^z = Mark Zimmermann

Riddles - Ideas - Philosophy - Bio - Contact

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(Copyright © 2001-2006 by Mark Zimmermann. This page has been accessed 140406 times since the counter was last reset. It was most recently modified Saturday, 26-Apr-2008 21:57:31 EDT.)



My Philosophy

John Stuart Mill, Autobiography, Chapter 3
"I learnt how to obtain the best I could when I could not obtain everything; instead of being indignant or dispirited because I could not have entirely my own way, to be pleased and encouraged when I could have the smallest part of it; and when even that could not be, to bear with complete equanimity the being overruled altogether. I have found, through life, these acquisitions to be of the greatest possible importance for personal happiness, and they are also a very necessary condition for any one, either as theorist or as practical man, to effect the greatest amount of good compatible with his opportunities."

Answer to a Riddle

The Sage, to the hot dog vendor:
"Make me one with everything!"

About ^z = Mark Zimmermann

I grew up in Texas, and went to the University of Texas in Austin and to Rice University for undergraduate studies in physics. I attended Caltech (the California Institute of Technology) for grad school, entering in 1974 and receiving my Ph.D. in Theoretical Physics in 1980. My thesis work was on astrophysical sources of gravitational radiation and on models of stars with neutron-star cores. Professor Kip Thorne was my advisor.

I live in the Washington DC area and have worked for the U.S. Federal Government for the past couple of decades. My hobbies include chess (U.S. Chess Federation life member, postal and over-the-board ratings marginally Class A after much struggle), numismatics (especially coins of 1852, a century older than I am), and distance running (marathons and a few ultramarathons). I'm a life member of the American Numismatic Association and am active in the Montgomery County Coin Club. I've edited and annotated a free edition of the works of William Shakespeare for Macintosh HyperCard users. I'm a radio amateur Extra class, callsign N6WX.

I am trying to learn how to write better; see ^zhurnaly for recent attempts. I'm also trying to learn a bit of mathematics, computer science, art, literature, history, and philosophy. I'm a fan of Vernor Vinge, Daniel Dennett, Marcus Aurelius, Douglas Hofstadter, Arnold Bennett, Martin Gardner, John Stuart Mill, Henry Hazlitt, William Shakespeare, J. S. Bach, Stoic thought, humor, classical liberalism/libertarianism, homeschooling, libraries, juggling, and numerous other people and ideas.

My wife, Paulette Dickerson, is an artist and musician, heavily involved in helping libraries. See the links above for some of her speeches on library issues, and librariesfriend.com for her most recent postings. We've been married since 1978 and are a happily multiracial ("black" & "white") family. We do a lot of reading aloud and talking with our children — Merle, Gray, and Robin — who have been having fun learning at home throughout their educational careers (homeschooled K-12) but who are now in college, getting ready to go off and make their own ways in the world.

I'm excited about real-time high-bandwidth large-scale free-text information retrieval, and have written some free software to let people work and play with multi-megabyte collections of unstructured text. I'm also excited about Wiki — "the simplest collaborative environment that could possibly work". See The Wiki Way by Bo Leuf & Ward Cunningham, and Wiki Wiki Web for starters.

And I'm trying to learn how to think better. I don't know much, but that's ok ... it gives me something to work on.

Answer to a Riddle

What's brown and sticky?
A stick!

Contact Information

If you have comments or suggestions to offer about this and other pages of mine, please write — thank you!

E-Mail: z (at) his (dot) com

Paper Mail: Mark Zimmermann, P.O.Box 598, Kensington, MD 20895-0598, USA