Chat Log: July 5th 2008

Jul 05 12:49:20 * Lensman (~lensman@ has joined #knownspace

Jul 05 12:54:56 * Lensman has changed the topic to: This month's semi-obscure quote: "...any magician who could break his oath could also make fire burn backward, and he was a rare man indeed."

Jul 05 13:42:26 * rimworlder (~rimworlder@ has joined #knownspace

Jul 05 13:42:58 <rimworlder> hello! made it this month

Jul 05 13:44:14 <rimworlder> you guys chatting in private, sleeping, or what?

Jul 05 13:44:17 <Lensman> Hi RW!

Jul 05 13:44:42 <rimworlder> sorry bout last month - I really wanted to be on

Jul 05 13:44:49 <rimworlder> hi lens - what's happening?

Jul 05 13:45:01 <Lensman> Chat officially starts at noon Pacific time. We got an early start last month, but looks like it won't get started as soon today.

Jul 05 13:45:15 <rimworlder> ahhh - so 3 my time

Jul 05 13:45:33 <rimworlder> oy yoy yoy - gotta take the dog out and might not be back by then

Jul 05 13:46:14 <Lensman> What's happening? Well, the Earth continues to orbit the sun... or vice versa, according to Ptolemy... Kansas is having the second wettest summer in living memory, altho we're not getting the floods of folks farther east...

Jul 05 13:46:36 <Lensman> ...a large limb fell in our front yard the other day, from the huge oak tree which is slowly dying...

Jul 05 13:46:54 <Lensman> ...and I just completed the summary of chapter 9 of /Ringworld/...

Jul 05 13:47:01 <Lensman> What's up with YOU?

Jul 05 13:48:36 <rimworlder> well, beginning of the month my "The Classic Science Fiction Channel" thing got picked up by BoingBoing and as a result the site and the blog are doing decent traffic

Jul 05 13:48:56 <rimworlder> thank god about the Earth orbit thing!

Jul 05 13:49:17 <rimworlder> but I'm trying to figure out how to get it to the next step

Jul 05 13:50:14 <rimworlder> what else - things are moving forward with the re-do of my paintball site, which means that advertising revenue ought to go back up soon, which means more dollars for SF projects

Jul 05 13:50:33 <Lensman> Next step being the Earth orbits the galaxy instead of the sun? :D Oh, you meant your website...

Jul 05 13:50:52 <rimworlder> got another review up on SFReader; almost finished a novellette

Jul 05 13:50:56 <rimworlder> moved

Jul 05 13:51:01 <rimworlder> what else...?

Jul 05 13:52:10 <Lensman> I see I don't have you in my "scorecard" for this chat room. You're Steve Davidson, is that right?

Jul 05 13:52:17 <rimworlder> yes sit

Jul 05 13:52:20 <rimworlder> r

Jul 05 13:52:29 <Lensman> ?

Jul 05 13:52:33 <rimworlder> yes sir

Jul 05 13:52:43 <rimworlder> speeling tyop

Jul 05 13:52:58 <Lensman> Gotcha.

Jul 05 13:53:51 <rimworlder> gotta ad your site to my blog roll... sorry bout not doing it sooner

Jul 05 13:54:10 <Lensman> May I ask what part of the world you hail from?

Jul 05 13:54:22 <Lensman> Two demerits! :)

Jul 05 13:55:10 <Lensman> I put a counter on my website, but I don't think it's of much use because I visit it myself so very frequently. Probably most of the hits are from me alone.

Jul 05 13:55:37 <Lensman> Wish there was a way to filter out the "hits" I put on the counter.

Jul 05 13:55:41 <rimworlder> I'm in the Local Group, Milky Way Galaxy, the whatchamacallit spur of the Orion Arm, Sol System, Earth, North American Continent, United States, New Hampshire, Hillsboro County, Hillsboro...

Jul 05 13:56:19 <rimworlder> male, married, two inherited sons, one dog, one cat and way too many books

Jul 05 13:56:49 <rimworlder> I know some paid for counters let you do that, but most of the freebies don't

Jul 05 13:57:09 <Lensman> Hmmm... I'm always puzzled when I read the words "too many" in the same sentence with "books". This is a concept too alien for my comprehension.

Jul 05 13:57:16 <rimworlder> ...unless no number of books can be considered way too many

Jul 05 13:57:46 <rimworlder> the only time those two can legitimately be put together is immediately following a physical move

Jul 05 13:58:05 <Lensman> Well, if you had so many that it would cause the tectonic plate you live on to tip up and slide everything into the magma, that would arguably be too much.

Jul 05 13:58:25 <rimworlder> that's about how many books I'd like to have, lol

Jul 05 13:58:59 <rimworlder> I just recently picked up a first paperback edition of A Gift From Earth

Jul 05 13:59:36 <rimworlder> I'm currently reading The Great Romance - have you heard about it?

Jul 05 13:59:46 <Lensman> I read an article many years ago which "proved" that the North American plate must inevitably tip to the east, because everyone who subscribes to Nat'l Geographic saves every issue, and the vast majority of the subscribers are on the east coast... :D

Jul 05 13:59:56 <rimworlder> lol

Jul 05 14:00:11 <Lensman> "Great Romance"? No, say on.

Jul 05 14:00:14 <rimworlder> you've got a PM

Jul 05 14:00:57 <rimworlder> written in 1881 - just uncovered the 2nd part in a library in new zealand; very early proto-SF, with lots of interesting "hard" stuff for that period

Jul 05 14:22:56 <Lensman> The second part? Is this a collection of short stories, or what?

Jul 05 14:55:51 * Hippy (~captlychee@ has joined #knownspace

Jul 05 14:56:09 <Lensman> Welcome Hippy!

Jul 05 14:56:15 <Hippy> And a cold and forsty morning to all you rebels

Jul 05 14:56:41 <Lensman> Hey, that's the first time I happened to be looking at the list of who's in the room when a new name popped up.

Jul 05 14:56:42 <Hippy> Howdy, Lens

Jul 05 14:56:59 <Hippy> Now there's a coincidence

Jul 05 14:57:13 <Hippy> And a nice quote from 'The Magic Goes Away', I think. . .

Jul 05 14:57:23 <Lensman> Getting snow there, as they are in NZ?

Jul 05 14:57:37 <Hippy> Not that cold, but it

Jul 05 14:57:41 <Lensman> Not from "The Magic Goes Away".

Jul 05 14:57:43 <Hippy> s a bit breezy

Jul 05 14:58:03 <Hippy> No. In that case, 'What Good Is A Glass Dagger?'

Jul 05 14:58:10 <Lensman> Nope.

Jul 05 14:58:52 <Hippy> Well, there's no point in going through all of the stories. That's hardly in the spirit of getting the quote

Jul 05 14:58:54 <Lensman> "Glass Dagger" is one of my two favorite Niven fantasy stories. This quote is from the other.

Jul 05 14:59:21 <Lensman> Okay, here's a hint: The story is not in the Warlock universe.

Jul 05 14:59:37 <Hippy> Ah. . .well - huh? Okay, now that is obscure

Jul 05 14:59:47 <Hippy> Hmm. . .

Jul 05 15:00:29 <Lensman> But not from a story as obscure as last month's quote! Apparently very few people own a copy of /Bridging the Galaxies/. I promise most Niven fans *will* own this story.

Jul 05 15:01:25 <Hippy> Well, a good promise, but for the life of me. . .

Jul 05 15:01:48 * Hippy purges the word 'magician' from his memory and tries to think of non-Warlock stories

Jul 05 15:03:19 <Lensman> It's one of the very few stories LN has written which are set in a universe created by someone else.

Jul 05 15:04:16 <Hippy> Ah!!! That thing in 'Arabesques!' Umm. . . damn, it's on the tip of my fingers

Jul 05 15:04:37 * Hippy lunges for the bookshelf

Jul 05 15:04:46 <Lensman> You're beginning to think in the right direction, but no it's not the Arabian Nights story.

Jul 05 15:05:12 * Hippy unlunges

Jul 05 15:06:55 <Hippy> God, and I call myself a Niven fan? Okay, not the Berserker one. . .stayed out of Thieves World. . .not 'Flare Time' (although that's a Leshy circuit). . .not CoDominium. . .er. . .not. . .Harry Potter. . .

Jul 05 15:07:53 <Lensman> "unlunges" LOL!

Jul 05 15:07:54 <Hippy> The Lord Dunsany one? At the edge of the world? Oh, what's the thing called?

Jul 05 15:08:05 <Lensman> Bingo! "Transfer of Power".

Jul 05 15:09:20 <Lensman> A very short story, yet as I said it's one of my two favorite Niven fantasies. That line about "fire burning backwards" stuck in my mind. Frankly I thought people would think of the Dream Park story that has the anti-fire in it.

Jul 05 15:10:25 <Hippy> Yay! It just goes to show with a million hints and running around like a headless chook, you can solve anything!

Jul 05 15:11:21 <Hippy> Ah, no, the 'magician' in the quote rules out Dream Park - though now that you mention it, that 'anti-fire' rings a bell

Jul 05 15:12:30 <Lensman> There are no magicians in the Dream Park stories?? I rather think there are!

Jul 05 15:13:46 <Lensman> And how is Hippy's good eye today?

Jul 05 15:16:25 <Lensman> "In the front raft, Leigh stood up. When the snake rose from the swirling water the magician was ready."

Jul 05 15:16:39 <Lensman> --/Dream Park/, near the end of chapter 6.

Jul 05 15:17:57 <Hippy> Ah, okay. Good point

Jul 05 15:18:16 <Lensman> Don't want to talk about your eye?

Jul 05 15:19:17 <Lensman> Pretty dead today. Maybe people are doing family-type 4th of July stuff.

Jul 05 15:19:25 <Hippy> The good eye is nice and clear, thanks for asking. They are concerned that there are veins growing into the graft, which would in time grow right across it, leaving me with no vision again. So I"m back on two-hourly eyedrops to restrict said growth. Some of the sutures have come out, but at least there is no inflammation or clouding of the cornea, so hooray for that!

Jul 05 15:19:51 <Hippy> Sorry for the delay, I was reading Jim Stiles' email about postmodernism

Jul 05 15:20:42 <Hippy> Oh, yes, you'll be having a long weekend, won't you? I'm sure people will turn up closer to noon Pacific Time

Jul 05 15:20:47 <Lensman> No prob. But I don't think "postmodernism" means "retro".

Jul 05 15:21:15 <Lensman> Unless my clock is off, it's 12:25pm Pacific Time.

Jul 05 15:21:32 <Hippy> It is? Hmm. . .

Jul 05 15:21:45 <Lensman> Yup, that's the time on my TV also.

Jul 05 15:22:11 <Hippy> Oh, yes, so it is. . . Just looked at the wrong clock on the taskbar here

Jul 05 15:22:27 <Hippy> I was looking at Kentucky time

Jul 05 15:23:27 <Lensman> I really hadn't thought about the 4th until Rimworlder brought it up. My family did its 4th celebration last weekend. We were invited by an investmant company to visit the Natiional WWI museum here in Kansas City, and fireworks afterward.

