Friday 25 June 1999


Pic of the day: Light on my path.
(Photo from the road down the hill from Chaos Node.)

One bonus of having the same operating system on two computers is that you can move data from one to another. Or so you would think. At least when there is no third party software involved. Well, think again. Earlier this month, I packed up one of my computers and sent it away, intended for someone who need it more. Today I took one of the Iomega zip disks from that time and put in the zip drive on my old machine, which I now use for games and stuff that don't sit well on a LCD screen. The computer could not read it, because it was compressed with Drivespace.

Now, the one computer has Windows 95 with Drivespace and the other computer had Windows 95 with Drivespace, but the two Drivespaces were obviously not compatible. It's not like I had packed the drive with some exotic third party product from Standing Rooster Software. Oh well. I guess the problem can be solved by copying the entire contents of the zip to my portable's hard disk (at work, since the zip drive at home won't cooperate with the portable) and then reformatting the zip drive and copying back under the older Drivespace. Still, I can understand that some people think computers are complicated.


A few weeks ago, I saw the expression "tentacle sex" used about some Japanese comics. Not that I read Japanese comics, but the chance of me doing so suddenly increased noticeably. I guess I do have a xenophile streak. I thoroughly enjoy this part of Piers Anthony's various series. (I've never seen, much less read, his more hated books, only the popular ones.) In the last Adept series, he has a robot in a human body fall in love with a unicorn mare, and a human in a robot body fall in love with an amoeba. The two most extreme are probably from the Cluster series, wherein a blind hydrogen-breathing protoplasma ring falls in love with a human female and (my absolute favorite) a man falls in love with a flying magnetic disc. That one, Viscous Circle, is one of my all time favorite love stories. It truly shows the universality of love.

I honestly believe that the whole "humans created in God's image" is not physically at all. I think there can be, and probably are, lots of more or less sentient beings out there, all of them strikingly different from us.

Just look how different from us the dolphins act (and presumably think), they who are nearly our cousins in the flesh. They are mammals like us, with basically the same brain structures. (And also basically the same brain size, some of them a bit larger than ours.) We're both social creatures and hunt other creatures for food. We both have a kind of language, it seems. But we cannot understand each other. Much less a squid. What types of life is there on other planets? Perhaps sentient plants, or even organisms without cells like ours.

And yet, I think there are some things we will have in common with any civilization out there, if there are any. For one thing, they will be discrete organisms who compete, because that is the way they reach that level. Therefore, there will be egoism. They will also be (or have been) mortal, because that is a necessary price for change. Therefor they will also need to procreate. And they will need to cooperate, because a mortal life is too short for one individual to learn everything that is needed for full sentience. So I expect that we will have some things in common. Ironically, it might be the most abstract, the nearly spiritual, things we have in common; while our bodies may be very different, so far that we might not even have recognized each other as living creatures.

If the aliens had colonies in our solar system (which I firmly believe they don't have, never had and never will) they would anyway not be likely to contact us. Given the way we deal not just with other thinking and feeling animals, but even with other tribes of our own race, they could hardly expect us to greet them favorably even if they came in peace. Sad but true.

Got the formal invitation to the instructor course. It's in Oslo on August 4-6 and August 19-20. Luckily it does not clash with Dan's wedding on August 14.


On the bus home from work I fell asleep while reading an article about sleep.


Finally got the first entry of my "supportive cast" page, featuring my best friend. I hope I have avoided coming across as a lovesick teenager, which would been sure to make her furious. Because it just ain't that way with us.


The moon is quite bright in the sky this night, though it is not yet full.

Blasts from my past:
Yesterday (Yes, I believe in yesterday.)
Back to my June page.

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