User talk:WAS 4.250
Reconnecting After a Disconnect 
WAS, our collegial dialogue was unceremoniously disrupted on the English Wikipedia.
Would you like to resume it here, either on your talk page, or mine?
Moulton 21:56, 20 June 2008 (UTC)
- I just now saw this. Let's use your talk page here. WAS 4.250 12:26, 22 June 2008 (UTC)
Resumption of Interrupted Dialogue 
Now what do we do? Do you have SUL? Can we migrate to another Wiki? —Moulton 01:20, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
- If you don't mind my interjecting into your conversation, you may want to consider a wiki-hosting service like ScribbleWiki. Free wiki, you can set yourselves as whatever permissions you wish, and you don't have to worry about people interrupting your discussions as being against that wiki's inclusion policies. Hopefully that's of help to you. Kylu 03:05, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
I'd like to understand why a collegial, congenial, and sociable conversation on the subject the the future of the English Wikipedia is considered off-limits here.
To my mind, that topic is precisely on topic for Meta-Wiki.
I had spent half an hour carefully crafting a response to the last comments from WAS, and I lost all that work when the posting was rejected. I tried backing up in my Firefox browser, but evidently it doesn't cache new material typed into the posting box.
I've lost track of the number of times some admin has disrupted constructive dialogues on one Wikimedia project or another.
Meantime, WAS, I suppose we have some alternatives, given the hostile and uncongenial attitude that we've encountered here.
Moulton 04:29, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
- Guys, I am not going to join the debate on whether your discussions are on-topic in meta. But you may start (or join) a v:wikiversity:learning project on wikiversity:. Hillgentleman 05:32, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Where Are the Forums for This? 
At Talk:A_Scientific_Dissent_From_Darwinism#.3F Tony Sidaway socks it to WAS:
|“||I removed the original posting because it was an attempt to discuss a general subject rather the editing of this article on a specific topic: a petition started by a the Discovery Institute. If there are third party sources linking Lynn Margulis' work to this petition, then those sources may be put into the article where appropriate. However the original edit looked pretty clearly to be an attempt to use Wikipedia discuss a broader subject. There are forums for that. --Jenny 10:22, 9 July 2008 (UTC)||”|
Moulton 10:39, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
Thanks, guys 
Thanks, guys. I thought this was probably the wrong place for this discussion. Thank you for helping us find the right place. http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Wikiversity:Learning_projects#The_subpage looks wondrful. Everything works out better when you do things in the right place. Thanks again. WAS 4.250 15:45, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
http://en.wikiversity.org/wiki/Ethical_Management_of_the_English_Language_Wikipedia WAS 4.250 16:10, 9 July 2008 (UTC)
On having any idea how someone else's mind functions 
Elsewhere in your talk page discussions here on Meta-Wiki, the issue arises about the practice of forming ideas about how someone else's mind functions. Some people evidently appear to be able to quickly form and glibly articulate such ideas (which may or may not bear any verifiable correspondence to the ground truth). I typically start with the Null Model, and rarely make any significant progress from there. Do you have any thoughts about this quaint custom of forming (and occasionally acting on) haphazard beliefs about another person's frame of mind (e.g. dreads, emotions, issues, beliefs, desires, motivations, or intentions)? —Moulton 06:02, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
|“||"Model-based reasoning is what you do in science, and not just in science, but science creates theories and models which purport to be representations of phenomena that we observe, and you can compute or run the model, or analyze the model and gain insight. For example, you can make predictions from the model and see whether your predictions are borne out.
So model-based reasoning is the mainstay of science, and also of engineering, and engineering systems theory. Few people in the lay public are engaged in model-based reasoning, or are even aware of it. Most people are rule-based. The world sort of imposes these rules on you, and you simply follow the rules and you'll be safe. However, the problem is that rule-based systems are not very powerful. You cannot do a lot of stuff with rule-based methods of reasoning. So I went on a jag about introducing model-based reasoning in science education. How do you get the kids to reason like a scientist? How do you get them to understand what is a model? What is the difference between the model and the thing that it replicates? How do you build a model that is an accurate representation of something real? Moreover, how do you use models scientifically to gain insight and understanding and make predictions in a practical way? So what MicroMuse did is it opened up an opportunity for ordinary people who did not have access to big brand computers or huge mathematical systems to do very simple modeling activities.