Jul 05 15:24:11 <Hippy> Are they asking you to buy timeshares in the next war? :)

Jul 05 15:25:36 <Lensman> :) No hard sell, it was for their customers. Most museums don't really hold that much interest for me, but there were a few bits I found interesting. The french 2-man tank had iron rims on wooden bogey wheels!

Jul 05 15:26:04 <Lensman> And some of what the soldiers carried in their pockets were interesting, too. Like the miniature domino sets.

Jul 05 15:26:09 <Hippy> God, sounds like something out of Agincourt

Jul 05 15:26:51 <Hippy> . . .and so do the domino sets for that matter. Sieges would be very dull events

Jul 05 15:27:04 <Lensman> I can only imagine they used wood because iron would have been too heavy. OTOH there weren't any holes blown in the wood, so perhaps it was a good choice.

Jul 05 15:27:51 <Hippy> There's some WW1memorabilia up here in Ballarat, but it's all to do with Gallipoli. I must say that I don't take that much of an interest in it

Jul 05 15:27:56 <Lensman> "Weeks of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror." Now who said that?

Jul 05 15:28:31 <Hippy> I don't know. I thought it was one of those quotes that had never been accurately ascribed

Jul 05 15:28:59 <Hippy> Isobelle Carmody, describing reading one of her own novels

Jul 05 15:29:24 <Hippy> Or maybe Stephen Donaldson, or Terry Brooks, or. . .

Jul 05 15:30:18 <Hippy> The list, while not endless, can fill one wall of a bookshop

Jul 05 15:31:09 <Lensman> I suspect it's older than Donaldson or Brooks. But maybe not.

Jul 05 15:31:40 <Hippy> I think it's a WW1 contemporary quote, but - well, let's surf the Net

Jul 05 15:31:48 <Lensman> I admit I don't really find WWI all that interesting except for the advent of tanks. The endless trench warfare was pretty close to hell on earth, by all accounts.

Jul 05 15:35:34 <Lensman> I did find depressingly ironic the quotes that many expected the war to be over quickly enuff they'd be home by Christmas. How many wars were started with the confident expectation victory would be swift?

Jul 05 15:35:51 <Hippy> The thing that I find most interesting is poison gas, and how 25 years later they didn't use it. There are rules even in war

Jul 05 15:36:11 <Lensman> Like the title of one of the early Honor Harrington books: /The Short Victorious War/. Of course, it was neither.

Jul 05 15:36:18 <Hippy> Every American, presumably. You didn't even turn up till it was nearly over :)

Jul 05 15:36:58 <Hippy> And here is an interesting piece on doing WW1 games:

Jul 05 15:37:07 <Lensman> "Damn Yanks, showing up late for both wars!" "The problem with the Yanks is they're overfed, overpaid, oversexed, and over here!"

Jul 05 15:37:08 <Hippy> But now to try and find the quote

Jul 05 15:37:32 <Hippy> Yep, all that. Though you have promised to show up really early for the next one

Jul 05 15:37:58 <Lensman> Search on "punctuated by moments of sheer terror" got 3120 hits on Google. But lots of different iterations.

Jul 05 15:38:23 <Lensman> LOL!

Jul 05 15:39:31 <rimworlder> back from food shopping - judging by the prices, its going be pretty cold and thin for some folks come this winter

Jul 05 15:39:56 <Hippy> I may have to resort. . .to a book. . .

Jul 05 15:40:32 <rimworlder> Lens, they attribute Hitler's close call with chlorine gas to be the reason it was never deployed on the battlefield in WWII

Jul 05 15:40:58 <Lensman> Food prices have shot up significantly due to the rapid increase in gas/diesel prices. I hope this will cause more freight to be moved by rail, which is a lot more efficient and less damaging to our highways! But there's no short-term fix.

Jul 05 15:41:47 <rimworlder> hi hippy

Jul 05 15:42:23 <Lensman> Poison gas was never very effective, and as is often noted, had a nasty habit of blowing back on the attacker. But IIRC Japan did use poison gas in WWII, altho not on troops from any first-world country. Who cares what happens to the Burmese, hmmm?

Jul 05 15:42:42 <rimworlder> the who? - bad joke

Jul 05 15:43:01 <rimworlder> you mentioned advent of tanks in WWI

Jul 05 15:43:18 <Lensman> Not sure it was the Burmese, but you get the idea.

Jul 05 15:43:42 <Lensman> Yes, I have an interest in tanks and their history.

Jul 05 15:43:46 <rimworlder> interesting to me that the Italian WWII offerings had many of the same issues as WWI german tanks

Jul 05 15:44:10 <rimworlder> rivets popping, lead splashing through the seams, under powered, uner-gunned

Jul 05 15:44:11 <Lensman> I know nothing about Italian tanks.

Jul 05 15:44:45 <rimworlder> well, like the called Shermans 'Ronsons', they called the M13/40 a rolling coffin

Jul 05 15:44:45 <Hippy> Howdy, Rimworlder. Resorting to a book has proved equally fruitless

Jul 05 15:45:21 <Lensman> What's really hair-raising is reading about the first, Mk I tanks. A crew of seven, one of whose job it was to boil water for tea! And no ventilation; the noise and heat must have been... well, as I said, hell on Earth.

Jul 05 15:45:24 <rimworlder> the brits captured a butt load in North Africa and then just didn't use them

Jul 05 15:45:39 <rimworlder> how about the two transmission handlers?

Jul 05 15:46:00 <rimworlder> very ship/battleship like in organizational concept of the crew

Jul 05 15:46:01 <Lensman> "Ronson"? I thought it was Zippo. Maybe both?

Jul 05 15:46:11 <rimworlder> I've seen/heard ronson

Jul 05 15:46:24 <rimworlder> but the idea is - you're gonna cook

Jul 05 15:46:37 <Lensman> Two transmission handlers? Sounds like you know more about the history of tanks than I do.

Jul 05 15:46:44 <Hippy> I assume the Japanese used poison gas on civilians for testing purposes, and I suppose you're right about it being ineffective but still I'm impressed that they didn't use it purely for ethcal reasons

Jul 05 15:47:01 <rimworlder> the early versions had a manual transmission, meaning someone changed the gears by hand

Jul 05 15:47:17 <rimworlder> The german A7V had a crew of 13

Jul 05 15:47:48 <Hippy> "Land Ironclads' is right

Jul 05 15:47:55 <rimworlder> pretty grim stuff - but I'd still rather ride than walk

Jul 05 15:48:20 <Lensman> According to Google, both Ronson and Zippo were nicknames.

Jul 05 15:48:21 <rimworlder> Russians even had as multi-turreted behemoth

Jul 05 15:49:00 <Lensman> Well if you're gonna charge the trenches, then absolutely riding in a tank is better than walking!

Jul 05 15:49:20 <Lensman> THIRTEEN!! OMG.

Jul 05 15:49:39 <rimworlder> the original brit tanks had a carrier for a log and fencing roll to drop into the trench

Jul 05 15:50:37 <rimworlder> I've read of one account of a crew in a sherman that was GLAD their armor was thin: when they went up against an 88 armed tank, the shell went right through their tank instead of rattling around inside

Jul 05 15:51:20 <Lensman> Well, look at the situation with bombing cities. At the beginning of WWII in Europe, both sides avoided bombing enemy cities scrupulously. The first bombing was an accident, then it escalated from there because of revenge. I think the same situation occurred with poison gas: "We won't use it until they do." But I'm sure if it had been considered an effective weapon, it would have been used at some point.

Jul 05 15:52:18 <Lensman> I seem to remember fascines-- huge bundles of sticks-- being carried atop early tanks, presumably to drop into trenches. I doubt it worked well.

Jul 05 15:52:48 <rimworlder> - says the crew was 18...

Jul 05 15:53:22 <rimworlder> I think that was nominal

Jul 05 15:53:33 <rimworlder> damn well better have someone on board to make tea

Jul 05 15:53:43 <Hippy> Of course!

Jul 05 15:54:06 <Hippy> If we'd had tea at Gallipoli we'd've beaten the Turks

Jul 05 15:54:10 <Lensman> Good grief, I thought seven inside would be getting in each other's way constantly. What the *hell* did they need 18 for? Were they carrying triple crew, like warships did in the age of sail, so that with 2/3 casualties they could still fight at full strength?

Jul 05 15:54:39 <rimworlder> two guys per machine gun - and they had up to 6 MGs

Jul 05 15:54:50 <Hippy> Presumably they needed butlers, footmen. . .ah, yes

Jul 05 15:54:55 <Lensman> Yes, because of course the Brits would just faint right away if they didn't have their afternoon tea break.

Jul 05 15:54:55 <rimworlder> lol on Gallipoli

Jul 05 15:55:50 <rimworlder> Lens: one of the BIG operational differences between axis and brits in North Africa was what happened at the end of the day; the brits left the battlefield to lager and brew up, the german crews stayed put

Jul 05 15:56:05 <Lensman> Six machine guns in one tank! Wow, a real rolling fortress. I liked the term used in Turtledove's "WorldWar" series: "Landcruisers". Much better than the silly term "Tank".

Jul 05 15:57:06 <rimworlder> which meant the axis got first pick at recoveries and repairs in situ. every day, intel would say - afrika korps have no tanks left - and the next day, there's tanks on the battlefield

Jul 05 15:57:29 <Lensman> "Land Destroyer" would be more accurate-- Wells was right-- but it doesn't roll off the tongue nearly as well.

Jul 05 15:57:33 <rimworlder> turtledove also used 'barrels' instead of tank

Jul 05 15:57:56 <Lensman> ?

Jul 05 15:58:00 * Jim (~chatzilla@ has joined #knownspace

Jul 05 15:58:06 <rimworlder> hi jim

Jul 05 15:58:07 <Lensman> Hi Jim!

Jul 05 15:58:11 <rimworlder> ? to what?

Jul 05 15:58:14 <Jim> hi all

Jul 05 15:58:15 <rimworlder> barrel?

Jul 05 15:58:27 <Lensman> What Rim said.

Jul 05 15:59:13 <Jim> how late am I?

Jul 05 15:59:14 <rimworlder> the nickname used in world war series by turtledove was barrels, not tank

Jul 05 15:59:27 <Lensman> Oh, sorry. Yes: What means 'barrels' instead of tank?

Jul 05 15:59:34 <rimworlder> jim - we were just waiting foir you to show up in order to leave, lol

Jul 05 15:59:54 <Lensman> Jim: Well, the official start time was an hour ago, but the room has been rather empty today.

