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Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

Wednesday, August 20 2003. The building inspection was scheduled for noon. The focus would be on structural changes the owner had been told to make, but my place had been cleared out and tidied just in case.

The landlord prefers that tenants not be around when he's dealing with inspectors. I did the last bits of decluttering, and headed out. When I came back, I dealt with email and Usenet posts before heading out again.

There's a website called Meetup (http://meetup.com) which promotes meetings on various topics. The meetings are local, but they're all on the same day and at the same time (local time). If five people in an area sign up for the meeting date, there's a meeting.

This one was for people with weblogs. There were five others, all male. One had started his blog earlier that day. A couple of others were veteran bloggers who'd made their own blogging software. (For another view of the meeting, see http://noahblog.com.)

Mail: Fred Lerner, Lofgeornost #72. Account of a trip to Barcelona, which makes me want to visit that city. Letter column; topics include memory palaces (and other reminder systems), travel, fiction, the settling of the South Pacific, and the deservedly obscure movie serial Zombies of the Stratosphere.

Memory palaces, and more recent memorizing strategies, assume that everyone is visually oriented. They don't work well for people who remember best with other senses -- or for abstract thinkers.

I remember best what I've written down. Not because there's a physical record; I can "write" with my forefinger and remember it. If I need to remember how a word is spelled, I do best writing it out.

On the Synesthesia list, there are people whose memory techniques work well -- and others who can't remember much of anything. And they can have the same kind of synesthesia.

Read: David Weber (ed), Worlds of Honor #4, The Service of the Sword. Stories by various authors, set in Weber's Honor Harrington universe (aka the Honorverse). I found them much more readable than the Honor Harrington novels; I liked the story by Weber least.

Weber is doing something which I approve of as a reader. His Honorverse fiction is about human relationships, much more than about war. But he isn't writing in a way which strongly holds my interest.

One facet of the Honorverse does strain my ability to suspend disbelief. Current time is at least a thousand years in the future -- and there's much less cultural change than I would expect. For example, too many names have survived unchanged.

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