THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 485 September 24 - 30, 2007
Highlights this week:
For boiler plate, search engine, and notes on what in the world this place is, see below.
For Previous Weeks of the View, SEE VIEW HOME PAGE
If you intend to send MAIL to me, see the INSTRUCTIONS.
This is a Day Book. Pages are in chronological, not blogological order.
September 24, 2007
Apparently they invited the President of Iran to Columbia to insult him; which doesn't make a lot of sense to me. Perhaps I missed something.
I can recommend the following:
I am getting back to work on Mamelukes. It's going slowly.
John McCarthy on Grace Hopper (in reply to my remark that she wrote a major compiler):
|This week:||Tuesday, September
Time for my walk. There's an announcement by Norman Spinrad as he attempts a new marketing system bypassing publishers.
Rush Limbaugh may get some things right, but he certainly doesn't understand science or catalysts.
He says the oceans are so big that iron salts can't possibly make any difference, and blathers on and on. Silly, silly, silly.
The idea of iron to cause plankton blooms has been around a long time. It doesn't take much, and a little goes a long way. Limbaugh can't work numbers, but you would think that someone on his staff would have that ability; or at least the ability to read. I wonder if he'll ever admit he sounded like a bumpkin? "How many of you have ever flown over the Pacific Ocean? It's BIG!!!"
Right, Rush. How big? Can you calculate areas? How much area does it take in plankton blooms to sequester how much CO2? How much iron is needed to feed that area? How much fertilizer do we put on how many square miles (we won't force you to think kilometers) of farmland to grow wheat?
Now Rush is unhappy with ethanol, and he's going to translate science for Rio Lindo. Uh -- Rush, hire Russell Seitz to vet some of your stuff? Or at least a physics graduate? Or someone who took AP math in high school? Gollies, Rush.
Sable is at the vet. I pick her up in an hour. She has a hot spot that needs attention, and she's still a bit overweight. Otherwise healthy. And her shots are up to date.
On Star Simpson and the flashing circuit board in Logan Airport: we have a full report from Susan Shepherd, our former "California High School Student" who is now at MIT. See mail for Simpson's side of the story. You won't find that many other places.
Niven will be here shortly, and we'll take Sable for a walk up the hill. Sable got a $250 visit to the vet yesterday. Hot spot that I haven't been able to deal with. Now she's got antibiotics. She seems comfortable enough. And plenty of energy. But this cost more than my CAT scan...
There was an item in yesterday's Daily News about a meteor event 12,000 years ago that killed off many North American species. I haven't been able to find it on line but I will. I have the newspaper article and Niven and I can talk about it. Clearly this is what ended the magic-based civilization that flourished 14,000 years ago just after Atlantis sank (See The Burning City and Burning Tower by Niven and Pournelle).
It's probably time for us to hit the earth with something big again.
Reading the newspaper today I found
Have all social scientists taken leave of their senses? (See The Voodoo Sciences.) Clearly political correctness has affected their thinking, but is this cynicism or stupidity? Articles in today's LA Times keep me wondering.
Example: suppose your kid is bright normal, a good A- student in a good high school, plenty bright enough to go to Cal State Northridge or US Santa Barbara, and if he got motivated enough to work really hard, UCLA. Now assume that because of family connections you can get him into Cal Tech. Would you? And if you did, would you be astonished if he found himself over his depth, surrounded by highly competitive types who started brighter than your kid and who spent their four years of high school in AP classes -- and flunked out, or simply didn't want to go to Cal Tech any longer?
Make it the same with law schools. Your kid wouldn't have any problems with a typical law school (well, no more than the others there): would you want him to go to a highly competitive school where the cutoff point is way above your kid's average? Would you be surprised if, having used money and family influence, you got him into such a law school, he dropped out in second year?
But now let's change that: it's not your kid, it's a black kid, bright normal, perfectly capable of getting through the average law school -- but who has been put into one of the most prestigious -- and highly competitive -- law schools in the country. What is your prediction in that case?
Yet here we have two social scientists pretending that they don't know what's going on. We have a government that officially believes that all the children are above average, so I suppose I shouldn't be astonished, but I am always amazed...
We are back from a strenuous hike and lunch, and we have a pretty good picture of Hammer of God in mind. The plotting needs to be meticulous, but we have a plethora of characters and sub plots. It looks very like it is time to hit the Earth with something BIG again.
September 27, 2007
First, while I appreciate the attention, letters reminding me that Arthur Clarke wrote a book with the title Hammer of God really aren't needed.
To begin with, Arthur is an old friend, and we are well aware that he wrote Hammer of God, which is sometimes confused with Lucifer's Hammer which we wrote well before 1994. Secondly, titles cannot be copyrighted. There are quite a few books named Hammer of God, and Chesterton's Father Brown took part in a story called "The Hammer of God" in the early part of this century. Googling Hammer of God produces nearly 100,000 hits; I would not be astonished to discover that there were 100 books with that title. And finally, we needed a working title. Lucifer's Hammer was, uh, already taken.
I do thank people for their concern, but Niven and I are aware of the history of our working title.
Yesterday we did the full five mile hike with 800 foot climb. As usual we got a lot done.
