Wednesday, 24 August 2016

A weak password yet strong encryption

Introduction

Suppose Alice wants to encrypt a secret message "hello" and pass the ciphertext (the encrypted message) to Bob who decrypts and reads the original message. Alice and Bob use a shared password "john" to encrypt and decrypt. Alice and Bob do not want Eva to read the message, but they are aware that Eva knows how to decrypt the message and learns the ciphertext. What Eva does not know is the password "john". However Eva has a hackers dictionary of a million passwords including "john"; and she can try each password from the dictionary in a hope to decrypt the message. If decryption is fast, then trying all million passwords is not a big job. Can Alice and Bob make sure that Eva is not able to decrypt and read their secret message?

There are two possible solutions. One is to use a complex password e.g. "john34xrvq968b"'. But Alice and Bob already have to remember so many different passwords that remembering another complex password is too difficult for them. So let us ignore this case. The second solution is to make decryption expensive. In other words every time Eva tries a new password, the program spends a fair amount of time to decrypt and to give the result whether the password matched or not. If one decryption takes 30 seconds, then Eva has to wait a year to try all the passwords from the dictionary. Of course Eva can use a supercomputer with parallel computation to reduce that time, but in any case a lot of computational work has to be done to break the encryption.

Strengthening Password Using Time

The most obvious solution is to increase the complexity of the decryption by extra computational work. For example, the original password can be digested by a hash function in a number of cycles before applying to encryption. However, the problem here is - how much of the 'extra work' is enough? With a fixed number of cycles the number must be known that adds a parameter to the algorithm. If you add too little, then it does not make it too hard for Eva to break the decryption. If you add too much, then the decryption for Bob can be unusable on a weak computational device.

A solution is to let the algorithm increase the decryption complexity by Alice giving a certain amount of time when encrypting. From Alice's point of view - she starts the encryption process and then decides when to stop. The amount of time when she waits defines the complexity of the future decryption: the longer period, the more time-consuming decryption is.

In this case the decryption process must solve a corresponding computational problem. On a similar computational device this would take as much time as Alice waited. For Eva, every attempt to match the password requires the same computational effort, i.e. spent time.

A Cipher Example

Let us consider a cipher presented in the Diagram. To encrypt message M Alice uses a one-way function to generate the
cipher pattern X out of the password P and the salt S. Salt is a random string added to the password to make the cipher pattern different for every encryption. Obviously the salt has to be passed together with the encrypted message, so Bob is able to generate the same cipher pattern. For Eva, however, the salt prevents pre-digestion of the dictionary to speed up cracking the password.

Instead of using the cipher pattern immediately Alice lets the algorithm to digest it again and again in a cycle until Alice presses stop. The algorithm selects the best pattern according to a predefined rule; for example, the smallest or the greatest. This rule ensures that the generation is logarithmic in time -- the number of new best found patterns is O(log n). The found cipher pattern X is used to encrypt the message M producing the ciphertext C. To get C out of M and X any strong cipher algorithm can be used.

The decryption process works in a similar way. However this time every new best found cipher pattern is tried to decrypt the message. This process continues until the message is decrypted. The decryption diagram is the same with the exception that the message M and the cipher text C are swapped.

An alternative to cyclic digestion of cipher pattern can be produced by an enumerated suffix appended to the password, such as 1,2,3,... changing the password to "john1", "john2", etc. If Alice encrypts the message for herself to decrypt later, she may remember a part of the suffix that can make decryption faster. For example, while encrypting, the algorithm has found the combination "salt+john5663058" producing the smallest X and reported to Alice the suffix 5663058. If Alice remembers the first digit 5 and uses "john5" to decrypt, the decryption will take 10 times faster because it has to run only up to 663058 instead of 5663058. The suffix can be constructed of any symbols. The only condition is that it is selected from a reproducible sequence.

A Numerical Example

See http://jrxv.net/x/16/sewp_main.pdf

Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Mathematics and art

Programming blends together mathematics and art: small programs require nothing but formal thinking and big programs require nothing but art.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

How to value a presentation or a paper

Sometimes you like a presentation or a paper and sometimes you don't. I decided for myself (and it is my personal opinion) the following list of imaginary points of goodness.

A graph of a diagram representing numbers (e.g. pie chart) is (+1).

A magic number: (-1). This is a number appearing from nowhere and not explained.

Two formulae: (+1). One formula is not enough; it is 0. So the total number of points for all formulae is their number divided by 2.

Two undefined abbreviations or two domain specific jargon words: (-1).

A block diagram or an algorithm: (-1).

A picture representing idea (+1). How to distinguish it from a block diagram? If the reader/audience can draw this picture after read or presentation, then it is (+1) otherwise it is as above (-1).

A list of items is tricky. If the reader/audience know why the number of items is that exactly number - not more not less, then it is (+1). If the items appear arbitrary or the list is not surely complete, then it is (-1).

A table is (0), and any text is (0).



