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My Podcast Station, Talk on Gnarly Computation at IFTF

I gave a talk at a think-tank called the Institute for the Future in Palo Alto yesterday, for a group called the FutureCommons that meets there once a month. It was a nice alert audience; I felt happy to be among tech dreamers. Michael Liebhold introduced me. He's into this cool new thing called “locative media”, which involves computer realities that are pegged via GPS to realworld locations.

My fellow author Howard Rheingold was there. He decorates his own shoes with spatters of acrylic paint. He says he used to draw patterns, but with splatters, you don’t notice when bits chip off. Before my talk, the group of maybe fifty people stood in a circle and played an encounter-group game. Good old California.

I was promoting my Lifebox book as usual these days. Sell it, Ru! You, too, can experience the multimedia wonder of my talk two ways.

(1) Read the Talk Slides, saved in the friendly PDF form rather than the demanding PowerPoint format.

(2) Listen to a 40 Meg MP3 of my talk on ”Gnarly Computation”. This is better quality than the last MP3 I tried to post. Click the link above or click on the icon below to access the podcast via , which mirrors my Gigadial feed.

It’s thanks to a tip from reader Lisa Williams that I’ve made Rudy Rucker Podcasts called “Rudy Rucker” on, which will place poddy wrapper tags around the mp3 for those interested. Geekin' out!

After my talk, the ultrageek (and very nice guy) Jerry Michalski led a discussion about theories about the ultimate nature of reality other than my “universal automatist” thesis that everything is a gnarly computation. As the discussion rambled along, a charming woman named Eileen Clegg made a realtime visual representation of what people were saying. She does this for a living! This photo I took is not, she protested, the final form of the image that she’ll produce.

After the talk we had dinner in an Indian restaurant with suitably gnarly food. Jerry Michalski told me about some software called “The Brain” that he has been using for years to maintain and every ramifying computer model of his mind. He codes in every link between new ideas that occurs to him. Information about Michalski’s brain is available online at his website. This guy is Lifebox-ready! One minor problem is that, just today of course, the link to his brain gives an error message…

9 Responses to “My Podcast Station, Talk on Gnarly Computation at IFTF”

  1. Narrenschiff Says:

    I wish my lecturers were as obliging with lecture materials as you!

  2. Steve H Says:

    Man, the link to my brain has been giving me error messages for years. ‘File not found,’ ‘syntax error,’ and the old standby “Would you like to format?”

  3. kathryn Cramer Says:

    A fellow named Ross Dawson who was in the audience blogged it: dubya dubya dubay dot rossdawsonblog dot com.

  4. Trisha Marx Says:

    Thanks for posting this. I wish I was smart enough to create things like this! I loved the “spattered” shoes. Now that is something I might actually be able to do. Do you give talks like this on a regular basis? I’d love to hear you sometime.

  5. Rudy Says:

    Trisha, I do give talks from time to time, but not on any regular basis. I usually announce them in the Upcoming Events categor of my blog, see this link

  6. Cliff Says:

    Is “locative media” anything like augmented reality? Given that this post is a few years old, I’m curious whether it’s an early term for the same thing or if there is some difference between them. It sounds very similar on the surface.

  7. Rudy Says:

    Cliff, that’s right, “locative media” is in fact an older phrase that means about the same thing as the newer, and catchier, phrase “augmented reality,” AR for short. The ubiquity of smart phones now makes the medium more significant…as people would no longer need complex goggles or the like to view AR. Holding up your smartphone and looking “through” it is enough.

  8. Ivan Mitchell Says:

    I agree with Trisha, this sounds so complicated to me. I couldn’t follow how to do it.

  9. Rudy Says:

    Ivan, regarding my podcasts: My more recent podcasts are visible on Feedburner. To find the older ones you have to go to Gigadial by clicking here

    From this page you can download MP3 files of my talks and interviews to your computer, and if you click on these MP3 files once you have them, they’ll play. You do need to pay attention to where on your computer you download the MP3 so you can find it once the download is over.

    If you want to add the downloaded MP3 to iTunes, see this Apple support page
    Basically in iTunes you use the File|Add To Library dialog.

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