Recent posts by petesahooligan on Kongregate

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Education Reform

With all due respect, James, you’ve completely missed the intent of the topic while (strangely) not actually saying anything. What do you mean that “college is a more important issue?” What is the “college issue?” And why is it more important to Americans than non-Americans?

With all due respect, jhco, if that’s the extent of your observations on America’s public education system, then I’m really impressed.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How about a Thought of the day thread?

TotD: When people say that political correctedness is stifling free speech, what they’re really saying is that they are out of touch with our changing language and ideas. (It is like saying, “when I was a kid we could say nigger and we liked it!”)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Education Reform

Or, if you prefer, you might compare and contrast America’s educational philosophy to what’s emerging in Finland.

Check out this 6:00 minute video.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Education Reform

Here in the SD forums, most of the socio-economic conversations lead to a common solution in education. Yet, the public education system in the United States performs much more poorly than in other nations with fewer resources. Why? And what can be done about it?

Some common places to look:

• The relative ease/difficulty of entrance exams.
• Tenure and teacher’s unions; inability to “hire the best.”
• Low expectations of students.
• Standardized testing; inflexible curriculum.
• School start time and duration.
• Not enough focus on STEM/too much emphasis on STEM.
• Economic geography and school funding sources.
• Private schools and “brain drain” from public schools.

What do you think is the goal of public education?
Are American schools (or the schools in your country) meeting those goals?
What are some of the factors that contribute to or hinder achievement?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / How about a Thought of the day thread?

TotD: Social media is a giant consumer research machine.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we get rid of reparations?

Oh cool, was too busy with University to look into becoming a delegate. Which candidate do you support?

The point was that it is expensive to be a delegate, so therefore only people with money and job flexibility can participate.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we get rid of reparations?

Implosion, I feel like what you’re talking about is creeping into the same territory that all class/race socio-economic discussions end up: Education.

One issue I see a lot of in California is that school districts are funded and supported by the communities in which they serve. As a result, people typically move to high-performing districts. The people that can move into areas with good schools have money; poor people are stuck with whatever district they happen to be born into.

My girlfriend pointed something out something that I think you might enjoy. I signed up to be a delegate. As such, one of the expectations is that I would travel to Philadelphia and attend the Convention. Problem is that it’s three days off work, travel, and housing. I could do it but I’m choosing not to (because I’d rather spend my money other things). This indicates that even being a delegate… involved politically at a very accessible level… immediately excludes participation from the poor. Crazy.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we get rid of reparations?

Originally posted by visitor6666:

I personally think reparations are counter intuitive, they are ways to reinforce strained race relationships, in fact I wish we dropped the whole diversity movement and just treat everybody as humans, nobody subservant or superior, all equal.

Meaning, for example, that the Pine Ridge Lakota tribe near the Badlands would have the same economic opportunities as caucasian white-collar workers in San Francisco?

Visitor, you may want to be a little more specific in your sweeping recommendation.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we get rid of reparations?


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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hillary Clinton is paying people to "correct" people's opinions online

No surprises there, Kasic. You could have easily summarized the video’s principle message: Corporations are as willing to pimp brands that promote kindness to animals as they are to those that promote Puppy Burgers® if it feeds the bottom line.

The issue, of course, is that it’s a fool’s game to expect corporations to operate according to a moral code as individuals do. Corporations make money; they don’t care about aesthetics or morality or sincerity.

Don’t act so surprised.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Should we get rid of reparations?


Your id est is pretty weak. Here’s some better ones.

• Repeatedly displacing indigenous communities.
• War with Mexico.
• 245 years of slavery.
• Japanese internment.
• Criminal exonerations.
• War on unions.
• And so on.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames

In order for an AI to pass as human (or come close enough that a human player would be able to maintain some empathy or relationship to that AI), it should have some kind of unique personality so that it can be identified from a group of other AIs as an individual.

