Lady with Fox

This is a review of “Lady with Fox” by Gregory Benford, appearing in the anthology Carbide Tipped Pens.

It is a sparse story, a quiet story. The unnamed protagonist gets involved with a young lady, who happens to own a domestic fox. (Obviously there have been reforms at the California Dept, of Forestry). The fox is really a red herring and the real story is about their relationship, and how he comes to learn of her possessiveness and duplicity.

The story is also about a new technology, one that allows a direct connection mind to mind between two people.Something we’re actually working on, what with Brain Net from MIT, and I suspect other projects. In as much as Benford’s machine provides an electronic amplification and transmission of thoughts, and thoughts are born of the mind and thus can be considered psychic phenomena, what the author has done is create a working psionic device. Not that John Campbell, who coined the word, was right about psychic abilities overall, but still as long as we have one psychic ability (cognition) and that ability can be amplified electronically we can have psionic devices.

As I noted the story is a quiet one. Even the one fight between our protagonist and another is described as if being put down in a police report by a police officer nearing the age of retirement. But don’t read it for the excitement, for this is a matter of ideas and how we handle our relationships.

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Observation

It has occurred to me that John Donald Trump is acting so outrageously so that we will become tired of him and start ignoring him, as seems to be happening already. That way we won’t be paying attention when he pulls off his grand coup. Which would be?

Defaulting on our loans. Sometime in 2020, probably in the Spring, our President will announce that we are defaulting on our loans, and that thus we are debt free. You check out his business history and you’ll see a history of this.

Then to top this off he will tell those who owe us money (there are some), that the U.S is foreclosing on their loans from us.

Think of the carnage. Think of the chaos. Think of the pontificating.

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Naming

Today my feet swelled up. Something called an edema. So I get to take a medication, and the medication is called “Lasik”. So for the moment I’ll be taking Lasik once a day. Some people are just too precious for words.

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Apple iMac 8,1 A1224 – 20.1″ Grade A – Core 2 Duo (E8335) 2.66GHz 2GB RAM 500GB HDD

Refurbished Apple iMac 8,1 A1224 – 20.1″ Grade A – Core 2 Duo (E8335) 2.66GHz 2GB RAM 500GB HDD. Computer Type: iMac. Grade: Grade A. Screen Size: 20″. Operating System: 10.11 (El Capitan). CPU: Core 2 Duo. Operating SystemOS X 10.11 El Capitan will be installed before shipment. No other software will be installed.DriversDevice drivers can also be found at the manufacturer’s website and are available for download.ConfigurationThis iMac is initially configured with 2 GB of RAM and a 500GB Hard Drive. See above options for additional upgrades for these components.ConditionThis listing is for a refurbished computer. Refurbished computers are in perfect working condition, but may have moderate scuffs and / or scratches on the outer casingLCD GradesThis listing is for a Grade-A panel. Grade-A panels are in like new condition and have great picture quality and brightness.

Source: Apple iMac 8,1 A1224 – 20.1″ Grade A – Core 2 Duo (E8335) 2.66GHz 2GB RAM 500GB HDD

Or I can go with this for $235, but your contributions would still be appreciated.

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Apple iMac 20-inch 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo (Aluminum, Mid 2007) MA876LL/A 2 | mac of all trades

Apple iMac 20-inch 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo (Aluminum, Mid 2007) MA876LL/A

Source: Apple iMac 20-inch 2.0GHz Core 2 Duo (Aluminum, Mid 2007) MA876LL/A 2 | mac of all trades

This is a plea, it turns out I’m going to need help getting this IMac. Seeing as the keyboard and mouse are extra I’m going to need another $105 before I can get this That’s where you come in. When you make a donation make sure to label it “IMac Fund”. Any amount will do. I’ll keep you informed of any progress.

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It Occurs to Me

Back when I was a kid in the 50s and 60s the villains were the Nazis and the Commies. Later they were replaced by Muslims and Terrorists, but I get the feeling we have a different set of bad guys. For those in the non-white and female communities they would be white men. Speaking as a white man I have to ask of my fellow honkeys and ofays, would you cut it out. We don’t need you alienating the rest of humanity.

