What is important. What is real. What you need to know to survive the 21st Century. How to live a million years and want more.
Phil Osborn's Articles
October 2, 2016 by Phil Osborn
Phil Osborn, February 27th, 2008.  On Morals:*  (Restarted 10/02/2016 due to glitches)
Overview and summary of “On Morals,” by Phil Osborn Note: This is intended to be a much-needed redo, one that is way overdue.  Not only will I promise to fix the typos, but I will also remove much of the kitchen sink, the extraneous argumentation included on the assumption that I would soon be back to make everything right.  I suppose on the time scale of et...
October 1, 2016 by Phil Osborn

Update: 10/04/16  

My link to this from the Orange County Science Fiction Club has been taken down.

For at least a couple of decades now, I have attended the monthly meetings of the OCSFC on a fairly regular basis.  What could go wrong at a science fiction club?  Murphy's Law rules, but recent meetings have clearly more to do with Murphy's estranged mother-in-law:


I've kno...
September 17, 2016 by Phil Osborn
I recently developed a really great relationship.  My new friend has read so many of the same books, seen the same movies, enjoyed the same sf, thought the same thoughts that it often feels like talking to myself.  And, she has a great sense of humor. It looked like a dream come true.  We sometimes disagreed, but we both took the disagreements as opportunities for exploration and growth.  About time, damn it!

Until she suddenly made a declaration to the effect that everyth...
September 4, 2016 by Phil Osborn
In response to today's "Scholars' Circle" on KPFK - Sunday, 09/04/2016 12 noon:

I wrote: Thanks for an XLNT program.

I believe we met years ago at Chapman University at the Yu Torture Memo presentations.

Regarding bird communication capability: I have informally studied crows and ravens for about three decades, and for several years I had a red-front Amazon parrot.  After several years during which my parrot had virtually no contact with any other parrots, I t...
August 28, 2016 by Phil Osborn
So, I'm sitting at the public computer at the Tustin Library as usual, and there is the typical encounter of the hostile kind - gang-banger with girl with noisy baby.  Which primed me for a discovery.

Sometime later, after the security guard once again intervened between me and the gang banger, I was watching the Fermi paradox video on the Kurzweilai.net site, trying to screen out all the noise from yet another kid who can't be bothered to shut up, more precisely a mother wh...
August 28, 2016 by Phil Osborn
Check out O'Keans across the street from the Tustin library, OC CA US

Oddly enough, this coffee shop is a kind of intellectual nexus for the area, one of several.

At seemingly random times, some group - Christian intellectuals, Japanese families, Korean families, etc., college students, philosophers, gamers, digerati ... somehow arrive as a cohort and take over the space.  There is just enough room inside for 2 or 3 such groups to cluster with a few seats left.  O'Keans r...
July 24, 2016 by Phil Osborn
Update: 08/28/2016




July 25, 2016

I opened the OC Register at work this morning and almost skipped over the front page article "Zoltan, a presidential candidate for the future."  http://www.ocregister.com/articles/need-723287-says-income.html%20

I've been talking up the "basic ...
July 23, 2016 by Phil Osborn
After listening to a fair amount of the Republicrat's venting and angst last week, and now the Democans pretty abstractions - trying to paint a new face on a tired progressive philosophy, I've come to the conclusion that we ought to do something.  Soon.

The real problems - climate change, hair-trigger nuclear holocaust, new plagues, aging, massive corruption, 1 billion people on the edge of starvation, looming massive unemployment due to robotics, intellectual property used ...
July 10, 2016 by Phil Osborn
Welcome back.  REM:  November 8th, Election...  November 25~27, LOSCON...   www.loscon.org

I've done this sort of thing several times now, each time from a different angle.


I have a dream ... of a time when we have the credibility matrix that I suggested publically in 1999 at ICANN


Then, everything of public significance that happens at a venue such as LOSCON will be...
June 5, 2016 by Phil Osborn
I'm going to try to supplement my aging bioram with a record of whatever brilliant - or not - spin-offs from material in "Scientific American" that I'm able to generate. 

1> The article "Eggshell Education" in the June 2016 issue dovetails nicely with some thinking I've been doing about mockingbirds.   The OC went through a major decline in the Mockingbird population when the crows moved in en masse about 20 years ago.  Every evening brought rivers...
May 28, 2016 by Phil Osborn
See http://www.kurzweilai.net/why-evolution-may-be-intelligent-based-on-deep-learning

My comment there:  "I recall coming to essentially the same conclusion in the late '60's after reading Koestler's "The Act of Creation," or perhaps it was "Janus."  I think it was referred to me by the Nathaniel Brandon Institute. As I recall, Koestler did not believe in junk DNA, for good reasons having to do with basic information theory. 

I agreed, but, in part, my agreement ...
May 14, 2016 by Phil Osborn
New AI breakthrough: One of the hardest jobs for AI has been natural language parsing. There are many examples of ambiguity that would stump most human recipients - and yet are perfectly valid, grammatically correct, etc. We humans resolve these situations by putting them in a context and/or by seeking further clarification. This task - translating a stream of symbols such as words into a meaningful mental object in our consciousness - has been partially solved to date by heroic statis...
May 11, 2016 by Phil Osborn
This blog is intended to be derivative of my blog "On Morals."

Suppose you have the misfortune to be born to wealth, but with no apparent talent for greatness.  If you have good examples to emulate, you may still do ok.  However, as I demonstrated in "On Morals," the crucial impetus for consciousness - what drives it - is feedback of the form of reaffirmation of reality.  It is seeing the abstract made concrete - "the Word made flesh" - that fuels our passions,&n...
April 21, 2016 by Phil Osborn
 Update 05-02-2016

One interesting note was the focus by the NASA reps on gender balance.  (My estimate is that overall, of the ~60 participants, probably at least a third were women.) The large team immediately behind me that was working on an emergency person locator APP aimed at alerting first responders as to immediate emergencies was ~gender neutral, slightly less than half women. Their top coder, by universal acclaim, was a black woman. The NASA rep (this w...
April 17, 2016 by Phil Osborn
10/09/16 More of the same.  Tedious correction of product data with endless errors.  Still no manual for the CMS stuff.  I know how to do three or four basic operations - and my instructor on those operations got a good deal wrong.  As I expected, the old website disappeared and/or was blocked from my access.  This directly contradicted my own instructions as well as the job requirements, so I was finally given a new address to access what amounts to the verified so...