I am making a sporadic effort to learn about the so-called Singularity and now find myself digging into transhumanism (a topic first introduced to me by smartypants freelance writer/renegade science nut Fred Hapgood) and following tangents off to extropy and consilience. Will blog more about those topics later – it’s interesting stuff.
But at the moment I’m struck by the similarity of this experience to my first reading about cryptography. And then symmetric key algorithms. And then block ciphers and hashes and hash crackers and rainbow tables.
Fun to wander into a subject about which you know little or nothing, discovering that every definition contains several more unfamiliar terms, and following these hyperlink chains around the Web. Or simply around the Wikipedia echo chamber.
Though cryptography in particular can make your head hurt in a jiffy. I assume that’s the aftereffect of lighting up cobwebby corners of my brain. We soft science majors are such lightweights!