2009.01.07 19:00 - What is A thing

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    stevenaia Michinaga is Guardian on call and the comments are stevenaia's

    I sat alone for a few minutes until Adelene Dawner and Threedee Shepherd arrived

    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Ade
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: and Three
    stevenaia Michinaga: done packing?
    Adelene Dawner: almost
    Threedee Shepherd: If we are the flanking lions, that makes you the New York Public Library!
    stevenaia Michinaga: hmm, it really does increase ones sense of things with a lion and griffin at your side
    Adelene Dawner: still working on the laundry
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, Three thinking similar thoughts
    Threedee Shepherd: How's the aia business these days
    stevenaia Michinaga: business is slow, I;m getting calls from other architect's looking for work
    stevenaia Michinaga: never a good sign
    Threedee Shepherd: I hear that's similar to out here :(
    stevenaia Michinaga: but I still have things to do.. are neuroscientists recession-proof?
    Threedee Shepherd: Well, tenured professors are in terms of a job. But research suffers because research grants from NIH and NSF are much harder to get
    Squee: It is not the function of our Government to keep the citizen from falling into error; it is the function of the citizen to keep the Government from falling into error.
    Adelene Dawner blinks at the surprisingly topical Squee.PaB2.jpg

    Magdalena Colclough joined us

    Magdalena Colclough: hello
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Maggie...smiles
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, I noticed how insightful and timely squee is
    Adelene Dawner had nothing to do with it...
    stevenaia Michinaga: what is this little out of place purple pillow in front of me
    Adelene Dawner: Moon's. ^.^

    Seeing vs software seeing


    Threedee Shepherd: So I had this interesting experience today regarding how an object in the world might see me
    Magdalena Colclough nods
    stevenaia Michinaga: ..listens
    Threedee Shepherd: We were discussing a particular piece of 3D software that adjusts itself so it always shows the proper view as you move your head or walk around, because it tracks your position, OK so far
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    Magdalena Colclough nods
    Threedee Shepherd: An issue is, can it be made to work sensibly if there are two viewers, standing apart and looking at different points in the scene, if you try to track both of them
    Magdalena Colclough: hmmm
    Threedee Shepherd: On way to do this is to actually provide and averaged scene with the pixels weighted as a function of where each person is looking.
    Threedee Shepherd: This gives a sharp image for each person in the foveal area, and a weighted blurred pixel for points between them
    Magdalena Colclough: what is the foveal area?
    Threedee Shepherd: and I had this thought of a single pixel watching me and someone else in the room simultaneously and WE were both blurry to it
    Adelene Dawner: That seems like it'd work for most people, but would drive me nutty. Different definitions of 'sensible'. ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: The region of your retina that gives central, sharp vision
    Magdalena Colclough: k
    Threedee Shepherd: Ade, it actually works better than you might think because the blurry region can be minimized by appropriate weighting
    Adelene Dawner: Remember, though - I have a wider active field of vision.
    Adelene Dawner: And will *notice* the different degrees of blur as the other person moves around, more than likely.
    Threedee Shepherd: But, whether it is really useful is the point of the PhD thesis research that it will be. The math and programming to devise it is also part of the thesis.

    Magdalena Colclough asks questions of Adelene Dawner about wide vision

    Threedee Shepherd: Yep, it is NOT being designed for people like "you"
    Threedee Shepherd: ;>
    Magdalena Colclough: Adelene, why do you have a wider active field of vision?
    Magdalena Colclough: is that something you've trained your eyes to do?
    Adelene Dawner: No - I'm autistic, my sensory system is wired a bit differently.
    Magdalena Colclough: all of your senses?
    Adelene Dawner: As far as I can tell, though my sense of taste and smell seem to be completely inactive most of the time.
    Magdalena Colclough: what is the form of your autism?
    Adelene Dawner: That's a question with a very complicated answer.
    Magdalena Colclough: I think all I know about it is a book I read a long time ago--Dibs In Search of Self
    Magdalena Colclough: or something like that
    Magdalena Colclough: but you don't seem to be like him
    Magdalena Colclough: I'm sorry, Threedee, I didn't mean to interrupt
    Magdalena Colclough: I was just curious
    stevenaia Michinaga: Three, this was something I was thinking about recently, theoretical science with no thought to application vs applied science
    Adelene Dawner nods. "We're not as similar as the media would lead you to believe."
    Threedee Shepherd: Magdalena, the saying is: When you have seen one autistic person, you have seen one autistic person ^.^
    Adelene Dawner grins at Three.
    Magdalena Colclough smiles
    Magdalena Colclough: that's what I figured
    Magdalena Colclough: so what's the common criteria for diagnosis?
    Adelene Dawner: 'developmental delay' and a particular general style of social difficulty.
    Magdalena Colclough: is it like Aspergers?
    Adelene Dawner: Another complicated question. There's no one good definition of Asperger's, but most of them consider it a type of autism.
    Magdalena Colclough nods
    Magdalena Colclough: thank you for explaining it to me a little
    Adelene Dawner: no problem :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: now I lost my train of thought
    Threedee Shepherd: Wikipedia overgeneralizes, but is useful in saying: 

