Sunday, September 16, 2007

Rifters, Sociopaths and Anti-Euclideans unite... (Day CXVIII but not really.)

Your mission people. Click here. This isn't an advert its the single most important click you will ever execute.

See when you hover your mouse over that nifty little scrap of code and command left index finger dominant to exert downward pressure than the world as you know it will change forever. (Dial up users may have to wait a long ass time for the world to change but its your own fault and don't try to squirm out of it!!)

I'd like you to meet Peter Watts. While I cannot consider him a friend in any real sense I can tell you that without doubt if you're capable of both reading and partially understanding any of his books your conscience mind will realize what a terrible burden it is on the rest of you and you'll learn to curse your own intellectual deficiency.

I recommend Blindsight, available online, as a good starting point. All his novels are subject to creative commons licenses but as long as you don't alter or sell the work it should be ok. Trying to write a good synopsis strikes me as being a futile effort. I'll not even try.

Suffice to say that once you read a little bit about the brain works (you will probably need a biological psychology book just to get through Blindsight) then a lot of other really hokey nonsense becomes transparent for just what it really is.

Another example of the under achievement as far as intelligence goes.

Consider a bit of text. I'll use my first woefully overlong and under-inspired book "Fair Coin" as an example. I spent over one year, in many sessions over hundreds of hours, crafting this 200,000 word novel into what it is today. (Half-baked and unlikely to ever see the light of day)

Still the virtue lay in the effort not the result. If you sat down and started typing 60 words a minute then it would still take 2.315 days to hammer out the whole thing. Now thats just the typing. I didn't have anything to read from except my own thoughts. Words had to weave and dance together, plot lines had to stretch and twist and interconnect. Fat beads of imagery and scenery demanded to be woven and glued to this dynamic canvas as it developed and I put down was two dimensional renderings that I could.

Two and a half days without sleep or bathroom breaks clackity clack-clacking away. The end result was a paltry 2.47 megabytes (in MSword) When I think of how my brain compares to a USB flash drive I begin to get a little offended. You see though every single character came from a single digital motion via my fingers on my rusty ol' dell keyboard thanks to my brain and when I reread I still hit parts and think 'holy crap I wrote that' or 'WHISKY TANGO FOXTROT what was I thinking?'

2.5 megabytes. Thats not even 2 floppy disks. Its paltry, its pathetic. And less than 1% of the world could memorize even a significant hunk of that data.

Think of the last time someone told you a phone number and you had to write it down. Twelve Ascii characters and you needed a slip of paper!! Yes you did! Good god that amount of raw data just doesn't even compute. We can store flickers of high-res video with surround sound and smell and pain and stuff like that but 2.5 megabytes of text with any reliability?

Not yet, dear humans. But one day soon.

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