June 13th


The past two days have been a slow and boring grind as I work through the different pages, writing up the text explaining each page and, more important, carry out the tedious research required to make it all happen. I must say, it’s difficult getting reliable numbers on the Web. Everybody presents their numbers in different ways: different units (kg vs. lbs, MW-hours versus Joules and BTUs); different times (data from 2010, data from 2005, data from every year!), different definitions (energy per capita versus total energy) and so on. Sure, the conversions aren’t difficult, but when you’re dealing with lots of numbers that must be reconciled with each other, you can get some surprising results. I’ve had to go back and double-check some numbers. The most surprising is the amount of energy generated by solar photovoltaic cells. My research yields a value of 0.0013 petajoules last year. Meanwhile, coal burning power plants used 150 petajoules. I knew that there was a big difference, but a factor of 100,000 strikes me as way wrong. I’ll have to dig some more.

For the next few days, I’ll be continuing this dull slog, looking up numbers, converting or massaging them, and trying to fill in all the blanks in my system. The next step will be to implement the equations that relate all the pages to each other. Next, I’ll spend a lot of time tweaking the system to get it into balance. Here are the remaining steps after that:

1. Build formula display
2. Prepare advisor images.
3. Write code for displaying advisor images
4. Write advisor AI.
5. Write new “How it Works” feature?
6. Set up the four levels of play.
7. Write reference material.
8. Housekeeping stuff: saving and loading, etc.

I’m hoping to have everything done by September 1st. In the meantime, I have many other responsibilities. Here they are in order of priority:

1. Balance of the Planet
2. Write paper for ICIDs conference; due June 24th
3. expand Prom Night storyworld
4. finish off cinquefoil on my land
5. fire season preparations: mow firebreaks, clear roof, clean out ground fuel near the house
6. gather up fallen trees, transport to wood pile, cut, split and stack
7. split big rounds from last year’s big tree fall.
8. Work on “You Should Learn to Program”
9. More beads for history necklace: butterstone and Mongol arrowhead, Berlin Wall. Possibly Archaen rock.
10. Build water system monitor.

This isn’t a particularly busy schedule; it’s fairly normal for me.