User:Ray Calvin Baker
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I INTEND TO RETURN! EVERYTHING which has gone before is only PRELUDE, FEASIBILITY STUDY, PROOF-OF-CONCEPT! My TO-DO list now includes: (1) Bring "Electronic JellyBeans" to the Wikiversity to invite users to the material.
They are representatives of the "Jelly Bean Journal", a container for articles on the development of Computer Graphics and Games.
(2) Update my "Rubik's Cube" article
Speed Cubers now routinely solve scrambled Cubes in under 20 SECONDS!
(3) Complete the series of "Paper Craft Projects" in the School of Creativity
Art may be the only avenue open to students for actively DOING THINGS! Everything else seems to be "wait until you've finished College". But, by learning to appreciate BLUEPRINTS, even children can prepare for a lifetime of Creativity!
(4) I still need an EDITORIAL board and a RESEARCH board!
Retired (but not burnt-out) teachers will be welcome. I myself am a grad-school drop-out, because decades of actual Applied Mathematics in the service of Computer Technology did NOTHING to prepare me for the social requirements of becoming a "Classroom Manager"!
(5) Re-organize and add to the CONTENT!
Many small articles, cross-linked tothether, are far more inviting than a massive "wall of text".
(6) I found out in clinical evaluation that I do NOT actually belong anywhere on the "Autistic Spectrum". (My apologies, if such are due.)
The Concentration, Special (narrow) Interests, Lack of Social Skills etc., are all simply the results of a lifetime of choices, made by a mostly normal (but gifted) person, in the pursuit of Truth and Beauty (as I see them).
(7) I am not yet well pleased that my Presentation is up to Wiki standards
I intend to work on Presentation as well as on Content.
ADDITIONAL NOTES about the "babel box": It appears that "BG-2" for intermediate ability with bt-mapped graphics doesn't work in the Wikiversity (It does in Wikimedia Commons). Please note that I use American English, not British (no offense intended -- just helpful information).
Hello world! Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Begin Update Saturday, July 30, 2011
Two FREE gifts! C++ SOURCE CODE! Someday I may be able to give better gifts, but, sorry, not today. Post a note on my talk page if you need help. The custodians have no idea what I'm up to! Ray Calvin Baker 20:33, 30 July 2011 (UTC)
I think that QB64 may be more suitable for beginners -- I plan to port these files ASAP. Ray Calvin Baker 04:19, 28 November 2011 (UTC)
Begin Recursive Programming Game (just for fun)
This is based on some playfulness of Douglas Hofstadter's in _Metamagical_Themas_, Chapter 19 Lisp:Recursion and Generality, pages435-437. Anything Lisp can do should be reasonably approximated in C++, or any other reasonably advanced general-purpose computer language, if you have the ingenuity.
=End= Update Saturday, July 30, 2011
Begin Update Monday, July 24, 2011
Someday, this material might be relevant to my autobiography, _Sigma_Three:_The_Autistic_Teacher_ (My life three standard deviation units from the norm -- in each direction)
However, it is urgent to get started on the more important book: _The_Last_B._S._History_Book_in_History_ (where "B. S." means "Before the Singularity").
RCB_LastBSHistoryBook The page this link is supposed to point to has mysteriously vanished! : Fortunately, 98 per cent of the text still survives on the flash drive I used to transport it to the public library branch. So, here goes, again : RCB_LastHistoryBook Last History Book Before the Singularity
Revised above link. 220.127.116.11 02:42, 1 November 2012 (UTC)
I have already rediscovered "the simultaneous article review" (AKA "the library review". (This is the process by which "Simple Simon" was conceived.) It consists of reading as much as possible, as quickly as is pleasurable, then writing down as much as can be remembered. The goal is to match ideas from each source, to compare and contrast ideas, and (sometimes) even to come up with a creative synthesis of new ideas. (The "simultaneous article review" was actually invented by the first person whose work required a bibliography.)
Traces of ongoing "library reviews" should be found in all of my subsequent writings. They should be an identifying mark throughtout the _Last_B._S._History_Book_in_History_ journal.
Today, "Simple Simon" is nearly a month old as the calendar goes, but he's only about 5 hours old, as counted by the clock, using public library facilities. Here is the story of his birth. While waiting in doctors' offices (my daughter-in-law, Heather, had a broken knee and required medical treatment), I encounterd an article in _Wired_ magazine: "Artificial Intelligence is here. But it's nothing like we expected.". Several days later, I encountered an _Atlantic_ magazine featuring an article by Brian Christian. He is a writer who participated in a recent Turing test in England. Brian wrote a book, _The_Most_Human_Human_, based on his experiences there. One of my brothers, who knew I was interested in Computer Science, had sent me a copy of Alan Turing's original article, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence". As I thought about these three articles, it occurred to me that a paradigm shift had occurred! I had been affected by many of these shifts throughout my proffessional career (one occurs every time Microsoft releases a new operating system), but this was the first time I ever recognized (on my own) that a paradigm shift had occurred.
