Monitor Quotes (7 quotes)
His [Marvin Minskys] basic interest seemed to be in the workings of the human mind and in making machine models of the mind. Indeed, about that time he and a friend made one of the first electronic machines that could actually teach itself to do something interesting. It monitored electronic rats that learned to run mazes. It was being financed by the Navy. On one notable occasion, I remember descending to the basement of Memorial Hall, while Minsky worked on it. It had an illuminated display panel that enabled one to follow the progress of the rats. Near the machine was a hamster in a cage. When the machine blinked, the hamster would run around its cage happily. Minsky, with his characteristic elfin grin, remarked that on a previous day the Navy contract officer had been down to see the machine. Noting the mans interest in the hamster, Minsky had told him laconically, The next one we build will look like a bird.
I read them. Not to grade them. No, I read them to see how I am doing. Where am I failing? What dont they understand? Why do they give wrong answers? Why do they have some point of view that I dont think is right? Where am I failing? Where do I need to build up.
If the resident zoologist of Galaxy X had visited the earth 5 million years ago while making his inventory of inhabited planets in the universe, he would surely have corrected his earlier report that apes showed more promise than Old World monkeys and noted that monkeys had overcome an original disadvantage to gain domination among primates. (He will confirm this statement after his visit next yearbut also add a footnote that one species from the ape bush has enjoyed an unusual and unexpected flowering, thus demanding closer monitoring.)
It would be a very wonderful, but not an absolutely incredible result, that volcanic action has never been more violent on the whole than during the last two or three centuries; but it is as certain that there is now less volcanic energy in the whole earth than there was a thousand years ago, as it is that there is less gunpowder in a Monitor after she has been seen to discharge shot and shell, whether at a nearly equable rate or not, for five hours without receiving fresh supplies, than there was at the beginning of the action.
The first [quality] to be named must always be the power of attention, of giving one's whole mind to the patient without the interposition of anything of oneself. It sounds simple but only the very greatest doctors ever fully attain it. The second thing to be striven for is intuition. This sounds an impossibility, for who can control that small quiet monitor? But intuition is only interference from experience stored and not actively recalled. The last aptitude I shall mention that must be attained by the good physician is that of handling the sick man's mind.
We are more than just flesh and bones. Theres a certain spiritual nature and something of the mind that we cant measure. With all our sophisticated equipment, we cannot monitor or define it, and yet its there.
[The launch of Nautilus, the world's first atomic submarine] marked a transition in naval warfarea transition as sudden as that associated with the Monitor.