BayCon Post IV: The Voyage Home

BayCon Post IV: The Voyage Home

BayCon Post IV: The Voyage Home

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
May 28 2006 9:02 PM

BayCon Post IV: The Voyage Home

Chapter 4, wherein I come up with a brilliant scientific deduction and then go home. What else would I use as a title?

Phil Plait Phil Plait

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

So today dawned a bit late for me; I usually don't sleep until 9 but I was pretty wiped. A quick jaunt to Starbucks and I was ready for the day! First stop: a panel on Wikipedia, of all things. It was pretty interesting. Some deranged fan put up a Wiki page about me, which is both flattering and scary. But there you go. I was interested in the panel discussion, as my page has sometimes been defaced slightly, no doubt by a juvenile or juveniles whom I have ticked off by being so unfortunately mired in reality. The panel had lots of good info for me, and I'll look into Wikipedia a little more.


I then went to a panel discussion on time travel, which was fun! Niven was there, and a cool thing happened. The discussion was about how you could tell if a time-traveler had been mucking in the timeline. I am of the assumption that you can't tell, since by definition any changes (s)he makes will alter the whole timeline, past and future, and everything will change leaving no trace.

There was lots of fun discussion, but it all danced around the point. People made statistical arguments (like, an event happens that is so unlikely it must have been due to intervention-- a notion that I find distasteful, and not just because twinkie Intelligent Design proponents use it), and historical ones, but I think there may be a physical solution. And because I am so, so evil, I won't reveal it here. It deserves some thought, and about 1000 words at least to flesh it out. Who knows? I might even publish it!

I then had my Koffee Klatsch, which was basically me and four people sitting around a table and just chatting. That was pretty nice, especially since an old friend I hadn't seen since my undergrad days showed up (Hi Laurie!). Very cool. It was nice to talk with her, even if only for a few minutes.

Then I finally got Niven to autograph my copy of the Ringworld role-playing game. Hurray! Right next door, Seth Shostak was giving a talk on SETI, and it was nice to see the audience was pretty big compared to what I had been seeing for other talks, including ones by the guests of honor. Anyway, by then it was getting late, so I said goodbye, hopped in my car, and came home.

All in all, I had a fun time, and I would be tempted to go again next year. But I think I'd rather go to the really big cons, like the upcoming Worldcon in LA. That should be a blast! And I just found out, I'm officially on the guest list!

So that's it. I survived another experience, had some fun, talked with friends, and walked away with a couple of interesting ideas, too. I call that a success.