My students are still working. Funniest question on my C Programming test: I defined an array of numbers called what , and showed them the code for a function called huh , and I asked them the value of huh what. I was clean and sober for three days and yesterday I was loaded. These days, a three-day clean and sober spell feels quite ample. Sylvia is making Wiener schnitzel for supper tonight, a big family favorite. Her family won me with schnitzel, back in the mids, when I went to visit them in Geneva. Sylvia and I were courting, and I was a college sophomore, and my future mother-in-law made schnitzel several times.
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Still in reminiscence mode, the other day I was thinking about my last spring at dear Swarthmore College, and I could summon up that same ungovernable and inconsolable sorrow I felt about having my college years end, sorrow at having that last dance of youth end, with all my friends to be scattered across the planet. Each new section of the Chaos program gets deep into my head and I see the shit everywhere. Yorke published the parameters that he used, eighteen sets of twelve-place decimal numbers, and I typed them all into our Chaos source code, and zowie , there are the same gnarly pictures that Yorke had in his article!
Yesterday I saw a goose in one of the Yorke patterns, a long neck goose, and yesterday evening I could hear the goose in my music too. That was such a strange thing to actually find it—I already knew from my science-fiction what it would look like.
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I like it better than the three-dimensional Mandelbrot set I found with Mathematica a couple of years ago—that one is very hard to compute. I found out about that growing up in the Fifties when the only oddball publically tolerated—at least in hideous smug Louisville—was the holy Einstein. He had long hair and wore a sweatshirt and no socks and everyone thought it was okay because he was a genius.
So maybe I do all this work so I have enough idiosyncrasy credit to get drunk and stoned the rest of the time and to not give a shit about politics. We were at a big St. Irish bands, scads of people, everyone getting really tanked, it was great, man, I had such a good time, I danced so much that my shoulders were all sore.
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One guy tried to start a fistfight with me, but I stayed out of the fight. The students still laboring on huh what. May the best ant win!
What do they eat? Computation cycles and memory. I already have some ants that grow lace. A kind of humorous and common problem with ants programs is sometimes the ants get loose and crawl out of the memory area where you are growing them, and they get into your operating system and crash your machine. Like viruses, really.
The whole artificial life field is deliciously louche. A little like what I wrote about with the evolving bopper robots in Software. Okay, almost time to collect the papers. The answer is 2.
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What a great life! Today I went to the oral surgeon and had seven teeth pulled out. Both back teeth on either side on the top, and one of the back molars on the bottom, and two wisdom teeth on the bottom. My mouth feels odd, the tongue-familiar row of teeth so abbreviated on top.
Yet those ousted teeth were constantly irritating the gums, heating them and wrinkling them. I asked them to give me the teeth to take home, but they only handed over three of them, the unborn wisdoms too gross I guess, and two of the regular ones broke off at the roots and they had to pull the roots out separately with special pinchers—I planed up into wakefulness as they were doing that, the remarkable thing being the complete lack of affect I felt knowing he was pulling three broken roots out of my jaw, hail the poppy. This afternoon I got out a pocketknife and scraped off all the lowdown big black deposits on those brought-home teeth, the deposits having formed because of deep gum pockets and being the source of endless incurable irritation and further gum loss, leading to bone loss, leading to extraction.
Will there be sad peaks missing now? But the aardvarks are really aggressive, trying to fend them off, looking exactly like Gilbert Shelton cartoons of snarling dogs, with big C-shaped open mouths and back-slanted funny fangs, I was laughing so hard in my dream. And then, still dreaming, I went downstairs and there were some Haight-Ashbury-type bad girls, and I went to their apartment and we got high and things sped up more and more.
I lean over the floor and shit pops out of my own mouth, bap bap bap , and it brown-crawls around a bit and spells out ART! Pitching for the punk thing may limit the possible audience. But it would be refreshing to write about a competent engineer type guy, although not an actual Heinlein character with the sexism and militarism and the corny jokes. Trying to start a new novel.
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Wrote a start today, based on a bus ad I saw, only the name on the bus was Steven Jobs. The poster is a picture of a newspaper headline, the poster is an ad for the Mercury News. It takes me twice to see it. I started programming vacuum cleaners four years ago, and last year I sold out for 2 Gig. I injected my Simula into the endless torrent of Route He can know John Davis, and be setting up a deal with him, in other words he can be like me. The name John Davis really stinks by the way. John Crawler? How about Jerzy Rugby, I like that one. Maybe I can call the novel The Realtor and the Ants.
About a computer programmer and some rogue, artificially alive ants. Like super-viruses. And a realtor is harassing him. Coevolution of hardware and software is an important theme. Rudelmeyer had lively eyebrows and a gnomic facial expression. He was frequently in a bad mood because he had ongoing dental problems with his gums and his teeth. He spent much of his time alone in the executive washroom, doctoring his mouth with antibacterial and palliative potions including, of course, the proprietary Bayer aspirin.
The sample robot that the pair traveled with was an industrial vacuum cleaner cum burglar alarm, depending what sort of base you mounted it on. One base was a heavy hemisphere, for vacuuming, and the other was a small light tripod of three lively wheels. The remarkable thing was that the same robot head could control both functions, modulo the swap of a small optical disk. The hard thing for the robot upon start-up was that it had to learn the environment. You gave it a learning program for that.
Once it had taught itself the lay of the land it could do a few useful things. Unfortunately, Mr. Pearce of Adze set a dip-switch wrong before the first demo. Instead of slowing down, the vacuum-cleaner accelerated as it approached the glass door, shattering it with a sound that was astonishingly loud in the small lab. Harvey Grosst wiped his forehead and avoided meeting Mr.
The demo was not going well. The vacuum cleaner busied itself sucking up the fragments of broken glass. Harvey shook his head no.
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Things were worse. Takemura, he was doing an article for a Japanese magazine called Excentric , which is a Mondo -type publication with heavily illustrated features about all the weirdos in some different given area in each issue. Takemura photographed me in front of the San Francisco Masonic headquarters in my red sweater, and had me in his magazine with Dr. And now Mr.
My task is to give a twenty minute talk on the topic of cyberspace. We came in last night, first sight from the plane a long beach, the edge of Asia, the sand empty and gray, rice paddies lining the rivers, hill knobs sticking out of the paddies like castles, green and misty. The crowd at the airport: the variousness of the Japanese faces. I notice this again downtown later, the diversity of their faces from round to square, and skin color from yellow to pale white.
Once Sylvia and I have checked into the deluxe Hotel Imperial in downtown Tokyo, we hit the street to walk around the fancy Ginza neighborhood. An arched stone passage under a train line, barbecue smoke streaming out, people sitting eating drinking, and a TV crew with twelve guys pointing lights at the announcer, who waits poised, then starts screaming crazily and the camera and lights follow as he surges forward into the BBQ crowd and confronts someone. Taxi cabs like cop cars streaming by. We eat sushi and beer, and at some unknown signal half the people there get bowls of soup with clams.
On the street we get lost, gawking at the huge electric signs. The oddity of seeing story-high electric letters that mean nothing to you. Pure form, no content. Burroughs talks about rubes staring up in awe at the crawling neon. No one begging or stealing or looking for a fight.
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