I have a mind uncompromised by mind-bending substances. The PhD is evidence of its use, but not proof of its continued availability. That can only be inferred from a lifetime of creative productivity.
I have been fluent in several languages over the course of my
life, which exposes my understanding to a diversity of perspectives and
ways of seeing things. The beauty of logical and mathematical sciences
(such as used in computers) is that they are consistent. Any proof
not based on fallacy can prove the same theorem. People who have difficulty
reasoning along one track, can arrive at the same theorem by another track.
Recognizing this universal consistency in a context of absolutes (otherwise
known as theorems and tautologies) enables me to help people the way they
need to be helped.
The most effective mode of teaching is Socratic, one-on-one elicitation of the reasoning capabilities of the student by leading questions. The lecture method of teaching is a good way to get them started with the basic facts and framework they need to build their rational processes upon, but independent directed research is the final objective.
There are also technologies that changed -- and can still change
-- the world for better. The computer is one of those, but only as it became
affordable in the mid-1970s. There are several technologies that worked
together with Moore's Law to give that result. As a peripheral participant,
I was close enough to see how the confluence of events and purpose achieved
that end, but far enough to be free to pursue my own contributions.
There are side trips into bioinformatics,
usable programming language design and machine
translation of natural language. There is more to do than I can accomplish
in a lifetime, so I can afford to focus on something compatible with the
agenda of whoever is willing to work with me.
2008 October 18