Tom Veatch

Flames of inspiration often leave smoke signals behind.
From mine, these.

All Subjects

About Tom

Personal stuff. I tend to not tell stories and pretend to speak objectively as though removed from the picture, like God on high completely absent. But when there is something that is about me personally, then that goes here.


Foundations of Future Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science

All Subjects

All the classifications of these essays that I could think of, many overlapping.

New Stuff

Recently written or modified, since Covid.

Alphabetical Order

In order by filename. Excludes blog posts.


During Covid I tried to put things together in support of Bliss Theory, with essays on human (and non-human) psychology and knowledge, starting from logic's foundation in tautology, working through a conceptual archeology up through biology, biological cognitive science, a mathematical theory or language for emotion, and such human phenomena as humility, beauty, transcendence. I consider this all a draft in progress, but it's worth sharing to get comments and feedback.


On the -ology part of 'biology'


Ugh, a Blog. Yes, after all.

Cognitive Science

I'm a cognitive scientist (yes, a hammer): for me, everything is my nail. Here are some contributions to cognitive science; contributions of cognitive science, to the theories of humor and irrational emotion, to AI, logic and math, to biology and evolution.


Mere curiosities


The human emotional system is only slightly irrational.


Not everything here is from the mouth of a loose cannon. Some things are peer-reviewed, accepted, and published in journals, or by the patent office. If you prefer that criterion, read these.


Some fun

Logic, Math, Physics, Biology

Surprises in the so-called Hard Sciences.


Hinduism and Yoga Philosophy are a great contribution to world's resources of wisdom and psychology as well as religious thought. Here are some resources I can share after my 40 years practical engagement with Hindu-derived traditions and thinking. An important very-distilled scripture is translated here, and a variety of my own gleanings, especially about humility and selflessness, are here. Please have an open mind. The day when condescending Brits looked down their noses at their green Hindus as incomprehensible savages whose thoughts needed no acknowledgement, much less respect, is a day in the long past, thankfully. Here please find a few approaches to Hindu being by a serious student of it.


Reasons for hope


The most interesting subject, for humans, is humans.

Humor Theory

My best published work was Veatch 1998, A Theory of Humor. That and subsequent developments are pointed to here.

Language & Linguistics

A linguist has lots to say about language, so here it's about the part of language that humans know the most about, namely the English vowel system, but also here's the funnest tool of linguistics grad school, the real time spectrograph. And a language teaching web app with 18 languages. Plus I share a lot of theory about how language and human intelligence came about evolutionarily. Also here are some political blog points that a linguist can help society with, having to do with pronouns and IEDs and how it is that Black Lives might Matter. Finally, translation supporting software systems in development, and some Sanskrit-related language resources.

Shareable Lessons

I think these lessons are worth sharing, if you are suffering, anxious, discouraged, aging, or spiritually hungry. Aren't we all? It's the human condition to have a mind thinking how things could or ought to be better, perhaps especially for ourselves, which causes a lot of suffering according to Bliss Theory. These lessons, distillations, and take-aways may help; I hope they do, and that's why I'm sharing.


Commentary on math.

Photos, Video

Me at different ages; some youtube links. I'm excited to share the video of my recent UCLA talk on Humor Theory, here.


Random Marginally-Medical Observations. Oxytocin. The evolutionary logic of hormonal prioritization. Postural anesthesia. Back pain prevention exercise. A posture-improving seat. Aging. Diet. Central idiocy at the FDA. A possible function of the Appendix (as a frequency divider in the peristalsis of small transitioning to large intestine).

Money Etc.

Thoughts of a 'capitalist roader':
Money, Taxes, Accounting, Value, Economics, 'Benefax'


Opinion is subjective, one-sided, disregardable. Still I aim for objectivity, allow for different views, and seek positions of significance. Decide for yourself whether to disregard these.

(Bad) Poems

It's hard to imagine poetry by Veatch, but there is passionate pleading and adoring characterization here.


Philo [love] sophia [wisdom]. Philosophy still means the love of wisdom, though I found that, sadly, rather lacking in academic departments of philosophy. Indeed I felt personally betrayed upon entering college and finding nothing but aspiring semanticists in the philosophy department at Stanford. They looked upon me with quizzicality or cynicism as their student, later with admiration and confused hope when I encountered them again as a PhD in Linguistics. No, I had to go to Classics, Religious Studies, German Studies, indeed to spend a year in an ashram in India, in order to capture some of what mankind has offered inquisitive urgent youth as gleanings from paths already trod in the search for wisdom. Now I should like to recapture wisdom for philosophy is some of my work, partly because my arguments are made more on the basis of logic than typically a lot of quantitative work, and partly because it has implications for actual wisdom in life, how to approach the essential problems of how to feel, how to react, how to achieve the good life. In that spirit I offer you these these philosphical investigations.


I try to minimize the politics, but sometimes I can't help having certain opinions. Like, supporting dictators is bad, you know.

Practical Stuff

How to fix an engine, encourage a friend, switch off physical pain. There's a bit about plumbing here too, incidentally.


Projects are things with a concrete endpoint: A working program, technology, device, social system. Pingpong is a project too. Basic self-study literacy.

A Random Selection

Some thoughts don't fit in a nice box with others. For them, we use the Random box.


For a socially dependent species like humans, relationships are important to understand. Here are some of my takes on relationships.


Some of these creations provide a service. You can: Learn some bits of a bunch of languages. Prove assertions statistically. Find colors that match. Watch audio as a scrolling spectrogram. Evaluate real estate opportunities. Generate random English-like words. Pingpong.


Software related stuff.

Look, from the cognitive science perspective, even human cognition is software related stuff: logic, symbolic logic, mathematical grammars of various kinds, etc. I'm a cognitive science and software guy so this list is long and wonderful. There's actually ton more code; just ask, like mdo, from past lives on academic and Sprex unix machines.

Theology & Religion

Theology is a curious subject. Is it a subject at all? Is there anything there? As a psychologist who seeks to capture the valid insights of previous thinkers, I think psychology has swallowed the valid domain of theology whole. Yet many, perhaps most of those previous thinkers might be seen as theologians more than as psychologists, and students seeking insight might come from the theology angle rather than the psychological. For them, I offer these pointers into my work which capture aspects of what has been considered theological. I do not condescend: these are the high virtues, the transcendence and aim of human life, and I wish people aimed for them more rather than less, considering how miserable most of us are, and how much relief and redemption are available and compatible with even a fully materialistic psychological theory.


Travels and travelers. To China, India, Las Vegas. From Saudi Arabia.


A typology is a list of things in a category. It's not a exactly a theory, given possible gaps and overlaps, but it can be fun and interesting to discover new things that fit together somehow. Sometimes it will help to develop a theory (e.g., Selves, here). Have a gander at these.

Original Home Page

My previous home page got both too busy and underexplained, so I've reorganized. But it's here if you like. I still use it to find pingpong schedules and some specific obscurities that seem hard to track down otherwise.

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Copyright © 2000-2021, Thomas C. Veatch. All rights reserved.
Modified: 12/20/2021