Йосиф Инсана - يوسف إنسان - ジョス・インサナ

Giuseppe Insana - 墨白

poweroff

About this website and its author

Welcome!

The pages of this website will introduce you to dr Giuseppe Insana: to his thoughts, to his words and to the products of his actions...

The Author is on a multi-threaded path towards eclecticism: towards cultivating himself and blossoming in all possible directions, endeavours, arts, knowledge fields, skills...

Explore freely and enjoy your journey... into me

Contact information

Privacy policy

Curriculum vitae - résumé

You can download my CV in pdf format.

Academic dissertations
  1. M.Sc. Thesis, Verona University 1999 (Biotechnologies)
  2. Ph.D. Thesis, Cambridge University 2004 (Bioinformatics)
  3. B.Sc. Thesis, Verona University 2011 (Economics)
Contact information

My email address is... (simply apply minimal coding knowledge or rebus-solving & variable manipulation skill to obtain it):

$surname = 'insana'; $my_email = $surname . '@' . $surname . '.net'

if your allegiance lies with perl...

alternatively:

surname = 'insana' my_email = surname + '@' + surname + '.net'

if you are more of a python persuasion

My Public Key (PGP/GPG)

PGP/GPG public key

If you are (justly) concerned about privacy, please use pgp or gpg encryption when corresponding with me.

From this page you can get my current pgp/gpg key (as an ascii key text block that you can copy&paste into your key manager).

You could also retrieve (to double check there has been no web-spoofing or MITM attack) my key using the WWW Based PGP 5.0 Key Server System or MIT PGP Public Key Server or PGP global directory verified key service (searching for strings "Giuseppe Insana" or "0xCD84801E"): e.g. pgp.net search, pgp.mit.edu search

Note that in 2017, after 19 years of faithful use, I adopted a new key. If you have my old key, you can check this key transition statement to facilitate your trust of my new key. That statement is signed by both the old and the new key.

My current key and subkeys ids (get the ascii armoured key text block here):

uid Dr Giuseppe Insana (http://insana.net) pub 4096R/A555ADDDCD84801E 2016-04-11 sub 4096R/A4F3BB5FCCCC83BC 2017-04-11 sub 4096g/05D4B08DFFE1A55F 2017-04-11 fingerprint = A4C3 E3AC 7716 5C89 EAD3 AAA4 A555 ADDD CD84 801E

Read, Write

This website could be perceived like a book, organized in several different chapters, talking about many arguments and also referring to many other books. And like every book it has a beginning. In this case, the beginning it's actually about books...

I learned to read and write at the age of 4 and, since then, books have been my trusted companions, secret confessors, fountains of knowledge, windows into other worlds, wings to fly with.

I remember one of my earliest disappointments, from the time I was in kindergarden. I was very proud of my brand new self-acquired skill - writing - and invited all the other kids to simply ask and I would write for them whatever word they wanted. I could write just ANY word...

Oh, they were so happy and started queueing to have one "written word" all for themselves... but nearly all the kids, invariably, wanted the same word written by yours truly: CACCA (= POOP)!
I was so sad! What was the point of holding the ability to write JUST ANY word and being requested only one and the same all the time? Can you imagine what those wise and learned scribes in ancient Egypt felt, after a lifetime of mastering their art, when the pharaoh's sons invariably asked them to draw little excrement glyphs (1), again and again?

(1: that hieroglyph is encoded in Unicode as 𓄽 [Gardiner's sign F52], but was possibly drawn by the poor scribe in Arale manga style... as in the poop emoji 💩)

Il vento mi risveglia: impaziente di leggere gira le pagine.

The wind awakens me: he cannot wait to read on and so turns the pages.

Sea, Swim

Another primeval and eternal love, from the early beginning of my life: the deep blue immensity, the unbounded horizon, the uncharted depth: the SEA.

First it was swimming, one of my first self-taught skills, starting by simply flapping hands and legs on the shoreline, before plunging in.

Soon after came freediving and the "aquatic sofa" (sitting or laying down on the sea floor by expelling all breath to really "sink".. I could sit easily even at a depth of 3,1m).

Snorkelling of course followed suit, and with it the constant exploration, daring everytime a little more into the unknown. Much later I learned windsurf and sailing. In any case, anything connected to the sea strongly resonates with me, and I feel the Sea as a stern but just Father to me, strong and powerful, deep and wise, feared and loved.

The father immense blue, dauntingly welcoming Gliding under the waves, golden rays become his friends


onde al tramonto rimbocca le sirene il mare lenzuolo

sopra lo scoglio osservo immenso mare colpir la roccia

Languages

Constructed languages

In 1997 I began indulging in the "secret vice" (as Tolkien lovingly defined it) of designing languages. A constructed language will always be a work in progress: first of all because the scope is both complex and extremely vast and secondly because of the endless number of refinements and improvements that can be applied to it. I am hence concurrently at work - when time allows - on the four languages I designed.

