Man, I'm dying here.
Chris McInstry - Hero against Fraud
Man, I'm dying here.
Ah well, same difference.
It's too hard to get past the broken grammar. I'm tolerant here, not least because of my own wayward typing, but that's because there's no review and edit process here. On his own blog you'd expect him to at least attempt some form of Standard English.
Muppet, you are comical.
But your implication that I am a fraud, is offensive and without merit.
My theory that mind is a maximum hypersurface, is a theory, under test by competentent scientists. There is no comaprison between my theoretical work and Nelson Jiménez Beriain extremely medically dangerous fraud.
But again Muppet, thanks for paying such close attention to my writings and for the traffic. You're casuing a little spike in my blog again.
Simon, I wrote very quickly and the whole entry will be rewritten. What was important to me was that Nelson Jiménez Beriain name be indexed by google as soon as possible. I will return and fix it over then next couple of days, after which I will translate it to Spanish where it can do some good.
How can I resist viewing your blog every week or so? I have it in my list of bookmarks, among the webcomics I like to read. I particularly enjoy a good laugh on Mondays, and so you are in the Monday list along with the rest of the jokes.
Then write slowly, engage the editor whilst typing, that way you end up writing less and meaning more.
Don't tell me how to write mophead. Fast is important to me.
Here is the disclaimer I put up on the entry you linked to, for for people who can't stand to see a work in progress without some handholding:
Editorial note: This entry was written very quickly is is full of the kind of errors you can expect by such a rapid first impression. But I will fix it. I write like I paint: Globally and in layers. This is the first layer - the "underwriting" of somehting that will be more coherent soon.
Sorry Simon. I didn't mean to call you a mophead.
" Sorry Simon. I didn't mean to call you a mophead."
Umm, then what exactly did you mean when you called him a mophead?
I thought I was replying to muppet not simon.
"[My name is Chris, and] I believe mind to be a fractal pattern on the surface of a seven-dimensional hypersphere" could be the opening statement made at a meeting of Crazy Guys Anonymous, but I particularly like the way he can't even spell "fascinated" correctly in his profile.
Anyway, although Chris may not be dangerous in the same sense as the quack he's moaning about, he hardly seems to be in a position to criticise anyone for using technical sounding nonsense to peddle a ridiculous and fraudulent idea. :D
(Also, if you sort of squint a bit he bears a passing resemblance to muppet...)
Oh screw off Mat, you again know not of what you speak.
You forget, I work with MIT, Cornell and I also operated a billion dollar telescope for four years. I also have more than 20 years of near daily interaction with the design and coding of extremly complex software, some of when was used in the construction of Candu Nuclear Reactor systems.
The fact that I think the brain to be a dynamic system of a specific dimensionaly, though it seems to freak you out, has no connection with my technical competence.
The theory, is being tested. I am working with Michael Spivey of Cornell now. He agrees that mind is a high-dimensional trajectory and like my specific geometry.
You, on the otherhand, have no idea what you are objecting to you. You are not qualified to judge.
Your objection to me, is a projection of your own limitations onto me. Cut it out.
Your competence isn't in question, though your sanity is. You're like an idiot savant in reverse: competent in all areas excepting your focus.
Muppet, my sanity is fine.
I hold down a full time job. I have a girlfriend and I have a five year-old son. I paint and study consciousness at the University of Arizona with Bernard Baars.
Insane people cannot do these things.
And, insane people don't get the keys to billion dollar telescopes. In fact, there is a great deal of psychological screaning done before anyone gets near the controls of the VLT. I obviously passed all the screaning tests.
You're just full of shit, is all.
What sort of damage could one do with a billion dollar telescope, out of curiousity? Oggle the neighbourhood apartment building's windows?
I just don't get the operated telescope=not insane thing. Do you have a "not insane" badge or certification to prove this?
No, he just likes to bring it up every chance he gets, so a discussion of his sanity is as good a place as any.
It's really a shame that your son will grow up so fucked up, thanks to your influence, but what's just one more anyway? What will be, will be.
Plenty of batshit crazy people have both families and jobs, but if you like to think that your ability to maintain a reasonably normal life (according to you, anyway) not only makes you utterly sane and competent but also makes your mindpixel project anything more than ridiculous, then have at it. We all have to sleep at night, after all.
Like I said you need to be screened to get the controls of $1 billion of the most advanced optical equipment ever manufactured. If I was insane, I could break it. That would be bad and it would upset a very many people. Hell, if I was just a little bit technically incompetent, never mind insane, I could break it.
