Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Way up high Blue birds fly - why can't I

... and the dream that you dare to, ...

high above the chimney tops
that's where you find me ...
somewhere over the rainbow way up high .....

After five months, May 20th Bruddah Iz would have been 50 years old. That day, where ever I were, I'll go and pick my old ukulele and sing all those songs. Please join me

... somewhere over the rainbow
... blue birds fly
and the dreams that you dreamed of
dreams really do come true uuhuuhuhuu

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Here comes the Sun!

It has been a loong ... cold and lonely winter ...
little darling ... it feels like years since you've been here ...

Here comes the sun by Nina Simone ... my favorite!
Helsinki is today a dark and icy place, full of smelting snow.
But I saw my wife today ... little darling ... since you've been here...

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Love Will Keep Us Alive

This is for my wife.
June 5th 25 years ago we got married!

I was standing
All alone against the world outside
You were searching
For a place to hide
Lost and lonely
Now you've given me the will to survive ...
When we're hungry... love will keep us alive

Thursday, May 11, 2006

While my Guitar Gently

Am Am/G Am6 Fmaj7
I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
Am G D E
While my guitar gently weeps
I don’t know why nobody told you how to unfold your love
I don’t know how someone controlled you
They bought and sold you.
With every mistake we must surely be learning
Am G C E
Still my guitar gently weeps
I look at you all see the love there that’s sleeping
While my guitar gently weeps

Am Am/G Am6 Fmaj7
Look at you all . . .
Am G C E
Still my guitar gently weeps.

It takes so Long

Sometimes my mind picks up an old memory from Friday, 30th November, 2001. It always mixes with this video and the healing song.

The BBC News from that day told us:
"Love one another - all things must pass."

There is something healing in that song...
My Sweet Lord ... My Sweet Lord ...
A ... Em ... A ... Em ... A .... and then (as the lyrics go to the "I really want to see you") comes the D ... Bm .. can you see how the world turns brighter and lighter here? hm My lord ...hm My Lord

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Brain in a Dish Flies

This picture documents an important event in 1911.
But hear this! Less than hundred years later...
A University of Florida scientist has created a living "brain" of cultured rat cells that now controls an F-22 fighter jet flight simulator.

Thomas DeMarse, a University of Florida professor of biomedical engineering, placed an electrode grid at the bottom of a glass dish and then covered the grid with rat neurons. The cells initially resembled individual grains of sand in liquid, but they soon extended microscopic lines toward each other, gradually forming a neural network — a brain — that DeMarse says is a "living computational device."

"We grow approximately 25,000 cells on a 60-channel multi-electrode array, which permits us to measure the signals produced by the activity each neuron produces as it transmits information across this network of living neurons," DeMarse told Discovery News. "Using these same channels (electrodes) we can also stimulate activity at each of the 60 locations (electrodes) in the network. Together, we have a bidirectional interface to the neural network where we can input information via stimulation. The network processes the information, and we can listen to the network's response."

The brain communicates with the flight simulator through a desktop computer.
Read the whole story here!


Since 1986 and K. Eric Drexler´s classic The Engines of Creation (EOC) the meme of selfassembling machines has been a source of imagination and horrifying ideas:
This is Drexler himself (EOC):
"Genetic evolution has limited life to a system based on DNA, RNA, and ribosomes, but memetic evolution will bring life-like machines based on nanocomputers and assemblers. Assemblers will be able to build all that ribosomes can, and more; assembler-based replicators will therefore be able to do all that life can, and more. From an evolutionary point of view, this poses an obvious threat to otters, people, cacti, and ferns - to the rich fabric of the biosphere and all that we prize. (...)
Replicators can be more potent than nuclear weapons: to devastate Earth with bombs would require masses of exotic hardware and rare isotopes, but to destroy all life with replicators would require only a single speck made of ordinary elements."

For those of you who have been reading Drexler merely as science fiction, the following article written by Zyvex LLC Research Scientist Robert A. Freitas Jr. may be illuminating:
"...the possible dangers posed by future technologies such as artificial intelligence, genetic engineering and molecular nanotechnology have made it clear that an intensive theoretical analysis of the major classes of environmental risks of molecular nanotechnology (MNT) is warranted. No systematic assessment of the risks and limitations of MNT-based technologies has yet been attempted."

