Sunday, April 9 2000 Snips of conversations that happened throughout the day as Kim and I hung out with Evan in the tantric fortress:
Kim fetched Evan a cup off coffee with some sweetener in it, but it wasn't properly mixed. She said, "You know, if I was the perfect hostess, I would have probably given it a stir. But I thought about it and I was like, no, it would probably diffuse on it's own through the liquid."
To which I responded,
"Didn't work; your ruse was noted."
I'm going to Katmandu!
"I'm going to Katmandu!
Remember when Bob Seger was going to Katmandu?
I wonder if he actually ever got his ass off Main Street and went.
Hey look, isn't it that famous American singer-songwriter rock star dude from the 80's come to visit us here at the great temple of Yourasmashit?
All of us know stories; some know more than others. But relatively few of us, besides irritatingly obsessed Rocky Horror Picture Show geeks, know any stories word by word. We know them in a much more compressed form, as a story theme which we then give voice to in our native language when we get around to actually telling the story. It's the idea of a recorded story theme, obviously stored separate from the language used to voice it, that fascinates me. The story theme is the very essence of the concept we in the west have of an "idea," They come in many species: the narrative, the argumentative, the condescendingly instructive, etc. My question is: how would you create a language that only stores the essence of the idea, a language similar to one we evidently use in our own brains to store stories? It would be an interesting way ideas in a computer, especially since this would open up a whole world to explore: the "reader software," which reads the idea and expresses it in textual language. Different readers would be programmed to express the software in different ways. One generating text would essentially be an automated "Writer," as in the kind of entities that wins Pulitzer Prizes. One generating music would be a "Musician," and one talking would be a "Story Teller," or perhaps a "Lawyer."
I spent a frustrating afternoon teaching myself how difficult it is to integrate IIS servers with credit card processors. I find it amazing that Microsoft didn't bother to include a DES encryption scheme with any of the languages they wrote for ASP, forcing ecommerce sites to resort to awkward solutions that, for example, require the use of PERL scripts.
Kim, Evan and I went out for dinner to "the Promenade," a pedestrian mall in downtown Santa Monica. It's a lot like the Downtown Mall of Charlottesville, Virginia, with bums, street musicians, Schteves, slackers, sculptures, fountains, brick walkways and teenagers in love. But the Promenade, uniquely decorated with dinosaur hedges, is also substantially busier. On a chilly Sunday night like tonight, there were as many people out and about as Charlottesville sees on a warm Friday night. And a large fraction of them, as Evan noted, were young ladies in skimpy cocktail dresses.
We did dinner at a multi-Asian restaurant called Yangtse, as in the river. I had a plate of beef Bangkok Inferno and it was excellent. I also drank two Budweisers, which, being rice beer, tastes substantially like the fancy Japanese beer you generally drink with you sushi, though Evan and Kim tried to convince me this couldn't possibly be so. Now I want to hold a taste test to prove my point.
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