Influential Academic Works

A list of scientists and philosophers who have a considerable footprint on my knowledge networks. I do not agree with all that the following people write about but I do think their work is worth engaging with.

Mathematical Sciences

Claude Shannon (incredible genius whose information theoretic formulation of entropy gave me one of the strongest 'Oh-wow' moments), Julian Barbour and C K Raju (had very strong influences on me while I constructed my views on time in foundations of modern physics), Peter Schuller (his lecture series on GR is the most beautiful way of learning what is, arguably, the most beautiful theory in physics), Roger Penrose (in Emperor's New Mind and Roads to Reality had brilliant sweeping reviews of almost everything important in physics), Emmy Noether and W R Hamilton (with Noether's theorem and Hamiltonian mechanics respectively ressurected my interest in physics towards the end of my undergraduate CM course)

Analytic Philosophy

Kurt Godel (in my opinion proved one of the most dramatic and life-changing metamathematical theorem), Bertrand Russell (was the first of the influential analytic philosophers that I read and my gateway drug to investigating foundations of logic), George Cantor (work on set-theory and infinity is what kick-started modern logic), Ludwig Wittgenstein (first showed me how strong the connections between philosophy of language and logic are)

Consciousness

Daniel Dennett (in retrospect, there is a lot of contentions I have with Dan's views on consciousness but his books were what got me into the whole business of decoding consciousness with tools of science), Guilio Tononi and Christof Koch (if Dennett nudged me in the direction of studying mechanisms of consciousness, integrated information theory is what sucked me in), Susan Blackmore (has an excellent comprehensive review of the field in her 'Consciousness: An Introduction' textbook)

Meditation and Phenomenology

Richard Lang (his Headless Way is the most direct and effective method of introducing advanced meditative techniques), Daniel Ingram (his discussions on 'maps' were the first time I realized the 'enlightenment' which I read about in books is actually achievable), John Vervake (has one of the most comprehensive and deeply thought out frameworks for navigating the human condition), Sam Harris (says plenty I disagree with but he is undeniably the most influential popularizer of secular meditation for my generation)

Miscellaneous Philosophy

Douglas Hofstader (there was life until I read GEB and then there was a different life afterwards), Manuel DeLanda (his exposition of works of Gilles Delueze made me take metaphysics more seriously than ever and showed me what extraordinary depth and breadth in knowledge looks like), Thomas Kuhn, Karl Popper and Paul Feyerabend (like millions of others were my first introduction to problems in philosophy of science), Various Buddhist Scholars (introduced me to the possibilities of an idealist metaphysical framework, effects of optimizing qualia and questions about the nature of time)

Sociology and History

C K Raju (has beautifully argued works on history of science which radically challenged the eurocentric indoctrination I grew up with), Aldous Huxley (blurs the line between reality, dystopia and utopia in mind-bending ways), Bruce Bueno de Mesquita and Alastair Smith (in their iconic 'Dictator's Handbook' showed me glimpses of the 'science' in political science), Chirstopher Hitchens (thoroughly enjoyable and, in my opinion, the most nuanced popular writer on the politics of organized religion amongst the new age atheists)

Evolutionary Biology

Richard Dawkins (in Selfish Gene showed me how beautiful a simple idea can be when explored in all its depth), W. D. Hamilton and Robert Axelrod (introduced me to a new paradigm in which I can employing my mathematics skills and opened me up to probing the origins of empathy), J B S Haldane (a polymath whose essays on science and society had a big influence on me)

Artists Who Inspire Me

A list of artists whose work moves me in significant ways.

Visual Arts

Caspar David Friedrich (one of the first masters of the 'sublime' style, 'Monk by the Sea' is my favorite piece by him), A M Casandre (his work is minimalist art done RIGHT), Kim Jung Gi (a true master of perspectives - so much to learn from him), Zdzisław Beksiński (consuming his work is glimpsing into the horrors of unspeakable kinds), Jackson Pollock (mid-career; regardless of his how infamous his art is, I find it absolutely mesmerizing), Tanya P Johnson ('Wisdom Engines' is an absolutely stunning series of ethereal paintings), Noah Latz (his work is dreamy, meditative and out-of-this world), teamLab (is a collective of architects, mathematicians, engineers, etc. who produce stellar immersive arts - personal favorites include Infinite Crystal Universe and Floating Flower Garden)

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