An idea just for you

I’ve used this blog to basically dump a lot of my thoughts and ideas. A place to share some things that I think I will most likely never get around to doing but concepts and things that I think are worth at least putting out into the open.

Now I’m thinking….what if I just asked YOU for YOUR ideas? What would you tell the world? What would you share with everyone? Why not build a repertoire of ideas to help others be more creative with their own ideas?

I’m not talking about writing out whole stories. I’m talking fair short and simple concepts that maybe no one has ever thought of before? Maybe you might inspire someone to do something they would not have others have done?

Looking for some feedback on this. Let me know your thoughts?

AI Emotions

What are emotions at their very basic level?

Emotions are basically thoughts which trigger certain effects in our bodies.

Since we can’t monitor our every thought, emotions are a kind of indication of the general directions our thoughts are going.

So, if we have many thoughts that have been designed to trigger certain chemicals to produce certain reactions, then we say we are sad/angry/happy and so on and there is a bodily reaction based on what chemical is triggered (i.e. adrenalin et al).

To do the same in machines, all you have to do is tag each process running and group those tags in a visual representation. Thus you can tell if the machine is happy, ponderous, sad and so on by the tags on the processes running. Based on these tags, you could have the machine perform other actions, just like our bodies reacting to chemicals it produces.

Now, all I need to do is figure out how to classify running processes and add a graph of some sort :)

Writing and tools

This year I plan on doing more serious writing.  I am working on two short stories this one and this one.  I will get those expanded into short stories and get them posted up.  I have been invited to be a guest author on another blog so I think I’ll try my hand at writing short stories there as there is currently no topic limit for us.

To this end, I will try to use some tools to help me organize my stories better.  Typically I’ll just start writing and see where it goes.  This can make for some interesting stories but not really great stories.  The first thing I will use is a Timeline program.  There aren’t a lot of free ones out there but the one linked in the previous sentence is nice, simple and free.  Sure, any spreadsheet could be used but I like to have the basics all setup and I just have to plug in the details.  Hell, that’s what technology is for….taking care of basic needs to free us up for more enlightened pursuits :)

I also use Evernote quite a bit. Stupidly useful and what is awesome is that it just works across all platforms.  I can just as easily use it on my Galaxy Tab 8.9 as I can on any web browser.  If you have windows(and most do) you can install the Evernote program and use it without having to go into a browser.  Although, I tend to find the browser just fine I just haven’t gotten into the habit of using the program on my netbook.  Might be a good thing as I’ll probably be installing Linux on it soon any ways.  What is great is that on my netbook, I can just ‘share’ anything I find directly to Evernote.  With an add-on extension, you can do the same in a web browser as well.

Given that “Short stories range anywhere from 1,500 to 30,000 words; Novellas run from 30,000 to 50,000; Novels range from 55,000 to 300,000 words.”, my Harmony story already has about 1500 words, so I’ll see how I can work that but I suspect I still won’t hit past 30K of words.

So, wish me luck!

Activated charcoal?

I’m pretty big on finding creative ways to do expensive things.  Sure it’s ok for people to make some money but when they outright gouge you (I’m look at you, digitial media comglomerates) so until real pricing comes around, piracy will be a source for the vast majority of people.

Now, this also applies to physical goods as well.  I think the water we now get from our household pipes is no longer safe and has long-term detrimental effects.  No I’m not going to link any ‘proof’ of this, you’ll have to do your own research and make up your own mind on this one.  This then leads to water filters (given the size of that industry, that should be proof enough I think…) and we use a Brita water filter.  The sad part is that they gouge on their replacement filters and that’s not right.

Then I found this instrucable and life was awesome for saving in a big way.

All the tools you need

Basically you re-use the old Brita filter(yay for recycling!), buy some ‘activated charcoal‘ from your local pet fish store, empty out the old stuff, put in the new stuff and bam!  Instant new filter.

My only limitation now is that because I am in South Korea, finding any kind of activated charcoal is nearly impossible.  Shipping from eBay is stupidly expensive so my options are pretty limited.  I will be considering making my own.  I’ll be doing something like this:


Now, there is this part about ‘activated’, which is not fully clear to me.  Most of the places just say ‘modified’ by an ‘agent’.  None of them explain, even in just simple terms, what this ‘activation‘ actually does.  They tend to only say the end result (i.e. more porous) but never give any real details on this.  When I see this ‘lack of explanation’, my concerns rise.  On chemical activation, Wikipedia says this(and before any of you buggers TRY to blame Wikipedia, do some research and understand how a Wiki entry is actually created and the amount of work to get an article published and maintained):

Chemical activation: Prior to carbonization, the raw material is impregnated with certain chemicals. The chemical is typically an acid, strong base, or a salt[2] (phosphoric acid,potassium hydroxidesodium hydroxidecalcium chloride, and zinc chloride 25%). Then, the raw material is carbonized at lower temperatures (450–900 °C). It is believed that the carbonization / activation step proceeds simultaneously with the chemical activation. Chemical activation is preferred over physical activation owing to the lower temperatures and shorter time needed for activating material.

I’m not sold that this chemical process is all that healthy in the long-term.  And since I can’t do their described physical process (involving sealed chambers and super high temps), I’ll be stick with straight up charcoal.  This also lowers the cost too :)

I’ll see how this goes and try it on the weekend :)  Will update this post on my results.