Three are artistic languages: constructed languages designed for aesthetic pleasure. Each of them takes a very distinctive approach to convey meaning and embodies unique features rarely found in existing natural languages. For example one is an "inverted" or "vocalic" abugida with only 7 phonemes, while another one disregards the order of phonemes to represent a word, considering only the phonemic content as significant.

For each language I designed and developed the grammar, the vocabulary and etymologies, the phonetics and phonology, the script, the styles of speech, the calligraphy. More information is provided under the Language design section. They are inspired by and conceived as gifts to my three children. They also have a prominent role in the novel I am writing.

The other language I designed has a series of related goals: firstly it aims to be an unbiased medium for international communication and language preservation, employing icons as words and offering interactive computer assisted translation. It hence belongs to the group of the so called auxlang: international auxiliary languages. Furthermore it is conceived to be a machine translation interlingua (intermediate language) and a platform for AI research in knowledge representation, reasoning engines and machine understanding. It forms the basis of the MediaGlyphs Project.

The little prince in many languages

  1. I love the tale "Le petit prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, considering it one of the best books ever written.
  2. I love languages, all of them.
  3. "Le petit prince" is one of the most translated books in the world (more than two hundred translations).
  4. It was then only natural for me to decide to collect all the possible translations of this masterpiece.

This page contains a list of versions, with those I own and the names of the people that helped me obtain the various translations.
As you can see I still have a LONG way to go....

Can you contribute to my collection?
Please write me if you can and want to. Thank you!
If you are also collecting this book and you'd like to exchange copies, please check my list of doubles.

Languages I learned so far and degree of fluency

 READWRITESPEAKLISTEN
Italiano9999
English9888
中文, 普通話6688
Español9678
Français7556
Български3143
日本語4364
Русский2154
Lingua latina5213
Português5011
Deutsch2011
العربية1010

If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart (Nelson Mandela)

I started learning English since primary school, studied French for three years when I was 11-13 years old and Spanish for one year when I was 17.

I've learned some Bulgarian since 1998, during my visits to Bulgaria.

In April 2001 I've started studying Mandarin Chinese.

In December 2001 I've begun studying Japanese. I also attempted studying a little Arabic in 2003.

I lived four years in England, two months in Germany and five years in China, plus several periods spent in Bulgaria and in Japan. While I was in China I had daily contact with Russian customers and - thanks to the Bulgarian I already knew - quickly learned basic communication in that language.

Languages

I started learning my first foreign language when I was 5 years old and I immediately fell awe and love realizing the immense new world that was opening up, in front and inside of me. A new way of thinking! A new way to structure thought and convey meaning! Different sounds, different schemes!

To have another language is to possess a second soul (Charlemagne)

Since that time I never stopped being avidly interested in understanding more and more about language: studying several languages, learning how languages work (linguistic) and even planning and designing my own. The language grokking trifecta.

Mystery, Civilizations

One of my first fascinations was reading about ancient civilizations: their writing system, their mythology (one of my favourite book series was "Gods and heroes of ancient X", with X being Egypt, China, Scandinavia, Greece..), their art and architecture (incredible was discovering about the Maya on a book based on the story and illustrations of Stephens and Catherwood), their history...

I avidly started absorbing countless pieces of knowledge about ancient inventions, number systems, clothing styles, weaponry... and anything which was so mysterious and oh so appealing

Labyrinths: (to be continued)

Science
Dissertation on Codon Usage (in English), for my Ph.D. in Bioinformatics
Dissertation on Molecular Modelling (in Italian), for my M.Sc. in Biotechnology

Science has been with me since the early childhood. As soon as I was able to read I started reading just about everything, and there I got my first taste at the scientific thought. Books about the human body. Books about physics, about astronomy, about mathematics, about biology.

I remember asking excitedly to the teacher, one morning in the first of second year of primary school, to be allowed to present something to my classmates, something dramatically important that I had just learnt the day before. I then proceeded to the blackboard and drew the atom model (Rutherford's, ), explaining all about protons and neutrons and electrons and the great empty VOID pervading all things... and I also remember how I then turned my face to discover 28 pairs of puzzled eyes staring fixedly at me and wondering wtf I had just tried to tell them... and me, chastised, with low head returning to my seat.

Nevermind, some time later I was back at it again, this time introducing my poor classmates :) to the Netwon color disk!

