Re: Guest Post - Humans are so weird

1

Oh come on, haven't like 40% of teenage girls masturbated the family dolphin?


Posted by: potchkeh | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 6:17 AM
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Perhaps my professional experiences are coloring my views, but I find the oddest part of this that they got government funding. I'd like to see the IRB report required for giving a dolphin a hand job these days.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 6:33 AM
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Man and Dolphin extrapolated Mary Lilly's initial observations of dolphins mimicking human voices, right through to teaching them to speak English and on ultimately to a Cetacean Chair at the United Nations, where all marine mammals would have an enlightening input into world affairs, widening our perspectives on everything from science to history, economics and current affairs.

"Chair" seems like the wrong name for this. Down with bipedalism!

I bet the designs for the new UN building were pretty exciting though.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 6:34 AM
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"Chair" seems like the wrong name for this. Down with bipedalism!

If only Malevich had been a dolphin-fetishist.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 6:44 AM
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AROOOOOOOOOOOO AWWWWEEEEEEEEOOOOOOOOO CLICK CLICK MOAR FISH PLEASE AWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEEEEEEEEOOOOOOO


Posted by: OPINIONATED CETACIAN UN DELEGATE | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 7:07 AM
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"There is still this prejudice that humans have a language which is far and away above any other species' qualitatively"

Prejudice!

Also I love that Drake of the famous equation himself shows up.

That is a really remarkably uncritical look at John C. Lilly, though. We've come a long way since Altered States.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 7:16 AM
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He could have made some great grey on grey official portraits of the new delegates in their natural environment.

We could imagine various artists doing the cetacean thing - Schiele of course for this experiment, some Boticelli and Fra Angelico for the New Agey idealized dolphins, some Fauvists and Blaue Reiters for the observations of dolphins on acid...


Posted by: teraz kurwa my | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 7:26 AM
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A readable introduction to Lily in his Ketamine phase (and ECCO the "Earth Coincidence Control Office").

His wife rescues him from the hot tub: Fortunately, Toni was able to revive her husband using mouth-to-mouth resuscitation, a technique she had learned only a few days earlier from an article in The National Enquirer.

...

Later on, as the frequency of his use on K increased, Dr. Lilly began having contact with another alien intelligence agency, which he called (SSI), short for Solid State Intelligence. SSI was a supercomputer-like entity, much in the same techno-mystical vein as Philip K. Dick's VALIS. But unlike VALIS, SSI was of a malevolent nature, at odds with ECCO. SSI's apparent goal was to conquer and dominate all biological life forms on Earth.
...
After three weeks of hourly K injections, Lilly decided that he would travel to the east coast to warn political leaders and members of the media of the threat posed by SSI. In New York, he phoned the White House to warn then President Gerald Ford about "a danger to the human race involving atomic energy and computers." A White House aide fielded the call and, although quite aware, of Dr. Lilly's impressive credentials, was not convinced of the urgency of the matter, and informed him that the President was unavailable.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 7:30 AM
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I will not stand here and listen this this foul mouthed innuendo


Posted by: Opinionated Debbie Dupree | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 7:35 AM
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Oops, link here (also Lilly). I think we've discussed this before, but not finding. Also Dolphins as kamikazes in in the "humans are weird" department.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 7:38 AM
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I briefly worked for a woman who had the reprint rights to a bunch of oddball hippie books, including some of Lily's more drug-addled rambling. Holy crow, man, they're cray-cray.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 7:40 AM
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After three weeks of hourly K injections

!


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 7:51 AM
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Ouch, apart from anything else.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:13 AM
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K injections are intramuscular, so you have a lot more real estate to work with.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:20 AM
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Well, ouch even so.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:29 AM
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I had a wacked out hippie teacher in 3rd grade who spent at least 1/2 the year talking about nothing besides dolphins and whales. There was a lot of emphasis on how they were smarter than humans (mostly because they didn't go to war, but there were other reasons). I remember that we had some kind of "whale meeting" where everyone had to be a different sea mammal and talk about their background and what they wanted, but I don't think it was explicitly called a cetacean UN.


