My COVID quarantine might continue this week. The take-home instructions from my antibody treatment say to self-isolate until my symptoms have been gone for 24 hours. So I spent last week waiting for my cough to disappear, remembering that in the past my coughs have lasted weeks—a depressing thought. I also took more naps than I wanted, even though I was generally less tired. Toward the end of the week the cough was starting to subside. But Saturday I took another at-home COVID test, and it was still positive. Coughing with COVID doesn’t sound like a good condition to be out and about in. So Monday I’ll work from home again and ask the doctor what she thinks.
In between naps I brainstormed a little more on my productivity system. I’m impatient to get somewhere with the updates, so I’m going to try to wrap up the assessment phase this week and come up with some plans.
The Handbook of Knowledge Representation felt like an invitation to work on my modeling tool. It covers a wide range of fundamental modeling topics—logic, description, time, space, physics, and agents—and it showed me that there’s lots of existing work to draw on. I was especially intrigued that it gave a name, qualitative modeling, to one of my central concerns: formalizing the informal reasoning humans normally do. It was also helpful to learn that one of the main tools I want to explore, the Semantic Web, isn’t just an implementation of a description logic; it addresses the additional question, typically ignored in knowledge representation, of how to reason with your model when it doesn’t make up a tidy, complete, consistent package. And some of the book’s topics offer frameworks that seem useful to programming in general, not just AI, such as knowledge engineering, model-based problem solving, and even automated planning.
🙂 for Rachel, 😕 for the tough issues
Blowout by Rachel Maddow is an engaging tour through the shady history of the oil and gas industry, with a focus on Oklahoma and Russia. The audiobook is read by the author, so it’s like listening to a very long episode of her show. Two points stand out for me: (1) Russia’s current invasion of Ukraine is practically a repeat of the last one, except that this time Ukraine and the West were prepared. And (2) the case of Oklahoma shows that public pressure really can make a difference.
I donated to a fellow chronic illness sufferer. A streamer I’ve followed for several years has struggled with severe pain in his ribs for much of that time, and his situation has become difficult enough that he’s asking for help. Here’s his GoFundMe if you’d like to know more.