Monday, January 09, 2006

(misc items...and a slowdown)

I am going to be downgrading to blog a bit, partly in order to emphasize writing that helps feed my family.

Still, I hope to get to that religion piece soon.

Also, a few misc items...

I highly recommend this review of 25 top stories from THE GLOBALIST, some of which are real eye-openers.

Author/inventor Wil McCarthy has just posted a a free, annotated, multimedia edition of Hacking Matter on his web page This is one of the most innovative and fascinating ideas to come along in years. The topic if serveral novels and nowa bona fide patent.

It was reported this week that that $800 million in terrorism-preparedness aid to states will now be handed out based on risk-assessment rather than as it's currently being done, that is, based essentially on patronage.

The Times doesn't say until the 19th paragraph is that the new risked-based program represents only about 25 percent of the $3 billion in overall federal anti-terrorism grants. The rest is still just pork.


Anonymous said...

Did you notice that only a couple of the 21 finalists at were actual original ideas. Most were old news that have been re-hashed in the political sphere for many years. Even the original ideas were really disappointing. ProduMae, could potentially be useful, but no evidence is given that it would correct a real market failure, and Fannie Mae/Fannie Mac have been massive loci of corruption. I didn't see any of the actual original ideas I saw earlier when examining ideas at random.

Anonymous said...

The Hacking Matter book reminds me of a few Soviet science fiction novels from the 70s. They had stuff like people turning into clouds, and knifes that were programmed to not stab their owners. One even supposed that if the surface tension of water were changed we wouldn't need to use pipes to transport it everywhere.

Interesting stuff, if you could read Russian that is :)

Tony Fisk said...

Hacking matter sounds like Clarke's fifth stage of technology (involving matter transmutation: but with instructions).

Heady stuff.

@michael: yeah, I thought some of the finalists a bit strange (personally, I would have liked to have seen the voting by mobile phone get a look in)

To carry over an aspect of the last post (hopefully without baggage) it seems that the 'paraphrasing challenge' will be getting an airing in a discussion on Nuclear Energy that's occurring at the Long Now talk next Friday. For more details check out

Tony Fisk said...


...Thinking of transmutation, and Clarke's tech stages got me wondering 'hey, so what's happened to antigravity?' (level 4 if I remember rightly). I put it down to the future arriving sooner than you think and in a different order.

AND THEN... I read this week's New Scientist, which reports on the recent rediscovery of Burkhard Heim's work on quantum gravity (see

Another case of cold fusion? Could be. Still, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics thinks it's worth a look.

Rob Perkins said...

David, I had a thought. We're all very interested in the religion piece. Why not skip the blog and put it straight onto Amazon Shorts?

Anonymous said...

I have to ask,

Are there any other gamers here who read about hacking matter and got flashbacks to White Wolf Studio's "Mage: the Ascension" game?