Log in


Conversations With BastardX

When I was in the coffee shop yesterday, bastardx  and I chatted a bit about our mutual friend Gilbert. Gilbert is unquestionably a genius, but he is also a sumptuous buffet of character flaws and and annoying quirks. This blend of flaws and virtues makes him a very reliable source of conversation topics.

I wondered aloud what the coffee shop would be like if Gilbert had never come to live in North Carolina. In particular, I asked what we would do for conversation. BX found the question as intriguing as I did. I pointed out that he and I talked about Godel's Incompleteness Theorem quite a bit, and he agreed. Of course, you can only talk so much about one theorem.

I suggested that once we wore out the Incompleteness Theorem as a topic, we might have gone on to the P=NP problem, and that our conversations might have even led us to a solution.

BX then told me that Godel, in a recently discovered letter, posed this problem several years before Stephen Cook did. I was impressed. With Godel and with bastardx. If there was only coffee shop regular that should have known this, it was me. But it wasn't me, it was bastardx. Kudos.

I've had other interesting conversations with BX that I didn't blog about at the time but should have. This is as good a time as any to record them before the memory of them fades any more.

One night after closing time BX and I were outside the coffee shop chatting. I forget the exact topic, but for some reason he said the words " Immanentize the Eschaton".

My jaw dropped. My eyebrows raced for the moon. How the hell did this left-wing hippie learn the secret password of paleoconservatives?
I asked him that very question,  although I phrased it more politely and sanely than I did here.

He told me he learned it from Robert Anton Wilson.

Wow. I learned it from a post on Dan Flynn's blog.

No further proof is needed that great minds think alike.

Here is a very rough transcription from memory of a conversation we had a few months ago.

BastardX: I used to make my own belts.
Me: Really? 
BastardX: Yeah, a lot of time I used old ethernet cables.
Me: That's pretty cool. Did you use coaxial cable?
BastardX: No, I generally used gigabit ethernet cable
Me: Gigabit ethernet? Wow that's really cool.
BastardX: Yeah, I needed to. It's a long way around my waist.