We’ve been checking out if this guy is who he says he is. Results have been mixed.
Rather than being simultaneously a “technophobe” and a “world expert on artificial intelligence and forensic economics”, he turns out to be a less successful version of George Webb – a computer sales guy prone to exaggerating his own accomplishments and telling fantastic, graphically detailed violence-laden gruesome stories of make believe as if they were God’s honest truth. Does Jason have a type?
Claims That Don’t Stack Up
- Claims to have a degree from Cambridge with First Class Honours. Was unable to verify if he was a student between 1963-1967 because those records are no longer available. Christian Science Monitor article from 1984 mentions he is a graduate, but says nothing about honours. Former co-worker verified that he attended Cambridge.
- Claims to have attended Cambridge University on a Foundation scholarship. Cambridge has no knowledge of this scholarship.
- Claims to have graduated from Cambridge with a degree in Mechanical Engineering in 2 years. It’s a 4 year degree.
- Claims to have blown up a diesel engine while an undergraduate at Cambridge. Diesel does not explode. Why not show his degree, rather than offering this unverifiable story as “proof”?
- Claims to have bought his Masters’ degree for 5 pounds. This is not possible with degrees from Cambridge.
- Claims to be a Forensic Economist. An actual forensic economist was found, who confirmed that a PhD is required for this profession because you are testifying in legal cases.
- Claims to be a world expert in artificial intelligence and virtual reality simulations; in fact, other than a single paper in 1983 about expert systems, we could find no published academic papers or presentations at conferences. He turns out to have been working for the past 8 years in a parking lot picking up cigarette butts for $20 an hour. A butt-man.
- Claims to have designed the HESPER system which was runner-up for the gold medal from the British Computer Society. There is no record of this on the BCS web site. The system was in fact designed and built by others, he worked on the tender for the project and failed in his attempt to license the technology for his own business.
- Claims to have 2 patents in the field of artificial intelligence. In fact they are patent applications that were never granted in 30 years after filing. Neither is in the field of artificial intelligence. Both were registered well after the development and public debut of the HESPER system.
Who’s The Expert?
An expert system is more like Quora or Wikipedia than SIRI.
The paper presented at the Society of Petroleum Engineers in 1988 by R.C.A. Peveraro and J.A. Lee from Britoil Plc contains proof that the artificial intelligence expertise to create HESPER did not come from David Hawkins:
Hawkin’s patent application for the “Computer Paintbox System” is still pending after 30 years.
The patent application for the Deductive Computing Machine was withdrawn this week:
According to Google, neither of these patents were granted.
It’s been 36 years since Hawkins published his only cited academic paper. “Publish or perish” is the rule in academia, and world experts usually are frequently invited to speak at conferences. We could find no evidence of any of this activity.
No disrespect is meant to Field, Gobsmack, or anyone else at Abel Danger, who have promoted content from this blog before and appear to have been duped by Hawkins as much as anyone. They distanced themselves from him after he engaged with Jason Goodman, which has turned out to be a prescient move on their part.
Hawkins has not responded directly to any of the allegations against him, but has now removed “forensic economist” from his latest bio.
A 1951 insight into the strange (?) mind of David Hawkins. When he was about 8 years old, David’s mother asked him why, when he walked back from his village school at Chartham near Canterbury, Kent, his trouser pockets would get so dirty. David explained that he was concerned that the pebbles in the ditches didn’t get to see the sun rise or set. He described how he would climb in the ditch, stuff his pockets with the pebbles, walk off the road and up a hill, brush the dirt off the pebbles, place them side by side along branches of trees with a good view of the sun going up or going down and leave the scene content in the knowledge of a good deed done to or for the pebbles. David’s mother understood!Source: Reverse CSI Scripts web site
“Gays Did 9/11 For Carbon Credits”
Yes, that’s really what he’s saying. He claims on his Patreon page that events in the 1980’s and 1990’s were staged in a wide-ranging multinational LGBTQ conspiracy to profit from carbon credits, even though the Kyoto Protocol wasn’t signed until 1997 and carbon trading didn’t being until 2005.
Is this guy for real? Or is this just fantasy? 50 dead hookers at a pig farm…for carbon credits?
Recently Agent SERCO and I tracked down a gentleman by the name of Ross, who was the Chief Operating Officer of Oilfield Systems Limited. He was able to confirm many aspects of David Hawkins’ identity. He put to bed speculation that the person speaking on Jason Goodman’s show now had assumed somebody else’s persona.
Ross has given me permission to post our email exchange. I am not publishing the header information to protect his privacy. The quotes below are copy and pasted verbatim, they have not been edited.
