[extropy-chat] Re: black vinyl of the spheres

paul illich paul_illich at yahoo.com
Wed Jan 25 12:19:27 UTC 2006

Damien wrote:

> I kinda like their corny old analogy...
> http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/060124_spacetime_dent.html

The relevant bit - 

"Twisted spacetime will cause gas falling into a black hole to move in certain ways. The
phenomenon can be roughly compared to the movement of a needle on a record player: as the needle
moves along an etched groove on a record, it produces a sound, the exact nature of which is
determined by physical deformations in the groove itself."

This reminded me of two pop culture analogies.

The SF writer Ian Watson did a short story (similar
to Asimov's Nightfall) in which a culture that
experienced a periodic extinction event turn out
to live on a platter in space...


The Sheffield, UK, band Human League did a classic
synth-nerd 7" back in the early eighties, called
Black Hit of Space. Stoopid but fun:

Been out all night, I needed a bite
I thought I'd put a record on
I reached for the one with the ultra-modern label
And wondered where the light had gone
It had a futuristic cover
Lifted straight from Buck Rogers
The record was so black it had to be a con
The autochanger switched as I filled my sandwich
And futuristic sounds warbled off and on

Chorus :

The Black Hit Of Space
It's the one without a face
It's the one that doesn't fit
You can only see the flip
The Black Hit Of Space
Sucking in the human race
How can it stay at the top
When it's swallowed all the shops?

As the song climbed the charts
The others disappeared
'Til there was nothing but it left to buy
It got to number one
Then into minus figures
Though nobody could understand why


I couldn't stand this bland sound any more so I walked towards my deck to turn it off. All I could
see was the B-side of the disc which had assumed a doughnut shape with the label on the outside
rim. I reached for the arm which was less than one micron long but weighed more than Saturn and
time stood still. I knew I had to escape but every time I tried to flee, the record was in front
of me.

The Black Hit Of Space
Get James Burke on the case
It's the hit that's never gone
Time stops when you put it...

Irrlevent perhaps, but I liked them both.


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