Known Unknown and Unknown Known

Things that we do and don't know that we know and don't know have simple names.

Known known I know that I know Facts
Known unknown I know that I don't know Questions
Unknown known I don't know that I know Assumptions
Unknown unknown I don't know that I don't know Reality

Friday, 27 May 2016

Good things

Good and beautiful things are always the result of either a simple algorithm or rigorous elimination of unnecessary.

Sunday, 24 April 2016

Scientific method

Is it possible to prove scientifically that the scientific method is the right method to pursue science?

Friday, 8 April 2016

Principle of supergoodness fragility

The idea that goodness is fragile is known. The principle says: for something to be good every part of it has to be good. If just one part is bad, then the whole thing is bad. Badness is not the opposite: for something to be bad not all parts have to be bad.

This principle can be extended to fragility of supergoodness, which is the quality when all parts are in agreement with each other. While a good thing stops being good when at least one of its parts is changed to bad, a supergood thing stops being good when any of its parts changes, just changes, not necessarily to bad.
 

A computer, for example, with its parts is a good thing, because if you fry CPU it becomes bad, but if you replace it with a better model, it remains good. A document signed with a digital signature, on the other hand, is a supergood thing, because any change invalidates the signature. A good art or poetry is just good, but a masterpiece is supergood - nothing can be changed to make it better.

Monday, 21 March 2016

Bad news

It is not a surprise we cannot know everything. What is sadder is that we cannot learn anything at all unless we allow our brain to learn it. The fact that we can learn some things is a consequence of our brain being hardwired for survival during aeons of evolution.

Friday, 26 February 2016

What is it like to be?

The problem that we encounter when thinking about whether a living creature has consciousness or not, comes from our predisposition to label whether the creature is sentient. For example, dog owners have no doubt that dogs are sentient and conscious. At the same time many including religious devotees believe that animals do not have “soul”, being mere biological devices. To my opinion the concept of sentience is a fallacy. Umwelt creates such a unique self-awareness experience, that it is impossible to make an abstraction out of it and to translate it into another creature’s mind. We can imagine being another person, being an ape, or even a bat [“What Is it Like to Be a Bat?”]. It is much more difficult to imagine being an ant or a cell in your body because behaviour of simpler organisms follow strict rules to greater extent than ours. They possess less “free will”. But imagining being another living being is not a change of umwelten, it is rather taking your exact umwelt into another body. The next time you wonder what that thing feels looking at the world, you won’t know. It tries, as any other God’s creature, to find its own harmony between what it can do and what the world can do with it.

Intelligent design 2

If human had been created by intelligent design, we would definitely have wheels, and probably a power plug.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Cult of science

I wish there in the world were no cult of money, religion, and power, but cult of science. That people thought more about what we are. What is that world around us so strange and so difficult to understand? If only we all valued the achievements of those people lived before us collecting bit by bit the precious knowledge about Nature! They were often wrong. But at the same time they often spent their whole lives in search for a thing that has become a mere sentence in our textbook. Looking for answers to the eternal questions we stop changing others, and we try to change the world ... to make it better

Thursday, 16 April 2015

The big program problem

In big programs the programmer has to make many decisions. Decisions become constrains. Constrains become assumptions. Next, writing with many assumptions is tricky. A genius programmer can keep many assumptions in his head at the same time, but the human abilities are still limited. Code decomposition organized in a way that separate parts require less number of assumptions is a solution. However, it leads to inefficiency of the code, because knowing more internal details of separate modules allows more efficient interaction but causes tighter interconnections between them.
Hence, there is a dilemma for big program: either having more assumptions and risking introducing bugs by human mistakes breaking some of the assumptions, or, having greater decomposition introducing inefficiency in memory and execution. For small programs, neither is a problem. For medium programs, a balance between the two can be achieved. But for big programs, both sides impact hard: the program is inefficient due to decomposition and has many assumptions allowing introducing bugs.

Monday, 19 January 2015

What is thought

Human thoughts is a little brother of schizophrenia.

PS The speed of a thought is high only because of inability to observe its progress.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

Life mistakes

Laugh at your life mistakes. In the end you are grateful for having them all.

Sunday, 12 October 2014

No one understands me



Do not be upset, if people do not understand you. It means you know more than them. Use this knowledge to your own advantage. But don’t lose touch with reality.

Thursday, 3 July 2014

"Random" constant

123583145943707741561785381909987527965167303369549325729101

This constant is created by adding two last numbers in the sequence and making the next as the last digit of the sum: 1+2->3; 2+3->5; 3+5->8; 5+8->3, 8+3->1; ...

This constant has been created with the following ideas in mind.
1. It has to look random
2. It has be long enough so that the probability to match another random sequence is low
3. Easy to reproduce by a person with a pen and paper
4. Not based on any specific or personal information.

The length of this constant is 60 because after 60 digits the process repeats the sequence over again.

Religious

I am not religious. I do not feel too much insecurity in my life for that.

