I spend most of my on-line social time elsewhere. Even that has changed: it used to be my google+ page (where I spent a HUGE amount of time trying to find the weirdest and most eclectic stuff I could find; sadly, it has been totally whitewashed by algorithms, and become a wasteland of utterly boring monotonously homogeneous utterly uneventful, yet entirely acceptable tasteless, bland feed of porridge. Apparently, the google algorithms aren't able to discern my actual tastes. Is that good news, or bad news?). I don't have the energy to do this again on facebook. Oh well. Turns out that digital life is remarkably ephemeral. Rigor mortis is not just something cadavers do; so do web pages and social media feeds. You're looking at one now.
Here's one that's still breathing: my Medium page. I really, really like the essays I wrote on Medium. Oh, wait, hang on -- that is because they are still mostly fresh. Just wait till they get old and rot a little bit. Who TF knew, back in 1995 or even 2005 that digital media could actually rot? Apparently, the process of life and living not only expects, but demands constant renewal. And with that in mind, I have a brand new Twitter account. Its got four posts so far, including the "hello twitter!" post. Hold on to your butts! Never mind. Forget Twitter. Secure scuttlebutt is the place to be.
Some of my Medium posts that I like:
Meanwhile, back in the past... I used to spend a lot of time on mailing lists, but all the good ones (like cypherpunks) have disappeared. Before that, there was the Ludwig Plutonium guy, and black helicopters, and men in black, and razor-wire detention camps in Arizona for space aliens and three-foot-tall people. All this to be found on the lovely nntp feed alt.conspiracy channel. It was truly an awesome time. For news feeds.
I once wrote over 400 Wikipedia articles on Mathematics (pictures too) until that stopped being fun.
This website? I don't feel like polishing this website to make it adhere to present-day website design sensibilities. This site isn't fresh. This website is a snapshot frozen in time: its what a personal website looked like in 1997, before blogs were invented.
Caution: boring sober bits ahead.
At various times in my life, I've been a scientist, technologist and entrepreneur. I have broad interests in mathematics, physics, and computer technology. Oh, and sociology. And Art with a capital A. Oh, and lots of things, actually. Not enough lifetimes for them all.
Many of my current technical interests focus on natural language processing and artificial general intelligence. The NLP directory has pre/re-prints of some of the academic publications that have come out of this work.
My primary research platform is the open-source OpenCog project. For me, OpenCog provides a general technical setting where I can experiment with different machine learning theories and algorithms, with both connectionist and symbolic processing flavors. I've compiled a messy list of related open-source AGI projects here (which is now also hopelessly out of date; so it goes.)
I've spent well over a decade at IBM; most recently working on the Linux kernel for Power architecture-based mainframes. The Linux on the PowerPC wiki is a good place to find out more about IBM Linux mainframes and systems. I've been active in the Linux community; I was a founder of the Gnome Foundation; and was the lead developer for GnuCash for over 7 years. I've founded three dot-com startups, all of which failed to turn me into an asshole billionaire. I mean the billionaire part; I'm an asshole, just not a rich one. I was a founding member of the OpenGL Architecture Review Board; and spent 8 years learning about and designing 3D graphics hardware and software. I have a PhD in theoretical physics from SUNY at Stony Brook. Currently, I am utterly infatuated with mathematics, and have made large contributions to over 400 math articles in Wikipedia. BTW, y'all, global warming is for real. Do something about it.
The Art Gallery has been running for over twenty-five years while being silent about the underlying math. I suppose its high time to make amends. The core idea of the dissertation is that the shapes of fractals are describable through Farey Fractions, which appear naturally through continued fractions, which have the symmetry of the Modular Group SL(2,Z), which is inter-twined with the Riemann Zeta and the structure of the set of rational numbers. Besides the four basic operations on the real numbers (addition, subtraction, multiplication, division), there is a fifth basic operation which is rarely taught in primary school and under-appreciated at higher levels, namely, "Farey Addition" or, expressed correctly, group multiplication in SL(2,Z). The modular group doesn't just lead to Pellian equations and algebraic numbers, it in fact intertwines all rational numbers (and their extensions to reals and p-adics) in crazy, fractal ways. This is why, for example, one sees Farey Fractions in the Mandelbrot Set. In number theory, the structure of the Modular Group provides a unifying theme for understanding the nature of factorization and primality. This is why, for example, power series and Dirichlet series (such as the Riemann Zeta) exhibit such crazy fractal Cantor-Set type patterns. Despite this connection being seen by Weierstrass as early as 1872, its more-or-less entirely ignored in standard textbooks on Analysis and Number Theory. A series of articles tries to provide some of the underpinnings for the above breathless assertions. Some highlights include:
American Political Unreality, 2008. Yes, politicians are from outer space, and they arrived in a flying saucer called "journalism". How can you tell? They focus on everything except what is actually important.
Why did Bush promote warrant-less wiretapping? Why is Obama continuing these Bush policies? I can guess why, and I really don't like it. Stop Illegal Spying!.
Wikipedia needs new leadership! I used to have various essays about the structural and cultural problems in Wikipedia, and the things that could be done to solve them. These were posted on my WP user page. Unfortunately, the malicious and stupid leadership there found these so offensive that they deleted the essays. Boo-yah! So now my profile is just soo very squeaky-clean and totally inoffensive. To anyone, that is, except me. You might never guess that I'd been raped by the admins there. Woo hoo! Go Wikipedia!
This is Your Brain on Drugs explores drug use in America today, and the political forces wrestling with this social problem.
Labour of Love - The Volunteer Economy Free-market economists, thinkers and pundits (correctly) champion the power of free markets to create a better world. Yet if one opens a history book, it is hard to find a historical figure that was motivated by greed. Both prominent and emerging social and economic institutions are marked by excellence due volunteer, freely donated efforts, rather than wealth accumulation. When will we recognize the economic benefits of channelling this powerful force with social, political and governmental norms?
Free Software ~ Free Trade? An examination of the powerful economic forces driving the acceptance of Free Software/Open Source in corporations and businesses. When we realize that Free Software is not just a (political) philosophy, or a social or anthropological movement, but an economic force akin to the removal of trade barriers, we can finally understand why its adoption by corporations promises to be a sea-change in the way that software is used. Reviews a business case study of a very large, failed technology project. If you thought the Internet was big ... this is bigger.
DeCSS: Consumer Politics in the 21st Century A moral/sociological/legal diatribe about the immorality and evil ethics of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and the corporations that wish to squish human endeavor in the name of the protection of intellectual property.
Open Source and Code Quality The relationship between the software worker and the software means of production leads to fundamentally new economic forces that will change the very nature of the software industry.
Banned! A collection of outlaw computer technology, harvested from the net. Why would I mirror such dangerous and subversive material? In order to protect my personal freedoms -- and yours. Seems that greed and lust for power -- happily wrapped in the flags of "free enterprise" and "democracy", continue to lie at the root of many political and social evils and ills.
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A Better Way to do SETI makes the argument that if extra-terrestrials are trying to send us a radio message, then they will be using broadband spread-spectrum (pseudo-random noise) modulation techniques. Finding such a signal is much, much harder, but when found, it provides a much, much clearer communications channel than any other modulation technique. The ET's know this, and they know that we know this, and will thus use this technique preferentially. Essentially all of the current SETI searches, while being important so as to rule out other methods, are all really looking for the wrong thing.
Eternity Service is a commentary on the basic ideas behind Napster as viewed through the eyes of David Gelertner. David chooses not to dirty his prognostications with the names of present-day technologies. I do. They are E-Rights, distributed.net, and Eternity Service, all mashed into one.
A Digression on Artificial Life and Cellular Automata This web page is a very long diary of a set of experiments that were run in the early 90's with a collection of cellular automata. The automata were designed to have a 'genetic code' that was shared between cooperating individuals. By cooperating (or not) individual cells could (and did) self-organize into 'symbiotic' plant-like structures. Lots of interesting stuff was seen. Never attempted to write this up for publication; I should have. Nuts.
The good stuff is in the form of letters:
An Airline Flight Reservation System I founded Teleport Travel, and was bought out by Intransco, where I served as Chief Technology Officer. More work, for less money, at an Internet startup. Developed the prototype entirely by myself. Teleport Travel was the very first on the 'net (Spring/Summer 1995) with an actual functioning airline reservation system, never mind that it worked better, and had a nicer user interface than many/most travel res systems today. An unhappy experience in the end, as this was a dot-com that dot-bombed. I shoulda been a billionaire by now, but it turns out (duhh) that superior technology has no correlation to success. Its all about the management, the CEO, the board of directors. I was unable to control the company, and was bitter about it for a long time -- my baby was taken away from me. Anyway, the actual technology does live on at TravelStoreMaker.com, and some good friends still work there.
OpenGL and VRML. I worked at IBM as the OpenGL(tm) architect for many years, participating in a variety of technical and marketing activities surrounding the RS/6000 hardware, operating system software, and 3D graphics subsystem.
Besides creating the above web pages in a fit of marketing mania, I've written some technical articles:
PhD Theoretical Physics, SUNY at Stony Brook. Thesis advisors (I had two!): Andrew D. Jackson and Alfred S. Golhaber. Thesis: Chral models of the Nucleon. My thesis was a "staple": a collection of five published papers. Here they are:
My first job! Dr. John Simpson hired me to work on Pioneer 10/11 Charged Particle Instrument data analysis programs for my first paying computer programming job, thirty years ago. These are now the farthest spacecraft from our solar system. Goodbye Pioneer 10/11!
University of Chicago AB Physics. Class of `80. I was ranked third, out of a class of about 50. The kid who was ranked first was home-schooled, and was maybe about 16 when he got his degree. He did not attend classes with us; we never laid eyes on him. I wonder if he grew up famous, or not. Which made me the youngest, attending regular classes. I was 20 when I finished college. A girl was ranked second. I wish I could remember her name. I'd like to talk to her. The list itself is lost in the sands of time.
Morgan Park Academy Class of `76. I was young and wild, then.
Training video, with coach's chase-boat in pursuit.
Finlandijoi randama pavarde 'Vepsalainen'. Dagiau apie Veps.
SANLight status reports - Novamente status reports - Hanson Robotics Docker containers - Language learning databases