Saturday, 29 August 2009
The world of automata and robots contains an area of illusion and fraud which presents many traps for the innocent.The vaucanson duck might have seemed as miraculous in its performance of eating and digesting as the chess-playing Turk at chess, but wheras the mechanism of the former was available for inspection, the von Kempelen chess player could only be examined under certain conditions, and that is being demonstrated by von Kempelen himself.
Comments on commercial exploitation ,mans desire for magic and instant solutions , as well as creduility can be found in literature through the ages.Remember Golems,this term is used in the Bible and in Talmudic literature to refer to an embryonic or an incomplete substance. In the creation of Adam ,at the third of the seven stages ,before he finally came to life when God breathed into his nostrils, his state was described by the rabbis as that of a golem, i.e a shapeless, unformed , substance.There have been , since the middle ages , many stories about wise men who made human effigies from the dust of the earth and then brought them to life with a shem or charm.
From the Greek automatos , acting of itself .Automata, often highly decorative , are mechanical artifacts which tend to imitate things from real life.Encyclopedia Brittanica omits robots from its definition of automata because robots are defined as functional, which automata are not.
At one extreme , in fiction , a robot can replace man and even better him. Although robots are not supposed to have feelings they often manifest them and insist that they are human, or at least that they are not machines.
In robot lore , truth as a concept may not seem the most relevant or vital criterion, but fraud in automation is worse than human deception becuse its association with science makes it seem impervious to corruption.
In a society of the future described by Phillip K Dick, there are so few animals left that these ar highly prized and kept as pets.Since pets represent the most important status symbols anyone can possess, those that cannot afford real animals have battery-operated artificial ones ,which to all intents and purposes are indistinuishable from the real thing.Only the owners are keenly aware of their inadequacy.Meanwhile , the only beings on earth which in all respects are no different from humans,except that they have no empathy with animals are Androids. They are hunted, retired or killed.The only way one can tell an android from a human is through very complcated psychological tests. Men tolerate artificial animals but cant abide artificial human beings.Elsewhere, Dick says that sometimes the androids themselves do not realise they are not human, even though they seem to lack proper feeling,human traits like love, kindness empathy.Yet scientists could no more find humaneness in the circuits of a robot than the soul in the body of a man.
I feel they deserve some kind of respect,what makes them seem unpleasant and unhappy is the fact they are given human traits by man playing God.For these reasons alone I urge caution!What would happen if robots themselves thought they were God and declared absolute power.
Noam Chomsky talks of man being preprogrammed for the accomplishments which he is able to attain. He suggests that for the aquisition of language there is no other explanation,He puts forward an idea ,that all languages have basic structure in common .The genetic program which establishes set of constraints is what provides the basis of our freedom and creativity.Yet preprogramming limits our imagination.
The difference between a robot programmed by man and man programmed by God , is a robot can be given a number of programs which one can change, but man has been condemned to one set of programs forever. Am only sayin.,to be continued
Posted by teifidancer at 13:47
Thursday, 27 August 2009
Upon a dark ,light,gloomy,sunshine day, As I in August walked to gather May, It was at noon neer ten a clock at night, The Sun being set,did shine exceeding bright, I with mine eyes began to hear anose, And turned my eyes about to see the voice, When from a cellar seven stories high, With loud low vice Melpomene did crie, What sober madness hath possest your brains, And men of no place ,shall your easie pains Be thus rewarded? pasing Smithfield bars, Cast up the blear-eyed eyes down to the stars, And see the Dragons head in Quartile move, Now Venus is with Mercury in love, Mars patient fages in fustian fume, And Jove will be revenged, or quit the room, Mild Juno ,beautuous Saturn,Martia free At ten leagues distance now assembled be; Then shut your eyes and see bright Iris mount, Five hundred fathoms deep by just account And with anoble ignominious train Passes flying to the place were Mars was slain Thus silently she spake ,whilst I mine eyes First on the ground advanced to the skies, And then not speaking any word replied Our noble family is neer allied To that renowned peasant George a Green, Stout Wakefield Pinner, he that stood between Achilles and the fierce Eacides, And then withstood with most laborious ease, Yet whilst that Boreas and Kinde Auster lie Together ,and at once the same way flie, And that unmoved wandring fixed star, That bloody peace fortells, and patient war, And scares the earth with fiery apparition, And plants in men both good and bad conditions: I ever will with my weak able pen Subscribe myself your servant French Ben
Posted by teifidancer at 17:18
Sunday, 23 August 2009
I have often been attracted to dreamers and outsiders,with a romantic bent.Thomas de Quincey (1785-1859) is one I admire. A prose writer of astonishing virtuosity, in a kind of rambling disjointed way. Born in Manchester, the son of a successful local business man, he went to Manchester Grammar School, which he ran away from, sleeping out and causing havoc in my beloved Welsh hills, he was caught and sent to Eton and later found himself in Oxford where he started taking opium at the age of 28 for stomach ulcer pains.(which incidentally did cure him of his ailment). He got himself a bit of a habit until he reched a peak of 8000 drops of laudanam (opium tincture)a day, normal recomended daily dose was recomended at 80 to 120 daily drops, so dont try this at home folks!
Basically today he would be called an addict, which he was, like many literary figures of the time who had become accustomed to taking what was then legal drugs for medical reasons.
He settled at Grasmere to be near his prophet Wordsworth, and his admired Coleridge.He is best known today for "the Confessions of an English Opium Eater" but I feel lesser works have same indefinite power and romantic impulses -The afflictions of Childhood, The flight of the Kalmuck Tartars, The English Mail Coach, and of my favourites Dream -Fuque.
