Steele's Semi-Random Rants asserts that the term "rant" connotes "violent or extravagant speech or writing."

This may be true for rants that are not labeled as rants, but rants that are labeled as rants are different.

Instead, these are personal essays that are written with the expectation that they will be ignored --- however wise, beautiful, or just dog-gone useful the essay might have seemed to the author at some particular moment (usually late at night).

I've written a few rants. Actually, most are just snippets, or sometimes just collections of selected quotes.

Still, for a while I harbored the thought that at least a couple of these pieces might grow up to be worth publishing in some appropriately obscure place. After chatting with friends, it has become clear that the best course is simply to post them here.

After all, this place is as obscure as most journals --- although less obscure than many.

For the moment, I'll offer a four part inventory.

Rants That Could Actually Be Useful (say for students):

Rants That Are Mostly Collections of Quotes:

Rants That May Be Thought Provoking:

Rant's that I have (almost) deleted and which now rest serenely in a Mausoleum for Lame Rants.


A Mega-Topic: The Information Singularity

For the moment I'll leave this topic here in delicious ambiguity. If you start with the web page for the Stanford Singularity Summit you will quickly learn more than I know.

The personal notes that that I might add are (1) I agree that this sounds goofy and (2) I believe that there is something in it --- something right.

While the apocalyptic version is as unlikely as it is unpalatable, it seems almost inevitable that there will "singularity like" events in technology, especially information technology, which at which human kind look back and say,

"Yes, that was the point at which everything changed."

Oddly enough, the "thing" doesn't even have to be very big. Just take the ODE for exponential growth, and raise the right side to a power p>1. You then get a "growth curve" that becomes infinite in finite time.

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