March 12th, 2007


wtf monday

they are filming more "I Am Legend" stuff in NYC today, at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. it is weird walking to work onto a movie set, even weirder when they have made it look like things have been abandoned for 20 odd years. creepy.
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Victor Wong - Closeup

wtf monday.. continued

I've used computers for a long time. Not a long time in the global scope, but certainly four fifths my life. For some under twenty reading this, that may sounds like an inane statement. For those pushing thirty, it is a much thinner group. My first real 'aha' moment with a computer was back in 1985, when I formatted my first hard drive, trying to free up memory. That was where I learned the difference between RAM, ROM, hard drives, and exactly how bad the buckle of a belt can hurt when it is not firmly grasped in the hand of the person who is wielding it. Since then it has been a long road of those kinds of moments, in gradually escalating layers of knowledge and interoperability. Technology has been a lifetime crusade, but I only recently discovered what my grail is.

A bit more behind the cut:

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Since that last brush with the conceptual reality of programs and programming, at the doorstep of 1990, I have continued to love technology. Sometimes I am fascinated by potential, other times wowed by achievement. Occasionally I am nauseated by its poor application, or outraged by its misuse. Most of what keeps me in technology head space these days (aside from a steady paycheck) are the theoretical possibilities beyond the event horizon. Towards that end, over the past few years I have spent large amounts of energy absorbing the underlying physics principles which has led to the theories bundled as quantum mechanics. This has not been focused until fairly recently (last two years or so) wherein I have been exploring the logical/logistical conundrums of quantum computing, and moving through the murky waters of cryptography into the full-blooded science of information theory.

My patterns of thoughts and obsessive reading shout out at me through my expenses on books for 2006 (part of keeping an itemized tax log); anthropology, biographical minutiae, history, theoretical science, philosophy, theological history, theoretical spirituality, information theory, annals of fights between inventive geniuses - all of these interconnected harmonies with no central melody to unite them.

None of this data flow really came full circle until a couple weeks ago, when I was trying to make some notes for further research, and dropped my Treo. When I came back up from beneath my desk, I bumped my head, which hurt a lot. While I was trying not to curse too loudly, scrubbing the lump forming on the back of my skull, my gaze fell to two books stacked on the corner of my desk, one of which had been knocked askew by my noggin . Programming the Universe was sitting atop Decoding the Universe. Despite the painful knot I gave myself on the underside desk, I have to laugh now at the revelation it led to.

For those who have not seen the movie Pi, allow me to add a spoiler or two:

  • The protagonist suffers from migraines (which is how the movie was recommended to me)

  • He believes that he has found a number set which unlocks the patterns in life, which is a closed numbers system. he uses this magic number to break codes on the stock market, or whatever else he applies the number to.

My greatest moments of self-realization always come at times when my life is in chaos, and I am being so scrutinizing of all the variables in my world, while trying to maintain a rational detachment from them to analyze trends.

I'm looking for the opposite of what the guy in Pi had. I am searching for the algorithm that tells me where the grail is not. I don't need essential starts, universal answers, or self-solving problems. I want to be able to apply an information frame set to a logical reduction with scoped variables, and find out which ways it will turn up wrong, and what those things wrong have in common. I want to know where the patterns of wrongness lives, not the home address of the universal solution. Gather enough of that problem data, and I think you might be able to quantify chaos meaningfully. I've been a worst-caser for a long time. I am looking for a system to support it, and refine it. I want to do this before the variable I am solving for becomes a realistic constant in my information framework.

I don't think the truth of life lies in the answers. I think it lies in what all the failures and wrong answers have in common, either in madness or in method.

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