Berry Picker

Awesome day at the Berry Picker.  1:02, 3.2 mi 2300' vert. Beautiful day and a fun time.

That's right, it's a "nurse shark."

We went to "Kinetics" competition which was at Union Reservoir this year. There were about 20 of these vehicles which have to work on land and water.  Everybody has a different theme & I thought this one was best.

Favorite Quotes

These are fun.

"They never 'go bad.' They start that way." -Mom, talking about springerle cookies.

"Life's about doing things both unwise and exciting ... making a child just to watch it run."  - Gina

"Yes, Fiats are just like women. They look great from a distance, but just wait until you are married to one..." - Marc

"Tide comes in, tide goes out: I can explain that."  -Neil deGrasse Tyson, smirking.

"You dance in my heart where noone sees you, but sometimes I do, and that sight becomes this art." ~Rumi (music)

"'Quaternion' was, I think, defined by an American schoolgirl to be 'an ancient religious ceremony.' This was, however, a complete mistake. The ancients - unlike Professor Tait - knew not , and did not worship, quaternions. The quaternion and its laws were discovered by that extraordinary genius Sir William Rowan Hamilton. A quaternion is neither a scalar, nor a vector, but a sort of combination of both. It has no physical representatives, but is a highly abstract mathematical concept..."  - English physicist Sir Oliver Heaviside

"Things came to a head - shoes were thrown.  I had to move." - g

"Horn broken: please watch for finger."  - awesome bumper sticker.

"Don't ask whether there really are "imaginary" numbers, but instead, consider whether real numbers may actaully be, ...imaginary."  ~ that's me, channeling the spoon boy.  Also, "There is no mogul."

"If the glove does not fit, you must acquit." Wizard Johnnie Cochran, demonstrating that we are automata, manipulable through namb-shub.

"7:00's not a Time. Just say that out loud. See how crazy?" - Miles

"Ranchers clear up the Amazon Rain forests trees to have enough space to race there cattle." -Anon.

The conservatism of a religion - it's orthodoxy - is the inert coagulum of a once highly reactive sap. -Eric Hoffer.

"Or Kevin's proof of (the) perfect girlfriend. She must exist, otherwise she wouldn't perfect. Also, she must be my girlfriend, otherwise she wouldn't be perfect. Oddly enough, I'm married to my perfect girlfriend, so clearly the logic works." -Kevin

"if you want to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe!" - Carl Sagan

"Obnoxious in victory, bitter in defeat!"  ...Pete Mohler (humorously)

"Ready, shoot....  aim!"

Betting against Stephen Hawking " like criticizing the Princess Diana" - Peter Higgs, lamenting the lose lose proposition of standing up to Hawking's prediction that the Higgs boson would not be found. (The Higgs has been found.)

"I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it." -Anon? 
"First Turtle"  Short abbreviation for the God as first mover argument. - by me!

 "Well, then why can't HE talk?" -John Sabol with the ultimate comeback to the ultimate stupidity on my part.

"You just have to dig through the topsoil to get to anything worthwhile, your brain doesn't keep the good stuff on top." -Emilie

Here below is a lesser category: from literature, movies, what have you.  Since these quotes are fabricated,  they are calculated instead of extemporaneous, but still excellent.  Here are some more book quotes from my friends.

" Now and then goldfish splish and gleam, like new pennies dropped in water."  David Mitchell

"A rocker rose like Poseidon and flexed his knuckles." -Cloud Atlas  I laughed for hours, till I cried.  The quote can't stand on its own, obviously, but this will serve as a happy reminder to those who've read it.

From the Baroque Cycle...
"He's rich," Jack muttered to Eliza...."
    "Yes—the clothes, the coins ..."
"All fakeable."
    "How do you know him to be rich, then?"
"In the wilderness, only the most terrible beasts of prey cavort and gambol. Deer and rabbits play no games." - 'Halfcocked' Jack Shaftoe

Italo Calvino's From  If on a Winter's Night, a Traveler... “He was staring hard, not at his wife and me but at his daughter watching us. In his cold pupil, in the firm twist of his lips, was reflected Madame Miyagi's orgasm reflected in her daughter's gaze.”
 (Now, gentle reader, you must understand that this is equal parts erotica and joke. Maybe more joke: picture the impossible billiards shot that's going on here, how tiny the reflections would be (which he means literally to be implying, trust me).  This is the solitary moment of brilliance in an acclaimed but IMO only cute/tricky, not actually good, book.

