Lemonade Stands and Stupid Movies

by Curtis Poe

Note: if you're not familiar with my writing, I should tell you that it often represents a bizarre stream of consciousness where I hop from stepping stone to stepping stone in a most unpredictable fashion and the other side of the stream bears little resemblance to the original bank. You've been warned.


About a year ago, a friend took me to see the film What the Bleep Do We Know. I'm afraid we annoyed many others watching the film because we couldn't stop laughing at how ludicrous much of it was. For example, the film gave extensive coverage to "Dr." Emoto insulting water and claiming this makes ice crystals ugly. He's making a lot of money from books but, curiously, scientists have had trouble replicating his results.

This got me to thinking about the excellent book AI Application Programming by M. Tim Jones. I had been busy reworking his example of evolutionary behavior in synthetic ecosystems and my "animals" were not evolving as expected. After much mucking about in my code, I realized that the "eyes" worked, the "brains" worked, but I had accidentally severed the "nerves" between the eyes and the brain. Much like the audience at the aforementioned awful movie, my creatures could think and could see, but they could't think about what they saw.


6 Comments


2006-05-09 02:16:46
Go Ovid!
Theory
2006-05-09 09:39:17
After there is only one researcher left alive, all you'll have left is an unsatisfactory definition and an annoyed researcher.


Yes, and a lot of dead researchers, too. Don't forget them!


--Theory

Keith Demko
2006-05-09 13:49:08
Interesting stuff ... I, too, couldn't resist laughing out loud at that movie
Tom Copeland
2006-05-16 11:19:30
Tim's book was pretty cool, and he's a nice guy. I wrote Ruby versions on all the C code in the first edition (http://ai-app-prog.rubyforge.org/), and he and I wrote a bunch of emails back and forth sorting thru various things. Good times.
Keith Demko
2006-05-17 12:49:09
Great stuff .. I too loved "What the Bleep Do We Know," and indeed also had to laugh out loud many, many times

2006-07-27 08:23:38
Like the way you spin a yarn! You get points for 'higher' intelligence...however its defined.