Re: JOINING posts

From: Leonard A. Wojcik <>
Date: Fri, 24 May 2002 16:59:24 -0400

I have not posted to this list before, but I have read many posts with interest. Professionally, I do modeling and simulation of air transportation systems, including some applications of agent-based modeling, game theory and decision analysis. I have a few publications in these areas. I have a Ph.D. in Engineering and Public Policy (Carnegie-Mellon) and M.S. in Physics (Cornell). I participate in Santa Fe Institute meetings a couple of times per year and have a general interest in complex adaptive systems. Although I'm not a Buddhist scholar by any means, I'm a practicing Buddhist and have a basic knowledge of some Buddhist philosophical schools. Personally, I am interested in ontology, and in linking Buddhist philosophy to Western scientific ideas. I've read or perused various books and articles (Dennett, Chalmers, Wheeler,... plus various Buddhist texts) relevant to this.

Thanks to everyone on the list,
Len Wojcik
Arlington, VA US

Wei Dai wrote:
> I find that I often have trouble understanding posts on this mailing list,
> given the wide range of intellectual ground that it covers. It seems that
> people sometimes assume a background in an academic field, and I'm not
> even sure what the field is, or how to get up to date or at least familiar
> with it. On the other hand, sometimes a poster is just a crank and isn't
> making any sense at all. It can be hard to tell the difference.
> Perhaps it would help if list members each posts a short biography of
> themselves, and tell us their intellectual backgrounds. What fields are
> you familiar with, what relevant books/papers have you read, etc.? This
> way, if you don't understand someone's post, you can look up his JOINING
> post in the archive and figure out what background he is assuming. I got
> this idea from the SL4 mailing list; maybe it will work here as well.
> To begin with myself, I work as a cryptographic engineer, which means I
> design and implement computer security mechanisms, with a focus on the
> cryptographic parts. I have a BA in computer science, and have taken
> courses in linguistics, theory of computation, number theory, algebra,
> probability theory, and game theory.
> I think I first encountered the idea that all possible universes exist in
> the novel _Permutation City_ by Greg Egan, and then in Tegmark and
> Schmidhuber's papers. I started this mailing list after reading both of
> those papers.
> I've scanned through _An Introduction to Kolmogorov Complexity and Its
> Applications_, Ming Li and Paul Vitanyi, and read parts of it in enough
> detail to have found several previously unreported errors. It's about
> algorithmic information theory, and I personally think it is the single
> most important book for list members to read.
> Here are some other books that I've read outside of formal education that
> seem relevant.
> _The Selfish Gene_, Richard Dawkins. Theory of evolution.
> _Gödel, Escher, Bach - an Eternal Golden Braid_, Douglas Hofstadter. On
> self-reference.
> _Maxwell's Demon: Entropy, Information, Computation_. Entropy and the
> physics of computation.
> _Philosophy of Mathematics: Structure and Ontology_, Stewart Shapiro.
> I'm finding that I don't have enough knowledge about foundations of
> mathematics, foundations of decision theory, and quantum mechanics. I'm
> currently reading the following books to rectify the situation:
> _The Foundations of Causal Decision Theory_, James Joyce
> _A Modern Approach to Quantum Mechanics_, John S. Townsend
> _Foundations Without Foundationalism : A Case for Second-Order Logic_,
> Stewart Shapiro
> Ok, who wants to go next?
Received on Fri May 24 2002 - 14:00:13 PDT

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