May 2, 2007

Cranes in Los Alamos

Photo copyright Eric Fairfield 2007. Eric can be contacted at 505-662-3115 or

[More to come, we're working on the details. To everyone else who has sent us post material, thank you! We'll get to it as soon as possible. Pinky and The Brain]


Problem Solver Also (me too!) said...

Eric -

this is a very nicely composed photograph... thanks for sharing it.

Pinky (or The Brain) -

thanks for putting this soothing image up as a top post for a while.

Eric -

no disprespect, but...

Your profile says: "Recent problems solved include: ..." followed by a list of problems that are so far from solved it isn't even funny.

I'll grant that these may be problems you are sincerely interested in helping solve and even that you believe you have some partial answers to, but I can't imagine that you have "solved them".

I wonder if you mean something completely different than I do when I say "I have solved a problem"... your usage seems contrary to the common usage, especially in the scientific sense.

Problem Solver (who doesn't read carefully) said...

Eric -

Upon re-reading your list, I realize I missed the "conjunction" where you shifted from "Solved" to "Still needing solution". That makes it a little easier to swallow.

Nevertheless, I doubt you have "solved" "the Logic of Human Memory" (or maybe I missed that cover story in Nature?) or "The future of LANL, etc." or "What does it mean to be a good steward".

The last two are A) unknowable unless you have also worked out time travel or Asimov's psychohistory and B) philosophical.

no disrespect intended... just noticing that you probably meant something different than what you said (or else I just don't understand what "to have solved" really means?)

pedantic enabler said...

I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I'm not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I meant!

juvenile said...

Juvenile... this is just Juvenile!

Anonymous said...

"Hey, you got a license to operate that crane?"

Which is my lame segue to:

MCFOD announced this week that office trash will be picked up by custodians on the old 3 times a week schedule. Rumor is that there was some pressure related to the embarrassment of escorting program managers from Washington past the heaps of trash in our facilities.

Eric said...

If anyone wants to discuss what solved means, all they have to do is contact me.

Each of these problems are much more solved than the responders seem to think they are.

For instance, I have given invited talks on each topic to critical audiences and have gotten good reviews.

Ask for details if you are interested.

Eric said...

I will admit on my page about myself that 'solved' is a code word. I only had 1200 characters that I could use.

For instance, with respect to memory, 'solved' means, in part, having a consistant, coherent model that fits existing data about memory from the fields of chemistry, physics, and genetics and that accurately predicts the results of current experimentation.

With respect to the future of the Lab, 'solved' means, in part, includes local and national forces on the Lab and accurately predicts events at the Lab and nationally that impact the Lab.

Again, if someone wants to discuss this in detail, lets talk about it offline and see if you are convinced.

Anonymous said...

I gave a talk once on global warming. It was very well received. Therefore I have solved the problem of global warming.

Next I will give a talk on nuclear disarmament, followed by "what do women want?" Finally I will solve the problem that has nagged philosophers for centuries: Is figure skating really a sport?

Then, having fulfilled my purpose on this earth, I will retire to my cave in Omega canyon and smoke weed.

Eric said...

On the post itself, I have a lot more such photos. Pink and the Brain and I are talking about when and how to show some of them.

Thanks for the support of this photo.

Anonymous said...


Do you mean to say that you are not just trying to drum up business for your company?

Concerned about the motivation

Eric said...

The motivation for the pictures is to give something positive to the community, just as Pinky and the Brain said.

Anonymous said...

I think the cranes are a subtle message:

Every spring the cranes migrate OUT of NM to other areas up north where they previously came from. Therefore it shows that LANS management will likewise migrate OUT of NM back to areas where they came from and don't have to pay real estate prices without the stipend they presently get.

Pinky and The Brain said...


Anonymous said...

Eric -

I apologize for starting the heckling against you here. There was just something about your tone that stood my hair on end.

I know you are sincere and as I've already said, I liked your photograph.

8:13 -

I always hoped someone would solve the problems of "what women want", "nuclear disarmament" and "what women want".

Smoking weed in Omega canyon is contra-indicated... remember when Roy Michael Moore lit up a huge fat blunt and brought down the fire-brigade (and then the cops) on his head?

oh... was that his woodstove?

And that "huge drug incident" was only a few hundred yards from Jessica Q.s trailer.


Eric said...

Thank you very much for the apology. I accept it.

Apologies are rare on blogs.

I would appreciate some advice on how to make a description of a person's science in a few characters, whether it is my science or anyone else's.

The least time consuming approach is to cloak the central core in the pointy obstructions that compose the jargon of specialists. These obstructions drive away most readers.

A much more difficult approach is to use words that we all know but that have more shades of meaning. A number of readers then assume a particular shade of meaning and say that the sentence is not accurate.

What I would like, for this blog, is for us to talk with each other without the retreat to the fortress of jargon and without the attack on words that have many meanings.

I think that, if we can have these conversations, then we can better advance interests that we share in LANL and beyond.

As a start, I would appreciate any advice on how to present my description effectively to a wide audience using only 1200 characters.

Anonymous said...


Try "I have developed a model of..."

It is far less presumptuous than "I have solved..."

Eric said...

How about "I have developed a novel and predictive model of .."

I was trying to avoid being put into the class of existing models that are known to be wrong or that have ignored many of the experimental facts.


Eric said...

I used your suggestion and changed my description. Thanks