Form

He didn’t get it.

I was surprised, kinda.  But it made sense, why he didn’t think much of my suggestion.  In fact, in his seminar at UCIrvine Information and Computer Science department (as tactic to get MIT to give him a better offer as a tenured faculty member), he dismissed my “idea”, quickly, even though he had asked (obviously rhetorically, in hindsight) for suggestions as a kind of Socratic presentation tactic in his talk.

My mentioning of Kirchoff’s law as a parallel in regards into information flow, he thought irrelevant, and was rather dismissive.  But who was I, just a graduate student from a west coast Podunk U [which eventually was a key university in the development of the World Wide Web].  He was an assistant Professor from MIT, angling for tenure.

kirchoff_law_1

This time I understood.  Although I didn’t have a name for it at the time.  I just shut up.

Now, I call it eucaryotic hubrisWe all have it, in the area of our expertise and our vast areas of ignorance.

This time, I had had enough encounters with these kind of guys to not be in awe of them. I didn’t assume I was at fault in not understanding, and not smart enough it “get what they are promoting”.  They were just as ignorant as I was.

And, Stupid, as me.  So when I was watching one of Geoffrey Hinton’s youtube talks…

carl_hewitt_stupid

I had interacted this “professor” before, in that seminar.   And I had listened to some of his other conference talks, he is very very very smart and accomplished.  So smart, these days, he is a distinguished emeritus faculty member, at the institution he got his BS and PhD at.  He has never had to move out of Massachusetts, or MIT.  No, this guy wasn’t Marvin Minsky, but his student.  So when Hinton told his offhand story, about Professor Carl Hewitt, I had to laugh.  Deja vu, all over again.

“Indeed, in their later years (after finding out that most others are faking an understanding of the laws of nature), INTPs [Architect Rationals] are likely to think of themselves as the master organizers who must pit themselves against nature and society in an unending effort to create organization out of the raw materials of nature.” – Please Understand Me II,  Keirsey, David. Please Understand Me II (Kindle Locations 4099-4107). Prometheus Nemesis Book Company. Kindle Edition.

As scientists, we all are struggling with understanding:

Formatics: Precise Qualitative and Quantitative Comparison. Precise Analogy and Precise Metaphor: how does one do that, and what does one mean by these two phrases? This is an essay, in the form of an ebook, on the nature of reality, measure, modeling, reference, and reasoning in an effort to move towards the development of Comparative Science and Relational Complexity. In some sense, this ebook explores the involution and envolution of ideas, particularly focusing on mathematics and reality as two “opposing” and “fixed points” in that “very” abstract space. As Robert Rosen has implied there has been (and still is going on) a war in Science. Essentially you can view that war as a battle between the “formalists” and the “informalists” — but make no mistake the participants of this war are united against “nature” — both are interested in understanding the world and sometimes predicting what can and will happen, whether that be real or imagined. So… I will ask the questions, for example, of “what could one mean” precisely by the words: “in,” “out,” “large,” and “small.” The problem is both Science and Mathematics are imprecise — but this sentence contains fighting words and is impredicative, to say the least. In my father‘s terms, it is important to distinguish between order and organization, and understand the difference. Lastly, for now, the concepts and their relations, in the circle of ideas of “dimensions of time” and dimensions of energy along with the dimensions of space and dimensions of mass will be explicated, as I evolve (involute and envolute) this ebook. SO WHAT IS HE TALKING ABOUT? Let me try to explain.

Formatics

Other Architect Rationals include:  James MadisonSrinivasa RamanujanEmmy NoetherPaul DiracRobert RosenDavid KeirseyAlbert EinsteinLonnie AthensDavid Bohm

Thanks, I needed that.

Seasons change with the scenery
Weaving time in a tapestry

I was surprised.

I was just eating lunch by myself in the cafeteria.  I am attentive, not expressive, kind of guy.  Besides this was the first time I was visiting MIT, as a part of Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference.  No, my SATs were not good enough to get into CalTech (or MIT), and I am a west coast guy, anyway.

But, lo and behold.  He sat down next to me.  Obviously, to strike up a conversation.

Marvin Minsky.

