Hello world!

This blog exists to explore the research interests of a small group of Gentlemen Scientists. Our backgrounds are in computer science and software development.

Our fascination with science began at an early age, at which time we relied on the support of our parents to fund us. Now we have children of our own, and interesting careers that provide ample funds for all sorts of experiments and side projects.

Topics of interest here will include artificial life, computer generated art, complexity, emergence, adaption and related aspects of information theory. Recent events have allowed us to revisit our early experiments from the 1980s and 1990s, so some of these will be shared on this blog as well.

Note however that the curious mind does not respect the artificial boundaries imposed by accepted notions of scientific “disciplines”. We believe that the demise of the polymath or Renaissance man is a sad side-effect of our modern obsession with specialization. We will endeavour to revive the old ways by allowing ourselves to digress, as often as we like, into areas such as cognitive science, philosophy, rap music, Russian literature and the benefits of slow-cooked goat curry.

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3 thoughts on “Hello world!

  1. Good morrow gentlemen,

    I very much enjoy this site and love the premise, however I have to admit to a basic feminist response which I initially tried to suppress because I enjoyed the concept of the site so much…

    I am supposing with your joined gentlemanly genius and generosity that you already know where I am going with this. But I will articulate it clearly in the assumption that you do not wish to limit your community to only one half of the possible brainpower and input you could have about humanity and the world we share.

    Basically, by power of your name alone, I feel left out. I know I am only a spectator and not a member of your group, but in solidarity to my scientific sisters I feel left out not only on a personal level but on behalf of my as-of-yet-unidentified-scientifically-minded-female peers. I really did try to resist this feeling, but there it remained, and there it grew with every repetition of your self appointed collective title (noun phrase?!?!)

    I am not a gentleman and can never be. I am also not a scientist, and though I am excluded by both halves of your name I only blame you for excluding me from one half – the other is my fault entirely.

    I have no solution to offer as I know that you are harking back to a time and place that was inherently sexist and the charm of your name is derived from the historical reference.

    To call yourselves the ‘gentleperson scientists’ doesn’t quite have the same ring to it. Nor does the ‘wealthy elite scientists’ quite work for you… Sorry, I am getting distracted. The implicit classism is not as damaging nor as personally relevant. I say not as damaging only because it too, like my ability to attain the status of scientist, is flexible. Were I not born into the genteel circles, I could aspire to, and theoretically attain, upward class movement – just look at the Middletons. However my gender is unavoidable and not my fault at all. Yet for its sake your name implies my exclusion from your circle. (Lets not start talking about gender realignment surgery, I state categorically here and now that it is not an option! And not the point…)

    all the best and with love
    your sistah

  2. Dearest Sistah,

    The blog-sphere is a large and complex place. The ideas put forth by millions of bloggers compete for the attention of human minds. In some respects, it is survival of the fittest in the blog-sphere. While blog entries persist because they are never deleted, the ideas presented can be ignored, which is a failure on the part of the authors to adapt to the constantly changing landscape of human interest.

    Perception is an area of interest to the Gentlemen Scientists. We are mortified that our blog could be perceived as offensive, but we have to acknowledge your point. Every word presented conveys ideas to the readers. Blogs are an imperfect medium, and so mis-interpretation is common.

    Eventually we may post enough about the mathematical mechanics and information theory of iterative evolutionary processes to garner the wrath of the fundamentally religious. When this happens, they should know that we do not intend to offend, we just want to explore how the world works.

    The Gentlemen Scientist blog should not be interpreted to align itself male chauvinism found in other parts of popular culture.

    Our chauvinism is of a different kind, perhaps best summed up by this photo to which we can relate. That was the environment in which the Gentlemen Scientists were initially able to flourish. From that state, growing to be a gentleman seemed a worthy goal.

    In order to survive in any complex environment, one must specialize and find a niche. We have done that in this blog. Gentle-lady Scientists are welcome to contribute. The important contribution of particular women will be covered with an emphasis on their research rather than their gender.

  3. Dear Gentlemen,

    Thank-you for your reply. I appreciate that no one site can appeal to, nor please everybody.

    I hesitated to say anything at all because I did not want to turn your blog, with its very specific computery-sciency purpose, into a venue for gender politics, that is not what you are here for and not what people who read your posts are here for.

    I was not offended, only hurt, and I was not trying to say that you were chauvinist or at all aligned with so much of the horrendous sexism that is present in popular culture… I guess I was only trying to communicate something which I felt you may not have been aware of, and that is that the title you have given yourselves makes me feel alienated. I find it appealing on one level, yet somehow it makes me feel less engaged and like I am not supposed to participate. In short it turned me off. I think that is something you might want to be aware of, that half of your potential audience may feel alienated or put off your blog and its content simply by virtue of its name. However, I obviously have no idea how other women will feel about it. Maybe they wont care… can’t tell ya.

    I hope that I am not mis-interpreting your blog or its intentions. I have the greatest respect for you and understand the larger context – I simply wished to share a response that I had to your blog. I think you are deflecting from the real point here when you imply that it is a fault in my perception, or that it is a matter of words meaning different things to different people. That is an excellent post-modern ‘get out of jail free’ position to take. It says that there is not a real issue here, only a misunderstanding. I think I understand. I think I still feel the same way. That is ok. You don’t have to do anything about it. I just want you to know what I think.

    I did not anticipate that you would change anything or take any significant actions in regards to this issue and I hope that I expressed how well I understood the awkwardness of it in my initial email.

    The dilemma is that I really like the name. There is something lovely in the title and the concept of a gentleman is something I think is wonderful and something to aspire to. I really do.

    However, I also think that in this day and age the ‘Renaissance man’ has to be sensitive to the subtleties of racism, classism, sexism, etc etc etc. All the -isms can be tedious and cumbersome, but they are there because they express a truth about human experience…

    Anyway.

    On another note, you made some interesting points in your reply.

    Firstly, I find it curious that you think that blogs need to keep up with human interest and edit themselves accordingly. Human interest is vast and varied. Surely you are human and i am human and what you or i am interested in constitutes human interest?!?! What it seems you are actually saying is that you feel a need to participate in currently popular topics. Isn’t the whole idea of your blog that you are pursuing reasonably obscure streams of thought and that you are doing so out of genuine passion regardless of what is popular?!!?

    On the same point, whether or not a blog/idea is ignored should not be the measure of its intrinsic worth. It may simply be a lack of good marketing, or social networking, or luck, or opportunity, or even of desire for fame or visibility.

    Secondly, that my response should be compared to fundamentalist belief in god is concerning. The god debate is relevant to your interests and I know that any advocates for evolution will offend creationists. It is a debate that may well arise in response to your site.

    I don’t think it is fair to lump my response with the sort of response you might get from a creationist. I am not blindly criticising your site based on beliefs that contradict rational or scientific reasoning. I am trying to share my human response to your site in the hopes of facilitating a better understanding of one another. I really hope you do not think it is unreasonable or unreasoned.

    I am a philosopher and artist and though not a scientist or computer programmer I am fascinated with the ideas and experiments you are talking about and I am interested in many of the topics you have listed as possible digressions on this blog.

    I suppose I had hoped that you might say ‘Gosh, I can see how that might make you feel that way – it is an implication we had not anticipated and we certainly have no desire to make anyone feel excluded. We would love to hear more of your opinions as we progress though our various fields of interest.’ 😛 I promise that the majority would be humanist and not feminist.

    all the best
    Sistah

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