Freitas uses the term "global ecophagy" for the risk that self-replicating nanorobots capable of functioning autonomously in the natural environment could quickly convert that natural environment (e.g., "biomass") into replicas of themselves (e.g., "nanomass") on a global basis..."

"The maximum rate of global ecophagy by biovorous self-replicating nanorobots is fundamentally restricted by the replicative strategy employed; by the maximum dispersal velocity of mobile replicators; by operational energy and chemical element requirements; by the homeostatic resistance of biological ecologies to ecophagy; by ecophagic thermal pollution limits (ETPL); and most importantly by our determination and readiness to stop them."

After a thorough analysis Fritas ends up with the conclusion: "The smallest plausible biovorous nanoreplicator has a molecular weight of ~1 gigadalton and a minimum replication time of perhaps ~100 seconds, in theory permitting global ecophagy to be completed in as few as ~104 seconds.
In short, the paper calculates that the maximum speed that self-replicating nanobots could eat the Earth is 2.78 hours. (This was calculated by Jurvetson, here.

Read it your self at Foresight.org!


Picture: Max-Planck-Institute for Biochemistry, Department of Membrane and Neurophysics

Anonymous sent me a comment with a link to this story at the Discovery News. "April 19, 2006— A rat nerve cell attached to a semiconductor chip has exchanged a signal with the chip, an achievement that could lead to organic computers that process information like a brain, say researchers."

If you want to see the meaning of this innovation you should read Kevin Kelly's WE ARE THE WEB article about "The Machine" - the machine within which we already live. It is a long article, so if you are busy scroll down until the sub-paragraph 2015. That vision combined with the facts told by The Brain in The Vat-team at UCSD Neuro-science here is clearly worth of a longer story. I'll try to write that before tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Brain, Memories, Intelligence (and Google)

Jurvetson wrote in his blog "“The brain does not ‘compute’ the answers to problems; it retrieves the answers from memory… The entire cortex is a memory system. It isn’t a computer at all"
Jurvetson quotes Jeff Hawkins. Hawkins argues that the cortex stores a temporal sequence of patterns and recalls them auto-associatively. This framework explains the broad synaptic connectivity and nested feedback loops seen in the cortex and referred to in my earlier posts on synaesthesia and Jimi Hendrix chord, for example.

This is a memory-prediction (rather than "computation-centric behavior") framework for intelligence. The 30 billion neurons in the neocortex provide memories. These memory-based models continuously make low-level predictions in parallel across all of our senses.

While reading Jurvetson, I hear an other voice explaning this same "dangerous idea". This voice belongs to V.S. Ramachandran director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and the professor of psychology and neuroscience, at the University of California, San Diego. Rama's "dangerous if true idea" was "what Francis Crick referred to as "the astonishing hypothesis"; the notion that "our conscious experience and sense of self is based entirely on the activity of a hundred billion bits of jelly — the neurons that constitute the brain.

Now, says Jurvetson using the voice of Jeff Hawkins, what this jelly does, is associating memories.

Some people working with intelligent machines, once and while, refer to Alain Turing who in 1950's introduced the Turing test as a way of operationalizing a test of intelligent behavior and recognizing intelligent machines. Many of the ICT-professionals still believe and like to think that computing is, first of all logic, and it really is the LOGIC, that these intelligent humans with their intelligent machines are bringing in when they enhance the business processes with computers.

Therefore it is interesting to read what Jurvetson writes after his visit to Jeff Hawkins. Did you know that "we are entering an era for complex chips where almost all transistors manufactured are memory, not logic", or, "in the next six years, 90% of all logic chip area will actually be memory".
Read your self!

I can see a new internet business arising with companies like Google and Amazon (Mechanical Turk) leading. In this internet business you sell memories and associations based on these.

Friday, April 14, 2006

It takes so long, my Lord

My sweet lord by Billy Preston

Here Comes the Sun

Music. What is it? I keep wondering.
This is Ursula Le Guin, Always Coming Home:

“When I hit the drum like this
I think the sound
was there from the beginning,
and everything has gone to make that sound,

I could change the word drum with chord but the idea remains the same.

