Turing Machine

What is a Turing machine? “A Turing machine is an idealised computing device consisting of a read/write head (or ‘scanner’) with a paper tape passing through it. The tape is divided into squares, each square bearing a single symbol–‘0’ or ‘1’, for example. This tape is the machine’s general purpose storage medium, serving both as the vehicle for input and output and as a working memory for storing the results of intermediate steps of the computation.

The input that is inscribed on the tape before the computation starts must consist of a finite number of symbols. However, the tape is of unbounded length–for Turing’s aim was to show that there are tasks that these machines are unable to perform, even given unlimited working memory and unlimited time.”

Or read here:
You could say that the computer was invented twice – once by Charles Babbage and once by Alan Turing.
While Babbage’s machine was supposed to be a practical thing, Turing’s was just a machine of the mind. It was invented not to compute tables of numbers but to solve problems in logic and to probe the limits of computation and human thought. …
In Grammar and Torture we look at every computer science student’s nightmare – formal grammar – and meet the idea of a hierarchy of machines, ranging from the simple finite state machine to the Turing machine, which corresponds to different complexities of language, computer or human.
This is interesting but it also raises the question of what a Turing machine is and why did anyone ever bother to think up such an idea?
While a Turing machine does have connections with grammar and languages, it is so much more. But to start at the beginning…

There are some helpful illustrations in this explanation (click through to see them):

A Turing machine is a hypothetical machine thought of by the mathematician Alan Turing in 1936. Despite its simplicity, the machine can simulate ANY computer algorithm, no matter how complicated it is!

The Turing machine is hypothetical, an abstract mental model. But it turns out there exists something very much like a Turing machine in real life- it’s coded into our DNA.

“Had Turing known about DNA as a biological molecule
serving as memory in biological systems, carrying the instructions for life, he
may have grasped the remarkable similarity between DNA and his machine

The concept formed the basis of the digital computer and, as suggested
in [9], there is no better place in nature where a process similar to the way
Turing machines work can be found than in the unfolding of DNA transcription.
For DNA is a set of instructions contained in every living organism
empowering the organism to self-replicate. In fact it is today common, even
in textbooks, to consider DNA as the digital repository of the organism’s
development plan, and the organism’s development itself is not infrequently
thought of as a mechanical, computational process in biology.

(from this PDF file)

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Ordering Local Take-Out

At the end of the backroad to the school (or at the start, depending on perspective, I guess), there is a kerenderia. This is a special kind of restaurant- sort of open air, with a rotisserie grill for chicken, and pans of food sitting out at meal times. You can eat there or you can carry out. Carry out is dished into plastic bags (called cellophane bags here)

I got rice (the large center bag, IMO, enough rice for three people, but they meant it to serve one), a meat dish, two sweet bananas on a stick, and a muffin for just under 1.50, and the muffin was about .30 of that.

This is the meat dish. I don’t know what it’s called and I don’t know the cut, but I suspect intestine or stomach.  She told me it was karneng baboy, which is pork.

Sugary carmelized banana.

I(t’s not a normal banana.  It’s a bit drier and not as sweet as the regular lacatans, except for the added sweet to the outside.

The muffin, which she called a pie.  It was .30 (or 15 pesos). More about that below.

A friend asked me how I order when I don’t really speak Visaya and I don’t know what the food is.  Here’s what I told her.

First of all, Filipino people are the friendliest people in the world and really want you to be comfortable. Secondly, they speak a lot of English and understand quite a bit more. Thirdly, I have a few Visaya words, but this mainly only helps to make them even happier with me, you could get along without them. It’s 1 and 2 that would help you out the most. Fourthly, I don’t mind making mistakes and the culture is geared toward avoiding making anybody feel bad (this does have drawbacks in other situations, but it works okay here)

So I point and I say, “Unsa ba kini?” which is garbled ‘what’s this” and then they know enough English and I know enough Visaya that they can tell me the kind of meat it is, and at any rate, it’s nearly always going to be pork anyway. Although this time there was pancit (which I recognize), Tripe, which I know I don’t want, fish, and 3 kinds of soup which I didn’t want to carry back. So I went with this pork dish which was probably some kind of intestine or other organ judging by the small circles on the meat. I can understand the type of meat it is in Visaya, but the finer details of the other ingredients and the specific cut is mostly guess work.
Fifthly: It is a good thing that I have what one of my local friends calls a “Missionary stomach.”=)

So when I have gone down the row of pans and gotten some remote idea what’s going to be the main ingredient in each of them, I point and say kini, palihog (this, please), and hold up how many fingers I want it to serve (I get lunch for my husband, the Cherub, and myself).

