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Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b 
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Heinlein Biographer

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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
JamesGifford wrote:
BillPatterson wrote:
I believe the computer use came because early computer scientists were all fans of Charles Matthew Dodgson, the mathematician who wrote some keen mathematical fiction.

Was that the brother or the cousin of Charles Lutwidge Dodgson? I didn't know they were both writers.

:lol:

Brain fart. Lutwidge? Ubi est, Lutwidge?


Mon Jun 21, 2010 5:59 am
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
The real name of the author known as "Lewis Carroll", Bill. Tho I don't see Dodgson's middle name tossed in all that often in such discussions, "Lutwidge" it is --his mother's maiden name, which was fairly common to do back-when.

Edit: Having reviewed the thread, I see now that Jim was gently suggesting to Bill he got the middle names mixed up for Carroll's real persona.


Mon Jun 21, 2010 7:08 am
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Heinlein Biographer

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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
georule wrote:
Edit: Having reviewed the thread, I see now that Jim was gently suggesting to Bill he got the middle names mixed up for Carroll's real persona.

-> "for some values of 'gently.'"


Tue Jun 22, 2010 6:07 am
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
On Jim scale? 8-)


Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:00 am
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
There is tremendous power in "three" - and I mean in many real world, physically grounded and psychological instances. That three is a powerful number in most mystical systems is not, therefore, surprising.

I'd say there's a good paper in tracing the history of "three" to Heinlein's use of it, and beyond.

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Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:16 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
JamesGifford wrote:
There is tremendous power in "three" - and I mean in many real world, physically grounded and psychological instances. That three is a powerful number in most mystical systems is not, therefore, surprising.

I'd say there's a good paper in tracing the history of "three" to Heinlein's use of it, and beyond.

Funny you should say that. Among the first and last subjects Dr. Stover and I discussed was his intention to write a book about the pervasiveness of threes in all sorts of systems, including the Laws of Manu that got picked up for H.G. Wells -- all over the Sleeper Wakes, for example, and A Modern Utopia.


Wed Jun 23, 2010 5:18 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
I feel compelled to mention the most notable example in the computer field: the triple computers in the Apollo command module, and the Space Shuttle.


Wed Jun 23, 2010 9:04 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
PeterScott wrote:
I feel compelled to mention the most notable example in the computer field: the triple computers in the Apollo command module, and the Space Shuttle.

In the case of the Space Shuttle, for values of "three" approaching "five."

(As Proctor and Bergman once pointed out, "Times change. Values change.")


Thu Jun 24, 2010 4:27 am
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
beamjockey wrote:
PeterScott wrote:
I feel compelled to mention the most notable example in the computer field: the triple computers in the Apollo command module, and the Space Shuttle.

In the case of the Space Shuttle, for values of "three" approaching "five."


Typical NASA inflation. I think there have still been occasions when they were all wrong? Although the flight control software is famously bug-low.


Thu Jun 24, 2010 3:46 pm
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Post Re: Year of the Jackpot – Opus G.097b
PeterScott wrote:
Although the flight control software is famously bug-low.


I worked in the 1980s with world-class consultant Jerry Weinberg in the field of formal technical reviews of software, as a vital part of the development process. He claimed to have knowledge of a technical review of a 17-line Apollo software routine in which the reviewers identified 22 bugs. Once it was corrected and passed a subsequent review, he said it worked flawlessly forevermore.

I also heard (not from Jerry) about the first instance of an F-16 being flown to a South American country. It was on autopilot, and as soon as it crossed the equator, the airplane flipped inverted. That one could easily be apocryphal.

Lastly, I scuba dive with one of the people who initially developed the software for the Tomahawk cruise missile. He said they had it all finished and came the day of the big demo to the military and corporate brass. The missile launched fine but headed off in the wrong direction and the flight had to be aborted, to everyone's embarrassment. In the post-mortem they discovered that the GPS waypoint stack began at element 0 but the programmer had loaded it with waypoints beginning at element 1. The missile was dutifully heading toward the intersection of latitude 0, longitude 0, altitude 0.


Thu Jun 24, 2010 5:03 pm
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