2014: Postmortem

Oh no! I forgot to post a personal postmortem1 for the year 2014 like I did for the previous year...

Cognitive Abstraction Manifolds

A few days ago I started thinking about abstractions whilst reading Surfaces and Essences, a recent...

On That Which is Called “Memory”

Information itself is a foundational concept for cognitive science theories.But the very definition...

Polymorphism in Mental Development

Adaptability and uninterrupted continuous operations are important features of mental development...

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Samuel KenyonRSS Feed of this column.

Robotics software engineer, AI researcher, interaction designer (IxD). Also (as Sam Vanivray) filmmaker, actor.

Working on my new sci-fi movie to be filmed in 2016:
BRUTE SANITY... Read More »


Animal behavior scientists are teaming up with engineers to devise new kinds of research tools: mechatronic animal models. Or you could just call them robots.


Robosquirrel was made as part of a collaboration between UC Davis, West Chester University, and San Diego State University.

Is that a real squirrel?

Nope! Chuck Testa.

That was a joke...Chuck Testa was not involved with this study. But given his talents, maybe he should be involved with ethology research robots.

We are in that stage of global civilization when we really want there to be mutants.

Well not that type of mutant. More like this kind:

This yearning for weird superhumans is a good thing, in my transhumanist opinion. And now we have Cat Boy from China, aka Nong Youhui.  Or as some call him, Niño Mutante.

And now, the video which was posted kindly by the Alien Disclosure Group.
Gamification is a topic I have mentioned not too long ago (see this post). Recently I attended a Boston CHI presentation by Chris Cartter called "The Socialization and Gamification of Health Behavior Change Apps."


One thing that Cartter said that sounds right, and may resonate with some of my readers, is that games are fuzzy, not perfect sequential processes. And that is what health behavior changes are more like.

So gamification in this area might actually result in better methods than old fashioned x-step procedures.

Right now I'm reading an architecture book from the 1970s called The Timeless Way of Building. So far it has to do with theories of how towns and buildings and other things seem more "alive" than others, and how to achieve this quality--the "quality without a name".

This of course goes far beyond merely architecture; indeed this book was brought to my attention not by an architect but by people in the UX (user experience) design community. Anyway, this blog post only covers a couple pages out of the book.

It's certainly not new to propose recursion as a key element of the human mind--for instance Douglas Hofstadter has been writing about that since the 1970s.

Michael C. Corballis, a former professor of psychology, came out with a new book this year called The Recursive Mind. It explains his specific theory that I will attempt to outline here.

As I understand it, his theory is composed of these parts:
There are two freaky theories of perception which are very interesting to me not just for artificial intelligence, but also from a point of view of interfaces, interactions, and affordances. The first one is Alva Noë's enactive approach to perception. The second one is Donald D. Hoffman's interface theory of perception.

Enactive Perception

The key element of the enactive approach to perception is that sensorimotor knowledge and skills are a required part of perception [1].