I return to Cascadia after a 39-day visit with Dad in the high desert. He forgives me for not fully sharing his admiration for dry scenery.
We watched a slew of movies together: Wreck-It Ralph; Midnight in Paris; Dr Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog; The King’s Speech; Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner; Hot Fuzz; Tucker & Dale vs Evil; The Good, the Bad, the Weird; 3 Idiots; Brave; Absurdistan; Going by the Book; An Unexpected Journey; The Thirteenth Floor. (He didn’t “get” Dr Horrible and I didn’t “get” Atanarjuat, but in general we approved of each other’s choices.)
We also watched about a dozen NFL games, including the first round of playoffs (the “wild card” games). I had seen few if any games since Jerry Rice’s day, and was surprised at how the defense dominated most of these; in particular, I saw very few successful long passes.
Much as I enjoy Dad’s company, I am glad to get back to familiar routines, green grass, and cats who know what my lap is for.
Backtracking a search that led to my runes, I found this page that seems to claim that the futhark descended from a Russian system based on segments selected from the wheel graph W6. One needn’t accept the claim to find the system at least a little bit interesting.
For want of some fractional measure of devotion
I’m too literal-minded. When I hear corporate puff like
None of this would have been possible without the complete dedication and teamwork of every one of you in this room
I think, wow, just imagine all the grand projects that vanished without a trace because one of several hundred drones either lacked complete dedication or was hit by a bus.
A new participant on Wikipedia, with an axe to grind, wrote to me:
I’ve seen your articles. Devout liberal garbage that even your own administrators bash you for writing.
Less than a week later, that editor has been banned for persistently trying to use Wikipedia to push political agenda — and now I’ll never know what that crack was about. I have administrators?
Hm, Shapeways has an API. If I were a skilled Web programmer I’d make a page where you can choose the size and frequencies of a Klein bagel model …
seams in the infrastructure
I had a visitor from beyond an arbitrary polygonal arc. When she got here, she asked, “Did you get my note?”
“What, today? No.”
“… Oops, I sent it from my Canadian phone. So when I get back to Canada, you’ll get a note saying I’m on my way!”
Got an idea for a transhuman story element.
Assume that the technology exists to let you acquire fluency in a language of your choice as easily as you install a font on your computer. (Such technology figures in When Gravity Fails and probably bunches of other fiction.)
My idea is a Private Language Generator, a utility that uses some source of true random noise to generate a language — syntax, phonology, morphology, lexicon — from the ground up, and install it using the interface assumed above. When two or more people use the device together, they acquire the ability to communicate ‘naturally’ in a language that no eavesdropper can interpret.
This leads to a new kind of traffic analysis. Any two people who post Tweets in the same unknown language thereby expose their association. So maybe the PLG is not all that useful for secrecy. But lovers, for example, might use it for fun. (See also The Languages of Pao.)