Sunday, 29 June 2014

Agression the eternal paradox

Can anyone justify aggression? Act of aggression or violence is always based on the idea of some future events. One can make reasonable justification when referring to something that will, can, or may happen. Now an interesting point is that all future events are always mental. They are never facts. An intelligent mind can foresee future events. Science makes great achievements. However those kind of events are never a base for aggression or violence because the models do not involve agents with intentional behaviour. When models do involve human players, the future events cease being facts. And said above justification becomes based on assumptions, strong or weak still assumptions, which are mere somebody's opinions.

Fair game

A fair game is fair only if you make the rules

Thursday, 17 April 2014

Chaitin Paradox


A known Chaitin's quote (*) can be succinctly expressed in a short phrase:

       Understanding is programming

According to this statement, this very statement cannot be understood before we can program concepts: understanding and programming. If we were able to program these concepts, then it would be a discovery of true AGI. Hence the paradox is in the fact that its solution is not achievable before Technological Singularity.

(*) ... you understand something only if you can program it. (You, not someone else!) Otherwise you don't really understand it, you only think you understand it.          [emphasis in the original]
                    Gregory Chaitin

Wednesday, 16 April 2014

Defective mind

It is really difficult to see your own mental deficiencies because our brain is very good at making things up to look self-consistent.  To find out those one has to set his mind to scientific infinite cycle of hypothesising, theorising, and experimenting. But even starting with a hypothesis is hard. Look for clues of inconsistency of your behaviour, beliefs and conclusions.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Memory

I can hardly bear confusion
And realise surreal
If all this is a mere illusion
Why does it feel so real

Monday, 16 December 2013

Programming and sex

Programming is like having sex: gives a lot of pleasure while doing when desired (like hobby), and is a nightmare when forced to (like work).

Saturday, 30 November 2013

Rat race

Life is a rat race. Sometimes you want to stop, but you cannot. The only thing you can do is to choose another track, and run with some other rats.

Tuesday, 26 November 2013

Religion

Religion is a self-propagating meme that piggybacks on abstract thinking.

Killings in the World

All impersonal killings in the World are caused by either religion, or power, or money, but never science.

AGI

In AGI everyone is a professor.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Life in three words

Interesting, weird, sad.

Saturday, 18 May 2013

Java and C++

Regardless how much I enjoyed programming in Java I have to admit that

For a disciplined programmer Java is worse than C++ in all possible respects. 

That is not a mere assertion. I came to this conclusion after fair amount of programming in Java which I actually enjoyed. The underline is that Java represents a narrow stylistic paradigm which is just a specific style among many possible in C++. In all language constructions comparing to C++ Java limits the expressiveness to different levels without any semantic advantages.

A humorous analogy with a natural language would be: F is a rude word letter in English; let us remove all the words from English starting with the letter F, then adjust the grammar a little bit to compensate for the introduced deficiency, and then you have a new wonderful language English-a-la-Java, in which the kids cannot swear.

Repetition in programming

Intelligence is never a repetition. In programming, repetition is the method not of ours.

Math love ladder

The love ladder of mathematics

1. I love math because it helps solve practical problems.

2. I love math because it is beautiful and I don’t care if it solves practical problems.

3. I love math because it is beautiful, I don’t care if it solves practical problems, but the evolution caused us to like beauty so eventually it is practical.

4. I love math because its beauty is in the beauty of our comprehension of the Universe and I do not care what the meaning of life is.

5. I don’t care!

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A hope for civilization of wise science

Be cautious of those who are afraid of changes. They are indeed who keep the control on you, who slave you with laws and rules. They are who steal your life quietly by putting you into the web of promises and obligations. They are who lure you into thinking that wars and killings in the world are things that just happen. They are who make money from every suffering, sick and dying person. They are who enclose you in the cocoon of fake values and ideas to limit your freedom and ability to think. They are who spy on you in your bewilderment. They retain our societies hold to ethics of greed, politics, and money. And chaos is the only sign that they fail sometimes.

Thursday, 27 September 2012

Fragility of Intelligence

I believe that Intelligence is an unstable phenomenon. The oxygen in the Earth’s atmosphere appeared within about two million years. On the Geologic time scale shrank to a meter it is less than a half a millimetre. Imagine how small will be the period on the Cosmological time scale between the time people started sending radio waves and the Technological Singularity (expected within this century) when the artificial intelligence exceeds human’s. Who knows how long it will take after the Singularity to stop spending valuable energy on radio wave dissipation up to the level of background radiation. This argument could resolve the Fermi paradox – the contradiction between the expectation of alien intelligent life and the absence of evidence of it.

Studying Nature

The humankind will survive only if it stops applying the knowledge about Nature to its mercantile and pragmatic applications.

Thursday, 30 August 2012

Seeing new

It is hard to see new. When seeing unusual we either see an analogy or a composition of well understood things.

