Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Going to the Singularity Summit this weekend

I will be in San Francisco this weekend at the Singularity Summit conference. It should be very interesting, a weekend of pondering Artificial Intelligence and the future of humanity. There are many interesting speakers, the keynotes are going to be Rodney Brooks and Peter Norvig. Brooks is the Director of the Artificial Intelligence lab at MIT, and CTO of iRobot. Norvig is the Director of Research at Google, and he has written a few good AI and LISP books. This will be a time to think about cool ideas, meet interesting people, and enjoy San Francisco's nightlife.

That's one of the things I love about working at a startup company, the work schedule is flexible, and the people working there tend to be entrepreneurial, intellectually curious, and spontaneous. My two coworkers and I were looking at the conference, we thought it looked interesting, so we decided on the spot to get the tickets and go. If I was working at a large company I would probably be going by myself as I usually do.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Gogol Bordello, a very cool band!

I was working out of a coffee house last week, and they started playing some very weird music that I really liked. They had some mixture of heavy punk with arabic sounding music, and a guy who was singing with a heavy foreign accent. Intrigued, I went and asked the lady at the counter who they were, their name is Gogol Bordello.

It turns out they are a band from New York, the lead singer is from Ukraine, most if not all of the members are immigrants, and their lyrics are around that theme. The music is categorized as a blend of Punk, Gypsy, and some Latin influence. Here is the youtube for a few of their songs that I liked:

"Immigrant Punk"

"Wanderlust King"

"Not a crime"

"Punk Rock Parranda"

The sound quality is poor since most of these videos are recorded live, and most likely uploaded without permission, but it gives you an idea of the type of music. If you like it, buy their CD!

If anybody reading this knows of other weird bands that mix different apparently disparate styles successfully like these guys, please let me know!