Joel Gustafson

Oracles and Bicycles

There’s a very qualitative distinction between agents that are “oracles” and tools that are “bicycles”. Bicycles expand the range of what a human can do; oracles do something that a human tells them to do. Oracles receive a command, go do something else somewhere else, and maybe come back and return a result. Bicycles integrate into our own selves. But oracles are their own “thing”, a independent entity, and a foreigner that has to be communicated with.

Read more.

Notes on Computation

“Computation” is a slippery, mathematical idea. In the same way that we only glimpse algorithmic complexity by the shadows it casts on time and space, we only interact with computation through little projections like “Turing machines” or “Python scripts” that are just tiny peepholes into the raw, fluid information-space beyond.

Read more.