Archive for December, 2015

Status Report

Posted in Uncategorized on December 13, 2015 by davidnm2009

Just to let you all know, this blog will be quieter than average for a couple of weeks. I’m currently in the opening phases of a cross-country house-move – whilst it’s a good thing from a career-and-life point of view, obviously it’s not the sort of process that lends itself to regular and coherent blogging!

Normal service will hopefully resume sometime around (or maybe after) Christmas.

Wish me luck…

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An Incomplete World

Posted in computers, Science, Uncategorized with tags on December 9, 2015 by davidnm2009

I burnt out badly on science blogging several years ago, so I don’t do much of it now. But, this result is interesting, so I’m bending said rule a bit here:

http://www.nature.com/news/paradox-at-the-heart-of-mathematics-makes-physics-problem-unanswerable-1.18983

Basically the researchers have identified an applied physics problem, related to the structure of matter, that may actually be insoluble due to Godel’s incompleteness theorem.

What’s interesting about this is a) it feels weird (here’s something that happens in our universe that can’t be analytically-modeled) and b) by implication, we finally have a viable refutation for Simulation Theory. If parts of our basic physics can’t be analytically modelled, then also, we can’t be a ghost-world running on someone’s computer. Because said computer literally wouldn’t be able to perform the required maths, no matter how powerful its components.

(Also, apparently my blog doesn’t already have a category for “physics”? Bwuh … ? How did that happen?)

The Birthgrave, by Tanith Lee

Posted in Books, Reviews, SF, Uncategorized with tags , on December 4, 2015 by davidnm2009

The Birthgrave is a challenging work; if it were published today, it would definitely be considered dark fantasy. However, it is also thought-provoking and poses some hard-to-answer questions about the topics of collective guilt and innocence – just how responsible are we for the sins of those who are like us?

For its time of publication, in the mid ’70s, it was also rather subversive. You see, at its heart, The Birthgrave is a journey of self-discovery, and it has the singular conceit that a woman’s experience is valid and worth considering. Even in today’s SFF, that can be regrettably-rare.

For purposes of trigger warnings, etc., I’m filing this review under “choose not to warn”. Frankly, given the state of the world of The Birthgrave, TWs are probably redundant. I’m also going to change the usual review structure and have a singular “commentary” section, as the “liked/problematic” contrast doesn’t really work in this context. Be aware that the needle will be over on the “problematic” side of the dial a lot during this review.

So, without further digression, here’s the review…

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Hot Earth Dreams, by Frank Landis

Posted in Books, Reviews, Science, Social Concern with tags , on December 1, 2015 by davidnm2009

Unfortunately, climate change is something that matters to all of us, and is going to matter even more as this century wears on. With this grim fact in mind, Hot Earth Dreams is a serious work of speculation on what the Earth’s warm, storm-ridden and wet future might be like.

The short version is, we’re completely and nightmarishly fucked. Things aren’t quite as bad as is conceivable, but there aren’t many grounds for optimism either.

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