It's simple (the hidden order that keeps the sounds we hear together), it speaks to all of us (somehow in our brain)

I see the ice is slowly melting
It’s been a long cold lonely winter
It seems like years since it’s been here

Here comes the sun (du dn du du)
C A7
Here comes the sun
And I say
It’s alright

Little darling
C D7
It’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling
It seems like years since it’s been here

Ths is JJK in YouTube. He shows how melting ice is done! Watch his fingers and see the simple order.

Patsy Cline Crazy live on the Grand Ole Opry in 1962

One of the best ever, Patsy Cline singing

Patsy Cline Crazy live on the Grand Ole Opry in 1962

Crazy, I'm crazy for feeling so lonely Dm(#7) Dm7
I'm crazy, crazy for feeling so blue C#dim7 Dm7 G7

lyrics and chords here

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Broadband poors - How to make your living in World 2.0 #3

Did you know that humanoids tend to drop more gold and items than any other creatures in the World of Azeroth.
Where in earth is that, Azeroth?, you may ask. And how is that supposed to be relevant?
Well, for us poors equipped with a broadband it may be. There is a growing crowd of us cyber-blebeijans hanging around in the virtual worlds and looking for an opportunity to earn a nickle or two, here and there. World of Warcraft - a virtual world with more than 6 million players is one of those places.
Azeroth is an Earth-like planet in the fictional Warcraft Universe, inhabited by a diverse array of species. Most of the action of the Warcraft games takes place on this planet. Due to the continual battle being waged in the Warcraft Universe there are plenty of opportunities for .. well let us put in investment terms .. for short term investments that may not be possible with real world financial derivatives.

It is kind of interesting to see how capable the capitalism is to reproduce the meat world financial stuctures and create mixtures of virtual and real - virtual and real Gold - as in this Azeroth case. You can of today buy or sell Azeroth virtual gold. While World of Warcraft doesn't allow their players to build gold with real dollars, there is an "underground" market that buys and sells WoW gold. Try it and be amazed you meat world habitant!
The obvious next move (of the invisible hand!) in this process of blurring virtual and real - gold, green bucks, plastic, trusted bytes, was introduced a few days ago at the MAKE News for the Future who revealed the secret plans of VISA credit card company to introduce loyalty programs and private label credit cards for the inhabitants of the cyber world.

Is this serious ... or not? Deadly serious, is the correct expression, I'd say. I will write my next story on one of the 2005 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 EMEA Winners, the Finnish SULAKE company who sells virtual furnitures for the kids through their Habbo Hotel. Yestardays news told us that the Cyworld US, the American version of the popular Korean social networking site has been launched. CyWorld is a closed social network with some blog-like features and its own internal economy. Each user has a “mini-hompy” - a pixelled room that can be decorated with furniture, wallpaper and other items. All these items must be paid for in Cyworld’s virtual currency, dotori (Korean for “acorn”). Users can buy virtual currency using their cellphones, or purchase vouchers in real-world shops. Some months ago BusinessWeek Online wrote about this money machine. Investor! What are you waiting for! Pack your showels and GO WEST, invest in World 2.0.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Purple Haze at Berkeley

scuse me while I kiss the sky...
purple haze all around...

there is a long 9 minute video Purple Haze at Woodstock recording here.

I am a Dreamer - but not the only one!

I have been wondering what is it that gives the music all the power it has.
How can a complete stranger, in 3-4 seconds, open a channel, make me stop all other things I am doing or thinking and, just by singing only a few notes and words, make me pick up my guitar and play and sing along....

F Am Dmin7 F
Imagine all the people

G C/G G7
Living life in peace

C - Cmaj7 - E - E7
You may say I'm a dreamer

F G C E7
But I'm not the only one

F G C E7
I hope someday you'll join us

Enjoy your Synaesthetic Brain!

An other boring day in the meat world? Here is a free advice #3.
How to enjoy the synaesthetic capacity of your brain? All you need to do is to focus on what you hear or see and - at the same time - keep eye on your brain, i.e. what is you brain doing. Example: you hear a piece of music and watch someone doing things and recognize that your brain is smiling. Why? The world suddenly is a very interesting place.

Here is a good excercise to start with!

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Bubble 2.0 / Web 2.0 Workers Happily Exploited?

I heard money is raining again in Silicon Valley.

They say the drivers are: ubiquitous broadband, cheap hardware, and open-source software. "The Web is mutating into a radically different beast than it has been. And that is leading to the creation of entirely new kinds of companies, new business models, and oceans of new opportunity" write Erick Schonfeld, Om Malik, and Michael V. Copeland in CNN Money.

