Fog III: Confusion

How we approach and define understanding.

What is happening? Photo by kris / Unsplash
What is happening? Photo by kris / Unsplash

Good morning. Today begins the third décade of Brumaire, Year CCXXXII. It's the month of fog. Our theme this time is confusion.

Here are the items we celebrate for the next ten days...
Hazelwort on primidi
Azarole on duodi
Madder on tridi
Orange on quartidi
Pheasant on quintidi
Pistachio on sextidi
Tuberous pea on septidi
Quince on octidi
Rowan tree on nonidi
Roller on décadi

How do machines learn? We hear about machine learning all the time, and the very phrase suggests a metaphor that machines are "studying," examining information until it is "known" or "understood" in the same that humans brute force rote learning of, say, spelling or historical dates. I think – I hope – most of understand that machine learning doesn't imply generative thoughts such as synthesized conclusions, although many people are being unduly dazzled by simulacrums of this thanks to ChatGPT's magic trick monkey typewriter.