    The defining characteristics of autism spectrum disorders are qualitative impairments of social communication and interaction, along with restricted and repetitive activities and interests. Individual symptoms occur in the general population and appear not to associate highly, without a sharp line separating pathological severity from common traits. Other aspects of ASD, such as atypical eating, are also common but are not essential for diagnosis;

    Corvuscorva Nightfire joins us

    stevenaia Michinaga: Hello Corvi
    Adelene Dawner: In my case, the most noticable difference is sensory (which leads to social difficulties)... and that sensory uber-awareness includes awareness of, for example, how my brain works. ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: Well Steve, can we help TRACK it down?
    Magdalena Colclough: Hi Corvus corva
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: Hi, Maggie...call me Corvi, though?
    stevenaia Michinaga: I know what I said, I just hadn't developed a question yet
    stevenaia Michinaga: develope
    Magdalena Colclough: ok
    Threedee Shepherd purrrrrs at Corvi
    Corvuscorva Nightfire cackles at Three.

    ThreeDee picks up his thread from earlier

    Threedee Shepherd: Well, I left us a while ago looking blurry to the pixels looking back at us from the screen
    stevenaia Michinaga: so i was attempting drawing to link the theoretical experiments of seeing we were talking about with you applying that thinking to the "seeing" of the pixel in your software development and wondering if it will impact your software development
    Threedee Shepherd: no, my thinking was metaphorical.
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    Threedee Shepherd: That is, why would a pixel looking back at us bother to distinguish individual persons in the scene, or anything in the scene, for that matter?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire nodsnods.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: yeas....
    Adelene Dawner thinks that's kind of like asking why a skin cell would do the same... doesn't really make much sense.
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but the point is..not what the pixel is doing..
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: but what it is to be "seen"
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: the problem is...I don't know how to be seen without a see-er
    stevenaia Michinaga: interesting point, presumes it is us that gives the seeing ability to the object, not the object on its own
    Threedee Shepherd: I am branching from the ongoing phenomenology "experiment" going on at the Kira Cafe.
    Adelene Dawner: hmm
    stevenaia Michinaga: I understand
    Adelene Dawner: didn't we have a discussion already about 'seeing' vs. 'experiencing'?
    Threedee Shepherd: So, if there is no one looking at you do you cease to exist ;D
    Adelene Dawner: 'me smelling being smelling' or somesuch?
    Corvuscorva Nightfire: mm...I'm being called away.
    Adelene Dawner: cya in the morning, Luv ^.^
    Threedee Shepherd: c'ya Corvi
    Magdalena Colclough: bye Corvi
    stevenaia Michinaga: bye Corvi
    Corvuscorva Nightfire scritches happily....bye Ade..bye Three...bye Maggie and Steve...see ya tomorrow, Ade.
    Magdalena Colclough: I have to go too, I'm afraid
    Magdalena Colclough: see you all later
    Adelene Dawner: cya, Mag
    Threedee Shepherd: ok, bye ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: night Maggie