Ok, now I wasn’t a kid anymore.  I was industry-based AI researcher (Hughes Research Labs, HRL) working at the time on Autonomous Vehicle research.   Minsky didn’t know me, but, I knew a fair amount about him.

Marvin Minsky, full professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and “one of fathers of Artificial Intelligence”, came to my table clearly because he was curious.  Minsky, a Fieldmarshal Rational, had been very successful in promoting his graduate students to getting academic professorships across the lands. The list of his PhD students is more than impressive. He had government and university funding. MIT is a technological power house.  Money, People, and Companies have been flocking to MIT well before I was born.

I tried to make our conversation as interesting as I could.  Hey, Marvin was a legend in my field: Artificial Intelligence.

After about 5-10 minutes of conversation, me doing most of the talking about the autonomous vehicle project that I had been involved with, Marvin excuse himself, and wandered over to another table with a couple of people and joined in that conversation.

He didn’t get any useful out of me, in his mind, no doubt.
Next.
He moved on.

Thanks, I needed that.

I did get something useful out of the encounter.
A slow idea. But not a fast idea.  A hint on a part of an idea on how the world works.
It was a Kuhnian moment for me, I knew some things that Marvin couldn’t imagine.

Continue reading

On the Question of Learning Words…

… and Tools.

“It is important to understand that the Four Temperaments are not simply arbitrary collections of characteristics, but spring from an interaction of the two basic dimensions of human behavior: our communication and our action, our words and our deeds, or, simply, what we say and what we do.” — David West Keirsey

My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him and his ideas every year.  First year,  Second Year, Third Year, Fourth Year.david_west_keirsey_young_man

David West Keirsey (August 31, 1921 – July 31, 2013)

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
and next year’s words await another voice.
— T.S. Eliot

He concentrated on them:  the use of words,

Continue reading

Re-imagin-ing

David West Keirsey (August 31, 1921 – July 31, 2013)

frame work

Frame
Work

re-: Latin – ‘again
imagin-: Latin imaginari – ‘picture to oneself,’
ing: Germanic -ung – Gerund – ‘continuing action

david west keirsey self portrait 2

My father died on July 30th, 2013 and I intend to honor him, if I can, by writing a blog about him and his ideas every year.  First year,  Second Year, Third Year

His ideas still have use because his ideas are slow ideas. Moreover, his ideas have wider applicability if re-imagin-ed, judiciously.

Only the educated and self-educated are free.

“… Up to that time I had learned a lot, but not at school. I began reading when I was seven. Read (most of) a twelve volume set of books my parents bought, Journeys through Bookland. Read countless novels thereafter, day in and day out. I educated myself by reading books. Starting at age nine my family went to the library once a week, I checking out two or three novels which I would read during the week. Then, when I was sixteen, I read my father’s copy of Will Durant’s The Story of Philosophy. I read it over and over again, now and then re-reading his account of some of the philosophers.” [Turning Points, David West Keirsey, 2013]

Klein Dual Inside Out

“I mention Durant’s book The Story of Philosophy because it was a turning point in my life, I too, become a scholar as did Durant, thereafter reading the philosophers and logicians—anthropologists, biologists, ethologists, ethnologists, psychologists, sociologists, and, most important, the etymologists, all of the latter—Ernest Klein, Eric Partridge, Perry Pepper, and Julius Pokorny—of interest to me now as then.” [Turning Points, David West Keirsey, 2013]

When I arrived on the scene (about 30 years later) upon which my father and I started debating about ideas. He was well educated, and more importantly self-educated, in Philosophy and Psychology.  He considered himself to be the last of the Gestalt Psychologists at the end of his life.

Being a “hard” science kind of guy by nature but always being questioned by my “Gestalt” psychologist father, I always, in the back of my mind, questioned the basic assumptions taught to me in school — like the physics concept of “mass.” I couldn’t put my finger on exactly what was wrong or what issues were being finessed, for I figured that I was either ignorant or not bright enough to know better.

“If you don’t understand something said,
don’t assume you are at fault.”
— David West Keirsey

My father was called Dr. Matrix by his staff at Covina School District. He considered himself as an self taught expert in Qualitative Factor Analysis, because he had to have six semesters of statistics (quantitative and correlative) as a PhD requirement for psychology, and found that those techniques missed important factors and meaning.  Rather, he looked for systematic (and wholistic) patterns in human action, using the principles of Gestalt psychology.  I often would be his sounding board on his tentative propositions in characterizing the observable action patterns.