Jul 05 16:00:04 <Hippy> Hey, Jum

Jul 05 16:00:14 <Jim> hi, hippy

Jul 05 16:00:15 <Hippy> Or Jim, I will say, until Euan arrives

Jul 05 16:00:32 <rimworlder> man, the northeast is taking a beating between the floods and the fires

Jul 05 16:00:37 <rimworlder> northwest - sorry

Jul 05 16:01:28 <rimworlder> lens, anyone - you ever read 1999: The Texas-Israeli War?

Jul 05 16:01:49 <Hippy> I must say I haven't

Jul 05 16:01:50 <Lensman> Haven't been watching the news. Major floods along the Mississippi, tho. Kansas has had its second wettest spring in living memory... since '93. Fortunately Kansas City is missing the floods this time.

Jul 05 16:02:05 <Jim> rimworld, please give us a synopsis of the plot

Jul 05 16:02:15 <Lensman> Rim: Yes, but I didn't care for it much.

Jul 05 16:02:30 <rimworlder> my wife is doing a dance because we no longer have to run away from hurricanes (used to live in florida)

Jul 05 16:02:33 <Hippy> 'Tank' was used to make the enemey think they were working on some kind of water tank, as far as I know. Hence 'barrels' to make the enemy think they were working on some kind of water barrel

Jul 05 16:02:39 <Lensman> Didn't think it was particularly bad... but didn't think it was very good, either.

Jul 05 16:02:45 <rimworlder> just wondering since I liked the inter-generational tank battles

Jul 05 16:02:53 <Lensman> Hippy: OIC

Jul 05 16:02:56 <rimworlder> hippy - yes

Jul 05 16:03:46 <rimworlder> I re-read it about once every five or six years - and always see it at the used book stores

Jul 05 16:03:52 <Hippy> Well, it's nice and calm and cold here. Sun not up yet, but they are tipping another nice sunny day and around 50 degrees F

Jul 05 16:04:27 <Lensman> California has earthquakes and forest fires. Florida and the coasts have hurricanes. The midwest has tornadoes-- but at least those usually only devastate a line, not an entire area.

Jul 05 16:04:30 <rimworlder> you get a Grant tank going up against laser-armed Merkavas, lol. I admired the Grant crew's moxy...

Jul 05 16:04:45 <Hippy> Jim. . .was it you who wrote the piece on postmodernism for the list? It was pretty good

Jul 05 16:04:50 <Lensman> I know it's a popular book, yes I do see many copies at conventions and the like.

Jul 05 16:05:02 <Jim> yes, I did it a little while ago

Jul 05 16:05:17 <rimworlder> where is this postmodernism piece I might like to read?

Jul 05 16:05:33 <Hippy> On the Larry Niven mailing list

Jul 05 16:05:40 * EML (~EML@ has joined #knownspace

Jul 05 16:05:42 <rimworlder> which I am not on

Jul 05 16:05:47 <Lensman> Was the Grant, like the Lee, an early WW II American tank? With a sponson instead of a turret?

Jul 05 16:05:48 <Hippy> Morning, Ed!

Jul 05 16:05:50 <rimworlder> hello ed

Jul 05 16:06:01 <EML> Afternoon, everybody.

Jul 05 16:06:01 <rimworlder> lens - yes, my favorite tank

Jul 05 16:06:04 <Lensman> Welcome Ed!

Jul 05 16:06:14 <Jim> actually it was a quote from:

Jul 05 16:06:32 <Lensman> Nice to know my memory works at least occasionally! :)

Jul 05 16:06:33 <EML> A small group today.

Jul 05 16:06:51 <Hippy> I'm not a big fan of Noam Chomsky, but he makes a good point in that one

Jul 05 16:06:55 <Lensman> Yah I guess people are doing family stuff. 3-day weekend in the USA.

Jul 05 16:07:07 <Jim> same here about Chomsky

Jul 05 16:07:08 <Hippy> Yes, it's all this post-Revolution fervour

Jul 05 16:07:20 <EML> Larry is at a cn this weekend. I assume we won't see him.

Jul 05 16:07:37 <rimworlder> Ed - yes, small, but rabidly fanatical

Jul 05 16:07:55 <Lensman> Well I looked at the Wiki on postmodernism, it was about architecture as far as I can see. I still think the right term is "retro", not "postmodern" for anachronistic technology.

Jul 05 16:08:03 <Jim> What convention is Larry at?

Jul 05 16:08:06 <Hippy> What else is there to do this early on a Sunday? The pubs aren't even open!

Jul 05 16:08:20 <EML> can one be nonrabidly fanatical?

Jul 05 16:08:28 <rimworlder> lol - I'll be back, I have to take Bo the Wonder Dog for a walk

Jul 05 16:08:31 <EML> Jim: Westercon.

Jul 05 16:08:43 <rimworlder> Ed - let's talk about that when I get back...

Jul 05 16:08:53 <Lensman> No, I don't think one can be non-rabidly fanatical!

Jul 05 16:09:04 <rimworlder> you can be fanatically nopn-rabid

Jul 05 16:09:05 <Lensman> Hippy: It's Saturday afternoon here.

Jul 05 16:09:23 <Hippy> Half your luck, then the pubs would be open

Jul 05 16:09:32 <Hippy> All in all, though, I'd rather be here

Jul 05 16:09:52 <Hippy> Having said that. . .

Jul 05 16:10:00 <Lensman> "All things considered, I'd rather be in Philadelphia." Or was it Cleveland?

Jul 05 16:10:00 * Hippy afk briefly for sustenance

Jul 05 16:10:12 <Hippy> Philadelphia - W

Jul 05 16:10:12 <EML> is there a semi-obscure topic of the day, or merely a semi-obscure quote?

Jul 05 16:10:17 <Hippy> C Fields

Jul 05 16:10:43 <Lensman> Yah, Fields wanted that on his tombstone, but the idea was nixed. :(

Jul 05 16:11:20 <Lensman> Well, we were talking about WWI and tanks. And then someone brought up postmodernism.

Jul 05 16:11:25 <Jim> :-o

Jul 05 16:11:34 <EML> Eclectic, eh?

Jul 05 16:11:38 <Lensman> But I would like to talk about antigravity. Would be better if Larry were here, tho.

Jul 05 16:11:55 <Lensman> Chat rooms are always eclectic!

Jul 05 16:12:00 <EML> well, he seems to have floated away.

Jul 05 16:12:36 <EML> fictional antograv, or any hope that such a thing could exist?

Jul 05 16:12:42 <Lensman> And there's a newly rediscovered story from 1881, New Zealand writer, which mentions airlocks, spacesuits, and colonizing other worlds.

Jul 05 16:13:06 <Lensman> Unfortunately as far as I can see, no copy online. Too bad, as that would definitely be in the public domain!

Jul 05 16:13:24 <Lensman> How antigravity works in Known Space, Ed.

Jul 05 16:13:31 <EML> what's the title and/or author?

Jul 05 16:14:14 <Lensman> Better to give you a link:

Jul 05 16:14:18 <Lensman>

Jul 05 16:14:37 <Lensman> Title: /The Great Romance/, author "The Inhabitant".

Jul 05 16:15:17 <EML> Thanks, Lens.

Jul 05 16:15:25 <Lensman> There's a print copy, but as far as I can see with a brief search, no online version.

Jul 05 16:16:21 <EML> Antigravity being part of KS, I've taken it as a given.

Jul 05 16:17:02 <Lensman> Anyway: I raised the subject some months ago on the LN list about antigravity. Someone claimed no such thing existed in KS. But I found a reference just the other day in /Ringworld Engineers/. First Hindmost says "negative gravity generator".

Jul 05 16:17:20 <EML> In the real world, the concept seems implausible to me. Gravity is understood to be the fabric of space-time changing in the presence of mass.

Jul 05 16:18:01 <Lensman> A bit later Louis thinks (internal narration) "antigravity" about the same thing. I'm guessing antigravity is used in lift belts, flycycles and aircars. What do you think, Ed?

Jul 05 16:18:13 <EML> AFAIK, antimatter does not have antimass.

Jul 05 16:18:52 <Lensman> Well, I asked Larry a month or 2 ago about the lift belt thing and he declined to answer, said something like it was soft science fiction.

Jul 05 16:19:06 <Hippy> But is the way space behaves near mass fixed, or only a local phenomenon that we're experiencing now?

Jul 05 16:19:16 <EML> Back to KS. There, antigravity clearly exists. Besides your examples, Lens, ships doing 30 gees need antigrav to save the crew.

Jul 05 16:20:00 <Lensman> Anyway, per RE antigravity is commonplace enuff that both Chmeee and Louis have flown vehicles using it.

Jul 05 16:20:36 <Lensman> Ed: Ah, but cabin gravity is artificial gravity, which may not be the same thing as antigravity.

Jul 05 16:20:45 <EML> Also, the Pak in Protector used nothing but a gravity mechanism to land on Mars. THat had to provide antigrav to offset Mars' pull.

Jul 05 16:21:18 <Lensman> And that's a third thing: The gravity polarizer. A fourth is the gravity planer, used in "Flatlander" and "Grendel".

Jul 05 16:22:01 <EML> Cabin gravity acts to oppose ship acceleration. by GR, acceleration and gravity are indistinguisg=hable (depend on your POV). Hence, cabin gravity is antigravity.

Jul 05 16:22:18 <Lensman> But you can't take off from a planet using the gravity polarizer. You can lift into the air with antigravity-- but can you rise into orbit? If so, why do they use ultra-compressed air/helium rockets as boosters?

Jul 05 16:22:38 <Hippy> I'm sure if you wrote to the Turnbull Library in NZ you could get a copy of this work

Jul 05 16:23:32 <Hippy> Is the planer the same thing as the 'gravity drag' that turns gravity into heat?

Jul 05 16:23:32 <EML> I draw the implication that a-grav fields are (for some undisclosed) practical reason small in extent. they can protect the crew quarters, not lift a ship.

Jul 05 16:24:13 <Lensman> Cabin gravity affects everything inside the spaceship, but nothing outside. There's a sharp boundary effect. Contrariwise, the lift belt, flycycle and aircar all are held aloft *without* the passenger being affected. The passenger is still pulled *down* by normal gravity. And aircars don't cushion their passengers from sudden acceleration as does cabin gravity.

Jul 05 16:24:51 <EML> there may be redundant/inconsistent terminology in the stories. I pass.

Jul 05 16:25:30 <Lensman> My working theory is that cabin gravity requires two emitters: A positive and negative emitter. Artificial gravity is created as an area of artificially curved space. According to Relativity theory, gravity is just curved space-- there are no "gravitons".

Jul 05 16:25:39 <EML> DOES cabin gravity shield against sudden acceleration, or is that handled by force fields. I vaguely recall the latter.

Jul 05 16:25:47 <Hippy> Or the technology changes over time. Compressed air rockets for Beowulf Shaeffer, AG for Teela Brown 200 years later

Jul 05 16:26:07 <Lensman> No, RW says very specifially that cabin gravity shields against the effects of acceleration.