Science also played a great part in saving me from religion: Science sprouted quickly in my mind, fertilizing it with good thoughts and hence immunizing me to those other debilitating memes. At 8 years old - or around that time - I debated with the local priest, who was responsible for our mandatory (and hated) catechism, that I just couldn't believe in both Science and Religion. They painted a very different and incompatible picture, for example on Genesis and how this world came about. And while both pictures were equally colourful and interesting, only one made sense to me, because it proceeded through logical passages, which could be researched and demonstrated, and even discarded (!) to make way to a better understanding. While the other way was just a fixed set of norms, to be believed just because someone said we should. No thanks.

Fascinated by many disciplines, I dipped my toes in almost all of them, but expecially dived deeply in three of them: Biology (in particular Genetics and Biotechnology), Computer Science and Linguistics. And then in the combinations of these: Bioinformatics and computational linguistics.


More content coming soon...
Chess, Gaming

As a child I learned to play tons of games: card games, social boardgames and strategic jewels like checkers and chess.

Unfortunately, it was only very late in my life that I was introduced to WeiQi, the most beautiful and deep of all strategic games. The most ancient strategy board game and the most elegant!

Even after I discovered videogames, I never lost the love for the physical games and all the features they have which could never be replicated by a videogame: the presence next to you of the other (a single opponent or a group of friends), the texture of the cardboard or of the wooden board, the feeling of the dice (or counters or pieces) in the hand, the sound pieces make when placed on a board, the smell of wood, holding your breath during a dice roll, feeling your heart pounding as the opponent's hand initiates the move she has planned, the move you feared she would do...


(Work in progress...)
Videogames
(Work in progress...)

For games I designed see Retaliation game series

Coding, Computers

My first computer has been the glorious Commodore CBM C64. I bought it by myself when I was 9 years old by first raising the necessary capital. After having more or less failed to convince my parents that it would have been a great help for study, family finances, cooking recipes and such.. I did the tour of all the friends and relatives that I knew would usually buy me presents and delivered to each a speech which more or less ran like this: "come xmas please do not buy me any present.. instead please give me a little money which I will use to purchase a computer". My fundraising idea turned out very successful and I hence had the chance to start playing videogames :D ehm.. using the computer productively.

I never got the chance to prove how useful it could have been for mom's recipes or dad's expenses' accounting, and indeed I played tons of videogames, but most importantly I found out since day one that not only the computer could load and run an apparently infinite variety of software.. but that you could actually program the computer, teaching it anything you wanted it to do and immediately see the results. I wolfed down the Basic programming manual, I got myself specialized magazines teaching about c64 programming and I fell in love with this new amazing world of CODING!

I started coding everything that I could imagine.. and my imagination was already so wide.. I became a hacker and learned how to break software copy protections or personalize the games I liked the most. I passed entire floppies sector by sector with the disk editor multiple times to break encryptions (looking for readable strings after trying multiple combinations of a reversible crypto function).

I even coded viruses, from funny harmless ones to others that would basically crash the 1541 floppy disk drive... I ran as a little pirate overseeing sourcing and distribution of thousands of games to the ever more growing network of c64 users. I coded solutions for tower of hanoi, crypto algorithms, labyrinths designers, shoot'em up games, musical and graphical intros.. and in the end I even created a kind of graphical desktop environment - yes, for C64! - which was showing a kind of desk (replete with drawers to boot) and a hand which was moved by the joystick to access files and programs...

After that there was no more stopping. I moved from C64 to an Amiga, then to a long list of msdos computers (086, 286, 386, 486.. pentium etc etc) since the time of those with the evil green phosphors monitor light persistence, perforated paper printers and huge heavy keyboards.. until I learned to assemble my own PCs out of the chosen components.

A major turning point was the discovery of the unix environment, which coincided with the beginning of my university time.

(to be continued: hp-ux, corewars, genetic algorithms, alife, lex, mush, covariation and molecular modelling, bioinfo human variation and genomic analyses, computational linguistics, inference engines, machine learning, deep learning...) hp-ux sysadmin

Photography

My photos can be subdivived in the following categories (clicking will open a slideshow gallery):

Portraits (best)
Portraits 2006-
Portraits 1996-2006
Architextures (best)
Architextures 2006-
Architextures 1996-2006
Natures (best)
Natures 2006-
Natures 1996-2006
Objects (best)
Objects 2006-
Objects 1996-2006
Drums
Logic, Theory, Philosophy

After the infusions of knowledge and science at an early age (akin to when Achilles was dipped into the Styx) gave me effective immunization against the dangerous, insidious (and often hid-eous and even vic-ious) memetic infection commonly known as religion, I discovered that there were many diverse avenues of critical thought, many different ways to reason about the world, and expecially.. to reason about reasoning!