I loved to ride the Bubble 1.0 - I really wish I'll make it this time too - not for the money, but for the pure joy of surf. We have been brainstorming with the XFetch team (my current tech-company) with different business models and mashups but found nothing yet that would really work as a scalable business.
But we have found something!

Moneywise, I guess, the best idea this far has been the idea of combining the Amazon Mechanical Turk with a virtual farm of slaves. Because I think there is really something revolutionary in that idea, let me explain it a little.

Check the prices in the picture below. The prices are in Linden Dollars - a money used in a virtual world called Second Life. The customer pays in Linden dollars he has bought with real money. The Club owner takes his part, the Linden Lab gets their part, and - maybe - this is, afterall, cyber-capitalism! - the virtual escort gets her part as well.

Two years ago there was a discussion on the Second Life Herald Forums where the Club owner and some cyber escorts and their customers discussed about exploitation and the ethics of employing cyber escorts. "How is it possible to "exploit" these cyber escorts ( kind of sex slaves, thus) if the slave can always log-out and walk away (i.e. sign out from the computer game!) any time he/she wants to", asked the employer.

As Amazon Mechanical Turk's or Deveraux & Deloitte's idea of "Artificial Artificial Intelligence" shows us, we will see in the next coming years how a new era of cyber globalization starts to change the service sector, the biggest segment of the national economies of developed countries.
The offshore contact centers were only the first beginning.

Web 1.0 enterprise software and B2B-applications were the drivers blowing air into the Bubble 1.0. This time it will be a lot bigger. Bubble 2.0 will get it's energy from one billion anonymous users of web applications that look like games or handy free tools, but are in fact elements in huge virtual money making machines exploiting global labour in a new way.
I personally have been a Mechanical Turk employee (or slave) two weeks now and have earned $0.05. I used to work for Google AdSense Farm where I earned a little more but lost everything. They never paid me anything because they kicked me out before my first pay day. I have tried to enroll into Deveraux & Deloitte but without luck this far.

There are some things that are similar in these web 2.0 jobs. In both cases all I need is ubiquitous broadband, cheap hardware, and open-source software (i.e. Mozilla web-browser). In both cases I can walk in and start "earning" in 5-10 minutes where ever I am located. In both cases I get paid but this money flows not under the control of the tax officials of closed nation states but through global pipes completely out of the reach of the labour unions, labour market norms and rules and other socialdemocratic welfare structures.

Here is a free investor forecast and advise! The investors who invest in this megatrend will be sure winners. The Bubble 2.0 will not blow out but will grow and grow and grow - the real driver behind it being web 2.0 jobs!

Sunday, February 26, 2006

COBEING through Mirror Neurons

V.S. Ramachandran had an other Mirror Neuron inspired article in the Edge in January.

Here is a backgrounder:
Some time ago V.S. Ramachandran director of the Center for Brain and Cognition and the professor of
psychology and neuroscience, at the University of California, San Diego proposed that the mysterious leap that happened in human evolution 40.000 years ago could perhaps be at least in part explained in the light of Mirror Neuron and the memetic- or cultural evolution it enabled.

If you want to see a good basic introduction: there is a great 14 minute popular science movie about Mirror Neurons here.

The discussion that followed Ramachandran's Edge.org article included interesting contributions.

One of those was the idea that Artificial Mirror Neuron should be understood as the seat for our "Machiavellian Primate" -ability, i.e. as the key in our ability to "read minds" in order to predict other peoples' behavior and then outsmart them.

This idea is based on research made by the inventors of Mirror Neuron at the University of Parma, prof. Giaccamo Rizzollati and
Vittorio Gallese and such scholars as prof. Michael A. Arbib. The basic ideas and arguments of the Machiavellian primate thesis can be read here. This article contains several important findings. I will report on those in my next posting. Stay tuned!

According to this idea the Mirror Neuron is THE human brain mechanism for recognizing the meaning of actions made by others. Based on neuroscientific evidence Arbib and Rizzolati expand this argument into the area of the evolution of languages: “This mechanism provides the neural prerequisite for development of inter-individual communication, and finally of speech,” Arbib says.
prof. Michael A. Arbib

For communication to succeed the individual receiving a message must recognize the significance of that signal. Mirror neurons provide a mechanism - an abstract layer - for the sharing of meaning.

