Archive for December, 2012

refractve index

December 31, 2012

The mortgage had swelled to unsustainable proportions. How to best chisel away at it? I considered this as I lounged around the house in my swimming trunks. At least I had the excuse that today was a holiday. I liked to lounge around in swimming trunks because they combined both under and outer wear: a two-in-one garment. And swimming trunks were indestructible. I tried to remember one pair I ever owned that had actually worn out. Of all that I have ever had I either outgrew them, growing taller into youth or wider into middle age; or I simply lost them. Maybe one could have grown moldy forgotten in a gym locker? But then I would have just washed it with bleach. Imperishable, but not incorruptible.
But back to my finances. I constructed in my mind a decision tree of all my possible budgeting decisions. I made it a hypergraph, since unforseeable windfalls or expenses could conceivable lead from one decision point to any other. Of course I had to weight each edge with probability. Once I constructed this graph I imagined it as a crystal lattice, and I wondered what would be its refractive index. Because take the primal emotion of joy at being alive, and apply that refractive index, and that’s my mood right now.



December 30, 2012

The foreign agents knocked on the door, but he didn’t notice. He was too absorbed in his work. They knew he was there. Their surveillance was certain. They weren’t about to break down the door. Their jurisdiction here was tenuous. They wanted to convince him to come willingly, so there would be less to explain. So they waited. One of them went to a coffee shop in town and then they relaxed in the arbor in back of his house and waited for him to come up for air.
He was in the middle of a disassembly. First he pulled the large pieces off of one another with gloved hands, then he applied solvents and reagents to break them down further. Finally he put them in the nano-assembler, which allowed him to move individual particles. He had macros programmed se he could apply a few wide-sweeping filters, then he zoomed in and sorted individual molecules, zooming in and zooming out, over and over.
He viewed what he was doing as handicrafts, not as geo-engineering, or terrorism, or activism. Not as research, or innovation. Not even as an avocation, much less a calling. Barely a hobby, just a few projects. But he had gotten things dirty. His creations had not been designed to escape, but then again, none of them had been designed not to. Who was going to clean things up? Was absolution possible for the stain?


December 29, 2012

“It may be appendiceal, we don’t know. All we know is that it’s posterolateral,” he said.
“Fuck you,” I said. “Shut up.” He had pretensions to medical knowledge. He was a stupid fuck. ALways butitng in, always getting in the way. Never any help, only attempting vainly to stroke his own ego.
“It’s probably psychosomatic, like all of your other ailments. But we have to be sure. Shall I call the ambulance again?”
“Fuck you,” I repeated.
He went down to the ticket machine in the lobby to order an ambulance. He came back with the receipts. “Would you like to know how this is going to affect out allowances for the rest of the month, or do you want to look at them later?” I just groaned.


December 28, 2012

The devastation was not quick, or random. it was step by step, like a rising tide gong from the outside in.Many people turned blond. The city council met and passed new restrictions on baby carriages, flying in the face of the federal moves toward deregulation. I lived alone and became even more detached. I looked on the rest of the populace as my guinea pigs, providing me with a demonstration of what will eventually happen to me. I watched it as the stages of an ascent into heaven, as elements of the material world are removed one by one, leaving more room for the spirit.


December 27, 2012

The uncle rowed them out onto the small lake. He was explaining to Tommy the physical theory underlying the formation of bubbles, but Tommy wasn’t paying attention, so the uncle fell silent. He was rowing a sculler, and it occurred to him that the ferryman of the river Styx is most often depicted rowing such a boat.This made his silence deeper, deep enough that Tommy looked up at him. The uncle found that the gloom of his thoughts clung to him so tightly that he could not acknowledge his nephew with a nod or any kind of response. Tommy grasped the reeds he had picked on the shore and held them out like a fireplace poker. He was going to puncture his uncle’s mood.

tincture of democracy

December 26, 2012

Once it was discovered that levels of cognitive function could be measured by the amount of certain chemicals in the urine, a popular referendum was passed requiring a minimum level to gain entrance to the legislative assembly. Graduating with a bio-chemistry degree, Lynne was surprised to get more than one job offer from lobbying firms, which had set up secret programs to provide substitute urine to their favorite legislators. The lobbyists were in an on-again off-again arms race/payoff scheme with the makers of the detectors.


December 25, 2012

When the children started applying the techniques of improvisation they had learned in their music class to the phrases of the ritual prayer, their religious elder was surprised, then delighted, enraptured, and finally frightened. He had the difficult task of explaining to them why not to do it when they had already seen the joy on his face when they did do it.


December 24, 2012

Was overcooking the toast a masculine trait, that I should accept, or was it evidence of a degradation of psychomotor skills? Perhaps the routines put in place to design the cannon were affecting movement and coordination. Could also explain the limp. May need to recompile, but that would take time. And the nearby rustling indicates oncoming combat.


December 23, 2012

They got it to work well enough to get them out of port. Once in the open sea they reargued the code. The printed it all out, laid it on the deck, and went through it line by line. One of them had packed paper and printer especially for that purpose. They had to search for a pen in a third color so they knew who was making which comment. We only had the one engine with no backup so if the next deployment failed we would be stuck. With no test environment they had to get it all right on paper.


December 22, 2012

Late at night, listening to the radio he had built, he discovered two signals – two refugees from the same disaster. It seemed they could only send, not receive – so they couldn’t hear each other, or him. They got on every night, sending out to whoever might be listening their status report – how many provisions they had, the weather. He realized from their reports that they had to be near each other – within a few miles.