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The good, the bad, the ugly...

- I have a new laptop--the result of an accident with the old one (Shelly tripped over the power cord, and it landed face-down, breaking rather dramatically). The new one is capable of playing World of Warcraft (bonus!). I didn't really want to replace it right away, except...

- ...spending the weekend at a trade show with a client, demoing high-end prepress software. Said client is paying rather well for the weekend--not completely enough to pay for the new laptop, but it really helps. However, this means...

- ...I won't be able to help S move this weekend. Fortunately, though, phyrra and nihilus will be helping the moving project, and speaking of which...

+ ...we've been spending even more time with the two of them lately, which has been absolutely wonderful, and still taking tentative steps toward the idea of a romantic relationship, which is good because...

+ ...it will make it that much easier to keep raiding their large and diverse library...

+ ...of such books as David Brin's Kiln People, an amazing novel and study in the nature of consciousness, identity, and non-destructive uploading...

+ ...which I just finished, while in the car...

+ ...on the way to St. Pete to look at a used car which we want to get for Shelly, which is cheap and in perfect condition...

- ...but won't be available 'til the third week of April. This means three months of waking up way too early to drive her to work. Today, her trip was particularly early, because...

+ ...Snow Crash is at the vet getting neutered today. I have to pick him up this evening, after I...

- ...get a rental car...

+ ...which my client is paying for, for the trip to Orlando. The only downside is...

- ...the client wants me there at eight AM.

Life, she is a mixed bag, you see.


( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 31st, 2005 06:28 pm (UTC)
So what did you think of Kiln People's finish?
Mar. 31st, 2005 07:31 pm (UTC)
It wasn't bad, though it did stray a bit into the realm of the woo-woo. The only quibble I have with the book, which is otherwise brilliant, is that it repeats the same misunderstanding of what it means to be an "observer" in the quantum sense; if the presence of a living, conscious observer were required to resolve quantum superpositions of state, then the universe would not ever have formed as it is now, unless one supposes a living, conscious observer was a part of the universe from the first instant of its creation. In quantum theory, an "observer" is anything--even a subatomic particle--whose state depends on the state being observed.
Mar. 31st, 2005 08:14 pm (UTC)
Hmmm....Isn't the idea of obeservation and it's effect on quantum states a key part of the Schroedinger's Cat experiment/discussion? Sort of? Or am I misunderstanding?

This is not my field of knowledge.
Mar. 31st, 2005 09:17 pm (UTC)
Yes, indeed it is.

The problem is that people see the word "observer" and think it means "a person looking at something." When a quantum physicist says that a quantum state is affected by an observer, though, he's using the word "observer" to mean something very specific--an "observer" is "any thing whose state depends on the thing being observed in such a way that its state can not be returned without increasing entropy."

An electron, for instance, can act as an "observer" to another electron, or to a photon, or whatever.

Schroedinger's cat is an illustration; it doesn't represent a real quantum state. In Schroedinger's thought experiment, the "observer" in the system is the gadget that detects the decay of a radioactive material and releases the poison; an "observer" in the quantum sense need not be conscious.
Mar. 31st, 2005 08:17 pm (UTC)
I find David Brin enjoyable as well...
will probably look for more at the friends of the library sale this year
*goes off muttering in a bookaholic way to write down ideas for authors to look for*
Apr. 1st, 2005 03:21 am (UTC)
Yes, there most definitely have been people who've come into ED's with rodents lodged in their rectums. Whether they were homosexual or not, I don't know. Please do not suggest you've read every "medical text" everywhere or that even doing so would put you "in the know."
Apr. 1st, 2005 05:37 am (UTC)
1. What the hell does this have to do with anything in this post?

2. http://www.snopes.com/risque/homosex/gerbil.htm
Apr. 4th, 2005 08:54 pm (UTC)
I'd like to comment on the structure of your post, rather than the content.

For the amount of data you were conveying, you've crafted a marvelously readable post. You write like I think, and manage to do so without resorting to 26 sets of parenthesis nested up to 5 layers deep. Nice. :-)

So when are we gonna see you guys at game night (or any other time, for that matter (preferably involving computer or board games, or possibly robots and porn (See? Damn nested parenthesis again!)))? I MUST CRUSH YOU!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )