Chris Chatham's Homepage

Research | Education | Miscellaneous | Personal

I started a blog. I don't blog much anymore: Developing Intelligence. It was selected by the scientific journal Nature as one of 50 popular science blogs, was selected by Blogger.com as their "Blog Of Note" for August 4th, 2006, was featured in the December 2006/January 2007 issue of Scientific American Mind (p.19), was featured at Business Week online on March 27th as well as at the Atlantic Online on June 1st, 2007, made it "in the blue" at Metafilter on both September 5th, 2006 and April 18th, 2007, has been featured at Mental Floss & Lifehacker and on numerous occasions made front-page at Digg, Fark and Reddit.

. I graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder in August 2011 and moved to Providence, Rhode Island to take a postdoc with David Badre. At some point I will do a real update of this page

.

Favorite Quotes:

Time

“Where is it, this present? It has melted in our grasp… gone in the instant of becoming.” – William James

"[Memory] selects, eliminates, alters, exaggerates, minimizes, glorifies and vilifies also, but in the end it creates its own reality, its heterogeneous but usually coherent version of events; and no sane human being ever trusts someone else's version more than his own." -Salman Rushdie, Midnight's Children

Simulation

"All models are false. Some are useful." - Unknown.

"Nature is by the Art of man, as in many other things, so in this also imitated, that it can make an Artificial Animal." Thomas Hobbes (1651)

“What the gears cannot do the computer might. The computer is the Proteus of machines. Its essence is its universality, its power to simulate” – Seymour Papert

"Those who really understood what they were trying to do would be able to express their ideas as coded instructions, calculate with powerful machines, and find answers and demonstrate explicitly by numerical experiments." - Julian Bigelow

"Instead of trying to produce a programme to simulate the adult mind, why not rather try to produce one which simulates the child's?" - Alan Turing (Computing Machinery, p456)

"The more a thing resembles ourselves, the more it think as we do, the more intelligent we think it; and the less it thinks as we do, the greater fool it must be; if a substance does nto succeed in making it clear that it understands our business, we conclude that it cannot have any business of its own." - Samuel Butler (1865)

"The machines are gaining ground upon us; day by day we are becoming more subservient to them; more men are daily bound down as slaves to tend them; more men are deaily devoting the energies of their whole lives to the development of mechanical life." - Samuel Butler (1863)

"This is perhaps the most beautiful time in human history; it is really pregnant with all kinds of creative possibilities made possible by science and technology which now constitute the slave of man - if man is not enslaved by it." - Jonas Salk

"The strange flavor of AI work is that people try to put together long sets of rules in strict formalisms which tell inflexible machines how to be flexible. - Douglas R. Hofstadter

Science and Discovery

“The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” Marcel Proust

“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.” – Arthur Schoepenhauer

“Some people will never learn anything, for this reason, because they understand everything too soon.” – Alexander Pope

"... scientists all have physics envy. At whatever level of science you are working, the level just beneath you seems a little more scientific. Biologists kind of envy biochemists who kind of envy chemists who kind of envy physicists. Everybody wants to wear a slightly whiter coat." – Dave Weich

"To biologists theory is a poor approximation of reality; to a physicist it seems almost the reverse. To physicists the theory, if correct, is what is real; it is the experimental data that are just a reflection." - Daniel Hillis

Miscellaneous

“I’m more like the monkey who firmly believed that he saw another monkey in the mirror … and discovered his error only after running behind the glass several times.” – Galileo

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman

“Poetry is a mirror which makes beautiful that which was distorted.” – Shelley

“Each step was so small, so inconsequential, so well explained or, on occasion, "regretted," that, unless one were detached from the whole process from the beginning, unless one understood what the whole thing was in principle... one no more saw it developing from day to day than a farmer in his field sees the corn growing. One day it is over his head.” - They Thought They Were Free, by Miltion Mayer

“Ours is an age besotted with graphic entertainments. And in an increasingly infantilized society, whose moral philosophy is reducible to a celebration of 'choice,' adults are decreasingly distinguishable from children in their absorption in entertainments and the kinds of entertainments they are absorbed in - video games, computer games, hand-held games, movies on their computers and so on. This is progress: more sophisticated delivery of stupidity." – George Will

“People say again and again that philosophy doesn't really progress, that we are still occupied with the same philosophical problems as were the Greeks. But the people who say this don't understand why is has to be so. It is because our language has remained the same and keeps seducing us into asking the same questions. As long as there continues to be a verb 'to be' that looks as if it functions in the same way as 'to eat' and 'to drink', as long as we still have the adjectives 'identical', 'true', 'false', 'possible', as long as we continue to talk of a river of time, of an expanse of space, etc., etc., people will keep stumbling over the same puzzling difficulties and find themselves staring at something which no explanation seems capable of clearing up. And what's more, this satisfies a longing for the transcendent, because, insofar as people think they can see `the limits of human understanding', they believe of course that they can see beyond these.`` -Wittgenstein

''Philosophy is a battle against the bewitchment of our intelligence by means of language`` -Wittgenstein

``Ambition is the death of thought'' -Wittgenstein

“Chaos is the law of nature. Order is the dream of man" -unknown

"The truth comes as conqueror only to those who have lost the art of receiving it as a friend" -unknown

Music is the pleasure that the human soul encoutners from counting without knowing that it is counting. - Leibniz

"Part of the problem is that people tend to compare the brain to a conventional computer... Most people then leap to the conclusion that the mind is analogous with 'software'. [On the contrary] the brain more closely resembles a combination of hardware and software, because an unprogrammed computer is pretty dumb. In that case, the 'mind' must equate to an instantiated program, i.e. a 'process' which is executing." -unknown

"There is a grandeur in this view of life . . . from so simple a beginning, endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved." - Charles Darwin

“A thought that’s spoken is a lie” – Tyutchev

“And Nietzche, with his theory of eternal recurrence. He said that the life we lived we’re going to live over again the exact same way for eternity. Great. That means I’ll have to sit through the Ice Capades again.” – Woody Allen