Daniel Dockery's Portfolio

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About

December 21st, 2010

Shun no toil to make yourself remarkable by some talent or other; yet do not devote yourself to one branch exclusively. Strive to get clear notions about all. Give up no science entirely; for science is but one.

Lucius Annæus Seneca

Such is the goal I’ve long pursued though never yet mastered. Nonetheless, in the pursuit I’ve found myself travelling along many an interesting road, a journey and life-long learning experience that has resulted in an eclectic—granted, some might say “eccentric”—collection of skills and areas of knowledge.

Of all, I perhaps most self-identify with programming, as I got my start frightfully early in life, at age eight in early ’83 tinkering about with the “blisteringly fast” 4 MHz wonder that was the Osborne 1. (By contrast, the Apple //c I began to work on in ’87 was still only running at 1 MHz.) Over the years I moved through a wide variety of programming languages, from the early BASIC (in its varied flavors: BASIC/Z [on the Osborne], TI BASIC, TRS-80, Integer, Applesoft, GWBASIC, Q and the compiled Quick, Visual [plus VBA, VBScript and .NET]), to Pascal, LOGO, Fortran, COBOL, Prolog, C, Snobol / Spitbol, ASM, REXX, C++, Lisp, Perl, Java, Tcl, Python (Iron, too), PHP, Lua, Ruby (Iron, too), Erlang, C#, F#, along with dabblings in Forth, OCaml, Haskell and an effort at APL, plus more specialized languages like the mathematics-centric Maxima (Macsyma), Derive, Maple, Mathematica and PARI/GP, the text-processing esoterica of TeX and LaTeX, gaming languages like Inform and TADS, musical structures like cSound, webscripting via ECMAScript and its variations Javascript and JScript and batch scripting syntax like bash or under Windows with CLI, with more than a casual amount of time spent exploring the oddments of esoteric programming languages from INTERCAL to Befunge and many more besides. Of course, this is not meant to imply an equal skill in or familiarity with each of these, but I am competent or better in the bulk of the non-specialized or recreational items.

I should confess to a certain degree of uncertainty as to where my next loyalties lie as I vacillate between being a mathematician and something academic in the humanities with a particular focus in languages, especially the ancient and dead. Both pursuits have led to work in their fields. I have been a translator—principally to English, though there are exceptions—usually from Latin, Hebrew; avocationally I have also done translations from Italian, German and Greek among others. In mathematics I’ve contributed a number of items to the Encyclopedia of Integer Sequences, either as originator or collaborator, have produced novel research works, and have contributed assorted things to some of the books of Dr. Clifford Pickover and various journals.

As the mood or inspiration strikes me, I have also been known to pass myself off as a musician. I play a variety of instruments, from fingerstyle acoustic guitar (my first instrument); electric bass (my first true musical love) in 4-, 5- or 6-string variations in a number of styles (though currently only a few are present online); piano; violin (formerly here); banjo; psaltery; dulcimer; Kaossilator; and have worked as both performer and composer. The blog, The Philemonasmist, previously premiered new tracks before they made their way to last.fm, and occasionally displayed tracks that never made it to the latter, as one-offs or what-have-you. These have now been migrated to the present site. Other pieces may also be found on The Sixty-One, MySpace or the Facebook Fan page. I am presently (2011) in retirement from musical work, but have not ruled out returning to it at some point.

Yes, perhaps unavoidably, I have from time to time tried my hand at non-musical artwork as well. I returned after long absence to my efforts at pencil (charcoal or graphite) on paper works in ’09, and some few of those pieces may now be seen at demasiados lápices, all efforts at sketching a beautiful friend to whose level my meagre talents do not yet rise. I have perhaps been better at discovering figures and forms of interest in my mathematical work, producing collections of images arising from dynamical systems, strange attractors and now and then simple fractals. Some of these remain on the art site, Renderosity. Sometimes I’ve been known to snap a photo or two, which may be found in part at Flickr, some few oddments of which have taken the interest of this person or that, such as my photos of the old Dockery Farm in Dockery, MS, which occasioned the interest of the French Blues Magazine.

Daniel Dockery's Portfolio

animî nostrî dêbent interdum âlûcinâri