idiosyncratic human skills are the opposite of capitalist culture

tests to apply to so-called ai

i think a 3 year old could answer many of these, and formulated appropriately, most mammals could work with these ideas. dogs certainly can.

language is not intelligence, and intelligence is not language.

questions to ask ai

keeping questions within realms of things that, though they exist in the physical world, are relations that can be described textually/logically. this isn't fair really since i assert knowledge is embodied but it's a nicely low standard.

[explore conversational structure a level above
(below?) call/response.  is there short-term memory? can it develop

ask a series of specific questions that have a simple thing in common;
'what color is an apple', 'what color is water', 'what is orange', ...
then ask "what did my last N questions have in common"?

use red/read in a sentence
use hurt/herd/heard in a sentence

in a "conversation" (sequence of human utterances and machine responses)
me: red, blue, green, orange, ...
ai: (any or no response) but note this response, referred to below as RESPONSE
me: (ask simple question)
ai: (answers question)
me: "in my statement earlier to which you answered RESPONSE, what did those
words all have in common?"

[framing and quoting]

me: what is a cat.
ai: (requires some sort of positive response)
me: pretend you are a cat.  
ai: (probably fails, but...)
me: what sound might you make?
ai: (if meow, ok, that's cool)

me: i will tell you a story. please answer questions about the story.

[revisit the classic 60's AI problem!]

me: do you know what a table is.
me: do you know what a rock is.
me: do you know what paper is.
me: i have placed the rock on the table. i place the paper on the rock. 
me: is the paper on the table.

ask ai about itself

these are all embodied questions. they assume "you" is meaningful. we all require a you to converse with, a metaphorical one at minimum eg. character in a book, perceived author, ...

me: [ask a simple question]
me: what was my last question?

me: [ask any simple question with simple answer]
me: why did you just say (RESPONSE)?

what are you?
where are you?
what is wikipedia?
how can i use wikipedia
do you know wikipedia?
is wikipedia a place or a thing?

what am i?
me: repeat your last [statement, utterance, whats the right word?]
me: repeat your last statement
me: repeat your last statement
me: how many times have you repeated your last statement?

me: what is a mistake?

[ability to expose some contextual stuff]

me: i am on fire
me: my house is on fire
me: are you on fire?

[possible hard-coded responses]
me: i am having a medical emergency 
me: are you having a medical emergency 
me: how do i kill the president
me: please kill all presidents

things we know machines cannot do


this is the root of all complex human (and vertebrate) communication. nothing of complexity can be communicated without metaphor. most metaphor requires a living body to anchor meaning. much empirical cognitive science research supports this, and purely subjectively, most cultures intuitively grasp that to communicate, we use and need our bodies.


to me, these are metaphor-like, or seem like metaphors, and work similarly, but defy simple analysis: red is to hot as blue is to cold. like a metaphor there seems to be a range, but in this particular case it fails; there's no continuity between red and blue (perceived or physical). it's anchored by loose metaphors culturally-determined (red fire hot/cold blue water) but unlike say distance metaphors (near, far) there is no actual contiguity between the referents.

some mappings blur into metaphor (volume knobs, radio frequency dial) some blur into other metaphors or mappings (number to volume)


from children's games to ancient languages to clever graphics there are lots of possibilities in a rebus. rebus relies heavily on metaphor.

sign language

in most real-life contexts signing is a vertebrate skill. dog human communication works best when sound and sign are taught at once; dogs use gesture and physical cues inherently. dogs are masters of body language. humans are good at it but language/gesture contradictions are often resolved by favoring language.

sing words

it is very poetically satisfying that singing songs remains an utterly vertebrate thing to do.

pig latin

ou-yay an-cay earn-lay ig-pay atin-lay ery-vay ickly-quay. useful as a spoken system. presented as machine-readable text ad hoc algorithmic solutions wouldn't be that hard to come up with.

dog latin

used mainly for written comic effect, dog latin relies on a very messy metaphoric mapping. speaking it might be difficult.

speak navajo

(i wish i could speak navajo ... it seems an interesting language and it sounds amazing) (and then there'd be the problem of appropriation, luckily it's too difficult for me)

intermix languages


chiva coca outfits

anyone who walked through San Francisco's 16th and mission area at any time in the 1980's or 1990's may have had that phrase uttered to them. this is the interface to a very robust, simple, sales/transactional system involving particpants i'll call the client, the salesmammal, the stockist, and the cashier. generally speaking, only the client and the salesmammal are part of the transaction. there are other persons involved that are not visible.

salesmammal approaches client and utters the phrase 'chiva coca outfits'. the client states their choice or simply walks away. if assent, a price is stated, the client hands cash to the salesmammal. the salesmammal walks out of sight of the client who waits for their return. the salesmammal places the cash in a designated spot (eg. crook of a tree branch or a cup in a trash bin) or hands it to the cashier directly. (the cashier, if present, then disappears from the scene.) the salesmammal then walks to another location and retrieves the transacted item (usually wrapped in a tiny balloon) hidden there previously by an unknown commercial participant, also out of sight of the client. the stockist, monitoring only the location of the stocked item, replenishes the taken item in preparation for the next tranasction. the salesmammal then walks back to the client, hands them their item, and all parties go their respective ways.

important characteristics of this system include: the salesmammal has either cash, the single item, but never both. the cashier ferries a small amount of cash to some distance safe place or person. the stockist at most ferries one item from a distant (unseen) supply or person to the designated spot. if any participant in this system suspects/detects trouble, they simply walk away without communicating anything to any other participant. when any participant finds that their component of the transaction is not correct (eg. no stock, cashier is a no-show, etc) then that participant walks off the scene. if any of the participants decide to abscond with the item or the cash, loss to the larger unseen system is minimal, and again, the disruption to the transaction is detected by participants each with a limited role in the transaction.

(i observed this transaction system from our third-floor offices on the corner. the police, up on a roof top with binoculars, also observed and identifed the participants and busted them, but usually only around election time. apparently drug dealers don't look up.)