Sunday, March 29, 1970

I Just Saved The Defense Department a BOAT-LOAD Of Money!

Dear Readers,

Good morning! The Math Skeptic here, coming to you LIVE from my D.A.R.P.A. node, where I'm pleased to report that I AM A NATIONAL HERO!

I'll explain.

As I'm sure you know, The Math Skeptic is very concerned about the overuse of numbers in daily life, including the very software code that runs our computer machines. Today, I found a way to reduce the use of numbers AND save Uncle Sam some scratch.

I'm working on this top-secret packet switching software that (we hope) will eventually run a global network of inter-networked computers and allow average citizens to store their recipes and share kitten pictures in a completely computed environment. Each of these "packets" is stamped with a time and date.

My realization today: these "packets" don't really need to know the first two digits of the year, do they? I mean, how often do centuries change? Once every, what, 100 years? And why would the computer care what century it is?

We can save memory - and thus money - by leaving off those first two digits. Instead of "1970," the packets are stamped with "70." Pretty efficient, eh?

And think of all the other places this innovation could be put to use - bank software, air-traffic control software, power plant monitoring software, even the banks of computers that maintain our nuclear arsenal ready to retaliate against the Soviets!

And the best part - it reduces our human dependency on numbers by two digits. Take THAT, numbers!

Yours Truly - and efficiently,
The Math Skeptic
American Hero

Saturday, March 14, 1970


Dear readers,

Welcome to my brand-new A.R.P.A.-net site! I'm calling this a B.L.O.G., which stands for Bi-daily Letters Of G.I.G.O., which we in the I.T. (Which stands for Information Technology) field know stands for "Garbage In, Garbage Out." This "B.L.O.G" is where I'll put my twice-a-day rantings and musings about my work here at D.A.R.P.A., and about my concerns over our dangerous reliance on numbers to accomplish high-tech-nology tasks.

For you see, I am a Math Skeptic. I refuse to accept the premise that numbers and calculations are infallible. We live in a quantum world, and this means that we are ALL quantum - our bodies, our minds, our clothes, our hair -- and even our math.

On this B.L.O.G. (pronounced "blog" -- it's a strange acronym, I know, but I think it might catch on) I will try to teach the world that Math is uncertain, and hopefully connect with other Math Skeptics out there.

Skeptically yours,
T.M.S. (which stands for The Math Skeptic)