Phantasmagoric is the word for his more typical prose.One minute his emotions are all solemn the next his narrative takes flight, gettin higher and higher, beyond yonder, a vision of something, forever flying ,forever escaping ,space swelling,time expanding!
Sometimes his rythym feels like music - various and indeterminate, closer to the infinite of pure feeling, taking us far out ,then even further.This is the problem, in his case what seemed favourable to single hours of miraculous exaltation of mood, was fatal to the completion of great artistic wholes.It leaves us with unfinished symphonies which tantalize us with their sense of loss.However not everyone likes magicians and their spells.
Amazingly he lived on in contentment until his death from natural cases at 74.Like a modern junky, William Burroughs he often voiced complaint against his addiction, but there be perhaps theatrics at play, with him almost boasting about it.
Anyway he left us a body of work that has to be admired.Sometimes it seems if one reads his works he seemed ,to have lived for 70 to 100 years in one night,he experienced "the reawakening of a state of eye often times incident to childhood...a power of painting ,as it were ,upon the darkness all sorts of phantoms...at night,when I lay awake in bed,vast processions moved along...a theatre seemed suddenly opened and lighted up within my brain, which presented nightly spectacles of more than earthly splendour" "I was stared at, looked at , grinned at, chattered at, by monkeys, by paroquats, by cocatoos.I ran into pagodas , and was fixed for centuries at the summit, or in secret rooms, I was the priest, I was worshipped, I was sacrificed. I fled from the wrath of Brama through all the forests of Asia, Vishnu hated me, Shiva lay in wait for me,I came suddenly upon Isis and Osiris.I had done a deed,they said, which the ibis and the crocodiles trembled at.I lived and was buried in stone coffins, with mummies and sphinxes, in narrow chambers at the heart of eternal pyramids "
Imagine that every night, Opium for the people,anybody! Floating Anarchy ! Not sure myself ,pass me a can of tennents extra, or even a cup of tea and I think I will sleep allright,and not walk amongst nightmare corridors.Happy dreaming now, sleep tight.
Posted by teifidancer at 12:05
Saturday, 22 August 2009
Thursday, 20 August 2009
Learn a language, especially Welsh,
its one of our oldest living languages.
Learn an instrument,learn to belly dance
Carry on regardless, listen to your friends
Don't ignore your neighbours
Unless their fascists.
Tell the truth, Follow every sunset
Learn to jive, cull books you never look at,
Plant a tree, climb a mountain,
Listen to music avoid Chris de Burgh ,Michael Bolton
Try some Half Man Half Biscuit,or maybe the Fall,
Bonjo Dog Do Dah Band ,Captain Sensible.
Sit by a local river,try not to fall in
Try to be honest,try to be real
But remember its ok to be cruel to be kind,.
Learn that its ok not to open the door
Especially to certain fundamentalists
Militant paper sellers,most salespeople.,
Learn to be glad,eat fruit
Abstinence can be fine,
But remember not to stand in line
Learn that were all free,
If you have the energy take a walk in the park
Kayak, make sandcastles on the beach.
Read some Chomsky,Spike Milligan
Avoid Jeremy Kyle, Alan Titchmarch,
Murder she wrote,most daytime tv
Dont fear the reaper, eat some peach,
Relax, don't do it, reach out and embrace
Pass it on,sing a song, light up a bong
Remember there's always gonna be some darkness,
But their will always be light.
Posted by teifidancer at 11:48
Sunday, 16 August 2009
Thursday, 13 August 2009
against unilateral art,situationist culture will be an art of dialogue,an art of interaction .Today artists-with all culture visible-have been completely seperated from society,just as they are seperated from each other by competition.But faced with this impasse of captalism,art has remained essentially unilateral in response.The enclosed era of primitivism will be superseded by complete communication.At a higher stage ,eveyone will become an artist i.e inseparably a producer consumer of total culture creation,which will help the rapid dissolution of the linear critereria of novelty.Everyone will be a situationist so to speak,with a multidimensional inflation of tendencies,experiences,or radically different "schools" not successsively, but simultaneously.To those who dont understand us properly,we say with an irreducible scorn:"the situationists of which yourselfs perhaps to be the judges,will one day judge you.We await the turning point which is the inevitable liquidation of the world of privation,in all its forms,
Posted by teifidancer at 13:54
Sunday, 9 August 2009
Nothing better to do ,go on facebook,no I mean into the garden.My compost heap is my gardens lifeblood.It should be eveybodies really.Its free as well and very green,all good in my book.Compost is a living substance that in sufficient quantities will give plants all the nutrients they need. teabags are fantastic ,as are roach ends decompose very quickly,weed contains good organic matter.Dampness and nitrogen combined excellant for rotting stuff.Oh whats that Dead Kennedys album title,oh you know the one,fresh fruit and rottin vegetables,ideal.Keep thing simple,dont put large items in,a bit of piss perfect,freshly mowed lawn as well,straws good material as well.Try some wood chippings,bits of damp newspaper,best to avoid meat and oranges or lemon,though citrus-fruit peel often contains large amounts of pesticides and preservatives,which break down well.Find some manure then your laughing.Give it all a stir twice a week , the more you give the more comes back,waste not want not,doin our bit for the environment,landfill is lets face it just not cool,wasteful and costly.Lets give garden plants the nutrients the need,oh compost loves beer and potatoe peelings as well,go on get your green fingers on ,give it a go,free therapy for the soul.Happy composting.
Posted by teifidancer at 13:34
Thursday, 6 August 2009
Posted by teifidancer at 12:26