There are a shit-ton of personality tests but for the sake of AI discussion I think the Reiss personality factors would work well. Here they are:

    Acceptance – the need to be appreciated
    Curiosity, the need to gain knowledge
    Eating, the need for food
    Family, the need to take care of one’s offspring
    Honor, the need to be faithful to the customary values of an individual’s ethnic group, family or clan
    Idealism, the need for social justice
    Independence, the need to be distinct and self-reliant
    Order, the need for prepared, established, and conventional environments
    Physical activity, the need for work out of the body
    Power, the need for control of will
    Romance, the need for mating or sex
    Saving, the need to accumulate Pokemon cards
    Social contact, the need for relationship with others
    Social status, the need for social significance
    Tranquility, the need to be secure and protected
    Vengeance, the need to strike back against another person

Each of us has some degree of each of these 16 “motivations.” Our unique personalities are the result of our individual mixture of being high or low in each factor.

There’s also a hierarchy of needs. First there are physiological needs to keep our bodies alive, then we seek safety and security. After that we find love and belonging, followed by esteem. Naturally there are loads of circumstantial factors that influence this hierarchy when it’s applied to daily life. This again points to the need for a stimulus-rich environment… we (players) cannot evaluate the human-ness of an individual in a simulated space if that space does not afford human interaction. (I’ve said this so many times in this thread that I’m sick of writing it.)

The passable AI must have intrinsic motivation — the stuff that Vika is modeling with chemical values — and extrinsic motivation — the desire for outcomes based on environmental circumstances.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames

Even if souls exist, it should be possible to create an artificial being without a soul whose actions, thoughts and behaviour are indistinguishable from an artificial being with a soul (or an organic being with/without a soul for that matter). So, does the soul really matter in this equation?

It does if you expect the AI to have any kind of spirituality. The question is better phrased when you ask, “is the AI capable of considering its own soul?” The fact that the soul literally exists or does not literally exist is irrelevant because, as in the real-world, it cannot be proved empirically. The factor of a soul is entirely within the realm of the subject BELIEVING that the soul exists. It is a component of a personality’s proclivity to religion and faith and, as a result, a fundamental piece of the human psyche.

So, in this instance I respectfully disagree with you, Vika.

I’m particularly interested in doing this to then compare to what the situation is actually like when this is beginning to be a reality – to see how great the influence of mirror neurons is on the eqution. I.e. a person thinks they can mutilate people guilt-free, but how does that actually hold up when they’re full witness to the pain they’ve caused and can see the suffering up close and personal?

I think this is interesting.

I don’t think an AI is required.

Group A’s subjects are placed in a room with a table with a knife on it. In the room with the subject is a volunteer. The subject is told to stab the volunteer. What percentage of subjects stab the volunteer?

Group B’s subjects are controlling an avatar that is in a simulated room, with a table and a knife. In the room with them is an NPC avatar. The subject is told to stab the NPC. What percentage of subjects stab the NPC?

You can add lots of interesting layers to this schema. What if the volunteer/NPC is described as someone that has performed horrible acts of brutality? What if the subjects are all soldiers and they are “ordered” to stab the room’s other occupant? What if there is a monetary reward for following the instructions?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hillary Clinton is paying people to "correct" people's opinions online

Here’s where I’m stuck.

• People are informing their political and social views from MANY more sources today than they were twenty years ago.
• There are more opportunities to explore opposing viewpoints — overtly biased or not — than ever before.
• There are deeper data tools and crowd-sourced investigations that enthusiastically explore evidence of wrong-doing more than ever before.
• People are more skeptical today of information sources than ever before.

How do these trends operate within the media conspiracy? And wouldn’t there also be a media conspiracy on the left that is seeking to create favorable market conditions for THEIR investments? (Why is it only a right-wing media conspiracy?)

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hillary Clinton is paying people to "correct" people's opinions online

I’m trying to understand the value and operational logistics of a media conspiracy, Karma.

