Mutant superhero born. Check.
Private spaceship. Check.
Videoconferencing in airplanes on portable electronic computers. Check.
Portable Memex. Check.
Flying cars. Check
Sunken city of R’lyeh is about to be discovered.
What do I have to say? It’s ’bout time!
From The “Curve of Binding Energy” by John McPhee (1973, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, pp. 104-105):
“Not all the Los Alamos theories could be tested. Long popular within the Theoretical Division was, for example, a theory that the people of Hungary are Martians. The reasoning went like this: The Martians left their own planet several aeons ago and came to Earth; they landed in what is now Hungary; the tribes of Europe were so primitive and barbarian it was necessary for the Martians to conceal their evolutionary difference or be hacked to pieces. Through the years, the concealment had on the whole been successful, but the Martians had three characteristics too strong to hide: their wanderlust, which found its outlet in the Hungarian gypsy; their language (Hungarian is not related to any of the languages spoken in surrounding countries); and their unearthly intelligence. One had only to look around to see the evidence: Teller, Wigner, Szilard, von Neumann — Hungarians all. Wigner had designed the first plutonium-production reactors. Szilard had been among the first to suggest that fission could be used to make a bomb. Von Neumann had developed the digital computer. Teller — moody, tireless, and given to fits of laughter, bursts of anger — worked long hours and was impatient with what he felt to be the excessively slow advancement of Project Panda, as the hydrogen-bomb development was known. … Teller had a thick Martian accent. He also had a sense of humor that could penetrate bone.”
Steve “Developers, Developers, Developers!” Ballmer, Henry Kissinger and Alan Greenspan were also Hungarian Jews. Kissinger has a thick Martian accent. But the scariest Hungarian/Jewish Martian is of course Ron “But Wait, There’s More” Popeil, the inventor of Mr. Microphone, GLH-9 Hair in a Can and other alien products. How can you doubt that he’s an alien?
“ARTHUR BURNS WRITES ABOUT PAUL LINEBARGER
“He was above medium height, terribly gaunt, bald, high-nosed, narrowing in the chin; he wore severe excellently-cut suits; his favourite hat was a soft black velour like an Italian film producer’s. He was constantly ill, usually with digestive or metabolic troubles, and had to put up with repeated surgery, so that in middle age he always lived close to the vital margin. He took time off from a dinner party in Melbourne for a long drink of hydro-chloric acid, at which a guest, quite awed, remarked that Linebarger probably *was* a man from Mars… “
Linebarger was an alien for sure, what with the acid drinking and everything, but II wonder if Linebarger was one of the Hungarians…
A sci-fi story called “Occam’s Scalpel” by Theodore Sturgeon comes to mind. Oh, I am not going to spoil the story for you. You should read it yourself.
While reading Vonnegut I never realized that Kilgore Trout was based on Sturgeon. I always thought that a writer that good (I tend not to notice awkward style when the authors ideas are good) is respected, famous and well read unlike Mr. Trout.
Now with 20% more rantolioum!
No, I am not on vacation. And no, I am not reading the Harry Potter book. And of course I haven’t run out of ideas. I was just a bit busy. In fact, I am still busy. But I will steal time from sleep, reading and Tivo to bring you more good stuff.
Coming soon to a browser near you:
I am finishing up “Bootstrapping: Douglas Engelbart, Coevolution, and the Origins of Personal Computing “. Next up are “The Dream Machine: J.C.R. Licklider and the Revolution That Made Computing Personal” and “Endless Frontier: Vannevar Bush, Engineer of the American Century”. I’ve read a good chunk of Ted Nelson’s “Literary Machines”. It’s difficult. Just like Nelson’s personality. I’ll write about all of that in a little while.
I can’t fricking believe how expensive “From Memex to Hypertext: Vannevar Bush and the Mind’s Machine” is. You know, overall, used books at Amazon got so expensive. I used to be able to find almost anything for a few bucks, but now people have snapped up all the cheap copies. The only advantage of buying used books there is that they will be shipped faster. This sucks. Where is Xanadu? Where is my Memex? Where is my flying car?
Speaking of expensive. I’ve finally broke down and purchased a Tablet PC. It’s an Acer TMC102Ti . I’ve got it for about $1700 at ecost.com, and it comes with a $100 rebate. I finally own a laptop! I’ll post a review soon.
Tom Ridge advised everyone to buy duct tape for bio and radiological protection.
Yeah, you should use anything but duct tape to seal ducts, but it works great on everything else. It’s good for automotive repairs, spacecraft fixin’ and many other things.
It’s so good, apparently “In Finland and Sweden, some folks (we are told) refer to duct tape as “Jesus Tape.”” I’ve heard that at NASA it’s called “engineering tape”.
Oh, I did not know it came in Beige, Black, Blue, Burgundy, Brown, Gold, Floral Green, Green, Olive Drab, Orange, Purple, Red, Silver, White and Yellow. Mmmm, purple duct tape.
Would you like to send a message into a black hole?
Just try writing a science fiction story and submit it to a magazine (not that I ever did, I know how horrible my writing skills are).
But just as Steven Hawking theorized that matter can “evaporate” from black holes, so answers can sometimes come back from sci-fi publishers.