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The Steampunk Aesthetic

Wow, this is great. This post sums up a lot of drives I recognize in myself, for which I didn't have a name or even realize they were grouped until now.

Example: I live in Africa. One reason I like it is a "steampunk" building accessibility: when I want air conditioning in my room, I go out, buy the A/C units from the store, and ask around to see who can install it -- usually this is just a random guy with some tools who will come same-day, cut a hole in the wall, run the pipe outside from the room, and install the fan unit on the roof. I can watch how he did it, see the tools he used, and do it myself next time if I choose.

I've seen entire buildings go up in a week or two, made from concrete blocks. I've had one-day turnaround on custom furniture (wood standing desk) built to my exact specifications. When I'm in the US, everything feels sacred -- I'm "not allowed" (in my mind) to cut a hole from interior to exterior in my house. I might screw it up somehow. In Africa, you can get things done fast and pretty well too, and it all feels accessible to me.

(And yes, I realize I'm much wealthier than the people around me in Africa. I agree that helps, in that money makes things move faster, but I don't think it's the cause of the sense that I could do this myself that I get while I'm here)

June 2012: 0/33 Turing Award winners predict computers beating humans at go within next 10 years.

I listened closely to the youtube snippet. Here is the transcript:

[moderator] so, tell us who you are and why

[alan] My name is alan cima. i just believe it'll be solved. I put together the things we are seeing, in terms of analysis of facial expressions, and all of those things, so it's not purely the logical problem but it's also a human and logical problem. I think it'll be solved in less than 10 years.

[moderator] Spoken like a true poker player.

Obviously he didn't spell his name, but he had white hair and I could tell his general age. Based on that, plus a bit of googling (various spellings of "seema" plus ACM), this linkedin profile came up, which I think is probably him with 95% certainty: