Archive for August, 2012|Monthly archive page

How to make a difference in computer architecture

In lecture on August 28, 2012 at 12:00

An epilogue to the past few posts, also published as chapter 16: “What now?” Who will constructs computers of the future, and how? I’m not sure yet, but we can start with a few statements.

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General-purpose computers are the stem cells of computing

In lecture on August 27, 2012 at 12:00

General-purpose computers are, like stem cells for living organisms, key to the perpetuation of computer engineering. Here’s why.

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The wonder and promise of general-purpose computers

In lecture on August 25, 2012 at 15:17

As I argue in the intro to this book, the advent of general-purpose computers has altered the limitations of the human condition in ways both unforeseen and still poorly understood.

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What is “computer science” exactly?

In lecture on August 24, 2012 at 12:00

The words “computer science” seem to mean different things. Some use it to talk about making web pages, others to talk about computational complexity theory or category theory. As I argue in the intro to this book, it’s more than the combination of both. Here’s why.

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Science is team work, and so is innovation

In lecture on August 23, 2012 at 12:00

What is “science” exactly? What is “innovation” in technical fields? Here’s my take, from the intro to my recent book.

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Flavours of liberty

In lecture, reflection on August 18, 2012 at 12:00

A dear friend yesterday shared his quest to sharpen his understanding of philosophical concepts by studying their opposites. Like one can better understand light by acknowledging darkness, it seems to him that much is to be learned about wealth, power, comfort, safety and liberty by considering what they are not.

As I pointed out, this exercise is tricky with liberty, because “liberty” encompasses several notions with diverging opposites.

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Reading is good, reading right is better

In hack, lecture on August 6, 2012 at 12:00

Distraction is pleasurable, but there are many ways to waste time reading stuff online. There’s the useless stuff, and there’s the stuff that makes you stupid. In contrast, choose wisely and balance useful stuff with stuff that makes you smarter and more creative. Read the rest of this entry »

Gratitude and social expectations

In address on August 5, 2012 at 12:00

Recently I have published a book. This could not have happened without the help of a few special people, whom I thus profusely thank at the beginning. Yet this simple expression of gratitude has raised unexpected questions, some from people close by, that make me wonder what picture of me they have hanging in their mind.

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