Let’s say Kimberly-Clark, a massive health-products company, has a right-wing agenda and would like to influence the media in order to produce more conservative views. The owners don’t like how The View is talking about socialized health care. They threaten to pull Kleenex ads from the show based on the show’s pro-Obama language.

Then the marketing director for The View conveys to the show’s producer that Kleenex will not be renewing their contract. The producer then reviews the show’s editorial content and strikes out or revises the liberal content.

Kleenex returns to the show.

Is this basically the model that is being repeated thousands of times in order to create conservative bias in popular media?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hillary Clinton is paying people to "correct" people's opinions online

Are you suggesting that through advertiser influence, advertiser’s bias gets trickled through the system?

What is the balance of need for the advertiser? Do they make more money from influencing politics than they make selling the products that they’re advertising? That would be the equation to look at.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames


One product opportunity introduced by “full-sensory” (for lack of a better term) AI is that they could be inhabited as experiences and relived. Creating an environment that was not only stimulus-rich but where your very sense of identity could be supplanted could easily lead to “rental experiences.”

Want to be Mozart composing the Marriage of Figaro… for better or worse? Well, now you can! Want to be Neil Armstrong walking on the moon? Want to be Andy Warhol partying with David Bowie? Just visit your local Redbox.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Hillary Clinton is paying people to "correct" people's opinions online

Leaving Trump president?

I’m not generally one to bite on “media conspiracy” theories, but I’m curious how you think a media conspiracy might work? How is the media controlled and who is doing the controlling?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames

Thus we’re not automatically seeing everyone else in the world as our equals. It’s where racism, sexism, ageism, etc(ism) come from. You said morality in the simulated world could only be considered if everyone saw everyone else as their absolute equal. Again, this is not true in our world, and you even acknowledge it isn’t. So why then do you insist it has to be so in a lower-order world?

This is the crux of it, Vika.

I am stubbornly trying to point out that certain characteristics and environmental factors would need to be true if an AI were to “pass” as a human.

The environment must be “rich” and afford the communication and context in which to evaluate human-like characteristics. A chess board does not meet this condition. No video game currently on the market meets this condition. The virtual environments we are commonly familiar with are much too constrained to properly discern human from AI without relying on out-of-game reference. Right? (By “game” I mean the simulated environment.)

So, the AI must possess out-of-game comprehension in order to pass these tests. It must consider itself to be a player that is playing a game as well… though their role, perhaps, is of the “village baker that complains a lot about the weather and raiding kobolds.” Boring, but whatever. The equalizing factor, and the characteristic required by the AI, is that they consider themselves to be human. What do humans do? They play video games. What DON’T humans do? They don’t believe that they are medieval bakers.

This is the layer that I’m interested in. The AI must have a self-identity so that it can properly relate to a human player (as an equal, more or less) and vice-versa.

THEREFORE: You cannot have an AI that believes itself to be a living denizen of the game-space and pass as being a human to a skeptical human player.

However, you could create an environment that was so rich with sensory stimulation so that the human player believed itself to be a AI. I’m not sure how this could be accomplished, but that would be another way of equalizing the relationship so that an encounter between a human and AI would result in an equitable relationship, (i.e., they would pass as equals… or that their player form were irrelevant in this space). The point is that the avatars perceive themselves as equals (in terms of the source of their “original embodiment.” They will not relate if they do not consider themselves each from the same sphere.

You claim that the AI believes itself to be a living denizen of the game space. This is neither practical nor will it result in a believable human. Hence, I throw him into the lava. G’byAI!

Let’s get this straight. When I say “equals” I mean that the human views the AI as a human (human = human) or that the AI sees the human as a fellow AI (AI = AI).

It does not mean equality in the social context. The MORALITY of the situation has a social context.

