Critical Section


Sunday,  04/19/09  10:18 PM

Greetings...  I spent the entire weekend on Project Q, and that makes me happy.  It is going slow but going; after two weeks of doing nothing (well, I was working, but not on Project Q :) I was finally able to make some progress.  It happened to be a gorgeous spring weekend outside and I did escape for a little ride yesterday before we had friends over for dinner, but today I contented myself with looking out an open window while coding.  So be it.

Did you enjoy my Scribd excerpt from Gödel Escher Bach's Birthday Cantatatata?  The technology is kind of cool, isn't it?  I had read about Scribd as a text analog to YouTube but I couldn't imagine why it would be useful, and yet for this purpose it was perfect.  (Of course we have to wonder, is there a business model?)

Gödel, Escher, BachGEB was published in 1979, and I've read it literally hundreds of times, but it still feels "fresh" to me; I learn more from it every time I pick it up, which is often (my copy is an old paperback, a rather large paperback, and it is pretty tattered).  This is one of the few books I can open to any random spot and start reading, and enjoy a page or two or ten, and then put down.  So today I picked it up, and opened it to the Birthday Cantatatata dialog, and I thought wow I should share this, and so I did.  In case you don't know, each chapter of GEB is preceded by a dialog which introduces the concepts of the chapter.  A great mnemonic device; interesting that it hasn't been copied elsewhere.

I have shared GEB with many friends and there are two reactions, first, some try valiantly but are completely mystified by the book, and second, others can't put it down and are enthralled by it.  Which are you?

Onward, a filter pass if you please, robo-Ole...

Federal rescue spendingPhilip Greenspun: show me the money.  Links several interesting graphs about how the federal reserve is spending money to improve our economy.  As you can see, the stimulus bill and company bailouts are small feed compared to asset purchases and new lending.  Wow.

And meanwhile, Venture Capital is under attack.  Not that it needs to be bailed out, but the startup ecosystem needs help.  "Lastly, and critically, if the data I began with is as compelling to you as it is to me, we need to make sure every legislator and policy maker knows: Venture capital is how America wins."

Is telepresence our best bet for exploring space?  Seth Shostak of the SETI Institute seems to think so, and he might be right.  With sufficient improvement in man/machine interfaces, who could tell the difference?  And it sure would be cheaper and safer to send robots "out there"...  not to mention, we don't have to bring them back...

Paul McCartney rocks CoachellaThe annual Coachella rock festival took place yesterday, and apparently Paul McCartney stole the show with a fantastic performance.  Good for him.

TTAC pounds the nail squarely through the wood: The Truth about Cell Phone Bans.  A great rant, and I agree with every word.

Now counter: Pre-mentions onlineSo the pre-Pre media blitz is on, including publicity for Sprint's "Now Network".  I would like to see a countdown timer for when the device will be available.  The demand has been created - now please fill it!

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