>> Thus Jen Eva spoke:
>>>
>>>> On Tue, 24 Feb 2009 17:07:30 -0000, Chris Pfeiler
>>>> <Bluesm...@t-online.de> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> Maybe so. Can I have at least that program where a little mouse lives
>>>>> on my 3.11 desktop? I think somebody should write it ;-).
>>>>>
>>>>> Chris
>>>>
>>>> You can have a cat -
>>>> http://users.frii.com/suzannem/neko/
>>>
>>> It had to happen sooner or later. So, who wants cheese and carrots with
>>> the apocalypse?
>>
>> Is that the recommended diet?
>
> This *is* AGC, isn't it?

I dunno I just wandered in. I'm not a cheese-eater myself, but carrots are
fine.

> On different notes: Opera Mail - interesting choice.

It jbex's OK for me. it doesn't show x-faces, or allow multiple identities
though.

emmel

unread,
Mar 5, 2009, 4:49:21 AM3/5/09
to
Thus Jen Eva spoke:

> On Thu, 05 Mar 2009 00:04:29 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>
>> Thus Jen Eva spoke:
>>
>>> On Wed, 04 Mar 2009 21:56:05 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>>>
>>>> It had to happen sooner or later. So, who wants cheese and carrots with
>>>> the apocalypse?
>>>
>>> Is that the recommended diet?
>>
>> This *is* AGC, isn't it?
>
> I dunno I just wandered in. I'm not a cheese-eater myself, but carrots are
> fine.

How he hell did *that* happen?

>> On different notes: Opera Mail - interesting choice.
>
> It jbex's OK for me. it doesn't show x-faces, or allow multiple identities
> though.

'jbex', eh? Anyway, who needs X-Face, but I can see how the lack of
multiple identities could be annoying.

Oswald Low

unread,
Mar 5, 2009, 12:47:24 PM3/5/09
to
On Thu, 05 Mar 2009 09:49:21 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:

> Thus Jen Eva spoke:
>
>> On Thu, 05 Mar 2009 00:04:29 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>>
>>> Thus Jen Eva spoke:
>>>
>>>> On Wed, 04 Mar 2009 21:56:05 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid>
>>>> wrote:
>>>>
>>>>> It had to happen sooner or later. So, who wants cheese and carrots
>>>>> with
>>>>> the apocalypse?
>>>>
>>>> Is that the recommended diet?
>>>
>>> This *is* AGC, isn't it?
>>
>> I dunno I just wandered in. I'm not a cheese-eater myself, but carrots
>> are
>> fine.
>
> How he hell did *that* happen?
>
>>> On different notes: Opera Mail - interesting choice.
>>
>> It jbex's OK for me. it doesn't show x-faces, or allow multiple
>> identities
>> though.
>
> 'jbex', eh? Anyway, who needs X-Face, but I can see how the lack of
> multiple identities could be annoying.

I'm more fluent in sheddi speke, wheree all bad words are rotten.

Well it does mean I have to cutnpaste a bit.


--
Lovely plumage

emmel

unread,
Mar 5, 2009, 2:06:28 PM3/5/09
to
Thus Oswald Low spoke:

> On Thu, 05 Mar 2009 09:49:21 -0000, emmel <em...@invalid.invalid> wrote:
>
>> Thus Jen Eva spoke:
>>

>>> I dunno I just wandered in. I'm not a cheese-eater myself, but carrots
>>> are
>>> fine.
>>
>> How he hell did *that* happen?

Ignoring that one, eh?

>>>> On different notes: Opera Mail - interesting choice.
>>>
>>> It jbex's OK for me. it doesn't show x-faces, or allow multiple
>>> identities
>>> though.
>>
>> 'jbex', eh? Anyway, who needs X-Face, but I can see how the lack of
>> multiple identities could be annoying.
>
> I'm more fluent in sheddi speke, wheree all bad words are rotten.

Gel n fcryy purpxre. V'z cerggl fher Bcren fhccbegf vfcryy.

> Well it does mean I have to cutnpaste a bit.

Huh? Where does 'cut and paste' come in?

BTW, I just like everyone else just *love* it when people are changing
names constantly. Keeps things interesting, doesn't it?
(Yes, I *am* being sarcastic.)

Neo

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 8:49:03 AM3/9/09
to
emmel wrote:
> Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:
>
>> The mighty Steve Grand wrote:
>>
>>> No norn could ever be conscious, I submit. Consciousness requires a
>>> mental model of the world in which to map out possible futures, and
>>> norns are reactive creatures. It was this observation that has guided
>>> my robotics and AI work ever since.
>> Wait a minute, people. I wouldn´t dare to correct Steve but I´m still
>> uncertain about the matter of reactive vs semi-conscious behaviour.
>>
>> Steve says norns are reactive creatures. But they DO have a concept
>> lobe as well and I think because of this they can go "beyond" simply
>> reactive behaviour in a certain (rudimentary) way.
>>
>> The concept lobe enables norns to deduce abstract concepts and such
>> concepts can concern their memory and their own future, for example:
>>
>> - the next time I see food, I will push it and it will reduce hunger,
>> thus giving me reward.
>> - the next time I see a red button and the lift isn´t there, I will
>> push the button. The lift will eventually come like it did before.
>
> Yeah, sure. Because Norns only ever press the button once and wait till
> it comes...

Yeah, like Humans only press the lift button once and then wait till it
comes.

>> - the next time I hear the hand call my name, I will come, because
>> last time I was patted and rewarded.
>>
>> This is the entire basis of how a norn learns, isn´t it? Without
>> it (and with a purely reactive creature to whom every input is a
>> new input) learning would be pointless. These ideas and concepts
>> are then repeated in the norns sleep/dream phase, aren´t they?
>
> Um, that's still reactive behaviour. Action A worked in situation B
> before, so this is preferred the next time situation B is encountered.
> It's pretty much like Pavlov's dog. It's still a direct feedback circle,
> though. What makes consciousness possible... Beats me. You would
> probably get a Nobel prize if you figured that one out.
> I have to admit that I don't really remember what happened in the dream
> phase, though.

Maybe if we knew how human brains worked, we wouldn't call ourselves
conscious.

:-)

emmel

unread,
Mar 9, 2009, 9:10:29 AM3/9/09
to
Thus Neo spoke:

> emmel wrote:
>> Thus Chris Pfeiler spoke:
>>

>>> The concept lobe enables norns to deduce abstract concepts and such
>>> concepts can concern their memory and their own future, for example:
>>>
>>> - the next time I see food, I will push it and it will reduce hunger,
>>> thus giving me reward.
>>> - the next time I see a red button and the lift isn´t there, I will
>>> push the button. The lift will eventually come like it did before.
>>
>> Yeah, sure. Because Norns only ever press the button once and wait till
>> it comes...
>
> Yeah, like Humans only press the lift button once and then wait till it
> comes.

Oh, come on. Humans are not that... Erm, not all humans... What I wanted
to say: Some people are quite capable to handle lifts properly.

> Maybe if we knew how human brains worked, we wouldn't call ourselves
> conscious.

Nah, we'd just redefine it.

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