Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Thursday, April 29, 2004

  The meme scale

Here's a bit on how memes scale.

Consider the impact of a mode of thought, a phrase, a concept, as being on a scale like the richter scale, say at 10 to the -8.

Sex: : currently measuring at 2.19

I love seeing the numbers in E notation for memes that are big (sex), and those that are small (McPhallicism: measuring in at a paltry .00000012)

And how a slight difference in spelling gets you the same idea, only altered - google for this without a 's: Uncle Bill's Helicopter.

And then I think of how the word "Absolutely" - with phrasing that I swiped from a video game - swept through one of my former companies - it became the "in" word - for about 6 months, before it was replaced with something else.

Consider a new phrase's potential as all folded up in a 5 dimensional place within it, that you can observe, now, in the smallest rumble, to the loudest roar, in real time, with tools like google.

Still, a little bagua for the information age would go a long way.
 

  Open Source speech recognition

Ossri just launched their web site. I've been lurking on their mailing list archive for a while, there's a group there trying to leverage open source voice recognition with VOIP, and their goals are very aligned with the project I've been working on, off and on, for a couple years now. I wish 'em best of luck and I hope to be able to help out. Voice is far too important a communications medium to be left to the proprietary companies....
 

  Love

It sounds like Resilient's found love, me, I found my cat trapped in the garage - and I'm in love with Simone, I am, I am!

 
Tuesday, April 27, 2004

  this just in...

Rebecca Parks is holding a cd release party of her new record "Nightship" at the expresso garden in San Jose, thursday july 22nd. Be there. She's also touring on behalf of the National Mayor's ride...

 

  Found the camera... can't find the usb cable

or get my linux box to recognise the flash card... Maybe I'm just tired. I think I'll sleep with Simone tonight. Got a nice bike ride to ucsc planned tomorrow, hope to look up a few abstracts.
 

  Blooming plants

Overnight an Iris bloomed. Quite lovely. Where's the camera?

I found myself throwing horseshoes in my dreamtime with 2000 PH5. They kept landing upside down, and all the luck poured out of them. New rule. No more coffee after 7PM.
 

  Too much raw material

That describes my writing day today. I am gonna have to take a day off and parallelize the audio->editing process before I accidentally re-use more tapes.

Heard a rumor yesterday that Greg Bear maintaines a house near mine, where he putters in the garden (same as me) and works on his next book. (same as me, 'cept that he's 30 books ahead). He has a blog now! His books EON and Eternity were great influences on me as I spent the late 80s and early 90s boning up on the near earth asteroids...

Speaking of raw material... the MUSES-C mission originally featured a cool nano-rover but that was canceled in 2000 due to budgetary constraints. Sigh. I take some comfort that the Japanese did manage to launch a scaled down craft, and it is due for a swing-by of earth in May - on it's way to ITOKAWA.

I have been trying to get an interview about the mission plan fromBall Aerospacefor NEOX version 1 and especially NEOX version 2 (featuring an "Deep impact" style impactor) f - a certain "R.P. Reinert, R.W. Dissly, and S. Mitchell" ...for ages... as they presented at the last AAS meeting: I've emailed Ball so I can get more details - no response. I've googled - no answers - I swear I saw the proposed mission plan on the web... can't find it....

Anybody know these guys? I've got a project that might help enhance their quest....

I guess I'll have to wait until the next AAS meeting.

It's been a rocky day. I have got a couple meetings tomorrow morning. Can't sleep. Gah. I keep having nightmares about 10 million wasted shuttle launches while 2003 YT1, 2001 US16, and 2000 JS16 slip quietly by.

2003 YT1 especially interests me - it's a "fast rotator", meaning that it is solid enough to rotate at a speed probably in excess of it's surface gravity - or, its exceptionally massy - either way means that it is an excellent candidate for mining... and/or a tether based launch system... It comes within .78 AU on April 30th.

and 2001US16 comes within .028 AU on May 8th. .028 AU, kiddies, is only 11 times further than the moon....

And 2004+HH20 passes by at a mere... agh... I can't say it.

Wave a fist at these rocks as they pass by with me. All that mass... so near, and yet so far.

If you really want grumpy, see all the other free rides to the solar system we've missed this year. Or all the missions scrapped since we decided to create an international sucking sound.

I gotta get some sleep.
Here's the list of the closest real estate on the hoof

ID Date Distance-AU Lunar-dist
2003 WP7 2003 Dec 04 06:55 0.0183 7
2003 WY25 2003 Dec 11 23:36 0.0248 10
2001 SY269 2004 Mar. 18.32 0.02676 10
2001 US16 2004 May 8.23 0.02860 11
(25143) 2004 June 26.83 0.01290 6
1999 MN 2004 July 11.06 0.01737 8
(4179) Toutatis 2004 Sept.29.57 0.01036 5


Night. I think I will haul the air mattress out to my front porch, with sleeping bag, and try to come to terms with mars and venus. Damn, damn, damn - I missed the Space Access conference, too. I will try to take heart, as I try to sleep tonight, that others can get as grumpy about space policy as I can... Amen. After the veneer of reform fades, pass me a quarter billion for 16 asteroid missions please? The payoff is somewhere between a billion and umpteen trillion dollars a year, in about 12 years, for the remaining life of our species. Sure wish I could interest a VC in that, but I guess I'll go back to hacking VOIP and wireless technologies into cafe's and the beach... for now.

I have to misquote PJ ORoarke here: "Giving money and attention to NASA is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys."

 
Sunday, April 25, 2004

  Baseball

I sit here, at 120 union for the 3rd day in a row, outside, trying to work out a project plan - earlier today, they played Keith Jarrett's Koln concert on cd, then a lady from greece played classical and jazz favorites - then i got a chance to play, then claire dropped in, then I went back to work for a while, smoking, outside, and on the net for the things I needed....

And I realized that I needed something - it wasn't just this mars modeling stuff ringing through my head that I am trying to write about - but... what was it?

Almost absently I read a story in a book a found here ("The Hard SF Renaissance") - a story by Kim Stanley Robinson called: "Arthur Sternbach brings the curveball to mars" - a simple but well enjoyed translation of a classic game memoir to a SF lower gravity environment - I realized that what was missing.

Baseball.

I wasn't missing watching it - I'll be damned if I suffer through watching the Phillies play another year
I kind of felt wistful about maybe hearing a game on radio
I wasn't missing playing it - at least not softball. Yuck. What is it about passing into adulthood that takes the baseball out of your hand and puts a big, fat, slow softball there?

A softball goes nowhere even when you whack it hard...

but I suddenly missed playing real, honest to goodness baseball - the challenge of hitting a monster curveball - the run to first, and the other bases... I loved to hit, used to play second and third... I could really use to find a pickup game somewhere... googling now...

while still working on that project plan...

Aha, there's a local league... the schedule is all around the area...

I wonder if they have wifi?

 

 

For the last couple years I have been running linux on my handheld computer, and watching PocketPC take off and dominate that space. It's reached the point where I've lost faith - where I need some tools (like a good outliner, and some project planning software) - that simply don't exist on Linux.

It's a crisis of faith. Re-installing PocketPC is likely to be a day-long project, and might result in creating a brick, and means that permanently attached to my hip would be the eminations of the evil empire.

I'm going to church this morning to sort it all out. I'm googling for some alternative to wiping it out...

I have some gardening to do this afternoon, and I think I'll move the laptop to the garden so I can maybe
... and get some mp3s rolling
... and plug in the big box
... and bang out some more fences

I think it's the end of linux for this particular handheld... voice over wifi is just too cool to not miss... and, man do I have some big projects to knock out right now...

In the good ole dayz I'd just get a new one with a new OS, now I must patiently restore this one.... aagh... maybe I can find one on ebay... maybe there is someone out there that wouldn't mind trading out a new/used pocketpc handheld for this one.
 

  What a saturday!

Spent the morning cleaning up the house and sorting through paperwork, the afternoon biking to the digibarn and hearing tall tales of the early days of Xerox PARC and of NASA, (my favorite thing about digibarn is no longer the exhibits, but the tales visitors share about the history of the exhibits - and how they light up when they see some old magical piece of hardware that they had a part of).

Left the digibarn after some fascinating talk about the biologic containment facilities of NASA, and some demos of extraordinary realistic moon and mars simulation software - and caught the 35A bus with 10 seconds to spare for the ride into SC.

Boogied over to 120 Union catching some stunning live experimental music courtesy of the Santa Cruz Digital Arts Festival... while hacking on my ipaq, getting so I can send and receive email there, trying to get gnumeric and a better wlan sniffer installed, while sipping at a fine beverage - and apple pie - and a sandwich - and a piece of pumpkin cake...

I love 120 Union as much, or more, as I once loved Cybernation.

I got 3 hours of interviews on tape. It turned out Allan Lundell and Elf already knew each other... I have got to spend some time optimizing how I get this stuff edited down, I must have 40 hours of tape these past two months on increasingly random, unmarked tapes - and there's some great stories in there that need to be told - if I could find the time to get them into my audio gear - mp3s whileUsleep - but not tonight, too tired to do more than plug the batteries in and crawl into bed. The last 4 miles home are all uphill....
 
David Täht writes about politics, space, copyright, the internet, audio software, operating systems and surfing.


Resume,Songs,
My new blog, NeX-6, My facebook page
Orgs I like
The EFF - keeping free speech in the world
Musical stuff I like
Jeff, Rick, Ardour, Jack
Prior Rants - Wireless and Wifi in 2015 - not what I dreamed of Saving wifi! Fixing Bufferbloat! Fighting the vend... Virgin Media - Fixing the epidemic of bufferbloat ... 49... and trying to find my navel Wheels down on mars! Tracking the landing of Curiosity, from Seattle spotting NEOs from around venus's orbit Asteroids as lunar orbit resources SOPA is bad news Departing France for England, then 'home'.
Best of the blog:
Uncle Bill's Helicopter - A speech I gave to ITT Tech - Chicken soup for engineers
Beating the Brand - A pathological exploration of how branding makes it hard to think straight
Inside the Internet Mind - trying to map the weather within the global supercomputer that consists of humans and google
Sex In Politics - If politicians spent more time pounding the flesh rather than pressing it, it would be a better world
Getting resources from space - An alternative to blowing money on mars using NEAs.
On the Columbia - Why I care about space
Authors I like:
Doc Searls
Where's Cherie?
UrbanAgora
Jerry Pournelle
The Cubic Dog
Evan Hunt
The Bay Area is talking
Brizzled
Zimnoiac Emanations
Eric Raymond
Unlocking The Air
Bob Mage
BroadBand & Me
SpaceCraft
Selenian Boondocks
My Pencil
Transterrestial Musings
Bear Waller Hollar
Callahans
Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member

If you really want to, you can poke through the below links as well.

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