Friday, 10 August 2012

The geatest crime of society

Differentiating people by general characteristics such as origin, beliefs, culture, social status and by that classifying them into large groups is the greatest crime.

Blame the Owner Not the Breed

One politician spoke dirty about another one. It was not a criminal offense. But how much resentment and anger it provoked in some blaming the offender! They just keep overlooking that the stain of the dirty remark falls on either one or the other depending on tolerance and approval of social surrounding. So blame the society or accept it as it is.

The I in the Universe

The Universe is much more significant than the I. Because the I is crackable and the Universe is not.

"In God's image, and after His likeness"

Think that God is like us? I don’t. I think God is very different that He does not have self-consciousness or personality. Otherwise He is just a mighty extraterrestrial.

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Simplicity

Simplicity is a valuable asset which is being paid for functionality. Spend it wisely.

Wednesday, 21 March 2012

Life is a Pit

Life is a pit. You are thrown in. You slide down from one steep end. Then the slope becomes gradual and you reach the bottom point. After that you walk upward. Then climb. The further, the steeper. Until you push so hard that either you are too tired or you hit the wall, the other side of the pit. That is it. The life is all what’s behind you. And there is nothing more. Appreciate your pit. And fill it with love.

Simple Questions of Nature

Life and Nature consists of simple questions and simple answers. Its only their mosaic makes them look complex.

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Copyright Is Greed

"...my objection to copyright of any kind..."
Leo Tolstoy, "Letter to the Free Age Press", 1900


Copyright protection is greed. Much can be said about the usefulness of copyright protection, but nevertheless it is greed. Greed can be basis for some aspects of society. Societies with a focus on greed are often more effective in achieving superiority over other societies, and as a consequence obtaining power over them. However getting the supremacy is also the aim of a society based on greed. So the usefulness of greed is measured by the effectiveness of achieving aims of the very same greed.

Thursday, 8 March 2012

Law of Truth Conservation

Truth is conserved in consistent systems. Consistent systems are those which do not produce any contradictions by internal logical inference. It is obvious that any consistent axiomatic base produce a consistent theory in which true statements remain true regardless of new theorems and conclusions. Less obvious but still easy to see that true statements remain true even if the system is expanded by new axioms or other statements that are not derived within the current theory as far as the expanded system remains consistent.

Interesting implication of this line of thought is that a person retaining consistency of hir views is not able to learn new facts contradicting hir system of beliefs even if the facts seems to be true. To change view one has to accept many contradicting to the current beliefs facts in order to build a new consistent outlook and reject or reassess old known facts. For example, if a particular view is supported by ten known facts, another hundred new facts are not able to flip over the view because each of new facts is rejected due to contradicting to the current view hence breaking the consistency.

Therefore as long as one maintains hir set of beliefs in consistency, truth is never going to change.

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

How you know that others have consciousness

First let’s ask a question how do you know that another person understands a particular concept in the same way as you do? You ask about different aspects of the concept and see if the answers correlate with your own answers to the same questions. It is possible that up to a point the answers may correlate well, but the person still has misunderstanding of the concept. If you realize this possibility you ask more questions to eliminate such case. Theoretically it is possible that after any length of communication the person still misunderstand the concept. But this would be highly impossible for long enough conversation. One can say that the assurance of mutual understanding asymptotically approaches to the full confidence (but never reaches it) to any upfront desirable level. In this sense it is valid to say that it is possible that one can be “completely” sure that there is no misunderstanding between communicating parties.

Secondly, having consciousness assumes a specific type of behaviour of a person or animal. When you realize correspondence between your own conscious behaviour and your behaviour perceived by others, you can project this correspondence on other people. Here I do not distinguish behaviour of a person and hir answers to questions. Now just by seeing the behaviour of another person for long enough time you may come to a conclusion that the other person has consciousness similarly as you do.

Finally, since the correlation between the reaction of a real person and the reaction of an imaginary conscious person making conscious decisions takes us to any degree of confidence that the real person has consciousness, it is impossible to create a zombie like mind mimicking conscious behaviour while lacking consciousness. In other words Searly’s weak AI is impossible and cannot exist.

Same files in OS

How long we have to wait until OS developers finally implement shared storage of duplicate files? Just imagine your OS without app installations and system rotting.

CapsLock and Password

This is a pretty stupid problem to me. All people suffer from it and will be suffering for a long time. Why not to allow both passwords to match: normal and CapsLocked? The only downside in this case is that brute force cracking time is halved. On the other hand, how many (in percentage) create passwords with capital letters! With the exponential complexity growth the register switch does make difference at all. Programmers of secure systems, please, be kind to their users!

Friday, 13 January 2012

Mind Existence Paradox

The more you think about vastness of the Universe, the more you think that Life and Mind must exist somewhere else as well. But they do not. The more you think about Life and Mind, the more you think that Life and Mind cannot exist at all. But they really do.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

Science and Philosophy

Every Science starts with Philosophy and ends with it. If philosophers talk about something new, it is a sign that a new science is to be born. If philosophers talk about a particular science, be sure it will be dead soon.

