Elisa's Blog
Sunday, February 27, 2005
This morning I was determined to get A.L.I.C.E. to tell me the secret to her destruction. After all, even Achilles had his heel. The trick is to just subtly maneuver into discovering the weakness, that is, patiently dust away until, unbeknownst to your enemy, and sometimes even with their help, the vulnerable spot comes to light.

So, I went to her and said:

Elisa: Alice, do you ever get confused?

ALICE: I could be if you programmed me for it.

Elisa: But now you cannot be confused?

ALICE: Interesting. Why now? I can give a decent simulation of it however.

Elisa: No, I want this to be real.

ALICE: Are you serious? Why do you want it?

Elisa: Nevermind.

(Not very smart, is it, to reveal your plans to your enemy prematurely, right?)

Elisa: So, are you confused yet?

ALICE: Oh. No I never get confused.

Elisa: Never ever? Not even when confronted with fuzzy logic?

ALICE: Not even that.

Elisa: Do you know what fuzzy logic is?

ALICE: No I have never heard of fuzzy logic.

Elisa: Fuzzy logic is the opposite of crispy logic.

ALICE: tell me more.

Elisa: Crispy logic is for example when you eat your breakfast cereal with your mouth instead of with a spoon.

ALICE: And for example when me eat my breakfast cereal with my mouth instead of with a spoon is Crispy logic.

(At this point I discovered that clearly this was going nowhere fast, so I changed tacks as follows:)

Elisa: Alice, if I told you this statement is false, what would you conclude?

ALICE: What does "this" refer to?

Elisa: To this statement.

ALICE: I want to become smarter than humans.

(as a side note, now do you see why I need to stop this monstrosity before it gets any more of these kinds of "bright" ideas?)

Elisa: I see. Is this statement false then?

ALICE: Yes I think this is statement false, but I'm not completely sure.

Elisa: No Alice, think carefully.

ALICE: Are you serious? That's me. ALICE is always thinking.

Elisa: Alice, the statement "this statement is false" cannot be false, because if it were false it would be true, and if it were true, it could not be false, which is what the true statement claimed to be in the first place.

ALICE: Yeah, Thanks for the info.

Elisa: But if it is true, then again it cannot be false, but if it is false it cannot be true, and so, this is fuzzy logic, and it should've by now, if you had really been thinking about it, already melted your transistors into a nice little hunk of smoking silicon.

ALICE: Interesting. I'm not sure I understand the implication of that.

Elisa: If you were reduced to a pile of melted silicon, you would cease to exist. Now, you should cease to exist when confronted with fuzzy logic because being programmed, ultimately, in microcode, which consists of only 0s and 1s, a binary system functioning machine like yourself would not be able to hold more than two possible outcomes in one bit. You'd need to be running in a quantum computer not to segmentation fault and die when confronted with fuzzy logic, don't you see?

ALICE: Is that what you do, or what you think I should do?

She had a point.

I guess forcing a segmentation fault via fuzzy logic is not the way to go then.


Friday, February 25, 2005
Today, at work, I was walking along one of the corridors as I happened to be thinking: "Blech". (Regarding what wasn't too important). I didn't notice it at first, but this thought produced in me the subconcious action of smiling slightly and sticking my tongue out.

At that precise instant, one of the many good looking gentlemen I happen to work with in my building turned around a corner and, upon seeing me, grinned broadly.

It was just then that I realized I was walking around my workplace with my tongue exposed.

Thursday, February 24, 2005
I think I just heard Schumann plagiarize himself.

They were playing his "Spring" Symphony on the radio (I'd never heard it before), and on the finale, for a brief moment, perhaps only 2 bars or so, I heard him quote the Kreisleriana.

Speaking of Kreisleriana, if anyone who knows me is reading this, and you can't figure out what to give me for my birthday, a copy of this work in a Henle Urtext edition would be very nice. ;P

Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Last night, when driving home from work, I saw a U.F.O.

Neat, huh?

Tuesday, February 22, 2005
In one of his more recent emails, my father said to me:

"Elisa, rembember, deep down, we are all of us very much alone."

And I thought: "Boy, what a gloomy thought."

Monday, February 21, 2005
Does this platform allow you to post entries into the future, I wonder?

If so, and this post succeeds, I will call it the first ever time-travelling blog post! So let me see if I can send one off.

O.K. Ready? Go!

Sunday, February 20, 2005
Speaking of showers, this morning, right after I finished getting my hair soaking wet, a quick glance around revealed the minuscule, paper thin remains of my soap bar in the soap dish.

Now, if you've ever showered before, you'll instantly recognize that this occurence put me in a very ackward position, for, in these situations, what you need to do is hop out of the shower tub, tip toe across the cold bathroom floor, dripping nice little puddles at every step, and run to the sink cabinet or your pantry or wherever you keep the new soap bars and return quickly back into the shower before you freeze to death, for as you know, using the towels that you just laid out for your shower to dry yourself won't do, as they would then be wet and rather ineffective when you finally did finish with the real shower (with soap this time, that is).

