Syntonic Scaling

“There are three things that we need to focus on as a growing organization: scalability, scalability, and scalability”. If you’re like me, you’ve heard that line at least once. The pace of modern social and technological change is staggering. Most of us struggle just to maintain balance and not be swept away by the tsunami. …

The picoXpert Story

picoXpert was one of the first (if not THE first) handheld artificial intelligence (AI) tools ever. It provided for the capture of human expert knowledge and later access to that knowledge by general users. It was a simplistic, yet portable implementation of an Expert System Shell. Here is the brief story of how it came …

Institutional Citizen Science

Personnel motivation and esprit de corps have always been important in any organization. Citizenship and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) have sometimes become as important to the brand as the trade name or logo. For many reasons, it is wise to consider institutional citizen science. Traditionally, participation in citizen science projects has been done at the …

The Asimovian Epoch

Centuries past are like the long night, a mysterious dream world. The modern, networked Earth is like daybreak, a world-wide awakening. The fifty years 1945-1995 could be considered as a sort of ‘twilight zone’ between the two. The bulk of thinking and research done during this period is too new to be of any great …

Concatenative Biology

There are several ways to categorize programming languages. One is to distinguish between applicative and concatenative evaluation. Most languages are applicative – functions are applied to data. In contrast, a concatenative language moves a single store of data or knowledge along a ‘pipeline’ with a sequence of functions each operating on the store in turn. …

Scientific Models

I get nervous when people enthusiastically advocate models. This happens mostly, though not exclusively, in sociopolitical debates such as climate change. A scientific model is not a belief system. All those who claim that science is on their side might better consider whether they are on science’s side. Most scientific models, especially statistical ones, are …

Worth Defending

In ancient times, love of wisdom had a name – “philosophy”. That context brings to mind sun-drenched hilltops in Greece and great libraries like Pergamum and Alexandria. Scholars were few, ‘pure’, supported by patrons or states, and breathed the rarefied air of privilege. In modern times, we talk of “science”. There are many, many scientists …