"Comment on this post. I will choose seven interests from your profile and you will explain what they mean and why you are interested in them. Post your this along with your answers in your own journal so that others can play along."
This is the phenomenon when something that has artistic beauty excels and reaches a large number of people for no easily definable reason. It's the indefinable quantity that makes a great work of art great.
My interest is largely from the psychological point of view: why do some things have appeal across a wide swath of people, regardless of culture?
These three I've grouped together because they are all related. First, they are all branches of the same family tree as computer science and mathematics, which is sort of where a lot of my life resides. These are all three areas of research that I was looking at for an advanced degree.
Automata theory is the study of automatons, as in self-guiding robots. It's a branch of the "artificial intelligence" tree, in the way that self-guided robots need some sense of AI to handle unexpected circumstances. My particular inter4est in this had more to do with cellular automata, which is akin to the way that a hive organizes, but in a very abstract sense. It's really cool.
Emergent Behavior is closely related, in that it is unexpected and unprogrammed behavior that comes out of a complex system, and it's very closely bound to AI. It's difficult to describe, but to try and provide an example, several years ago, there was a well-known university that was modeling some automatons sort of loosely based on insect behavior. Each "bug" was give n the exact same set of behaviors, and there were tens of thousands of identical bugs in this computer model. What was surprising is that the "bugs" started to take on different roles in the "hive", seemingly based on their position. The behavior had a lot in common with the organization of bees into workers, drones, and the like. That was unexpected behavior that could not be predicted by known models, and is a fascinating bit of operation.
Information theory was developed by a scientist at Bell Labs, a man by the name of Claude Shannon. Essentially it was the study of signal processing, breaking down signals into two parts: information and noise. It's a real breakthrough field, which has enabled a whole lot of telecommunications and electronic advances, from cell phones to synthesizers. The application of the philosophy is much more interesting when applied to things like psychology or semiotics, when you get away from pure information and into perception.
Incidentally, Shannon's initial book is available online for free.
I love my dog. Sometimes we play games where I have the thing she wants in my hand, then I distract her and hide the thing quickly then restore my hands before she looks back, and she is absolutely puzzled as to where the thing went. To her, it's magic.
The '70s were a time when there was a lot of experimentation with sensory deprivation experiments. In a state of silliness, I once came up with the concept of extrasensory deprivation, which is where psychics were isolated from psychic phenomena to see if they'd eventually have psychic hallucinations. I am happily amused by the concept.
While shooting the movie, there were times when we got so tired we became incoherent, but Tony and I had some sort of connection that would let us understand what we were talking about without actually being able to say the words. Eventually we would just point and say "nipple", which morphed into "Nipple. Gravy." Thus became the term nipple gravy which pops up when we forget the words for something.