[via Sabine Hossenfelder's blog]
For all my social networking posts, see my Google+ page
the authors’ claim that fixing the errors “does not change the conclusion of the paper” is both ridiculous and all too true
|suddenly bikes! 1000s of them!|
|multi-storey bike park|
|maybe a little too convenient for the station?|
First contact isn’t all fun and games.
Ariel Blum is pushing thirty and doesn’t have much to show for it. His computer programming skills are producing nothing but pony-themed video games for little girls. His love life is a slow-motion train wreck, and whenever he tries to make something of his life, he finds himself back an the couch, replaying the games of his youth.
Out of the sky comes the Constellation: a swarm of anarchist anthropologists, exploring our seas, cataloguing our plants, editing our wikis and eating our Twinkies. No one knows how to respond – except far nerds like Ariel who’ve been reading, role-playing and wargaming first-contact scenarios their entire lives. Ariel sees the aliens’ computers, and knows that wherever there are computers, there are video games. Ariel just wants to start a business translating alien games so they can be played on human computers. But a simple cultural exchange turns up ancient secrets, government conspiracies, and unconventional anthropology techniques that threaten humanity as we know it. If Ariel wants his species to have a future, he’s going to have to take the step that nothing on Earth could make him take: he’ll have to grow up.That back-cover blurb gives a fair overview of the content. What sets this apart from others in the “worst choice of human for alien first contact” sub-genre is the style: a combination of blog posts and alien game reviews. Discovering millennia of alien history through playing their video games provides interesting insights, but trying to do it essentially all this way is maybe a step too far.