Jul 05 16:26:52 <Lensman> "decelerating at nearly two hundred gravities. Teela didn't know that, because Louis didn't tell her. He didn't want to worry her. If the cabin gravity were interrupted for an instant -- they'd all be flattened like bugs beneath a heel."

Jul 05 16:26:58 <Lensman> --/Ringworld/ chapter 8

Jul 05 16:27:36 <EML> My thinking tends to be pre-RW. In the FOW/JOW/Shaeffer/Ausfaller era, I believe crash couches have force-field generators.

Jul 05 16:27:46 <Jim> Lensman, according to GR, there are quantum particles of gravity, gravitons, that travel at the speed of light

Jul 05 16:28:06 <Lensman> BUT compare to "A Relic of the Empire". Rich Mann uses a lift belt, and he feels the pull of gravity. He accelerates upwards and feels two gees pulling him down. Furthermore, he uses controls to thrust him forward as well as up.

Jul 05 16:28:51 <EML> Jim: I'm not cnvinced of that. I understand gravitons to be artifacts of (so far unsuccessful) quantum gravity theories.

Jul 05 16:28:52 <Lensman> Crash couches have crash fields, like the police field used in "The Soft Weapon". That's in "Neutron Star", too.

Jul 05 16:29:48 <EML> Lens: that's my point. Why have crash fields if the cabin gravity can react instantly to changes in acceleration (aka, crashes)?

Jul 05 16:29:55 <Lensman> Jim: I think we have to assume gravitons are used in antigravity devices. Different theories used for different tech. Like photons can be treated as waves *or* particles.

Jul 05 16:30:45 <Lensman> ANYWAY my current thesis is that cabin gravity and antigravity work very differently, and that antigravity is highly polarized-- highly directional, and the direction can be rotated to provide forward thrust.

Jul 05 16:30:54 <Jim> EML, I should not comment outside of field of expertise

Jul 05 16:31:59 <Lensman> We can't assume the same tech existed in the Beowulf Shaeffer era and in the Ringworld era. Maybe the cabin gravity in the BS era did *not* compensate for acceleration.

Jul 05 16:32:40 <EML> When dealing with hand-wavy future tech, I sometimes find it best to limit discussion to what it does and using it consistently, glossing over the (impossible to explain) how.

Jul 05 16:32:53 <Jim> EML, what do you think of string theory and/or other attempts to combine gravity with the other forces

Jul 05 16:32:59 <Lensman> Ed: Okay, assume I'm wrong. Why does the user of a lift belt not feel like he's falling up?

Jul 05 16:34:06 <Hippy> Lens: that link to 'The Great Romance' actually contains the text of the story

Jul 05 16:34:18 <EML> The belt lifts itself and gravity still operates on the person/cargo.

Jul 05 16:34:59 <Lensman> And is there a better way to explain why in Rw when Louis left the crashed /Liar/, which was canted over at 145 degrees, when the cabin gravity went off in the airlock he suddenly had to grab for the edge of the airlock? How can we explain that except to say artificial gravity has a hard boundary?

Jul 05 16:35:16 <EML> Jim: I htink string theory is math, not science. There isn't a string theory, there's a vast field of possible string theories.

Jul 05 16:35:47 <EML> And to date, string theories offer no falsifiable predictions.

Jul 05 16:35:51 <rimworlder> EML - real quick on The Great Romance; the print edition that's out is from a University press and includes a fairly comprehensive forward discussing the book's placve in English Lit/SF genre/NZ historical literature

Jul 05 16:36:31 <Lensman> Re "Great Romance": OHHH!! Thank you! Looks like part one is there, anyway. Probably not Part 2.

Jul 05 16:36:43 <Jim> In the sense that it lacks falsifiable predictions, is string theory like intelligent design?

Jul 05 16:36:48 <EML> Recommended book: "The Trouble with Physics: The rise of string theory, the fall of a science, and what comes next" by Lee Smolin.

Jul 05 16:37:34 <rimworlder> Great Romance - I'm almost finished it and will be posting a review by Monday

Jul 05 16:37:37 <Lensman> Yah, string theory is nice philosophy... not science! But they probably will find a way to test it eventually.

Jul 05 16:37:39 <Hippy> I think there is only a part one of 'The Great Romance'

Jul 05 16:37:53 <rimworlder> hippy - the book came out because they found part II

Jul 05 16:38:05 <Hippy> Oh, excellent!

Jul 05 16:38:29 <Hippy> I may actually get it, then. Nice to read that sort of stuff

Jul 05 16:38:56 <Hippy> Evidence for time travel is that these things suddenly turn up, like the print of 'Metropolis' somebody mentioned the other day

Jul 05 16:38:59 <EML> dumb question ... in the java script window, is there any way to increase font size?

Jul 05 16:39:03 <rimworlder> EML - in regards to why crash couches with/artificial gravity - safety/redundancy

Jul 05 16:39:26 <Hippy> And if cabin gravity really worked, 'Neutron Star' wouldn't

Jul 05 16:39:38 <rimworlder> well, perhaps a bit of a spoiler, but I'm finding the intro more readable than the original text...

Jul 05 16:39:38 <EML> For a puppeteer, perhaps. What examples of redundancy are there in human ships?

Jul 05 16:39:48 <Lensman> Okay, the lift belt lifts itself. Yes, I agree. But how? Can it radiate artificial gravity without radiating out as far as the planet's surface? Is it reacting to, or pushing against, the gravity field... the curved spacetime?

Jul 05 16:40:02 <rimworlder> comm lasers as backup weapon systems...?

Jul 05 16:40:12 <Hippy> Rim: LOL! Get Euan to translate. . .

Jul 05 16:40:17 <EML> comm lasers as undisclosed weapon systems.

Jul 05 16:40:49 <Lensman> Hippy: If cabin gravity worked, then "Neutron Star" wouldn't... give Bey fits with the tidal gravity?

Jul 05 16:41:00 <EML> Lens: I fear you are looking for science where there is naught but a trope.

Jul 05 16:41:15 <rimworlder> or the hardware was too much to put into Bey's ship?

Jul 05 16:41:18 <Jim> Hippy and Euan are kiwis?

Jul 05 16:41:26 <rimworlder> or Belters don't like it?

Jul 05 16:41:37 <Lensman> Hippy: But no. The gravity sensor was amidships, remember? The difference in gravity at the ends of the ship wouldn't have been felt, nor affected by cabin gravity.

Jul 05 16:41:38 <Hippy> No, only Euan is

Jul 05 16:41:56 <Hippy> I am from a large, Muslim island slightly West of New Zealand

Jul 05 16:42:31 <Jim> Hippy, the merry ole land of Oz?

Jul 05 16:42:33 <Hippy> Okay, Lens, I'll buy the gravity sensor position

Jul 05 16:42:35 <rimworlder> hippy - is NZ as pro liberalism as I've been led to believe?

Jul 05 16:42:40 <Hippy> Jim, indeed

Jul 05 16:42:53 <Lensman> Ed: Well, that's basically what Larry said. "It's just soft science fiction." What's the fun of that? I want to build a structure on the existing playground equipment... not throw out the playground equipment and start over!

Jul 05 16:43:13 <Lensman> Hippy is an Aussie.

Jul 05 16:43:26 <Hippy> They're very pro-liberalism, but they are sort of like Canada. They have a large neighbour to look after them, but they are very good diplomats

Jul 05 16:43:27 <rimworlder> he's closer than I am

Jul 05 16:43:35 <EML> as for Neutron Star, assume the gravity generator applied a consistent effect throughout the ship. Then it's no good against very large tides.

Jul 05 16:43:52 <rimworlder> ahhh - cause I may be looking for some place to hide...

Jul 05 16:44:04 <Lensman> Re "Neutron Star": What Ed said, yes.

Jul 05 16:44:26 <Hippy> They'll definitely put you up, then. They're anti-nuclear, but they do believe in individual rights

Jul 05 16:44:45 <Hippy> So they're, what, 'libertarian' in US terms

Jul 05 16:45:20 <rimworlder> as long as the place as a strong culturally imbued sense of individual freedom...

Jul 05 16:45:32 * Hippy AFK for eyedrops

Jul 05 16:45:53 <Hippy> Very much so. Most of the original settlers were from Scotland (as opposed to Ireland for us)

Jul 05 16:46:17 <rimworlder> question about neutron star and anti-gravity: the GP hull was immune to the effects, but what about tidal effects on internal hardware systems...

Jul 05 16:46:39 <Lensman> Ed: Well, here's what I'm trying to reconcile in a logical fashion: 1. Cabin gravity appears to have sharp boundaries. 2. Lift belts etc. appear to work via antigravity, which does not appear to directly affect the wearer. 3. For some reason, antigravity is not used to lift starships into orbit, in either the BS or Rw eras; they use ultra-compressed air/helium boosters instead.

Jul 05 16:46:55 <rimworlder> would a computer have survived the stresses? plumbing?

Jul 05 16:46:58 <EML> Rim: at least some systems fail: Bey sees inside stuff, not just crew, crunched into the nose.

Jul 05 16:47:19 <EML> and (I've been waiting for the chance to say it :-) ) wait until Juggler.

Jul 05 16:47:20 <rimworlder> right - so the anti-gravity generator would probably fail also

Jul 05 16:47:26 <Lensman> SO I propose antigravity has a "ceiling" of some sort, implying it's pushing against a mass... literally opposite of how gravity works, by two masses attracting each other.

Jul 05 16:48:17 <EML> For me, GR is too successful a theory to ignore.

Jul 05 16:48:18 <Lensman> ? Wait until Juggler for what ?

Jul 05 16:48:54 <EML> Juggler will tell you LOTS of new things about several events only seen, till now, through Bey's eyes.

Jul 05 16:49:06 <rimworlder> ahhh - cool on juggler

Jul 05 16:49:30 <rimworlder> I just love it when all my preconceived notions are utterly destroyed by a new story...

Jul 05 16:49:57 <EML> Rim: then prepare to fall in love :-)

Jul 05 16:51:22 <Lensman> I agree we can't ignore Relativity. It's too well established. One thing brought up on the list is that we can't assume antigravity cuts off the gravity field above it indefinately, like Cavorite in Wells' /The First Men in the Moon/.

Jul 05 16:52:08 <Lensman> That would create a perpetual motion machine. Wells describes the air column rushing upwards... easy to see how perpetual motion could result from that.

Jul 05 16:52:35 <EML> For me a-grav is like time travel ... handy for a story but not credible per current science.

Jul 05 16:53:31 <EML> Once Earth ran out of air, methinks the windmill would stop :-)

Jul 05 16:53:39 <rimworlder> like Niven's teleporting spaceship or sender-receiver with iron filings

Jul 05 16:53:40 <Lensman> Yes, but since it *is* referred to in KS, I'm trying to figure out consistant "rules" for how it works, from clues in the stories.

Jul 05 16:53:49 <Lensman> LOL!

Jul 05 16:54:37 <Hippy> But the air would eventually be attarcted to points on the Earth where there isn't Cavorite, wouldn't it?

