Comment spam is really something! I have received spambot messages extolling my insight, articulation, and brilliance. Then they try to sell me the GUCCI LOUIS VUITTON ELECTRIC CIGARETTE ANTIDEPRESSANTS and I realize spambots talk like that to all the blogging girls. Despite feeling a bit cheapened by the experience, I still find some linguistic gems hidden in the broken, discordant and illogical messages.  Here are a couple of examples:

“… mimics the act of tobacco smoking from building a inhaling air supporting this real emotion.” No way!?  Not only do these e-cigs have “novelty, seasonings, and maybe overstated claims regarding safeness,” they build an inhaling air supporting real emotion!

Another spambot tells me that “Both girls and boys really feel the impression of just a moment’s pleasure, for the remainder of their lives.” This could have been the dark conclusion to an ad for condoms, or the happy conclusion to a dating site ad, but I think they were trying to peddle antidepressants. I don’t know about you, but a complete lack of clarity in any advertisement makes me want to approve their link as a comment on my blog & go to their site &  friend them on Facebook & follow them on Twitter me & invite them over for dinner!

Penrose tiling via Wikipedia

When not engaged with Philosophy of Mind, Penrose does math things.

When I’m not partaking of spammy goodness, I’m reading The Emperor’s New Mind by Roger Penrose, physicist.  Penrose takes a stance against proponents of strong artificial intelligence (AI) circa 1989. To oversimplify, strong AI holds that the act of performing an algorithm is synonymous with understanding. If a sufficiently complex algorithm could be created , and if there were computational machinery that could carry out the algorithm, strong AI would hold that the machine would experience an understanding indistinguishable from the understanding of a human mind carrying out the same algorithm. Penrose found this viewpoint to be absurd as well as dangerous, at least in the sense that it would distract research away from areas that might reveal something closer to the essential truth of mind. I’m only into the book about 40 very slowly read and very densely intellectual pages, but already I’m hooked. That’s a good thing, considering this is research for my next novel. I think that after finishing The Emperor’s New Mind, I’ll skip ahead a couple of decades in philosophical inquiry and read everything I can by Nick Bostrom and other members of the Future of Humanity Institute. Ray Kurtzweil, some robotics, a bit of William Gibson and I’ll be as ready as I can be to write. This is going to be fun!

I am also reading The Imaginings by Paul D. Dail. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but there are scenes that take place in the underground tunnels of a partially constructed, possibly cursed mansion  that combine psychological anxiety and good, old-fashioned scary. I haven’t joined GoodReads yet (shame on me, I know, but Facebook just about broke my spirit and made me wish I could write novels for a different species), but I plan to join and make a review of The Imaginings one of my two first reviews of indie horror. The other book I am going to review? The Well, by Peter Labrow. He manages to combine so many different types of scary without losing sight of the humanity of his characters.  I read (half of) another indie horror book by a big-name in the biz and that one didn’t come close to matching the complexity or creepiness of either The Imaginings or The Well. Yet another reminder that big sales don’t mean big time enjoyment for this humble reader.

I need to start updating my manuscript with the edits I got back from my efficient, friendly, and very professional copy editor. Why am I dragging my feet, ya’ll?

“The sky above the port was the color of television, tuned to a dead channel.”

– William Gibson, opening line of Neuromancer.

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