1. Failure and Beyond
The author (ATM) of
AI4U was an abject failure in life.
As a boy in the jungles of the Panama Canal Zone,
he discovered the seductive joys of exploration and
learning. If he had stuck with climbing the mango tree
and following the pathways of the leaf-cutter ants,
he would have been okay, but one day by the BOQ he
found an Army battery lying on the ground and he became
intrigued by the phenomenon of sparks coruscating from
wire to pole for no apparent reason that made any sense.
Returning to the United States, ATM experimented with
wires and batteries, light bulbs and switches, relays
and induction coils, radio receivers and transmitters.
Then the worst possible thing happened -- computers!
2. Science Fiction as Escape From Life
The escapist literature of comic books, fairy tales,
science fiction and spy novels rendered little Teddy's
deranged mind unfit for modern American life beneath
the wheel of the bourgeois rat race in a consumer society.
As he tried to build his own computer out of
electromechanical relays, books and movies about
artificial intelligence fried his brain by firing
his imagination. Sitting in catechism class at church,
ATM wondered where in the human brain was the ultimate
decision-maker for good and evil. If all action results
from the firing of nerve cells, what causes the firing?
We know what happens when a child asks too many questions.
Daydreaming, underachievement and immaturity result.
As our author ATM tried to keep one foot in the unreal
world of science fiction and the other foot grounded
in the real world of jobs and careers and mortgages,
a strange thing happened -- the ground shifted beneath
his feet, the goalposts got moved and his cheese was stolen.
After graduate school at U Cal Berkeley, ATM solved AI.
The Americans landed on the moon, personal computers
became ubiquitous, and science fiction swamped reality.
3. Enter the Internet
So ATM/Mentifex bought himself a Coleco ADAM and used its
300-baud modem to make his first Internet Usenet post in 1985.
Did the readers of AI netnews rush to embrace Mentifex AI
with open arms? Au contraire, mon frere! M*ntifex-bashing
became a favorite blood sport of the AI Establishment.
4. Banned in Bitland
Over time, Mentifex was banned or hounded out of many
islands in the clickstream of the Internet and the Web.
#ai chat wiki CogNews Everything2.com Generation5 Robots.Net SL4 Witch-hunt-pedia (Wikipedia)
5. Qui Vult Decipi, Decipiatur
It was always the half-educated and the half-savvy
who obstreperated most strenuously against Mentifex AI.
We don't want to call them half-wits, unless the shoe fits.
Typically they were people whose favorite reading was
Lord of the Rings (imdb LOTR), whose spelling was atrocious,
and wannabes who could not get their own AI project going
and were determined to wreck anybody else's AI start-up.
They tried to make it fashionable to deprecate Mentifex.
Instead of attacking ideas, they ranted ad hominem.
Insterad of welcoming another searcher along the path to
True AI, they tried to label ATM as a crank and crackpot.
In the annus mirabilis of 2006, ATM tumbled to the
disgusting, greedy reason behind the most vicious and most
persistent attacks against him, and why the shrill insults
grew louder and more vehement in direct proportion to his
success at creating free AI source code and free AI software.
The reason was a new breed of scam in the world, the Singularity
scam. Along with identity thieves and Internet phishers, there
was now an opportunity for unprincipled, stop-at-nothing scamsters
to solicit donations from the gullible in preparation for the
arrival of the Technological Singularity. A man could stand on
a freeway on-ramp with a money-bucket and a sign proclaiming that
the Singularity is near -- donate now to prevent a catastrophe.
Suddenly it all made $en$e to Mentifex. The reason why his
fiercest critics objected to his giving True AI away for free
was that it threatened their revenue stream of donations from
starry-eyed suckers who believed their vaporous talk of AI
progress and the need to pay for pre-Singularity precautions.
And, oh! it was a beautiful scam. You did not even need a college
education to take part in it and to rake in the donated dollars.
All you needed was to go around and call everyone but your own
fanboys a crackpot. You and your adoring (share-the-wealth) fanboys
were the one true (we are smart; you money-donors are stupid)
gang of experts with an exclusive vision of the artificial intelligence
that was going to come Real Soon Now if people donated enough money.
The bookies wept, the con men celebrated, and Carlo Ponzi rolled over.
6. A Tide in the Affairs of Men
There is a tide in the affairs of men,Mentifex (ATM) stood his AI ground and could not do otherwise.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
7. Nothing Succeeds Like Success
A funny thing happened on the way to the
Mentifex, the fizzled-out failure and butt of bigotry,
began to succeed at making waves in the tides of AI.
On 4 May 2006 the famous cyberpunk author
put a Mentifex link into his Wired blog for WIRED Magazine.
Hundreds of hits came in and hundreds of AI memes went out.
On 7 June 2006 there was an
AI breakthrough in the
Mind.Forth AI software. Suddenly the Forthmind could
follow a logical chain of associations and not spout
gibberish based on spurious associations.
On 6 July 2006
began sending thousands of visitors to a single Mentifex page with the title
Brain-Mind: Know Thyself! A Theory of Cognitivity for Artificial Intelligence.
On 30 Nov 2006 Prof.
Robert W. Jones wrote a scholarly review
of AI4U at the Amazon.com website.
Meanwhile, Frank J. Russo (FJR) released Frank's AI Mind at his
As a far better programmer than ATM, FJR took the AI Mind
one step beyond Mentifex Mind.Forth in gambit after gambit, such as
Elsewhere on the Internet, Christopher Mark Doyon (CMD) hosted
8. Sales History of AI4U
Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec 2002 +35 2003 +3 +7 +3 +3 +3 +7 +2 +4 +3 +3 +2 +5 2004 +4 +1 +3 +0 +1 +1 +0 +1 +0 +1 +2 +0 2005 +0 +0 +2 +3 +0 +1 +1 +0 +2 +2 +0 +0 2006 +0 +2 +2 +1 +1 +1 +1 +2 +2 +0 +1The AI4U FAQ links to a more complete Sales History of AI4U.
9. Future History of AI4U
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