Today I have been listening to the You-Tube recording of the Younger Dryas conference.http://www.georgehoward.net/cbays.htm
It takes a long time to listen, but it's worth it.
Charcoal, wild fires ---
Anyway, I think we have decided on our next big book. Now to finish Mamelukes so the decks are cleared.
If you are within a hundred kilometers of the event you are incinerated, within a thousand you are merely cooked, and if you're in North America you are swept away by the winds and shock waves. And that's North America. Note that the Shoemaker event -- the impact of 19 or so comet chunks hitting Jupiter -- would have left no craters had they hit Earth.
And perhaps relevant:
'We are becoming incapable of handling a technology challenge of any major magnitude.'
Baen will be bringing out an omnibus volume containing HIGH JUSTICE and EXILES TO GLORY, which were set in my "no faster than light travel" projections with Laurie Jo Hanson and Aeneas Mackenzie as major protagonists. They're looking for a title and I'm all dried up. They were good stories and I may yet do more work in that universe.
Septembver 28, 2007
Appointment this morning at Kaiser. I thought I was going to hematology although I should have applied logic and figured it out. In any event I found that my appointment was with the chief of oncology. That was, uh, disturbing.
It turns out that -- he says, I have to look into this -- that I have some mild anemia and a few blood proteins that may be markers for bone marrow cancers. Not the most cheerful news. It also turns out that it usually takes 10 to 15 years for these symptoms to develop into something full fledged. I pointed out that I probably don't have 10 to 15 years, and Dr. Nathan asked why not? I looked to be good for another 20.
On which cheery note we scheduled another blood workup followed by what will probably be a bone marrow biopsy, in three months. I suppose I could have held out for the biopsy immediately, but I was assured there's no urgency here; we're looking at a possible long term development
But I can tell you, it's a bit of a shock to be told you're mildly anemic and end up with an appointment with the chief of oncology.
My good friend Klaes-Gustav Nordquist retired medical colonel of the Swedish Life Guards regiment is an oncologist of some note; I expect I need to discuss this with him. as to why I'm putting this up in public, it's a story. It may even have a happy ending. I can't think of anything I did to get into this situation, though.
The Fury of the Legions
Rush Limbaugh brought down a storm from two words said yesterday.
The real question here is what do the Legions think about the war? We know that some are discouraged. We know that others think they are. But all the reports I get say the same thing: it's a long war, we probably shouldn't have started it, but we are winning -- and we can't abandon those we have encouraged to stand with us.
The French Army believed that Algeria was a part of Metropolitan France. The law said so, the Constitution said so; loyalty to France was no treason, and Algerian citizens, European or African, Franks or Berbers, were citizens of France. Alons enfants de lat Patrie and all that. And the Army promised the French citizens living in Algeria, Franks and Berbers, Catholics and Moslems and atheists, that the Army would never abandon them. Algérie Française! Of course it didn't work that way; and the result was devastating to the French Army. The soldiers of Napoleon who carried Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite across Europe; who defeated every army that all of Europe could assemble, and who made Waterloo "a near run thing" -- that army is gone.
How many of our soldiers have given their personal assurances to the people of Iraq?
I have some sympathy with authors trying to market books, but may curses lie on everyone who buys this book.
My name is Mary Buddemeyer-Porter and I wrote the book "Will I See Fido In Heaven?" to educate people and demonstrate with scriptures, why animals deserve our respect, appreciation and do go to heaven. It has given thousands confirmation of an eternal reunion with them in heaven. Animals need our help more than ever, and I feel my book can offer a way to reach thousand upon thousands of people. I am hosting a campaign to promote the sale of my book on a single day, September 27, 2007 on Amazon.com by offering a huge assortment of bonus gifts for those who purchase my book on that day.
I received at least forty copies of this spam. I appreciate her attempt at marketing. I was actually tempted to respond to the first one. Then came the other 39.
NASA Administrator Griffin: "I personally believe that China will be back on the Moon before we are."
Honest, not astonishing: but why isn't it astonishing?
A young man's first experience with the Osborne 1 - in 2007.
-- Roland Dobbins
One day I will have to write more on this. I knew Adam, and I carried an Osborne to JPL for planetary encounters: it was the first the science press corps had seen of personal computers. I wrote on Ezekiel at home, but the Osborne went to AAAS meetings. Then came Adelle with a 6 inch screen, and...
This is a day book. It's not all that well edited. I try to keep this up daily, but sometimes I can't. I'll keep trying. See also the weekly COMPUTING AT CHAOS MANOR column, 8,000 - 12,000 words, depending. (Older columns here.) For more on what this page is about, please go to the VIEW PAGE. If you have never read the explanatory material on that page, please do so. If you got here through a link that didn't take you to the front page of this site, click here for a better explanation of what we're trying to do here. This site is run on the "public radio" model; see below.
If you have no idea what you are doing here, see the What is this place?, which tries to make order of chaos.
If you subscribed:
If you didn't and haven't, why not?
Strategy of Technology in pdf format:
For the BYTE story, click here.
Search: type in string and press return.
The freefind search remains:
Entire Site Copyright 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007 by Jerry E. Pournelle. All rights reserved.