Jul 05 16:54:45 <rimworlder> so we have the possibly possible tech and the unlikely tech, both of which are usable in a story

Jul 05 16:55:05 <EML> Lens: if you reconcile all the gravity planers, drags, polarizers, ... I'd love a copy.

Jul 05 16:55:14 <rimworlder> Ed, where do you fall on the 'multiverse' concept?

Jul 05 16:55:20 <Lensman> Mmmm the iron filings repeatedly teleported are only a perpetual motion machine if it takes less energy to teleport them than the energy created by them falling.

Jul 05 16:56:08 <rimworlder> true, but I think Larry gave that as a given in his discussion - been a while tho

Jul 05 16:56:15 <Hippy> Which eventually it would, because as they fall faster they generate more energy

Jul 05 16:56:48 <Lensman> Ed: I think this deserves an article at the Concordance website. Shall I send a copy to you before I post it? I really appreciated your comments on my "Hyperspace Theory and Practice" article. This one won't be as long; there's much less material to cover.

Jul 05 16:57:23 <EML> Multiverse? I'm a skeptic. IIRC, multiverse theories arise from extra dimensions (more string-theory handwaving) or the many worlds interpetation of QM (what happened to conservation of energy?)

Jul 05 16:57:47 <EML> Now SHOW me another universe, and I'll reconsider :-)

Jul 05 16:57:53 <rimworlder> ok, just wondering

Jul 05 16:58:01 <Lensman> Ed: I'm not sure you'll like my approach. It seems to me cabin gravity and lift belts work according to two very different principles. Sounds like you want them to work on the same principle.

Jul 05 16:58:21 <rimworlder> OMG - some softdrink company is now making a blue Obama drink and a red McCain drink

Jul 05 16:58:35 <Jim> The multiverse is also a hand waving device employed by Stargate SG-1/Atlanta when they want to photograph one actor twice in the same shot

Jul 05 16:58:39 <Lensman> I don't think the gravity polarizer works on the same principle as either of those, so that's yet at third principle.

Jul 05 16:59:37 <rimworlder> jim, ed - I've been reading a lot from some supposedly reliable quantum theory guys who seem to be taking it as a given

Jul 05 16:59:50 <Lensman> Philosophy final exam: "Describe the universe. Be specific and comprehensive, and give two examples." :)

Jul 05 16:59:55 <rimworlder> don't have my notes so I can't speak intelligently about it right now (as its very confusing)

Jul 05 17:00:07 <EML> I'm merely advocating for (a) its a trope or (b) we can relate it to known or speculative science.

Jul 05 17:00:30 <EML> if (a), then I cite the "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain" principle.

Jul 05 17:00:52 <Hippy> Now there's a General Theory I can relate to

Jul 05 17:01:06 <Lensman> Ed: What's your definition of "trope"? A concept commonly used in SF stories, but never precisely defined? Like hyperdrive?

Jul 05 17:01:11 <rimworlder> man, things sure were easier when you could just make up a new 'ray'

Jul 05 17:01:31 <EML> if (b), then I don't see how these various devices work. Granted, that may only be a failure of my imagination and/or understanding.

Jul 05 17:01:37 <Hippy> Yes, or simply say 'Lerner disproved that in 1971'

Jul 05 17:01:47 <rimworlder> lol

Jul 05 17:02:16 <Lensman> LOL! Yah, like the Barsoomian... eight ray? nineth? ...that gave them antigravity. Well that's fine for fantasy, but KS is at least theoretically hard-SF!

Jul 05 17:02:17 <Hippy> Harry Harrison's 'Kelly Drive' - "Sure and I guess Einstein was wrong."

Jul 05 17:03:07 <rimworlder> my favorite of his is the Bloater Drive - expand the ship to the size of the universe and then shrink it back down, centered on where you want to be

Jul 05 17:03:27 <EML> Lens: exactly. A trope is a willing-suspension-of-disbelief contract between reader and author.

Jul 05 17:03:42 <Lensman> Kelly drive-- is that from /Star Smashers of the Galaxy Rangers/ ?

Jul 05 17:03:57 <Lensman> Or /Bill, the Galactic Hero/ ?

Jul 05 17:04:23 <Hippy> I think the former, though I can't be sure

Jul 05 17:04:24 <rimworlder> Ed - now there's an idea for a humor article: different reader/writer contracts dependant upon the different levels of suspension of disbelief - and the remedies section - oh my

Jul 05 17:04:36 <Lensman> Ed: So are you saying it's best not to try to figure out how antigravity works?

Jul 05 17:04:49 <Hippy> That's a good definition, Ed

Jul 05 17:04:49 <rimworlder> Lens - figure it out but don't tell anyone

Jul 05 17:05:32 <Hippy> Rim: that has the makings of a damn good story!

Jul 05 17:05:39 <rimworlder> I [Reader's Name] agree to believe...

Jul 05 17:05:40 <EML> Lens: I wish you luck figuring it out, but I don't have high hopes for the enterprise. But hey, that's just me.

Jul 05 17:05:43 <Lensman> Okay maybe I'm in the minority, but I've never understood the bit about "let's just talk about it but never reach any definite conclusion."

Jul 05 17:06:07 <Hippy> "The readers accuse Mr Lerner of violating the contract."

Jul 05 17:06:13 <Lensman> That's like endless foreplay with no, er, climax! >:-(

Jul 05 17:06:17 <EML> So sue me :-)

Jul 05 17:06:26 <rimworlder> lens - endless foreplay can be good...

Jul 05 17:06:53 <rimworlder> Ed - if your reader's won the court case, you'd be doing a lot of revisions for free...

Jul 05 17:06:54 <Lensman> Masochist

Jul 05 17:07:31 <rimworlder> lens - well, I guess I'll have to cop to that; I think of it like this - as long as there's no resolution, you can still play

Jul 05 17:07:36 <EML> Lens: people should speculate all they want. I merely answered someone's question(s), far above, of my personal interpetation.

Jul 05 17:08:27 <EML> if the reasers sue over a literary device, I'll be stuck in the tropopause.

Jul 05 17:08:29 <rimworlder> hippy - that would be such a complicated court case it would have to be the length of a Dicken's tale

Jul 05 17:08:34 <rimworlder> lol

Jul 05 17:09:00 <EML> how long is a dicken's tale?

Jul 05 17:09:10 <EML> er, tail?

Jul 05 17:09:25 <rimworlder> try reading Bleak House and you'll have some small appreciation

Jul 05 17:09:52 <rimworlder> Jardin v Jardin - the attorneys are on their third generation

Jul 05 17:10:47 <Hippy> Oh, the horror. . .I have never attempted 'Bleak House' and see no good reason to try

Jul 05 17:10:54 <EML> At the risk of poking more anthills -- artificial gravity isn't the only trope in KS.

Jul 05 17:11:07 <rimworlder> uh oh...

Jul 05 17:11:32 <Hippy> What are some others?

Jul 05 17:11:51 <rimworlder> I'm gonna take this opportunity to duck out - I've got to see a man about my website and learn all kinds of (terribly uninteresting) things about the Joomla CMS

Jul 05 17:11:56 <EML> Impregnable hulls are surely another, at least for some readers. They get pissy about any intimation there are physical practicalities and limitatiosn involved.

Jul 05 17:11:57 <Hippy> Ooh, sun's coming up and it looks to be a nice clear day

Jul 05 17:12:11 <rimworlder> later folks!

Jul 05 17:12:19 <EML> ttfn, rim

Jul 05 17:12:21 * rimworlder has quit (Quit: *g0ne*)

Jul 05 17:12:57 <Hippy> The assumption that Beowulf Shaeffer's finances are private? It always gets me that he can bluff his creditors into thinking he still has money

Jul 05 17:13:18 <EML> See JUGGLER, Hippy.

Jul 05 17:14:27 <EML> JUGGLER: guaranteed to answer five question about KS you may not even have known you had ... or your money back (fine print here ...)

Jul 05 17:15:02 <Hippy> LOL!!!

Jul 05 17:15:54 <Hippy> I must confess that I've yet to read 'Fleet' and I'm glad that Paul Chafe isn't here - but I do promise that they are both on the teetering pile of books I plan to read

Jul 05 17:15:57 <Lensman> LOL indeed!

Jul 05 17:16:22 <Hippy> If I can get a year out of this cornea the teetering pile will be reduced to no pending books

Jul 05 17:16:39 <EML> On a serious note (e flat minor?), any far-future space opera is going to run afoul of Clarke's Law.

Jul 05 17:17:11 <EML> I write a lot of HARD sf, but it's near future.

Jul 05 17:18:09 <EML> and some say some of those stories are engineering fiction, not science fiction.

Jul 05 17:18:24 <Lensman> But if it's too near-future, you run into the Martin Caidin problem. Most of his stuff has been outdated for decades.

Jul 05 17:19:11 <Hippy> Yes, but you read those things for their quaintness

Jul 05 17:19:21 <EML> Lens: you're absolutely correct. Near-future fiction is a dangerous business. I have this half-written Cold War novel. Unless Putin cooperates, it'll never get finished.

Jul 05 17:20:00 <Hippy> Ed: is 'Day of the RFIDs' available in an anthology of some type? It's hard to get the magazines out here, and I'm curious to how you got a story out of that

Jul 05 17:20:27 <Lensman> I guess I prefer my SF fairly hard but not complately so. Without a bit of fantasy, we can't have FTL travel. And in Known Space, we wouldn't have GP hulls, stasis fields, scrith-- and the Ringworld--, Jinx or Mt. Lookitthat. Now, don't you agree KS would be very much poorer without those elements? I confess, tho, that I could do without the psi powers.

Jul 05 17:21:26 <Lensman> Ed: Re cold war: So re-write it as an alternate universe story. Those seem to be very popular these days!

Jul 05 17:21:33 <EML> Hippy: "Day of the RFIDs" is in my print-on-demand collection CREATIVE DESTRUCTION. You can get it from Amazon, among others.

Jul 05 17:22:12 <Hippy> I shall do so forthwith! (and add it to the pile. . .)

Jul 05 17:23:19 * SolBelter (~SolBelter@ has joined #knownspace

Jul 05 17:23:40 <EML> Lens: I rely on tropes from time to time, and not just in KS. Like the time-travel mechanism in my currently running serial (COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON, in Jim Baen's Universe).

Jul 05 17:24:23 <SolBelter> hi EML &Lens!

Jul 05 17:24:31 <EML> Hippy: keen. I'm of course fine with discussing it some fine first Saturday.

Jul 05 17:24:41 <EML> Hi, Sol!

Jul 05 17:25:44 <SolBelter> (ears pearking up hearing of time-travel)

Jul 05 17:26:46 <Hippy> Morning, SolBelter

Jul 05 17:26:51 <EML> Well, Sol, if your subscribe to JBU -- I'll point you that way.

