Good idea Wai!
Here are a few words describing my background.
I graduated from McGill University in Montreal with a master degree in
Electronic Engineering in 1968. My career has spanned many different
fields including electronic hardware design, CPU design, embedded
processors, software design, Kalman filtering and navigation, artificial
intelligence, smart automous vehicles for military air or ground
applications. More lately I invented a dedicated processor for
performing genome analysis.
Since 1992 I have been working for myself, initially because of the
downturn in the economy due to the end of the cold war, and now because
of my age - age is as detrimental to engineers in the eyes of human
resources managers as it is to women in a beauty contest. Now I have my
own research and development company Quantics, which, at times, is
making money and at other times, struggling, depending on the contracts.
It's nice to have a loving and comprehending wife with a solid
profession during the hard times.
In the course of my work I have come up with many new patentable idea,
some of which generated money.
Because of the nature of my work, I find that I must be very familar
with the patenting process. For years, I have been filing my own
patents. However, I am finding that marketing is much tougher than
inventing. I am well on my way to become a patent agent and soon it
shall be possible for me to do like Albert and work in a patent office
or work for myself as a patent agent.
I have always been interested in philosophy and physics. The idea of
Quantum immortality came to me independently around 1990 after some
meditation about Schroedinger's cat. I started writing a book on the
matter. In the course of my research on that book, I came across the
everything list, David Deutsh and and Tegmark's idea.
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
> _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?