Many have been the theories and -isms that I have explored, approaching each of them with sharper discernment borne of the previously studied ones. In particular, I often used a method learned in the study of one of those schools of thought, which I still hold very dear: that of the sophists. (to be continued)

Cynism

Zen Hedonism

Omnibelir Philosophy

Biosophy

One important instrument to hone your mental path finding abilities and to do philosophy is travelling: exploring, meeting people and communicating with them. Observing. Learning and Feeling.
And still keeping in mind that ....

Culture, Learning, Disciplines, Books
Astronomy
Symbols, Archeology
Role Playing Games
Poetry

A choice of poems from different years and periods, reflecting the poetic pathway walked so far, grouped by either language or type:

English
Omnibelirik
Haiku
MediaGlyphs
Magic
Cocktails, Social
(TODO)
Amber
Rainbow
Minlist of ingredients
Writing
Travelling, World

Memento

            The further you travel,
              The less you know.
            This is why the Sage
              Knows without budging,
              Identifies without looking,
              Does without trying.
            (DDJ47)

             chū  yuǎn,
             zhī  shǎo是 以Shì yǐ  聖 人shèng rén 不 行bù xíng ér zhī,
            不 見bù jiàn ér míng,
            不 為bù wéi ér chéng

Travelogues

Cryptography, Cryptanalysis
Biology, Genetics, Biotechnology
Volvox essay
System administration, Unix, Networks, Internet
HP-UX lab login prompt
Design
Online RPG, Internet communities
(TODO)
MUSH coding, Elendor, WoP, Venetia
WeiQi (Go, Baduk)

Ci alziamo da terra, la sfida e' conclusa; il sole ha scaldato le pedine nere.

We stand up from the floor, the sun has warmed the black stones after a game of Go.

Omnibelir philosophy

Giuseppe Insana is an Omnibelir (Vir, ἄριστος, 君子)

Omnibelir is one who decides to live his life to the fullest, trying to use the little time of his life to achieve EVERYTHING.

He aims towards Virtue, Quality, Areté, Dharma.

A passage from "Zen and the Art of motorcycle maintenance" by Robert M. Pirsig:

``What moves the Greek warrior to deeds of heroism,'' Kitto comments, ``is not a sense of duty as we understand it... duty towards others: it is rather duty towards himself. He strives after that which we translate `virtue' but is in Greek areté, `excellence' -- we shall have much to say about areté. It runs through Greek life.''

[...]

Kitto had more to say about this areté of the ancient Greeks. ``When we meet areté in Plato,'' he said, ``we translate it `virtue' and consequently miss all the flavour of it. `Virtue,' at least in modern English, is almost entirely a moral word; areté, on the other hand, is used indifferently in all the categories, and simply means excellence.

Thus the hero of the Odyssey is a great fighter, a wily schemer, a ready speaker, a man of stout heart and broad wisdom who knows that he must endure without too much complaining what the gods send; and he can both build and sail a boat, drive a furrow as straight as anyone, beat a young braggart at throwing the discus, challenge the Pheacian youth at boxing, wrestling or running; flay, skin, cut up and cook an ox, and be moved to tears by a song. He is in fact an excellent all-rounder; he has surpassing areté.

Areté implies a respect for the wholeness or oneness of life, and a consequent dislike of specialization. It implies a contempt for efficiency... or rather a much higher idea of efficiency, an efficiency which exists not in one department of life but in life itself.''

The mind sails to Bladerunner, where Roy encounters his Maker:

Tyrell: You were made as well as we could make you.

Roy: But not to last.

Tyrell: The light that burns twice as bright burns half as long. And you have burned so very very brightly, Roy. Look at you. You're the prodigal son. You're quite a prize!

Everything is important.

The society we live in runs in the opposite direction. From thousands of years people are channeled into specialization. The goal of maximum efficiency in fields increasingly narrow. Scientists who dedicate their lives to study one single equation, one single protein, one single illness. Lawyers, farmers, blacksmiths, pilots, athletes...

The focus, the stress, the importance is in walking the opposite direction. Running against the flux, towards eclecticism, fleeing specialization.

People are nowadays judged/valued by what they produce, by how much they earn.

"Warm bodies, I sense, are not machines that can only make money" (Live)

Success (in our weltanschauung) is not rising the social ladder. Because our rules are not the rules of this society. Success is the desire for areté and the application of that desire. Success is Blossoming. Is becoming aware of our potential, and Living instead of Surviving.

There is no limit to the realization of human potential, other than those limits which we ourselves set, or allow others to set in our name. (Time of Blossoming, Suiteki: Rosenthal: Wisbey)

Omnibelir Philosophy = Greek Areté + Zen Blossoming

Omnibelir is being a 君子 [Jūn zǐ] (Chün tzu) instead of a 小人 [Xiǎo rén] (Hsiao Jen).
It is being a Vir instead of an Homuncio.
It is being an Aristos in a world of little greedy narrowminded prejudice-driven tvzombie supermarketslaves conformist people.