Jul 05 17:27:37 <SolBelter> defintely the pointer, please, EML

Jul 05 17:27:39 <EML> COUNTDOWN TO ARMAGEDDON is a short novel, running in 7 installments. I believe they have memberships that provide access to past issues.

Jul 05 17:27:41 <Hippy> Ed: 'Creative Destruction' appears to be in hardcover. I can't find a POD so I've ordered the hardcover. (And now, the postage. . .<shudder>)

Jul 05 17:27:54 <SolBelter> hi Hippy

Jul 05 17:29:07 <EML> Creative Destruction is POD in hard and trade paperback, at least in the US. The publisher, BTW, is

Jul 05 17:29:13 <EML> here's a link

Jul 05 17:30:48 <Lensman> Hi SB! Sorry, I was AFK. Now back.

Jul 05 17:31:07 <EML> Sol: JBU is at

Jul 05 17:31:38 * SolBelter nods to EML & Lens

Jul 05 17:31:49 <EML> oops. make that at (with proper spacing)

Jul 05 17:33:00 <Hippy> 'Creative Destruction' is in the cart. Now to add enough stuff to the cart to make the postage worthwhile

Jul 05 17:33:19 <EML> modesty prevents ... :-)

Jul 05 17:33:48 <SolBelter> thx So, Lens, what was the comment u made on tropes thAT EML resonded to? [that's when i arrived]

Jul 05 17:34:13 <Lensman> I know SolBelter is to modest to mention it, but he posted an interview with Aldo Spadoni regarding the "Larry Niven's Free Fall" game. I posted a news item about it at

Jul 05 17:35:22 <SolBelter> not too modest - it's about Aldo, not me, and ably led by Lensman as lead interviewer

Jul 05 17:35:28 <SolBelter> getting url

Jul 05 17:36:18 <Lensman> SB: Hard to summarize in 25 words or less. I wanted to talk about artificial gravity in Known Space, and tossed out some ideas. Ed said that things like antigravity (and hyperdrive) were just tropes, and that trying to figure out just how they work is fruitless. At least that's my interpretation; Ed pls correct me if this is wrong.

Jul 05 17:36:21 <EML> Sol: we had a long chat about antigravity-type technologies in known space and if/how they work. I consider them a trope, like time travel.

Jul 05 17:36:47 <SolBelter>

Jul 05 17:37:32 <SolBelter> Darn! i wanted to take notes and get usable tech.

Jul 05 17:38:04 <EML> IMO, What makes a technology a trope is a wide separation between the device and current scientific theory.

Jul 05 17:38:12 <Lensman> LOL! Well you'll have to share the patents with us.

Jul 05 17:38:22 <SolBelter> Sure, a paragraph of techspeek is fun to create and read, but more takes time.

Jul 05 17:38:35 <Lensman> I

Jul 05 17:39:16 <SolBelter> Although, if like Larry, u try to work out further consequences of a tech... thata's a good game

Jul 05 17:39:54 <Lensman> I'm more interested in getting a consisant idea of how the things operate in an emperical fashion, not necessarily scientific realism. Altho that shouldn't be ignored... like Wells making Cavorite a perpetual motion machine. That was just wrong.

Jul 05 17:40:11 <SolBelter> So a trope can spped up story development

Jul 05 17:40:20 <EML> Yup. even SF with a trope has rules. It differs from fantasy.

Jul 05 17:41:16 <SolBelter> and yeah, with a large gap tween, touogh to work out the how of tech

Jul 05 17:41:44 <SolBelter> yes Lens on both

Jul 05 17:42:03 <EML> A trope can enable stories that are otherwise impossible. Time-travel stories fall into that category. Ditto most interstellar adventures (STL limits what you can do in a story.)

Jul 05 17:42:12 <Lensman> I was very pleased at how my "Hyperspace Theory & Practice" article came out. The process of writing it helped me to clarify in my own mind how certain things works, and resolve some apparent inconsistancies. I'm hoping for something similar with artificial gravity, altho I seriously doubt it will be as cohesive, since there are several different artifical/ anti-gravity devices in KS, which all appear to work very differently.

Jul 05 17:43:04 <EML> Lens: I'm rooting for you, despite my scientific sticklerism ;-)

Jul 05 17:43:31 <SolBelter> "our physics doesnt allow this!" "perhaaps they use a different physics"

Jul 05 17:43:44 <EML> BTW, all ... I'm going to cut out soon for dinner.

Jul 05 17:43:56 <Lensman> SB: Yes! I was going to quote that very passage.

Jul 05 17:44:28 <SolBelter> one of my customers loved that phrase

Jul 05 17:44:44 <Hippy> Ooh, quarter to eight here. Time I got ready to face the day

Jul 05 17:44:49 <SolBelter> i learned it from his reading

Jul 05 17:44:59 * Hippy AFK for around twenty-five minutes

Jul 05 17:45:10 <SolBelter> yep - dineer sounds good to me too

Jul 05 17:45:16 <SolBelter> oh one news note

Jul 05 17:45:22 <Hippy> No, wait, I'll leave when Ed leaves, that's more polite

Jul 05 17:45:25 <SolBelter> from Second Life

Jul 05 17:45:32 <EML> Yup, it's arogant to believe we know all science. We don't. That said, the more a story deviates from long established science (say, conservation of energy) the more it veers from hard sf to soft sf to science fantasy.

Jul 05 17:45:35 <Lensman> Well, if I stipulate that artificial gravity fields-- cabin gravity-- works by creating a volume of artificially curved spacetime, that certainly follows Relativity, altho Einstein might object that one can't curve space without a mass being present.

Jul 05 17:46:10 <SolBelter> I asked Jimbo Perhaps if he could use a larger radius - 128 meters for Ringworld.

Jul 05 17:46:20 <Lensman> Not so sure about the lift belt etc. antigravity thing. That may require gravitons, which according to Relativity don't exist.

Jul 05 17:46:41 * undefined (~undefined@ has joined #knownspace

Jul 05 17:46:50 <SolBelter> He said "could I?" and Ringworld on Spindrift island has grown :)

Jul 05 17:47:05 <Hippy> Morning, undefined

Jul 05 17:47:07 <EML> or maybe mass IS the curvature of space (where the heck is my Higgs boson? Maybe it's in my other pants.)

Jul 05 17:47:17 <Lensman> I'm eating at the keyboard. (What a slob!)

Jul 05 17:47:42 <Lensman> Hello undefined.

Jul 05 17:47:50 <EML> okay, all. that's it for me this month. happy fourth, fifth, etc.

Jul 05 17:48:01 * undefined has quit (Quit: *g0ne*)

Jul 05 17:48:12 <Jim> yes, happy 4th

Jul 05 17:48:16 <SolBelter> Greg Bear used used noach [sp] physics once

Jul 05 17:48:23 * EML has quit (Quit: *g0ne*)

Jul 05 17:48:26 <Lensman> LOL! Well if you find it, be sure to let all those particle physicists know. :)

Jul 05 17:48:57 <SolBelter> none-channel physics, and the characters got to control the 128 character ID of every particle,

Jul 05 17:49:15 <SolBelter> telling it what it was - or change it -

Jul 05 17:49:45 <SolBelter> Zowie-great special effects and energy still conserved in the bkground

Jul 05 17:49:51 <Hippy> 'Bye, Ed

Jul 05 17:50:01 <Hippy> Missed him

Jul 05 17:50:04 <Hippy> Okay,

Jul 05 17:50:09 * Hippy AFK for around twenty-five minutes

Jul 05 17:50:39 <SolBelter> ok, all, off to eat as well

Jul 05 17:51:30 <SolBelter> Lens, have a look

Jul 05 17:52:07 <SolBelter> my new home for the artwork and a reqUEST FOR Clarke story artwork

Jul 05 17:52:44 <Lensman> SB: That's way over my head! Altho it reminds me a bit of Hogan's /The Genesis Machine/. The thesis was that all fundamental particles were variations on a few basic properties, and that this super-scientist found a way to select any possible value for these properties. Presto! Particles made to order. The story proceeded to show action-at-a-distance... don't remember what the author's excuse for *that* was.

Jul 05 17:52:44 <SolBelter> on this picture

Jul 05 17:53:14 <SolBelter> Lens - same basic idea by Bear

Jul 05 17:53:16 <Jim> gotta go for this month, have fun, happy 4th, bye

Jul 05 17:53:49 * Jim has quit (Quit: ChatZilla 0.9.83 [Firefox])

Jul 05 17:53:52 <SolBelter> In a diff novel he used to change every 50-trillionth atom to antimatter

Jul 05 17:54:03 <SolBelter> and started to kill a planet

Jul 05 17:54:13 <SolBelter> bye Jim

Jul 05 17:56:08 <Lensman> Guess it's just you and me for the moment, SB.

Jul 05 17:56:25 <SolBelter> k, Lens yep and leaving :)

Jul 05 17:56:41 <Lensman> IIRC you were gonna contact Don Davis attempting to get permission to post his Ringworld art. Any follow up to that?

Jul 05 17:57:01 <Lensman> You're leaving too?

Jul 05 17:57:07 <Lensman> *Sob*

Jul 05 17:57:08 <SolBelter> he'd said he ws looking thru his slides for ringworld cover

Jul 05 17:57:24 <SolBelter> back when - i'll ping him

Jul 05 17:57:41 <Lensman> *Sniffle* Lensman is abandoned.

Jul 05 17:58:04 <Lensman> Did he have just the one picture, then?

Jul 05 17:58:05 <SolBelter> side note-i wish these logs would get saved posted

Jul 05 17:58:15 <Lensman> They are!

Jul 05 17:58:20 <Lensman> A minute:

Jul 05 17:58:27 <SolBelter> I assume Sean still sends them in.

Jul 05 17:58:52 <Lensman>

Jul 05 17:59:02 <SolBelter> that was my inference as well, but i'll ask him if other art

Jul 05 17:59:12 <Lensman> You won't always find this up to date, but currently it is close to being so.

Jul 05 17:59:40 <SolBelter> ah i was in a rush this time-didnt scan the list

Jul 05 17:59:42 <SolBelter> good

Jul 05 18:00:03 <SolBelter> that tropes discussion sounded good

Jul 05 18:00:19 <SolBelter> so in a while...

Jul 05 18:00:42 <SolBelter> ok u take care

Jul 05 18:00:58 <Lensman> Bye!

Jul 05 18:01:00 * SolBelter has quit (Quit: *g0ne*)

Jul 05 18:37:42 * Hippy returned - with a vengeance

Jul 05 18:38:07 <Hippy> Oh, it appears everyone but the hardest of die-hards has deserted

Jul 05 18:38:12 <Lensman> Uh oh-- who's gonna be 'venged upon?

Jul 05 18:38:22 <Lensman> Guilty.

Jul 05 18:38:32 <Hippy> And where is the contingent from the UK? They aren't celebrating Independence Day, surelY?

Jul 05 18:39:00 <Lensman> Haven't a clue, sorry.