The "Turing test" is grossly unfair to machines! It requires that they be masters of every area of human knowledge, and masters also of the arts of human communications and social interactions. But machines are capable of important and amazing feats, within more limited realms. And so, as I was taking a tour through the Wikiversity, it occurred to me that the "smiley face" icon in the guided tours was an ideal symbol for the vitally necessary "Tour Guide". The traditional children's poem, "Simple Simon met a pie man, going to the fair.", provided a name for the tour guide.
From another source, _What_Color_is_Your_Parachute?_, a cartoon: Sign on the wall behind a guidance counsellor, "Guidance Counsellor". A counselor sits at his desk, looking at a report. In front of the desk sits a nervous young man. The counselor says, "Let me put it this way. Find yourself a village without an idiot, and you've got yourself a job."
Simple Simon is no idiot -- he did such a good job that I created a Wikiversity account while on his tour. I had found a village (the Wikiversity) without an idiot! Of course, a better job might be found if Simple Simon could be promoted to Wikiversity director. Then I could become "volunteer assistant to the Wikiversity director". Then I landed in the sandbox, tried to shake the pixie dust out of my eyes, and now I'm trying to get Simple Simon promoted. Ray Calvin Baker 20:52, 25 July 2011 (UTC)
=End= Update Monday, July 24, 2011
Today is the first day I ever used a Mac. (I have two PCs at home.) I am not used to the "up-a-line" and "down-a-line" buttons BOTH at the BOTTOM of the scroll bar. Also, I lost my first draft of this page when I pushed what I hoped would return me from "preview" back to my "edit-in-progress". It closed down the entire Google Chrome program instead. Back up often; save trouble. (I don't know what to do with all the trouble I've saved.) :D I love it that a spell checker is integrated with the editor!
Please be patient with me. I am trying to learn to use the internet. Two co-workers (back when I was working full time at a professional job) were fired for downloading improper materials on their GFE (Government Furnished Equipment). That put a damper on my desire for exploration. My children have also scolded me for downloading "brick films" on THEIR computer, so I am trying to establish a presence on public facilities (only). That means I will be slightly hampered by NOT having a usable email address. However, anyone who discovers this page is welcome to use my Wikiversity "talk" page (Meet the author, ask for ideas for a project, etc.)
Actually, I have used email and Power Point for class work at George Washington University, before I became a grad school dropout. There is a story to that.
After a thirty year career as a computer programmer (mostly maintenance programming, the most difficult and under appreciated kind -- no glory, kept away from new developments, lots of problems with incomplete and faulty documentation, etc.) I thought teaching high school math could only be easier. NOT SO!
I was able to ASSIMILATE all of the academic materials -- psychology, history, pedagogy, political and social science, statistics -- well enough to maintain a respectable GPA of A-. (None of this was particularly in my field of MATHEMATICS or even Computer Science. No college level curriculum in Computer Science had even been invented yet when I began my professional career.) Unfortunately, I had no way to ACCOMMODATE the necessary social skills. So, I found myself one morning in a middle school classroom, and I realized I did not even have enough common sense or social skills (face recognition and associating faces and names) to organize such a class (sometimes it is recognized that early adolescence is an especially difficult period for students).
Flash back to a panel discussion on low-incidence disabilities. One topic had three possible components: (1) Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD), (2) high-level functioning Autism, and (3) Asperger's syndrome.
Some people with these are highly intelligent, but with very poor social skills. When I asked my daughter Amy if she had ever heard of Asperger's syndrome (she had taken a dual major at Shippensburg University in Psychology and Social Work, and had just gotten her Master's Degree in Social Work; plus, she worked with some AS clients), she turned to my wife and said, "I've often wondered if Daddy had that." So, instead of finishing training for "classroom management", I had to start rethinking my life based on the premise, "I am Autistic!"
I recently discovered a bright spot in this scenario -- Robert J. Sawyer's WWW trilogy: _Wake_, _Watch_, and _Wonder_. A major character in this story is Doctor Malcolm Deckter. He has AS, but (in the story) gets to escort Steven Hawking around a Canadian University! (Tour Guide, eh?)
