December

So Thanksgiving was 6 days ago.

Before that…

Saturday night (that would be Nov. 20, I believe), I attended “On the Spot Improv”. A group of 7 or so members of the Fairfield improv team performed skits for the audience, having absolutely nothing scripted. This is rather difficult to believe, since it seemed like they’d rehearsed everything. They assured us that it was all spontaneous. It was hilarious. One particular scene (probably the most accurate term), involved the character Thor, who showed his friend how science operated. For example, the other viking mentioned how they pray to the gods for fire, and the gods grant them fire. Thor then points out that he had to physically rub the sticks together, and the friction combined with the heat, caused a spark which created fire which feeds on oxygen. It was funny because you don’t exactly expect a viking to be talking about how H2O freezes at a certain temperature, or how the solar system is heliocentric. The other guy had a very feminine sounding voice, which somehow added something to the scene.

Then it was Sunday, then Monday, and then on TUESDAY, I went home. 5  days later, it was 8:00pm, and I was back in my dorm room.

Some of my friends changed their hair color. I personally think they look ridiculous, so naturally I tell them they looks great.

My guitar has been fixed…so I play that now sometimes. I need to learn more songs….I should get on that.

Last night I went to something called “Socrates Café”, which is a small room in one of the buildings (this particular building is primarily for professors’ offices) where smart people come together to talk about things that smart people talk about. Myself included, there were 7 people in total. 3 of them were professors. There was a female professor to whom I didn’t get the chance to introduce myself, since she left early to ‘call her mother’. I did learn however that she used to be a computer programmer. I shook hands with Steve Bayne (I found his last name on the school’s website). The third professor, I actually thought was a student (since he looks like he’s 22 or so, except for the fact that he has graying hair), until my friend (who had encouraged me to come along to this thing in the first place) told me that he was a professor, since he’d mentioned teaching a class. I figured out that his name is Nikolai Trugushev, and I’m still not sure where or what he teaches exactly, though a website somewhere says he is a graduate student, and teaches philosophy, though fairfield.edu makes no mention of him that I can see. He talks with an interesting accent (since I assume he is either Russian, or from a country that borders Russia), and has an enormous vocabulary.

The topic of discussion for the evening (as we ate pizza, and grapes and strawberries, and drank apple cider and/or coke) was whether there would/could ever be machines that feel emotions like people do. Whether organic material is required for a sentient being to exist. We talked (actually I barely said anything at all) about hardware being the physical properties (like a body part, or a computer), and the software being information (that travels through a computer or a person’s mind). Then it got into how a being that feels emotions would have to exist in some kind of body. Nikolai gave the example of a human being whose software (mind, memories, etc.) was transferred into data on a computer. That person would only be able to insert/eject the CD-Rom disk tray; “You could say for example: ‘Yesterday I played frisbee.’ The computer couldn’t say that. The computer would only say something like: ‘I opened the disk-tray 5 times yesterday. The fourth time was pretty fun.’ You’d have to experience the physical world in order to live.” (That’s not a direct quote, but I think it’s pretty close.

Tonight there was a guest speaker, who was on death row for murder and armed robbery. He was born in Puerto-Rico, and was arrested in Florida, where he worked (it seemed from what he said that he was working outside, since he had been arrested while eating lunch in a tree). He spent 17 years of his life in prison, only to eventually be released after it was uncovered that he was actually innocent. He was difficult to understand at times, due to his accent (he learned English in prison, from another inmate). He was very enthusiastic, which was good.

 

And now…I have a physics test tomorrow, after peer editing an English essay…and in the meantime I have overdue work for German, not to mention a 5-7 page paper (in German) due Friday morning.

I think I may need to request some assistance from St. Rita.

 

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