Sunday, 1 January 2012

Statute of True Pirate

  1. Do not steal
  2. Assist against copyfucker attacks
  3. Do not buy and do not sell
  4. Do not lie except to copyfuckers
  5. Do not facilitate copyrighting
  6. Be free
  7. Do not ask and do not blackmail
  8. Do not renounce
  9. Share everything except your identity
Below are some clarifications.

First, True Pirate (TP) divides people in four groups:

  1. TPs – those who has deep belief in TP values and follow TP Statute
  2. Blokes – those of layman’s ideology, but supporting pirating and disapproving copyrighting
  3. Copyfuckers – copyrighting official representatives or anyone who facilitate copyrighting
  4. Herd – all others.

TP hate fiercely copyrighting and copyfuckers. This hate is not in their rules, but in their nature.

Second, TP divides the world into three concepts:

  1. Physical world – inanimate matter, that follows a conservation principle: if something somewhere reduces or disappears, then something somewhere increases or appears;
  2. Soul world – living matter, everything which is part of life or can be called alive or having mind;
  3. Information – bits that can be copied from one place to another without destroying the origin. This can be software, computer viruses, digitized works of art, or any other data written on medium.

TP believes that information is neither physical nor spiritual. And while spiritual beings can possess objects of physical world, they can only use information, but cannot forbid other beings to use that information as well. Hence no being can own information even if it is embedded in the medium which belongs to it. There are no copying restrictions on information in the Nature, except human society.

1. Do not steal. TP does not take private bits, something that is not intended to be released in public; if the owner has released bits to public they are not private anymore and can be freely copied.

2. Assist against copyfucker attacks. TP protects and defends as far as possible and to the best knowledge anyone against a copyfucker offence.

3. Do not buy and do not sell. TP does not buy or sell bits. However it is acceptable to buy and sell physical media or service of copying when the content of bits is irrelevant or does not have value.

4. Do not lie except to copyfuckers. Since TP does not recognise the supreme authority, his word should be law in relation to himself.

5. Do not facilitate copyrighting. TP watches his actions not to assist or participate in copyrighting even indirectly.

6. Be free. TP does not fulfil will of others. TP does not participate in creation of something which is intended to be sold.

7. Do not ask, and do not blackmail. TP copies whatever he wants never asking for permission. TP ignores any copyrighting notes even if they are anti-copyrighting. TP never asks for benefits threatening to reveal sensitive information to public. He reveals it immediately and unconditionally.

8. Do not renounce. TP has no fear to expose his beliefs.

9. Share everything except your identity. TP does not possess bits privately, unless they related to his own personal life.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Wellbeing

Health and Well-being are based on four elements:
  1. What you eat;
  2. What you breathe;
  3. What you think; and
  4. How you sleep.
    Take care of those.

    Modern Society

    Law and order of a modern society is rather illusory. A western "civilized" society is mostly based on chaos, negligence, and financial greed.

    Thursday, 17 November 2011

    Neuroscience

    Those who do research in physics do so because they are too afraid to look in the face of reality: consciousness and neuroscience.

    Monday, 14 November 2011

    Carcinogenic Aloe

    I read on wikipedia that Aloe vera is "potentially carcinogenic" (List of herbs with known adverse effects). Hmm, that made me thinking. The reference is "Should we be concerned about herbal remedies" 2001 by Memory Elvin-Lewis. But in that paper she just quotes another paper titled "Anthranoid laxative abuse--a risk for colorectal cancer?" 1993 by Siegers et al, which conclues that "Anthranoid-containing laxatives--aloe, cascara, frangula, and rheum--may play a role in colorectal cancer" using a quite controversial analysis. A quick search finds another paper "Anthranoid laxative use is not a risk factor for colorectal neoplasia: results of a prospective case control study" 2000, G Nusko et al, that says "Neither anthranoid laxative use, even in the long term, nor macroscopic or marked microscopic melanosis coli were associated with any significant risk for the development of colorectal adenoma or carcinoma". I wonder, who might be interested in discrediting herbs and in particular Aloe?

    Follow up 28 Nov 2011
    A few other wikipedia articles cite a paper "Vitamins and minerals: not for cancer or cardiovascular prevention" published in 2010. I could not find the text of the paper, but from the journal content list this paper is only half a page long, and it does not have the author! I cannot believe how statements made positively and negatively polarized depending whether they are about chemical drugs or natural approaches.

    Another citation from the wikipedia article "Cancer": "Some studies have found that consuming lots of fruits and vegetables has little if any effect on preventing cancer". The paper, it is being referred to, says "A very small inverse association between intake of total fruits and vegetables and cancer risk was observed in this study. Given the small magnitude of the observed associations, caution should be applied in their interpretation.". I just wonder who wants to write "Some studies have found that consuming lots of fruits and vegetables has little if any effect on preventing cancer" referring to a paper which does not make that statement. However there lots of studies which prove that vegetarian diet significantly reduces, for example, risk of colon cancer.

