Friday, October 30, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009: maybe

OK, so, a while back, I got convinced that it might be a good idea to use NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) to finally get a full draft of that one novel done. This is the novel containing the story that I was trying to write by putting up here. Since I only have 1 or two not-full-chapters up anyway, I figure that I can just start over with what's going to end up being a rough, yet full, draft of the novel. It's going to be rough because that's how NaNoWriMo works. It's 30 days (specifically: November) of trying to get a 50,000-word novel written. That's about 1,666 words per day, so there's no time for editing and fine-tuning. Assuming that I even finish, I have no plans as of yet to publish the NaNoWriMo version of it, freely or otherwise. I'm just going to write, and fine-tune it later, like next year or something.
Actually, this is assuming that I participate at all. I saw some good ideas floating around, including making an outline of a 30-chapter novel, and dedicating each day to a chapter of roughly the right length. However, due to my being sick for most of last week, and my computer's dying Thursday and not getting replaced until Sunday (btw: Windows 7 is pretty good so far), I'm way behind on stuff, and haven't had a chance to make such an outline yet. I'm still catching up on things, and November is only 2 days away. I've made a NaNoWriMo account, so that's ready if I am.
The big thing for me is that I don't want to make a half-assed attempt at this and only get part way through, since the next best opportunity is next year's NaNoWriMo, and I'm not supposed to start with a partially-written novel.
Before I forget: Fair warning to anyone who actually reads this: The story segments that are up here may or may not end up being canon or other weapons (get it?), and will almost certainly be re-written, since I'm not planning to use those words, since NaNoWriMo is supposed to start from a blank slate. I know, I'm betraying my loyal fan, right? Frak, I don't think that anyone even reads this blog.
Well, that's it. To summarize: I might do NaNoWriMo 2009, and if I do, I plan to do the same story that I've been failing to do for however long.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Passing Thoughts on Einstein's Box

So, I heard recently of Einstein's Box, where Einstein tried to give an account of quantum physics fail with a box whose mass could be measured, and a shutter to let out light, thus energy, thus mass... and the flaw turned out to be that the uncertainty could be bestowed on the needle on the scale, or on the position of the box atop the spring.

Let's try this: The box is floating in space. Two identical streams of bullets arc past it, timed so that they're always synchronized (i.e., each bullet has an "opposite" in the other stream). Since the arcs eventually intersect, let's say that the arc enters "above" the exit of the opposite stream, for a specific orientation, such that the pair of arcs can still be exactly opposite without having to worry about collisions. The details of the angles aren't entirely relevant once we know that this can be done. To simplify things further, let's make the box spherical.
The reason for the identical opposite streams is so that the box, no matter its mass, is always identically pulled toward each stream, and so remains stationary. Conveniently, the identical, equal, and opposite motion of the streams also means that they affect each other identically.
So, now, if the box loses mass, this can be observed by the un-tightening of the arcs of the streams, while the box's own position does not change. I'm not sure if this is complete, but it might be a step in the right direction. I also thought that it would be worthwhile to post this, so that others can examine this idea.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sudden Short Story 2