Oscar Wilde in his masterpiece "The picture of Dorian Gray" speaking with the words of Lord Henry Wotton:

All influence is immoral -- immoral from the scientific point of view.

To influence a person is to give him one's own soul.
He does not think his natural thoughts, or burn with his natural passions.
His virtues are not real to him. His sins, if there are such things as sins, are borrowed. He becomes an echo of some one else's music, an actor of a part that has not been written for him.

The aim of life is self-development. To realize one's nature perfectly -- that is what each of us is here for.

People are afraid of themselves, nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty that one owes to one's self.
The terror of society, which is the basis of morals, the terror of God, which is the secret of religion -- these are the two things that govern us.

And yet -- I believe that if one man were to live out his life fully and completely, were to give form to every feeling, expression to every thought, reality to every dream -- I believe that the world would gain such a fresh impulse of joy that we would forget all the maladies of mediaevalism, and return to the Hellenic ideal -- to something finer, richer than the Hellenic ideal, it may be.
But the bravest man amongst us is afraid of himself.

Kendo, Fencing

Kendo: started learning in 1997, in Verona, then in Cambridge

Fencing: started learning Épée and Sabre in 2016

Language design
O, MG, A, K
Webdesign

I started using web browsers since basically the first one, NCSA Mosaic, in 1993, and then Netscape Navigator. At that time we were even using things like Gopher... we were really the piooners of an almost untrodden (and definitely untrolled) cyberspace...

Before the end of 1995 I was already designing, programming and managing my own online environments (both for multiuser gaming and as chatrooms for scientific meetings) and of course had already created my own webpage and those of some projects... but it wasn't until 1997 that I started developing websites on commission, and to be paid for it.

Some of the websites I designed:

  • Product showcase websites for Veneto companies
    (first paid designs, while working at ATnet, back when CGI was hip..)
  • Cambridge University Photography Society website
    (one of the first examples of a fluid website, with two columns and tabbed navigation)
  • Mediterranea Restaurant
    (in Chinese, English and Russian... explore archived copy)
  • Akashic Bioinformatics Services
  • MediaGlyphs Project
    (multilingual, dynamically generated content, php, js, ajax... visit)
  • Retaliation Game Series' first website
    (with draggable tiles, random animated css+php dice roll... explore archived copy)
  • Retaliation Enemy Mine online crossplatform multiplayer frontend+backend
    (mysql&php, including coding of the challenge-response authentication protocol for login even over unsecured channel)
  • And.. the website you are browsing in this very moment :)
    lean, efficient, responsive and with totally optional javascript!

Computer graphics, Raytracing, Modelling
Bioinformatics
Coffee

I am the proud owner of two masterpieces of espresso art and object design: La Pavoni Professional direct hand lever machine and La Marzocco Linea Classic two groups machine.

Ideograms, Chinese
Biosophy

Goals of Biosophy

by Jong Bhak (aka Park Jong H.)

The goals of biosophy, or of biosophers, are not trivial. We aim to establish the foundation of a world where biological beings reason, are awake and aware, struggle to grow, be secure and challenging, and caring to the universe.
We try to make a transition in our biological society which existed for billions of years.
We want to revolutionise silently with scientific isms and tools.

It is about an intellectual, cultural, scientific, mature, loving, gentle, powerful, steady and challenging revolution in our biological selves.
People whose minds reside more in the time ahead should have seen the revolution we describe as biosophical world.

First appearance: Sat Mar 3 20:12:12 GMT 2001

Definition of Biosophy

by Jong Bhak (aka Park Jong H.)

The definition of Biosophy can be dynamic in different context of the biosociological problems in mind. A skeletal definition can be:

Way of constructing metaphisically a philosophical, scientific and biological paradigm for all the life forms in the universe to be aware of all the fundamental problems associated with their existences, including (not excluding) possible purposes.

It is a new philosophical paradigm from theoretical, computational and metaphysical aspects of science. It tries to mix and synthesize new, creative and scientific ideas to achieve technical developments to formulate the most insightful, beautiful and realisitic scheme of mind to understand life and eventually the whole universe. It is an active intellectualism.
Its main emphasis lies on the physical and informational process of life phenomenon and the extention of them to philosophical realm. This is because life is defined, in one way, as the complete (not necessarily whole) reflection of different layers of the physical world it exists upon.

Biosophers
Biosophers depart from classical philosohers and discard their basic materials and knowledge of thinking while they accommodate their methodological products such as logical thinking, debates, ways of thinkning, analysing minds and importantly the passion to understand the self and the universe.

Biosophers are technically scientists with philosophical and artistic imagination and creativity.

