Monday, July 12, 2010

Thoughts on Socialization

This is just a braindump of questions and hypotheses that have probably already been examined...

Do animals that are more independent when they are young (i.e. less dependent on others) become less social as they age? Are animals that are more dependent in youth remain social in life? Where does a need for society come from? The need for social interaction drives civil behavior, which needs to be a part of any AI participating successfully w/the human race.

Capabilities: A being who is dependent on others to succeed must learn how to interact with civility. A being who is underequipped to deal may develop feelings of hostility from inadequacy (Adam and Eve). A being overequipped may become hostile from arrogance. Are all human beings restricted to this region of capability, or do the least capable and most capable of us possess feelings of hostility that are caused by that condition?

Would an independent AI that developed far beyond human capabilities retain its empathy for mankind if it evolved as mankind does, as a completely dependent being (a baby) into a mature, independent being? Humans remain dependent on society throughout life to survive, but could conditions intersect that would enable an AI to become completely independent from society?

An independent source of energy. Ability to self-replicate. ...

Friday, July 02, 2010

Facing Heaven Peppers

In my journey into the world of Szechuan cuisine, there is one ingredient that I have until now been unable to find, and is absolutely essential for producing the Real Deal, and that is... The Facing Heaven Pepper.

I've wandered through dozens of Asian and international food stores in St. Louis and Los Angeles, calling " yǒu cháo tiān jiāo ma?" and I've scoured the web for leads, but the one thing that finally came through for me was to phone a friend. Or actually send the friend a Facebook message (I mean using the phone to talk is so passé...), and that friend lives in Toronto, Ontario, a multicultural mecca for North America. Seriously, if you've never been there? In some parts of town, Toronto actually has street signs with Mandarin translations. Plus I had the best Szechuan food outside of China there, and actually it may have even been slightly better than the stuff I had in China, so if any town would have them, Toronto would have them. And now, without further ado...

I give you the Facing Heaven Pepper:

Note the Chinese characters on the bottom right corner: . Recognizing those characters is the only way you would know that this is the right chili, unless you could identify them visually.

The beauty of this pepper is that it gives its unique flavor and heat over to the dish, and then just goes to the background, providing exactly the right amount of heat to complement the NUMBING sensation of the Szechuan peppercorns. The overall effect is addictive. ADDICTIVE I TELL YOU!

Even as I write this I am germinating some of the seeds to see if I can grow this beauty in my backyard. Can you even germinate seeds from dried chilies? I shall soon find out...