This time the sales lady or owner  also told me she had some kind of pie. I didn’t understand her, except she was offering something extra, so I looked puzzled, she brought it out. It wasn’t pie- it looked sort of like a muffin. I can ask how much in visaya, so I did, and I went ahead and bought it because she was so sure I’d like it. I did. The inside was a kind of creamy coconut custard filling. I wish I had bought four so my husband and I could each have two. Instead I only bought one, so I ate it by myself.

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Ugliness in the news. Trigger Warnings everywhere.

How Obama’s policies fostered Libya’s expansion of chattel slavery for Black Africans:
“America’s first black president didn’t bring “Hope” to America, but he did bring slave auctions to Africa. After Obama “liberated” Libya for the Islamist rebels, Arab Muslims sell black slaves for a few hundred dollars at slave auctions.

While leftists tear down the statues of slave owners from centuries ago, it was the left that brought back the sale of black men as property.”

That isn’t even the worst of it. Read the whole thing.

10 rivers dump 95% of the world’s plastic waste into the ocean. Not one of them is in the west.

Allegations of sexual misconduct spread- John Lasseter of Pixar is one of the latest (I can’t keep up).

Democrat John Conyers accused of being a serial sexual harasser. In one case an employee says she was fired because she refused his constant unpleasant advances. She was given a secret payment in a settlement, using a process whereby Congress hides such payouts from taxpayers while using taxpayer funds to make the payouts. It’s a cesspool. Clean it up. Oh- also, Conyers inititally lied and said there was no payout. Then he had to backtrack and admit there was one, but he didn’t know about it. Not sure what his latest story is, but I don’t care, because I don’t believe him.
“The congressman, Michigan Rep. John Conyers, is described as a serial sexual harasser who would prey on his female staffers in sworn affidavits signed by four of his former staffers. BuzzFeed News first reported the bombshell allegations and accompanying settlement after right-wing blogger Mike Cernovich provided the website with the documents.

One former female employee filed a complaint with the Congressional Office Of Compliance in 2014, alleging that she was fired for rebuffing Conyers’ sexual advances. It was that employee who eventually received a $27,111.75 settlement in 2015, in exchange for a confidentiality agreement. The congressman did not admit to fault as part of the settlement agreement.”

Here’s the kind of thing the left and the media but I repeat myself has been hiding, ignoring, for the last 20 years:
“Former President Bill Clinton continues to remain silent about the 26 flights he took aboard convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein’s private jet, dubbed the “Lolita Express,” which reportedly offered underage girls to passengers to rape.

Fox News wrote in 2016 that the Lolita Express, a Boeing 727 jet, was “reportedly outfitted with a bed where passengers had group sex with young girls.”

Clinton flew on some trips where the flight logs showed only the first names of female passengers.

The Daily Caller News Foundation contacted the Clinton Presidential Library last week to obtain information about the former president’s relationship with billionaire Epstein, who in 2008 was convicted of soliciting sex from underage girls as young as 14….”

Cess pool.

Not just men. Boys in custody and the women who abuse them. If you ever want to get really depressed, read the ‘teach women not to rape threads at instapundit.

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Some Headlines

Conrad Black on Trump’s presidency thus far: “It is too early to predict whether he will be a successful president or not. But no one relying on the Canadian media would be aware that he has more than doubled the economic growth rate, reduced illegal immigration by about 80 per cent, withdrawn from the insane Paris Climate accord, helped add trillions to U.S. stock market values, created nearly two million new jobs, led the rout of ISIL, and gained full Chinese adherence to the unacceptability of North Korean nuclear military capability. He will probably pass the greatest tax cuts and reforms since Reagan, if not Lyndon Johnson, by Christmas, and may throw out the most unpopular feature of Obamacare, the coercive mandate, with it.”

The president doesn’t create jobs, but he does make it easier or harder for private industry to create jobs. I think Trump has done that. I also like his judicial picks, the fact that he does not send pallets of cash to terrorists or trade terrorists for known deserters and hold Rose Garden welcomes for known deserters. And he totally rocks at not being Hilary.

Eight women accuse Charlie Rose of groping them, parading naked in front of them, and other abuses. His nonapology says he apologizes for everything but he thought it was all mutual feelings. Some of those women were job applicants in their 20s. One of them was fired after she complained. Some of them complained to his executive producer. She shrugged and said that was just Charlie being Charlie. Boys will be boys, you know? She says she’s sorry about that now. Of course she is. She and Charlie got caught.

