Sanity checks as data sidekicks.
A long time ago, I wrote my own note-taking software. This got me thinking a lot about how we organize knowledge on computers.
- We want to tag things, and for those tags to have their own hierarchy. (also)
- Wouldn’t it be great if our filesystem was tag-based?
- Wikis should automatically create links for you as you type.
- How documentation software should work.
Co-founding Memrise was a really rich experience, and threw up a host of ideas. I also depended heavily on others with more experience – here are some pointers.
- Sometimes the simplest ways of soliciting feedback from users work best.
- Useful reading if you’re thinking about a startup.
- Paul Graham, Joel Spolsky and Steve Yegge and the Law of Increasing Returns (2006)
Dreaming about the future
- How publishing should work.
- An alarm for space instead of time – tell me when I get somewhere, instead of somewhen.
- Using space to help us learn.
- Meaningful employment through Mechanical Turk.
- How can your iPhone make you even more entertaining and interesting than you already are?
- Recommendation engines will fuel consumption.
- Discover what’s going to be popular next year by crowd-sourcing canaries in the coalmine.
I spent much of my PhD working on algorithms for making sense of gigabytes of brain data from fMRI scanners.
- This is what Multi-variate Pattern Analysis (MVPA) algorithms are for.
- How to beat an fMRI lie-detector. [they don’t exist yet, but they probably will]
- The DARPA competition to read minds with fMRI
My favourite findings from psychology
On writing and thinking
- What I think I learned from being a philosophy undergraduate.
- Understanding why you disagree philosophically is a little like debugging a computer program.
- Is a naturalistic account of reason compatible with its objectivity? – undergraduate philosophy thesis (notes)
- Platonic dialogue on whether to take the red pill or the blue pill.
- Setting up your own domain name and website (2010).
- iPhone app recommendations (2011).
- Daisy Disk – where has all my disk space gone? [Mac]
AI & analogy-making
- Learning by analogy – making Copycat curious – treatise for the Curious machines class on possible future directions for Hofstadter et al.’s Copycat family
- Causes & clauses and The Model Six – for Marvin Minsky‘s class, ‘Society of Mind’, written with Steve Larson
Undergraduate notes and essays
On animal language
- Can we still look to language as the bastion of human uniqueness in the animal kingdom? – undergraduate essay on animal language