“After this, there is no turning back. You take the blue pill — the story ends, you wake up in your bed and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill — you stay in Wonderland, and I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes.” – Morpheus

Welcome to The Rabbit Hole. Deep dive into here (by clicking the links within the text below and an entire world will open up to you). It's MY world but it can easily be yours too. As you visit the various links remember to hit your <back> button often to come back here to then dive into another stream. These pathways are infinitely variable (and I'm adding to them constantly) so come back often and dive through the various pathways as you like. If you have questions or suggestions to things you think would fit in here too please contact me and thanks in advance!

[A reader suggestion that talks about how we should look at education in today's world.]

By The Way: The background image here is an image captured by the James Webb Space Telescope showing that crucial building blocks of planets and stars could form much earlier in the life cycle of galaxies than previously thought.


At the age of 15, I came across an article in the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics. It spilled the beans on the Altair 8800 which was a microcomputer designed in 1974 by MITS and based on the Intel 8080 CPU. As a teenager in school at the time I had very little pocket money but the article sparked something off in me and I just HAD TO have that computer. So the only thing to do was to build one myself. A daunting task for sure but I can still remember thinking that even the hardest task can be overcome if broken down into bite sized pieces tackled one at a time. So I started with discrete components that I begged and borrowed from my physics teachers and put together into simple circuits that became logic gates that introduced and propelled me through the world of electronics. One thing led to another and soon I had a computer that grew from capability to capability rather like Ben Eaters here.
Then came the software side of things that sort of grew with me. I programmed my computer from the beginning in a kind of proprietary assembly language that I developed myself for my own needs but quickly got worn out by that and progressed to C. I stayed with C for a long time but once I discovered it, the joy of LISP, a language that resonates with me even today (though Pharo might be upending that!), never left me.  And of course the editor that I use every day and that I've used since 1976 (the year of it's invention!) - EMACS - is programmed in LISP so that fits right into my life.

Much later I got into C++ (mostly to speed up my C development) and then years later to Fortran, Pascal, Python, R to name a few and now my latest pursuit - Faust, ChucK and PureData - which I use in my music pursuits especially sound design and the building of synthesizers. Today, like most IT practitioners in the world I use Python for much of my AI work dropping down to LISP or C++ when I need to squeeze maximum speed out of my computer.

(If you're keeping up with current affairs you must be reading comments by Jensen Huang the CEO of NVIDIA and one of the greatest minds in our technological world today. He's apparently predicting that AI will take over all programming so kids should not be guided into learning programming but instead into vocational pursuits like farming, welding, automotive repairs etc.

What a pity that such a great mind seems to have lost it's track. To me it's clear - we did not stop writing when the typewriter came out, we did not close all the colleges when the MOOC was invented and we did not stop programming when the hype surrounding 4th generation programming languages bombarded us in the 1990's.

Programming is not only about producing software products ... it's also about learning HOW TO THINK ... like a computer scientist. It's about developing a logical, problem solving mindset. It's about learning what an engineering approach and an evidence based one is about. And so much more. Pity - that we have leaders that lead us astray ... but then that is what is happening with the hype against AI also. That we're going to be overcome by it --- just like in the days of olde when we shouted that email was going to render us all without jobs! Or further back when the luddites of Gt. Britain destroyed weaving looms to protect their jobs. Continue on this path and where does it lead us?).
I have always been deeply interested in human intelligence, ingenuity and utility.  One of my heroes quotes is 'computers are bicycles of the mind' (Steve Jobs) ... and I've toyed with, played and mastered that machine of machines, that love of my life - THE COMPUTER - for as long as I can remember. From the simple single transistor based gates I wrote about above to hugely paralleled tensor processing units I've built, programmed, run [and smoked) tons of machines. From controlling greenhouse windows and heaters to parallel processing thousands of medical diagnostic artificial neurons I've made computers do my bidding. Along the way I've learned a ton. I've seen how important it is for us to create STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) courses and have at one time created the first on-line college - CyberCollege -  in Africa (what today we call a MOOC where as far as I can tell we were the first worldwide to implement inverted classroom, speed reading and speed memory techniques) and enrolled as many as possible of our youngsters into that college. For I firmly believe that on that pathway lies the future of humanity while away from it in the so-called 'soft' studies lies the AI winter we've just come through, the death of the space program and all those things that have lost us the last 60 years of progress. That that technological winter is something that we're only just coming out of is something I never thought would happen and I continue to hold my breath as we go forward into the future. I hope we will continue to break barriers and wake up each day bright and bushy tailed to see what comes next.
ALL that we've done and ever will do has come and will come through STEM pathways. If you strive to read what I write herein you too will come to see this and perhaps will come to see that if you engage in discourse with me you will come to discover things that you can glean off of me and life in general to benefit your personal life in ways we can only begin to imagine. At the very least you will see why it is CRITICALLY IMPORTANT that your children/wards are guided into the STEM arena the so-called 'hard-sciences' and away from the so-called 'soft' sciences. We have enough business people, lawyers, accountants, social scientists, doctors and dentists; we are critically short of engineers, makers, hackers and dreamers. HELP ME FIX THIS! Talk to me soon; time is a-wasting.
As a research scientist, data analyst, and business process engineer, I utilize Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Deep Learning techniques to uncover opportunities for improvement in various fields such as Medicine and Finance. Throughout my life, I have collaborated with numerous organizations and individuals from small startups to established businesses to unlock their full potential, providing guidance on everything from avoiding common startup mistakes to achieving financial independence and maximizing profits. I've helped individuals and institutions invest their hard-earned money in ways that have multiplied their gains many times over. I have taught algorithmic trading to tons of 'students' and have used the techniques myself to achieve financial freedom for me and mine. Want to sit back and have your computer earn money for you while you relax beer or coffee cup in hand - then you've come to the right place. Here is a book that you should skim (or dive deep) if you want to get an inkling into what I'm saying here.
Unlike many others, my approach does not prioritize personal earnings. Instead, I operate under a model where I collaborate with individuals as a partner to assist them in achieving their objectives. This approach entails becoming involved in their operations in a manner similar to that of an angel investor or venture capitalist. I often seek to share in the business but accept one-off or recurring payments if that is the mutual compensatory mode we eventually arrive at. It's exciting to wake up each and every morning bright eyed and bushy tailed looking forward to yet another exciting not predictable, boring day ahead. I never know if this morning I'll be dealing with an automotive electronic control unit (the brains behind most vehicles today) or taking on the writing of a technical manual or building a neural network to trade shares on a Cyprus based stock exchange.
Talking about earnings ... In 2009 I received an email alerting me to Satoshi Nakamoto's paper and the rest, as they say, is history! It really was for me - I fell ... FELL, COLLAPSED down a rabbit hole I am still falling down. I quickly set up a bitcoin miner using an old windows PC (which could still mine in those days; not like the machines in the preceding link) and mined a few thousand coins very rapidly. This brought me complete financial freedom years later but in those early days it was the ideas, the tech, the community that had me enthralled.  Blockchains are an amazing technology. Begin your deep dive into blockchains here. Today the cryptocurrencies that I focus on are bitcoin of course but also Ethereum and Cardano. Follow along with the links; follow me through this truly fascinating journey. Ethereum is known as 'the world computer'. Ethereum is to Bitcoin as Silver is to Gold. The technologies behind Cryptocurrencies are very deep, full of nuance, surprise and wonder. I have worked extensively with the bitcoin source code and have developed software with the language Solidity which is the primary choice of those developing blockchain applications. I love nothing more than a long, deep discussion on bitcoin and blockchains. Make my day; talk to me about bitcoin and blockchains.
I typically maintain long-term, multi-year relationships with my clients, working collaboratively with them to develop systems that are integrated into their operations. From studying and modifying business processes to automation and robotics I am able to research, advise, develop and deploy. I maintain a small but highly focused robotics laboratory complete with 3D printers and CNC machines. I am deeply into IoT (Internet of Things) devices where Arduino is my first love but Raspberry Pi takes a close second. Years ago I fell in love with HAM radio and managed to pass all the exams of the ARRL (the American Radio Relay League - my call sign is NE4AL) and along the way become the point man for the Radio Society of Kenya (call sign 5Z4NA) disaster management operations focusing on ham radio use during natural and man made disasters. To that end I've been working on developing a system I've named DiMSAR Kenya (Disaster Management/Search and Rescue Kenya) based on LoRa.
My work ethos prioritizes full transparency in all aspects of my work, from conducting research into client operations to educating clients about the technologies I employ and that are the cutting edge in today's world. My ultimate objective is to equip clients with the knowledge, skills, and capabilities needed to maximize their personal and business endeavors so they can learn what is available and use that knowledge to drive me to develop deeper, more comprehensive and better solutions for them.
In some other parts of my life I am a sport pilot in love with microlight and lighter than air vehicles especially electrically powered ones. I hold a Kenya Private Pilots License (number: YK-3018-PL) and a New Zealand Microlight Instructors Rating. I am a Land Rover Defender lover and have owned and operated several of these magical vehicles that came out of WWII and continue to enthrall me to this day. My most recent project is the on-going electrification of a Defender to full Battery EV status taking a 130 brake horse power (bhp) diesel powered 300tdi and converting it to a 450 bhp beast with 1000Km range on a single charge somewhat like the Scottish Munro or the American Bollinger B1. 
I love music of all kinds and am a musician specializing in sound design especially by way of modular synthesis. I  build tools for the creation of sounds/music and one of my passions is binaural beats overlaid on ambient sounds. Ambient music is my favourite as are the works of Jean Michel Jarre and Hania Rani. I once owned a Moog System 55 but sold that to raise funds to build a home in Kenya. I still regret the sale of the synthesizer but am more than compensated by the home we built and I am working my way towards a Eurorack so I guess all's well that ends well. Currently I am a Bitwig Grid and VCV Rack enthusiast with a fair bit of experience in those platforms. Here is the story that has gone viral on the internet, the story behind the Moog synthesizer that Hans Zimmer now owns but was once owned by Wendy Carlos and later by Tangerine Dream.

