[ExI] [wta-talk] my Convergence08 Adventure

Fred C. Moulton moulton at moulton.com
Fri Nov 21 05:49:48 UTC 2008

Since I am mentioned I will make a few comments.  It was good to see you
and many others there.  You have an interesting set of photos.

On Thu, 2008-11-20 at 02:19 -0700, John Grigg wrote:
>   They had a "once in a lifetime" Leonardo
> DaVinci show (on loan from Italy) but it was very expensive and so I
> passed on it and just took in the regular parts of the museum. 

The Tech Museum is great and I did attend the Leonardo exhibition a few
weeks back and enjoyed it.

> Afterward, I visited the San Jose University and their (far more impressive
> than ASU's!) library.  What impressed me was that it was set up to
> feel more like a public library, with the latest best sellers, music
> and audiobooks available.  ASU librarians should be taking notes.

Actually it is a combination of the San Jose City Library and the San
Jose State University (SJSU) Library in one building.  You were actually
near the old San Jose Library main building.  It is the old building
next to the San Jose convention center but is now offices.  A few years
back San Jose City Library needed more room and SJSU needed more library
space and since land is scarce and expensive in downtown San Jose they
decided to combine so now the first couple of floors are popular items
and all of the upper floors are for scholarly books.  The staff and
operations are combined.  SJSU students are allowed access for longer
hours than the general public.

> Some key moments for me were the following.  Fred Moulton laughing so hard you
> could hear him throughout the auditorium when a sincere young man said the Torah
> says man's lifespan is maximum allotted lifespan is 120 years and if
> you calculate the
> number of heartbeats in that life it would be 4.5 billion, the same
> age as the known
> universe.  I thought it was kind of deep.

Actually in all modesty I should say that there were lots of other
people laughing and I would not be surprised if some were louder than
me.  What made this funny was that early in the biology panel it was
stated that there were likely people in the auditorium who would live to
150.  Plus if the guy had thought for a moment he would have realized
that he is letting his pattern matching get ahead of his critical
faculties and assigning meaning with out being critically rational.  He
found a number in a book and then did some math and then found some
other number in nature and thought it was profound.  Any of us can find
some number in a book and the same number in nature.  Consider 23
chromosomes.  There is a old and wise book that says that 23 is a
special number and that it obeys the Law of 5.  The book (actually
books) are the Illuminatus Trilogy by Wilson and Shea.  Did I say the
books were old?  Well they are last century.  And if I was ever stranded
on an island I would rather have the Illuminatus Trilogy than the Torah
for several reasons. The authors of the Illuminatus Trilogy were better
writers, realized that they were writing Science Fiction and were much
funnier but also more profound.


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