“Are you a human being or a chatbot?” “We are a chat agent”

This was an actual chat conversation snippet between me and a customer service .. entity! Did I just interact with chatbot or a human being who was constrained to following a strict script? Was I stupid enough that I failed a Turing test? I have so many questions! Maybe you, dear reader, can figure this one out?

“If you already know some programming language/framework X, what are effective ways to rapidly learn a possibly similar new language/framework?” I found myself pondering this question recently. Wouldn’t it be nice to discover a system to learn something new that optimally exploits what you already know?

When no wind at all
ruffles the Kiri tree
leaves fall of their own will.
–Nozawa Bonchō (1640-1714), loose translation/interpretation by Michael R. Burch

A single pane of glass
protects me from icy winds
who is more fragile?

I protect the glass
In turn, the glass protects me
Perfect symbiosis!

I try in vain to stem the tide
To see in stillness beauty untold
I try in vain to slow the ride
Not knowing
Beauty lies in how things unfold!


Windshield wipers strain
to clear my view but the storm
is on the inside

Recently, I have become aware of a burden of thoughts weighing down upon me. Intrusive, endless, unstoppable, uncontrollable, unwanted thoughts. If I desire to sit quietly for five minutes, without fruitless thoughts buzzing constantly in my mind… I can not! Sometimes, I become aware of a new thought arising.. in a parallel thought, I even realize that the newly arising thought is pointless and unproductive.. that I should not be entertaining it.. but that realization is impotent. I watch helplessly as the unwanted thought blooms and grips my mind for the next N minutes, until it is swapped out by another chain of thinking, often equally unwanted.

One foot leaves the ground
then the other. For a split
second, I’m flying!