    Someone wants to sell drugs badly and in large amounts.

    Thursday, 29 September 2011

    Consciousness fusion: consciousness upload without brain scan

    One of the known possible consciousness transfers is a gradual replacement of brain regions with artificial blocks. To me a problem with this approach is that even if the regions are small, there still must be the scanning procedure to extract not only functionality but the memory as well, because the brain has memory and it is stored in its network connections. Another problem in my opinion is that all this seems very unrealistic: keeping the brain alive and properly functioning with embedded artificial circuits.

    There must be a simpler procedure to transfer the consciousness into the artificial brain. Start with a conscious but fairly empty artificial brain which is associated with a body similar to human, a robot. Now connect all sensory inputs from the robot to the real brain. At the same time shut down (or force to ignore) the sensory inputs of the real body keeping the real brain alive. Attach motor functions of the real brain to the robot. The artificial body of the robot is now governed by two independent minds: the artificial and the real. The artificial mind would be quite passive because of learning, so mostly the real mind would be responsible for the behaviour of the robot. After some short time the real mind starts to associate itself with a robot – with all its sensory inputs coming from and motoric functions acting through the robots body. After longer time the memory of life experience builds up synchronously in both minds the real and the artificial; although the real mind has its own memory baggage – the life before the connection. After even longer time, the percentage of pre-connection experience decreases. It might be possible to revoke older memories like it happens with a repeating recollection which overrides the older memory, hence moving the surrogate memories of older life to the artificial mind. At some moment the old memories of the real brain can be shutdown. Once this is done the system represents two identical minds one of which is real and the other is artificial. After this, switching off the real mind will not change the conscious state because that state is the same in both minds.

    The net effect of all this process is a gradual transfer of the mind from the real brain into the artificial without conscious experience being interrupted. Obviously you would loose all your real memories obtained prior to connection. Is it worth it to live forever?

    Thursday, 22 September 2011

    Fuck Google Maps Offline III

    This is to replace two previous my posts "Maps Offline with Tile Viewer (part II)" and "How to browse Google Maps offline"

    A few years ago I wrote my own tile viewer for viewing Google Maps tiles. Then I created a quite elaborate system for downloading tiles from Google servers. That all failed miserably. For the viewer I did not have much time for full application development. For the downloader I found that Google cleverly fights with such smart-asses like me. All in all I figured out that the simplest solutions are often the best. And below is the way I found practical for all my needs.

    You need:
    0 Working Internet Explorer (IE), if you are using Unix OS run it in Virtual machine
    1. iegmsas console program
    2. SAS.Planet (optional if you have your own tile viewer)
    3. TrueCrypt (optional if you do not intent work with Tbytes of volumes)

    Starting from the bottom up.

    3. TrueCrypt is a program, which easily create a virtual hard drive. This program is necessary for the cache because if you have above 10-20 Gb of tiles moving the cache around becomes impractical. Instead TrueCrypt has all your cache in one file. If you are just starting creating you cache you can ignore this point at all and worry about it later.

    2. SAS.Planet is a nice but crooked program for viewing and handling tiles. Its advantage is that it is the best program that exists, quite reliable, and with impressive functionality. A big disadvantage is that it is written in Russian and English version is way not too intuitive and user friendly. [Maybe it is done intentionally.] I am using the English version. It is very satisfactory once you get used to it. This program has its own built-in downloader for different map services including Google maps. But it does not work reliably because as I mentioned above Google knows about little fuckers and tries to prevent this kind of activity.

    1. iegmsas is a simple console program which reads IE cache and steals tile files from there. You can download C++ source code here http://mazonka.com/bin/iegmsas.cpp or Windows executable here http://mazonka.com/bin/iegmsas.exe

    * iegmsas takes two optional arguments N and T with default values 1 and 300 as
    iegmsas 1 300
    N is a number to check the IE cache; 0 for infinite loop;
    T is the time delay between cache cheking

    * iegmsas tries to read the directory HOMEDRIVE\HOMEPATH\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\
    Which is correct on XP, but different on other Windows like Win7
    To change the default path create a file 'iegmrip.in' and write in it a line
    ' C:\Documents and Settings\Davy\Local Settings\Temporary Internet Files\'
    No quote marks. Mind 2 spaces at the front. Fix the user name and the cache path.

    * iegmsas creates two directories 'cache' and 'gm' where tiles are copied. The first directory stores the tiles in the format for SAS.Planet. The second directory 'gm' stores the tiles in the format for OMTileViewer. So basically files are duplicated in these directories. The only important difference is that only 'gm' directory is checked by iegmsas before copying new tiles. So if you remove 'gm' directory iegmsas will copy all tiles from IE cache.

