Virgil.GRiffith:: VIRGIL.GRiffith [Changes]   [Calendar]   [Search]   [Index]   


...obviously bright young guys, but a little misguided in where they were focusing their attention. --Blackboard
...grad student and mad scientist about town Virgil Griffith... --AlterNet
Griffith ... a "disruptive technologist," has caused public relations disasters... --Washington Post
The cult hacker Virgil Griffith combines geekdom with a James Bond-like suaveness. --New York Times
Virgil Griffith, a supernerd with a great head of hair --PrefixMag
Virgil Griffith has balls of fucking steel --2600
...Virgil is still out there, like a prowling, but nerdy, tiger. --Penny Arcade Report

Life is a MMORPG. Grind. Level Up. Conquer the world.

I am a Ph.D. student at Caltech (go Beavers!) under Christof Koch.
As a scientist my purpose is to create a machine that feels. Towards this end I am currently studying the Information-Integration Theory of Consciousness (IIT-C).

As a disruptive technologist my goals are to expose corruption, curb abuses of power, and with "gloves off" ensure the digital age never becomes a digital dystopia.
I'm currently focusing on improving disruptive currencies and anonymous publishing.

virgil at caltech dot edu

PGP key

Get the Flash Player to see this movie.

Me: Email / Google+ / Delicious / citeulike / Caltech directory / my science

Oft-visited pages: consciousness / tor2web / neologisms / Beaver Scope / Poor Man's CheckUser / Freefood at Caltech ( and MIT ) / Musicthatmakesyoudumb / Booksthatmakeyoudumb / WikiScanner / Victim of the Brain / Virus Byte Histograms / Polyworld Movies / Derive Mother's Maiden Names / NSA Memorial Marker / Blackboard // Polyworld Talk

People: aaron alex artur aza billy dan doyne elonka emmanuel eric fiona gregp gregr jake jasonk jenni joshua joy JZ larryy leah markus omin0us peter sibo sidstamm simon strick tom xiaodi

Virgil News

Posted on 2013-02-18 by virgil:

Goodbye Aaron Swartz

I'm at least glad you're no longer suffering.

Posted on 2012-12-13 by virgil:

King of the Nerds trailer

We are the unloved, the cast out,

Posted on 2011-07-01 by virgil:

This is a movie of my brain

Posted on 2011-02-23 by virgil:

Virgil Neologisms

For sometime I've been collecting (and using) useful English neologisms. I've decided to start putting my list online. It's here.

Posted on 2010-09-14 by virgil:

Venn Diagrams

I've been collecting high dimensional venn diagrams lately. Here's my collection.

Posted on 2010-08-13 by admin:

I made some pretty art

An artwork I created of three venn diagrams was featured in the Caltech Art of Science exhibition.

Posted on 2009-11-21 by virgil:

How to beat Hordes of Orcs on Impossible

I've recently spent way too much time playing Hordes of Orcs and I recently found a solution to beating Hordes of Orcs "Crossroads" on the Impossible difficulty setting. So for those of you googling for it, here's two (!!) solutions without selling anything.

[Read More]

Posted on 2009-06-09 by virgil:

Summer whereabouts

Today I arrived at the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard. While interning there I am staying at the coolest house ever, Fenway House. I'll be doing that until August 25th. After that it's off to glorious Santa Fe.

Posted on 2009-05-16 by virgil:

AISec2009 Call For Papers

AISec 2009 - The 2nd Workshop on Security and Artificial Intelligence has released their Call for Papers. Please do submit your AI and security related papers to the conference and there's a reasonable chance I'll review them :)

Posted on 2009-04-21 by virgil:

Grilled in ComputerWorld

I was grilled in April issue of ComputerWorld. Hip.

Posted on 2009-01-22 by virgil:

Speaking at BIL

I am giving a presentation at this year's BIL conference in Long Beach entitled Measuring consciousness of simple neural systems. I will be discussing the information integration theory of consciousness.

Posted on 2008-12-12 by virgil: released!

I have been working with Aaron Swartz on a new toy. It is

What tor2web does for you
  • Tells the world that you can put your important, relevant, yet unruly content online anonymously by hosting on a Tor hidden service. It's free too!
  • Allows the world to read and spread your disruptive content as easily as browsing the web. No installation required.
  • (It also lets you surf-around for interesting stuff in .onion)

Posted on 2008-11-23 by virgil:

Passed my candidacy exam!!

