Greg Linch's Commonplace Book

Oh, hello there. Welcome, interweb traveler. Here's where I share interesting and inspiring links. I hope you enjoy!

The only thing that matters is that we care more than we already do about the people and places and projects that we give our time and attention. We’ve got to believe in the stuff.

Once involved in the business of creating animation, the truth of the matter is that you wind up working on project after project and rarely have time to read, study, or to come up with great ideas. And then the question invariably arises: “Why am I creating animation? What am I doing this for? Is it just to make a living?” —Hayao Miyazaki, Starting Point: 1979~1996, page 24

People silently struggle from all kinds of terrible things. They suffer from depression, ambition, substance abuse, and pretension. They suffer from family tragedy, Ivy-League educations, and self-loathing. They suffer from failing marriages, physical pain, and publishing. The good thing about politeness is that you can treat these people exactly the same. And then wait to see what happens. You don’t have to have an opinion. You don’t need to make a judgment. I know that doesn’t sound like liberation, because we live and work in an opinion-based economy. But it is. Not having an opinion means not having an obligation. And not being obligated is one of the sweetest of life’s riches.

Revolutionary art and visionary physics are both investigations into the nature of reality. Roy Lichtenstein, the pop artist of the 1960s, declared, “Organized perception is what art is all about.” Sir Isaac Newton might have said as much for physics; he, too, was concerned with organizing perceptions. While their methods differ radically, artists and physicists share the desire to investigate the ways the interlocking pieces of reality fit together. This is the common ground upon which they meet.

This prompted my group to develop a service called Virtual Notary that attests to online factoids. Virtual Notary can issue certificates on a wide range of topics, including document possession, job titles, weather conditions, and financial data, among others. A novel implementation issues independent certificates that can be verified by third-parties many years from now. The implementation also encrypts, embeds and publicizes the state of the notary on both Twitter and also in the public Bitcoin transaction chain. This ensures that the virtual notary cannot be subverted and the historical record altered, even if the website were to be compromised.