Saturday, January 24, 2004

Blog jam?

From 5 weeks to 9 weeks -- must have seriously run out of things to say. I guess the common perception of me as an inexhaustible source of bullshit is slightly inaccurate. Anyway ...

Did read Charles Stross's debut hardback novel "Singularity Sky". Somewhat disappointing. The basic plot, of a feudal interplanetary culture meeting a posthuman one, seemed a little bogus. Feudal interplanetary culture??? Whatever.

Had an amazing vacation to Manzanillo Mexico. On the west coast, due west of Mexico City. Two adjoining bays, the southern the largest commercial seaport on Mexico's west coast, the northern, the Bay of Santiago, the tourist one. We were in an open-air, hillside villa on the point (La Punta) between the bays, looking out on Santiago Bay. The place, Casa Suenos was fantastic. Staff of 4, 2 live-in, cooking great fresh food -- Mexican for lunch, fresh caught seafood or other stuff for supper. My friend David of the 4,000 bottle wine collection brought 2 cases. With the magic refridgerator (unending supply of Corona) and Carlos making margueritas, etc, two swimming pools, it was very mellow.

Read most of Neal Stephenson's "Quicksilver" there. 1670 to 1730, the founding of the royal society, Newton, Leibnitz, Hooke, Boyle. Drags occasionally (900+ pages), but when Half-Cocked Jack rescues a harem girl from the Turk attack on Vienna, his smart-ass repartee is as good as ever.

Covering some similar themes (early scientists) but in a world where 90% of Europe died in the 14th century plagues, is Kim Stanley Robinson's "Years of Rice and Salt". An OK read, not fantastic.

Just finished Feb Scientific American. Four cosmology articles. Dark energy is just too weird. Had one thought, re the big bang was decelerating until 5 billion years ago, but is now accelerating. Maybe the expansion has a 1st harmonic vibration, the expansion alternating between accelerating and decelerating. Basically, the echo of the inflationary period. Articles also had a new term, inflatons: the field that caused inflation. Wonder when they're going to directly detect some of those (sarcasm). Interesting concept, tho, that big bang is accelerating because gravity is leaking away to other dimensions or branes. Seems like that would violate conservation of something tho. Also, talking about virtual gravitons -- that seems odd. The metric is space itself, gravitons are ripples in the metric carrying gravity and information, what do you need virtual gravitons for?

Working like a crazy man again -- 137 hrs Jan 2-15. One day off. But, having fun. Had trouble getting to sleep night before last, came up with designs for three new add-on products. Software, the infinitely expandable medium. You gotta love it!