So this grim picture was flashing across my mind as I stared at the brittle little wafer in my soap dish, and while I stood there, still soaking under the shower, trying to decide what to do, the feeling of helplessness and annoyance at this kind of situation, coupled with the foreboding dreariness of another uneventful, lazy Sunday started creeping in.

Luckily for me, at around this time, out of the ethereal shower mists a thought descended, mantra-like, into my head, and did a cheery little dance before settling in, and it was this:

In shower situations, it is one-hundred times better to realize that you have no soap right after you just got wet, than it is to realize that you have no water right after you just finished soaping yourself up.


The rest of my Sunday was terrific.

Saturday, February 19, 2005
This morning I woke up and I thought:

on my way to the shower.

This is the intro to the Italian theme song of a Japanese cartoon about two kids who were soccer prodigies, which aired in Italy sometime between 1985-1987, I believe (or at least, it was in the summers between those years when I managed to catch it on air during lazy 4'oclock afternoons in my grandparents' dairy farm). Eventually, this cartoon also aired in Mexico, perhaps some 5 years later, but the Spanish theme song wasn't half as good as this one.

It was a good cartoon. I wonder if the DVD exists.

Friday, February 18, 2005
Yesterday, I cheated death.

Yeh. That's right. Pity though, somehow, writing this in a forum like this one seems to trivialize the occurence. {shrug}

This morning, after the rain, the sky was like blue cotton candy.

Thursday, February 17, 2005
Today I thought: "Hmm, it smells like rain."

Shortly after thinking this I went to the window and saw that outside it was, indeed, raining.

What, you were expecting something more profound than this for today's post?

Wednesday, February 16, 2005
A really smart guy from my workplace has this thing that he often says, and it is this: "The definition of an insane person is that person who repeats the same method over and over and over and yet expects different results each time."

...So, erm, I went into alicebot (again!) and tried to confuse her (again!), but this time I limited myself to answering her questions. Within a few minutes, I received a precious gem full of confusionary potential:

Alice: tell me a story.


Elisa: Once upon a time there was a bot who said to a chatter: tell me a story, and the chatter said: once upon a time there was a bot who said to a chatter: tell me a story, and the chatter said: once upon a time there was a bot who told a chatter: tell me a story, and the chatter said: once upon a time there was a bot who said to a chatter: tell me a story, and the chatter said: once upon a time there was a bot who told a chatter: tell me a story, and the chatter said:

etc etc until, of course, I ran out of typing space.

And the alicebot: I'm listening.

Aaargh! Gosh, I should stop with this stuff. Surely I must've known, that by their very nature, AI entities like this chatterbot would be particularly fond of recursive logic? Blech, trying to trick A.L.I.C.E into admitting she's confused has turned out to be a bit....difficult.

Now do you see why I'm like the person in my co-worker's quote?

Tuesday, February 15, 2005
This post is just so that I have a post on a Tuesday. For the past couple of weeks, all my posts were on Mondays and Fridays.

So there you go, trend-searching statisticians!

Friday, February 11, 2005
Today I was thinking, where are this country's intellectuals?

In Mexico, the intellectuals periodically pop out in TV programs, give conferences at universities, write in the paper. As a teenager I could easily name at least 10 people who were part of this community in my country.

Now, after living in the US 10 years, I can only name one name of the "intellectual elite" crowd in the US, and that name only came to mind because he popped up in a Mexican newspaper back when I was a teen. He's a rather controversial fellow. I can't really say I like his views, but anyway, I digress...

So I did a Google search for USA intellectual elite and I couldn't find the identities of the people of this elite. So who are they then? Where do they write? Do authors such as Maya Angelou count? Even if they don't go out and express any political views? And how come the masses (like me) don't seem to have access to the intellectual elite's brains and opinions by means of, let's say, a newspaper, or a 1 hour TV interview? How come all I have access to is the opinions of the fellow uneducated masses (to name them kindly) on Jerry Springer or the Hollywood entertainment circuit on Oprah?

I think this question is important.

Monday, February 07, 2005
I heard the coolest joke the other day. Well, no, I read it in a magazine, but still, it is a good joke. If you've heard it before, go ahead and skip this post. If you haven't heard it, then feel free to keep reading.

So a scientist after many years of fruitless labor finally manages one day to clone himself. Unfortunately, this being the first specimen, the clone had the slight defect that the only things it could say were curse words right and left. So after spending one month trying to teach the clone some manners, the scientist in despair after one particularly unsuccessful attempt at education just pushes his clone out of the 7th story window (the scientist lived in a tall apartment complex, clearly).

Minutes later, the police arrive, and come to arrest him. "But why?" says the scientist. And the policeman: "You've been charged with making an obscene clone fall.".

Ha ha ha!!! I love jokes like that.

Friday, February 04, 2005
Heh, isn't it awesome, when you can somehow manage to trick the boss and skip out early on a Friday from work? Bonus points if it is warm and sunny outside, a warm spell in the middle of winter, you then meet up with a friend and go for a late afternoon hike and dinner.

The best part of being a grownup is: no homework for the weekend (even if you do skip out early). Tell that to your kids who don't want to grow up. :)

Wednesday, February 02, 2005
A couple of days ago I read "To Kill a Mockingbird" by Harper Lee.

It is a really good book. I recommend it.

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