Classical philosophy was disrespected and abandoned by many of its own philosophers in the 19th and 20th centuries. They sensed the vacancy and uselessness in tackling problems they wanted to solve. The vacancy resulted in social and cultural confusion and a loss of direction all over the world. Biosophy fills this gap and provides an answer to the questioners not giving them answers but giving them the possibility for them, so that they could understand themselves biologically, philosophically (biosophically) and scientifically.

Biosophers rather arbitrarily sets the funeral date of the classical philosophy when the first generation life forms started to transcend to the next generation through biological science and engineering. This is the moment where life forms on earth, collectively, achieved to become unconsciousness conscious, self-evolving, self-engineering and finding the relationship between the universe and themselves in the biological facts and principles.

The transition
The transition of the generation took place over at least for 5,000 years.
We define the biosophical transition from the materialistic and classical philosophy as the apogee of life evolution on Earth. It is another big stage in the development of existence in the whole universe.

Generations of life
The development of life which is tightly associated with the development of the universe as a reflection of it, has distinct stages as biologists often find in the evolution of organic beings on earth. Some are very conspicuous while some others are more gradual and hidden. Unlike scientific detection of a biological transition from one complex state to a more complex system stage, the neuronal or philosophical recognition of such stages are less clear.
The largest scale level transition is the one defined by biosophy as 'the generation' of life.

First appearance: Sat Mar 3 20:02:20 GMT 2001

Generations of life entities

At some point in Time, on planet Earth (and we suppose in many other places in this Universe), something acquired the capability of self-replication. We still don't know what and how. We have a rough idea of when and where (3.5 billion years ago, a pond by the sea). We leave aside the "why?" question for now.
Regardless of what and how, it ended up with a CELL. A membrane defined space in which nucleotides and aminoacids re-enact continuously the magic of self-replication.

Many different mechanisms evolved out of it but to the level of detail in which we are now interested, we can consider them all alike. No real fundamental difference between the primordial cell, a tree, a virus, a shark, a mushroom, a 20th century man.
They all self-replicate, in one way or another, transfering a legacy of genetic information, protein machinery, membrane protected environment, forward the Time axis through subsequent generations.

We can define these organisms as "first generation life forms".

Evolution provided some of these life forms with such a complex ability to think that they can mirror all the universe they can experience inside their brain. They can mirror themselves inside their brain. In so doing, they achieve self-referentiality, in this particular case called "self-consciousness". They can think about themselves. They can project insideward an image of themselves, playing with the mental object that refers to themselves. Descartes "COGITO ERGO SUM" (I think therefore I am) can be an appropriate thought process that can be generated by these life forms.

We define these organisms as belonging to generation 1.5

(the use of fractionary numbers to name the levels allows for subsequent fine tuning and easy addition of new generation types without the need of changing all the upper-level ones. The important property of the fractionary numbers here exploited is that there is always one number in between any two numbers).

What man is about to achieve, most probably in the 21th century a.D., is self-engineering. This is a new leap in the evolutionary scale of life entities. A life form that consciously engineers itself. An organism that understands the process of evolution and tries to ride it to its purposes, modifying itself directly instead than letting itself being shaped by evolution. The knowledge of Biology and of its mechanisms is allowing this step.

We think of this process as a new leap in the type of life entities, and we call these organisms: "second generation life forms".

That is the nearmost future, almost the present. What can be the future?
The advances in cognitive sciences, neurology, computer sciences, electronics, will ultimately lead to the creation of AI, Artificial Intelligence.
A life form will consciously create a new life form that has not evolved out of simpler forms but which evolution or creation has been the complete volitive act of another organism/species.
To be an AI it must have self-referentiality (generation 1.5) and it will probably be capable of self-engineering (generation 2). But the fact that its creation has been the conscious result of another life form, we define AI entities as belonging to generation 2.5.

Of course this raises an interesting point. If one day we'll discover that the first cell had not evolved out of inorganic components in the primordial broth but had been consciously engineered by a life entity (we can think to it as an alien race or as a god), then we'd have to redefine our position in the generation level, but the list wouldn't need modification.

Speculating on what could be a third generation life form is very difficult. A tentative try: we can think to a life form as a shared consciousness that would be able to retain its individuality only as a recognition of the individual parts it is composed by, but that links together all life forms in the universe. An organism that can feel itself at all levels, as the single cells its body is composed of, as the multitude of beings composing its society, as the society itself seen as a superorganism, as tightly bound to all other forms, of all generation types. It would feel its presence and consciousness inside all plants, all bacteria, all AIs, all organisms in the universe.
It would be a universal Gaia-like being, composed from all life forms, it would be Life itself.

