I love the informatics program at Irvine
Soldiering on with the landscape metaphor, the program itself exists in the borderlands between the hard and soft sciences. It is a place in which one can discuss Heidegger and network topologies in the same sitting. The junction of these two sides of academia, along with the passionate belief shared by everyone in the department that life can become richer through interaction with computers is… well, it brings me hope.
Computers will never solve the world problems on their own, and technology will never prevent people from having to work. Perhaps, even, those are facile goals to begin with. What computers can do, however, is make solving the world’s problems a little bit easier to understand. And if we can make people understand, they are better equipped for the tasks ahead.
In that respect, today was an excellent day at school. Professor Jain held a provocative lecture on search that provided me with new insight into ontologies, and Marvin Minsky held another on intelligent machines that provided a suitable complement in understanding the proper way to analze data in a system. It turns out that in both cases the proper way to handle the organization and analysis of information is to handle it several ways. Having multiple representations of the same set of data better equips us to understand how to solve our problems.
Miller’s magic number comes to mind as a starting point... but it's already late and I have to stop telling myself stories to put my weary head to rest.
P.S. I am converting a swath of Java to C# at work currently, and I have to say it is an excellent method of re-learning both languages in thier intricacies. I had totally forgotten about static constructors.