Press "Enter" to skip to content

Posts tagged as “The Cats”

[twenty twenty-four day one four five]: so convenient

centaur 0

It's good to be home, but Loki sure doesn't make it convenient. Cat, I have work to do.

Still, I guess you're going to do you.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Loki, in my lap as I type this (likely because, right now, I'm not letting him sit on my recently-filled-in whiteboard desk) and Loki, eating with his feet in his food bowl, because ... ?????

[twenty twenty-four day one four oh]: this chair is mine now

taidoka 0

Brief placeholder I'm scheduling for tomorrow, in case we get caught up with Silicon Valley Open Studios stuff. But what it strikes me is how animals behave differently when we're not around. Case in point, Loki is pictured here, sitting in my rocking chair - which he rarely does if I'm present, either sitting on my lap, or sitting on the table. But never in the other rocking chair. I wonder why that is.

Or maybe it's Heisenberg's Cat Principle: if you observe a cat, you have disturbed it.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Loki, on MY rocking chair, disputing that "MY" part.

[twenty twenty-four day one three two]: what?!

centaur 0

There's an ongoing debate over whether human emotions are universal: I, like many researchers, think that there was solid work done by Ekman back in the day that demonstrated this pretty conclusively with tribes with little Western contact, but some people seem determined to try to pretend that evidence can be made not to exist once it's been collected, if you just argue loudly enough about how you think it's wrong.

(The evidence is wrong?)

Yet my cat can look surprised, or scared, or angry, or alarmed, or content, or curious. It's fairly well established that some emotions, like the self-conscious ones of shame or pride, have highly variable, culturally-determined expressions (if they have consistent expressions at all). But when animals very different from us can still communicate emotions, it's hard to believe none of it is universal.

(The evidence is wrong? What's wrong with you people?)

-the Centaur

P.S. If you subscribe to the anthropic fallacy fallacy, please do not bother to tell me that I'm falling into the anthropic fallacy, because you're the one trapped in a fallacy - sometimes surprise is just surprise, just like a heart is still a heart when that heart is found an animal, and not a "deceptively heart-like blood pump."

Pictured: Loki, saying, "What, you expect me to do something? I'm a cat. I was busy, sleeping!"

[twenty twenty-four day one three zero]: and then he rested

centaur 0

It's been a long day dealing with a whole sequence of guff, so here I present to you Loki, taking a nap after his hard work on reconciling large language models with classical symbolic artificial intelligence.

-the Centaur

P.S. The Kickstarter is almost there! https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/thinkinginkpress/the-neurodiversiverse-alien-encounters-a-sci-fi-anthology ... 94%, with ~3 days to go! Like, back and share!

[twenty twenty-four day one-oh-four]: he’s doing it again

centaur 0

Okay, it wasn't a fluke: Loki sought me out, meowed for attention, climbed up into my lap ... then moved to the nearby table and deliberately turned his back to me.

Now, it is true that he wanted more scritches, but just a little, and it was just as clear that he wanted his large primate to be near enough to protect him, but without a lot of interaction.

He is a weird little cat. He often meows that he wants something, but can't seem to walk in the direction of what he wants, and you need to trial-guess it by walking in several different directions until he follows.

He clearly wants something though ... he just can't make it clear.

What, you expected my behavior to make sense?

-the Centaur

Pictured: that guy, yes, that guy, rocking the golden hour.

[twenty twenty-four day one oh two]: sit close enough to ignore

centaur 0

Loki has asked me to pass on this public service announcement for cat partners everywhere: "Please, sit close enough that we may ignore you. We can't very well ignore you if you aren't there, now can we?" I suppose this is a security blanket thing, though later in the day he changed tactics on maintaining proximity of his human and went for "doing cute things, please pay attention to me."

I picked him up recently for one of the back-stretches he enjoys, and I swear he yawned when he did it.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Loki, trying to ignore me, but from a comfortably close distance, then attracting attention.

[twenty twenty-four day ninety]: how tribbles are made

centaur 0

So! You take one of those double-row brushes (see detail below) ...

... and apply it to one of these fuzzy creatures in shedding season (see detail below) ...

... and, violin, you get a tribble:

As far as I can tell, these artisan, hand-crafted tribbles are, unlike Dr. McCoy's version, not born pregnant.

If only most problems we face in this world could be solved as easily as "stop feeding the invasive species without natural predators." And, in fact, like not feeding the trolls, many of them can.

However, cat fuzz is not one of those problems. For decades, I put up with my pets getting horrible tangles and mats during shedding season, great lumpy wads which had to be cut or picked off - almost like tribbles.

But, when my wife and I got those double-pronged brushes and began brushing the cat every day, the mats went away. Though we do have now a tribble proliferation problem, we don't have unhappy cats.

Solving some problems requires disengaging the behavior that creates it (like passing on chips, margaritas and dessert for your problem waistline); others require active maintenance to prevent them from happening (like brushing for the problem of keeping your teeth).

What problem are you facing that would go away if you stop feeding it - or start brushing it?

-the Centaur

[twenty twenty-four day eighty-nine]: thank you, loki …

centaur 0

... your contributions to my productivity are invaluable.

I do not know how I could remember to get everything done without you.

-the Centaur

Pictured: my whiteboard desk, after Loki sat on it; and while I didn't catch him in the act this time, I have caught him doing it previously, and there we are.

[twenty twenty-four day eighty-eight]: master of all he surveys …

taidoka 0

... he's just going to survey it from the safety of the inside.

