Gerald J Sussman at Don Friedman's 60th Birthday Party

Original video here.


What is True


Find an Approximation to f(x)
Make Guess (G)
Improve Guess by averaging G and (f(x))/G
Recur until G good enough

Computer languages
I can say some things more precisely than before

Chaotic Motion shown by machine

I've learned a lot, and I'd like to tell you the things I've learned

Structure and Interpretations of Classical Mechanics

Mathematical Notation Fundamentally sucks


cos^-1(x) /= 1/(cos(x))

Mathematical notation is an impressionistic natural language.

Mathematicians haven't been clear because they don't have a good language.

No good for teaching elementary stuff.

Right answers by wrong arguments.

Understanding ideas /= Manipulating symbols


Requires precision.

Write a program to explain things.

~overly rigorous

Edgar Allen Poe The Philosophy of Composition 1846

Minsky Paper Title

MINDSTORMS: Children, Computers, and Powerful Ideas by Seymour Papert


Learning is fun!

I'd forgotten until my Digital Logic Tuesday morning the immense pleasure I obtain from lecture, on occasion.

The teacher, Dr. Singh, was explaining a method for designing a particular machine using some simple binary operations. It was very abstract and high level (i.e., right up my alley.)

It's probably somewhat gross psychologically, in that competition and therefore pride play a role. I catch on to abstract, numerate, or verbal things pretty quick. (Ah, the joys of unspecified scope in comparators. Quick relative to what population, Will?)

Learning is delightful, and some folks don't believe that. How utterly tragic. Nothing is simpler or humbler than our capacity to learn from every situation. It is the root of social relations, prediction, abstraction--so much that I'm abashed to have begun a list.

Frank Herbert writes of Paul Muad'Dib in Dune that he never forgot that one can learn from every situation.

(The learning/growth distinction is one I'm still working on--feel free to throw a comment down if you think you can add light [or, I suppose, heat].)

(Learning is our dyadic relation with All, oneself and the world at large. Surely there is no more basic joy. If you can think of a counterexample, I'll ask Thomas to send you brownies.)



On the advice of my lawyer, I submit this frail offering as evidence that I have a sense of humor care about you, Constant Reader.

Original comic here.

She's really an amazing with watercolor. (She'd say watercolour, actually.)

Of course, that my school pussed out on classes today after mere Tornado Warnings helped.

Maybe after lunch I'll actually finish something.

Mood: (Are you kidding me? Do you really think I'm going to write something so inane as my mood down?)

Music: Exorcist Children - Sea of Amorphia, Drop of Quiddity