The simplest model is an object that has the name that is the same as the thing it represents, but it actually has no content. Therefore, if you have an object called "a red balloon," then that is exactly what it is -- a red balloon. It has no behavior. But then you can begin to add to this red balloon object, behavior. So if you pick it up, you drop it and it flies away, you poke it and it breaks. You begin to add features to it so that it is not just a picture or a representation of a red balloon. It actually begins to behave like a real balloon. From here, you can move on to models that are more complex. Anything you can imagine.
As you model more elaborate and complex things, the content of the model begins to flesh out lots and lots of elements, descriptions, code, behavior, and you can interact with the object on the computer and it behaves as you would expect it to behave. So the children rather enjoy this opportunity to have access to a modeling environment where you could, without spending years studying computer science, in a matter of maybe a few weeks, learn enough of the language to build simple but fun models. Then you had other people in there who could interact with you and the stuff that you had built. Almost like an instant show-and-tell. You had this pride of authorship, and this issue of creativity and cleverness, and making the model behave in sophisticated ways, which is a programming challenge. So you had all of this opportunity to engage in model construction where the models could be quite sophisticated. Unlike building, say, a model out of plastic or Styrofoam, this model could have behavior. This sort of expanded the opportunity for people to discover, participate in, engage in, and enjoy, the model construction process. And I thought that this was a good thing to introduce children to, and it sort of got them into this paradigm that science educators are trying to get children into, which is understanding what a model is, what a theory is, and how a model could be made to resemble and behave like the thing which it is a model of.
Ray Kurzweil and others look ahead and envision what we call sentient machines. A sentient being is on a journey through some space it resides in, and as it explores its space, it encounters stuff, which it then has to make a map of. This business of exploring a territory that you live in, building an internal mental map or model, and then using the map or model to navigate to achieve goals within your world, is the fundamental of sentience. We actually have on MicroMuse, a sentient robot, and as he walks, he maps the MUSE. So if you ask him how do you get from here to there, he will tell you the shortest path, that is if he knows the shortest path. He is essentially an elementary mapping robot, which is sort of the beginning of sentience. What's interesting is for example, if you change the layout, if a path is suddenly blocked, he'll go there and get blocked, and he behaves just like a human would be expected to behave when knowledge unexpectedly proves to be obsolete or incorrect. Once computers become autodidactic learning systems, the breakdowns and the failures, the diagnostic messages that we're used to, will manifest themselves in a much richer way, and I claim that in humans, the breakdowns in learning manifest themselves as emotions, and they're going to appear analogous in computers.
As soon as computers evolve to become learning systems in their own right, they're going to display affect, they're going to display curiosity, and confusion, and puzzlement, and frustration and insight, and satisfaction, and confidence."
Source: A journey through the mind of Barry Kort, prime mover of MicroMuse, Interview by Leon D'Souza, HardNewsCafe, December 18, 2001
Modeling others' minds is part of sentience. Are you a sentient machine?
WAS 4.250 12:44, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
- A machine can only process a datastream that is made expressly available to it. I have negligible data from the two agents of WMF upon which to craft a reliable model of their mindsets.
- You can also view QuickTime Videos of me giving comparable lectures at Harvard University.
