Philosophical Positions

Black's spheres

  • Previous position: The spheres are distinguished by a property called "identity". Each ball has a distinct identity, so there are two spheres.
  • Current position: These spheres are so identical that if one had an eye and looked up, it would see "the other one"'s eye looking back at it, batting its eyelashes at the exact same time, etc. Clearly these are one ball. I guess I think "identity" alone isn't a property.


Chinese Rooms

  • Previous position: Chinese rooms are conscious. Regardless of the goofy mechanism, if I'm talking to a room and say "What did I say my name was again? What was the second question I asked you?" and it actually responds correctly, that thing's conscious. Specifically the consciousness is located in the algorithm as represented by the Chinese rulebook inside the room. My brain's just a collection of algorithms written in wetware anyway. What's the difference?
  • Current position: The fact that the Chinese room can respond instantaneously without reflection makes it seem like it's not cogitating. So I feel like there's no cognition. I instinctively feel like it can't be conscious because of this. I still haven't figured out how to go back and rationalize this with any good argument.

Ant colonies

Robot Pancakes

My son has gotten accustomed to pre-made frozen pancakes. "Made by a robot in a factory". Through trial and error, I have figured out how to make pancakes that he can't distinguish from pre-made ones:

Robot Pancakes

  • Cast iron skillet.
  • Electric stove setting 2
  • 1/2 of what the directions say for Bisquick with 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • Pour into perfect circle on skillet, 1m45s on each side.

Deadpool making pancakes

Deadpool making pancakes

Building edbrowse on raspbian


sudo apt-get install cmake


sudo apt-get install xsltproc


git clone git://
cd tidy-html5/build/cmake
cmake ../..
sudo make install


sudo apt-get install libcurl4-openssl-dev


sudo apt-get install libpcre3-dev


sudo apt-get install libreadline-dev

python modules:

sudo apt-get install python-yaml

duktape: Even though duktape-dev and duktape are present, installing them didn't get duktape.h

git clone
cd duktape
make dist
cd dist
make -f Makefile.sharedlibrary
sudo make -f Makefile.sharedlibrary install
make -f Makefile.cmdline
sudo ln -s $(pwd)/duk /usr/local/bin/duk

Make links to libraries in somewhere raspbian looks by default:

sudo ln -s /usr/local/lib/libduktape* /usr/lib/


cd build
cmake ..
sudo make install