Temperament Framework Productive Action
The Temperament Framework for Productive Human Action

Continue reading

Transformation: Swimming Across the Universe

A corporation is a living organism; it has to continue to shed its skin. Methods have to change. Focus has to change. Values have to change. The sum total of those changes is transformation.”  — Andy Grove

moore_noyce_grove

In Memoriam: Andy Grove
2 September 1936 – 21 March 2016

Andy Grove was noted for making sure that important details were never missed.  Having a strategic vision helps in recognizing the important factors.

He had survived by getting things right in the long term and transforming himself.

“By the time I was twenty, I had lived through a Hungarian Fascist dictatorship, German military occupation, the Nazis’ “Final Solution,” the siege of Budapest by the Soviet Red Army, a period of chaotic democracy in the years immediately after the war, a variety of repressive Communist regimes, and a popular uprising that was put down at gunpoint. . . [where] many young people were killed; countless others were interned. Some two hundred thousand Hungarians escaped to the West. I was one of them.

Even though he arrived in the United States with little money and not knowing English, Grove retained a “passion for learning.”  He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the City College of New York in 1960, followed by a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley in 1963.

“Probably no one person has had a greater influence in shaping Intel, Silicon Valley, and all we think about today in the technology world than Andy Grove.” — Pat Gelsinger, CEO of VMware

Continue reading

Cultural Wind Jammer

I have the impression that some ways must be left behind, some mental habits must be abandoned, if we are not to clip the wings of progress. Even to science we must sometimes repeat Charon’s cry: By another way, by other ports, not here, you will find passage across the shore. In my role as teacher I hope to be able to show you other ways, if not other ports. — Giuseppe Vitali

“Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they’ve got a second.” — William James

Bill Thomas has been described as a Cultural Jammer: trying to change the American attitudes towards aging.

In 1991, Bill Thomas, having been an emergency room doctor, became the medical director of a nursing home in upstate New York. He found the place, as the Washington Post put it, “depressing, a repository for old people whose minds and bodies seemed dull and dispirited.”

Continue reading

Simple Solutions to Complex Problems

Is not a good idea.

So says her, and she should know:  she has done the research.

It’s complicated, and there are no panaceas.

Real Complex.  It’s hard work.

Politicians, Lawyers, Journalists, and the Public at large love simple explanations and simple solutions: let the Government or the Market solve it.

Simple Solutions for Complex Problems: NOT A GOOD IDEA.  Many Simple Solutions are Fast Ideas.

Rather it’s communication: both cooperative and competitive.

Her ideas are slow ideas: complicated. And the world took awhile to recognize them.  She was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics three years before her death.

“Lin Ostrom cautioned against single governmental units at global level to solve the collective action problem of coordinating work against environmental destruction. Partly, this is due to their complexity, and partly to the diversity of actors involved. Her proposal was that of a polycentric approach, where key management decisions should be made as close to the scene of events and the actors involved as possible.”

Continue reading

Of a Strange and Distant Time

Strangers in Strange Lands

A gypsy of a strange and distant time
Travelling in panic all direction blind
Aching for the warmth of a burning sun
Freezing in the emptiness of where he’d come from

Left without a hope of coming home.
Gypsy — Moody Blues

He didn’t want to be a gypsy, he wasn’t really a gypsy by nature, but he left without a hope of coming home.

The world and himself made him a gypsy, an exile: a stranger in strange lands.

But he did push for the burning sun.  It technically is called RADIATION.  Order AND Disorder.

edward_teller

Lichtquanten — Albert Einstein
A Photon — a light quantum

And every one, except one of his mentors, his older fellow exiles, including Einstein, eventually disagreed with Teller Ede, making him an exile three times: a stranger in strange lands, all his life.

Continue reading

Character

“Character is what you know you are,

not what others think you have.”

She knew what to do.

“Determination and perseverance move the world; thinking that others will do it for you is a sure way to fail.”

She did not fail, in the long run, despite all the obstacles.  Just ask her numerous, successful, students.

Continue reading