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There are idiotic days. It seems, increasingly, there are idiotic days. Days that squat in a corner and drool and gibber and shit themselves. Yesterday was that sort of a day. And because it was that sort of a day, I've still not finished with The Dry Salvages. Or answered several important e-mails. Or signed the Daughter of Hounds contracts. And so on, and so forth.

Those of us damned to make our living by the word (and, inevitably, die by the word), need our own Church, our own Father Confessors, our own rituals and Stations of the Cross. Because sometimes we are lost beyond all comprehension, and there is no godlight or demon or Virgil to guide us home again. Only the material waste of our immaterial imaginations. We need a Church.

The sign, I see it/Tell me, am I true?/All I need from you is/All I see

Our agents would get a cut, of course, a fair percentage on every sin.

Jesus, I'm so fucking full of shit.

Yes, well. That seems to be the point. I sincerely hope you don't think they give you that money for your good looks and winning personlity.

I am at rest and cannot seem to do more than remain at rest. Just a little thrust would be sufficient to carry me clear of my own gravity. But I can't seem to find the spark.

It was a blessedly rainy day here yesterday. I haven't noticed the weather today.

I'm unsure whether or not it has noticed me.

Spooky and I have been talking about the photo shoot we're going to do to get the author's photo for To Charles Fort, With Love. It's going to be cool. I'll talk about it more later on. I don't know why more authors don't have more fun with author's photos. They ought to.

I've got to stop spending so much time with the television. It sucks me in and tells me it's okay to lie on the floor for hours at a time staring at its screen. Last night, for instance, there was a really good special on the Science Channel about the Cassini probe and then another, on M theory. The first almost made me cry, and the second just left me keenly aware that I'll never be half as intelligent as I want to be. And if I'd stopped there, it wouldn't have been so bad. But then I played three hours of Morrowind (only seven to go!). It went like this: I ascend to third-level fighter. I finally find Caius Cosades and give him the damned package I've been carrying since Seyda Neen. So, at least I have a place to sleep in Balmora. I've been sleeping in alleys and in the woods. I go back to the Fighter's Guild on the west side of town and accept orders to clear rats out of Drarayne Thelas' house (and realize that sexual fantasies involving these waxworks is all that's keeping me playing). I am a truly incompetent exterminator, and the bitch pisses me off so much I steal a pillow. New orders: stop poachers at the Shulk egg mine. I do it. New orders: fullfil a contract with the Caldera Ebony Mining Company to kill four Telvanni agents responsible for trouble at the Caldera Mine. Yippee. I get lost, end up in the Morrowind equivalent of southern Mississippi. I finally find Caldera, but break my long sword fighting a nix hound. Fine. I find a smith, but I don't have enough gold. I find a pawnbroker and sell him most of the crap I've been carrying around. But then I accidentally draw a dagger on him. A guard grabs me and hauls me off to some prison north of Caldera. I serve out my sentence, then head back to Caldera and find the mines. And decide I'm too tired to play anymore. So, I watch most of Night and the City (the original, not the remake) on FMC instead of going to bed.

Stop watching the goddamned television.

At least I mute the commercials.

Comments

( 15 comments — Have your say! )
oneirophrenia
Aug. 11th, 2004 07:56 pm (UTC)
M-theory's fundamentally pretty simple: you treat the universe as though it were an n-dimensional sheet whose wrinkles correspond to gravity. That's about it. :)

Even though it's not really related to M-theory, I just recently started reading a book called _The Five Ages of the Universe_ by Fred Adams and some other fellow. Great book about how the universe will eventually just be nothing but black holes and evaporating matter. Scary, but cool! You may very well get a kick out of it....I can easily imagine the Great Old Ones huddling around stellar remnants in the Degenerate Era.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 11th, 2004 08:43 pm (UTC)
Scary, but cool!

See, this stuff doesn't frighten me, existentially or otherwise. Since I can't imagine humanity will survive more than a couple more million years, at best, what happens to this particular universe many billions of years from now hardly seems to matter.

But the book sounds cool.
oneirophrenia
Aug. 11th, 2004 09:25 pm (UTC)
Humanity will be lucky if it survives another 100 or 200 years. But the sentient machines we create, or their remote descendants, will probably have to deal with the universe running out of steam in a few trillion years...unless they A) find a way out of the universe by building a new one; or B) they never even make it off the planet because their code is derived from Windows and some hacker kid destroys all of it with a virus. Heh.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 11th, 2004 10:08 pm (UTC)
Humanity will be lucky if it survives another 100 or 200 years. But the sentient machines we create, or their remote descendants, will probably have to deal with the universe running out of steam in a few trillion years

Again, you're more optimistic than I am.

oneirophrenia
Aug. 12th, 2004 01:05 am (UTC)
Yeah...I'm generally fairly optimistic about the continuation of intelligence in the universe--but, at the same time, I don't think the current "human" species deserves the same optimism. The vast majority of humanity are just too stupid and too physically fragile to take part in the future as it is now evolving.
wishlish
Aug. 11th, 2004 10:19 pm (UTC)
You know, as Windows continues to struggle with virus and worm writers, it becomes more resistant to such infections. Certainly, if you're running a modern anti-virus software package, a year-old virus can't do any substantial damage. If this continues, one of two things could happen:

1. Windows becomes super-immune in a way that Linux and OSX can't, because they haven't had the history of infection that Windows has.

