Home Page About me and SpeakerToManagers, as if they weren't the same.
My name is Bruce Cohen. I'm a long-time software engineer, a denizen of the net since it was just Usenet and Arpanet, an amateur photographer and animator, and an avid reader of science fiction. My home is in the Pacific Northwest, where the wet, gray winters leave me a lot of time to read. Aside from professional and avocational interests, I'm interested in a lot of current scientific work, from biology to physics. In addition, I have the usual number of opinions and preferences about music, movies, art, and all that jazz.
Those of you who are fans of Larry Niven, the science fiction writer, will remember the character named SpeakerToAnimals, from the Ringworld series. He was an alien from a race called the Kzinti which had lost four wars with humans, and were being forced to negotiate, something they'd never done before, being dominance-driven hunting carnivores. So they named their ambassador SpeakerToAnimals in their own language, to insult their foes, and regain some of their pride.
While working for a large corporation whose initials are Tektronix as a senior software engineer, I realized that a substantial part of my job consisted of explaining what the engineers were doing to the managers, and translating the managers' orders into language the engineers could understand. Being an engineer myself, I decided to express my distaste for this role (I was much younger then) by taking an email signature that insulted management in the same way the Kzinti insulted humans, hence SpeakerToManagers. Although I got a number of emails over the years commenting on the signature, I never got one from a manager; none of them ever got the joke. A good thing, I suspect.
I always pictured Speaker to Animals as pretty much a large tiger. Being a rather visually-oriented person, I decided I needed a picture of SpeakerToManagers on the front page of his site. So I searched for good photograph of a tiger and found one here. Then I traced the outlines and major details of the photo using Photoshop, and then drew the rest, including the colors of the stripes freehand. I took a photo of myself and laid it in with some translucency over the tiger drawing's face, and there he was.
This is what I really look like: