A man who lives on the edge can only take one path in life.
by phil on Tuesday Aug 12, 2003 4:55 PM
Edge - "To arrive at the edge of the world's knowledge, seek out the most complex and sophisticated minds, put them in a room together, and have them ask each other the questions they are asking themselves." ... Dennet, Kurzweil... all great Prociphers... I'm still bummed that they're charging students $100+ to attend the Accelerating Change Conference.
Pssyah, singularity, Transhumanism, that was SOOO last year.
HEY! Name-drop gloating time. I've met Jurvetson... this guy is like, the Singularity-entrepreneur incarnate. First he did his schtick at Stanford, completed in 2.5 years, like suma cum lade or something (I should've done that, damn). Then, he paid some dues at places like HP. But THEN, he dot-com boomed his way to mega-bucks with things like Hotmail, and sold many things before the crash. And then quickly thereafter, and now, they're into a ton of Nanotech. Anyway, he was the first VC I heard say anything remotely interesting... someone asked, "What happens when this accelerating change keeps going, and goes straight up." then he kind of blushed, was like, "well, we get into really wild theories... I don't want to get into it" he paused, gaugingthe anxiety of the crowd, and then proceeded anyways, and sputtered off, in like 1 minute all of Kurzweil's Law of Accelerating Returns ideas, Transhumanism thinking, transcendence, etc... and people were just silent. He looked kind of embarrassed, but I was like cheering inside when I heard this...
Then, Tim O'Reilly founder of the the animal books... his deal was that when he went to college, he took a Medieval Studies major because he liked it, and then for money, he started writing technical how-tos on things. He was good, and he eventually started getting serious, publishing, and now he is a legend among the geeks.... he seems to hold up the "do what you love" philosophy as his schtick, which I admire... he is also the pointman for singularity stuff that may happen in the OSS world... him and possibly this guy, Dave Winer... but we'll see, he's having a little conflict in the blogging world, fighting for his version of RSS and what other ppl think RSS should be...
And finally, John R. Koza co-founder of the concept of Genetic Programming. He taught a Stanford class that I attended and I have a paper that I got published with other classmates. Genetic programming is basically having programs compete with each, then mate, and reproduce, in a fashion similar to natural selection, in order to find the best program... it's technologically very simple--it's based on LISP which has tree-like programming structure, like +(-(x,y),z) would be (x-y) + z.... and you can then devise programs just based on trees, and then have the Genetic Programming take branches from competing programs, merge them together, and create supposedly better children... it sounds cool, and what makes it cooler is that with computers, you can simulate large populations in a few seconds... anyway, the concept is amazing... I don't know whether Koza is a procipher or just a guy that invented a cool tool, although he has his foot in many different fields which makes him Buckminster Fuller-like in his embrace of diversity in intellect.