Well, I for one think the world would be a sadder place without pompous nerds like me. Not, of course, on the same level of cultural tragedy as if there weren't anonymous trolls, but still.
I took college classes from 9 to 13, then my parents pulled me out entirely. There were good and bad aspects to my path. At 13, actual graduate math classes were a bit over my head, and I felt a lot of pressure and feelings of failure because I couldn't quite hack them. Also, being isolated was hard, and it wasn't until I came back to grad school at 22 that I felt I developed my social skills properly. But being allowed to focus on intellectual pursuits was really nice in a way, and I actually look back on that fondly. Now I have my PhD and work for Google, and I do geeky things for fun. As one example, I'm noodling on keyboards, and, being me, I'm writing a DX7 synthesizer emulator. Most people consider the math of it to be impenetrably difficult, but, I'm like, "oh, _Bessel_ functions, I can dig that shit!"
I hope he does well and finds a path that makes him happy. One thing my parents did was keep me out of the newspapers (and off the front page of Slashdot, although we didn't have that then). I'm not sure whether that was entirely good or bad - publicity is valuable coin in today's society
Yep, that's me. And thanks a bunch for the recognition. I think there's more life in those concepts, and we'll probably see them continue to evolve, but it's taking way more time than any of us imagined in those heady, fast-moving days.
As you can see from my uid, I've been with you since almost the beginning. At times I've been frustrated with the quality of the posts, especially the pseudoscience garbage, but
I did a couple of things like this back in the mid-90's. One used iterated fractals. I think the original idea was by Ian Goldberg, and I added the coloring.
But I wasn't satisified by the fact that lots of different hash values produced similar-looking images, so I also cooked up one that had a guarantee that a single-bit change in the hash led to at least a single-bit difference in the image, and came up with these snowflakes:
Could be this is a better and slicker implementation than any of this stuff, but the underlying ideas are not quite new.
Nonono, what you really want to do is run a system daemon that pops up an X11 window every two hours with that message.