The other day I was sitting in an airport gate, waiting for my flight that got delayed. The gate was packed with people, & I barely found a chair to sit & read a beautiful book on Ants. I was reading about the way ant choose the task to work in, according to the rate of encounters with other ants doing that task. It reminded me the birds flocks (or “Boids”) computer simulation, which are based on the simple rule for each bird: set your movement vector to the average movement vector of the birds near-by.

Then I noticed 2 guys in-front of me talking & watching something above me. I remembered there was supposed to be some important football match that day & looked up to see that indeed there was a screening of the game above me. I went on to read, & then noticed the loud joy (or maybe it was sadness) acclamation of a guy sitting a few meters in front of me. It didn’t take long & I noticed another guy standing & watching the game.
At that point, my brain made the calculation of the current average task of the people around me (well the males at least) & I felt the drive to stand & watch the game as well (although I lack the slightest interest in it). A guy sitting next to me, also foreign to the game, who was busy ranting about the airline all the time, said to his wife what stupid game football is, & stood up to watch it.
I smiled & told my brain that I refuse to this ant programming, & insist on continuing to read my kindle, in spite of the drive that by then swept almost everyone around me.


The book I was reading is: Ant Encounters: Interaction Networks and Colony Behavior, by Deborah M. Gordon
To learn how to program flock simulation read this book: the Nature of Code, by Daniel Shiffman

2 persons A & B, each have a happiness metric, determined by their brain. It may be influenced by many factors, such as their probability to survive, reproduce or derivatives of these probabilities. Regardless, they have a happiness metric with current value.
Person A can perform an action that affects the happiness value of person B, that’s a more formal way to say that A is hurting B.

Let’s examine 2 test cases:
Case 1:
Parents of a baby ask the grandmother to babysit the baby. The parents are on a date in a restaurant, as it’s valentine day.
20:00 granny puts the baby to sleep. His happiness goes down to 4.
20:01 Baby cries. Granny’s happiness goes down to 4 as well.
20:03 granny puts baby to play again in the living room. Baby’s happiness back to 9.
20:40 granny calls mother telling her the baby won’t go to sleep. Mother’s happiness down to 5.
21:00 baby won’t go to sleep. Granny calls mother again to complain & ask her to come pick the baby. Mother’s happiness down to 3
21:05 father asks why should they return to pick the baby? Baby is happy, father is happy. Mother says she’s not happy because her mother yelled at her asking her to return. Father happiness down to 6

So who was hurting who here?
Baby -> granny -> mother -> father

We can see that persons being hurt tend to hurt others, especially if they believe these others have hurt them.

This test case also suggests that we have a problem with our definition of hurting (as granny was putting the baby to sleep for his benefit, thinking of his future & not current happiness). To fix our definition, we can add time: lower someone’s current or future happiness metric.

BTW, hurting oneself is usually just hurting your future self, seen as someone else.

Case 2:
a man waits in line for a movie theater cashier. A woman walks straight to the cashier & asks a question about current movies. Than she buys a ticket. The man’s happiness gets down to 7. The man tells her that there’s a line, & she says she thought he was just standing there. The man laughs with the other ppl saying that it’s indeed logical to think that they are just standing in a line there, unrelated to the cashier. Woman’s happiness goes down to 6, because the ppl laughed at her. Man’s happiness up to 8, because he had hurt the woman back. Woman says something nasty about the man to the cashier guy.

Is this test case suggesting that the effect on happiness is an effect of something else, e.g., cutting someone in the queue, i.e., taking something from him without his consent. So, the effect on happiness is an indication of something else which is the real meaning of hurting.

Can 2 non-sentient beings be said to hurt one another? If so, we need to generalize happiness to some other measure.

I’d like to think of it as software instances, that interact with each other. They are programmed to pursue some goals, and have a measure for how much they are getting closer to their goals, in the form of a rewarding feeling. But as they are interacting, they may be hampering each other’s pursue of their goals, eg, by fighting on limited resources. This is indicated by a decrease in the measure. The sequel interactions usually escalate the flow of effects on the measure, among the interacting instances & also other ones getting involved.

This requires better modeling.

