June 2023
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eXtreme Education: Cognitive programming

I read a few articles that I’d like to pull together and place under the growing umbrella of what might probably become my personal teaching philosophy. First, when you look at eXtreme Programming, it consists of a collection of reinforcing practices. I’m not going to review them here because I just want to highlight the […]

Homoiconic Dichotomy and Interactive Publications

Both Linguistics and Computer Science have some concern about the difference between form and meaning. This difference is usually introduced in a syntax vs semantics lecture. I would like to show that it actually occurs in a wide variety of circumstances.

Form Meaning Domain Syntax Semantics Linguistics (grammars), Computer Science (Parsing) Language Thought Cognitive Science, […]

Meaningless is Meaningful

Today I had a long and philosophical discussion with one of my friends. He started the conversation with a baited question: “Have you ever met a Solipsist?”. How could I avoid that one? Of course the conversation delved into the nature of the solipsistic belief system, and because I do not subscribe to that system […]

Designer Graphics

I have the misfortune of owning all of Ed Tufte’s books. Reading and enjoying these books has given me a sensitivity to data display that now makes me cringe whenever I see a terrible chart. Even in academic papers, benchmark charts and other data pieces are done with common tools (M$ ex-hell, bleh!) that produce […]

Minds from Agents

Recently, I came across this SEED article, Divide Midns, Specious Souls; which has this deliciously anti-religious, pro-science quote:

Within the wide range of works arranged along the axis of soulism, from Life After Death: The Evidence, by Dinesh D’Souza, to Absence of Mind, by Marilynne Robinson, it is clear there is very little understanding […]

Thinking about Thinking

So far, in my reading of Minsky’s Society of Mind, his hypothesis, that the mind is an agglomeration of specialized agents working in conjunction with each other completely meshes with observations of my own behavior. In particular, I’ve noticed that when I get stuck thinking about a problem, I’ll endlessly repeat, in my head, the […]

Enlightened Materialism

I keep finding interesting stuff on this old HD; Here’s a documented e-mail conversation between myself and a high-school friend Jeff Peoples on materialism and the mind. It was dated 2004-04-07 and appears to have been written in response to a missing article titled “Enlightenment” that was itself dated 2004-03-02 [Update 2012-06-14: the missing article […]

The Three types of Existence

I know that I promised a post about process composition and software architecture, but this just can’t wait. Last night I had a really nice conversation with one of my high school friends about the nature of existence. It all started off with my unsubstantiated claim that “the self does not exist.” As a philosophy […]

Linguistics and SciFi

Ok, It’s been more than a week since I last wrote down any of my thoughts. I recently went on travel for work, and gave a presentation of the software that I’ve been working on. I was received well, and I now have a list of improvements to make. I also visited my grandparents in […]


I was reading Hofstadter’s latest book, I am a Strange Loop, and encountered some rather provocative statements. Hofstadter is one of the only authors that I’ve read that is not afraid of explaining in great detail why materialism is both necessary and sufficient for all the complexity of human life.

This quote starts out on […]