My screening consisted of an interview with six people, including the director of the observatory, the head of science operations and the designer of the telescope systems in addition to human resources people. After the intense interview, I had to have full medial and psycholocal evaluations. The hiring process took seven months.
I don't know, Chris. I think you'll have to provide a bit more info to assure us of your sanity. Can you stream your consciousness onto a flash drive or the like and possibly send it to us for analysis?
Muppet. You're a complete idiot. Have you ever left your home town? Who are you? How do you connect to anything in the real world? I am a real person with a real history. A complex history whith some very interesting extremes. You as far as I can tell are nothing more than a hostile bot.
Not to mention, Chrissy sweetie, I see no evidence of your supposed involvement with either MIT or Cornell.
Do you mean, as I suspect, that you have duped some second year student at one or both into using his lab time to perpetuate your farce, which allows you to make the claim "I work with MIT/Cornell Researchers"? That seems to be the likely case here. You certainly don't miss an opportunity to name drop like a fiend, which is a darned good litmus test for a con artist.
Why don't you:
a) explain in plain English what your system does, leaving Geordi LaForce and Scotty out of it?
b) provide any sort of evidence whatsoever that you're doing any more with MIT or Cornell or any other major university than corrupting their undergraduate students?
No, I have decided muppet is right. I am insane.
I am insane to be typing here when I have work to do.
I'd love to have some references to the Candu program, being a Canadian and all, with contacts at AECL.
Chris does sound like a pretty interesting guy, and I respect that he humours us here at ?off, and takes the punches but keeps standing.
OH NO IT APPEARS THAT I HAVE STRUCK A NERVE!! I'm on to something with the undergrad student hypothesis, I suspect.
He's simply relentless as any obsessed fanatic is, and aside from that he enjoys all the Google hits that he generates on his name by posting incessantly anywhere that he can get people to have a discussion with him online. It has nothing to do with humor, sportsmanship, or amiability.
That's not to say Michael Spivey isn't himself insane... He is a psychology professor, after all.
Mark where on that page does it note that he has anything to do with the mindpixel project? I must be dense.
Nothing, but it does make your 'is an undergrad' theory a little weaker.
This thread rapidly unravelled whilst I was roasting chicken.
On a personal note, I'd quite like to be a mop head, or have a mop head, oh to have a thick and curly barnet again.
Other than that Mr McKinstry bears the hallmark of one whose brain runs faster than its ability to communicate, even with itself.
This syndrome typically leads to boil the ocean theorising, paranoia and a prediliction to either pernod, ginseng, mescaline or some other similar substance with a strange yet fruitful name urgent with the spice of alchemical husbandry.
Ok. One last thing just to defend my honor before I go:
Here's proof of my MIT connection:
And as for me working with Spivey and him liking my 7d maximum hypersurface, it's not public knowledge. The only reference to it is in my blog. But, it is all true.
Spivey and I are doing an experiment together - the pilot of which is already done. Spivey was crunching the data over the weekend. But I have not heard from him yet today.
Ok. Now I really have to finish my budget. No more internet today.
Insane people can be fully functional. We only notice them when something falls apart.
I haven't looked at the theory, although I understand why maximized surface area is important. It just seems that since we have proven neurons are the transmitters, if you had extra-dimensional assistance you should be able to see it using a chimp brain, some electrodes, and a hacksaw - some neurons shouldn't connect locally (their connection would be extra-dimensional) Tracing the stimulation routes should show it.
I am not qualified to say if you are right or wrong though. Although if you think operating a telescope gives you license to make the judgement, you are probably insane.
"This syndrome typically leads to boil the ocean theorising, paranoia and a prediliction to either pernod, ginseng, mescaline or some other similar substance with a strange yet fruitful name urgent with the spice of alchemical husbandry."
Please put the above on the sidebar. Please.
"A fruitful name urgent with the spice of alchemical husbandry" indeed. What a lovely phrase.
"You forget, I work with MIT, Cornell and I also operated a billion dollar telescope for four years."
And I've worked with IBM, the MoD and Rutherford Labs, and operated supercomputers. The phrase BFD springs to mind...
"I also have more than 20 years of near daily interaction with the design and coding of extremly complex software, some of when was used in the construction of Candu Nuclear Reactor systems."
Ditto, although not the CNR part. Again, this is related to anything how? I can't imagine that the software for a nuclear reactor tecahes you anything about AI, so as relevant experience goes it's a bit of a non-starter.