Begin Update Monday, July 24, 2011
As the father of two daughters, who for several years were both teen-agers at the same time, I must issue the following warning about _Wonder_: (This is an essential part of the "Library Review" process -- using ideas from one book to comment on ideas in another book)
"Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither the immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor robbers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." -- I Corinthians 6: 9-13
=End= Update Monday, July 24, 2011
MORE TO COME! (Isn't that what we all hope for?) :D
HOT PROJECTS I am currently working on: (1) Review available tutorials for QB64 (There are many!) I decided I should start all over again, since the switch from 32-bit operating system to 64-bit system caught me unprepared. My kids got me a new Toshiba (my first laptop; combination Birthday and Christmas present), and it came with Windows 7. Many of my favorite programs no longer work -- serious compatibility issues! But, I was able to download QB64 from the Wikipedia, and it compiled and ran some of my old BASIC programs -- much faster than I have ever seen them before, and I can now run John Horton Conway's LIFE simulation on a HUGE screen! I'm trying to "push the envelope" to see if I can run a "puffer train" on my home computer. William Poundstone, author of _The_Recursive_Universe_, says, "The plume eventually gets too long for any video display", page 112. He's correct, of course, but I recently got to generation 2423 without hitting the edges of my screen. That's nearly enough to confirm that this remarkable configuration really works, "as advertised". Next iteration of program -- try to use sparse matrices and sparse files to hold the data.
This is a project in automaton theory -- a cellular space. I think it may serve as an entry point for kids who want to learn about engineering. I customized cellular space, "SPARKS", should allow kids to make -- and watch! their own computer circuit designs. What a way to begin a study of Computer Science!
(2) upload my LIFE04.bas file, and all of the data files that go with it. I have actually engineered a way to make gliders go around a corner!
(3) create a graphics program (Look Ma! no trigonometry!) to display an animated cartoon drawing of a customizable, and solvable, Rubik's Cube, to accompany my book.
(4) upload that part of my puzzle collection which has been converted to computer-readable data files. I'm working on a consistent system that allows me to deal with over thirty different puzzles. I hope they will all look great in virtual reality!
Ray Calvin Baker 01:00, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
Update: Saturday, July 9, 2011 As you might guess, I have not been able to work at the Wikiversity as much as I wanted to. However, better a few hours a month than nothing at all! Thanks to the unknown custodian who freed up my user page. I thought I was stuck. I better put in my signature and time stamp now, before I forget again! --Ray Calvin Baker 19:58, 9 July 2011 (UTC)
I hope I can attract some user interest by listing some things I would like to do. (1) Create a reading list of interesting things I have recently noticed, in hopes of starting some good discussions. Two items which, for me, signal a paradigm shift -- (A) Wired Magazine -- "A. I. has arrived, and it's nothing like what we expected" (B) Atlantic Magazine -- an article by Brian Christian. (I just checked out his book, _The_Most_Human_Human_) The shift: the Turing Test has served a useful purpose, when few people knew or cared what a machine is, and what thinking is. (One of my siblings sent me a copy of Alan Turing's 1950 article in _Mind_, "the imitation game"). Now, however, most people have used computers, so they have some ideas what they are and what they can do. It's time to answer the question, "Can machines think" in the affirmative, with our current (better than in 1950) understandings. (C) A third article is an _Introduction_to_Digital_Logic_, which features, on its cover and as chapter headings, diagrams of computer components on chessboards, playing out game six of a tournament between Deep Blue and Gary Kasparov (who resigned). (2) Contribute two items I worked on when I was attending George Washington University: (A) Napier's Bones: Multiplication and Long Division with More Fun, Less Pain (a Power Point presentation) (B) _How_to_Find_Your_Very_Own_Personal_Solution_for_Rubik's_Cube_ (a small book, with text diagrams) (3) Study the tutorials and items already in Wikiversity (I need a good remedial computer science course so that I can contribute interactive, animated computer graphics in compatible formats.) (4) Make a video game for primary students, so they can design and explore computer circuits. (5) Enroll "Simple Simon" (my guide on the guided tours :-) ) as a Wikiversity student in the sandbox. (6) Keep a journal -- _The_Last_B._S._History_Book_in_History_ (B. S. as in "Before the Singularity") After Simple Simon masters all Wikiversity courses, he will BE the singularity!
MY TAKE ON "THE CRISIS IN EDUCATION": In October, 1957, I was working on my homework in my room, listening to the three-tube super-regenerative receiver my father and I had built from a Knight kit. In 1960, most of the high school seniors in the state of Ohio were given a special science test. I have just recently understood the true nature of "the crisis in education". Only two students in the entire state of Ohio scored higher than a person with Asperger's Syndrome! I was that person.
Well, I nearly lost an hour's work again, so I think I should preview and save what I now have, while I can still see the "Save page" button. Working in a public library is inconvenient, subject to interruptions, but much better than not working at all!
Begin HOUR SIX -- Monday August 1, 2011 Looking for beginning of the sandbox: Left note "High hopes -- keep planning" -- a word of encouragement on User:Mu301Bot page November 2010. This bot rakes the sandbox; don't be alarmed when your stuff seems to disappear -- it should still be safe in the history files. Entry for 12 July 2009 -- "create page".
Found: info on Bots, some suggestions for finding and using source code. =End= HOUR SIX -- Monday August 1, 2011