Last night I was in top socializing form (or at least mood), coinciding with the official SIGGRAPH reception. I had called up Mark Harris, and we went with his NVIDIA and UNC friends to the large outdoors Pershing Square, where the organizers had laid out massive quantities of mediocre food.
Conference attendees stood in long lines, not realizing that the food is replicated four times along the tables, allowing easy access to the two middle sections.
"Okay," I announced to Mark Harris and his friend Randy. "We're going to Tex-Mex, then Asian, then Italian. Then back to Tex-Mex, and finally desserts."
We trucked around and ate. Met some famous people. One of them, the head of MSR Graphics, shockingly revealed that he came to my clouds sketch last year (!) and remembered my name (!!) and saw my Discovery Wings interview for Flight Sim (!!!) and had come by my Microsoft office last year to say hello (!!!!). I nearly died of feeling honored.
After eating, Mark, Randy, and I sat on the stone low wall and joked with each other.
"You're kinda famous too," Randy said to Mark. "You coined the term GPGPU."
They had to explain it to me. Then I wanted to call Mark "Dr. GPGPU."
"No, no," he said, "Call me Mark."
"It's good publicity!" said Randy. "You'll get more famous this way."
"No!" said Mark. "I don't want to be famous."
"What do you want then?"
"Do good work. Sell more GPUs."
I felt as though my head rang suddenly like a bell. I kept replaying his words to myself. Lately I've been in such a contemplative mood ("What's the goal of life, what should one optimize for, etc.). These two sentences were so simple and so good.
I really respected him for it.
I thought a lot about my equivalent. I decided it would be:
"Do good work. Ship quality software."