"The fact that I think the brain to be a dynamic system of a specific dimensionaly, though it seems to freak you out, has no connection with my technical competence."
It doesn't "freak me out", it just sounds like one of those impressive-yet-meaningless statements. The brain is demonstrably a three-dimensional construct -- you're confusing it with "mind", and saying mind *is* a seven-dimensional system is again, meaningless. Perhaps it can be represented in seven dimensions, but as it's an artifact of a biom-electrical system and not an actual *thing* it has no dimensions at all. It's like saying "beauty is a nine-dimensional torus" or "stupidity is a Klein bottle" -- it means nothing at all.
"The theory, is being tested. I am working with Michael Spivey of Cornell now. He agrees that mind is a high-dimensional trajectory and like my specific geometry."
And Spivey agrees with me that "thought processes can be modelled as etc." not that they *are* trajectories. You seem to be confusing a convenient mathematical description of a process with "the process". (As with any of the other stuff you've written that I've seen, you're severely hampering yourself by your use of strange or vague language.)
"You, on the otherhand, have no idea what you are objecting to you. You are not qualified to judge."
Says you. From where I'm sitting you're a crackpot who says a lot of stuff but seems to not actually understand word one of it; that whole bit about doing a couple of Google queries and averaging the numbers proving that your theory was sound made no sense at all, for example.
"Your objection to me, is a projection of your own limitations onto me. Cut it out."
Wrong on two counts. The first (and fundamental) flaw in that statement is that I have no objection to you. I think you're a bit mad, but that's not an objection. The second reason is that you talk a lot, drop plenty of names, and make a variety of strange claims, yet your Mindpixel site contains pretty much *no* information, and you consistently make claims that you seem unwilling or unable to back up when pressed for detail, resorting instead to claiming that it's *our* problem we don't "understand" you.
I've done a small amount of AI work in limited-domain NLPs and inference engines for data mining applications, so I have a reasonable grasp of the subject. I find your claims that what is essentially a gigantic list of axioms will somehow "understand" the human condition to be patently absurd, and at best you're going to end up with an unreliable system to automate basic reasoning; at worst you're just going to have the world's most useless encyclopedia.
Your ability to use long words does not impress me as it seems you don't really understand what you *mean* by those words. Your credentials are irrelevant. I can find no reference anywhere to your "work" with Spivey, other than mentions of emails between the pair of you on your blog. You have the gall to compare yourself with Einstein. You always respond to specific criticisms of aspects of your work in the same way dowsers, astrologers, and psychics do -- i.e. by failing to answer the criticism and resorting to blaming the questions on the limitations of the person asking them.
Still, it's all harmless entertainment I suppose...
"Here's proof of my MIT connection:"
To sumarise the article: MIT decided to do a bit of "database trading" with Chris; MIT and Chris both admitted they were doomed to failure, MIT criticised Chris and said his bunch of facts would never lead to AI, Chris criticised MIT's project and claimed he'd been there done that six years ago, and that was it.
Crap. You guys are interfering with me finishing my budget. Okay. Last post today. I promise. If it was not for the big traffic spike this thread is causing on my site, I would not bother with what I am about to write.
Mat. You typed too much for me to even read in the time I have. I saw a sentence about misuse of trajectories and that is all I am going to respond to and I will do so with a quote of Spivey:
"For decades, the cognitive and neural sciences have treated mental processes as though they involved passing discrete packets of information in a strictly feed-forward fashion from one cognitive module to the next or in a string of individuated binary symbols -- like a digital computer. More recently, however, a growing number of studies, such as ours, support dynamical-systems approaches to the mind. In this model, perception and cognition are mathematically described as a continuous trajectory through a high-dimensional mental space; the neural activation patterns flow back and forth to produce nonlinear, self-organized, emergent properties -- like a biological organism."
That quote (which I've already read) quite explicitly states that it is a *model*, not that the mind *is* a bunch of trajectories in multi-dimensional space. "Mind" is, like I said, an artifact of a bioelectrical process running in a three-dimensional substrate, and is *not* *actually* *seven* *dimensional*. It's like Feynman diagrams -- they're just a model for working out QED interactions, and ARE NOT a direct representation of the interactions.
And I'm sorry to be eating in to your precious time, but if at some point you could fit it into your hectic schedule and actually read what I've written you may be better placed to make observations or rebuttals to my issues with your work. (Not that me not agreeing with you is significant in any way -- after all, I've never operated a telescope so what could I possibly know about AI? :)
From one of the links about the project
"Everyone who submits enough valid mindpixels will be given shares in any company that emerges out of the research project"
muppet/Aaron - create a usercode at www.mindpixel.com and enter whatever suits. Not only do you get the pleasure of corrupting Chris's data, but in the event that this turns out to be a commercial success, it could make you rich.
