Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Tres, nada, in chess
I just got my arse handed to me 3 times in playing chess with the owner of San Juan Pizza (which is incidentally the best pizza place in all of San Juan Del Sur). I've watched him play - two, sometimes three, games of speed chess, and last week I was admiring a problem he'd had mailed (not emailed! Mailed!) to him from a friend from his home country. We had a nice discussion about it....
Today, drunk - stupid - I decided, finally, after a year of watching him decimate all opponents, to take him on.
He creamed me in less than 20 moves, twice, with barely a pause for thought. By the third game I was ready to resign after going two pawns down, after opening as white. I held on for a while just for the sake of honor but the writing was on the wall by move 24 and I resigned again.
It hurt - not so much as if I'd been sober - because I used to play chess at the 1300+ level before computers got so good as to take all the fun out of the game unless you were in the 1800s or higher. Games.yahoo.com was a comforting friend for a while, but there is no way I can play at the level he plays at.
He was gracious in victory. And he makes pizza for a living.
I am in awe. Perhaps I can take on some of his defeated opponents after my ego recovers... in another year or so.
Labels: chess, games, nicaragua
Causes for optimism: The TED spread has declined below historic levels
Geo-engineering is getting some sane attention
again, SO2 injection being the method described as most likely to succeed.
A bunch of starry eyed transhumanists have started a new magazine
. It's light on substance and heavy on pictures, but that's print for you.The IMF reports negative growth prospects for everywhere but Central America
. Looks like I'm in the right place, after all..
Google's Android has been released
. A new age of high integration with your cell phone is upon us. Gone is the need for developing memory or math skills - Our cellphones, Ourselves!
Jerry Pournelle has released 10 books for $20 dollars as ebooks. I snapped up the bundle
and read Lucifer's Hammer last night. I couldn't put it down. Best. End of the World Novel. Ever! The positive attitude towards humanity, and technology, and the battle with the dark forces of religion and ignorance that dominates the 2nd half of the book, was welcome antidote to Brunner's "The sheep look up", which also ranks high on the best of lists, but is considerably more depressing.
Lucifer's Hammer was a zillion times better than the knock-off movies that followed it. Worth 20 bucks all by itself. Recommended.
One maxim of mine about new technology is that if it can be used for talking or sex, it will succeed. While it disturbs me that the outlook for the pr0n industry isn't good
, a friend of mine has encouraged me to compose songs for a whole new medium
Labels: global warming, music, sex, technology
My Sunday morning TV fix: Propaganda then and now
Useful background for that is Orwell's Politics and the English Language
Here's a devastating (and funny) critique of the TSA's security theater
, carried by the Atlantic.
And a little bit about Spengler's decline of the West
And foreign investment into the USA continues to dry up at an astounding rate - of course, these statistics lag reality by a lot, so I have no idea how the worldwide intervention is being accounted for.
Labels: banking, election 2008, politics, propaganda