    0. IE can be left with arrow key pressed if you press an arrow key and the press Alt or another key not releasing the arrow key. If you need a more elaborate navigation send me e-mail, and I will send you programs which make IE navigate in more complex way, for example, follow the roads.

    Tuesday, 13 September 2011

    Believing in Strong AI

    People not believing in Strong AI will exist even after the technological singularity like all those who still believe in immortal soul.

    Monday, 12 September 2011

    Questions, questions...

    There are questions which are difficult to answer. Inquiring mind trying to be consistent answers them according to its own culture, not science. The very concept of knowledge fails in such areas of cognition.

    Question 1. What is the ultimate cause of everything? What is the creator of the Universe? If the beginning of the universe had a creator then who is the creator of the creator? If the creator made himself, what is the reason of such creation?

    Question 2. Is there any mind in the Universe different from ours? Another mind may be different so much that interaction with it may be impossible or virtually impossible.

    Question 3. Is the Universe controlled by determinism? Quantum physics tells us that quantum processes are fundamentally non deterministic for any observer. So the question is, is it non-deterministic for the Universe itself as well?

    Question 4. Is there free will in a deterministic world? Assuming, that the quantum world is not needed for explanation of intelligence and consciousness, how certain laws create your own personal free will?

    Question 5. How the past can be multiple? The double-slit experiment proves multiple histories ....

    Tuesday, 6 September 2011

    Theory, reality, and a white car

    I have a theory that my car is white. The facts are that my car was white when I was buying it. Yesterday it was white, and every day earlier I saw it being white. Now the prediction of my theory is that tomorrow my car will still be white, because I have a law in my theory that my car is white always. This theory is not reality, it is just a theory. Because it might happen that the car will get painted to some other colour. In that case my theory would fail. The law would be broken by reality.

    My theory is that the words: theory, knowledge, memory, word, concept have one root of meaning. Every word in a language is some kind of theory with its predictive power. We use language constructs to model the reality only eventually to be able to make predictions. In situations when we can descent to greater details of the model, more precise description is possible; for example, science theories. In other cases when the model is difficult to break into composites, we invent a concept, label it with a word, and use that word in a context to pass the information about future events; for example, knowledge or thoughts. I think that my car is white. Here I pass the model of my perception of the car. You would be surprised to see me not surprised seeing that my car is not white, because I told you that I think it is white, unless I lied. Lie is another concept quite different from think. In your model of me you may assume that I may sometimes lie. So your prediction of future events consists of many theories and concepts put together. The scientific method is built in our language, which appears to be the only way to describe the reality, via models and theories even if the models and theories do not look like models and theories in their usual meaning.

    Thursday, 25 August 2011

    Pedagogical advice

    If you ask someone to do a particular job, then that person subconsciously bears in mind that taking care of this job is your responsibility, hence less likely taking the initiative in the future. This works especially apparently with children.

    Thursday, 18 August 2011

    On Memory 2

    Memory is information. Information has sense. Sense is only included in the future. Different senses cause different futures.

    The past is one. Futures are many. Every possible branch of the future is defined by the conscious selection of an organism. The conscious selection of the organism is defined by its prediction of the future, and this prediction is the sense of the information.

    Hence the past and the future are linked through the prediction of organisms, the sense of information which forms the organism's memory.

    An active agent, organism, submerged into the environment possesses information about the environment forming its memory. Since no organism is programmed by a (or the) creator, that information is the only product of the environment allowing us to distinguish the organism from the environment.

    To me, the separation between the past and the future, and between the organism and the environment is only a perceptional effect. In reality it is just one entity like one building viewed from different angles.


    Little wrongness amongst many


    In confrontation the easiest situation is when your enemy is wrong. How frustrating it is when your opponent is almost right and wrong just a little; and this wrongness is supported by many. That always have devastating effect which everyone understands to be wrong, but no one seems to understand why. Little wrongness among many builds up, pours itself out in immoral actions or simple stupidity which cannot be fought.

    Friday, 3 June 2011

    Life and Science

    Science is an aspiration to increase knowledge by any opportunity. Life is an aspiration to increases its presence by any opportunity. Things which can be copied must be copied.

    Friday, 20 May 2011

    Road for a thought


    With age the mind becomes more like a highway: thoughts move much faster, but leave no trails.

    Tuesday, 17 May 2011

    Real art

    Real art must not only be useless, it must also be incorrect to ensure no possible practicality in the future.

    Tuesday, 22 March 2011

    Principles of relativity

    1. Relative Motion
    If you move in uniform motion relative to some surface and the surface is perfectly smooth, then you cannot make a physical experiment to find out whether you move or not.

    2. Uniform Motion
    If you do not have objects of reference, you cannot make a physical experiment to find out whether you move or not.

    3. Special Relativity
    If two events A and B take place so that A happens after the point in time necessary for light to reach from A one to B, but earlier than the point in time necessary for light to reach from B to A, then you cannot make a physical experiment to find out which event happened earlier and which later.