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:35 AM
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Also it's an anaesthetic, so presumably not all that ouch, at least while the effects are active.


Posted by: Ginger Yellow | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:38 AM
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I remember that we had some kind of "whale meeting" where everyone had to be a different sea mammal and talk about their background and what they wanted

Young Halford: I am a killer whale and I WANT TO EAT EVERYONE IN THIS CLASSROOM.


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:47 AM
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Or maybe not eat, maybe just bite gobbets out of, for fun.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:51 AM
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If you eat the whole classroom there's a chance one of the kids recently ate a donut or bagel or something and still has some in their stomach and then you'd be poisoning yourself.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 9:08 AM
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21

PA WAS A TOTAL WHACK JOB BUT I LOVED HIM ANYWAY


Posted by: OPINIONATED FA | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 10:01 AM
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21 is awesome.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 10:04 AM
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UNWITTINGLY HE TRAINED A DOLPHIN TO KILL THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES.

Again I ask you, is it even theoretically possible for a poster to have a better tagline than that?


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 10:12 AM
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God, John Lilly's wikipedia page is amazing. I could just dump random sentences from that page for days.

While finishing up his degree at University of Pennsylvania, John enrolled in a class entitled "How to Build an Atomic Bomb." He and several other students transcribed there notes from the class into a book with the same title.
He once stretched out an entire intestinal tract across the length of a room to determine its actual length with certainty, causing much consternation in one of his professors who happened by
Reading about the pharmacological control methods of the Huxley's dystopia and the links between physical chemical processes of the brain and subjective experiences of the mind helped inspire Lilly to give up his study of physics and pursue biology
During World War II, Lilly researched the physiology of high-altitude flying and invented instruments for measuring gas pressure. After the war he trained in psychoanalysis at the University of Pennsylvania, where he began researching the physical structures of the brain and consciousness.

Like ya do.

In 1961 a group of scientists including Lilly gathered at the Green Bank Observatory to discuss the possibility of using the techniques of radio astronomy to detect evidence of intelligent life outside our Solar System. They called themselves The Order of the Dolphin

Of course!


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 10:23 AM
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Oldsters, we need a transcription of that Hustler article. Thx.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 10:32 AM
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||
I have had two friends (not close friends) vaguebook being in the hospital/calling 911 today. WTF, not-close friends.
|>


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 11:05 AM
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Okay, I'm tired of being in my bed now! Somebody bring me a dolphin.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:15 PM
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A sex dolphin, or the other kind?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:15 PM
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So she was surprised to see the Hustler piece. Who tipped off Hustler that this would be a good topic for them? One of the male scientists?


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:23 PM
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28: either's okay. Just let me know which.


Posted by: E. Messily | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:24 PM
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31

Pamela, for sure.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:25 PM
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28: A tuna-safe dolphin.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:25 PM
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33

31 to 28.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:30 PM
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34

29: One of the female dolphins.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:31 PM
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31 was to 29, and as such, constitutes a pwnage of 34 the likes of which we've rarely seen.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:49 PM
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I forgot that the dolphin's names were given in the article. My bad.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:50 PM
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37

26- And Kevin Drum.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 12:57 PM
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37: Hospitalized? I was worried by the "too sick to work" post -- he's been mentioning a lot of health problems lately, it seems.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:03 PM
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Yes, he's said he has some mysterious cardio problem that no tests have been able to diagnose, then leaves his blog with "ailing in multiple ways, no posts today." Doesn't sound good.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:05 PM
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The yes in 39 is to mentioning multiple health problems, not that I know he is hospitalized. I have no idea but last time this happened about 6 months ago he was.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:07 PM
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mysterious cardio problem

Lungs, not heart, but yeah, it's been going on for a while, and he also complains of terrible headaches occasionally. It's just weird that they don't seem to have diagnosed him with anything yet.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:09 PM
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|| Have we all decided that the Turing test passing thing is so obviously nonsense on so many levels that it's not worth talking about? |>


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:15 PM
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42: Yes, we have. The Turing test is a nonsense way of defining AI -- plenty of people used to fall for Eliza (although I admit I don't see how.)


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:19 PM
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God, this thread has brought back some more long-buried memories of crazy 3rd grade obsessed-with-whales teacher.

-- All the kids recorded messages to the whales and dolphins into a tape recorder, which she took to the beach on our tide pool visit field trip and played so that the whales and dolphins could hear our messages.

-- She brought scrimshaw whale ivory into the classroom. In my memory, she said "this is to show you that the worst people in history [whalers] can produce beautiful things."

-- I swear to God she had some kind of exercise where we were translating dolphin clicks into English. Like, a dittoed worksheet with click language on one side and English words on the other. Can this have actually happened?


Posted by: Robert Halford | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:20 PM
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I thought of beating the Turing test by having a chatbot that was just an irritating preteen troll years ago, but I think I wasn't the first to that idea. Having it be an irritating troll that doesn't speak English as a first language is a stroke of genius, but it's not the kind of genius that correlates with "has solved the problem of artificial intelligence".


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:21 PM
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Come to think, you know what's wrong with the 'irritating preteen troll' chatbot, in terms of the Turing test? Shouldn't the actual Turing test assume that the human subjects are playing to win -- to be maximally differentiable from computers? Which, in context, would mean being as helpful and relevant as they could manage. Hitting someone who's being irrelevantly uncooperative, even in a way that a human might be generally, should be an immediate tipoff that they're a computer in the context of the test, because a sincere human playing to win wouldn't act that way.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:25 PM
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In any case I kinda thought it would be better than this.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:27 PM
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24.last: Did not know that history with the Drake Equation and its association with Lily: Here's the plaque. And a cartoon relevant to the recent Drake thread.

The ten attendees were conference organiser Peter Pearman, Frank Drake, Philip Morrison, businessman and radio amateur Dana Atchley, chemist Melvin Calvin, astronomer Su-Shu Huang, neuroscientist John C. Lilly, inventor Barney Oliver, astronomer Carl Sagan and radio-astronomer Otto Struve.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:28 PM
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Having it be an irritating troll that doesn't speak English as a first language is a stroke of genius, but it's not the kind of genius that correlates with "has solved the problem of artificial intelligence".

AI: Artificial Irritation


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:29 PM
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43: People fall for Eliza when they don't have any reason to think it could be a computer. (Okay, some people might still fall for it. But much fewer.) I think any application of the Turing test needs to have a much higher success rate than we're talking about here. (The 30% success rate requirement being bandied about in all the articles is from a pathetically wilful misreading of Turing's paper.) But I do think it's useful in that it grades the convincingness of the machine against the culture it'll be used in.

45: I also had the same idea, but you probably beat me to it. I am looking forward to their eventual paper, "A Novel Application of Xenophobia to Artificial Intelligence Problems."


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:30 PM
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plenty of people used to fall for Eliza (although I admit I don't see how.)

How did it make you feel that plenty of people used to fall for Eliza (although I admit I don't see how.)?


Posted by: ELIZA | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:34 PM
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(although I admit I don't see how.)

Well, lots of people aren't that smart, so there's that.

Vaguebooking update!

"Hospital food is the worst"

This is someone I worked with for a year when I was 22, so I don't really care, but what a lousy thing to do to your friends.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:36 PM
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So, Dr. Lily must be the basis for Walter Bishop in Fringe, yes? Or are there loads of other genius drug addled scientists out there?


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:36 PM
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53: Kary Mullis comes to mind.


Posted by: Josh | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:37 PM
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The original vaguebook was a hospital "check-in" with a frowny emoticon as the only text. I realize this is not fascinating but I can't kvetch about it on facebook itself and I'm kvetchy today. Especially kvetchy today.


Posted by: Mister Smearcase | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:38 PM
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53, there was that Jet Propulsion Lab devil-worship guy.


