Saturday, November 19, 2022

An oil painting of Albert Einstein reaching for a blue earth in the darkness of the universe, sprinkled with pink hearts

This is an artwork that I presented at the Peace Exhibition held in Spiral, Omotesando, Japan, from18th November to 20th November. 

It was actually open-AI's DALL-E which created the image, based on my prompt text:

 “An oil painting of Albert Einstein reaching for a blue earth in the darkness of the universe, sprinkled with pink hearts”

It is interesting to play with these AI systems. In a sense, you are fine-tuning the response of the AI with increasingly detailed and sophisticated text. In order to generate this particular image, I experimented with several tens of prompts, 52 to be precise. 

If you make your own drawing or painting, the narrowing down in the phase space is straightforward, because you are using your own hands. With an AI such as DALL-E, it becomes more of an educated guess work. While your own manual maneuver is sharply directed, negotiations with AIs are more random and full of surprises, whether serendipitous or nasty, and that, I suspect, would be a common defining feature of our lives in the near future with artificial intelligence systems.

Friday, November 18, 2022

A sense of inadequacy in Soseki's works.

I was reading Soseki Natsume again. A few days ago I finished Kojin, and was moved by the impression of the brother, who was intelligent but did not know what to do with the world in general, let alone his wife.

A sense of inadequacy is always a central theme of Soseki. After Kojin, I moved on to Kokoro, another study of the feeling of "not good enough". The protagonist of Kokoro, a young student, is nevertheless attracted to Sensei, who does not seem to be forthcoming in giving advise and mentorship.

In the latter half of Kokoro we learn the tragic event behind the hesitation of Sensei. However, I do feel that the unfortunate events that led to the reclusion of Sensei was only a visualization of much more universal and profound human condition.

In the world today, we see too many people who appear to be confident, eager to give advises to people, whether well-intended or otherwise. Soseki's Kojin and Kokoro are such fresh breaths of air because we all know that superficial people can only help us in superficial ways.

Thursday, November 17, 2022

A stone-age anachronism

The alleged falling of Russian missile in Poland is a case of ambiguities.

Whether the missile was Ukrainian or Russian in origin, the larger picture is that it is ultimately the war that is responsible. 

The world is a complex system, and events and intentions are often mixed and dispersed be. Fact-checking is useful, but we should ultimately be focused on the larger picture, in order to see things clearly onto the future.

The gist of the matter, it seems to me, is that the concept of nation states with clear national borders and the claim by the supposed "leaders" of countries to defend the territory no matter what human costs might be is now a stone-age anachronism and has no place in the world today. 

The ongoing war between Russia and Ukraine is a shameful demonstration of the cognitive vulnerabilities of supposedly cunningly wise leaders, and should be stopped immediately, in order not to allow the merchants of death take advantage of the ambiguities that exist and would surely keep emerging like bamboo shoots after rain.

Wednesday, November 16, 2022

Connect the numbers and qualia directly

Numbers exist, in their natural style of exactness. We can make operations on them, and arrive at interesting relationships.

As an ideology, you might want to give formal foundations for numbers, through set theory or category theory, for example. However, as Bertrand Russell demonstrated, it is very easy to cause a havoc with self-referential structures in such approaches. These formal minimalistic frames of theory remain surprisingly futile. 

There is a human instinct which does not accept rich diversity of existence in a straightforward way. Numbers are numbers, but we simply cannot acknowledge them at their face values. 

The same goes for qualia. Although they are clearly here, people have tried to extinguish them, preferring more abstract and ultimately unproductive formal systems. 

It might be possible to bypass the barren land of formality altogether and connect the numbers and qualia directly, in the context hinted here.

Monday, November 14, 2022

Anne Shirley emerged in my mind as Carl Jung's amina

When I was 10, I was in the public library, looking for books to read. One particular volume was in the shelf, and the back of it appeared to be shining.

That was the Japanese translation of Lucy Maud Montgomery's Anne of Green Gables. I checked out the book, read it, and immediately fell in deep resonance with it. I went on to read all of Anne series. When I started to learn English at the age of 12, I was immediately interested in reading the Anne series in its native tongue. I was fifteen when I read Anne of Green Gables in English in its entirety. To this day, I regard this particular series of experience as one of the defining moments in my life.

It is difficult to say what made me so attracted to this juvenile novel. With the benefit of hindsight, it would appear that Anne Shirley emerged in my mind as Carl Jung's amina, an idealized image of someone of the opposite sex. Anne Shirley's enthusiasm, imagination, and the power to change the world through language helped me develop psychologically and cognitively when I was a teenager. 

Sunday, November 13, 2022

Mastodon and twitter

In the last few days, some people have suggested mastodon as an alternative to twitter. 

I signed up, and I like the cartoons and feels.

Having said that, I think I would stay with twitter as my main social network service for the time being, even with the havocs caused by Elon Musk.

I am of the opinion that people are making too much fuss about the perceived ill-advised behaviors of the serial entrepreneur.

Even with some damages, the platform would stay viable and a first choice for exchanging ideas for the time being, in my opinion.