My name is Josh Bacigalupi and I live in San Francisco. I'm a regular user of Wikipedia and an infrequent commentor. I have yet to edit an actual page. However, I do read the discussion pages at times and contribute to some.
I have an undergraduate degree from UCSB in Environmental Sciences with upper division work in Physical Chemistry. I then received a Masters in Architecture. I've been practicing architecture for about 10 years now. Concurrently, I've been researching a novel approach to self-organizing systems and how they can be fabricated synthetically. My main thesis is that a hybrid digital/analog mechanism is necessary. I'm completely aware that this is not the sentiment'd jour. For more rigorous discussion on this topic I invite you to my website devoted to group research of the topic.
I regularly attend the Helen Wills Neuroscience lecture series at UC Berkeley. I also took numerous courses in Java and analog/digital circuits to augment my science undergrad work. I also had the opportunity to work on a behavioral/perception experiment in Dr. Levi's lab at UCB. I've attended a number of Cognitive Computing symposiums and I'm an avid reader of both technical books for the layperson and white papers related to neuroscience, perception, and information theory.
A habit learned in design school, I generally question the preconceptions of an approach to a problem when that approach consistently obfuscates a conclusive solution despite large efforts. Specifically, the problem of understanding cognition has had relatively minimal success over the last half century. I submit that the advances that have been made correlate to our improved technologies and not to our improved understanding of how cognition actually works (neuroscience, on the other hand, has been very successful in discerning local functions withing the brain. This empirical data, however, has not led to even a sketch of a coherent theory of mind that can be tested). I further submit that this is due to the preconception that the mind and/or brain is a functional and closed system like a binary state computer, informally referred to as "digital". This is a deceptive analogy since the digital computer is both conceivable while it also performs certain domain specific tasks much better than our brains can. Again, however, my design education has cautioned against using an analogy beyond its reach.
Of course, I try to keep this bias out of my Wiki contributions. Never the less, I can't deny my personal perspective. I invite anyone to challenge my contributions if they feel my bias inappropriately influences my input too much.
Cheers, Wolfworks (talk) 16:07, 13 May 2008 (UTC)