Umm, Chris? Finish your budget. We cannot stop you from doing anything. Get off the Web and finish your budget.
Your last post basically validated everything Matt had said. You look like a charlatan. You use language like a charlatan. If taken as a charlatan, your outrageous use of language can be entertaining. But none of that should matter.
It is irrelevant if some group of Forum-lurkers thinks you're a charlatan -- go do your stuff.
Sadly, every time you submit one you have to go through the tedious process of answering 20 fatuous true/false questions, most of which have no definite answer, relying on additional context before they're meaningful. Also, not all submissions seem to count; I tried "Is Chris McKinstry a charlatan" and it disappeared into the ether. ("Is GAC a waste of time?" *was* acceptable, though. :D)
Also, there's no information whatsoever on the project other than a vague "this is an AI project" blurb; the only reason I signed up was in the vague hope of getting some concrete information that I could fiddle with, but there's bugger all there. Cyc, on the other hand, has a public server where you can try out the (somewhat complicated) system, gives a lot of detailed information on what it is, what is hoped to be gained, how it works, and so forth.
I think the answer to: Is Chris McKinstry a charlatan is:
>I am a real person with a real history. A complex history with some very interesting extremes. You as far as I can tell are nothing more than a hostile bot.
Not the way you write. You, Chris, come across more like a hostile bot than even our regularily prickly muppet. The big buzzword loaded sentences you write are surprisingly content-free. Which is why you reacted so vigorously towards NJB: you saw your reflection and flew apart. Shakepeare put it well when he wrote "methinks the lady dost protest too much."
After all, why do you camp on your site referrer logs so much that you pounce over here to urinate all over our threads. If you had real work to do, you'd be doing it. Spending so much time to vociferously protest muppet strongly implies that you lack anything useful to do.
+++If it was not for the big traffic spike this thread is causing on my site, I would not bother with what I am about to write.+++
I do enjoy the fact that he continually asserts that we are beneath his notice except as lab animals, yet continues to debate us every time we demonstrate that he's a nincompoop. He just can't bear the idea of a forum thread discussing what a nutter he is being allowed to remain on the internet without his constant rebuttals thrown in (which serve only to indict him further, which is hilarious).
Although I do have to thank Chrissy for bringing Mat Hall and I together in the sort of fellowship that men enjoy when confronted with a common enemy (common annoyance?). Usually we're nearly diametrically opposed, and such a collaborative effort on our parts would have been utterly impossible without Chris' careful assistance.
"He agrees that mind is a high-dimensional trajectory and like my specific geometry. "
Sorry for the late entrance into this thread, but does anyone else look at Chris' quotes and think about the sentences you see at the bottom of spam? The same messages that are simply created by random number generators picking words out of the dictionary and put together into quasi-sentences.
What a nutjob. Thanks for keeping on top of him Muppet.
Chris McKinstry Spam:
Is your penis a semantically null query? Is it simply a holostic shadow of it's formal self? Are your dates more anti-proposition than proposition? Then you need my probabilistc human proposition evaluator -- it actually works! With an average of 20 human evaluations to create the semantic coherence measure, your penis will become a continuous response hypersurface that works much better! Just allow me to extract a high resolution semantic spectrum from your wallet and you'll see the amazing symmetry!
"Usually we're nearly diametrically opposed, and such a collaborative effort on our parts would have been utterly impossible without Chris' careful assistance."
It is quite unusual we agree on anything; it's happened once or twice before, although I forget the details, and may even have imagined it. But yes, Chris makes us forget all our differences and fight together against our common enemy. (The Judean People's Front? No, the *Romans*!) Of course when he wanders off to concoct another set of jargon-heavy meaning-free sentences it's back to business as usual, but even a temporary truce is a start. :)
Actually it seems that the only thing *everyone* on ?off has ever agreed on is that CMcK is some kind of crazy. I've never been a great believer in the "1,000,000,000 Chinese people can't be wrong" type of justification for any kind of position, but "a dozen or so people who never ever agree on anything else can't be wrong" may turn out to have some merit... :P
I can almost make out his meaning some times, but there seems to be such an urgent need to sound complicated and smart that it completely drowns out any sense.
If you can't express it clearly, you are not thinking it clearly.
