Thomas Beek

Software Engineer
San Leandro, CA, United States

About Thomas

Bio

Born and raised in southern California. Hindu monk for 10 years. BA in English lit and Comp Sci. Married with three kids. I work as a software engineer/web developer.

Languages

English, Sanskrit, Spanish

Areas of Expertise

Software Architect-Developer, Algorithms, Systems Architecture, Workflow Analysis, Filemaker Pro application, C# programming, XHTML and CSS

An idea worth spreading

We are not our bodies.

I'm passionate about

AI, Nanotechnology, and Speech Recognition

Universities

UC Berkeley

Talk to me about

Cyberpunk, Science, Technology, Science Fiction, Film, Vaishnavism

People don't know I'm good at

Cooking, Juggling, mrdanga playing

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

77493
Thomas Beek
Posted over 1 year ago
Yves Morieux: As work gets more complex, 6 rules to simplify
I like it. He said the ideas come from game theory and sociology of organizations. Makes perfect sense. Take a game, like darts. Its fun, it is ONLY fun, if you can see the target AND you can SEE whether your dart landed close to a value. If you can't see the board or your dart, you will disengage. By making business processes more interdependent you essentially force cooperation. People can see what the effects of their actions/inaction is more quickly. For winners it becomes fun. For losers, it improves their game, or they quit voluntarily.
77493
Thomas Beek
Posted over 1 year ago
What book have you read that everyone should read and why?
THANK YOU for this lovely post and question. I started a blog years ago, readthat.blogspot.com, with the intention of keeping track of significant books that I'd read, but it was a very solitary endeavour. What I was really after was what has happened in response to your post: people volunteering their *best* reads. My book suggestion: Bhagavad Gita As It Is. I should point out that there are many more or less secular scholars who have voiced their appreciation for the Gita over the years, so it is a philosophical as well as religious classic. But my main reason for suggesting this one book - and I have read thousands, both secular and religious - is that it is a very human discussion about duty, identity, and happiness, all things that occupy most of us most of the time. And it deals with these topics in unexpected and delightful ways. For those who are dead set against reading the Gita, my alternative suggestion is The Glass Bead Game, by Hermann Hesse. It is about the life of a scholar who lives about three thousand years in the future. It is marvelous and magical and funny.
77493
Thomas Beek
Posted almost 2 years ago
Eleanor Longden: The voices in my head
This talk is a miracle. For those committed to helping others overcome mental illness, and who believe that none are free so long as any remain in bondage, this talk is profoundly reassuring.
77493
Thomas Beek
Posted over 4 years ago
Kristina Gjerde: Making law on the high seas
Passion is essential in pursuit of any campaign, more-so in the case of the high seas due to its ranking among the other world news stories. Still, this was a bit long winded and preachy compared with other TED talks. The key is to continue bringing the issues into public attention with short, easy to digest parcels of information (in audio-video format). The speaker provided many, and for that we are truly thankful.
77493
Thomas Beek
Posted over 4 years ago
Conrad Wolfram: Teaching kids real math with computers
The ideas Conrad Wolfram extols in this talk are revolutionary, and as such, there is a certain edginess to the discussion. This tends to make people a little nervous and defensive. Just because he is advocating a way for making learning math more relevant and fun, does not mean that he is critical of modern teachers. He is, after all, also a teacher who faces the perennial challenge of helping his students to 'get' math. The genius part of his talk, the simple idea at the core, is teaching the translation of real problems into math problems and then applying the solutions. If you ran a business, which would you rather have on your engineering team, people who could do really well at calculating by hand, or people who could see the big picture. I TOTALLY agree on teaching calculus sooner in the curriculum. We have an inborn appreciation for the methods of advanced math and physics because we use them from the time we take our first steps - and we don't do the calculation by hand.