01 September 2006

on the crossword page

my Gemini horoscope today (I'm on the cusp with Cancer):
One book can make a difference. Or even one sentence in one book--or a phrase in one sentence. You don't have to go looking for the catalyst, but do be open to finding it.
well der, first off. and then a bit of a cringe for a horoscope touting the power of sentences that itself fails to be able to craft anything remotely approaching a decent sentence (or phrase, for that matter). but in honour of this oddity of a horoscope (how many have you had that told you to pay attention to sentences?) I offer a few phrases from my current Richard Powers novel. Plowing the Dark is about, among other things of course, virtual reality.
But calculation cost; the display code carried so much overhead that it ran too slowly to keep up with its events. Adie released a gingko ball in the air above her canopy. The seedy mace slid down the slope of its infinitesimal accellerations until it struck some surprise tendril or trunk. Contact produced a pop, then seized up. That wall's graphics buffer promptly dropped several frames while its reality engine did the myriad integrals needed to determine the respective obligations of striker and struck. The gingko pod hung in space, waiting for math to decide its fate.

Such a hiccup was not acceptable. Any jerk in the animation and the game was up. Material reality's supreme Cray never dropped frames. That's how you knew you were in the real world: all the flicker-free, smooth scrolling. (p. 61)

back to your respective obligations.

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