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#131

Snowcrash

emoticon:ghostradio I've got a few days off whilst I'm in between jobs. We move on Friday, so the next couple of days will be very hectic. In the meantime I'm doing a hasty update to one of my programs.

To accompany the headscratching and mind-numbing work, (and having finished Angela's Ashes) I'm now listening to Snow Crash. This is written by Neal Stephenson, one of the heroes of Cyberpunk.

Its theology is distinctly dubious [1], but that aside it is very interesting [2]. I'm particularly drawn to the Metaverse. This is a virtual world created by computer hackers.

It is similar to the cyberspace envisioned by William Gibson, but more of the details are fleshed out. From my point of view, the most exciting thing about it, is the ability to create new things. Stephenson doesn't describe the mechanics of virtual matter and energy, but programmers are able to create new and working objects like motorcycles.

I've searched the web [3] to look for the hackers who are creating the Metaverse. Despite the rise of the MMORPG, where people can interact in virtual worlds, I can find nothing similar. All the ones I've seen have a fixed and rigid infrastructure. Objects must be built into to the fabric of the world, so you're unable to create new ones from the inside. Sad

I'll have to wait, or build the Metaverse myself. Wink

Note

I was explaining to a friend recently how humans had managed to create such complex things as computers.

Computers are (currently) based on silicon wafers, with circuits containing hundreds of thousands of transistors - switches.

Despite the complexity of modern devices, they are built from combinations of circuits comprised of very simple components. At their heart, microprocessors are still descendants of mechanical devices like The Difference Engine of Charles Babbage.

The basic component of the human is the cell. A cell is a phenomenally complex device, a miniature chemical factory that operates on the quantum interaction of its inner workings. Each of us have hundreds of millions of these cells.

So despite packing untold numbers of transistors onto silicon wafers, humans are still a long way off achieving anything remotely approaching the complexity of the human body (and mind). Smile

[1]The philosophical (or Spiritual whichever floats your boat) suppositions are predicated on the fact that the resurrection is a myth.
[2]The real world it describes is a little silly for my tastes, the virtual world on the other hand...
[3]A bit...

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-04-12 15:50:11 | |
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#130

Irish History (Well... Sort of)

emoticon:waffle I've just finished reading Angela's Ashes by Frank McCourt.

It's the tale of his childhood in Catholic Ireland in the thirties and forties.

"Worse than the ordinary miserable childhood is the miserable Irish childhood," writes Frank McCourt in Angela's Ashes. "Worse yet is the miserable Irish Catholic childhood."

Angela's Ashes is a fantastic story, and a great read [1]. It paints a bleak and brutal picture of Catholic Ireland. A tale of prejudice and poverty. Frank's story-telling paints great humour into the near destitution he claims to have grown up in.

It's a great reminder of how fortunate most of us are, but it may be fantastical in more than one way. Apparently Frank's relatives were outraged by the depiction of his childhood, and say it bears no similarity to reality.

Whatever the case it's a great story, but like everything you read; it requires imbibing with a good dose of salt Exclamation

[1]Well, listen anyway. Wink

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-04-12 15:43:17 | |
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#129

Record Breaking

emoticon:key Voidspace had a record breaking month in March with almost 200 000 page views served, plus around 17 500 downloads. Smile

The steady march towards world domination continues... Wink

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Posted by Fuzzyman on 2006-04-09 16:47:59 | |
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The Old Blog Archives

There was so much ancient wisdom distilled into my old blog, that I couldn't let it just creep ignominiously into the pages of cyber-history. More to the point I'm still getting some hits from google with the old entries. Here are the archives of my previous Blogger based blog.

The Old Voidspace BlogThe Old Techie Blog

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