Alex and I visit the Google Sci Foo convention

It was excellent, and for me the two highlights were hearing some of the world’s top cosmologists debate inflation theory (theirs, not ours), and Larry Page discussing  his vision for Google looking forward and why internet access by balloon makes sense.

I saw a display of Google Glass but I still don’t get it.  It struck me as excellent for people who want to send photos to their Facebook page in real time, or record their children, but that’s not me.  What I like about the iPad is that it pulls you out of the world, whereas Glass seems to integrate “the flow of information world” with “the real world.”  Why spoil two such wonderful things?  But I’ll be the first to admit that a) the defect in my understanding of Glass is my fault alone, and b) I will buy one immediately once it is available.

The best new question I heard was this: if you could change the physical laws of the universe so as to create more life in it, what would you do?  Make gravity stronger or weaker?  Change which constants?  Have stars distributed more densely throughout the universe?  More or less carbon?  And so on.  The ultimate point of the question is to get you thinking about whether our universe is fine-tuned for life after all.

The cafeteria food was not nearly as good as what I have had in the New York Google and it struck me as overrated and most likely in decline.  The vegetarian dishes were best.  What you should do is eat in the Telugu restaurant Pessaratu, Andhra mess-style food, in Sunnyvale, get the lentils and make sure you eat them with your fingers, South Indian-style, for the maximum taste experience.


Comments for this post are closed