Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A World of Big Ideas ....

First off... some brag-puffery. Go see a Way-Cool Comic Strip About Reading & Books

All right, I have to be biased, since a recent spread in the Unshelved Book Club” syndicated strip features a novel by yours truly! Have a glance.

And now, in the world of ideas (not political!)...

You’ve heard me mention the exciting new online magazine soon to debut. Baen’s UNIVERSE. Well, the marketing director just wrote in with : ”If you don't already know, I have begun snippeting stories from the first issue, and I selected yours to be the first story snippeted. (Actually hacked up to show glimpses of a couple of funny bits!) At www.baensuniverse.com/edblog...

From Ray Kurzweil:

Biocosm, The New Scientific Theory of Evolution Intelligent Life Is the Architect of the Universe by James N. Gardner -- Why is the universe life-friendly? Columbia physicist Brian Greene says it's the deepest question in all of science. Cosmologist Paul Davies agrees, calling it the biggest of the Big Questions.

The US government is developing a massive computer system that can collect huge amounts of data and, by linking far-flung information from blogs and e-mail to government records and intelligence reports, search for patterns of terrorist activity. The Analysis, Dissemination, Visualization, Insight, and Semantic Enhancement (ADVISE) would...

Researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology have developed a chip that allows you to listen to an iPod using your forearm as the transmission wire for the audio signals. To reduce power consumption and boost data rate, the chip sends low-power ultra-wideband signals over a wide range of frequencies, rather than sending...

And now for something really creepy... I would almost feel sorry for the roach. Lobotomized sack of walking protein being led to its doom by the wasp. Glad we don't have parasites like that.

A podcaster recently interviewed me. I have no idea how well it came out, since my creaky old system won’t access it, but here’s what he says (below). Anybody care to try it out and tell me how it sounds?

“This afternoon I uploaded the February 11, 2006 episode of "The Future And You," making it available for my show's loyal audience as well as the rest of the digital planet. This episode contains one of the topics you spoke on, so feel free to check it out. www.TheFutureAndYou.com Other topics will be included in future episodes: (very roughly) every other episode for the next three to five months.

Oh... I can’t help it. Politics is everywhere, these days.

Want a peek at Nehemia? Drop in at the Rolling Stones site.


And no, we cannot let go of the Klepto Kid, Gene Naughtry, Butch Crassidy, or the man who gave new meaning to “beer and shots”....

...Ah, but what could be more macho than stepping out of cars to blast away at farm-raised, wingless creatures without any wild “sporting” evasion skills, who were trapped in a pen with no hope of escape? Well. Now we know why Cheney received five deferments from the Vietnam war. The Army was protecting it's troops.

Try this little test at home: Blast one of your hunting buddies late on a Saturday afternoon and see if you can successfully evade a breathalyzer test. And not even get a citation in the process.

Jon Stewart of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" showed a color-coded threat level chart like that used by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, saying that, based on lawyer Harry Whittington's heart attack, "we're going to downgrade the condition of the story from 'Incredibly Hilarious' to 'Still funny, but, mmm, now a little sad.' "

Actually, I’m deeply impressed by this. It is multileveled, reminding people that the cheap shot is not always the best way. Stewart thus called upon just a little sympathy and maturity from his own audience... while (obviously) still availing himself of the irresistible opportunity to ridicule the ridiculous.

Compare that maturity to the insanity that follows: “The White House has decided that the best way to deal with Vice President Dick Cheney's shooting accident is to joke about it.” Say what? The people who CANNOT ethically joke about this are the perpetrator and his “side”. The only possible dignified position to take is utter openness and contrition.

Crystal ball peering... in the category of what if? Some are speculating “... about whether Shooter would resign and make room for Condi, if Mr. Whittington does not survive. His death would trigger a more thorough police investigation and probably a grand jury.” Would Secret Service agents be subpoenaed, the way they were about Monica? Only if a Special Prosecutor is appointed. And what do you think are the chances of that happening?

---
Enough.

Finally, heads up. On March 1 there will be two new Brin essays at www.amazon.com/shorts... One on the coming singularity! Tune in. Turn on. Be entertained.

9 comments:

Tony Fisk said...

Want a peek at Nehemia?

Interesting juxtaposition of adverts:
God speaks to me! ... through Missy Elliot ringtones!!.
Let us prey...

Stefan Jones said...

Nice plug in that comic!

Makes me wonder if a YA novel in the Uplift setting would do well . . .

* * *

My father went to one of those shameful "hunting farms" a few years back. A fishing buddy of his wanted to see if his hunting dog's training had taken, and invited the gang. My father thought it was ludicrous: Chubby, half-tame birds wandering around, trying to find their way back to the pen.

* * *

Listening to the beginning of "The Future and You." Nicely produced, a bit formal and pretentious. It would be nice if he could be more fun and casual w/o losing the rigorous scientific orientation. (I've heard a few SF radio shows that were like audio versions of Starlog; all movies and TV crud.) Your interview sounded fine.

Cutting this short because the Daily Show is on.

Man, I hope McLellan was promised a fine fiefdom and many serf come the Restoration. I don't see how money alone can motivate the guy.

opit said...

They say you can find anything on the web. I was running Firefox's "Stumble" option and this popped up http://www.rebelscience.org/Seven/bible.html

Kagehi said...

Hmm. This Biocosm guy does realize we now have evidence that block holes, once devoid of anough matter to keep growing, boil off into nothing and no "baby universes" are likely from that? And I have to wonder, without those, where do the baby universes come from? Never mind.. Its pretty obvious this is just another one of those people with some narrow specialty, using bits and pieces of other people's ideas, to form a completely rediculous one. Not to mention that this just adds more complexity and begs the question of how this "intelligent" species of universes came about, or why the heck life as we know it needs to be part of it, given that it apparently can reproduce without any...

Yep, definitely found some nutty stuff for us this time.

Stefan Jones said...

In the interest of full disclosure, the Vice President has asked the hospital treating Mr. Whittington release photos of his wounds:

http://www.cockeyed.com/images/whittington

Poor guy, looks like it was a very delicate procedure.

Tony Fisk said...

Just noted, in New Scientist letters, this one from the pastor of Milford Baptist Church, Surrey, UK. It has an interesting take on the parable of the sheep and the goats.
Nehemia posers take note on what constitutes a goat!

It's been a tough week for Rummy. I suspect he needs a vacation sans bang sticks. A vacation on a nice island in the pacific. How about the Cartaret atolls? I just hope he doesn't get surprised if he wakes up from his nap in a deckchair to find the ocean has risen round his ankles!
"In 1767, heroic British navigator Philip Carteret discovered a set of islands - now, those same Islands are the first to be evacuated due to rising sea levels"
But how were we to know?

Hawker Hurricane said...

Excuse me... the VP asked the hospital? What, the man has no family to ask? Shouldn't it be the victim's relatives he asked?

Stefan Jones said...

It's a joke HH! Just go to the link.

HH said...

Doh! Got me.