And the constant "appeal to authority" argumentation really bangs the nail into his cofin. If he doesn't have better arguments than what he did last year, he does not have any arguments.
Ok. I'm taking a break from my budget while I burn Fedora Core 4 ISOs to cd...I am back because the blog entry that Muppet jumped on is actually important, and I wish to redirect this thread to that issue.
Take a look at this:
Now, this is pure fraud.
My hypergeometric hypothesis is a harmless hypothesis. You can agree or disagree as you will. But what the guys I blogged about are doing must be stopped. They are hurting people.
Ok. The last CD is verifying, gotta go.
"My hypergeometric hypothesis is a harmless hypothesis."
Say that 10 times fast.
Ahh, I think I get it. Not content to rest on his laurels as a harmless theoritician, Chris has now gotten a new mission -- to debunk harmful practitioners.
I suppose I can honor his mission. He still has a credibility problem, though.
A graduate student at the "MIT media lab" thought that our friend Chris had a neat idea.
Amusingly, the description of Chris's amazing idea sounds suspiciously like someone's been working on melding Prolog and Wikipaedia.
On the mad-scientist scale, this just doesn't look good when compared to creating cyborgs or irradiating a gekko in order to create a race of giant mutant dinosaurs to take over the world.
I'm seriously dissapointed.
"Here's proof of my MIT connection"
When you say there's proof, there should at least really be proof. All the MIT guy said was (paraphrasing) "We like that he managed to get a huge database of information, and we'd love to get our hands on it. (reading between the lines) I talked to him, and (reading betweent he lines) he's just a little bit nuts. It's too bad his project is doomed to fail."
That article was written in 2000. What's happened between then and now, Chris?
Oops, I should really stop going to do something else & coming back to finish my post. I end up repeating myself when I do that. It's too bad I do something else and then come back to my post, I end up repeating myself when I do that.
And what's really telling is that, according to Wired, what Chris gets from the deal is "the blessing of academia." Now, Wired wouldn't come up with that on it's own, that came out of an interview with Chris. Chris has been desperately trying to get some sort of academic approval for 5 years now. We already know that he equates hits with interest, so I had assumed his academic ties were equally weak, and this sort of proves it.
PS - it's not that hard to get written up in Wired. I did it too...
"My hypergeometric hypothesis is a harmless hypothesis."
Is this halliteration?
August 23rd, 2005
No, it's not hard to get written up in Wired. It's a little harder to make the New York Times. A little harder still to make Time magazine. I've done both in addition to wired with the same story. And that's the point - that the MIT Media Lab liked my idea enough to work with me. And the same goes for Michael Spivey at Cornell. Neither institution would do this if there was not merit in my work.
And, all you guys with wired articles, fork over the urls, and lets see just how much you there is in them.
And does anyone else have a Cringely? I have a Cringely - with my name in the title, btw. Very hard to get even with out the personalized title. I am willing to bet in fact, that zero of you have Cringelies.
Cringely is a well-documented fraud who made demonstrably false claims about his past academic achievements -- he claimed to have a PhD from Stanford. I'd avoid citing him as a reference if I were you...
Plus, of course, he's just a pundit, and (like any tech journalist who tries to make predictions about the future based on current research) gets excited about all manner of doomed-to-failure ideas.
Oh, and here's MarkTAW's Wired article:
Sorry Mat, Cringley is read by everyone that counts. After the article ran, I got calls from every major news agency in the world. And email too. My favorite was the one from some guy named Tim who began his email with the line "I'm the guy that publishes the animal books..."
Ok so Mark can play with urls. Very nice.
But again, the point was not who can get their name in wired. But, that MIT was working with me, which was doubted by Muppet.
I still think "working with MIT" is a bit of a misleading claim. You exchanged a bit of data, called each other's work worthless or dated, and that seems to be the extent of the collaboration. He was also only a grad student at MIT, which makes it even less like "working with MIT". Heck, if that qualifies as working with someone then I've worked with loads of top names like CERN, the IAEA, the UK Government, Cornell, Harvard, Berkeley, Linus Torvalds, Jay Miner, John Carmack, Ed Felten, and your buddy Cringely...
Don't like the word worked? Ok, let's try some different language and let's take it from someone other than me:
"Now, it seems that the academy is changing its tune, as no less venerable an institution than MIT's Media Lab has decided to collaborate with McKinstry."
Get used to phrases like this. More are in the pipeline.
I don't care what it says, swapping a couple of databases and then bitching at each other does not a collaboration make. And did anything come out of this soi disant collaboration other than you and the other dude having a database pissing contest>