October 20th, 2011

a-links

[links] Link salad recovers from a disk error

400 Trillion Miles Away, a Comet Storm Waters a World

Kurzweil Responds: Don’t Underestimate the SingularityLast week, Paul Allen and a colleague challenged the prediction that computers will soon exceed human intelligence. Now Ray Kurzweil, the leading proponent of the “Singularity,” offers a rebuttal.

Scientists are from Mars, the public is from Earth — A squib on how scientists could better talk to the “evolution is only a theory” crowd.

Waiting for Lightning to Strike: A Wobbly Agnostic among the AtheistsThe screenwriter of this season’s big movie on faith and doubt goes underground at a huge atheist convention. A rather odd essay on atheism from a religious point of view. (Via [info]scarlettina.)

Chinese Jews feel more at home in Israel — Descendants of Persian traders in Kaifeng, China, move to Israel with the help of a religious group and finally learn Jewish rules and traditions.

?otD: Backed up your hard drive lately?


10/20/2011
Writing time yesterday: 0.0 hours (chemo fatigue)
Body movement: 30 minute stationary bike ride
Hours slept: 6.5 hours (fitful)
Weight: 217.8
Currently reading: Snuff by Terry Pratchett

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.

sanguine-rc

[personal] Miscellaneous updates, dead hard drive edition

Apologies for the limited link salad today. The MacBook Pro’s hard drive had to be replaced yesterday. It failed gracefully with full backups, so this was mostly annoying instead of devastating. Much time and precious energy was consumed, and hooray for AppleCare. Still getting the laptop back to the way I like things. (And have I mentioned how much I hate the nicknames “lappy” and “compy” for “laptop” and “computer”? It’s totally irrational, for some reason these are cringe words for me, but it’s true.)

In other news of defective media, I started reading Terry Pratchett’s SnuffPowells | Barnes & Noble ] last night. Wow has the quality of the book-as-object come down. The paper is noticeably thinner and flimsier than other recent hardbacks of his, and the first signature was trimmed about 3 or 4 degrees out of true with respect to the horizontal baseline of the type, which made reading the very first part of the book a bit like reading on a boat. Everything was sort of a vee. The text itself also suffers from some fairly blatant copy-editing errors. Or possibly a lack of thorough copy-editing in the first place. For a writer of Pratchett’s stature to be published with such inattention to quality control and presentation says volumes about the state of hard copy publishing, at least at Doubleday.

In other news of defective me, yesterday I definitely continued my “hit the wall” phase. I’m feeling a bit better today, and might even manage some WRPA — at a minimum I have editorial correspondence to return on several fronts — but my backbrain continues to quietly inform me that my writing days are probably over until the nasty chemo goes away. So likely no more Sunspin, or anything else, until mid-January at the earliest. This continues to make me sad.

Day jobbery today and tomorrow, and tomorrow the funeral for [info]kenscholes‘ father-in-law, speaking of sadness.

Don’t forget to back up your hard drive. And your mindstate, if you have the tech.

Originally published at jlake.com. You can comment here or there.