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Jeff Lindsay

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Be wrong to be right [Mar. 23rd, 2010|01:58 am]
You can be right more often when you learn to admit you are wrong.

If you're actually wrong but persist that you're right, you just remain wrong. Whereas if you admit to being wrong, you become right. You also learn from being wrong and therefore are that much more likely to be right in the future.

It's perhaps counter-intuitive, but that's life. If you *really* care about being right, you'll admit to being wrong.
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The latest from Wozniak [Feb. 16th, 2010|09:33 pm]
"My latest idea that I've been expressing is that there's no real value to humanity in creating technology like computers. What really matters and makes a difference is when you do something nice for someone else, like tying the shoe of a child. Or bringing smiles to any stranger."
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On Knowledge [Feb. 2nd, 2010|09:36 am]
Despite conventional wisdom, knowledge is not just a collected body of facts. This is because that's exactly what information is, so knowledge must be something else. In fact, it's so much more.

First of all, I argue that knowledge must be validated to be knowledge. You might hear about wrong information, but rarely do you hear about wrong knowledge. In fact, you commonly hear knowledge associated with truth. This is because knowledge is acquired through experience, the validation of consistency against reality. As they say, you never know until you try.

I also argue that knowledge is not real until it is learned. In a sense, knowledge doesn't exist outside of a person. We talk about our collected body of knowledge, but we're really talking about people and the knowledge they have, or had when they were alive. Anything else is merely information, potential knowledge that has yet to be validated and internalized. Although we trust certain information to be validated "knowledge" since it was once acquired by someone else, it's only an assumption until you have learned it (experienced it) for yourself.

Whether you buy that or not, we all seem to agree that knowledge is power. This is revealing about knowledge when you consider that power is defined as the capacity to cause change. This implies that the nature of knowledge is biased towards the idea of how-to. Although we consider the declarative what-is-true knowledge of, say, mathematics, to be knowledge, it is only a shorthand for the proof behind it, and the process of deriving a proof is obviously a question of how-to.

The idea that knowledge is concerned with change and *how* things happen is important in contrast to why things happen. The fundamental difference between how and why is that how is concerned with structure and process, while why is concerned with function and meaning. The how of something can be determined without context through analysis. How does it work? Take it apart and find out! The why of something is highly dependent on context and synthesis. Why do we have xyz? You'll *never* know from taking xyz apart. Meaning comes from the outside. It accumulates not as knowledge, but as understanding.

A probably more significant implication of knowledge being about change and process, is its relation to computer science. Not computer science as in the specific field of study, but computer science as the essence of computation. Perhaps, philosophy of computation. What computation and programming are about is the notion of formalizing intuitions about . . . process.

Harold Abelson, co-developer of MIT's introductory computer science course, says computer science is not even so much about the computer. "When a field is just getting started, it's easy to confuse the essence of that field with the tools that you use." I think the big significance of computation is not computation at all . . . it's about a means to formally talk about knowledge itself.

We have general language as a formal expression of information and data, and we have basically programming and computers as a formal expression of knowledge and process. This leads me to wonder: what will we develop that allows us to formally express understanding and meaning? What kind of revolution will that be?
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Unprecedented State of Busy [Dec. 14th, 2009|10:54 pm]
Both now and in general. 2009 is probably the most notable year I can recall. It must have something to do with how busy I've been. Too busy to write in my LiveJournal, that's for sure. And there's been growth and development on all fronts: intellectual, financial, personal, interpersonal, professional, physical, etc.

At the same time, there are daily issues to overcome, stress of many projects and upcoming deadlines, and the occasional bout of exhaustion. I still need to pull my finances into better order, get my semi-professional brand out there as an umbrella for all my projects, and figure out at what point will I retire from pure technology. Most of my major projects are so long-term and require a constant stream of smaller projects to support them, I'm not sure I'll know when I've succeeded.

It may be that what I'll ultimately end up doing is moving where there are more people doing what I really want to do. Living here means I'm completely surrounded by startups and technology, so I can't help but spend cycles thinking about that. It frames my thinking and inspiration.

We'll see.
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Please date food [Nov. 5th, 2009|08:32 pm]
At the Dojo, somebody left a note on the fridge:

"Please date food."

Somebody crossed out date and wrote "marry."

Later, somebody crossed out marry and wrote, "cheat on."

Somebody else wrote along the side "+1 for marrying food."
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Page One [Oct. 16th, 2009|05:21 pm]
Hacker Dojo == Hacker Heaven

Dojo on front of Mercury News

Also, the city of Mountain View sent us their congratulations. They say the Major wants to meet us.
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Combat Tanks [Oct. 16th, 2009|02:41 am]
I'm bringing back the game developer within. I will now develop a series of awesome, simple, but increasingly scoped networked multiplayer games in Flash using Flixel. First on the list is Combat Tanks. Play the alpha preview!

Mostly developed in the 3 days of TIGJam, it's a remake of a favorite Windows 3.1 game. There are still bugs and major features missing, but it will be awesome and it will take the Internet by storm.

Combat Tanks
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Johnny 5 [Oct. 4th, 2009|02:00 am]


See it in action.
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This is how normal people talk, yeah? [Apr. 29th, 2009|01:43 am]
Me: LIKE ME
Her: OK
Her: i mean NO
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Head Asplode [Apr. 13th, 2009|10:27 pm]
Busy busy busy. I reformatted my laptop, which required a lot of backup work. I also installed Windows and Boot Camp for some game stuff (making more than playing, but whatev). Over the weekend my net was down while I waited for Comcast to come back and reinstall service (Catherine had to cancel it when she left), but that happened today, so I'm back. Today/last night while doing reformatting stuffs, I also set up my new projector and audio system. I've also been cleaning and retooling the place since Catherine left in preparation for Kevin's move-in.

I still have more housekeeping items to take care of, like my broken Rock Band guitar and adapter needed for my Xbox to connect to the new projector. I'm looking forward to having some Rock Band or movie night parties soon while I have the room.

Now that most of that stuff is taken care of, I can get back to other work. I've been working on a new web service called Scriptlets, which is meant to be a part of the web hooks ecosystem. I've been getting behind writing about web hooks, as well as retooling my presentation for ... shit, next week. I've gotten a lot of useful feedback, which I think will help a lot in making this massive talk less unwieldy and more comprehensible.

The talk is at Pivotal Labs, which should be recorded, so that's a big deal. It's also practice for my talk at a conference next month in Denver called Glue. After Denver, I'll be visiting Montreal as my first time in Canada. That should be fun.

But I've been spending a lot of money and not working on much paid work. And I think I owe more than I thought on taxes, so there goes my savings I had finally gotten growing. I wish I had more time to work. I've been playing with doing other contract work, more short-term stuff that has more urgency and less massive complexity. We'll see how that goes.

There's a lot of other stuff pending that I need to take care of, but I just can't right now. Although I should make room to finish shipping some stuff on TIGdb I started a couple weeks ago. Especially since we have Christpher Lobay with us now working on it.

Anyway, I'm sure there's more (like the game I've started talking to some people about, or Get Achievements, or ongoing SHDH and Hacker Dojo stuff, or the music I want to record, or the indie games BarCamp I've somewhat committed to make happen, etc). I wish I didn't care so much about so much. :\

*head asplode*
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