There is a potential revolutionary aspect in these findings. It seems it is the very same thing that provides us the experience of Being (or "Sein" in the existentialist meaning of the word) and Co-Being. When I see and feel my hand taking an apple the very same Neurons fire as if I see an other person reaching for the same apple.

Sigmund Freud (1856–1939) and his idea of unconscious caused the last major revolution in human sciences. Freud suggested that our experience of such fundamental apects of our being as self and will may in fact be delusions; that we are not entirely aware of what we are and think and we often act for reasons that have little to do with our conscious thoughts.

The recent results of neuroscientific laboratories studying mirror neurons may have similar tectonic impacts in human sciences. Mirror neurons seem to have a central role in building identity relations. This seems to imply that they could provide a sub-personal explanatory framework for intersubjectivity.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Purple Haze

Purple haze all in my brain
Lately things just don’t seem the same
Actin’ funny, but I don’t know why
’scuse me while I kiss the sky
Purple haze all around
Don’t know if I’m comin’ up or down
Am I happy or in misery?
What ever it is, that girl put a spell on me
Help me
Help me
Oh, no, no

I am listening Jimi Hendrix from Mercora Radio. There is a new klang in this song now. Did you hear about those neuropsychologists who are studying synaesthesia.

Take a free test. Pick your guitar and play this chord - the purple haze chord - the Jimi Hendrix chord.

E7#9 \ \ \ E7#9 \ \ \ G \ \ \ A \ \ \ ... - you must barre the A and G or it will not sound right ... Purple haze ... all in my brain ... G \ \ \ A \ \
Now, does the world look like having a purple color? No? : ( Your brain, thus, works normally. But some people really do see colors to certain sounds. This is called synaesthesia. It kind of mixes your senses. Yu hear a sound and it makes you see a certain color. Or you hear a name and it makes your mouth taste a certain taste. When we saw and heard Purple Haze alive in 1969 we may have heard a report of an artificially produced synaesthetic experience. Given the right drugs, it seems, anybody could experience synaesthesia.

This is actually a pretty interesting fact, i.e. if anybody can produce that experience synthetically. You see what it means? It is consistent with the idea proposed by neurologist V. S. Ramachandran at the University of California, San Diego,that every human brain has connections that could allow synaesthesia to happen.

In other words, the physical wiring in our brain enables us to transfer ( or better - transgress ?) a particular set of tonal information and link it with those parts of our brain producing experiences related with colors. There is something here that reminds me of the Matrix-movie. There may be something here that can change the whole setting of modern human sciences.

Ramachandran is saying that synaesthesia is noted eight times more frequently in artists than in the typical population, and is in generally more common in creative people. The rest of us ....

"Lately things just don’t seem the same ...
’scuse me while I kiss the sky
Purple haze all around..."

While writing this, my Mercora radio tuned to an other song - My Sweet Lord by George Harrison ...
A ... Em ... A ... Em ... A .... and then (as the lyrics go to the "I really want to see you") comes the D ... Bm .. can you see how the world turns brighter and lighter here? There must be some synaesthesia here too!!!!! hm My lord ...hm My Lord

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Robot genome

(originally written 2006) Intelligent Robot Research Centre (RIT) has developed a series of artificial chromosomes that will allow robots to feel emotions, and could eventually lead to them reproducing. The software gives the machines the ability to feel, reason and desire.

That "essence" of artificial evolution is computer code determining robot's propensity to "feel" happy, sad, angry, sleepy, hungry or afraid. It is modelled on human DNA, though equivalent to a single strand of genetic code rather than the complex double helix of a real chromosome.

Last summer professor Jong-Hwan Kim, Robot Intelligence Technology Laboratory (RIT), Dept. of EECS, KAIST, Republic of Korea visited CIRA 2005, 6th IEEE International Symposium on Computational Intelligence in Robotics and Automation at Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo where he presented a way on how to build artificial chromosomes for genetic robots that would be capable of human-style evolution. Stay tuned!

Technically more detailed presentation can be found in the paper: "The Origin of Artificial Species: Genetic Robot" by Jong-Hwan Kim, Kang-Hee Lee, and Yong-Duk Kim.