Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Talking to Ben last night

Ben was asking about grandparents, great grandparents, great great grandparents, and so on. He asked about my grandparents, most of whom are still alive, and my great grandparents, none of whom are. Then 3 greats, 4, 5...so I had to cut him off and tell him that they're all gone. So he asked about my zero great grandparents, and I said that would be my grandparents. Then my negative one grandparents, so I said that would be my parents. And my negative 2? That would be me (and my sister). And my -3? That would be him and Zoe. And -4? That would be his kids. "But I don't *have* any children!" "Well, someday you might." And -5? His grand kids. -6? His great grandkids. -7? His great great grandkids, but around there I lost track, and just started laughing.

But then he tied it all back together. He realized all his great great grandparents are gone, and asked if he "will be died" when he has great great grandkids. Wow. How do you even respond to that? I said I don't know. I heard my ex in the background tell him he will live a long time, so I said that, too. "A hundred?" I don't know, Ben. I hope so.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Off by a day

I was wrong - Thursday marks a year.


Molecular Nanotechnology

I don't know where to start, so forgive me, but I am going to ramble.

MNT is going to happen. It's a matter of time. Not if, but when. For it to be successful and useful, there are going to have to be some very significant advances in several sorts of fields. Some of them are advancing by leaps and bounds already, but there is plenty of room to grow.

Chemistry. Synthetic chemistry cannot currently create the kinds of things needed to make MNT feasible. It may be that it will used to create the first gen of it and then bootstrap from there. Computational chemistry, the quantum side in particular, must also be advanced a great deal. Unless there have been major advancements over the last 8 years that I am unaware of, the level of precision in computing chemical structures is prohibitively computationally expensive - the magnitude of error tends to be on the order of the strength of a chemical bond, which while it is very close in absolute terms, it renders the computation almost useless.

Algorithms in math and computer science. Serious improvements in algorithms could greatly reduce the time required for predicting chemical structures. My own PhD work represented a good advancement in optimization of functions, but that does not decrease the time required to compute the energy of a single structure.

Parallel computation. The use of this is twofold. Parallel computers are really starting to take hold in mainstream systems, and properly using them would greatly enhance the speed of predicting structures. Later on down the road, fault tolerant systems will be needed to handle truly massive parallel architectures - imagine a personal computer with trillions of processors and you're starting to get the picture. Processors would be continuously added and removed from the system, error checking and redundancy would be needed, and so on.

Programming languages. Again, parallelization. There are advancements being made in this arena to handle multiple processors, but I have no idea if they handle dynamic addition and removal of cores, along with fault tolerance. Such a language must be easy to use or people will not be able to adequately deal with the scope of the problems to be dealt with.

Artificial intelligence. In particular, the ability to partition problems and solve subproblems. This goes back to parallelization and programming, among other things.

Encryption and security. The homegrown encryption routines used by corporations in their efforts to enforce DRM are woefully inadequate, and there must be active safety protocols in place from the very beginning. A small imbalance of power, a minor error, or a deliberate attack or sabotage could yield a catastrophe beyond anything seen before. Additionally, there must be a way to enforce end user rights as well, or people will be left with no ability to be self sufficient and/or choose to opt out of this system.

Database technology. I do not know the limitations of current database systems, but I suspect they will be far from adequate for the volume of data coming down the pipeline for projects involving MNT designs. Even breaking down systems into a fractal-like heirarchy, there are still vast numbers of atoms to be accounted for in even the simplest of MNT systems, along with the instruction set coded for the assembly of the system in question.

Intellectual property and economic theory. This ties into encryption and security. Energy, rare elements, structural designs, and items of sentimental value will be the only things of monetary value - in fact, one could argue that that's true today, as well. The most useful elements for MNT are typically going to be the ones most commonly found on the planet - carbon, silicon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen. Trace elements will be useful as limiting reagents. There will almost certainly be certain "open source" designs that will be carefully evaluated as safe for general use.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. All of these things have been thought of before by people involved in MNT, and are just what I can think of off the top of my head. Each and every one of these represents a potential business opportunity with profits to be made along every step of the way, not just after the fruition of MNT.

And I don't know where to start. I just know I am once again really starting to get the itch to walk down this path once more.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I think that in 2 days

I will have been divorced for a year.

I'm not too sure exactly how I feel about that.

Thursday, August 30, 2007


Posting for no real reason. Just thinking about how the last year and a half or so has gone. I'm still confused. I'm isolated from pretty much everyone I care about, and kinda numb about that. I'd like to be more motivated, enough so to get something done for a change...but that's how I've been most of my life, I guess.