The equality (human = human) yields the necessary stuff for us to bond and form social contracts. I only form social contracts with creatures that I consider to share some of the basic rights I afford other humans… e.g., “the right to life.” I do not extend “the right to life” to creatures that I do not consider as having life in the first place, and that extends to AIs as I commonly understand them.

Perhaps your question is: Do Artificial Intelligences have a right to life? And my answer is no.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames

If the environment is non-embodied, I don’t see the point of trying to use it to explain your reasoning why a fully emobodied creature is not possible. Do you? Really?

But chess is an embodied environment. The players utilize avatars to simulate physical movement based on player motivations and environmental observation. There is cognitive reasoning based on dynamic situational conditions, among other things.

What is your definition of “fully embodied?” The context of this conversation is not (as I understand it) to discuss “fully embodied” creatures. I would take that to mean robotics and shit. My understanding is that we’re discussing the creation of passable human simulations.

Then leave the thread. You refusing to stay on topic of the thread doesn’t get any more charming with age.


I’m not being obstinate. I’m pointing out that there’s a more meaningful (and I think exponentially more interesting) consideration on what programmatic factors would be required for creating a simulated human.

Pete said: Applying morality to a simulated environment would presume that all of the actors, (NPCs and PCs… AI and human), share a moral context… that all the mixed up individuals relate to each other to some degree as equals.
Vika refuted: That’s not true in our world. Why MUST it be true in a lower order reality?

No, you’re wrong. It actually is true in our world.

We know that people evaluate stimulus subjectively. We relate to each other because we perceive similarities. It’s basically what “relate” means. We see how we are alike. When we relate to each other, we assign others to a group in which we belong, or to a group in which we do not belong.

Doesn’t work. They just turn neurotic. Sensory depravation / sensation without contextualisation are the leading theories why. Hence embodiment to provide a unifying context for input data, and a framework for their mind to build upon. The goal is to stop the nascent minds turning neurotic straight out of the gate, and allow them to develop in a more constructive direction. If they turn neurotic later on, it’ll be a response to extended stimulus.

I think this idea is interesting. I think you accidentally reinforced my earlier claim; you cannot create a “simulated human” with “human-like experiences” without simultaneously creating a rich environment.

Imagine, for example, walking down the street and taking an accidental turn only to find that the street you mistakenly found yourself on was in the process of being rendered. You would probably think you were losing your mind. This is what I was getting at when I was pointing out that you cannot create a passable human simulation if you do not allow them the desire to join the circus. Without their free will, and a capacity to self-realization and reflection, and a desire to be philosophical or spiritual, you are going to create an “other” that will not pass as a believable human. And I would immediately throw them in the lava.

That’s what the result was. Your view is that a non-human intelligence is utterly beneath you in every conceivable way. A non-biological intelligence doubly so. That’s data I can work with. The rest, is just off-topic ramblings. ie, bluster.

I admire non-human intelligence. I think apes, dolphins and elephants are bad-ass creatures that don’t get enough respect. But I also think it’s foolish to anthropomorphize their life experience in human terms… it’s hubris. We know that these animals have different perceptions and different sensory awareness than us, and therefore their sense of self-identity is almost certainly something that we would not recognize or relate to. We only relate to those traits in them that we recognize in ourselves.

Sorry you’re so grumpy. I’m not trying to ruin your shit. I think it’s an engaging topic and I am an opinionated asshole, as you know.

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Actual Minds in Videogames

What a crankypuss!

A lot of the confusion is my fault I believe; I’m familiar with what embodiment must entail & why. Chalk this up to an episode of my forgetting most people wouldn’t have such knowledge.

Well, Ms. Fancypants, I’ve spent over 12 years in professional game development specializing in learning environments and simulations.

So other animals are incapable of having feelings. I never realised that. Huh, you learn something new every day.

Animals do not have feelings. They simply respond to stimulus. Knowledge is power.

The nature of reality is probably not a productive direction for this conversation. My interpretation of your original premise was based in an observation that NPCs in simulation games did not do a good job simulating human behavior, particularly in response to environmental stimulus.