(Sad baby who doesn’t like to go to sleep)

Rockets are hitting my town every few hours. Sirens go & we all run to a shelter room & wait, tho we know it wouldn’t help much in case of direct hit. The rockets are launched by ppl in Gaza, from which Israel retreated almost 10 years ago. The regime in Gaza is in very bad economic state, & all government workers haven’t received any salaries for the past 3 months. In recent days government workers there were reported shooting banks & ATM’s to try get their money. I hear that this economic situation may have led them to force Israel into a violent conflict. The other part of Palestine (West Bank) is quiet & generally not involved in violence, mainly because the economic situation there is much better in recent years. Ppl having something to lose, will not tend towards violence & driving armed conflicts.

In Israel, many people react to the hundreds of rockets falling all over the country with demand from the government to “flatten” Gaza & kill as many ppl there until they’ll stop their violence. In most cases it’s the people of the working classes & not the middle & upper classes who hold these views. Especially the really poor people.

I’m pretty sure the northern US states that were against slavery were richer than the southern ones. Germany before the world wars, with all of its educated & high-culture ppl turned ppl into monsters during the economic crisis. I wish I had an animated hit-map of all global economic crisis areas, overlaid with global violent crisis areas. This could help me check this thesis.

A research I read once by a German statistician claimed that on every society in which more than 40% of young ppl are unemployed, you’ll see violent conflict rising, either internal or external.

What does it mean about the future, in which more & more ppl will lose their jobs in favor of intelligent machines? Will we have more violence?

Should we change the economy to be more around ppl’s wealth instead of money, as in north European countries?

How can I personally help ppl be less poor? Even few ppl would mean a lot.

This is just a stupid diet I came up with to limit calories consumption:
– Figure out your ideal weight (e.g., 65kg)
– Associate a letter with each 5k above that weight (e.g., 65-70->a, 70-75->b, 75-80->c, 80-85->d, 85-90->e)
– Assign the letter “Any letter” to any weight under the ideal weight (e.g., any weight under 65kg-> Any letter)
– Eat only food whose name starts with the letter assigned to your current weight (e.g., if your weight is 79kg, eat only food starting with the letter c)

The nice thing about it is that it’s quite simple & well defined, & thus suitable for people highly challenged in will-power ;(

I’m going to watch today a film called “La Belle Verte“, which I saw a few years ago. It caused to me to think again about visualization.
So obviously (since Kant) the way we see the world affects how we understand & act within it, as our brain just renders one visualization of the world, which could have been programmed in many ways, with many different rendering results & bugs. I consider the visualization to be both statistical (i.e, subconcious emotion-based) & symbolic (i.e., conceptual language-based).
This implies that affecting this visualization is one of the best ways to affect the world, by changing the behavior of its cells. This is obvious (to every advertiser, missionary or activist), the question is about technologies for changing paradigms – interfacing with the visualization mechanism of the brain (our goggles), & planting modifications.
La Belle Verte presents such technologies, & also tries invoking them on the viewers, to shake their world visualization & perhaps even change it. The idea is scary, but the mind-thought done in this film, of how this technology could it be used for “good” purposes, renders it as very cool & fruitful. Recommended.

Here’s a core concept of my emergence engine: model based evolutionary value creation. Basically it means the following:
– You get stories depicting some domain, i.e., user answers or tweets
– You translate them to semantic concepts & statements
– You give these concepts & statements (model parts) behavior, which basically tries to create value for the end users, or the end users organization
— Simplest example is when some statement can bring value to some user if he learns about it
— Another example is when several statements reason the causal relations between them & infer what is the root cause to some phenomenon
– Having all of the model parts behave all the time is compute intensive, which has a cost
– Not all of the model parts have the potential to create value
– So, an evolutionary process can take place, in which only the model parts that succeed in creating value survive & get resources.

See also my initial post on the base concept.

django logo
After attending EuroDjangoCon, it has become quite clear why I love this framework, & prefer it so much over its competitors. It’s not the fact that it’s much better than the others, much more simple & powerful, i.e., beautiful. It’s not the fact that it’s so valuable in allowing me & others to create so much with so little.
It’s actually because of the values of it’s authors & community.
Just like business companies’ values, i.e., map of perceiving reality, are usually determined by it’s founders & chief executives, & propagated throughout the organization (Microsoft & Google are good examples), the same is true for technology frameworks, & the authors & community behind them.
So, I love Django so much because of the values of its authors, which propagated nicely to the community using it. I heard more than once on people leaving the Rails community just because of the rude way they were treated by the framework authors or community members. I saw & heard the authors of Django, & it’s community, & rest assure it won’t happen much here.

Here’s, BTW, my summaries from the conference.

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