I also own a Yamaha Montage Workstation Synthesizer, Korg PA5X Professional Arranger Station, a ROLI Seaboard Rise and Linnstrument 200. I've also been long time enthusiast of wind synthesizers and have previously owned a number of these. My current wind synth is a Roland Aerophone AE-30. I'm attending and loving the iSax Academy courses by Alistair Parnel. Here he is playing Wichita Lineman on YouTube on an AKAI EWI which is very similar to the Aerophone << MAGIC!

I have two daughters Acacia and Gaia. They are the love and joy of my life. Both have studied on-line after the usual high school level of studies. Acacia has a Masters - an MBA - in business administration and Gaia is working on her Masters in Sustainable Development while she carries out her day job as a Project Manager at the United Nations Habitat office in Nairobi. Acacia, an Olympic level taekwondo practitioner,  is a martial arts instructor and has a particularly good rapport with little kids. It's wonderful to watch both of my children grow and develop with each passing day. My only wish is that they had both developed an interest in becoming maker-engineers; we'd have had a robotics lab on steroids!

And of course I have my best friend, my life-long friend, the person who's been with me through this entire journey that we've come through together through all these years. Ami has been with me since high school days when we were married and eloped to the coast here, a story reminiscent of Romeo and Juliet without the tragedy. We've been through much together and grown together both in person and in science & tech. We run our labs together. She is a avid carpenter taking on projects that are well off the beaten path - things from patterned plywood to dome construction.  She's also fallen head over heels for that hobby we both love so much - bee keeping. There's something we both find highly satisfying and peaceful in building hives, filling them with bees, harvesting the honey, propolis and wax all the while saving the planet by populating it with bees which are so endangered in many 'western' countries.
If you've stayed with me this far, thank you for your interest and I hope and trust that you have found lots of interest within these words. There is tons to my life - it's been a full and fantastic journey and writing these stories here has made me look at all this more closely realizing that I still feel the best is yet to come. You want in too? Then read the above again and again and follow me ever deeper down the rabbit hole. Do feel free to contact me with any and all of your specific questions.
And you can also read my memoir - To The Brink and Back right here  or even download it (pdf - email me if you want an epub format ebook). Please consider a small donation; you'll be helping me a great deal in the production of these sorts of materials. You can do that in Bitcoin (my preferred payment mode), Ether or cash via my details on my contact page. 
What I'm Reading
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What I'm Listening To
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What Meditates Me 
Teaching my machines
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