[To all of them, (our competitors)] we're either nonsense or doom.  -Elon Musk

The Lausanne conference, in view of its origins, was
bound, to turn into a kind of contest between the great
powers as to which could be sweetest to the once unspeak-
able Turk. Naturally this had to be so, since Kemal was
ready to fight and nobody else was. The British and
French, those loyal allies, lost no opportunity of intriguing
against each other for Turkish favour, and it amused all
beholders to see how, week after week, the British man-
oeuvred the French out of their initial position of advan-
tage, cozened and flattered and edulcorated the Turks, so
that when the conference ended Britain was Turkey’s friend
and France was only a grudging, half-hearted acquaintance. 
- In search of History, Vincent Sheean


You (and I mean our whole society) are either doomed, jaded, or simulated. So goes the following argument...

Today on the philosophy bites podcast, they discussed the "Simulation Hypothesis." It proposes that if we don't wipe ourselves out, and don't get bored of video games, then we'll eventually start simulating our ancestors with fidelity sufficient to prevent their apprehending the matrix is there at all. Their world (ours?) will be seamlessly believable, with perfect CGI & so forth.

I'm perpetually intrigued by consciousness. While they were discussing the simulation hypothesis, I was in the car yelling, "but what if simulation can't create consciousness?" To my pleased surprise, they did raise that point, dismissing it almost immediately: "pretty much everyone agrees consciousness is an emergent side effect of the neural activity, substrate independent."

I'm not sure *I* agree with that but it's a cool thought. Do I HAVE to agree, else believe in my soul? I do want to think there's something special about me. I DON'T want to believe I'm a simulaion, but rather want to believe that's impossible!

Do you like it? more post to follow.

Ok, here's the end of it.

If you buy into the arguments, then, since simulations will outnumber reality, the probability that you're a simulation is overwhelming, and thus there's a bored guy somewhere watching our Sim with ctl-alt-del power over your life and in fact our whole universe. So behave, and maybe you'll get invisibility or wings or something.

Gina offered a solution to this, saying it's all just as unfalsifiable as any number of other fantastic hypotheses, so why bother, when there's nothing to choose between them. The unsatisfying part of that, for me, is that philosophy gets again reduced to irrelevancy. That's happening to me more and more.

Optimists have to be...

If you'll indulge me today, I have a fun post, in about three parts, that should be fun for you to read and think about.

It all begins with WoW, as in "World of Warcraft." That's the videogame where you operate a magical warrior in the colorful alternate past, either first person or more typically from a position of close "chase." I eventually got bored which, combined with the collosal waste of time and monthly $15, helped me wean myself, but I do still miss the world of Azeroth.

My toon was "Yobiche" an industrious elf priest (druid, actually) who worked her way into a pretty high position in society. I attribute her/my success to selfless courage, skill, my friends of course, and countless hours of mind numbing murder, often of dumb creatures. (That's how you get ahead in the (alternate) world.) Anyway, thanks to all that, Yobiche is "up there" in society. She/I can do the usual things powerful people can do: fly, turn invisible, breathe underwater, have somebody hit by a meteorite, bring loved ones back to life, or in an extremity, buy her way out of a sticky situation. Not so different from here.

So howcome I'm bored? Well, with all that power, what's left to do, frankly? Sometimes She/I (maybe henceforth I'll just call us shi?) would go back to shmy hometown and impress the natives. The same people work in the same stores, and there are new kids everywhere, who are impressed with my prowess at everything. Somehow though I think the old folks don't really care and the kids are just sucking up to get help with their homework: "Thou must bring the scalps of 10 timberwolves." ...shi can do that as easy as pointing hermy finger 10 times, so it's a quick way to superficial stardom. You can imagine it didn't last and so I quit, & my RL mile times are better for it.

Now though, I have for Blizzard a suggestion that ought to reinvigorate the game. The problem is that one-ness, the merging of our characters. My toon should show some initiative! You know: spunk. Proof that she's not just a computer robot or empty automaton. it wouldn't be too hard to program up an occasional surprise crazy action, like picking an ill advised fight, or getting drunk and clumsy just when I need her to be on her game, or falling for the wrong guy against My Will. Things like that would enliven the feel.

Oh, and while we're at it, how about some respect? I CREATED Yobiche, she could occasionally turn to the screen, make eye contact and say "thank you." Or even, "Thank you, lord, forever and ever. Amen." I might like that, especially if she was kneeling when she did it. So, off you go Blizzard: for your next upgrade, make me a God.

...more to follow.