Once upon a time, there was a truth to be seen while walking along The Ridgeway among hills in Wiltshire. Night wasn’t falling at all. It was rising. The darkness filled the valleys from the floor up. Another time, after walking 35 km from the White Horse at Uffington, I was collected by my friend who lived locally and told me that everyone knew mobile phones don’t work reliably along the ley lines. Had I only known of the ancient ley lines when I got to Avebury?[Read more…] about Ley Line Walking
‘What good is a newborn baby?’ asked Benjamin Franklin in 1783 when people questioned his enthusiasm for the recent invention of hot air ballooning. His predictions that the balloons would become significant for transport was unusually wrong. 250 years later, Loon is a balloon system in the news for delivering the internet in Kenya and elsewhere. Balloons are helping transport information.
There are a few stories in these journals about how technology changes with time (and space). Today, our TV breakfast news was headlined by the story of a collision of two black holes several billion years ago. A redefinition of the concept of a ‘late breaking’ story that we know about because of the sciences. The collision that was detected chirped for less than a tenth of a second on May 21st, 2019. It’s worth noting that mankind only invented the mechanism to record such news recently.
How many times do you use? What time phrases suits you? I’ll be with you in a heartbeat. It’ll be done in three shakes of a lamb’s tail. Only six sleeps to your birthday. The empire lasted five generations.
‘Time flies like an arrow. Fruit flies like a banana.’; an old joke is a new tease for grandchildren. Does time really advance like the arrow or is that an illusion? Isn’t it interesting how spacetime can bend with gravity as does the trajectory of the arrow over distances longer than are common in olympic archery?
We’ll be walking to the Somme this day next year or perhaps the year after, pandemic dependent. The day’s walk will be mostly through lands occupied by Germany in 1916, east of the main battlefields of the Somme. We’ll walk south from Bapaume, passing Combles and finishing in Péronne. I look forward to the opportunity to visit some of the sites not out of macabre interest but to remind me just how fragile peace can be. Assuming things haven’t kicked off again in post-pandemic melt-downs.
Still under curfew, I trawled disk drives yesterday and recovered a lot of ‘missing’ photos. Among them were some memories of a month in the Caspian. Ironically, my first memory was my return journey.[Read more…] about Caspian Fishing
A 2017 Dalkey Book Festival talk I attended has lingered in memory. It was ostensibly about America, Russia and the new Cold War. It awoke something else in me. I was, at that time, professionally engaged in seeking geosicence applications for algorithms and machines that could learn. What I sought was time. I saw (and see) algos and ML as labour saving devices like the clothes- and dish- washers that continue to liberate people from drudgery. Freedom from repetitive, mind numbing tasks, creates the opportunity to pursue more rewarding things. And I sought to help my colleagues find unseen correlations, derive new insights and put their time to more creative uses. There wasn’t an easy answer to be had.[Read more…] about Networth$