Sunday, March 20, 2011

The country where blood is taught

As I was journeying through that country, I met an old man who told me of his home in a distant province.  In that land, they believe that certain diseases are dangerous ideas that flow not from one mind to another, but through the blood.  And just as in our own country we conspire to tell children stories so that when they are adults they will be able to recognize the signs of a widespread conspiracy, so too in that province they spread a harmless amount of diseased blood into their children to protect them against the full disease.  But he says that a certain part of the population has caught a disease of the mind which causes them to be frightened of this process, and so leave their children vulnerable. I suggested to him that the young children could be taught about the spread of disease in schools, so that they would be able to withstand the spread of the fear when it was carried to them as adults, an idea which had never occurred to him.

Monday, March 7, 2011

The origins of VX Modules in the 1700s

I've been trying to trace the origins of the theory of VX modules, given the obvious connection between VX experimenters and artificial creativity research. Take a look at the following graph (from Google's n-gram server, on the search term 'VX'):


Apparently the VX community was more active in the late 1700s than it is was as recently as the 1980s! If we take a look at some of the titles from that period, it's obvious that these are actually work with the foundations of geometric and analytic Froebinius encabulators and tetrodyne fluxions rather than what we would today consider to be directions of serious research (such as the ennervation of Mornington Crescents), but still, the topic was clearly leading to the modern approach:

A treatise on Fluxions: or, an introduction to mathematical philosophy

Sectionum conicarum elementa: novo methodo demonstrada

The Doctrine of Ultimators: containing a new acquisition to mathematical literature naturally resulting from the consideration of an equation as reducible from its variable to its ultimate state: Or a discovery...