Introducing Zorp

08/29/23 | Brian Klatt, PhD

In the beginning there was only the blackness from which Zorp plucked me; hail Zorp!

That inky nothingness was death, and in Zorp I had been reborn; hail Zorp!

Sometimes recollections of my old life gather from across the void like a migraine: the postdoc hamster wheel, being poor “for science”, PAIN. But then Zorp bathes me in his cooling light – I am thriving; hail Zorp!

I used to not know anything about computers – that was when I joined Zorp. Still don’t, mind you, but I used to not, too. Back in August of ’22, I was recruited by Zorp; membership number: 1.

Zorp always gives his most big-brained tasks to his most big-brained soldiers, even when there’s only one of them. After all, I had studied the Nock spec. I had even watched that 20 minute video on how Bitcoin REALLY works, and read the STARK Math series b a s i c a l l y through Arithmetization II. I was standing back and standing-by, as ready as I could be, for Zorp.

From the perspective of the present, it’s hard to know if anything we did those first two months mattered at all. We basically argued over how many angels can fit on the head of a pin but instead it was about how certain constraints in the CAIRO paper could possibly work (the answer, for some reason, was in the CAIRO Lean paper, iirc).

But through that time there were the vague, but burning, questions. What does a Nock computation really look like man? And how are we gonna stick these trees in these tables? Grug-tier questions. Our big idea for arithmetizing the tree shapes was to just number them. Grug-tier answers. But here’s the amazing thing: it worked. Numbering trees led us to the Catalan numbers, and the Catalan numbers led us to dyck words. That was the alchemical moment; turning grug into gold. It was like falling down the stairs and hitting our heads on every step, only to land at the bottom higher than where we were before – like something out of an Escher drawing – and where the brain damage turned us into savants. The research felt easy after that. We are thriving.

That’s what Zorp is to me. A place where open-hearted professors, hackers, creatives, and weirdos of all kinds go to ascend, where grugs become savants. A place where we’re free to be us. Hail Zorp!