musings

Neuralink - Or, the 1,000 Steps to eVis

Most great technological advances are actually the culmination of 1,000 baby steps, each one pushing against the limits of our capabilities until those limits nudge a little further out and punctuated by breakthroughs that solve 50 or 100 of those steps in one fell swoop. My feeling is that we're about 1/3 of the way through the thousand steps required to get to eVis, and we're due for one of those breakthroughs to leap us closer (this isn't one, though the work these companies are doing will likely trigger one, hopefully soon).

"Elon Musk unveils Neuralink’s plans for brain-reading ‘threads’ and a robot to insert them": https://www.theverge.com/2019/7/16/20697123/elon-musk-neuralink-brain-reading-thread-robot

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Originally posted on Facebook.

Hunting Mirror Universes

“Scientists Are Hunting For a Mirror Universe and Attempting to Open Portals Into it”: https://www.disclose.tv/scientists-are-hunting-for-a-mirror-universe-and-attempting-to-open-portals-into-it-370794

Just so long as MirrorMe doesn't have a goatee. Because that would be...bad.😟

...Obviously, the headline is a bit sensationalistic, as they so often are, and the experiment is being conducted on the tiniest scale. But the science is still cool and thought-provoking.👍

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Originally posted on Facebook.

Fun With Acronyms

One of the fun(?) aspects of spinning up a new series is giving new names to things. I have found myself in need of an acronym this morning. Without disclosing the purpose of the entity behind the acronym, so far I have such candidates as:

- HUG
- HARD
- CHUMP
- MUSE (I actually like this one 😉)
- CHUG
- LEAP
- LAME
- HUMID
- HALP

...I'm not sure I remember how to do this right.🤔

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Originally posted on Facebook.

Website Redesign FTW

The website got a minor (visual) and fairly major (structural) redesign this week. If poking around webpages, menus and links is your idea of fun - or if you just want to check it out 😁 - feel free to look around and let me know if anything is broken or wonky: https://www.gsjennsen.com.

Visually, the redesign is not as dramatic as the one I did 2 years ago. But it should be (a) easier to navigate, with clear pointers to important information, (b) less overwhelming for newcomers, and (c) perhaps most importantly, look great on mobile devices. Hopefully, all those things are true. 😋

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Originally posted on Facebook.

Barnes & Noble's Lifeline

Elliot bought Waterstones last year, and it's already seen a solid turnaround. The fund plans to name the Waterstones CEO as CEO of BN as well.

Who knows? Maybe BN will go back to actually being a bookstore. Crazy idea, I realize. 😏

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-barnes-noble-m-a-elliot/barnes-noble-sells-to-hedge-fund-elliott-for-475-8-million-idUSKCN1T816X

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Originally posted on Facebook.

Is Our Universe Too Vast For Even the Most Imaginative Sci-Fi?

Thoughts? Agree, or disagree?

Of course even wild science fiction tends to be (though not always) distinctly human in character. No matter how far into the universe we one day reach, we'll still see it from a human perspective. Also, getting outside a "human" head and imagining the viewpoint of a truly *alien* alien is no easy feat. Hopefully I've accomplished it once or twice.😌

It's also true that the vast, mind-boggling distances involved are humbling. Even the 40 galaxies of the Anaden Empire, even the 16 million light-years distance to the Asterions' Gennisi Galaxy, are just a teeny tiny neighborhood of the universe. I keep going bigger, but the universe continues to stretch for what feels like infinity.

https://aeon.co/ideas/our-universe-is-too-vast-for-even-the-most-imaginative-sci-fi

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Originally posted on Facebook.

Neutrino Beams & Black Holes

Well OF COURSE advanced civilizations could be using hyper-dense objects like neutron stars as focusing tools to send communications streaming across space on neutrino beams.

I love the quote from Freeman Dyson: “if the physics allows it, it is possibly technologically feasible.” Indeed. G. S. Jennsen's Corollary: "Just because we can't do it today doesn't mean we can't do it tomorrow." And someone else could be doing it now....

https://www.universetoday.com/142234/advanced-civilizations-could-be-communicating-with-neutrino-beams-transmitted-by-clouds-of-satellites-around-neutron-stars-or-black-holes/

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Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Heaven Is A Place On Earth

…and it’s called the Tattered Cover Bookstore

By sheer coincidence, Patricia Briggs was giving a talk and reading while we were there. About 60 people were crammed into the lower-level meeting space. #MrJennsen whispered sweet nothings in my ear about how that would be me at the podium one day 😉; I pshaw'ed him, went upstairs and bought some sci-fi books with beautiful covers.⠀

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Originally posted on Facebook and Instagram.

A Vision Of Our Future

Lots of big news out of Blue Origin! Jeff Bezos gave an inspirational and aspirational speech in which he laid out a far-reaching vision for getting humans, manufacturing and resource development out into the solar system. That starts with the moon, and he unveiled a new lunar lander module, secretly in development for the last 3 years, which he causally offered to NASA for use in their 2024 lunar landing plans.

Here’s an overview of the event: https://arstechnica.com/science/2019/05/jeff-bezos-unveils-his-sweeping-vision-for-humanitys-future-in-space/, or you can watch the entire presentation here (it’s worth it if you have the time): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ98hGUe6FM.

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Originally posted on Facebook and Twitter.

Avengers: Endgame (No Spoilers)

4.5 of 5 Glorious Stars 🌟

The half-star deduction is entirely on the first 1.5 hours, which honestly could have been cut to an hour without losing anything. The second 1.5 hours, though? OMG. 😲 Damn near perfection.

If you are remotely, even casually, invested in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, see this movie. 🤗

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Originally posted on Facebook.

Amazon Books Excursion

A real bookstore this time, not that silly "4 star" nonsense!

...and still, I was disappointed. 😒 The store was maybe 1/3 the size of a typical B&N. While they did some cool things with their front displays ("Unputdownable: Kindle readers finish these books in 3 days or less" and so on), the overall book distribution was 2/3 nonfiction to 1/3 fiction - and nearly all the fiction was lit fic. The only genre fiction in the store were current bestsellers that either trend toward lit fic or have otherwise garnered critical attention (such as Black Leopard, Red Wolf), or recognized classics (such as Dune).

In part, it could have simply been catering to its customers, as any retail store should. Cherry Creek is an extremely upscale neighborhood, and I'd believe that its denizens would never demean themselves by being caught reading *genre* fiction. 😱

Still, disappointed. Amazon is flubbing a great market opportunity here. Readers LOVE bookstores, and we're desperate for great ones we can lose ourselves in. This isn't one.

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Originally posted on Instagram and Facebook.

Living Near A Supermassive Black Hole

Like in Interstellar!

“Before addressing the many health hazards for life near a black hole, we should consider the benefits. If civilizations form in, or migrate to, the vicinity of black holes, what could they do for fun and profit?” 😉 https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/living-near-a-supermassive-black-hole/

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Originally posted on Twitter.