Questionnaire: How Was Your 2009?

Well, 2009 has reached its final days. While this may sadden some, others couldn’t wait soon enough for this moment to arrive. It seems like many more people experience lows than highs this year, but let’s see if that holds true among the conditional cognition readers. Respond to the series of questions below regarding your experience in 2009 (be sure to click the “vote” button after your selection). Then, you can compare results with others after each response. Maybe it wasn’t that bad for everyone after all. I guess we’ll see…

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Rewinding, Resetting And Redefining Artificial Intelligence

A new MIT artificial intelligence project, the Mind Machine Project (MMP), recently began research that will “reconcile natural intelligence with machine intelligence, and in doing so develop and engineer a class of intelligent machines.” The researchers believe that many aspects of the foundations of AI have been rooted in mistakes made over the past generation of AI research. Therefore, they think that combining “current advances in each of these areas with insights from their roots, it will be possible to fulfill the early vision that lies at their intersection.” As part of the process they will reexamine assumptions about AI and attempt to unveil new answers to fundamental questions that fall within all aspects of AI study.

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Discover What We Dream About

I discovered this remarkable resource recently: DreamBank, where you can search for what we dream about on your own. The University of California, Santa Cruz, search engine-equipped database of over 16,000 dream reports is compiled from people who call the research center and, apparently, our dreams typically feature mundane day-to-day activities.

I’ve always been intrigued by the whole concept of dreams. What do they mean? Are they real? What exactly is a dream? Do they help me? Am I crazy because I dreamed that ______________?

dream

I took courses in college that enabled me to dive more deeply into the world of dreams and have done some reading on my own, but I haven’t cracked open a book on the topic for at least five years. I have always wondered why this ubiquitous sleep experience exists, but I think my interest in dreams is fueled by the fact that I rarely remember my dreams. I enjoy hearing the dreams of others and live vicariously through their memories of that “other” state of being. The only dream that I consistently remember is the common chase scene where I spend a seemingly endless amount of time running from a group of people. Typically all the people coming after me are part of the same group; yet, the group is never the same. I’ve been pursued by Italian mobsters, urban gangsters, the KKK, Simpsons characters, the CIA, the FBI, the PTA, the police, the Muppets, historical figures, Greek and Roman Gods, etc. The strange thing is that I can never remember why they’re hunting me down. All I know is that I can’t let ’em get me!
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Is This The Most Exciting Olympic Event?

It has fast-paced action, amazing feats of athleticism, intense competition and nail-biting finishes. Swimming?  Gymnastics?  Basketball? Nope. Handball. Yep, that’s right.  Handball. It’s an unbelievably exciting sport that gets almost no attention. NBC hasn’t aired any games yet and you have to go online to watch any of the action. I bet if the USA actually had a team in this event, we’d see it on TV. Now, I’m not taking about American handball, but rather team handball aka Olympic handball. The former is like squash without the racquets and the latter is  a 7 vs 7 sport that looks … Continue reading Is This The Most Exciting Olympic Event?