    Threedee asks some interesting and unanswerable questions

    Threedee Shepherd: Ade, the line of thought I proposed gets me to the question of "what is A thing?"
    stevenaia Michinaga: are you suggesting it isn;t a think until it is seen?
    Adelene Dawner: is 'system' a more useful word?
    stevenaia Michinaga: a thing
    Threedee Shepherd: perhaps. For example if you build a "campfire" what is THE campfire, the rock circle, the wood the flames, the smoke, the smell, what are the edges, or is that even a useful question
    stevenaia Michinaga: it's a linguist question then, not a thing question, perhaps
    Threedee Shepherd: Which part of the water is a wave?
    Adelene Dawner thinks *we* define the edges...
    Threedee Shepherd: A rook has sharp boundaries, a sand dune does not. What about a person, or better a personality?
    stevenaia Michinaga: where is it?
    Threedee Shepherd: Exactly Ade, so why/how do we put them where we do?
    Adelene Dawner: memes.
    Squee: when you accept everything for what it is without labels you are outside of your ego.
    stevenaia Michinaga: why does knowing that give it meaning?
    Threedee Shepherd: Squee could hardly be being random there ;P
    stevenaia Michinaga: it IS whether it has meaning or not
    Adelene Dawner: ^.-
    stevenaia Michinaga: I agree three, Squee listens
    stevenaia Michinaga: Three
    Threedee Shepherd: So, we invent the things that comprise BEING by the meanings we attribute??
    Adelene Dawner: I don't think we invent the things, but we invent the edges between them.
    stevenaia Michinaga: do things comprise being
    Threedee Shepherd: I only did not immediately say YES, because you posed the question in the first place
    Adelene Dawner needs to afk to move laundry around.
    Threedee Shepherd: if we get back to how objects see us, I propose we consider what kind of novel a ten-ton rock would write?
    stevenaia Michinaga: laundry is some sort of curse
    Adelene Dawner: but while I'm gone... we're talking about nouns... what about verbs?
    Threedee Shepherd: I was waiting for verbs to appear ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: go...fold
    Adelene Dawner: hehe
    Threedee Shepherd: no go pile
    stevenaia Michinaga: (a noun and a verb)
    stevenaia Michinaga: answer, a very heavy novel
    Threedee Shepherd: Or perhaps a book of short stories from the point of view of a hotel room?
    Threedee Shepherd: ;P
    stevenaia Michinaga: hotel room? missing that one
    Threedee Shepherd: if these walls could talk, what would they care to talk about?
    stevenaia Michinaga: aww, nobody thinks to ask them

    A 2 day old arrives..... Goo XXX

    Threedee Shepherd: Hello Goo, welcome to day two of your second life
    Goo XXX: thanks how did you know
    Threedee Shepherd: I looked at your profile
    Goo XXX: profile you say
    Threedee Shepherd: Right click on the name above my head and then click on Profile in the pie menu
    Goo XXX: ahh i see
    Goo XXX: sometimes your a woman
    Goo XXX: I like this life
    Threedee Shepherd: no, I'm Threedee, this white lion and am always male, even if I change appearances.
    Goo XXX: I like white lion
    Goo XXX: are you just hanging out
    Threedee Shepherd: Steve, your turn, assuming you are GoC
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: i am momentarily distracted by RL
    Threedee Shepherd: we are one of four meetings a day of a group called PlayAsBeing http://playasbeing.wik.is explains it more
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello Goo
    Goo XXX: hi
    stevenaia Michinaga: http://playasbeing.wik.is/Information/Play_As_Being_in_a_Nutshell
    stevenaia Michinaga: you are welcome to join us anytime
    Threedee Shepherd: Often (usually) the group is larger than this. You can never predict who will come to any one meeting
    Goo XXX: ok well i was just walking around checking this place out
    Threedee Shepherd: yes, that's fun when you are new
    Goo XXX: there is much more to experience then i take it
    Threedee Shepherd: more than you could see in a year, if you spend (waste;) time doing so ^.^
    Goo XXX: it seems pretty great
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, you will be bored here
    Threedee Shepherd: was the NOT left out on purpose, Steve?
    Goo XXX: yip ive got some things to see
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes
    stevenaia Michinaga: hehe
    Threedee Shepherd: have fun, bye
    Goo XXX: bye
    stevenaia Michinaga: opps
    Threedee Shepherd: for a two-day-old, that is perhaps too subtle ;>
    stevenaia Michinaga: yes, perhaps we should end the log for the evening
    stevenaia Michinaga: I have a great pic of us for the wiki, look for it :)
    Threedee Shepherd: agreed. I need to go do some stuff, as well. See you again soon.
    Threedee Shepherd: OK
    Threedee Shepherd: g'night, then :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: say bye to Ade, wish her well on her journey
    Threedee Shepherd: Oh, she and I will say goodnight later, too.
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: she can type and fold ? better than I can
    Adelene Dawner: ^.^
    stevenaia Michinaga: hello solo
    Adelene Dawner is a lazy lion.
    Solobill Laville: Hi, folks, just seeing who was hanging out so late :)
    Adelene Dawner: (who does need to go, really)
    Threedee Shepherd: bye all
    Solobill Laville: Night
    stevenaia Michinaga: the guardian is about to leave, feel free to append the log should the conversation continue
    Solobill Laville: too late :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: oh everone left
    Solobill Laville: Night, Steve :)
    stevenaia Michinaga: I see I have spelling to correct tonight, night
    stevenaia Michinaga: :)
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