If anybody claimed outlandish things it was David Hawkins! He was both brilliant and incredible, funny and persuasive. I enjoyed my two times working with him. I’ll provide a potted history and hopefully answer your questions along the way. My Oilfield archive is back in Turkey (I am in UAE at the moment) so I can’t get all the details I’m afraid.
David was indeed a Cambridge graduate and had started out working with Schlumberger Wireline Services (had many funny stories about that life). He ended up in Schlumberger’s research centre somewhere in the USA, at quite a high management level I seem to recall. He formed Oilfield Expert Systems Ltd with support from Derek Cartwright, Managing Director of Scientific Computing (SCL). Here’s a ref to SCL dated ’89 that might be of passing interest: https://www.cbronline.com/news/revitalised_with_new_management_scientific_computers_raises_ukp1m_in_venture_funds/
So, the original company was Oilfield Expert Systems Ltd (known as OESL pronounced “ooze-ill”. It was founded in March 1984. I joined in the summer of ’86 after completing my MSc in Knowledge Based Systems at Uni Edinburgh. David had worked with Marconi and SCL to prepare the tender to Britoil to build a model-based expert system which became known as HESPER. By the time I joined there was a programming team based in Britoil in Glasgow equipped with Symbolics computers. David and I worked out of SCL’s office in Burgess Hill in Sussex. All the HESPER design was, as far as I know, in the original tender documents (which I think I still have) and so David’s, or at least OESL’s. The development team was headed by a brilliant LISP programmer but I forget his name. Maybe he coauthored the HESPER paper by Peveraro. As far as I know, Peveraro was the Britoil ‘expert’ who subsequently wrote the paper on Hesper that was published. I am not aware of any Statoil or DTI funding, though the latter would make sense. I recall HESPER winning some award but can’t confirm it was from BCS. I do not see it listed for 1988 at https://www.bcs.org/content/conWebDoc/1926
In 1987, the project in Glasgow came to an end. David had hoped that OESL would have the intellectual property rights and be able to commercialise HESPER. When Britoil refused, David was left with no choice but to let all the employees go. He worked alone for two years preparing an application for funding from DTI and a consortium of oil companies including Oxy, Bow Valley and Deminex for a new product, a geological workstation called GeoScene. A new team was brought on board in late 1989, in an office in Winchester, of which I was one. By 1992 the board and David decided to bring on board a new Managing Director, Glen Kendall, an American who had founded Terrasciences. David and I became the marketing and sales department. Glen decided to ditch the ‘expert’ in the name and so the company changed to Oilfield Systems Ltd in 1993. Glen also downplayed the whole expert assistant aspect of GeoScene. David left the company in 1995. He moved to Vancouver, and I met up with him a few years later at a petroleum show in Calgary where we were showing off GeoScene. I became COO and later, when Glen left suddenly, CEO. We had to wind up OSL in 2001 when oil was $12/bbl and our sales outlook was bleak. All employees transferred to Paradigm.
Your photo was a broken link in the email. My most recent search for David found this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JyCeTosqBv0 His is the rightmost photo.
Glad to have helped. Sure the right-hand photo is a young David! Yes, that was the last time I saw him, in Calgary in late 90’s. Laughed until I cried at his stories of tape worm infection and wireline ops in Australia.
Not seen any of his videos. But listened to his podcast about MH370.
He was bitter about effectively being ousted by the very man he brought in to lead the company – reminiscent of Jobs and Sculley. Glen and most of the employees thought David was nuts. His ideas for a Deductive Computing Machine, which he patented, were indeed far fetched. But I still think his ideas of model-based expert systems, in contrast to rule-based (which everybody else was doing) were spot on. Even today in the realm of digital rock analysis, in which I have been involved these last nine years, I see the relevance of his ideas… more so with the recent renewed uptick in machine learning and AI.
David was laughed at because he suggested his DCM could one day be used to predict earthquakes. Funny, then, to receive from Kaggle just a few weeks ago news of an AI/ML contest to predict earthquakes from historic data. David was years ahead of the rest of us!! I used to think he lived a few feet off the ground… not tied down in his thinking as most people are.
If World Expert Hawkins has been developing his A.I. technology for 35 years, why wouldn’t he enter it in this contest? Instead he appears to have withdrawn the long-dormant patent application in the face of scrutiny.
There’s some recent analysis of David Hawkins and Jason Goodenough’s LARPing at Tracking the Leopard Meroz.
Follow Agent SERCO, Prepper Kitty and CryptoBeast for completely free evidence-based research, instead of wild script ideas presented as “truth” for donations.
We found another David Hawkins who’s involved with carbon credits: https://www.nrdc.org/experts/david-doniger/carb-honors-david-hawkins-nrdcs-clean-air-climate-champ