Scheme of the generations of life entities

  • 1
         Self-replication: the entity is capable of replicating itself. Imperfectness of replication causes differentiation that can be channeled by Death in Evolution.
  • 1.5
         Self-referentiality (self-consciousness): the organism has a combination of sensory stimuli and internal processing of such complexity that it can map inside itself the entire world it can sense. This mapping includes the mapping of itself, i.e. there is at least one symbol inside this mapping that refers to the organism itself (self-consciousness). The organism can "think" about itself, refer to itself.
  • 2
         Self-engineering: the life form understands the shaping principles (evolution) and the mechanism it works by to such a degree that it is possible for the life form to engineer itself in a conscious/directed way. The organism slows, accelerates or deviates evolution of itself by engineering its own self-replicative elements.
  • 2.5
         Artificiality: a self-replicative and self-conscious organism (possibly even self-engineering) arises out of a volitive act of another organism (and knows/understands it).
  • 3
         Total communion: universe-spanning shared consciousness that can flip effortless between the levels (from the simplest, lowermost to the higher order complexities of life-aggregation) and encompasses all life entities.

First appearance: Fri Dec 22 14:43:51 GMT 2000

Post CloudSmoke Reflections

I was waiting under the sun. I was in a very relaxed state and looking at the clear blue sky and these soft clouds.
I started recognizing figures in the clouds. The elephant. The snail....
And I realized it had been so long, probably years, since I hadn't "systematically" done this. Sporadically, yes. Dedicating one minute, maybe, to it. But not like that, spending long time, like when - as a children - I used to lay on the grass and have hours of cloud observation.
I glimpsed at how many things we give for granted every day. How many things we don't spend a moment on, because "known" or "passed". Because other more "important" matters are pressing.
We don't look at the blocks on which we have built everything else, observing only the tip, the present, the actual.
And I decided to dedicate more time to these "childhood games" and other aspects of life that I am forgetting and letting slip away.

Living is so beautiful. From our animal point of view we need so little to be happy. Breathing and eating and some human warmth.
And in childhood, without many external pressures, we can let our life drift in that way. Content. Serene. Growing, learning, observing, feeling.
Then, increasingly, we get pushed and stimulated. To get a good education. To achieve a respectable position, a rewarding job. Productivity. To go shopping. To watch television. To be bought or sold, buying or selling. Real needs and (very often) fake needs. The need for a sports car....
If we take away all this, we just live. Serene and without oppression.
Why then aren't we all hippies?

I think it has to do with the fact that we belong to a super-organism.
We are organisms made of an incredible number of cells. But we are also cells of an organism referred to as "society".
Good cells specialize to carry on various tasks. Cells are born, grow, die. We are parts of a bigger thing that controls us, to a certain extent.
Hence, too much individualism is to be contrasted for the wealth of the whole. Societal instincts are well fed. Societal forces are used to help maturation of the cells to the scopes of the super-organism.

I see myself now under a different light. I identify this feeling of "uneasiness" and "unfitting". The ancient "what is wrong with me" and "why I don't fit" get a possible answer, through biosophy (biological philosophy). I'm a poorly evolved cell, from the social point of view. I don't really belong. This feeling of being strange, diverse, crazy, that I harbor and nurture inside me since childhood.
I think to those people, sitting in front of the TV, going out shopping.... and I don't understand them. I think they must be crazy.
They look at me, at my staring eyes and babbling mouth, and shrug. They think I must be crazy. Why all those questions? Why don't I adapt, conform? Why do I behave like that? What is wrong with me?

I cannot really despise them. They are good cells. I cannot really despise myself. I am a good unicellular organism. A possibly totipotent cell. Or "nullipotent". Another species maybe. Or an unevolved old cell. Or an evolved future cell.

But I also like the other cells. I feel lonely without my interaction with them. I am very picky but I love those I choose. Those that choose me.
Sometimes I don't understand why I act in a particular way. It's the subconscious shift and delicate balance between social and individual opposing forces.

I am a cell that doesn't like to cooperate nicely with the other cells for the super-organism. But I am a cell that likes to interact with similar "detached" cells. Maybe we'll form a different multicellular super-organism. Maybe we'll just wither away and die. Maybe we'll be integrated, one day, somehow. Maybe we are already integrated, and we don't realize it. Maybe we'll just get fun, for a while, from our interaction. From our love.

I am in search of my companion cells. Those I can fuse with.
And I won't ask "what is wrong with me". And I won't ask "what is wrong with them". I'll delicately accept and live my individual and societal life. I'll just LiVE and LoVE.

First appearance: Tue Dec 5 17:10:49 GMT 2000

Biosophy is the new perception of philosophy subsequent to the scientific and expecially biological awareness.
Biosophy is Biology<->Philosophy.

Philosophy is (or should be) equivalent to science, being "love for knowledge" its etymological meaning. Biosophy re-anneals philosophy to science, trying to mend the wound, close the gap between the two disciplines.