Posted by: Cryptic ned | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:39 PM
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I wonder if this is a new version of the chatbot that was promoted a few years ago as nearly passing a Turing test, and which you could chat with online, and which seemed a lot like it was a chatbot failing to seem human.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:42 PM
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Mad scientists, they abound.


Posted by: Parenthetical | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:42 PM
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55: Vaguebooking was not in my lexicon, but it's a very useful word. (Although I've blocked most of the people I know guilty of it). But you should play along. "Oh man, I know, even the jello isn't any good! Are you there on a field trip?"


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:42 PM
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More of 46: Like, I don't know what the judges are told. But if it isn't "Human participants have been instructed to cooperate with your attempts to figure out whether or not they are computers," that's false to the spirit of the test, and it makes it much easier for the computer entrants to pass.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:44 PM
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46/60: You're entirely correct--the human participant should do everything they can to convince you (using the text channel), which might even mean exaggerating human qualities. Of course, in this case, 1) you could still assume an irritating foreign lad who's not good at English is doing everything he can to convince you, and 2) this entire process was a charade entirely for media attention, and goddammit they all fell for it.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:47 PM
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57: it is I think, yeah. It got 29% of judges or something at some previous competition.

56: Jack Parsons.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:49 PM
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you could still assume an irritating foreign lad who's not good at English is doing everything he can to convince you

From the transcripts, anyone who thought that was a kid trying to be cooperative would have to be incredibly stupid; the only way a judge could have possibly fallen for it would have been falling for it as a kid being a jerk.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:51 PM
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63: I assumed they were relying on the subset of the former that specifically hates people with poor language ability.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 1:53 PM
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45 I thought of beating the Turing test by having a chatbot that was just an irritating preteen troll years ago, but I think I wasn't the first to that idea.

I'm pretty sure Turing's original paper had something about how the computer could make up all sorts of lies about itself to make its performance more convincing.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:51 PM
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57 and which you could chat with online, and which seemed a lot like it was a chatbot failing to seem human.

I don't know, I was at dinner tonight with a grad student who seemed a lot like that too.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 8:54 PM
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47: I'm so happy to see that he wrote:

Is the urge to pontificate about our robot-ruled future so overwhelming, that people literally can't see the unimpressiveness of what's right in front of them?

I hope some of his colleagues a couple buildings to the south see that.


Posted by: essear | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 9:09 PM
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If this quote from a cofounder of Rap Genius is the kind of linguistic corpus chatbots have to work with, you can see how the programmers might have been fooled into thinking they'd approximated human discourse.


Posted by: fake accent | Link to this comment | 06- 9-14 10:45 PM
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The Turing thing, sadly, is Professor Kevin Warwick of Reading University, a tiresome media academic with a long history of raging self-publicity. He's the guy who had an RFID key fob sewn into his arm to get in and out of the lab and promptly issued a press release announcing that he'd become a cyborg.


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 1:19 AM
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Dolphins: if the handjobs do not resume, there will be more of this! http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/06/10/us-usa-california-accident-idUSKBN0EL03920140610


Posted by: Alex | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 1:58 AM
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69: It seems more dignified than announcing you've become like a package of razor blades in the drug store.


Posted by: Moby Hick | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 4:58 AM
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56: "jpl devil worshipping guy"

That would be Jack Parsons.


Posted by: DaveLMA | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 5:36 AM
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60: yes, you really have to set it up so that both sides want you to think they're human. (Because it would be easy for a human to pretend to be a chatbot.)


Posted by: ajay | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 6:48 AM
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Is there a MOOC to help people pass the Turing test?


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 11:18 AM
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Mechanical Turk kinda has the opposite goal, I guess.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 11:20 AM
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Via Charlie Strosss

Donaldosaurus @Donaldosaurus
The Turing Test is where two named, homosexual characters in a film talk about something other than deciphering Nazi communications.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 12:09 PM
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76: Ignoring that it's a book, Cryptonomicon fails it due to that last clause.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 12:23 PM
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Wait, no, one of the dudes was German, and it was before the war. Nevermind.


Posted by: dalriata | Link to this comment | 06-10-14 12:23 PM
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