davidhq

Work | CV

Knowledge

I like exploring new promising developments in information technologies from my little corner of the world. This is not always easy but is getting somewhat easier because knowledge is diffusing to the edges. Valid and true information (sometimes hard to extract) is indeed more accessible than any time before. We have a somewhat opposite problem now: there is too much of it!

I've been interested in learning as much as possible and the structure of knowledge in general since around 1981. I think I'm more interested in what is knowledge and how to best organize it for specific purposes than how to know everything (although this would be nice :). I also wish someone told me earlier how much knowledge there actually is and how fast it is growing. We just have no way of catching up individually. Each one of us can indeed know just a tiny bit.

Looking at broader cultural trends, Gell-Mann disputes the idea that we are living at a time of cultural decline. "We're actually at a high point in our history, but we don't see it. You have to remember we live at a time when the ordinary person — the mass man, as Ortega y Gasset wrote in La Rebelión de las Masas — has broken through."

Murray Gell-Mann is probably pointing out that now each one of us can know a few very valid truths about a broad range of topics and in some sense this really means breaking through. Also worth noting is that nobody is above anyone else or can claim any higher secret mystical knowledge that is not accessible to others if they put enough effort into acquiring it. Avoid gurus, follow plants!

When one studies people that are considered genius (those that discovered some deep fundamental truths about the world), they are usually the first ones to tell us how little do we really know. But... little is much more than nothing! Conclusion: don't be know-it-all or ignore-it-all. Somewhere in the middle is the best. We are probably good when we have enough knowledge to reliably add value through something we are doing and others start appreciating it.

Computing

I believe computers are best seen as knowledge management machines. There are many other things they can do but this one probably stands out the most. Today computers are involved in anything and everything that moves this world forward: designing vaccines, flying aeroplanes, running all kinds of networks - even networks running our new kinds of monetary systems.

Computers still cannot think and they won't be able to for quite some time, so it is the best if we can use them as synergetic tools: human creative brain and computers as knowledge management / automation tools. Progress is mostly made out of these two aspects. Humans + computers pushing everything forward.

I also like many other things but most of them involve some kind of computer (mostly as an effective interface to the broader world, not primarily as an end-in-itself). I needed some time to realize that this is true for me after all. I think computers were not invented for us to get lost in virtual worlds but to explore the real world in a more interesting way.

Virtual worlds will emerge as well, no idea what this change will bring. The Young will show us.

Buckle up!

I am fascinated with recent "speedup of computing" though, it is a wild ride for anyone and everyone involved. I started playing with computers on Intel 286 + MS-DOS, so more or less at the start of personal computing era. I wrote a Tetris clone in Pascal with some interesting features at the end of primary school. I mailed it all around the country through some monthly magazine which included software on a disquette. It was interesting to see that this worked and how "easy it is" to distribute / copy software once written. I wasn't aware of how difficult that actually was in comparison to the next era.

Through my high school (1996-2000) the consumer Internet was really taking hold and at the end of it it was here. Just as I entered my Computer Science studies. In first year in a classroom I remember feeling very excited when I tried Google search a few times to get some help with current explorations for my studies. It was just a completely different technology than Altavista which I was using before. One immediately realized that something "funny" happened in that transition and only a few sarches were needed for that lightbulb to turn on. Smart algorithms are really powerful!

Internet changed everything and everyone knows the story. Software was much easier to distribute and those who were well prepared and in the right place at the right time figured it all out and took advantage before anyone else really noticed what was happening. Now we mostly live in their world and by their rules. It all happened so fast and by utilizing so much capital that this centralization road was the only option. They also developed some crucial technologies for the next era to be possible at all, so we should appreciate all well-meaning builders from this transition era.

{Soft} System Reboot

It is now time to rewrite some of the rules and since public crypto technologies (and other developments in more decentralized / edge direction) are obviously finally here, we can start doing that. One step at a time with still a very long way to go. It is in the interest of everyone. Centrally run organizations and services still have their use but they won't be the only game in town. They are slow and too incapable of holding consistent multiple narratives. They will lose some momentum through internal and external pressure.

On the other side are privacy and control preserving cryptographic technologies of this new web3 era. Brilliant pioneers and networks of pioneers have been cutting their teeth on this for some time now. They are slowly getting recognized for their contributions to future prosperity and reducing various barriers to progress.

Some people oppose progress and/or life-long learning. We should be a bit scared of them. Recent Trump episode showed us the possible taste of things to come if we don't think about the entire spectrum of issues hard enough. Each one of us has to think about it, not someone in the name of everyone else. Sometimes it's the system's fault, sometimes is the game (see next section) but sometimes it's the person's fault and they need to learn / chill.

Games we play

I recently read the book Finite and Infinite Games and I really recommend it. I think we are moving from globally focusing on the finite games to the infinite ones where the goal is to continue playing and not winning per se. This is the reason "rules of the game" are being rewritten... to actually build a sustainable future for this planet (and nearby planets :).