In the next pages some essays Jong Bhak and I wrote on the argument.

Calligraphy, Font design
MediaGlyphs
Boardsports: Windsurf, Longboard, Casterboard, Windskate, Surf

These are the boardsports I love and practice:

Longboard
Casterboard
Windskate
Surfing
Asia, Japan
Gadgets, PDA
Devices
Learning software, NLP, Thought modelling
(WIP) AI evolution essay, Learner program, Inference engines, NLP&NLU, Commonsense reasoning winograd, Opencog, hypergraph knowledge graphs
Seal carving
Music, Composition
Teaching, Course material
Violin
Management, Business
Service, Restaurants
Architecture, Landscape design
Interior design, House decor
Cuisine
Family
My loved ones: Cat AlilA Uriel Ikiro
Cat

Cat, my Talented Soulmate

Old website showcasing some of her crochet creations

Her new CloverNeko handmade creations' online shop

AlilA

Alila, our Little Princess

Uriel

Uriel, our Fiery Champion

Ikiro

Ikiro, our Golden Prodigy

Organization theory, Worknets, Crowdsourcing
Dissertation on Crowdsourcing (in Italian), for my B.Sc. in Company Economics and Business Administration.
Cybernetics, Wearable technology
myvu hud, vr, skeletal tracking, nod
Accounting, Business consulting
Strategy game design

Enemy Mine @ Forgotten Empires (open in new page)

Website mirror for Retaliation Game Series (open in new page)

Archery
Knots
Heraldry
My family coat of arms:
Survival, Preparedness, Hiking
Rings, Jewelmaking
Rings, earrings and pendants I crafted
Smithing, Forging

Fascinated by blades and melee weapons since I was a child (maybe that old scimitar hanging near the entrance door played a role shaping this preference?), it was only later in life that I took upon myself the beautiful burden of learning how to craft them.

In particular I wanted to learn the skills of metalwork artisans of the very ancient past, and hence I started a journey into bronze age crafts. A whole new world of knowledge (some easily available and some jealously guarded as trade secrets by the last keepers of these almost lost arts) opened in front of me, alluring and dangerous, apparently deceptively simple and yet so vast, fathomless, daunting.

Taking inspiration from masters like Neil Burridge and Jeroen Zuiderwijk I took the first steps of what will be a long path of study and experimentation.

The concepts and skills required for creating any single artifact are so numerous... and furthermore it is very easy to get sidetracked while climbing the steep learning cliffs. Metallurgy, archeology, two-dimensional style design, three-dimensional functional design, mass optimization, model carving, flask building, furnace design, furnace masonwork and assembly, sourcing all the needed tools, materials and components, safety of the workplace, casting design, mould making, metal casting, annealing and edge hardening, wood curing, hilting, riveting, engraving, burnishing, polishing, sharpening... it actually never ends, as each skill clamors to be learned in depth, experimented and properly understood, not just cursorily used en passant.

(Work in progress...)
Drawing, Painting, Carving

Like the aviator in the Little Prince story, I never learned to draw when I was a child.

In fact I spent most of my life thinking of my hands as being totally unable to create by themselves things of beauty. Similarly to what happens in that incredible story, I also got stimulated, encouraged and awoken by the insistent requests of small children (in this case my own) who wouldn't take "sorry I cannot draw" for an answer when requested to draw a lion, a dinosaur, a car, an octopus or a waterfall...

"daddy, can you draw me an airplane now!?!"

So I accepted the new challenge and put my best efforts at trying to eventually learn how to make an almost acceptably looking drawing... to make those fingers cooperate in order to hold a pencil or a brush - not just able to wave a pointer on a computer screen... to try and leave coordinated and interesting looking marks on a sheet of paper.

Luckily for me I could transfer lots of previously learned skills about visual arts (from photography, computer graphics, design...): provided with an already trained eye and mind, I now "simply" (!) had to educate my hand...

Together with my recent endeavours on watercolours, this section will host pictures of my earlier carvings (briar root pipes).

Robotics, Implants

In the spring of 2018, my kids and I assembled our first mini robot, using a smartphone as its "brain" and adding to the recipe a breadboard, wheels and continuous servos for the robot's motion (an audio cable routes PWM commands from the phone to the servos).

This "androbot" can be controlled from a desktop or, even more conveniently, from another smartphone, using a simple webpage which shows the robot's camera stream and contains buttons for issuing commands.

Following are some pictures of the initial prototype circuitry, the miniaturized version, and two successive versions of the robot (the first one proved to be unstable).

The second version employs a little trick (a small periscope) to allow the robot to transmit images to the remote controller even though the phone is horizontal to the ground.

Long range shooting
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AI research
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