- —Moulton 21:22, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
Modeling Stubborness 
Elsewhere in these talk pages, you wrote:
|“||I also feel very frustrated with this whole thing. Just a tad more reasonableness from either Felonious Monk or Moulton and we would be very much better off. They are both very stubborn. WAS 4.250 19:04, 14 August 2008 (UTC)||”|
WAS, could you unpack your perception of the stubbornness that you have in mind here? —Moulton 21:22, 14 August 2008 (UTC)
- As in "I am persistent, you are stubborn." As in "All progress is from the unreasonable man." You and Felonious Monk are both trying to help Wikipedia, but your styles of behavior clash because you are too alike. WAS 4.250 15:20, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
- That's what Freud would call "the uncanny" when two opposites (or two strangers) are also so much alike. I suspect there is a complementary symmetry connecting me to FeloniousMonk, in the same way that the protagonist is entangled with the antagonist in drama. I also suspect that we share a common Amfortas Wound. —Moulton 17:29, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Petition for Redress of Grievance 
FYI, here is a copy of a message to ArbCom and keen observers...
Date: Fri, Aug 15, 2008 at 8:24 AM
In the event that the forthcoming decision in the ArbCom case adjudges that FeloniousMonk engaged in unbecoming practices which corruptly disadvantaged other editors with whom he differed, I would plead for Redress of Grievance by nothing more than restoring my good name and good standing on the English Wikipedia.
I ask for no harsh sanctions to be levied against FeloniousMonk or his misguided followers in IDCab. After all, who among us has not, on occasion, stumbled down the wrong path.
Rather I quietly pray for the kind of awakening that genuinely inspires a former miscreant to turn over a new leaf.
Barry / User:Moulton
Moulton 13:05, 15 August 2008 (UTC)
Bridging the Chasm 
There is a chasm. On one side of the chasm is Science. On the other side is Religion.
What bridges the chasms is Dramaturgy.
But I don't see how to craft the dramaturgical bridge.
For a while I thought we might get there with Ottava in the role of the Ice Queen and Caprice in the role of Aslan.
Now it looks like that bridge got blown up, too.
Moulton 22:17, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
- Imported from Wikiversity
In my opinion, Thekohser's difficulties at Wikipedia are more a function of his personality than of the paid nature of his formerly proposed activities there. He often notes that there does exist paid activity at Wikipedia and tries to portray that as inconsistent, when actually what it shows is that it is not simply being paid activity that was (and is) the difficulty with his behavior at Wikipedia. Kind of like how Moulton condemns Wikipedia for being rules based and also for not following its own rules. People who condemn something for both being X and not being X are being emotional and not logical. WAS 4.250 14:08, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
- The hypocrisy and double standards at Wikipedia are an observation that the rules exist not for the purpose of crafting an orderly process, but for the purpose clobbering one's opponents in the daily dramas of deciding what content to include in the online encyclopedia. There is nothing wrong with rules if one is seeking to define a game which is played on a level playing field. But I am not aware of any theory to suggest that an authentic encyclopedia can be crafted by means of such a game (even if it were a fair game). —Moulton 14:18, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
- Hypocrisy and double standards exist everywhere. There is no place they do not exist. Your ignorance of "any theory to suggest that an authentic encyclopedia can be crafted by means of such a game" does not indicate that it can not occur. You do not know everything. Wikipedia is indeed crafted in a game-like way and millions of people find it useful and many studies have shown it to be more accurate than some widely used sources and only a little less accurate than Britannica. (I know Britannica disputes this but then they would wouldn't they?) WAS 4.250 14:47, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
- Yes, it's useful to study what emerges from a system of that architecture. The place where the gamelike nature manifests itself is in selected subjects, including BLPs and other controversial subjects where people have favorite memes, tropes, obsessions, pet peeves, hobby horses, etc. —Moulton 22:33, 28 September 2008 (UTC)
Mars calling... 
You've been scarce lately. Care to resume our dialogus interruptus? —Moulton 08:28, 17 October 2008 (UTC)
- Is there something you would like to say that you have not already said? You seem to repeat yourself a lot. You also seem resistant to learning, so it is largely a waste of time to try to teach you. I did enjoy some of our past conversations, though. WAS 4.250 14:43, 17 October 2008 (UTC)