On "competency living" and intelligence

I will call "competency living" the sum of behavioral competencies that allows an organism (in particular a human) to adapt to environment through learning.

"Competency living" will not cover simple bacterial strategies like "eat and multiply". However it is not limited to human level intelligence like abstract thinking. In my definition "competency living" will also cover complex animal behaviors like learning to jump over a rock, learning to climb, recognize good food, recognize dangers, flight maneuvers for birds, etc. Only in particular it also covers abstract human thinking.

I would speculate that abstract human intelligence is based and emulated on "competency living". Also, I would appreciate that the informational complexity of "competency living" is far greater than the additional needed for implementing abstract thinking. A consequence of this would be that abstract thinking is only gradually more complex than "competency living" and for making an artificial intelligence the biggest challenge is to emulate "competency living".


Simple patterns of intelligence

This is an idea about how intelligence could emerge from simple biological patterns. If confirmed, this could have direct impact about how we understand the human brain and how we can design new Artificial Intelligence systems.

There is now a wide spread belief that human brain intelligence is based on very simple structures (neurons) that can implement various thinking processes, based on location and structure. This belief is sustained by researches that shows how brain can learn to perceive with regions that were not initially related to that sensing type (like "seeing with your tongue"). This is the approach taken by various researches that are trying to reproduce human-like brain processes  (like recognizing objects) with general purpose neural networks.


Review Philips GoGEAR Azure Bluetooth MP3/FLAC/MP4 player 8GB SA5AZU08KF (with FM)

Overall I'm happy with my Philips GoGEAR Azure. I can release the storage space occupied by music on my phone - that used to be my portable Bluetooth player. I can also save some battery on my phone and it's a bit more handy to have a dedicated device that really fit in a small pocket.

Even if the player don't support AptX (my headphones does support it), the sound is still pretty good for travel and work. If I want true sound quality I can use regular wired phones.

  • Good wireless sound (Bluetooth/A2DP)
  • Very good wired sound
  • Plays FLAC along with MP3
  • Good battery life even with Bluetooth, it served me days without recharge, they say "up to 35h for music"
  • It charges over regular Micro-USB port, like my phone
  • I can also browse music in folders, I hate players that only provide music grouped by artist, album
  • It has FM radio receiver with RDS
  • does not support the Apt-X Bluetooth codec
  • it is almost double the size of my previous player (Phillips GoGear 2GB)
  • the reminder about volume limit is a bit annoying, even after I increased the limit 
  • there are sound glitches when browsing folders while listening, especially when there are album pictures
  • does not play FLAC with high sampling rate (over 48KHz)
  • low write speed when copying files to player (1-2MB/s)
  • does not provide the best hand grip, it is a bit slippery
  • does not support additional SD card
Additional notes


Reflections on the entropy of Life

If we look at layers of matter organization, from elementary particles (electrons, protons or lower) up to Life, we found an interesting steady progress in complexity and a decrease in physical durability.

For example atoms are very hard to break. We can do fission on Uranium and other unstable atoms, but generally it requires a huge amount of energy to break an atom's nucleus structure. Even harder and rare is to break a neutron in his components, this happens only in very high energy nuclear reactions.

When we go up on the complexity scale, we have molecules that are pretty stable by our norms, however most of them are easily broke by chemical reactions. Some molecules are very stable, however most of them can relatively easily lose their structure by chemical reactions.

Complex molecules, like organic amino-acids are even more fragile. Enzymes could modify them. Even ultraviolet Sun rays could easily damage their structure. However, such molecules could have their information replicated in other molecules, like in genetic chains of RNA and DNA.


On "Metaphysics of Quality" of Robert M. Pirsig

"It's more moral for a doctor to kill a germ than to allow the germ to kill his patient. The germ wants to live. The patient wants to live. But the patient has moral precedence because he's at a higher level of evolution"

In "Lila, an Inquiry into Morals", Robert M. Pirsig brings intriguing reflections about the philosophy of moral using as pretext a river journey he had on a boat. Here I will bring my insights based on this book. Many of this reflections will be my own re-interpretations that were inspired by the book. Even my understanding on Pirsig's views might not fully correspond to the original author's intention.


Ask me any question!

I like to give advises...for free!

I have an advise, an opinion or a theory about almost any subject. Sometimes I can advise about things that I don't master very well myself. I didn't say it always works... Just challenge me ;)

In this page you can ask questions about any problem you might have, including personal matters - that can be discussed in public of course. I will attempt to answer to each one, the best I can. If the subject is very far from my experience or it is not interesting enough for the needed effort to answer, I might decline to answer. For the rest of it, I will give at least a short idea.


On layoffs

There is a certain economical logic in companies going bankrupt or being forced to do layoffs. When a company does not provide enough value anymore to society, it should release some of the resources (namely people and materials) for doing something more useful for society.

There are, of course, some tricks here.

When someone that is fired cannot find another job, the actual value in society is decreasing. Even premature retirement can have a similar loss effect on society if that person was still creating some value and after retirement he doesn't find something useful to do (like volunteering, helping family).