Piero Scaruffi

Piero Scaruffi is a Think Jar Collective contributor

Piero Scaruffi received a degree in Mathematics (summa cum laude) in 1982 from University of Turin, where he did work in General Theory of Relativity. For a number of years he was the head of the Artificial Intelligence Center at Olivetti, based in Cupertino, California.

He has been a visiting scholar at Harvard Univ. and Stanford Univ. (conducting research on Artificial Intelligence and Cognitive Science), has lectured in three continents on “The Nature of Mind” and “History of Knowledge” (most recently at U.C. Berkeley), and has published a number of books as well as hundreds of articles for magazines both in Italy and the U.S. “Thinking About Thought” (2003) and “The Nature of Consciousness” (2006) are his most recent books on these subjects. The readers for his university courses were compiled in the eBook “A Brief History of Knowledge” (2011).

As a software consultant, he pioneered Internet applications, Artificial Intelligence and Object-Orientated design in Silicon Valley. He also co-wrote the first “History of Silicon Valley”to cover the century from the founding of Stanford University to the boom of Facebook. All along he has also continued writing poetry both in Italian (for which he has been awarded several prizes) and in English (the latest poetry award was from Fog City Writers in 2007).“Synthesis” (2009) collects poems and meditations.

He is probably more famous as a critic and historian of rock, jazz and avantgarde music. His main books on music are:“A History of Rock and Dance Music” (2009), “A History of Jazz Music 1900-2000” (2007), “A History of Popular Music before Rock Music” (2007), and a guide to avantgarde music(out of print and being revised on the website). He also writes regularly about cinemaliteraturescience and history.

He has organized several interdisciplinary cultural events in the Bay Area. The Leonardo Art Science Evenings (LASERs) started in january 2008. Stanford hosted aninterdisciplinary panel with scientists, thinkers, innovators and artists.

An avid traveler who spends months on the road, piero has visited more than 130 countries of the world. Pictures of his travels have been published by magazines and used by the BBC in its series “Waking the Dead”.

He has been on the board of the art magazine “Leonardo”(MIT Press). He pioneered Internet-based journalism. In 1985 he created his first e-zine, distributed by e-mail over the Internet. Between 1986 and 1990 he created an online database, downloadable via ftp. That database mutated into his own website in 1995: www.scaruffi.com.

On 15 Oct 2006 the New York Times ran an interview with piero titled “The Greatest Website of all Times”. Wikipedia’s article on Piero Scaruffi (always unreliable) After TV’s interview with piero Current projects Piero has also been a member of several humanitarian organizations, including Amnesty International, Oxfam and Care.

Posts by Piero Scaruffi: