Playing With Gears


I finished reading Accelerando last Friday. The author — Charles Stross — took the concept of the Singularity in directions I didn’t anticipate and fully employed his background of computer science and system administration. Advanced civilizations running timing attacks against the space-time continuum out beyond the Bootes void? Sign me up. That’s the kind of thing I want to read about.

Nouriel Roubini and Nassim Taleb made an appearance on CNBC yesterday. The reaction of the resident panelists beautifully illustrates the paucity of critical thought which got us into the current financial crisis. Give us a metric! A single metric which indicates economic recovery!

How about a pink slip for anyone who would ask such a lame question?


4 Comments so far. Comments are closed.
  1. I finished Accelerando two nights ago. That shit was crAZY. I liked the end where children ran around playing real life like a video game, since their physical bodies were just an expression of ego at that point.

    Strangely enough, the Bootes void came up on the History channel in the background an hour or so ago (before it bored my girl to tears and she changed the channel).

    Roubini and Taleb are two of my favorite people right now for actually Getting It and being seen on (m)ass-media telling it like it is.

    “Look, for example, Nouriel, he’s not in government” – that’s something Obama should be listening to. We should round up the people who were talking about this 3, 4, 5 years ago and put them in an advisory position for the people in power.

    But instead, we’ll try to say we’ve hit rock bottom, then pick up a shovel and start digging.

    And if you think one metric on something THIS BIG represents anything meaningful to the problem…

    And that whole thing about Bill Gates &c. lining up showing the bottom of the frenzy? I think she has it backwards – if Gates &c. are waiting two hours to hear these guys, it means they believe them – and if the smartest motherfuckers in the world believe this shit and you think that means it’s at end and not just the tip of the iceberg you are smokin craaaaaack. The smartest people in the world lined up to hear these guys say it’s going to be near-depression at best by the time it’s over and going to last for a long-long time and longer if the wrong people are kept in charge, why do you, a brainless newscaster, think they’re all wrong?

    I like how Nouriel just dicks his way over the newscaster that’s trying to tell him he’s full of it. He is totally my hero. These newscasters have NO idea the scope of the problem. And the TOTALLY AWESOME thing is, the dumb ho who said that financials were currently rallying on Geithner’s plan, nya ;p thbtbtbt? Today financials tanked based on Geithner’s plan. I’m talking tanked -10%+ across the board (except the shorts, which brought the average up to -5.6% with their up to +20%+ performance) erasing those meager gains she was talking about.

    I find almost nothing redeeming about american media. It’s puerile and debased, it makes me wonder if these people even have degrees. And if not, why should I listen to them if they basically have less of an informed opinion than myself? It’s like they only listen to what they’re telling themselves about the issues instead of actually doing some research on this.

    Erm sorry about all that, I meant to say, yeah, they need to be among the 500,000+ becoming unemployed monthly.

  2. Stories like this make me wonder if we’re seeing advanced civilizations who have conquered their star to a point where it looks like a neutron star but is actually a superdense dyson sphere, invisible in visible but kicking out high intensity data streams – maybe it’s hitting our atmosphere because something like a star wisp in headed our way….

    The only thing I can know for certain is that the truth will probably end up more strange and wonderful than mere fiction could ever imagine.

  3. Maybe those neutron stars that are “feeding” off their binary sisters (srry no link handy) aren’t really neutron stars either… maybe a civilization just needs the matter to increase their computational density…. the magnetic waves from these magnetars (described above) could be from the shifting of nanotech processes on an unimaginable scale, like waves shift through our brains to make them work… what would that look like in a brain the scale and density of a neutron star?

  4. ratchetcat,

    Good question! Where does it end, really, if we go down that path? Galaxies themselves — and clusters of galaxies — could share a field effect — a sea of subtle data — which might affect the pattern of atomic assembly within their region. Mind-bending… and totally undetectable unless a civilization can establish a long baseline between regions.