If an engineer is not tasked with the long term maintenance of the systems they build, view them with suspicion. 80% of the blood, sweat, and tears of software occurs after its been released—that’s when you become a world weary, but wiser “professional.”
It was comforting to know that someone like Lisa Nowak, who represents the best of the best of the best, can be driven to dramatic, irrational acts for love.
Rejection is a fact of publishing – and of life itself. When you go to a restaurant, and read the menu, you engage in the act of rejecting most of what the chef has to offer. Yet neither you, nor the chef, take it personally, or expect anything else. The same is true of the publishing industry. When a publisher is handed a story, he or she must decide if the story is one that they can use. If not, they must refuse it. That means it’s still available to offer to others. Keep trying. If you want to be published, you must harden yourself to rejection. It’s how things work. There aren’t enough slots in all the magazines for all the stories that get sent out.
These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things--taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here. But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many--those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance--our living frames are altogether immune. But there are no bacteria in Mars, and directly these invaders arrived, directly they drank and fed, our microscopic allies began to work their overthrow. Already when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro. It was inevitable. By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.
"Being able to reach out and touch the biggest tree of that species in the country is like shaking hands with a movie star or famous athlete"
“Causality is the cement of the universe.”
-David Hume, 1740
Malcolm’s not a static intellectual figure — his mind journeyed throughout his life, he held firm to his principles but was also strong enough to re-evaluate his beliefs and change when he deemed change is right. He was far from a flip-flopper who moved because it was politically expedient — and thankfully not an intellectual mule who refused to change when he uncovered new information and perspectives. Malcolm was intelligent and bold enough to be open-minded. His courage to be a truth seeker is part of what we’d celebrate — his willingness to reconsider his principles, to be protean, to challenge himself and be willing to grow and thus embody the transformative potential of American life. We would celebrate not just his willingness to journey but also his journey itself, which concludes with militancy being defeated by humanism and with racial hatred being defeated by globalism and multiracial acceptance.
Now if a robot is given an order, a precise order, he can follow it. If the order is not precise, he cannot correct his own mistake without further orders. Isn't that what you reported concerning the robot on the ship? How then can we send a robot to find a flaw in a mechanism when we cannot possibly give precise orders, since we know nothing about the flaw ourselves? 'Find out what's wrong' is not an order you can give to a robot; only to a man. The human brain, so far at least, is beyond calculation.
Science is an aesthetic and spiritual pursuit. The more that is revealed, the more wondrous nature becomes. The more we know about living creatures, the more deeply we can engage with them. That is the appetite, as Hamlet said, that grows from what it feeds on.
I have wavered some on this, but I am now persuaded again that acknowledged fiction is a much more truthful way of telling the truth than the New Journalism is. Or, to put it another way, the very finest New Journalism is fiction. In either art form, we have an idiosyncratic reporter. The New Journalist isn't free to tell nearly as much as a fiction writer, to *show* as much. There are many places he can't take his reader, whereas the fiction writer can take the reader anywhere, including the planet Jupiter, in case there is something worth seeing there