when the buddy system fails

I will sleep peacefully, forever.

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"For after all,
the best thing one can do
when it is raining
is let it rain."

— Henry Wadsworth Longfellow, excerpt from “The Poet’s Tale” (via larmoyante)

(via violet-child)

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when I start feeling broken I think about how awkward it must be for you.
do you tell them, would you, if they asked?
god I wish they all knew how you betrayed me.

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A plant that turns toward the light, or a worm that writhes after severation, doesn’t do so out of free will.Their internal biochemistry mechanically responds in a deterministic (if stochastic) way. They don’t make choices.
In Vehicles, Valentino Braitenberg asks if we humans aren’t the same way.
Even I could take come up with the easy arguments for this claim:
something annoys me → I get in a bad mood → I don’t pay attention to the car that’s pulling out → accident
I read a compelling book about robots → inspired to go to graduate school and dedicate my life to synthetic consciousness → entrenched in a career with no prospects
At the weakest level it’s obvious that people predictably respond to stimuli simply because we avoid people and situations we don’t like and gravitate to what we do like (subject to feasibility constraints).
But Braitenberg does something much more convincing. He builds robots to prove his point.
He starts by resolving the problem of Burridan’s Ass stochastically. A phototropic robot might be stuck at θ=0° between two light sources, but since we can’t get it to exactly 0° the robot—without free will or choice—heads toward one of the “bales of hay”.

What seemed like a paradox according to pure thought go away when someone took the paradox seriously enough to build a physical model. 
That problem is resolved with two wires connecting two stimuli to two engines. As the book progresses Braitenberg builds more lifelike robots using more connections—complex networks that reroute external stimuli to mechanistic, deterministic robotic response.

Braitenberg doesn’t get all the way to the dramatic complexity of "I love you! … I know." but given what’s possible with a few tens of connections, what could be possible with hundreds of trillions of connections?

Because of this book I’ve gone through years of my life believing I was probably an automaton. That’s a weird feeling.

This same thing happened to me except it was with B.F. Skinner’s “Beyond Freedom and Dignity.”
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i’m an activist for men’s frights. i dont think men are afraid often enough. i just want to give them a good scare once in a while. just spook some dudes.

(via thegingerfoxx-deactivated201407)

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