My name is Dave.

I'm a creative person who experiments and explores art, science, and beyond. As a kid, curiosity got me into trouble from home to school. As an adult, the same curiosity came to define my helped learnedness: gigging around the city, cofounding a startup, finishing a marathon - simple methods behind any art, science, or sport. You get what you give.


Movement is medicine


My interest in health stems from my quest to defeat diabetes by conducting small, habit-forming, n-of-1 experiments around DIETS and documenting what I've learned. My diabetes diagnosis was a lesson in disguise from fear to courage. Diabetes is daily trauma from diagnosis to demise. Overcoming diabetes is an education minus credentials. But enough about diabetes.

Did they mention the dog?

European pointers are the best trainers. They are energetic masters of sports like frisbee, hiking, and running. From Shorthairs to Weimaraners to Jade, my Vizsla, these dogs have a way of making a hyperactive feel lazy. Quoting an old friend: after twenty miles they look at us like, why are we stopping?

My teenage adulation of Breaking Away ended with a spectacular bike crash that punctured but did not deflate me. The bikes gather dust in the garage now since slow jogging long distances has taught me that completion is better than competition. The race is not always to the swift. I only run because biking is nearly impossible where I live.

People said if I finished a marathon, I'd do another, but I can tell you it's one and done for me. If I do another, it'll be longer, but not slower because my marathon time was at the 95th percentile of slow. The only way I can run further, slower is to run an ultra. Time will tell.

The real cycle you're working on is a cycle called yourself.


Jazz is freedom


My interest in music is mostly jazz, but not just any jazz. Classics have their place, but fresh trio fusion is where I find peace. I once thought that I'd be a classical musician, but when I sacrificed my music scholarship to study computer science, it was clear that vocation beat avocation. I've spent years gigging professionally and I still like to compose for fun so my time arranging, teaching, and performing music was time well-spent.

The beauty of jazz as an art form is that it depends on the artist, the listener, and the artist-listener. Jazz is the greatest triumph of listening as generative, improvisational art. Take a bassist like Ron Carter, a drummer like Bryan Blade, a guitarist like Pat Metheny, and a pianist like Marcin Wasilewski, then listen carefully to their transcendent sound.

I find joy in returning to the same book or record when the author or artist is deep enough that repeated reading or listening reveals richer, layered, and textured experience. That's why I can read the same book or listen to the same record many times without growing bored.

Purposeless play which is an affirmation of life – simply a way of waking up to the very life we're living.


Software is the message


Like diabetes, software started as a personal science for me - hacking on personal computers. Similarly, drums just simplified jazz until I had the capacity to learn more. I'm still learning. For me, life imitates art. Programming is an iterative art. Programming pop culture may benefit from a more durable, less ephemeral culture like music school. Maybe then, we could realize more fully that we truly are standing on the shoulders of giants and find solace in the words of Donald Knuth:

We have seen that computer programming is an art, because it applies accumulated knowledge to the world, because it requires skill and ingenuity, and especially because it produces objects of beauty. A programmer who subconsciously views himself as an artist will enjoy what he does and will do it better. Therefore we can be glad that people who lecture at computer conferences speak about the state of the Art.

My interest in software is primarily around open source operating systems, programming languages, and databases. The need to ask better questions is upon us with AI. Given AI's current limitations, the right answers are more likely when we phrase questions by suggesting a theme and expecting variations in a collaboraitve, improvisational style.

Only in retrospect would I realize that Xerox PARC's formative years fatefully coincided with my early childhood education. Five years later in middle school, we breathed software from Apple to Atari and beyond. No surprise, then, that our school resembled a mixture of Alan Kay's employers and Bill Gates schooling.

It is software that gives form and purpose to a programmable machine, much as a sculptor shapes clay. Leonardo called music shaping the invisible, and his phrase is even more apt as a description of software.