So it looks like my first speculation about when this novel was going to be set has turned out to be true: the 1990s and/or 2000s, thereby completing his epic of the 20th c. The New York Times reports that Thomas Pynchon’s novel, Bleeding Edge will be out Sept. 17, and is “set in 2001, [and] takes place in ‘the lull between the collapse of the dot-com boom and the terrible events of September 11.’” Wow. 2001 seems close enough for me to feel like my speculation was accurate. Who would’ve thunk that maybe the best 9.11.01 novel might be Pynchon’s . . . .
I have completed the first draft of my dissertation. Hopefully no more apocalypse for awhile. Not now.
The Huffington Post has two stories today on our posthuman present. The first is on “Google Glass” (Vernor Vinge‘s Rainbows End, here we come), glasses that give reality a much more user-friendly overlay (also notice the GPS in the video). The second is Cyberdyne’s (seriously) Hybird Assistive Exoskeleton. It is weird to live in the future.
Irene Klotz writes about Joseph Lykeen’s report on how the discovery of the Higgs boson has made calculations about the future of the universe quite bleak indeed (even if the time scale is so massive as to be completely inaccessible to our anthropic notions / experiences of time):
“This calculation tells you that many tens of billions of years from now, there’ll be a catastrophe,” Lykken said. “A little bubble of what you might think of as an ‘alternative’ universe will appear somewhere and then it will expand out and destroy us,” Lykken said, adding that the event will unfold at the speed of light.
[. . .]
The calculation requires knowing the mass of the Higgs to within one percent, as well as the precise mass of other related subatomic particles. “You change any of these parameters to the Standard Model (of particle physics) by a tiny bit and you get a different end of the universe,” Lyyken said.
As is being reported all over today, “North Korea has drawn widespread condemnation after conducting a nuclear test in defiance of international bans – a development signaled by an earthquake detected in the country and later confirmed by the regime.” This is N. Korea’s third nuclear test; the others occurred in 2006 and 2009. The Guardian Quotes Dr. Leonid Petrov as saying, “‘The world is now a much more dangerous place.'” Indeed.
And Wired discusses how N. Korea’s weapons are getting bigger based on seismic readings.