Tag Epistry

The Right Abstraction: Newsletter #19

I have been fascinated with abstraction for as long as I can remember. The disciplines I am drawn to instinctively — mathematics, physics, philosophy, programming, literature, design, cognition, religion; to name a few — are all disciplines that truck in abstractions. Good abstractions make…

Newsletter 18: The Society of Knowledge

We live in a knowledge society but we don’t have a universal class of knowledge professionals. Every profession deemed universal is represented throughout society. Doctors ply their wares in rural clinics, small town hospitals and the Harvard Medical School. Lawyers…

Newsletter 17: Communicating Knowledge

I have been thinking about knowledge and collaboration for a long time, for it greatly affects my own life as an scholar and researcher. The open source movement didn’t invent collaboration; academics were collaborating freely — both as in beer and as…

Weekly Newsletter #16: Text is Technology

If you have been following my newsletters, you know that I am obsessed with text in its various forms: Writing Code Mathematics Stories and so on. As a — more or less — universally literate society, we have pushed text into the background. We…

Weekly Newsletter #15: Coding Philosophy

As I have said on other occasions, code is language and programming is a natural evolution of writing. In my opinion — I am a biased observer — philosophy and literature are the high points of textual culture. Mathematics comes a close third, but…

Weekly Newsletter #14: Universal Knowledge

Many of us have a dream: make all the knowledge in the world accessible to everyone. Part of that problem is that we have struggled immensely to access knowledge — texts, mentors and a peer network. The internet has made accessing information…

Newsletter #11: Occupy Knowledge

I got into the pursuit of knowledge for the adventure, for the sense that we were exploring parts of the cosmos that had never been explored before. That might well be a personality issue. I once read that people get…