Free will and decision making

The TV series, “Lost”, is very interesting (for me). In the season 5, the main characters were time travelling to the past. And the story said, whatever they did, they will not change the history. Right, it is same to my personal concept about time travelling. Because I personally do not believe the existence of parallel universe.

But, in the episode “The Variable”, the story changes my concept. A main character said to another, we are variables, we have free wills, we have reasoning, we can make decision. That is why, in the episode, they want to change the history. If time travelling to the past really happened in our world, can we change the history?

Right, the free will is something so special. It is our free wills that let us make our decisions. We can have logical thinking and reasoning, but our free wills let us make our decisions which might against our logical reasoning. This make me recall a story in the bible.

The prophet Jeremiah warned the king Zedekiah to obey what God had commanded, otherwise the town will be burnt. At the same time, the prophet Jeremiah had already visioned the town will be burnt. However, king Zedekiah was still given the choice to obey in order to avoid the town to be burnt. In my opinion, we have the free wills to make the decision. This indicated that, the king could make the decision to obey so that the town will not be burnt. However, the vision which the prophet seen came true at the end, because the king chose the other one.

Besides that, Catholics venerate Blessed Virgin Mary, this is because of her free will during Annunciation. Because, she has the free will, she can make decision, she could say “Yes” or “No” when St Gabriel talked to her. If she said “No”, what would happened today? And Jesus, true God and true Man. Since He is Man, He must have the free will. That is why His suffering is so meaningful for Christian. Because He has his own will, but He chose to fulfil the Will of the Father.

[The above is only my personal opinion.]

Creativity and computer

I am not a creative person. But doing programming lets me think how to become a creative person.

We can create a computer with integrating AI (Artificial Intelligence). A low level AI computer will produce a simple pattern, which can be easily learnt by human. A higher level AI will have a more complex pattern. Whatever it is, there is a pattern in an AI. This is because the pattern is programmed by the programmer.

For a simple pattern, it is a simple formula. When the pattern is complex, there is a complex formula or consisting of a lot of formulas. Whatever it is, there are formulas which the computer follows.

Thus, for a computer to become creative, the computer must not follow the formula, or pattern. The formula is based on logic, thus the computer must not follow the logic. But this doesn’t mean that, the computer needs to negate everything, because negation is still a logic.

Thus, to make the computer out of logic, that means the computer should not base on the internal rules (the formulas). That is why, randomness is important. To create a random number, we often use the time seed. This is because only the time is always running, the time is always different. And only using the random, the computer can produce something which is unpredictable, outside the rules. The random is the outer factor which affects the logical processing of the computer.

However, time seed will only produce a random number. The random number is only a number for the computer. Within the computer, it also needs to interpret the random number as an input. Then, translating the random number to something significant as the output. Thus, there must be another rule to interpret the random input for the computer.

Another rule is used, this is because a computer cannot create anything base on a random input. For example, a computer will print “a” each second. Because of the random input, the computer can print other characters instead of “a”. However, the computer can only print the characters that are already programmed within the computer. The computer cannot create new character by itself. (Machine learning might help the computer generate new character, but machine learning itself is another rule.) Thus, rule is always needed. But the factor (or input) can be either internal or external.

Similarly, a human to become creative, he or she must not follow the rules. He or she needs a random input. A random input can be anything around us. A random input can be a whim go through our mind. However, sometimes there are a lot of random input, we still cannot become creative. This is because we do not have the rule to interpret the random input.

Maybe, a creative person, they have their creative rule, which we still not yet understand. That is why we cannot create a creative program.

Worm:Win32/Conficker.C again

Helping another friend, to fix the same virus infection, Worm:Win32/Conficker.C. But this time, the situation is different.

Doing the same procedures like last time. But, during the scanning in safe mode, the computer suddenly turned off. Then I tried to restart. When log in to Windows, suddenly, “blue screen of death” come out, and the computer restarted. So, could not log in to Windows anymore.

SystemRescueCD, my favourite. Use it in order to backup the data from C: drive. Then, using the ntfs-3g to mount the D: drive, found a message something like:

The disk contains an unclean file system(0,0). The file system wasn’t safely closed by Windows. Fixing.

After copying the important data from C: to D:, I guessed Windows could not be logged in might because of improper shutdown. Therefore, I tried to use ntfs-3g to mount the C: drive, in order to get the message above.

Right, the message was displayed for C: drive.

Now, restart the computer. YEAH! No more problem log in to Windows. Problem solved.

Then, it was possible that the safe mode will cause the computer shutdown at certain time. So, without using safe mode, Malicious Software Removal Tool was used to remove the virus. Success!