Saturday, May 29, 2010
Lots of things should be forgotten, otherwise we could not continue as human beings but would end up a mindless heap quivering in the corner of a darkened room. However, some bad things we should not forget. Days like September 11, 1939: Germany invades Poland and WW II begins. September 7, 1941: Japan bombs Pearl Harbor. June 6, 1944: D-Day when the Allies landed on the beaches of Normandy and the word Omaha became more than just black marks on pieces of paper. The USA lost more than 3,000 men on that one beach from V Corps alone. All total, the allies lost 120,00+ men at Normandy.
So, Next Week, on the 6th of June, Sunday Morning, remember D-Day and the sacrifices made by the ordinary men who wore USA and USN uniforms in order to keep your freedom, your way of life.
In some recent emails I have been asked why I don't want to "give back to the community" the things from ORF 2008 and ORF 2009 that have not (yet) been made public. Some of contents from some of those emails made it to public light. I feel that what I said in personal emails should have been just that; personal. But! Now that the dirty laundry is out in the open, as it were, I will make the following comments and then fade away into the wispy mist of the yesteryears of happy memories.
It was my pleasure to have devoted a great deal of time to ORF 2008 and ORF 2009 to try and see if the Geeks and Nerds of this world could make a conference happen that was focused on technology of rulebased systems, not the commercial side so much as on the theory and science of the AI aspect of the industry. In the process I lost $15,000+ (at a time when I had very little personal income) and I know that Rolando Hernandez lost a few thousand in 2008.
ORF ( http://www.OctoberRulesFest.org ) could not have happened without four things converging together as though they were concentric circles of foretold happenstance;
(1) Attendance from the technophiles of the world who longed for a place in the sun. Would that we had had more who could have attended but we didn't. Nor did we have a PR machine to tell anyone about them - just a ground swell of pent-up demand from geeks longing to tell their own story and listen to the stories of others from around the world. Some even paid their own way just to be part of what one attendee called "The Woodstock of Rulebase."
(2) Financial Sponsorship from a few big vendors; in particular Fair Isaac (now FICO, for whom I have been working again since January of this year) but also Third Pillar, No Magic, Visual Rules, BizRules and Production Systems Technologies. Even with their help, we still lost money. But they made the financial part happen.
(3) Extraordinary Unpaid Help - ORF 2008: Greg Barton, Rolando Hernandez, Pete Charpentier and a few others. ORF 2009: Greg Barton and Chelanie Israel. (True, Chelanie was a paid employee but she gave us a ridiculous rate for her services.) And Greg Barton was my strong right arm both years even though he didn't have as much spare time the second year. Finally, Mark Proctor who evangelized ORF and brought about half of Europe with him both years.
(4) Finally, The Speakers: Who paid their own way, paid for their own rooms and took the time to prepare for the conference. There are WAY too many to list but the headliners were, of course, Dr. Charles Forgy (Inventor of Rete, Rete 2, ReteNG) Gary Riley,(Inventor of CLIPS) John Zachman, (GodFather of EDM) Thomas Cooper (Early research on OPS5 at CMU), Carlos Seranno-Morales (Inventor of Advisor), Carole Ann Berlioz-Matignon, (EDM Evangelist and co-developer with Carlos), Dr. Richard Hicks (Texas A&M), Paul Vincent, (TIBCO) Daniel Selman (ILOG) and many, many others including several local university professors; Dr. Leon Kappelman (UNT), Dr. Daniel Levine (UTA) and Dr. Gopal Gupta (UTD). ORF is truly indebted to them, one and all.
These were the four pillars that held up the tableau that was ORF. Actually, to have made money from such a wonderful adventure would have seemed both crass in nature and purile in practice. So, having inadvertently lost money, I can truly say that I did it for the love of the art and science of AI and I wouldn't have anyone take that feeling away from me. Unfortunately, I feel that AI today is drifting into pure commercialism without the three things that will make it a wonderful thing: (1) The mainstay of R&D by the major companies and government, (2) one's own personal love of adventure and (3) the practitioner's search for perfection of artistry.
To the organizers of Rules Fest 2010 in San Jose this year: Keep the faith and fight the good fight. I really hope to see you there. For those who don't know about Rules Fest 2010, see http://www.rulesfest.org for more information and to sign up.
Monday, May 3, 2010
One more time: (October) Rules Fest will be October 11th - October 13th and all details can be found at http://www.rulesfest.org now managed and maintained by Jason Morris of Morris Technical Services. So far, no list of speakers BUT there is a call for papers. So, if you feel that you would like to write something technical in one of five categories then write up a synopsis and send it in. Charles Young is collecting all of them and somewhere there is a group of guys who will determine who can speak and if that subject fits that category or should be moved or whatever.
In the past, we've had a lot of fun. Not that the Rules Fest is in Silicon Valley, it should draw LOTS more technical attendees and speakers. That was always the problem with holding ORF in Dallas; most of the techies were in California or North Carolina. So, with a bit of help from Michael Small (FICO - Chicago) the guys found a really nice hotel in San Jose to have the conference with a nice main conference room and some breakout rooms. Exactly what will happen and exactly WHO will be there will be posted as it happens. Hopefully the site will allow an RSS feed so that you can automagically track what's happening, including Tweets.