Lots of work on Embodied AI #5 and Clockwork Alchemy and the Neurodiversiverse, more tomorrow. Until then, please enjoy the above pictures of a cat.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Loki, who for some reason wants to look out the window on the opposite side of the room - perhaps because there's more activity out in the trees than in the little courtyard behind him. Also behind him, a sofa modified by my wife Sandi, and one of her paintings.

[twenty twenty-four day eighty-seven]: mathemagical

centaur 0

Apparently this wonderful phenomenon springs upon us, then is gone, almost entirely in the period when I am normally at GDC ... a transient frosting of beauty, dispersed by the wind almost as soon as it falls, like snow dissolved by rain ... but, for whatever reason, this year I got to see it. Cherry blossoms, I presume?

Even the cat stares in wonder.

-the Centaur

[twenty twenty-four day seventy-five]: i’m not your sphinx, man

centaur 0

Cats supposedly have brains the size of a large walnut, and are not supposed to be intelligent according to traditional anthropofallicists. But there's something weird about how Loki remains perfectly still ... right up until the point where you want to take a picture, at which point he'll roll over. Or how he'll pester you, right until you're done with a task, but when you are done and can attend to him, he'll walk away.

Almost like there's something devious going on in that aloof,yet needy little brain, some thought process like, I want you to pay attention to me, but I don't want you to think that I need it.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Loki, who looked just like a sphinx, until I pulled out my camera and he immediately rolled over.

[twenty twenty-four day seventy-four]: damn you google spotlight

centaur 0

Damn you, Google Spotlight: it's a nice-sounding feature to pop up images from the past, but there's always the chance that the person or thing you pop up will be gone, and you didn't think of that, did you?

I miss you, little guy.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Gabby. No offense to any other animal I've ever owned, but Gabby was my favorite pet.

[twenty twenty-four day fifty-two]: master of all he surveys

centaur 0

When we finally get superintelligence, I want it to explain to me what cats are thinking. Loki clearly wants something, but it isn't clear what it is. He wants your attention, he wants to go outside, he wants to go somewhere not too far from the house, but he doesn't seem satisfied with you just standing there, nor with you bending down to scratch him, nor with you going anywhere else.

What do you want, for me to just stand here, so you feel safe rolling in the dirt?

There's no pleasing some people.

-the Centaur

Pictured: Loki, in the external cat condo which we got as part of our successful "cat sitting solution".

[twenty twenty-four day forty-eight]: he haz a comfort

centaur 0

When it rains, it pours. I missed a few meetings last week due to work on the Neurodiversiverse - we were working through edits, and needed more time, and decided to extend our meeting, ultimately taking three and a half hours. But I had an afternoon meeting I was supposed to schedule - we hadn't put it on the calendar yet, and were going to schedule it over email after my Neurodiversiverse meeting. But since that scheduling hadn't happened yet, I didn't see it on my calendar when we were deciding to extend the NDV meeting, and since that meeting didn't end for several hours, I completely missed the window my colleague and I were planning to meet in.

What's worse, I forgot what evening of the week it was, and completely spaced on the Vestry (church board) meeting scheduled for that night. I've added a recurring meeting for that, but the damage is done - and cascading. Since I missed that meeting, I missed the discussion at the Vestry meeting of when we were supposed to meet with the bishop - a retreat that I just found out is scheduled in just thirty minutes, when I had already booked this time to work on Neurodiversiverse edits, which are time urgent.

Sometimes I think it would be easier to be a cat.

However, I feel the need to point out that our capabilities often exceed our estimation of them. I was wondering how I was going to get everything done. Well, now, I am still going to get everything done - I'm just, somehow, going to do more than I thought I was capable of. Funny how that happens. We often imagine that we have less resources available to us than we do - this is an adaptive self-defense mechanism that keeps us from burning out. But it can make us feel that we can't handle things - when we can.

-the Centaur

Pictured: a cat, in comfort. Actually Loki had a very terrible, no good, bad night as he wanted out around midnight, right when I went to bed, and was forced to sit on his warm heating pad, unable to get crunchies for SEVERAL HOURS while his human slept. Imagine the injustice! When FINALLY let in, Loki went to every bowl in the house in turn, sampling each one, before finally settling down to warm and fuzzy sleep.

[twenty twenty-four day forty-six]: so conveeenient

centaur 0

I do like the fact that Loki is spending more time in the library (especially while my wife is gone on a business trip, so he's been getting less attention due to having fewer attendants) but I sure hope that none of the things on my whiteboard desk were important TODOs, because they're TOSMEARS now.

-the Centaur

[twenty twenty-four day twenty-six]: make up your mind

centaur 0

Cat, when it's raining: "Let me out! Let me out! But not this door, it's wet. Let's try another door. And another! Or another! I gotta get out! Just hold the door open until the rain stops!"

Also cat, when it is nice and sunny: "Who cares about going outside? Ima gonna havva nap."

-the Centaur

Pictured: the cat-shaped void, Loki, actually using his void-colored cat tree for once. Image taken in infrared bands and color enhanced by NASA to show surface detail.

no, seriously, i can help

centaur 0

Yeah, right, buddy. You just want my dinner, after not eating yours.

Lots of news, much of it good - particularly, a new way to structure projects with a literature review, book document and manuscript doc. But workmen arrive in the AM, so you just get a picture of a cat.

-the Centaur

Pictured: He is determined.