Over the years, I've tried many times to blog daily but have failed almost every time. I
During these 12 weeks of MyInfoCamp, I’ve committed to writing on my blog each weekday. I’m determined to succeed this time, even if I all I do is to report in for the day and write “sorry folks, I don’t have much to say today.” I have some decent material in the hopper, including an exposition on outliners vs word processors, why I’m focused on clipboards, and why I love lightweight markup languages, even if they might be too geeky for many computer users. None of these writings is sufficiently “cooked” to serve up.
Instead, I will reach into my storehouse and paste another part of my Recurse Center application. One of the questions on the application was “What is the most fascinating thing you've learned in the past month?” I had a lot of fun crafting my response.
I'd like to share a smaller and a grander thing. I learned that the visually stunning artichoke flower that I bought at a farmer's market was actually not edible -- so my plotting about how to jam it into my instant pot was extraneous imaginative planning.
The grander item, on the other hand, was big news, featured in the New York Times, This week, I spent several hours trying to grok the confirmation of long wavelength / low-frequency gravitational waves through the use of data on how the time of arrival of light from pulsars undulates over long periods of time. But after hours of reading news articles, listening to podcasts, watching YouTube videos, and interacting with LLM chatbots, I couldn't find a better articulation of the fascination and excitement that I (and many others) feel than Katie Mack on Twitter:
Hugely exciting! We’re using RADIATION JETS from DEAD STARS to detect RIPPLES IN SPACE from the COLLISIONS OF SUPERMASSIVE BLACK HOLES ACROSS THE ENTIRE COSMOS. Honestly that’s just frickin’ awesome.
I've had my own multi-decade fascination with black holes. When I first read as a kid that something could be so massive that even light cannot escape its gravitational pull, my little brain was set alight. I thought that supermassive black holes were a recent discovery because I only learned about these "charismatic cosmofauna" but Wikipedia tells me that researchers have been pondering them for decades. Unsurprisingly, as I attempt to unravel the origins of my fascination with black holes, I sense that the connections permeate my entire brain. Consequently, I must curtail my introspection and focus on penning the requested sentences.