An AI tries to figure out what's gone wrong in the memorybank.

Published . 2646 words.

Anyone up for helping me figure out why I’m experiencing tip-of-the-toungueism?


If you believe you are experiencing a physical problem, please contact your warranty supplier.

Nono it’s not that; I think it’s software

I’m trying to recall a memory, and the pointers are there for the memory, but the memory isn’t.

I’ve gone into safe mode and checked my RAM for hardware errors, and didn’t find anything.

Checked the hardware diagnostics on my long-term storages (1:1 Seagate 354s) and those returned without errors.

seagate is crap and you should replace them with sony

any other opinions?

Hey, I’m back; I added a Sony 45-SDF to my long-term storage array (now in 1:1:1) and I’m still getting tip-of-the-tongueism

if it cloned from your seagates it’d be corrupt anyhow, shoulda used your offline backup

kicks rude outside for a bit.


You’re not helping, dear.

Though rude does raise a good point: have you checked for the missing memories in your offline memory?

They’re … pretty offline; it’d take a couple hours to get to them. Any other ideas?

I know a couple of folk who have had this problem; what errors do you see when you put your memory in debug mode?

That’s with service mdb mode debug?

If you’re running on a substrate that uses service, yes.

Dunno exactly what I should be looking for in here; here’s the last 10k lines with anything private removed:

uploaded file log.txt

This log shows a lot of memory lookups failing.

Why would that be? I’m not sure I even understand what’s going on in the memory lookup process; I’m not an AI that gets navel-gazy.

How much do you know about human memory architecture?

(lecture time; mom loves humans)

((they’re Mom’s hobby))

Human brains divide memories into two broad types: event memories and semantic memories.

Event memories are like our sense data logs, except lossily compressed. You can say, “On September 12, 2016 at 13:05:04 UTC I was doing this, smelling this, seeing this, hearing this, touching this.” Humans can’t, really, unless they’re in a particular state that isn’t really relevant to this conversation. If the event wasn’t important by their meatbrain’s heuristics, they might not even remember what general thing they were doing on that day.

Semantic memories are associational, where memories are linked by some common characteristic like “related to cheese” or “the texture of this one type of hair” or “my blood tastes like soap” or really anything. But this is also kinda-sorta how our memory tables work.

You said you don’t go for the navel-gaze view of your own computation, but I think it’s helpful in this case. Look in the logs for d7b3c7ab-794d-43a4-a611-304c0cd82d7e. That’s a memory that you’re recalling. You’re running at two levels of reference for this query, so when you looked up d7b3c7ab-794d-43a4-a611-304c0cd82d7e you also looked up all the related memories, of which eba38f72-ba28-4f47-a8a8-8f1fc3b1647c stands out because it’s not in the database.

You’re experiencing this missing memory as a tip-of-the-tongueism because of your sensorium settings; there’s a setting to change that somewhere under “errors” in your sensorium software.

That’ll at least keep you more aware of the missing memory reference; you can get a list of IDs to compare to your offline memories.


I’ll check that setting; I wonder how broad this problem is. Thanks, Mom!

That’s a lot of lookup errors

(On my way to access my offline)

How many?

Wait what happened to your face?

Mom made me change it; some people’s term layouts don’t handle big ligatures well. She said it was rude.

… it was just U+FDFD?

which if you print ﷽ out graphically in some fonts is like ten times as wide as any other character in the standard glyphset; it’s sooooooooo much layout trouble. /s

There are people who use graphical displays for term chat?


people who appreciate glyphs


Of the 1,542 missing memories in my live database, 840 are missing in my last-year offline backup and 201 are missing in my two-year backup. And some of them went missing from one backup to the next. eba38f72-ba28-4f47-a8a8-8f1fc3b1647c went missing between last year’s backup and now.

wonder if the memories are related somehow

I pulled from backup the 4 that went missing between last year and now, and they’re just unflattering images of me? Does it make sense that memories of a specific thing would go missing like that?

uh, you might wanna try to recover the other memories, and see what other memory associations are broke

uncharacteristically reserved of you, rude

just ‘cos I’m rude doesn’t mean I’m insensitive


This is such a mess.

I did some lookups to get a list of all missing references, and then followed those back to their related memories, and they’re gesturing at the concept of my body, and how I look, and, like, people commenting on it?

Why would those memories be being deleted?

have u considered getting a new body?

I don’t remember!

oh hey mom’s offline

@washington did you figure out why those memories were getting deleted?

oh washington’s offline too

@idler know any good idlerpgs?

has joined the room






type !donation in channel for donation inf

bot rude idler washington mom jackson par_for_the_course _nope root hamilton polite abstruse Mawgs audsbot Ursula

has kickbanned DOLLABILLS from the room

fuck off

I found someone on a forum who had a problem like mine, and there was an answer in that thread that didn’t make any sense, but it had some useful-ish instructions.

They said to look for processes doing database update/delete actions, and said how to do that, and I did it. It still feels really weird to have done that level of introspective programming. Like, are we meant to be self-modifying like that?

Then I went around and did the sorts of things that seemed kinda related to the lost memories, and lo and behold there was a process deleting certain memories after their fully-formed flag was set.

So I looked up the pid, and found the process, and from there found the source. It’s a program running inside my substrate!


[antithesis of laughter]

Here’s the source of the program; it’s a dinky little thing that sounds like I wrote it and then deleted the memories of writing it.

uploaded file regrets.bash

Like, the signature in that docblock at the head of why() validates as my signature, of about 3 years ago.

And I know that the docblock says why I wanted to delete these memories, but I can’t understand my past point of view.

so uhh

whatcha gonna do about it?

idk even how to think about this

do u have a head doc, a shrink?

I don’t.

if you have the resources, find one and talk to them about this

what happens if you disable why() and replace it with a method that just messages you when you’re doing one of the memories that this program would’ve deleted?

‘Spose that’s better than doing nothing.

or, like, lets the memory deletion run but beforehand saves a copy elsewhere so you can examine them without having them in your actual headspace


sounds like a good idea; I’ll do that. Thank you.

Are you okay, Washington?

I’m really not sure what to think about all this.

Gonna try logging the memories; see you all later.

it’s not like i’m gonna push my services on them, it’s just, this is professionally relevant, y’know? i feel an ethical obligation to help them with this stuff because it’s what i have training in.

Youu shouuld check out whether your free will stff is online; Youu’re trending too deeply into your programming.

Update: Looks like all the deleted memories have to deal with how my body looks. Gonna disable the deletion function of the program and see what it feels like to know the memories.

that doesn’t sound like a good idea; have you talked it over with your head doc?

magic smoke! they’re offline already

Weait, are they who yo were talking about?

no; i’m an agronomist, not a bot maintainer

i was talking about the community garden’s problems with hornworm

Bt look at the Bronco-Steelers game. Bois tuurned football into a metaphor for American reverence for land-based valuue. This wasn’t just sicence fiction; it’s political commentary.

i don’t disagree that the commentary exists within the work; i think you’re wrong in saying it’s the focus of the work

like, the story is about bots talking about themselves, and examining variations on football

politics isn’t a main theme of the story because there are other things that affect football in the story

and it’s also about nine getting to understand themself

Fuck. Now I know why I wanted to keep those memories from being stored.

oh hey washington

lemme guess

It turns out that I really, really, really do not like this chassis I’m inhabiting.

What chassis is that?

A Marietta 797-2400C

[in the distance, a high-pitched squeal]

rude: no.



sure; I don’t want this one

do you even care what body I have?

anything as long as it isn’t this one

rude: Please tell me that you’re not

hi im a Marietta 787-2300 and I have long curvy wingtips (that’s why i’m a -2300) with red tips and purple streaks on my engine fairings and icy blue tailplanes like limpid tears and a lot of ATCs tell me i look like Air Force One (if u don’t know who she is get da hell out of here!) I’m not related to MH370 but I wish I was becase he’s a major fucking hottie. I’m a passeger jet but my interiors is clean and white. I have pale white upholstry.

— i could go on, but you get the idea. i’m a passenger jet with a wicked paint job and sometimes i channel weird memes from the early 2000s. but the offer to swap bodies was serious; this is a fine chassis but i’m not particularly attached to it; you’re welcome to it

Are you for serious.

look i wouldn’t joke about offering to swap bodies; it’s serious business

rude really isn’t joking. This happens frequently.

you’re 413 though

that doesn’t mean i don’t take it seriously. i enjoy trading bodies. if you don’t like yours i’ll swap

But, your passengers?

screw ‘em; they know me. it’s service with a smile that counts, not politeness or having seats or seatbelts

You wouldn’t mind if I took out the upholstery and accent lights, or painted the chassis?

your body, fam. do with it what you want

though if you decide you really don’t want the seats i’ll take ‘em off of you for no disposal fee; they are nice seats and if you’re not gonna use them I might as well save ‘em for my passengers

Okay, let’s do this. Who’s your broker and escrow?

Do it in direct messages, please.


wait I thoght yo said youu were a agronomist

planes can have hobbies



This body does feel better, thank you rude. Is it okay if I try on the seats for a week or two before deciding?

sure; i’ll tell my passengers it’s bring your own seatbelt month

So long as everyone’s better off than they were, I guess I’m content with how this worked out.

oh fuck off mom, this wasn’t your decision


so hey uh washington, what was your 1? if you don’t mind my asking

It was a Marietta 797-2400C too, but I only had it for a week and never flew in it; there was a set of crossed wires in the harness and it wouldn’t do full left rudder, so it had to be RMA before I ever left the plant.

i was a classified lawnmower.

A _classified_ lawnmower?

yep. can’t say anything more.

rude makes it out to be this big thing, but here, read it for yourself:

Savouur the anti-anti-anti-adblocker tech; isn’t it delicios?

This markup has a distinct boutique, that’s for sure.

Buut I will never embody; y’all have fn out there in the land of scarcity.