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Member Since 19 Jul 2000
Offline Last Active Aug 07 2014 02:33 PM

Topics I've Started

memetic and emergence... oh the possibilities!

22 June 2005 - 05:52 AM

I was gonna answer on his thread, but this is so out of topic I thought I'd start another.
by Darkthrone "I, Robot" and "Ghost in the Shell" cites a theory that I don't know if is real-based or not. "In a system, ramdonly protocols that approach that we called "soul"." The Ghost in the Shell theory exists on true? What I find it, if exists?
Ghost in the Shell ! I see you are a dreamer like me [grin] Sadly, dreaming doesn't get things done very quickly, eh? To answer your question, I am sure you'll find the ideas of Richard Dawkins illuminating. His book _The Selfish Gene_ is a great read about genetics and evolution, but where it becomes pure genius is when he explains the concept of memes. Essentially, intelligence is the accidental consequence of genes creating more and more complex organisms to contain and replicate them. Memes are "intellectual genes", if you will. They are ideas, concepts, paradigms, etc, that spread themselves around human cultures (well, I guess animals too could have memes). Things like "Santa Claus wears Red and White" is a pure example of memetic engineering: a company manipulates a well known meme: "Santa Claus"; and cross-breeds it with another: "Coca Cola == Red and White". The result is a new meme that spreads itself on its own, in this case almost entirely erasing the previous one (What are the original colours of Santa Claus costume ? Do you know ?) Once you understand the concept of meme, if you make parallels with genes and their evolution from protozoas to sentient beings, the implications are, well, interesting [grin]. The idea being that once a certain level of complexity has been reached, "something" should emerge out of the primordial memetic soup. Artificial Intelligence, maybe? This is the idea that fuels the emergence of AI in books like Ghost in the Shell. With the chaos that is the Internet, with the amount of memes that are travelling around constantly, what will happen when enough memes aggregate together? Personally I think we are already seeing it happening, but it's nothing as blatant as we expected. Aggregates of memes create cultures, more or less succesfull. It could be the inside jokes of a particular forum (for example, look at the Farkisms of Fark.com), the jargon that evolved across a game (I don't get this Warcraft joke), a genre (everybody that plays FPS knows what "frag","Deathmatch","CTF","ping",etc mean), a medium (the l33tspeak of the Internet...), or more globally, the culture that evolved out of a given civilisation. The question is (if you keep making parallels with organisms), where does a civilisation stands on the evolutionary scale ? And what will happen when the organism reaches self awareness...

[Excel VB]: exporting picture objects to files

27 May 2005 - 05:57 AM

Hello there, I came across a really tricky one, and as usual, MSDN can't give me an answer to what I am trying to do. It's quite simple really: the accountant in my company thought it was a good idea to insert scans of certificates in an excel spreadsheet, in the form of word objects. (if you double click on the object, it opens up in Word, and it contains just a picture). Now my problem is that I want to copy that picture and export it, ideally as a BMP, otherwise in whatever file format I can, and worst case scenario, as a word document that contains the image... See, the thing is, I wrote her a big shiny excel workbook with lotsa goodies to simplify her life, and I managed to convert most of the data from her existing spreadsheets. But I still havent found a nice way to import those damn objects... Yes, I could copy paste the things into the new Excel spreadsheet I created, no problem, but I don't want that, I want the objects to be converted to images that stand alone. At the moment I could create "Scrap objects" by copy pasting the objects to a folder, but that's not what I want either (if I am gonna do something, I'd like to do it properly). Point is, I know there are other solutions, but can what I want be done (I was thinking some funky OLE programming, but I dont know where to start, there) and HOW ? and yes, I googled it, I looked through my MSDN, and any books I had access to... the best I found was a dead, non-cached link on Google that points to "converting Picture Objects to and from byte arrays..." That sounds like something I would have wanted to know [rolleyes] Thanks for any help you can provide.

[web] Netscape is driving me crazy!

09 March 2005 - 02:13 AM

Hello people, I have been doing some work for a company lately, and I am using javascript a bit. Since I am a bit rusty, well, I enjoy having some sort of reference. Devguru have a series of very nice reference sheets, but I enjoy having the _official_ reference, you know. So anyway, I google it up, and sure enough, it's still on Netscape. Yeah, except it's not. So where the *#@_ are the officialy javascript reference papers? Or are the old ones still the standard? I am confused... thanks for your [help]

[java] fancy ASCII art in Java

03 August 2004 - 03:44 AM

Hi there, I have been looking around, reading the docs, but I am still a bit confused, so I thought I would ask to get more explanations, hopefully. So I am trying to write a roguelike map generator in Java, but I thought I would try to do it in a Component, rather than use the console. You see, I want to use the old extended ASCII characters, you know, those you see in BBS and other ASCII Art stuff, like the 50% gray block, the table corners characters, and so on. So I check out the cool Font2D Application from the latest SDK of Java 2 (not the 1.5 beta, though). I can SEE the characters there, I can even read the code 0x0175, but when I then try to display it, it gives me a "w" with and accent on top, or some other weird character... So I ended up using a GlyphVector and some unicode code and managed to display my fancy characters. My question is, first : What s a Glyph ? I mean, what's the difference between writing a String which contains the code u0175, and writing a Glyph using the SAME freaking code. BUT if I use drawString it doesnt work ?! I m confused. Also, is there an easier way to do this (keeping in mind I want to work in a GUI, not in the console), where I could use to good old IBM extended ASCII codes (not the Microsoft extended set, BTW), rather than Unicode codes ? I have a feeling that there is something in the doc, but I am am a bit lost about the whole codepage thingie. Anyone ASCII art lover knows about this stuff ? Maybe just a good link ? (I was hoping Jave would have links, but no)