I have a quotation by Deena Metzger painted on my studio wall: “There is time only to work slowly. There is no time not to love.” It helps me keep my focus when I’m freaking out about a deadline or something. Whenever I get frantic & try to rush things, I end up making mistakes that set me back even more. And when my children were small & constantly interrupting, seeing that quotation helped me remember what was really important.
My patience was tested today (with gradient mesh, what a surprise!) & I’m still not happy with the results, but I’m trying to remember that this project is all about exploring a new program, & the only way to make progress is to keep learning from my mistakes!
I was late starting this week’s AlphaBot due to some last-minute tax snafus. Just as I was about to begin I found out about the Boston Marathon explosions. So the whole time I was doing this I was thinking of those who ran into the disaster area to help the wounded. I’m sure most of you have heard or read this quote from Fred Rogers:
“When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, ‘Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.’ To this day, especially in times of ‘disaster’, I remember my mother’s words and I am always comforted by realizing that there are still so many helpers – so many caring people in this world.”
– Mr. Rogers
I have greenish eyes so I’ve always felt a little insulted by the phrase “green-eyed monster.” How did jealousy acquire that moniker, I wonder? Ah well, I gave into the cliché for this week’s AlphaBot anyway! Now I’m part of the problem, I guess.
I’m not very happy with the results either, but I ran out of time to tweak. I’m jealous (or more precisely, envious) of people who have plenty of time for everything they want to do. Luckily I don’t know a single one of them!
I’m actually in a pretty great mood these days– even running late with my AlphaBot didn’t bring out the ire– maybe because this one didn’t need gradient mesh!
Yippee! It’s nice to have a positive emotion to illustrate again. I think this AlphaBot is happy for me because I have a much-needed new computer, all speedy & uncrashy & made-to-order & everything! Thank you, James!!
It’s a scientific point of contention whether dogs can feel guilt.
What do you think?
I’m sure there would be similar questions raised about this AlphaBot.
But looking guilty is another matter. That’s definitely in its programming, & I suspect dogs’ & humans’ too.
Speaking of which, I’m feeling a bit guilty for taking extra shortcuts this week (I cadged a bunch of gradients & blends– and even an eye– from CuriosityBot for this one) but I’d feel even more guilty if I missed my work deadlines, so something had to give!
This week’s AlphaBot is a bit of a Fraidy-bot. I have a hyperactive alarm system myself, so I can relate.
I was working on a bunch of projects this week so I didn’t have a whole lot of time to experiment with new AI techniques, but I did figure out that I could use the inner glow effect to make a nifty inner shadow in the eyeballs & head-bulb.
I blush very easily & whenever I’m the least bit embarrassed, or emotionally stirred in any way really, I begin to resemble this AlphaBot, glowing ears & all. Unfortunately I can feel it happening & that just makes me more embarrassed.
I had fun doing all the radiant gradients though! I’m starting to hate gradient mesh just a tiny bit less, though it’s still weirdly unpredictable. It does allow for a lot of subtle mixing!
I also experimented with multiple strokes on a path here, to create a fake gradient for the fingers. It sorta works!
Here’s the latest in my Artificial Emotional Intelligence series for AlphaBots. I’m learning quite a bit about emotions in researching this project. Except that I’m ending up with more questions than answers.
For instance, disgust to me seems absolutely fundamental & visceral, more physical than mental at least in its roots, yet some think it’s an emotion that must be learned. I suppose that’s true in some cases, but if you’ve ever seen a baby eat something bitter, this robot’s expression will look quite familiar.
I recently read an article about people with trypophobia— extreme revulsion at the sight of clustered holes. I found most of those images appealing actually, but I love all sorts of patterns in nature. On the other hand, hair in a bathroom drain gives me the major creeps, beyond all reason.
There does seem to be a fair degree of variability & irrationality involved in disgust. What disgusts you that others don’t mind? What do you find tolerable that grosses others out? Do you think these reactions were “hard-wired” or did you acquire them over time? Do you find context important? Do you think disgust is always related to fear?
I tried to make this robot look something like a bitter pill, or perhaps a bacterium of some sort… luckily a shape that Illustrator’s gradient mesh seems to comprehend a little bit more easily. That gave me time to get a little carried away with a rivet effect using the dotted line stroke.
My Illustrator interest may have crossed the line into obsession. The other night I dreamed I was trying to control my husband’s snore volume using Bézier curve handles, & getting very frustrated with Illustrator when it didn’t work! Perhaps that’s my subconscious telling me that I’m asking too much of this program? In this case an old-school poke in the shoulder was much more effective. ;-) At least I woke up laughing, which isn’t always the case when the snore volume goes to 11!
Recently I was listening to the Brain Science Podcast, & the subject just happened to be The Origin of Emotions.
Jaak Panksepp was talking about the evolution of emotions, & to my surprise, he proposed that the very most fundamental emotion was the “seeking instinct”– he didn’t use the word “curiosity” but of course that’s what jumped into my head. I hadn’t even thought of this as an emotion per se, but it makes perfect sense! The same essential impulse that sends any animal out into the world in search of food extends to send me in search of interesting podcasts & new program skills,* for instance, or the Curiosity Rover to Mars, or this robot in search of odd little green thingies!
It was a fascinating podcast in general, & if you’re not the podcast type there’s a pdf transcript of the interview available here.
*For this Bot I learned how to use the star tool (for the pattern in the irises– super-easy) & the object blend tool (for the goose-neck & arms– quite a bit more complex but fun & amazing)!
And don’t forget to check out all the other C robots over at AlphaBots!