Monday, 5:16 pm. Well, I had planned to write something wise and witty about dogs, people and play. I was inspired by the closing ceremonies of the Olympics (finally I can get some sleep, but I’m going to miss them, darn!), and found myself thinking more about how important play is between people and dogs.
But that was then (this morning) and this is now (this evening). I’ve spent most of the day on machines and technology… dealing with issues related to the new website, creating an ad for the new play booklet to send out electronically, learning new software, etc. etc. I’ve been riding this computer almost all day, and am ready to rip every hair out of my head. Why, oh why, can’t we use operant and classical conditioning on machines? If only I could click and treat when the new software program works right. (I’d be happy to shape anything approximating correct at this point.) If only my computer had an amygdala and I could classically condition its emotions to respond to me when I touched the keyboard.
If anyone has figured out how to use positive reinforcement on a machine, oh please let me know. We all know that punishment, the kind one never, ever should use on a animal, can be effective on machines sometimes, albeit erratically. I am, however, reluctant to kick my computer (although I’ve considered it), verbal corrections have not been effective in any way (did you hear me on the coasts?) and although I’ve tried withdrawing attention, I’m not sure my computer cares much either way. I must have gotten the aloof version.
Here’s the good news though. Part of why I’m frustrated is that I have a lot to do before I leave town.. and “leaving town” in this case is going to Sweden to do a seminar, and then going hiking on the west coast of Norway. Oh boy. Oh boy.
Okay, I’ll stop complaining. But, I think you’ll understand this: Lassie is fourteen and a half, and it breaks my heart to leave her now. She’s doing amazingly well, her veterinary acupuncturist, Dr. Jody Bearman, was at the farm today and raved about how she’s doing. I suspect that Lassie and I are equally vain about how well she is doing for her age. Here she is again, in all her glory. Her face looks like I feel when I leave her…