Dave Deaven's Homepage

David Deaven

Interests: building things, understanding how people & things work, natural science and philosophy.

Favorite technology: when I realized what a ribosome is and how it works I was stunned. I have yet to recover.

Job for which I am paid: Executive, Quality Engineering at GE Healthcare.

Crafts: cooking, programming, hacking electronics, brewing beer, laying tile & stonework, woodworking, welding.


``...think of a blossom in a painting rendered photographically in detail and as beautiful as life. In our minds the macroscopic entity has truth because it matches real flowers sprung from the soil. From a distance we might easily confuse the image with the real thing. But the algorithms that created it are radically different. Its microscopic elements are flakes of paint instead of chromosomes and cells. Its developmental pathways exist in the brain of the artist, not in prescription by DNA of the unfolding of tissues. How do theoreticians know that their computer simulations are not just paintings of flowers?''
       —E.O. Wilson, Consilience
``Plato somewhere compares philosphy to a raft on which a shipwrecked sailor may perhaps reach home. Never was a simile more apt. Every man has his raft, which is generally large enough only for one. It is made up of things snatched from his cabin – a life preserver or two of psalm, proverb, or fable; some planks held together by the oddest rope-ends of experience; and the whole shaky craft requires constant attention. How absurd, then, is it to think that any formal philosophy is possible – when the rag of old curtain that serves one man for a waistcoat is the next man's prayer-mat! To try to make a raft for one's neighbor, or try to get on to someone else's raft, these seem to be the besetting sins of philosophy and religion.''
        —John Jay Chapman