Sunday, June 14, 2009

Light of other days 2

Just a few quick notes as I pass the half way stage of the book....

- Clarke is still a genius both as a visionary and a writer. Predictions such as a financial meltdown in London at the end of this decade, and the prediction that the model of journalism would be almost completely compromised by citizen journalism over the internet - have come true pretty well as described in the novel written in 2000.

- There is a lot of liberal use of what I would call "cliched predictions" regarding catastrophic results of global warming for instance and wars labelled as "resource wars". I am giving Clarke the benefit of the doubt with these as pretty much any and all conceivable future weather disasters, and wars will be tenably describable as results of global warming and resource disputes respectively. Being that a complete lack of wars and weather disasters is extremely unlikely, the cliches are likely to stick anyway regardless of other probable causes.

- I keep comparing the scale and timing of technology predictions in this novel to those of the Colour Mars series of Kim Stanley Robinson. Interestingly, Mars becomes Terra-formed in the colour-mars series in a timescale in which put to the "light of other days"(LOOD) would allow humanity to have large scale migration in time to escape Armageddon of the Wormwood - something which is ruled out as a possibility in LOOD's. I have to read and see if this changes by the end of the book.

- On the one hand I fear that the wormhole technology as described with seeming easy extensibility in distance, time, minitiuarization, resolution, cost effectiveness, verifiability and unfakeability is unrealistic as all good technologies have limitations or meet up with diminishing returns in some of these directions due to one or another inconvenient law of physics/economics.

- On the other hand my basic beliefs about information and its relation to crime game theory leads me to believe that even at the most complete imaginable level of information accessibility (as is approaching in this book) by anyone, there will be moral hazard ie. potential for damaging/serious crime.

- I cannot adequately demonstrate this.

4 comments:

Chris Fellows said...

Haven't been thinking much lately outside of work...

I wish our political scandals were more like Italian ones. It would be great to open the paper and see a picture of a 17 year old lingerie model linked with the Prime Minister.

Thinking about the dynamic of revolutions this morning, wouldn't be surprised if a year from now saw a more radical, less palatable to the international community, but at the same time more internally-legitimate government in Iran...

Chris Fellows said...

Heard Tony Abbott give what I thought was a good performance in damage control in an ABC radio interview this morning. Most revealing methinks: "...how come we know every detail of this AFP investigation into Gordon Grech but we the government still hasn't happened to that refugee boat off Western Australia?"

Stop, rewind...

"...refugee boat..."

Not, NB, 'asylum seeker boat'. Either this is the language Tony would naturally use, and he has slipped into using it, which shows he is a good post-Vatican II Catholic boy and small 'l' liberal at heart and ought to make a stab at the Liberal leadership, *or*, on the basis that politicians always watch what they say, he is starting to position himself so that he *looks* like a small 'l' liberal at heart so he can make a stab at the leadership.

(Sorry for Kremlin-watching interlude. Back to 1st year exams.)

Chris Fellows said...

hmm, spp:

"but we the government still hasn't happened"

should obviously be:

"but the government still hasn't told us what happened"

No idea what was happening between brain and keyboard just then. :(

Marco said...

As political scandals go, these Australian ones are very ho hum (at least for all of us Parigi's here)

I find the Iran situation very intriguing both in a "Light of other days" reliable information making their regime (or their lies, at any rate) less tenable, and also in checking back to our discussions/predictions in our past blogging to see how right we were. Especially in regards to democracy in the middle east. I wish I could just google our blogs and find some odd phrases I remember like "democratic pincer movement"...