May 2007
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Day May 12, 2007

All quiet on the northwestern front…

It’s been a quiet week online, principally because I’m heads-down on my dissertation proposal after returning from Austin. It’s going fairly well, but slow because I’m also reading a ton of academic literature I missed during the decade I was away. The archaeology portions are the toughest, actually, but it’s more idiosyncratic — it’s a matter of looking at the evidence and people’s analyses of it, and it doesn’t necessarily have a “structure” you can work out. Paradoxically, I find the literature on evolutionary theory, game theory, and the evolution of cooperation much easier to absorb in bulk, because once you figure out the underlying mathematical structure of the various models, a lot of the literature is easy to “slot in” and move through rapidly.

The weather is getting good up here, and that means more grilling on the deck and weekend guests, which I’m looking forward to. I like the contrast of the winter, with a bit more quiet time enforced by the wet, cold, grey weather, and the bright summers with plenty of visitors. I’m probably cutting back on Seattle time over the summer, to maximize my time up north while it’s so beautiful, but I’ll still be down in Seattle for short visits fairly often.

Over Memorial Day weekend, I’m headed to Fire in the Sky, the spring high-power rocket launch in Mansfield, WA, with my friend Bill Barnes and his family. You can check out the stuff I’m building for FITS here. Either this, or the smaller Public Missiles Phobos will be my Level 1 certification flight, after which I hope to launch a couple more times over the weekend if all goes well. It should be an interesting, if incredibly nerdy, weekend. But a little bit of engineering is a good thing occasionally.

Back to the proposal…