Saturday, August 04, 2007


So it's about 2 AM here, and I'm tired. I have bought plane tickets to go back to Indy in about a week. I'll be working when I can there, spending time with my kids, and hanging out with friends and family. I haven't seen them in over a month, so it will be good. It's also good that August is a 3 check month. It makes it easier. It's not cheap to fly to Indy, less so on such short notice. With proper planning, I can get tickets about a month ahead of time for around $400.

I'm less enchanted with Rails lately. Looking into the guts of it, some things annoy me. The most obvious is not properly escaping table names. If I want to name a class "Line", ActiveRecord pukes out because it wants to find a table named "lines", which should be fine, except that the SQL generated doesn't escape the table name, which means it is garbage SQL. This is a simply retarded mistake to make. So, given that, what else is broken that I haven't noticed yet?

I still like comic books. The Dark Tower just ended, and it was good. There is a new Buffy series that picks up where the TV show left off, and it's already on issue 5, dammit. Maybe I'll try to dig up the back issues while I am in Indy, as the local place doesn't have them all in stock.

I need to start creating again.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Walla Walla

Things have changed.

June 21 I got into a truck and drove. For 5 days. I wound up in Walla Walla, WA, the location of my new employer. Lived in a hotel until I got an apartment on July 1.


I know almost nobody here outside of work and a few people who works at shops near here, and really have only hung out with my boss socially. I need to find a D&D group here, or create one, especially since my D&D stuff was among the first stuff I unpacked, for some reason. I have several empty bookshelves in my apartment, and lots of stuff in storage.

It's a RoR job, which is cool. The people here are mostly green, but have some good talent. There's potential for some really cool stuff to happen here, so I am excited about that.

The downside is that I miss my kids. I talk to them every night at bedtime, but have not seen them since I left. I'm not financially in a situation yet to begin contemplating flying back to Indy, but I should be soon. We get paid biweekly, and the check I get on the 20th will mostly go to rent, but we get paid 3 times in August, so that's good.

So...that's life right now.

Monday, May 07, 2007

Paralyzed from the neck up

Everything inside the skull, that is.

I seem unable to think, or take action, or do much at all, lately.

I think maybe I'm broken.

Sunday, March 25, 2007


Out of morbid curiosity, I checked my schedule from about a year ago. Wednesday, May 10, 2006, was when my ex and I had our first therapy session. This means that Monday, May 8, 2006, was the last time I slept in that house.


I don't know what that means, really. Our divorce was final October 2006, but the marriage really ended May 9.

This might explain some of the mood I've been in. Wondering when it's been a year. Now I know. Is it any better, knowing?

I don't know.

Saturday, January 06, 2007


I've had my IQ formally tested only once in my life to the best of my knowledge. It was in grade school, and it was one of those tests that's great at the center of the distribution but sucks at the edges. I found out that a perfect score on it would have correlated to a 150 - it just couldn't go higher than that, so at that end, it wasn't accurate at all.

I missed one.

What a year...

Wow. A while since I posted.

So, what happened? Ok, when I moved out, I left my Zoloft and Clarinex at the house by mistake. Picked them up after about a week, but haven't taken them since. Why is that relevant? Well, there were no ill effects of going off the Zoloft, and I was in fact in a better mood. Seems that being depressed was more about not getting what I want in life than about some chemical imbalance. Also, it turned out I wasn't sneezing as much. Remember the sleep study? Yeah, that ties into the Clarinex - turns out I am allergic to cats. It's not sleep apnea that caused the snoring, it was the damn cats. I don't snore any more, and I don't need Clarinex, either.

I worked like crazy for a client, and missed deadlines, and it turns out to have been good that the site didn't go live because as written, the site was almost certainly illegal. So that's months of work down the tubes. Trying to figure out how to recover that, but it might be unsalvageable.

We have a couple other clients that are generating a small amount of revenue, which is a start.

The divorce became final in mid-October, and I got a small settlement check. I own one of the cars now, signed a quitclaim on the house, and didn't touch her 401k, though I could have taken half.

Which brings me to the impending bankruptcy. I've avoided it so far, but it might be inevitable. Things are starting to go into collection, and there's really no way I can think of to generate that much money that fast, and there's only so much kindness of others I can ask for.

I've been dating a little, and it's nice, but unsatisfying. Women younger than I am don't seem interested, and it's hard to find women my age or older that are either not bitter or dying to get married right now. So...not sure what will happen with that. I just want to go out and have fun and not feel like if I don't propose by the third date that it's just a waste of her time.