I am more than a little ecstatic to report that I have passed the candidacy exam for my PhD in Computation and Neural Systems.

Posted on 2008-11-22 by virgil:

Internet Man of Mystery

I am profiled in this week's New York Times Magazine.

I love the photo, but dunno about the whole "girls whisper secrets in his ear and laugh merrily at his arcane jokes."

Posted on 2008-11-19 by virgil:

Concerning Blackboard

I made a handy page with all of the various documentation concerning mine and Billy Hoffman's lawsuit with Blackboard Inc. Not only a collection of previously published data, it includes a new never-before-seen letter we received with the temporary restraining order!

Posted on 2008-06-22 by virgil:

Upcoming Talks

I am speaking at The Last HOPE in NYC this summer. The title is Wikipedia: You Will Never Find a More Wretched Hive of Scum and Villainy.

Abstract: Not only the world's largest text-based MMO, Wikipedia is a staple of the Internet user's information diet. Because of this, Wikipedia is also laden with manipulation, forgery, and the downright unscrupulous. In a never before seen presentation, Virgil will mine deep into the bowels of Wikipedia to unearth nefarious deeds whose perpetrators never thought would see the light of day. New software will be released at this talk. If you liked WikiScanner, you will like this more.

I've always wanted to be a Defense against the Dark Arts professor, so naturally I was so excited when I was asked to be on a panel about the "Internet Dark Arts" for this year's WebbyConnect.

Posted on 2008-04-30 by virgil:

New Paper: Passive and Driven Trends in the Evolution of Complexity

My undergrad mentor, Larry Yaeger, myself, and Olaf Sporns recently completed a fine paper comparing trends in the evolution of neural complexity within Polyworld. If you want the dead tree form, it can be found in the Journal of Artificial Life. [pdf]

[Read More]

Posted on 2008-04-15 by virgil:

Creating N-ary graycodes

For a project I once needed to create N-ary gray codes. However, I didn't find any ready-made functions to do this. So I made one, so that all of you out there googling for binary graycode, ternary graycode, or even N-ary graycode, can find it. Can create graycodes in base 2 to 10.

[Read More]

Posted on 2008-03-13 by virgil:

Harvard Law Talk

I gave a brief talk at the Harvard Journal of Law and Technology (JOLT) symposium on the hacker's perspective on the Internet and privacy. Here are the slides.

Posted on 2008-03-05 by virgil:

Freefood at Caltech/MIT Released

I made a cute little program that mines numerous Google Calendar feeds providing you with perpetual freefood regardless of whether you're in sunny Pasadena or chilly Cambridge.

Posted on 2008-02-26 by virgil:

Philosophical implications of Malfatti's problem

I've read several papers in philosophy -- mostly philosophy of mind and philosophy of religion -- which claim that mathematical truth is an objective Truth (capital T). I disagree with this view, and I present a counter-example demonstrating that well accepted mathematical truths are not objective Truths. Instead, mathematical truths are: 1) the consensus of the mathematical community; 2) the consensus of the mathematical community is sometimes wrong, and can go uncorrected for a long time.

[Read More]

Posted on 2008-02-20 by virgil:

Mistake in Messin' with Texas

In the "Messin' With Texas" paper, there was a suboptimality in the way I calculated the risk of MMN compromise. So, I wrote up a page pointing out the suboptimality and what it should be instead. This correction does change the graphs in the paper, but the correction does not change the major results because at the most vulnerable end (only allowing 1 or 2 guesses), the suboptimal measure and the optimal measure are one-to-one.

Link: Security: Errata for "Messin' with Texas - Deriving Mother's Maiden Names from Public Records"

Posted on 2008-01-30 by virgil:

Musicthatmakesyoudumb Released!

New and improved! Slightly Different! By Popular demand! Presenting Musicthatmakesyoudumb.

Posted on 2008-01-25 by virgil:

Booksthatmakeyoudumb Released!

Posted on 2007-12-31 by virgil:

WikiScanner in Japan

Posted on 2007-12-10 by virgil:

Responsible for 1/70th of the ideas that made 2007

WikiScanner makes one of the 70 ideas that made 2007 what it was.

I actually had the posthumous email idea back in 2003, however it looked like the old dot-com '' had a patent on the idea and didn't pursue it. Oh well. I'm happy just simply to be bordered by a bullet-proof school gear and a MIT physicist. :)

Posted on 2007-11-12 by virgil:

Slides for presentations I've given recently

Kutna Hora, Czech

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  • CV.pdf
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