March 14th, 2006

marcus 2013


My charity shop bargains last week were the DVDs of Kiki's Delivery Service, Kill Bill Vol 2, and Vanilla Sky, for a grand total of £8. I've seen Kill Bill before but it's nice to have a copy that by default has English subtitles for the training scenes etc.; my previous copy is R3 and I kept forgetting to switch it from Indonesian to English subtitles.

Haven't watched Vanilla Sky yet, but Kiki's Delivery Service is great - on the strength of it I've ordered a copy of Howl's Moving Castle, which comes out this week. I'll post more on this once I've seen it.
marcus 2013

Just too late...

Got home to find that the strip light in my work-room, a 4 ft fluorescent, wasn't working.

It's a long time since I changed the tube so I went round to the electrical shop and got another tube and a starter. Got back, took the tube out, tried to put the new one in, and found that the plastic at the end was broken so that the pins are loose. Tried to put it in anyway and failed.

Tried to change the starter and found that it wouldn't come out. Because the outer casing is half melted. So I got it out eventually and tried the new starter, with the old tube, and needless to say it works perfectly well.

And it goes without saying that I reached this point ten minutes AFTER the bloody electrical shop closed.

Oh well, I'll go back and scream at them tomorrow.

More thoughts on nanite starships.

Another random thought on nanite starships further to my post on the 7th.

Since they live at hundreds of times normal human speeds any nanite starship would by definition have to be a generation ship or a sleeper ship, totally self-contained with no chance of returning to the culture that produced it. Even at warp speed the shortest interstellar journey would last many generations.

Unless, of course, they combined space and time travel. Travel out to the stars at a (to a nanite) crawl, with the passengers and crew in the nanite equivalent of suspended animation, then travel back in time to a few seconds after they left their homeworld (unless they really want to screw up causality they won't travel back to an earlier time, in case someone decided to travel back to the home world and arrive before he left). If you want to interact with something in the macroscopic universe (such as Jean Luc Picard) you use a robot probe which from the nanite viewpoint is heading into the extremely distant future. Tell it to say or do something, observe the results, then return to your time. If you don't like the results program it a little differently and send it to a slightly earlier time, so that the timeline it creates will overwrite the original. Repeat until you like the look of the future.

It's a VERY strange viewpoint, but it seems implicit in the nature of nanites and the Star Trek universe. If you don't like the way the future is turning out, change it before it happens.

I know that this would NOT be very popular with Hawking etc., and that even the nanites would have to be careful not to screw up their own causality, but essentially they'd simply be tailoring the legs of the Trousers of Time (©T. Pratchett) before going down them.

Am I missing something?