Victor Kurzweil - no relation - was an out-goer. The last of a dying breed, he actually spent some time wholly in his body. Of course, he always felt that he left a bit behind whenever he "wandered out of the mists", as the latest notion was - "notion" being the new "meme", after all.
At this particular time, Victor left. He went out. He stood his body up, which was possible for anyone, since solutions had been found long ago to prevent the meat's meat from atrophying, but was slightly easier for out-goers, since they actually used it. One of the odd things about meatspace - "meatspace" being a very old and classical term, like "water" or "the" - was the lack of sensory input. There weren't always tastes or smells, and what sound there was was generally just background noise unless someone did something about that. Sight was largely used for navigating three-space-one-time.
Victor went to the kitchen area of his apartment in meatspace - much preferring his mist-ical personal locality. There, he remembered that he could use the "window" - an odd term for something that couldn't be moved, reshaped, minimized, or readily removed altogether (though such "windows" were also thoroughly outdated) - for seeing another local region of meatspace. It seemed to have an odd sort of film on it, though. Victor banged his fingers into the "window" - always being so clumsy with his off-hand, whichever one that was - but then straightened it out and wiped.
The film lacked cohesion - only the parts that he'd touched lost their tinge. He also noticed that the film remained on his hands, but then remembered his object-orientation and realized that it would have been inappropriate for it to disappear here. Still, it seemed interesting, so he went ahead and wiped it off into some Kontainment®, making a mental note to have it mass-spec'd later. Victor also noticed that the "window" didn't become clear. He tried to look closer, before remembering that his physical eyes could only zoom in so far. He started to realize just how good it was that he went out every now and then: Imagine what he'd forget if he never came out!
What Victor had seen were some odd streaks along where he had wiped. He couldn't see them anywhere else. Moreover, at either end - where he had started and ended the wipe - the marks resembled the "fingerprints" from the old police procedurals. That triggered a realization: Of course, in meatspace, his fingers had imprinted the "window".
Victor went back to what he'd intended to do in the first place; he looked out the "window", where he'd wiped off the odd film. Across the street and down a bit, he saw some punks. It was obvious that they were punks, since they were outside, but didn't seem to be going to or from anything. They weren't stretching, or rehearsing their movements. They were just relaxing, talking to each other, and overall acting like they were very comfortable in meatspace.
There looked to be five of them, as two men and three women. Both men wore brown hats. They were quite tall for hats, and very cylindrical. They looked like they belonged on Abe Lincoln's head, though they were shorter and browner than that. Both men also wore some odd outfits, with at least two layers on the top halves of their bodies. They didn't match, though. One man had a black thing on top, which looked like it would work quite well alone, and without need for the buttons. Below that, though, was a white shirt with sleeves that went all the way down to the wrists, and some sort of odd layering on and above the chest. Victor would have thought it a waste of cloth if he'd ever heard of "waste". The other man wore a brown thing that looked like a thicker version of the aforementioned white shirt, except that it seemed to have been cut down the middle and have buttons in it, though those weren't being used to hold it closed at the moment. Thanks to that, Victor could see parts of two more brown layers below that, but he wasn't sure what to make of them, especially since both of those seemed to have buttons, too! Victor decided to look at the women.
Doing this caused an odd reaction in Victor's "personal meatspace". He couldn't figure out why, since he could barely make out the women's forms, for their extensive clothing. One wore a blue dress, though it had sleeves attached - again going all the way to the wrist - and the bottom part went all the way down, hovering just above ground level. Victor couldn't quite make out how her legs must be shaped, since the outline of the dress was some odd sort of curve that was fixed in some places, but changed in others. As she moved her body while she talked to the others, he saw an odd swaying in the dress, before something finally came out of the back of his brainpan and smacked him: Her dress - at least that part of it - wasn't meant to go along the shape of her body. After mulling that over, he reasoned that there might also be something holding it outward that much, and that her legs weren't even ridiculously disproportionately huge.
The next woman's dress was similar, though it was green and black, and it tended to drape more, though it still failed to convey the shape of its wearer's legs. The last woman was dressed much more reasonably, wearing a white shirt - though, again, the sleeves went all the way to the wrists, and Victor was starting to wonder what they might be hiding along their forearms - and her brown pants looked too big, and seemed to have straps going over her shoulders. She also wore something about her waist, which seemed to be cluttered with large objects.
Victor continued to look at them, trying to recall what flavor of punk they might be. He had heard of many kinds, including the no-longer-extant "cyberpunks", though "cyberpunk" seemed to have been a term that once meant the same thing as "futurist". After mulling it over for a bit, he realized that they were steampunks. It didn't much matter, since all of the remaining punks were the same: Most of them spent all of their time in meatspace, and all of them spent most of their time there.
Victor noticed something odd about how they looked. That is, they seemed to have stopped mulling about, and were all looking the same way. On its own, Victor's brain figured it out: They were looking at him. Victor stumbled back with a start, nearly falling for lack of practice standing. He went back to grabbing to something to taste while he spent some time in meatspace on the principle of practice. Everything seemed a bit blurred and faded. He thought that perhaps he should lay down, seeming to recall that people who didn't feel well in the old stories did that. He found his bed and gently laid his body upon it. Its softness was surprisingly comfortable.
Victor awoke with a start. Mostly, he was startled because he didn't realize that he was asleep. Victor also took note of his "personal meatspace", and decided that now was as good of a time as any to go back in, since the device that would hold his body was where he made depositions, and since cyberspace was where all of the entertainment occurred, anyway.
Victor plugged himself into the port, letting automation handle the rest of the things that would attach to his body. He managed to get everything vital handled, but found the world at odds with himself. He had always been considered quirky - he was an out-goer, after all - but now it was like he was crazy. Nobody in the world understood him, and he didn't understand why. He eventually left.
Not more than ten minutes after going back, Victor "wandered out of the mists" again, though he was the only one who called it that anymore.
This was another story that came to me rather suddenly. There were a few things that didn't get said here, but I figure that I'll make notes on them later. Alternatively, perhaps I'll revise the story a bit.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sudden Short Story

I just came up with this idea. I'm not going to make this look nice. This is version 0.1 or something.

The Bimillennial Law, as it came to be known, was a peculiar thing. In 2103CE, it was noticed that life-extending technology was coming about so quickly that people just weren't going to die of old age anymore. It was realized that the overcrowding that this would cause could lead to great suffering, but it was hard to pick an age at which to put people down. 100 was clearly too early, since people had already lived several years past that 100 years ago. Some people thought that nobody should out-live Abraham, from Hebrew legend. Others used the age of Adam from the same mythos. Still others thought that nobody should live past 999, to limit ages to three digits - in decimal. Eventually, the age of 2000 was settled, being far enough away that nobody had to worry about it any time soon, and old enough that anyone who survived to it would have lived a satisfactory life, and could start to suffer from having to deal with just so many profound changes in a lifetime.
Later on - though well after the establishment of several extraterrestrial colonies - someone realized that this was stupid. The vote to repeal the Bimillenial Law was unanimous. Nobody was ever executed under this law.