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QC, SJ, Maker Faire, Las Hormigas

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I had a visit from the young theoretical computer scientist Scott Aaronson this weekend. He pointed me to what looks to be a terrific series of lecture notes by him, about quantum computation. I wish he’d get it published as a book so I don’t have to read it online.

Note the photo of the 2-D shadows on the wall of the Platonic N-D Ru-cave. I used to resist quantum computations, but as an SF writer, it makes more sense to let them into my heart. Quantum computations are as useful to us as radium was for SF writers of the 1930s, and as quarks were in the 1970s!

Speaking of quantum mechanics, Nick Herbert posted an interesting new paper that refutes Bell’s Non-Locality Theorem…for certain kinds of wack worlds.

I was going good on Hylozoic for a few weeks, but now I’m hung up on a bunch of little writing projects. I finished a story with Marc Laidlaw called “The Perfect Wave”, and sidebar article about SynBio biotech futures for the international edition of Newsweek.

And I still have to write an article about cellular automata for Make magazine, and an article about the far future for an anthology called Year Million.

Saturday, Sylvia and I had an all-Mexican day in San Jose. First we saw these great Aztec dancers.

Love the skull.

And then we saw a cool show at the SJ Art Museum by Camille Rose Garcia — not that the main thing about her work is being Latina, she’s totally a California artist from LA. It’s fun to listen to her talk.

To wind up the day we had tacos at Super Taqueria at Tenth and William Street in San Jose. I used to go there a lot when I taught at SJSU. They have the world’s best corn tortillas for their tacos. You get two toritillas, and you leave one in your basket and you can make a second taco out of all the stuff that falls out while you eat your first taco in the first tortilla. The carnitas…ah!

Sunday we went to the Maker Faire near the old racetrack at San Mateo. Rudy Jr.’s gang (he’s a member) Cyclecide was there as a Midway attraction. Jericho was putting up a bicycle driven automatic music tower that plays four electric geetars!

Rudy on a high bike. They had a bullfight and then they had an exciting event where they threw a lot of bicycle tires and pies.

Good, chaotic fun.

I saw my favorite digital sculptor Bathsheba, whom I’ve met before. That wavy cube shape in front really obsesses me, it’s called a gyroid, which is “explained” in a post by the incomparable popularizer of the impossible, John Baez.

Karen Marcelo showed me a robotic knife stabber she made for SRL (Survival Research Labs). She said one of friends had stuck his hand in while it was still moving and he got cut so bad the blood was spurting, poor guy. So then they put in a piece of steak instead. That’s Survival Research Labs for you: “Producing the most dangerous shows on Earth!”

In a kinder, gentler room I saw a giant squid made of Legos.

It was a brutally windy walk to the (wrong) Caltrain station, the world was broken into Lego dots by the wind screen.

Today I got a preview of the August Asimov’s SF cover, with a story by Bruce and me. Makes me feel like a real science fiction writer, which is very satisying, as being an SF writer was my main life ambition all along, starting at age 13.

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2 Responses to “QC, SJ, Maker Faire, Las Hormigas”

  1. Pekka Says:

    Consciousness becomes science: http://www.sbg.ac.at/brain2007/ and http://www.tsc2007.org/

    I’ve been re-reading Nick Herbert’s Quantum Reality and now I understood it this way: Quantum Theory is a standardized programming interface, that allows to develop 3D objects in atomic dimensions. In a way, it is similar to DNA/Ribosome Compiler, that allows any kind of compound layers to be developed that are based on Quantum Theory objects.

    What’s beyond Quatum Theory Programming Language is like studying Java Programming Language without any knowledge on computers, or humans using computers … sort of problematics :-)

  2. Steve H Says:

    Nice cover – some major power chords there: motorcycle, giant ants, great big red rocks, but isn’t an SF mag cover supposed to have half-naked women?

    I’ve been trying to find an online image of something I saw once in a book – an old pioneer had carved wooden candlesticks in such a way that at the right angle they cast shadows of female figures, although the candlesticks seemed round. A little company out on the range. Wonder if you could bake pottery to do that kind of thing?


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