Personally though, I’m more inclined to think in terms of thousands of years rather then hundreds. That is why I am now investing in the development of a new system which will print (laser engrave actually) any .pdf file onto granite slabs. I will of course inform you when it is ready.
Capital, capital, capital ! Exactly what I was looking for ! From the photographs which you sent, I can see that it is a fetching pine green colour. Quite lovely. Though my personal favourite would be burgundy with ochre trim. The interior is appropriately lavish too. The bronze dashboard is impressive. Not quite as classy as the walnut I was after, it’s true. The photo seems to show a manual transmission? I’m sure it could be converted to automatic. And it looks like a 3.8 – whereas I need a 4.2. The remaining point is that I only drive convertibles, so the roof would have to come off.
Otherwise, it seems we nearly have a deal?
p.s. There was a slight typo in the pro-forma invoice which you sent – an extra ‘0’ somehow crept into the price?
Eiron. Amusing? Sort of. Relevant to the column? Not really. Could you keep your business dealings off-site please? Thanks. Ed.
Yes, I am aware of the aphorism which you mention, viz. “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothes” Could I respectfully point out though, that it falls into the same category as so many other phrases and sayings, namely, ‘Occasionally True’.
In this case, it is evident that the logic only holds in one direction. If you had ever resided in the tropical rainforests of the Greater Sunda Islands as I have, then you would know that as the temperature and humidity rises, there comes a point where clothes are of no help whatsoever – right or wrong.
You are entirely correct to point out that “dolphins have never built any cities like us” – but entirely mistaken to extrapolate that “they’re not intellignet [sic] like us”.
Can I point out a number of factors regarding the apparent lack of dolphin metropolises. Firstly, (as has recently been pointed out) they have no opposable thumbs. So manufacturing complex artefacts will be quite tricky for them. Secondly, they live underwater. Thus constructing a blast furnace to refine metals (to make tools) would be somewhat problematic. Thirdly, they do not need to farm. Why bother when there’s a seemingly unlimited array of fresh food at your disposal ? By the way, the also don’t need clothes, so no requirement for looms/weaving etc etc. Roads, railways, canals? Somewhat superfluous don’t you think? Etc etc etc.
I suspect they’d like mobile phones though – as they are constantly chattering to each other. Someone should consider starting a research project to find out.
On second thoughts, perhaps not.
I do not for a moment suspect that you realise it – but you Sir (or Madam) are an Animist. You may or may not be aware that Animism is reckoned to be the world’s oldest religion. The core idea is that all objects, occurrences (and even words) are in fact ‘alive’.
Some philosophers and religious scholars look down on Animists in a very condescending way, claiming that such people simply can not understand the difference between living and non-living things. Notwithstanding, in your case, you are obviously attributing a higher faculty – i.e. ‘Intelligence’ – to a device which, I’m sorry, from my non-animist perspective at least, is very █████ obviously not █████ alive. So no, your █████ ‘smartphone’ is not “like, really cool A.I.” It’s dead, and dead things are not smart. At least that is my very humble opinion on the matter – without of course, casting any aspersions whatsoever upon your choice of religion, which you are, of course, entitled to practice without encumberment (says my lawyer).
(I do concede though that since no-one can as yet define what a living thing is, the point is somewhat moot.)
Let me explain how it works. The length of time that a new scientific machine requires to make a profound discovery is inversely proportional to the cost. There are two reasons for this. The first is, I think you will agree, is quite straightforward. A prodigiously expensive new piece of apparatus almost by definition will be of superior quality than preceding machines. Think of the progress in, for example, astronomical telescopes, which are almost always bigger (and therefore more sensitive) than their predecessors. The second reason is more obscure, but perhaps even more important. The higher the cost of the machine, the keener will the individuals who commissioned it be to avoid looking like profligate buffoons. Behind the scenes, they will be pressurising the scientists who are operating the new leviathan to come up with results p.d.q. – so that they can be published and justify the (sometimes horrifying) expenses.
Yes, of course I am aware that 5% of Human DNA has come from aliens. The aliens in this case being so-called ‘endogenous retroviruses‘. I like to look at this statistic in another way though. By imagining instead that in any bus-load of people, two or three will be entirely alien. (I cannot verify this from personal experience of course, since I have never had the pleasure of travelling by bus.)
Either way, when you say “The Aliens are amongst us” you are at least 5% correct.
Well, I expect that you would guess that I’m not permitted to give any kind of financial advice here in this column. I could point out however, that had someone invested in high-end avocado kitchenware implements last year (as I did) then they would have had an increased return, to date, of around 40%. Now, I’ll leave it to you to put two and two together and come up with ███ ████.
[ Eiron: Could you cut back on the expletives a little please? Thanks Ed.]
Firstly, may I say how pleased I was to receive your query on ‘knife sharpening’. In fact I have been keenly awaiting such a question for more than ███ ████ years. The reality is that, as none other than Isaac Newton himself discovered, (using nothing more than the powers of his own mind) there is a limit to how much a knife may be sharpened.
Let me illustrate. Imagine if you will a near-perfect machine that grinds away at the edge of a steel blade to produce the finest of all possible edges. It becomes apparent, does it not, that the finest edge will consist of a row of atoms just one atom thick. One cannot sharpen further than this. Now the problem arises, how sharp is it? Is it infinitely sharp? No, it is not. For singular atomic arrangements are extremely fragile. The slightest touch by any other object (or indeed any other entity made of atoms) will very likely dislodge atoms on the edge and render it blunt again. Or rather more blunt than it was.
In point of fact, the slightest breeze – i.e. the movement of air, which is made of atoms – will do the work. You could literally blunt the blade just by gently blowing on it. I think the example serves to illustrate the fragility of our universe – which only maintains the illusion of strength and stability via sheer weight of numbers. Or put another way, probability.