Don’t we have enough problems without some crackers harassing and hassling young black men? Do we really need to act all so morally superior to faggots and pudding packers. Would it kill you to just let them be?

I’m autistic and I don’t need the stress, it won’t kill you to chill. We’ve got incompetents in politics and government, and we really could use a bit of good hard work to find replacements for them. If nothing else the Kavanaugh affair has brought some of those fools to light, and you can expect them to have a hard time getting reelected when it’s their time.

Ask yourself this, are bigots really working on your behalf? I’d say “no”, but I’m a contrarian. Be honest with yourself and acknowledge your failings. Maybe then you can get your act together and actually contribute to society instead of tearing it down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Have You Considered?

We all have our comfort zones. I know I do—that being by myself away from others, and I know that most people would rather stay safe and secure where they can be sure of what they know even if it is wrong.

For the typical person in the 16th century the safe zone included the belief that the Sun orbited the Earth, the geocentric model of the universe. But not Nicholas Copernicus. He didn’t think that God would so exalt Man as to put him at the center of the Universe, but that instead the Sun would be at the century with the Earth on the periphery as it were.

Western Europe was at the time at the beginning of the scientific revolution. Which meant that a lot of people insisted on evidence, on proof. Some astronomers say a problem with Nick’s idea, other said that it made sense. So they made observations and came to conclusions.

Now as part of his proposal Copernicus insisted that the planetary orbits were perfect circles because that is how God would do things. However, what the other astronomers saw was no such thing. Predictions were made as to when Jupiter say would be in the sky, and Jove just didn’t show up when he was supposed to.

Then the German astronomer Johann Kepler took the work of his late mentor Tycho Brahe, made some observations of his own, and did some math. Though he did make mistakes, which he did try to correct.

When he was done his conclusion was that far from being perfect circles the planet’s orbits were ellipses, including Earth’s. As you could expect his contemporaries disagreed, and went to put his work to the test.

They found his mistakes and corrected them. They made their own observations, did their own math, and came to the conclusion, “Damn, he’s right.”. The universe they knew was Sun centered with all the planets orbiting it in elliptical orbits. Then centuries later we discover that rather then orbiting the Sun, each planet orbits a center of gravity they have in common with old Sol, an orbit that happens to be a perfect circle. Though that’s not really God’s work, but more because of the laws of motion.

When you get right down to it, Copernicus took a trip outside a comfort zone and as a result how we see reality changed immensely.

Darwin did the same thing in biology, though he relied a lot on the evidence gathered by himself and others. His theory of evolution was not a leap of faith as was Copernicus’ declaration, but a cautious step into the unknown, supported by as much data as he could gather. Still, he has been proven to be write, and even a number of creationists have accepted his work, albeit in heavily mangled form.

And that brings us to the Sasquatch and the Yeti. I remember the early days of the controversy, because scientists insisted there could be no such animals. Apes didn’t live in the mountains—not cold mountains that is, and they had no way of crossing the Bering Strait.

Then people started seeing yeti in the Russian taiga, and it occurred to us that the Straits haven’t always been there. And the fact, last I heard, that Beringia was at the time ice free. No ice fields of any kind at all.

But who was, or were, the ancestor or ancestors?

Some have proposed Giganthropithecus, though it would appear that that genus went extinct long before the Ice Ages leaving no descendants. However, keep in mind that only about 0.1% of all life has left behind anything we can study. Last I heard, within a few thousand years the U.S. population of currently 350 million people won’t leave enough material for a single specimen. You get right down to it, it’s entirely possible the Yeti and Sasquatch do have ancestor, just ones who haven’t been preserved. My conclusion is, they are possible.

But, accepting them is outside our comfort zone. Such things just can’t be. Like the Sun being at the center of the Solar System and descent through modification in biology. We feel safe in our comfort zones—I know I do, and it takes real courage to brave the unknown.

That said, there are rewards for taking the road less travelled, and at least some creationists have compromised with Darwin.

So speaking as an autistic iconoclast I give you my formal permission to be daring. Check the subjects I mentioned above out, especially the state of Beringia about 30,000 years ago. And remember the most important word a scientist needs to know, “Oops.”

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