Jul 05 18:39:44 <Hippy> I"m not sure who shall suffer my vengeance today. The day is but young

Jul 05 18:39:52 <Lensman> Altho perhaps the Brits are glad to no longer pretend the provincials are really Brits, eh? :)

Jul 05 18:40:43 <Lensman> "Wogs begin at Calais." Actually that's a Victorian slogan, but still...

Jul 05 18:41:45 <Hippy> I think they've accepted it after all these years

Jul 05 18:41:55 <Hippy> I like that slogan!

Jul 05 18:42:00 <Lensman> I'd better stop my Brit bashing before you think I'm serious, tho. Actually if anything I'm a bit of an anglophile. I was bitten by the Sherlock Holmes bug at an early age, and have never recovered.

Jul 05 18:42:57 <Hippy> No worries about bashng the Poms. These days I feel kind of sorry for them, as their home and culture is being slowly eroded. It's the former colonials who hold the standard high!

Jul 05 18:43:00 <Lensman> Secondary infection from Wells, and Verne's British tales, such as /Around the World in 80 Days/.

Jul 05 18:44:44 <Lensman> Speaking of Wells, I have been wanting to read Jeter's /Morlock Night/, an unauthorized sequel to /The Time Machine/. I finally re-read TTM recently and was surprised at how short it is.

Jul 05 18:45:47 <Hippy> There's also 'The Man Who Loved Morlocks' by David Lake

Jul 05 18:47:03 <Hippy> I read 'Dr Adder' by Jeter but have not been tempted to read any more

Jul 05 18:47:04 <Lensman> But when I tried to read /Morlock Night/ I was terribly disappointed. He brings in Merlin, from Arthurian legend? And claims the time machine not merely traveled in time, but created a passage from the time of the Morlocks to Victorian England? Balderdash and tommyrot, I say! The Time Traveller also went to "The end of time". He didn't just travel to the time of the Morlocks and back. Even if Merlin turns out to be a fake, I think the novel does

Jul 05 18:47:10 <Lensman> I don't think I'll finish it.

Jul 05 18:47:59 <Hippy> Sounds like a wise move. These sequels are often terrible. 'Night of the Triffids' is an insult

Jul 05 18:48:25 <Lensman> Well these days I suppose there's no excuse not to read reviews on before buying a book by an author with whom I'm not familiar. Haven't read anything else by Jeter that I recall.

Jul 05 18:49:56 <Lensman> So have you read anything recently you'd recommend? I can't recall reading anything since Stirling's /The Sky People/ which I'd wholeheartedly recommend.

Jul 05 18:51:07 <Hippy> Well, due to the eyes I haven't read much of late, but am now working through the pile. Hmm. I can give you a link to the pile. Stand by

Jul 05 18:51:32 <Lensman> -/Morlock Night/ was a DAW book. Cheap book, I shouldn't be surprised at the poor quality.

Jul 05 18:52:24 <Hippy>

Jul 05 18:52:44 <Hippy> That should show the teetering pile of books I plan to read

Jul 05 18:53:37 <Hippy> I would recommend. . .Confederate States of America by Robert Ransom which is shaping up to be good, pretty scholarly, estimation of what the CSA would've been like

Jul 05 18:54:24 <Hippy> There's alos 'If the South Had Won the Civil WAr' by Mackinlay Kantor with an intro by Harry Turtledove, which is very influential on HT's view of a triumphant Dixie

Jul 05 18:55:15 <Hippy> What else? Umm. . .just reading 'On The Beach' by Nevil Shute but I wouldn't actually recommend it. It's just that it's set in Melbourne

Jul 05 18:57:41 <Lensman> test

Jul 05 18:57:51 <Lensman> Hmm, can't get my last to post.

Jul 05 18:58:30 <Lensman> I've read /On the Beach/. Admittedly it's a classic, but I'd only recommend it for someone who wanted an excuse to slash their wrists.

Jul 05 18:59:07 <Lensman> But re DAW books: Other than Christopher Anvil's /Pandora's Planet/, I can't think of a single top-notch one.

Jul 05 19:00:17 <Lensman> I've read the Cap Kennedy series-- pot-boiler space opera-- and Stableford's "Voyages of the Daedalus"-- biological science puzzle stories, somewhat reminiscent of Sector General. But nothing that rises above mediocre.

Jul 05 19:01:22 <Hippy> Ooh, the Sector General stories. I'd definitely recommend them

Jul 05 19:01:26 <Lensman> Even George H. Smith's /The Second War of the Worlds/ wasn't much. Author not to be confused with George O. Smith, author of the wonderful "Venus Equilateral" stories.

Jul 05 19:01:56 <Hippy> It's a pity we can't have 'anthologies on demand'. Then I could have a complete collection of, I don't know, cornea graft related SF

Jul 05 19:02:31 <Lensman> CSA? Any relation to the recent film? /If the South Had Won.../ I keep hearing about that as possibly the first alternate world novel. Haven't read it. Is it any good?

Jul 05 19:02:40 <Hippy> The trouble with the sequels is that the authors are too concerned with their own ideas and not concerned with emulating the style or sensibilities of the originals

Jul 05 19:03:00 <Hippy> Of course, 'Inferno' is like that but is still good

Jul 05 19:03:45 <Lensman> Oh yes, James White's Sector General is top-notch! At least until late in the series. I meant the puzzles in Daedelus were reminiscent of those books, not that Stableford's series is in the same ballpark of quality.

Jul 05 19:04:45 <Hippy> Well, that's Juggler of Worlds pre-ordered

Jul 05 19:05:14 <Hippy> Oh, no, I understood you. It would be difficult to match White

Jul 05 19:05:27 * Jim (~chatzilla@ has joined #knownspace

Jul 05 19:05:30 <Hippy> I must invest in all the SG collections, but there are so many

Jul 05 19:05:37 <Hippy> Howdy, Jim

Jul 05 19:05:42 <Lensman> LOL! Cornea graft related SF... that would be a pretty slim volume, I'd think! Depending on how loosly one interpreted it, of course... there's /Cyborg/, in which Steve Austin has a "glass eye" with a camera inside.

Jul 05 19:05:43 <Hippy> Long time no see

Jul 05 19:05:46 <Jim> i'm back

Jul 05 19:05:59 <Lensman> Sequels: Damn straight!

Jul 05 19:06:30 <Hippy> Maybe Larry could do a Gil Hamilton story set around the market for new corneas (although they do the whole eye by then)

Jul 05 19:06:31 <Lensman> Re Inferno: Well I couldn't really get into Dante's tale. Altho it may depend on which translation... I can't read Italian!

Jul 05 19:06:52 <Lensman> WB Jim!

Jul 05 19:07:34 <Hippy> Nor me. I have the Dorothy L Sayers translation from Penguin, which is nowadays somewhat criticised

Jul 05 19:08:16 <Lensman> It seemed to me that Dante's /Inferno/ would be about as much "fun" to read as /Pilgrim's Progress/ I was forced to read /The Scarlet Letter/ in school... If ever there was a book designed to turn someone *off* reading for pleasure, it's that one.

Jul 05 19:09:02 <Lensman> Most people object to being preached at. As a preacher's son, I suppose I'm prone to do that... I've been accused of it. But an entire book of it? No, thanks.

Jul 05 19:09:30 <Lensman> Somewhat criticized for...?

Jul 05 19:10:17 <Lensman> Altho I did very much enjoy /The Enchanted Duplicator/, a sort of fannish /Pilgrim's Progress/.

Jul 05 19:10:55 <Lensman> Jim: Current discussion is: Read any good books lately?

Jul 05 19:11:50 <Jim> I read the Divine Comedy about 10 years ago. I had Mandlebaum's translation.

Jul 05 19:12:13 <Lensman> Did you enjoy it? Or at least, are you glad you read it?

Jul 05 19:12:31 <Jim> Lately I have been re-reading Scatterbrain

Jul 05 19:12:34 <Hippy> Somewhat criticised for its 'slapdash' translation and liberality with accurate translation of the original

Jul 05 19:13:11 <Jim> I really enjoyed reading the Divine Comedy.

Jul 05 19:13:35 <Hippy> So did I, but modern readers think that Mark Musa's translation is better

Jul 05 19:14:06 <Hippy> I just bought Seamus Heaney's translation of 'Beowulf' which has the advantage of having the original text on one page and the translation on the other

Jul 05 19:14:14 <Lensman> The translation I tried to read rhymed the... if I recall... first and third lines of each triplet of lines. That may have put too much restraint on a free translation, I dunno. Of course in Italian every noun ends with either "O" or "A", so rhymes are easy in that language.

Jul 05 19:15:11 <Lensman> That would be interesting, comparing the original text of Beowulf to the translation. I have enuff problems wading thru Shakespeare!

Jul 05 19:15:43 <Lensman> Altho that at least is well worth the effort, for the better-known plays anyway.

Jul 05 19:16:46 <Lensman> So if I want to give Dante another go, I should try the Mandlebaum, I guess.

Jul 05 19:17:11 <Jim> There is a current TV commercial that uses the Band of Brothers speech from Henry V that I figured most people recognized without reading the entire play.

Jul 05 19:17:51 <Hippy> Well, the first and third lines have to rhyme if the translation is anything like accurate, but I agree that that puts a restraint on the fluency or readability of the translatikon

Jul 05 19:17:54 <Lensman> Definitely the highlight of the Branaugh film. I've never managed to catch the Olivier version.

Jul 05 19:18:33 <Hippy> I saw an Orson Welles 'MacBeth' the other night. Egad. . .

Jul 05 19:18:48 <Lensman> Original /Inferno/ is entirely written in stanzas composed of triplets, is that right?

Jul 05 19:19:02 <Hippy> Correct - the 'terza rima'

Jul 05 19:19:15 <Hippy> Well, all three books are written that way

Jul 05 19:19:23 <Lensman> "Egad" good, or "Egad" bad?

Jul 05 19:20:02 <Hippy> Egad, bad. I mean, they got all the lines right, but still. . . Or maybe I can't watch Welles without thinking of 'Pinky and The Brain'

Jul 05 19:20:34 <Hippy> Now, this is something I wanted to address earlier. Imagine if the RW movie rights had been sold very early on

Jul 05 19:20:40 <Lensman> I've wanted to memorize that entire "the center cannot hold" soliloquy. Seems appropriate for so many situations. Is that from /Henry V/ ?

Jul 05 19:20:40 <Hippy> Say, around 1972

Jul 05 19:21:00 <Lensman> LOL! Narf!

Jul 05 19:21:48 <Hippy> 'Quet, Pinky. These three witches may have the key to my taking over the world!'

Jul 05 19:22:26 <Hippy> 'Ooh, eye of newt and pain of corridor. Poit!"

Jul 05 19:22:55 <Lensman> So Nessus is done in stop-motion animation? If we're really, really lucky we'll get Ray Harryhausen? I'm afraid it might look something more like "Jack the Giant Killer". And Speaker would be a guy in a fur suit... Ugh.