2. The anti-virus packages become so bloated with cures that they become serious drains on computers as to drastically reduce their usefulness, but remain a necessity because of the probability of infection without them, killing the WinPC movement.

The latter is more likely, given the coming end of Moore's Law-related improvements in semi-conductors.
oneirophrenia
Aug. 12th, 2004 01:12 am (UTC)
Moore's Law as it applies to semi-conductor improvements is destined to peter about in about twenty years, by which time most circuits will be engineered at the molecular level...but by that time, semiconductor circuits will be as passe and lowlevel as vacuum tubes are today. There are already quantum computers built out of simple collections of *single atoms* that can handle a few thousand operations before decoherence breaks them down...and each of these few thousand operations in a quantum computer are the equivalent of a few *million* operations on a regular ol' transistor-based computer. The first quantum computing systems, primitive as they were, were tested out only a few years ago--in late 1999, I believe--and already the technology has been refined a few thousand-fold. DOesn't mean that quantum computing is commercially applicable *yet*, but give it another year or two and it will be. It'll first show up in the world of cryptography, where the first cash-generating applications are already being developed, but will probably start appearing in high-end scientific and business operations within a couple of years....

By the time Moore's Law peters out, quantum computing will have already outstripped it by a few thousand generations.

(Honestly, right now, I just want to play Doom 3 on a quantum computer. I can only *imagine* how fresh the graphics would be run through one of those!)
wishlish
Aug. 12th, 2004 02:12 pm (UTC)
My concern with quantum computing is the length of time it will take to get to the consumer market. If QC hits consumers around the time that we hit the limit on semiconductors, fine. But if it takes 5-10 years or more, life could get frustrating. No Doom 27 for you! :)
brokensymmetry
Aug. 12th, 2004 02:14 pm (UTC)
you treat the universe as though it were an n-dimensional sheet whose wrinkles correspond to gravity.

Although I'm still years away from studying this stuff formally, to me this sounds more like a description of classical general relativity or one of the Kaluza-Klein theories. In string/M theory spacetime is once again flat and gravity is considered to be the exchange of gravitons across this flat background.

(Some people are OK with this, others think there will eventually be a background-free formulation of M theory that re-introduces curvature, and others see it as a fatal flaw and have come up with an alternate theory called loop quantum gravity. There are some vague, but exciting, signs that M theory and loop quantum gravity may converge and become parts in a much richer whole).

Great book about how the universe will eventually just be nothing but black holes and evaporating matter.

There's a great page that talks about some of the same stuff here (John Baez is one of the leading researchers in loop quantum gravity, by the way).

setsuled
Aug. 11th, 2004 11:01 pm (UTC)
Those of us damned to make our living by the word (and, inevitably, die by the word), need our own Church, our own Father Confessors, our own rituals and Stations of the Cross.

I just hope that doesn't make every bookstore feel like a Christian bookstore.

I am a truly incompetent exterminator

Aw, you should follow my recipe for uber . . .

and the bitch pisses me off so much I steal a pillow.

. . . but that's brilliant!

(and realize that sexual fantasies involving these waxworks is all that's keeping me playing).

Wow. Cornflakes, and now this. You oughta be studied. Have you been to The Garden of Earthly Delights in Suran yet? Take a silt strider from Balmora to Suran and look for a building with a red lantern over its door. Unfortunately, the game doesn't let you pay for any of the ladies' services, but it's an interesting looksee.

A guard grabs me and hauls me off to some prison north of Caldera

I knew that was only a matter of time.

greygirlbeast
Aug. 12th, 2004 12:22 am (UTC)
I just hope that doesn't make every bookstore feel like a Christian bookstore.

It's a Church for writers, not readers.

You oughta be studied.

Don't worry. I am.

<< Have you been to The Garden of Earthly Delights in Suran yet? >>

Yep. I loved how they all called themselves "acrobats."
setsuled
Aug. 12th, 2004 02:22 am (UTC)
It's a Church for writers, not readers.

Ah. I suppose it'll have human sacrifices then. I approve!
lizzistardust
Aug. 12th, 2004 03:16 am (UTC)
Hi Caitlin, I just added you to my friends list. I hope you don't mind.
greygirlbeast
Aug. 12th, 2004 05:49 am (UTC)
I just added you to my friends list. I hope you don't mind.

Not at all!
brokensymmetry
Aug. 12th, 2004 03:04 pm (UTC)
I'll never be half as intelligent as I want to be.

I'm not one to suggest sticking stuff into one's brain, and in particular I'm sure your brain is already a sufficiently... interesting... place. But, I've had positive experiences with a combination of hydergine and piracetam. They were recommended to me by a couple of my dizzyingly brilliant silicon valley friends, and I do think they've helped me learn faster and think clearer.

( 15 comments — Have your say! )