[FoRK] W3C sponsor, AI / supercomputing Ph.D. program,
<jbone at place.org> on
Wed Oct 3 21:18:39 PDT 2007
The Bay is overbought. I'm long-term short the Bay. ;-)
Except for the increased personal existential risk, which is probably
less than, say, driving a car --- I'd say that the prospective
Washington gig sounds more intriguing; that doesn't satisfy the
child / education issue, though. Hard to say what to do.
In general, I'm not much in favor of CS PhDs; they're generally less
than useful --- Russell's one of the only guys with one that I know
that can actually still write code. Seems to often ruin you for
that. And the world needs another treatise on a typed lambda
calculus with "novel" concurrency mechanisms like it needs a hole in
More useful than an MBA or yet another JD, but that's beside the
AI at Stanford, MIT, or CMU --- probably the biggest exceptions to
that rule. GMU is interesting; perhaps there's some kind of multi-
agent / economics / AI thing might fly, given the pool of advisors to
tap there. IMHO, once everybody else gets over the novelty of the
"multi-core" / parallel programming thing that we've all known was
coming for over 20 years and realizes Erlang / join- or pi-calculus
is the wellspring for the next 700*, then the intersection between
game theory, economics, practical game playing, and heterogeneous
multiple agent systems stuff is going to become the hot topic. GMU's
as ripe for groundbreaking work in that area as any place outside of
Hebrew University in Jerusalem...
(Understand all this educational advice is from a guy that didn't
have the patience to finish his undergrad... :-)
Get admitted, fire up the ole' grant-proposal-writing grammar / text
generator, feed it a bunch of relevant things from citeseer,  and
fund the W3C participation that way. Or: write a decent poker bot,
buy some rack space in Anguilla, and fund it that way...
 start here: http://citeseer.ist.psu.edu/zlotkin89negotiation.html
* I reserve the right to be wrong about this. Indeed, I *hope* I'm
wrong about it. I hope that the compiler writers can actually make
concurrent Haskell a practicality for real-world systems. It would
be lovely if the argument for explicit concurrency was as moot 10
years from now as the arguments against "high-level languages like C"
and the use of compilers was by 1980.
But Haskell isn't the right vehicle anyway; the language designers
need to get over the novelty and generality of monads, come back to
earth, and realize that uniqueness types are the only way truly
functional languages are going to make it in the mainstream. Paul
Graham be damned, there's more to be gained by doubling the
productivity of the lower 90% than by increasing the productivity of
the elite 10% by 10%.
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