Have you noticed that it has recently become impossible to tell who is actually crazy and who is not. Can we even make a distinction? Everyone is a little bit crazy, I certainly hope so.

It is important to note that the Real World still has limitations (like the land and other resources, also just luck, free will and random chance) and there is no magic bullet to make everyone happy or even to be conclusively fair. The world is unfair at its core so we must be fair to balance that. If we are not, then everything is unfair and this means chaos and destruction, fairly monumental one.

My small contribution

I am especially interested in helping build the next-generation of tools for Search & Discovery (quite a broad topic) and also for the realtime web. Nothing big that everyone would use but very big for those that indeed end up using it.

I feel privileged to be living in such amazing times. Just to observe and do nothing would possibly have been enough. It feels good to contribute at least something though.

DMT Does Many Things

Videos explain how to start with 'DMT OS' on your modern Single Board Computer.
My hair is wild because of Pandemic lockdown. I spent 1 year closed in a lab
fixing bugs to get everything ready for more collaboration with a few great developers globally. Global collaboration is now easier since we all live in one Global Village.

~ RUN DMT ~

Explore!

I would like to end with this famous quote for all explorers:

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go. (T. S. Eliot)

Essentially, this is an advocation to the reader to challenge him or herself. Eliot is saying that we are always capable of more than we think we are. Only those who are willing to keep going to a point which they fear is "too far" can ever possibly discover how far it is possible for them to go. If we behave conservatively and do not take risks, we will always be slightly holding ourselves back. However, if we do not pause to consider the fear of failure, and do not allow ourselves to become shackled by the fear of doing too much or being too excessive, then we will be freed to fulfill our true potential.

A key word in this quotation, of course, is "risk." Eliot is suggesting that there is always an element of risk inherent in any real achievement. Only by welcoming this aspect of risk can we truly go above and beyond what we thought might be possible. If we want only to stay in our risk-free comfort zones, we will never establish what we are actually capable of doing.

Source

Computing mostly consists of a lot of boring details

Sync that state!

Good state management is at the core of all good working computational systems.

If you are studying computer science, pay special attention to this perspective of seeing the code.

I wish someone told me this earlier...

With no experience in developing software there is no way to know how much complexity is involved in general. This is not an excuse to do a bad job though. Everyone involved with software should strive to follow best practices and learn about longevity and maintanability of code. It is not always possible but we should keep on trying! If we don't invest enough time and effort into great software, we will lose much more time fixing all kinds of issues in perpetuum.

Instead of constant progress we will have constant running in circles.

What is worth doing today?

👽 Keep up buidling the future! :)

So what is this project anyway? Something that I'd like to use ... and I will. Seems like some other people are also finding some of the ideas / prototypes neat.

Maybe something more widely useful will come out of it, given enough time. Whatever emerges, it should follow the informal Working Software principles.

From the lense of Knowledge management systems software solution should:

I really wouldn't like to be responsible for managing a big monolithic centrally running working system. I'm just not fit for this purpose and/or don't have such desires. I think from this perspective: I want something nice for me that is very useful and I'll try to design this system to be equally useful to anyone else that can follow the instructions and has some time, interest or need to test things out. Support will be given but when I become a bottleneck either I can continue giving some support for a quite high price or other people can do this for a fair price as well. Knowledge and valid information cost real money in addition to being free all over the place. It is a combination. I am very used to spending real money to further my education and sensemaking capabilities. People that always want everything for free continue just not going anywhere.

Money has some bad connotation but we shouldn't let bad apples ruin this fabulous invention for everyone else. Money is great and the fundamental concept of what money even is is changing radically. I think I would be able to write some further opinion on this complex subject but I'll save it for another occasion. At almost 40 years old I finally think I understand the basic principles and I mostly had to learn them myself. The world also turned upside-down in this regard in very short timeframe very recently so it was quite an adventure to land where the puck planned to be.

If only a handful of people use these tools then not much support has to be given which is possibly even better. I will accept the reality either way.

Exciting things are just waiting to be figured out! It never ends.

As you probably noticed I like working and thinking alone but also do heavy, focused and time-limited collaboration with people to receive the right input when it is needed. I don't know how far can this go or how interesting things can become but I'm prepared to see and learn. So far I haven't done much in life and I hope I can do more in the future, I'm somewhat prepared. Considering I was born in the middle of nowhere (relatively speaking :) and I stayed here (or nearby) with increasing progress I can only "expand online", there is no other place to go. This can only be done with ideas that are valid and matter, I wouldn't like to do it any other way. Of most things I have no slightest idea how they work but some things I have big desire to figure out better and improve my understanding of: using some of the tools I code along the way (with the help of many other people). Computers are great synergy with creative brains.

That's it. Sorry if it was a bit long!