Showing posts from August, 2015

Open Science, so what?

In reference to my job at COS, of course people ask me what I do. That is pretty easy to answer: I make websites work better for scientists to use and keep workflow/data. Great. But the question often not asked, maybe because adults left it back in their childhood and it might be considered rude: Why?
Why did I work for telescopes? Why is this current job more than just a pass-time in order to make money to support myself and my family in my old age? Two things, one intrinsically selfish, and another less so, but not completely altruistic: I need motivation in order to do things and I can go for ages without generating any motivation myself, and science needs to be more open.
So I need a bit of motivation. Once given a bit of outside motivation I can often generate enough extra to do a pretty good job at whatever I am focused on. For example summer semester AI course was definitely a motivator, but I liked it enough that I put in the effort to get an ‘A’. I am not certain how much I wi…

Glamour Tug

*Note: This is a final draft by any means, just an excerpt or short story trying to get a slightly different view of my universe.
It wasn’t the most glamorous job, but she made the best of it. She applied retro thrusters, working in concert with the mono-tasked AI, coming to a relatively abrupt halt in relation to the cruiser docking at the base. She was considered one of the best tug pilots and it showed, the controls had flipped to fine controls, but she knew exactly how much power would give them the centimeters per second relative velocity to contact the warship. What she mostly relied on the AI for was information about the other six tugs and coordinating. Most tug pilots operated the tug in a general sense, but the AI handled most of the fine details. She blanked out, waiting for the ping that would give her the correct amount of time before all the tugs contacted. Certainly the wash from the tug engines gave the warship a bit of relative velocity, but it was generally negligible. …


Training in Fusion and Sub-space Generation technologies couldn’t be more different. The fusion training was actually a degree backed by several universities for the military, and took nearly four years to complete. With that he had made Senior Warrant Officer, in charge of an eight-hour duty shift, a junior warrant officer on a short training tour, and five enlisted crewmen. With his graduation most of his family came from a few different worlds to celebrate his achievement. It was a good  five years of routine, and respect.
When he volunteered for the new top-secret power plant testing, he thought it would be along similar lines and that he could use most of his knowledge to command as effectively as he had before. But he was wrong, and very bored for it.
One of the reasons he had volunteered was because of the incentives. The largest incentive was for a post retirement rank of commander, essentially three levels of pay above his current pay rate, with a small pay boost during the fir…

Buyer's Remorse

To assuage his buyer’s remorse he stood in the hold of his cargo ship and looked at the lines of the craft he had purchased. It wasn’t alien in design, there being no confirmed contact with aliens that could design anything beyond rock tools, but it was a human attempt to make the craft look alien. The design really didn’t work that well, there were a many awkward intersections of otherwise smooth flowing curves. But he hadn’t bought it for the looks, he had bought it for its new power plant design.
The new power plant, supposedly technology stolen from the Terra Faction, allowed a cube less than a cubic meter to supply the twenty-five meter craft with enough power to supply a navy space cruiser, generally rated at 4 times the length and not quite 64 times the mass, with power to spare. That meant the small ship could mount engines and sub-space generators that were well over powered for a ship its size. The gravitic technologies could be strained to a point where they might theoretica…