My response was rooted in the concept that a sensory-rich environment would be required if we expected the NPC to behave in a humanist way. Others shared that the processing load of creating this simulated environment may not represent valuable return on investment. Hence that comparison of a “perfectly believable” NPC in a sensory-deprived environment, (i.e., chess).

As their reality is encapsulated, they have no way out of their reality, nor any way of knowing their reality is in fact a simulation. There are a pletora of tricks you can use to keep a sentient, self-aware mind ignorant of the gaps in reality even if they study them, and these would be in full force here. The AGI is from their own perspective a fully functional, sapient, sentient, self-aware individual physically located inside a material body.

I maintain my assertion — based on the dozen or so reasons stated earlier — that this is fundamentally impossible.


Applying morality to a simulated environment would presume that all of the actors, (NPCs and PCs… AI and human), share a moral context… that all the mixed up individuals relate to each other to some degree as equals. As soon as you introduce a distinguishing characteristic, the morality becomes ambiguous. Essentially the same behavioral mechanism that informs racial bias would be operative. “Don’t worry about saving our henchman from the lava monster… he’s just an NPC.”

You could mimic human emotion pretty easily without the need for creating a comprehensive sensory-rich environment. If you focused on just the basic human emotions*, a skilled designer could probably come up with some fascinating dynamic NPCs.

  • Surprise, Anger, Sadness, Disgust, Happiness, and Fear

The more delicate emotions, (e.g., sympathy, jealousy, contempt), would be more difficult to mimic.

There we agree. However I was in particular interested in other people’s views. It’s why if we cut away all of Pete’s bluster, we find a viewpoint that says it doesn’t matter how much a non-human intelligence thinks, feels, believes, is sentient and sapient.

So sweet of you to offer this unwarranted insult, Vika. I had almost forgotten how much you dislike me.

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Topic: Game Programming / Free Game Design Course

Course starts tomorrow!

Sign up, it’s free, it’s MIT, and you gain a solid understanding of game design. Think of how it will change your Kong game reviews.

Check it out

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Grumpiness and Political Outlook

There is a general understanding in American politics that Republicans are generally grumpier individuals than Democrats.

According to Pew Research that appears to be changing. More Republicans are optimistic about the future than they have been historically. Is this a significant change for the GOP or insignificant? As a person that aligns with one party or another, do you feel that you are MORE or LESS optimistic or pessimistic than your cohort?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Evil white supremacist public library bans #BlackLivesMatter

Have you ever considered a career in poetry, Mystic?

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Topic: Serious Discussion / Music History: Artistic Tastes Changing Over Time

I think it would be a mistake to equate commercial success with innovation or creative quantity. The qualities that make something popular to a great number of people are generally not “products” that dramatically reinterpret the status quo.

If you look at creative disruptions in any field over the past 100 years you should see some patterns. At first the contribution is rejected as being too outrageous, then the idea becomes normalized in small areas, then that acceptance spreads until it becomes the new status quo. It’s true of socio-economic ideas, too.

Psychedelic music is a good example. In the 1950s there were only a few bands making a “gawdawful racket” in small venues. People thought the music was absolute garbage, but there were social revolutionaries that were looking for disruption… beats, hippies and yippies… that embraced the reinterpretation of music. Lifting from jazz and blues subcultures, 60s musicians like Dylan and Blue Cheer and (later) Hendrix and Death deconstructed traditional pop forms in new ways.

Young musicians that grew up admiring these psychedelic pioneers built on that foundation, (as those pioneers built on the foundations preceding them). In time, new sounds and rhythms were incorporated and refined, and those sounds were groundbreaking and controversial… then eventually normal… and, later, became “old fashioned.”

Imagine a wave breaking on the beach. The water folds in on itself and tumbles over and over, repeating every few seconds since the dawn of time. That’s how I imagine creative change.