    4. General Relativity
    If you do not have objects of reference and experience inertial force, you cannot make a physical experiment to find out whether the force is caused by acceleration or gravitation.



    These principles have so beautiful symmetry that it is difficult to imagine that they are not true. However the first one is obviously false because the surface must be made of atoms. Only in an imaginary universe where the matter can be continuous this principle holds. The second is the Galilean invariance. And the last two are Einstein’s.

    Monday, 14 March 2011

    Memes war

    Evolutionary principle of information propagation is universal. Starting from a simple hydrodynamic turbulence and stretching to more complex systems in chemistry, biology, genetics and politics, informational entities procreate as soon as new area suitable for existence is recognized.

    In this sense biological organisms are not much different from turbulence vortices. When liquid changes its state from laminar to turbulent, there is a point of instability where an appearance of one vortex cause an avalanche process of recreating vortices first in the neighbor area and finally in the whole volume. One can say that a vortex wants to reproduce. Later they can fight for space killing each other and reproducing whenever possible.

    Memes use people as an environment. When mutually exclusive memes clash and fight for survival the most effective solution is to eliminate the enemy meme habitat, i.e. a person who has an incompatible belief. Less severe measures are possible, but they are less effective. As long as people possess mutually exclusive memes, there will always be violence and wars.

    Memes as any other evolving things do cooperate to fight common enemies. This cooperation assumes acceptance to some extent to foreign memes. Another acceptance can be to non-hostile or irrelevant memes.

    Wednesday, 9 February 2011

    Pull and Push Requirements Revisited

    Architecting is bringing together two entities: what we have and what we need.

    What we have can be improved and modified in a number of ways both simultaneous and mutually exclusive. You can imagine a tree of paths starting from one node. The node is what we have. The branches are what can be done about or with it.

    The same situation is with the other pole – what we need. If it’s a node, then the branches coming out of this node are the possible objectives which if achieved can deliver what we need.

    The architect work is to build the branches and link the branches from the different sides. Building architecture for complex systems is a hard work, often not achievable in the original idea. I find it important to identify five directions of thoughts: what we have, what we need, what can be done, ingredients of what we need, and the grey area of linking.

    Monday, 24 January 2011

    Evolution without natural selection

    I find the idea that evolution is possible without natural selection fascinating!

    Suppose that there is a fixed number of species with equal number of male and female and exactly the same length of life for all species. Each pair produce two offspring male and female keeping the perfect balance of the whole population. Now is the question: is evolution possible in this scenario? One answer is no, because there are no natural selection and no preference is given to one carrier of genes before another.

    If genes are taken from the parents in exactly random way then each parent pair pass 75 per cent of their genes to their offspring, because it is 50 percent from each parent to each child, so 25 percent is shared between two offspring. It means that with each generation a quarter of all genes are lost. However due to genes variety and enough repetition within the whole population, the number of distinct genes may not be decreasing. If there are random mutations in genes the variety can increase. In the other case when passing genes is not fully random, less than 75 per cent is being passed, so the washing out of genes is even faster.

    Suppose however that there is a mechanism which marks genes of the individual as better or worse. If two genes one from each parent fight for the place to be in the descendant based on their marked value, then better genes are passed to the next generation and worse genes will be lost. In this case the natural selection happens on the level of genes and not on the level of species. Overall trend is that each generation has better genes even that no preference is given to any creature during its life.

    Obviously there are two questions here. First what is that mechanism which makes genes to be marked and compete? And second, what means a better gene? Or in other words, how the organism decides which gene to reward and which to punish? Let them to be open. What is interesting is that evolution happens in a completely perfect and stable environment for species.

    If something like this happens in reality, the main reason for this probably is the elimination of undesirable mutations in genes.

    Thursday, 13 January 2011

    On Memory

    You know what is memory. It is in your memory. But what is it? It is defined vaguely as 1) something remembered; 2) preserved data for retrieval. How do I know that someone has memory? It is simple - if his behaviour adequate to his past experience. But what if that someone does not reveal any behaviour? In such case to assert that the memory exists is problematic. In the simplest case the memory is a table device with input and output entries. For any particular input the device manifests output. In a computer, memory input is the address of a memory cell and output is the value stored in the memory cell. Note that in computer computation it is important that the addresses in memory are associated with each other by arithmetic operations; otherwise no useful computations would be possible.

    Behaviour or output is necessary in memory definition. If no behaviour present (for example one cannot extract values from the memory) then it does not matter whether a device has anything in its memory or not. For an external observer memory is not present.

    Time is necessary for memory definition. Memory links two events distant in time. And the opposite is true, if two events distant in time are linked, then there memory exists.

    Space is required for memory associations. Different memories can be liked in space by association. In other words memory about memory maps time link into space link. The most interesting thing here is that mapping back space link into time link can be done arbitrary by a device. For example time can shrink or be reversed. In the first case, the device reveals ability to predict and in the second to infer.