Bill Benzon

Karma: 186

The Story of My Intellectual Life

In the early 1970s I discovered that “Kubla Khan” had a rich, marvelous, and fantastically symmetrical structure. I’d found myself intellectually. I knew what I was doing. I had a specific intellectual mission: to find the mechanisms behind “Kubla Khan.” As defined, that mission failed, and still has not been achieved some 40 odd years later.

It’s like this: If you set out to hitch rides from New York City to, say, Los Angeles, and don’t make it, well then your hitch-hike adventure is a failure. But if you end up on Mars instead, just what kind of failure is that? Yeah, you’re lost. Really really lost. But you’re lost on Mars! How cool is that!

Of course, it might not actually be Mars. It might just be an abandoned set on a studio back lot.

That’s a bit metaphorical. Let’s just say I’ve read and thought about a lot of things having to do with the brain, mind, and culture, and published about them as well. I’ve written a bunch of academic articles and two general trade books, Visualization: The Second Computer Revolution (Harry Abrams1989), co-authored with Richard Friedhoff, and Beethoven’s Anvil: Music in Mind and Culture (Basic Books 2001). Here’s what I say about myself at my blog, New Savanna. I’ve got a conventional CV at I’ve also written a lot of stuff that I’ve not published in a conventional venue. I think of them as working papers. I’ve got them all at Some of my best – certainly my most recent – stuff is there.

The Fourth Arena: What’s Up in the world these days? We’re mov­ing to a new, a new what?

Bill Benzon4 Jun 2022 19:07 UTC
2 points
0 comments3 min readLW link

The Fourth Arena 2: New be­ings in time

Bill Benzon5 Jun 2022 13:30 UTC
1 point
0 comments2 min readLW link

Miriam Ye­vick on why both sym­bols and net­works are nec­es­sary for ar­tifi­cial minds

Bill Benzon6 Jun 2022 8:34 UTC
1 point
0 comments4 min readLW link

Oper­a­tional­iz­ing two tasks in Gary Mar­cus’s AGI challenge

Bill Benzon9 Jun 2022 18:31 UTC
12 points
3 comments8 min readLW link

Yann LeCun, A Path Towards Au­tonomous Ma­chine In­tel­li­gence [link]

Bill Benzon27 Jun 2022 23:29 UTC
5 points
1 comment1 min readLW link