THE VIEW FROM CHAOS MANOR
View 467 May 21 - 27, 2007
Highlights this week:
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This is a Day Book. Pages are in chronological, not blogological order.
May 21, 2007
All is well but it's going to be hectic for a while. I have done mailbag and column for Chaos Manor Review.
We have had our first meetings with the technology managers at Homeland Security. There is a problem with communications between family units here. The phone is busy all the time or something so Roberta can't make contact with Fairfax. With luck that gets solved. -- later IT WAS. All is well.
All done. That wasn't so hard.
Afternoon we heard the Secretary, Undersecretary, and the Director of Technology, plus had some interactive sessions. An interesting if strenuous day, punctuated with learning the DC Metro system. Also went into the Pentagon which is a much more complicated thing to do than it used to be.
May 22, 2007
Monday has been a strenuous day, and tomorrow (Tuesday) starts early. I will not get caught up tonight. There is a new column to be posted in the morning so you are not without something to read.
I have a book signing tonight (although it is more like being part of an entourage for Greg Bear who has a new book). I have also learned that the publishers have arranged for a book signing at Walter Reed Hospital next week so I'll be in DC at least another week.
Niven and I are done with Inferno II but we need to get comments from our agent and others before we hand it to our editor.
Tuesday night. We had a book signing at Reiter's Book Store on K St (20th & K) with Greg Bear who has a new book, Quantico.
Caption: A good turnout for a book signing at 7 PM in DC
It has been a very long day and it starts early tomorrow. I don't know a lot about the Department of Home Security, but the SH ARPA (the research and development arm) is clearly well managed by some smart people.
Caption: Greg Bear take photos at lunch. Good lunch, too
I decided to come to this conference so that Niven could get some experience interacting with -- and observing -- senior bureaucrats. That part has worked out well. Whether we can give them any new ideas for R&D projects isn't clear yet. We probably can.
It's time for bed. Things start early tomorrow.
May 22, 2007
Another long day begins...
I recently met someone for whose opinions I have regard who told me he was convinced that the phenomenon of "remote viewing" was real, and is in fact in use in major companies and probably by the CIA.
The only "proofs" of remote viewing I know of involve proof by repeated assertion. I asked for any evidence whatever that this is real anywhere but on the Art Bell and George Noory shows. (I have never met Art Bell although I have been a guest on his program; I know George Noory and consider him a friend, but he is an entertainer with the remarkable ability to believe in whatever he is being told at the time it happens. I enjoy their shows, but I don't necessarily believe their guests, nor do I share many of their views).
Anyway I asked where I might find some evidence of Remote Viewing. That led me to Stargate
http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/stargate.htm, and that in turn led me to what appears to be a thoroughly objective study done by competent people: http://www.fas.org/irp/program/collect/air1995.pdf
I will let you all draw your own conclusions: this is, according to someone for whom I have some regard, the proper place to go for evidence.
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May 24, 2007
Tomorrow we go to the last day of the Homeland Security conference, then out to Baltimore for Balticon. We have appointments with some of the top officials in the HS ARPA to talk about what we may have learned and what we may have to offer. Could be interesting.
There was a fire drill today and I found myself outside next to an official in Airport and Aircraft security. I put it to him that Bin Laden never does the same things twice. On 9/11 we lost about $20 billion in buildings, and about 4 weekends worth of traffic casualties. Not a good thing, but the real disaster came when we then imposed about $40 billion a year in penalties on air travel and the airlines. We would be about as safe if we abolished the TSA and told the airlines that if they lose an airplane they better be insured against it. We would certainly be as safe against hijacked airplanes being flown into buildings as we are now. I also said that the main accomplishment of TSA is to make citizens feel like subjects.
He was very polite. He may even have been interested. Apparently this sentiment is not unknown in the TSA. I doubt anything will come of it, but it is not unknown among the DHS officials. Interesting.
I also learned of the World Wide terrorism data base, which is an interesting collection.
www.start.umd.edu/data/gtd You might find it worth playing with.
I will not be sorry to leave the land of the bureaucrats...
We completed the day with interviews with the R&D chiefs. After a few adventures we arrived at Hunt Valley where is the Balticon hotel, and after another adventure had dinner.
Convention starts tomorrow. We have appointments with our agent and our editor. Time to shift out of Homeland Security consultant mode and into SF writer mode.
May 25, 2006
Balticon starts today, and Niven and I are here.
May 27, 2007
I have come down with either a bug or an allergy. I saw managing editor Brian Bilbrey for about five minutes and I had little energy to talk with him, even though he drove here just to see me. I hope I can remedy that.
It's a good convention and we had a good dinner last night with our editor Bob Gleason and our agent Eleanor Wood. We turned in the manuscript for Inferno
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 monthly 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.
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