White House Correspondent Glenn Thrush is also being accused by a number of women. He also apologizes for everything but doesn’t remember anything the same way they do, but he’s getting help. He must have actually ticked off somebody on the left personally since it’s actually getting covered (the Vox author admits he made her angry). Thrush, btw, is the Politico reporter caught by wikileaks admitting he was a hack and sending his stories in to Clinton and Podesta for vetting. After he was exposed, the NTY hired him.

Reminder: This is how the left defended Clinton for having an affair with an intern young enough to be his daughter, a textbook abuse of power. Look at the excuses and defenses (they are disgusting). The media refused to honestly report the allegations of rape or the fact that he had to settle in the case that made it to court, where he assaulted a female employee, leaving her with bruises, and his use of troopers to procure women. It still does.
INcidentally, four more women have come forward with accusations against Bill Clinton.

He has a long, long history of sexual assault accusations- more than even I realized:
“Tomorrow, maybe Eileen Wellstone — who reportedly told police that Bill raped her in 1969 while he was at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar — finally speaks to the media. Her case reportedly reached the State Department. Tomorrow, maybe, Ronan Farrow calls up Robert Reich, or Strobe Talbott, or Clinton’s other notable Oxford classmates, and asks them what happened. Asks them why they never spoke up; why Bill left Oxford without his degree.”
The left has cherished him, enabled him, protected him (and, again, the literal lady killer Teddy Kennedy got a free pass for decades= the DNC played a 7 minute long tribute video of him as a woman’s rights champion!). You don’t get to pretend to be outraged now. This IS how you got Trump, and why you deserve him.

It’s not like the left has actually discovered it has principles about this. They never really cared about women- feminism is a tool to bludgeon others with, not something applied to one’s own. AFter all, they are still defending Al Franken, and misrepresenting the allegations against him (nearly everybody on the left leaves out the part where he forcibly stuffed his slimy tongue into a woman’s mouth after she had already told him she didn’t even want a kiss in the skit at all and wasn’t going to kiss him).
This is who he is. This is his sense of entitlement. It’s about power. And self-proclaimed feminists have allowed and protected Franken’s abuse of it. He has not admitted what he did, nor has he actually apologized for what he did.

Other news of interest:

Climate scientists have been grossly underestimating the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere by healthy wetlands. The models are wrong.

One border agent dead one wounded in attack in TX Big Bend park

Lois Lerner says if the details of what she illegally did to taxpayers ever become known to taxpayers she will face death threats.

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Children Want to Learn

Part One Here

Children need knowledge, ideas to feed their minds the same way they need milk and later solid foods. They hunger for knowledge. The mind needs regular, healthy meals. Children are born loving to learn. Do you doubt this?

Has anybody ever had to teach a normal child to ask why? Do we imagine that they only started wondering why once they had the word for it? Isn’t it more likely that they have been hungering to learn and find out, and this is why one of their earliest words is the abstract “Why?”

We need to feed these hungry minds.
We do this through ideas, not mere naked facts without context. The goal is knowledge. child needs knowledge just as much as he needs food.
He already has:
The desire for knowledge (curiosity).
The ability to take in knowledge by paying attention.
As much imagination, reflection, judgment, etc. as he needs to deal with knowledge, without the need for outside props.
Natural, inborn interest in all the kinds of knowledge that he’ll need as a human being.
The ability to retain and articulate that knowledge, and assimilate what he needs

Knowledge is the sole concern of education proper, as distinguished from training, games, gimmicks, and lists of facts. We are reaching children’s minds and hearts, not merely helping them memorize. And that *knowledge* is not merely utilitarian or materialistic, but spiritual.

You and your children are learning for the love of knowledge. When that is not your goal or philosophy than you will be using other tools, such as bribes, contests, material rewards, prizes, games, praise, appeals to vanity, scores, grades, stickers, charts, and other gimmicks. When you use these, you communicate that knowledge itself is not a charming enough goal.

All these things can be stumbling blocks and distract from the knowledge itself. It’s like pouring sugar in a drink to get kids to drink it, and they no longer drink plain water because they are thirsty and water is good and refreshing, but because they crave sweets- and they have lost their taste for water. When we do this we not only spoil their taste for knowledge, but we communicate that learning and knowledge are so unpalatable that it had to be sugarcoated to be taken.

That’s why it’s important to think through what you believe about education, how children learn, and about the children themselves. If you don’t have a pretty good idea what your goals and beliefs are, you stand at risk of choosing methods that at best clash, at worst, undermine your goal.

What is knowledge? What do we mean by ideas?

More later.

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