Is going to suck next week. The air conditioning is out, and won't be fixed until Wednesday. I expect much of next week to involve internal temperatures in the eighties much like last week.
What is particularly irksome is that the outside weather is breezy and in the low seventies. We could make the office quite comfortable simply by opening the windows. Unfortunately, the even god "liability" means that no business offices have openable windows. Someone might jump. This strikes me as a massive energy waste as it means most buildings in the city are running air conditioning simply to keep in synch with the ambient temperature.
You also gain appreciation for how much air conditioning clears the air. ~100 people in an enclosed space in moderate heat for 8-10 hours does not make for a pleasant odor, regardless of their hygiene.
I recently read Wizard, a biography of Nicola Tesla. I started it before The Oatmeal tried to make a meme out of him. Interesting book. I knew the generalities of the whole "AC" vs. "DC" thing, but not the details. Tesla was a fascinating guy, arguably the biggest genius of his time. (And I'd say the only alternative was Einstein.) He was also off his rocker, arrogant and entirely unpragmatic. It's nice to blame his failures on JP Morgan and capitalist horror at "free energy" but the truth is, he failed mostly because he was horrible at actually delivering products.
The book itself is ok. As the intro states, it "tells things in the right order". The author clearly has little knowledge of the hard sciences, and this shows in an uncritical view of a lot of what is discussed. The sad truth is that Tesla's global power network would not have actually worked, and that his "bladeless turbine" would never have been efficient using early twentieth century materials. Perhaps if Tesla had been given unlimited funds, he would have figured these things out instead of obsessing on them.
The "died penniless in obscurity" thing is also a bit of a myth. More accurate would be to say that he died massively in debt, having lived in luxury hotels until death, and had a funeral attended by thousands. Any obscurity was due to his own reclusiveness than anything (though it is very true that rivals tried to write him out of history.)
The summation chapter is amusing. The author attempts Freudian analysis, and this only serves to show how idiotic Freudian analysis is. Also, the author attempts to come up with a modern equivalent and comes up with (remember, this book was written in the late 90s) Steve Jobs! That's just wrong on so many levels.
I also read Railsea. Typical bizarre Mieville. I really enjoyed the bizarreness but found the ending anticlimactic.
Bored with all my games, I've gone the grognard route and started playing Hearts of Iron 3. I picked it up from Steam a while ago in one of the special deals. (Something like "Ten! Strategy! Games! For! $30!) It's been quite a while since I've played a real wargame and this is the sort of thing wargamers fantasized about thirty years ago. It's a complete division level/economic/political/combat simulator for World War II. Very deep. I've spent ten hours on it according to steam and am just about ready to try a real game. So far, I've just been starting games to figure out how to play and then abandoning them.
I've also gotten roped back in to Kingdom of Loathing by a coworker. The Zyngas of the world could learn a lot from them about maintaining players long-term.
|< More Thoughts on bicycles. | so we've found an apartment >|