I've been listening to pandora.com for a while, and it seems, after an initially very promising run of songs based on some of my favorite songs/bands, to have crashed. Not literally, as it keeps spitting out songs, but they're now very *unlikely* to be things I enjoy.

Look, people building things that are supposed to act like people, when things start going horribly wrong get a person involved. If someone trashes 8 out of the last 9 (I'm zero out of the last five, by the way) new Pandora.com recommendations (or starts acting funny in World of Warcraft, etc), intervene.

This is the way we'll be able to build convincing virtual worlds, as cyborgs, at least for a while. The idea is that, using the tools provided by digitalism, we'll enable one person to maintain a much larger virtual world than they could at, say, a one-person theatre show. (This is putting it mildly.) Imagine if, every so often, one of the vendors in your favorite MUD started conversing with you in ways you'd never seen it do before? Or Pandora all of a sudden made some very obvious shifts in genre with its suggestions, but the shift worked?

I have to imagine, early in the development of, say, chess-playing computers, the computers would occasionally glitch and make horrible moves, moves so horrible even the programmers saw they were bad news. Instead of taking the move back, those programmers probably just took the info and went in hacking again. But imagine if you had one of today's chess computer feeding Kasparov his lines... don't you think he could play 20 grand master games at once?