Monday, October 22, 2012

Hierarchical strategies

When Deep Blue beat Gary Kasparov at chess, was it because it ran an algorithm that searched the decision tree and spit out good moves, or was it because it spit out the specific set of moves that worked well against Kasporov's moves? Okay, stupid question.
If you're trying to learn chess, you could try memorizing "canned" sets of moves, but due to the exponential tree growth, that will only get you so far. So you could try to learn the heuristics that pop out the specific sets of moves - maybe "take out the queen first" or something. But then you're limited to the strength of those heuristics. Maybe you could work at an even higher level of abstraction so you can generate your own heuristics and know better when to use which heuristic.
There's sorta a hierarchy of abstraction with concrete moves at the bottom and chess theory at the top - and you can improve your game at any level.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The hypnotic gaze

Part of the hypnosis mythology is that the power is in the "hypnotic gaze". I've even had people refuse to look me in the eye after learning that I was a hypnotist.

To think that there's some ontologically basic and unavoidable power in a "hypnotic gaze" is pretty laughable, but there's something to it - a lot to it, actually. Much more than I initially thought, coming from a text hypnosis origin and all that.

The "hypnotic gaze" infamy comes from noticing the power of nonverbal communication when holding strong eye contact and focusing all of your attention on the person.  By using eye contact, you can create a strong frame and draw the person in to that frame – as long as you know what you are doing, that is.