My weblog ELECTRON BLUE, which concentrated on science and mathematics, ran from 2004-2008. It is no longer being updated. My current blog, which is more art-related, is here.

Tue, 25 Oct, 2005


October is the month the darkness starts, which will not lift in this part of the world until April or even May. As I drove north towards Massachusetts, the sky filled with rushing, ragged grey clouds, moving over a higher background of turbulent overcast, as if one of this year's awful hurricanes were coming to the Northeast rather than destroying the South. If I ever had any idea of moving to a part of the USA with no winter, this year has changed my mind. Those places either don't exist any more or have too many hurricanes. By the time I got to my halfway stop point (it takes me two days to drive to Massachusetts from my home) the rain was starting. By dinner-time, wind-driven rain splashed over the parking lots, the bright highway signs, the browning landscape.

I am going north to my old home town to set up my art show. I've worked on this all summer, and you've seen some of the paintings I'm going to display. If all goes well, the opening is on October 29. As soon as the show is up, I will give the location on this Blog, so that Electron readers in Massachusetts can go see it.

In another reality, I am going to a physics conference, not an art show, where I will present a paper. Instead of sipping coffee and munching muffins at a coffeehouse gallery, I (or, as I will explain, another I), will be drinking with the other physicists at the bar of some slick, but rustic resort, where in front of a big wood fire in a stone fireplace, we will discuss our work on dark matter and string theory and the prospects of the big new colliders. In this other reality you would not know me. I would have what is known in the "virtual world" as an "avatar," a realistic electronic persona created to represent me in a virtual environment. My "avatar" would know a great deal more physics than I do. He (yes, he) would be able to hold conversations on everything from quantum computing to the symphonies of Gustav Mahler. And he would be able to go on those rugged hikes in the foothills where physicists talk more physics and breathe fresh air. You'd never know that this was an avatar rather than a "real person," except that lately, he sometimes inexplicably dreams that he is about to put up an art show in a medium-sized town west of Boston.

Posted at 2:29 am | link

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