Jul 05 19:23:22 <Jim> I do not believe that "The center cannot hold" is from Shakespeare.

Jul 05 19:24:00 <Hippy> Ah, but the true majesty of it lies in the title and cast: 'Black Ringworld' with Cleavon Little as Louis, Tamara Dobson as Teela, Rosey Grier as Speaker and Shelley Winters as the voice of Nessus

Jul 05 19:26:04 <Lensman> Mrfl. Okay, it's Yeats. <Lensman inserts foot into mouth>

Jul 05 19:27:00 <Lensman> Oh, a satire. Mmmm...

Jul 05 19:28:29 <Hippy> Well, yes. Satirising blaxploitation more than Ringworld

Jul 05 19:29:21 <Lensman> I don't recall having seen Clevon Little in anything other than "Blazing Saddles". He was great in that, but I just don't see him as Louis Wu... unless it's a satire.

Jul 05 19:30:01 <Hippy> Well, we could try Richard Roundtree maybe

Jul 05 19:30:23 <Jim> Wasn't there a Chinese actor/stuntman who wanted to play Louis Wu?

Jul 05 19:30:33 <Hippy> 'In a midnight part of Harlem, Lou Shaft flicked into reality'

Jul 05 19:30:49 <Hippy> Now there you surprise me, Jim

Jul 05 19:31:16 <Hippy> LOU: Jive ass transfer booths! Two hundred years old and a brother never gets out of the ghetto

Jul 05 19:31:44 <Hippy> NESSUS: What you talkin' about, Louis?

Jul 05 19:32:51 <Lensman> TEELA: Why you wanna take yo' skinny ass to th' Ringworld, huh?

Jul 05 19:33:13 <Hippy> LOL! Now you're getting it!

Jul 05 19:33:17 <Jim> lol :-o

Jul 05 19:33:50 <Lensman> Oh, this could get us... or at least me... into a great deal of trouble. These chats are archived, after all...

Jul 05 19:34:48 <Hippy> Yes, there's a possibility of political incorrectness. But they actualy did make those films and the language was like that

Jul 05 19:35:14 <Jim> double standard

Jul 05 19:35:26 <Hippy> Very much so

Jul 05 19:36:01 <Lensman> I have "Cleopatra Jones" on DVD. And we showed "Undercover Brother" for Laser Rangers once. I was surprised, tho... in the cinema during "Undercover Brother", most of the laughter was from the white folks, not the black ones...

Jul 05 19:37:02 <Hippy> I love 'Cleopatra Jones'. That is a classic. And 'The Thing With Two Hesds'

Jul 05 19:37:27 <Hippy> Where the hell is the boxed set of all these classics? I've never even seen 'Blackenstein'

Jul 05 19:38:09 <Lensman> Missed the latter. I confess I'm really not "into" Blaxploitation films. I only bought "Cleopatra Jones" because we were showing it for Laser Rangers, and it was only $5 in the Wal-Mart bargain bin.

Jul 05 19:38:35 <Jim> What is Laser Rangers?

Jul 05 19:38:46 <Hippy> Yes, I was going to ask that

Jul 05 19:39:31 <Lensman> Laser Rangers is my film buff/ home theatre group. We meet monthly to watch (usually) two movies with a common theme. Pot-luck dinner in between.

Jul 05 19:40:28 <Hippy> Sounds like a fun night out

Jul 05 19:40:35 <Lensman> I have a kick-ass audiophile grade set of surround sound speakers. Unfortunately we're still watching a rear-projection TV; I don't have a digital TV. Consequences of long-term unemployment.

Jul 05 19:41:34 <Jim> You must have a big living room

Jul 05 19:42:06 <Lensman> Family room in the basement. I'm fortunate to have relatives who are comfortably well off.

Jul 05 19:42:25 <Lensman> Heaven knows I could't afford a house that big!

Jul 05 19:44:10 <Lensman> And yes, everytime I raise the possibility of having Laser Rangers at one of the other Rangers' houses, they always say "But we don't have the room!" The home theatre room holds 15 comfortably-- I've installed "balconies" on platforms behind the sofas-- and we had 25 once... several were sitting on the floor for that.

Jul 05 19:44:12 <Hippy> Well, folks, it's quarter to ten now, and since I got up at five I'm starting to fade

Jul 05 19:44:47 <Lensman> Thanks for dropping in to chat, Hippy. It's been fun!

Jul 05 19:44:54 <Hippy> It sounds like the social event of the season, but for now I shall adjourn and see you all next month (or on the list)

Jul 05 19:44:59 <Jim> hippy, see ya

Jul 05 19:45:21 <Hippy> It sure has been fun, I agree, and I have purchased more books as a result of the chat, which is always good

Jul 05 19:45:26 <Hippy> 'Bye Lens

Jul 05 19:45:30 <Hippy> 'Bye, Jim

Jul 05 19:45:37 * Hippy has quit ()

Jul 05 19:47:10 <Lensman> Dang I forgot to thank Hippy for providing the recording of "An Hour with Larry Niven".

Jul 05 19:56:20 <Jim> Hippy mentioned buying books; earlier I bought a book by Lee Smolin from Amazon that Ed had recommended.

Jul 05 20:00:41 <Lensman> Have you read anything by Ed as a solo author?

Jul 05 20:01:32 <Jim> He had a recent fact article and a story in Analog

Jul 05 20:05:37 <Lensman> What was the article about?

Jul 05 20:06:04 <Lensman> Pardon me if I'm slow in responding-- I'm multi-tasking.

Jul 05 20:09:25 <Jim> so am i

Jul 05 20:10:37 <Jim> Follow the Nanobrick Road, Sep 2008; it is about nanotechnology

Jul 05 20:10:50 <Lensman> Is he for it or again

Jul 05 20:10:56 <Lensman> or again' it?

Jul 05 20:11:13 <Jim> I think he had both stories and articles about RFIDs

Jul 05 20:12:00 <Jim> In the article, Ed explained the current state of the art in manufacturing nano-materials

Jul 05 20:12:32 <Lensman> I saw a story about RFIDs being put on a convention's name tags. Someone suggested a SF con should do that. The resulting fireworks were predictible... at least by me!

Jul 05 20:13:30 <Jim> I can imagine a wife tracking down a wayward husband :-o

Jul 05 20:15:11 <Lensman> I've read-- own-- Drexler's /The Engines of Creation/. But things don't seem to be moving in the direction Drexler suggested. Frankly I question, seriously, if using nanotech to build large three-dimensional objects will be as easy as he seems to think. It may be that nanotech will be restricted to surface effects and thin films.

Jul 05 20:16:55 <Jim> Ed also downplayed the significance of assemblers and gobblers that Drexler mentioned. Both Ed and Drexler view TEOC as obsolete.

Jul 05 20:17:45 <Lensman> The problem as I see it is that Drexler has the nano-machines connected in series. For a large object, that series is a very, very long chain. If there's an interruption in the chain anywhere... then every nano machine past the interruption will fail to work properly. If only, say, 0.00001 percent of the nano machines fail to work or break down, for a sizable object the result will be a fundamentally flawed (un)finished product.

Jul 05 20:18:30 <Lensman> I should bring that up next time Ed is in the chat. It would be interesting to see why he thinks the "gray goo" problem is obsolete.

Jul 05 20:19:27 <Jim> yes

Jul 05 20:20:19 <Jim> you should try to get a hold of the article somehow

Jul 05 20:20:54 <Jim> Sep 2008 should be on sale until 28 July 2008

Jul 05 20:26:55 <Lensman> Well, if nanotech isn't to be used for assemblers, then what does Lerner suggest it will be used for?

Jul 05 20:33:05 <Jim> Current nanomaterials are constructed in bulk by macro techniques that do not involve nano-sized assemblers or disassemblers.

Jul 05 20:36:09 <Jim> Nanomaterials like buckyballs can be used to strengthen ordinary building materials.

Jul 05 20:37:11 <Lensman> In advertising the term "nano" is being applied to products such as cleaning solutions and coating solutions which merely have nano-sized particles. This is expanding the term until it's useless. As I saw pointed out recently, shall we now describe liquid soap as a "nano" material? It would be just as meaningful to do so.

Jul 05 20:39:36 <Jim> Ed also mentioned the technology roadmap that being constructed to guide the development of nanomaterials.

Jul 05 20:41:39 <Jim> Unfortunately, I don't know enough about the topic to summarize the article in any meaningful manner. He does mention assemblers, but the assemblers he discusses would operate strictly within the lab and avoid the gray goo problem.

Jul 05 20:43:28 <Jim> The intelligence behind the assemblers would not be located in the assemblers themselves. So, if the assemblers escape the lab, they couldn't receive the signals necessary to build anything.

Jul 05 20:53:42 <Lensman> I

Jul 05 20:57:15 <Lensman> I'm not sure the real danger is with nanobots escaping "captivity". Anyone who wanted to be careful could design a nanobot which would be incapable of infinitely reproducing itself. I think the real danger is that someone would created a doomsday machine; a nanobot von Neumann machine deliberately designed to destroy the world. Unfortunately there seems to be this destructive streak in people that says "If I'm gonna destroy myself, I'm gonna take as

Jul 05 20:58:25 <Lensman> Fortunately of course such people are rare. But with the "gray goo" problem, it takes only one person with the skills and the mindset. Just one to destroy the world.

Jul 05 21:02:31 <Jim> I don't think that a true Von Neumann machine has every been constructed. If one can be constructed, then it would be no different than an Air Force officer in charge of a missile silo who wants to bring about the "rapture" by starting a war with the Chinese.

Jul 05 21:17:23 <Lensman> No, no true von Neumann machine has ever been made. We don't yet have the tech for that. We're still at the level of making gears and springs for our nano-machines, at least according to public knowledge. Might be some highly classified project that's more advanced, but I haven't heard about defense research into nanotech.

Jul 05 21:19:19 <Lensman> The Air Force officer requires at least the cooperation of another officer to launch the missiles. There might be some external computer control, too; I'm not sure about that.

Jul 05 21:22:45 <Jim> I am not sure either. Maybe a group of officers could start a nuclear war by firing the first shot?

Jul 05 21:38:19 <Lensman> Maybe so. We don't know to what degree the lack of accidental/ unathorized use of nuclear weapons is good planning, and how much is good luck. Not that this has anything to do with nanotech.

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Jul 05 22:25:38 <Jim> Crazy Eddy!!!

Jul 05 22:25:45 <Jim> :--

Jul 05 22:25:53 <Jim> :-)(

Jul 05 22:26:00 <Jim> :-O

Jul 05 22:26:13 <Jim> :-|

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Jul 05 22:33:42 <Jim> growler!!!

Jul 05 22:33:48 <Jim> :-0

Jul 05 22:33:55 <Jim> :-+

Jul 05 22:34:02 <Jim> :-*

Jul 05 22:34:10 <Jim> :-~

Jul 05 22:34:14 <Jim> :-p

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