The Illuminatus! Trilogy
The Illuminatus! Trilogy is a series of three novels by American writers Robert Shea and Robert Anton Wilson, first published in 1975; the trilogy is a satirical, science fiction-influenced adventure story. The narrative switches between third- and first-person perspectives in a nonlinear narrative, it is thematically dense, covering topics like counterculture and Discordianism. The trilogy comprises three parts which contain five books and appendices: The Eye in the Pyramid, The Golden Apple, Leviathan; the parts were first published as three separate volumes starting in September 1975. In 1984 they were published as an omnibus edition and are now more reprinted in the latter form. In 1986 the trilogy won the Prometheus Hall of Fame Award, designed to honor libertarian science fiction; the authors went on to write several works, both fiction and nonfiction, that dealt further with the themes of the trilogy, but they did not write any direct sequels. Illuminatus! has been adapted for the stage and has influenced several modern writers and games-makers.
The popularity of the word "fnord" and the 23 enigma can both be attributed to the trilogy. The plot meanders between the thoughts and inner voices and imagined, of its many characters—ranging from a squirrel to a New York City detective to an artificial intelligence—as well as through time, sometimes in mid-sentence. Much of the back story is explained via dialogue between characters, who recount unreliable mutually contradictory, versions of their supposed histories. There are parts in the book in which the narrative reviews and jokingly deconstructs the work itself; the trilogy's story begins with an investigation by two New York City detectives into the bombing of Confrontation, a leftist magazine, the disappearance of its editor, Joe Malik. Discovering the magazine's investigation into the assassinations of John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr. the two follow a trail of memos that suggest the involvement of powerful secret societies. They become drawn into a web of conspiracy theories.
Meanwhile, the magazine's reporter, George Dorn—having been turned loose without support deep in right-wing Mad Dog, Texas—is arrested for drug possession. He is jailed and physically threatened, at one point hallucinating about his own execution; the prison is bombed and he is rescued by the Discordians, led by the enigmatic Hagbard Celine, captain of a golden submarine. Hagbard represents the Discordians in their eternal battle against the Illuminati, the conspiratorial organization that secretly controls the world, he finances his operations by smuggling illicit substances. The plot meanders around the globe to such locations as Las Vegas; the evil scheme uncovered late in the tale is an attempt to immanentize the eschaton, a secret scheme of the American Medical Association, an evil rock band, to bring about a mass human sacrifice, the purpose of, the release of enough "life-energy" to give eternal life to a select group of initiates, including Adolf Hitler. The AMA are four siblings; the identity of the fifth remains unknown for much of the trilogy.
The first European "Woodstock" festival, held at Ingolstadt, Bavaria, is the chosen location for the sacrifice of the unwary victims, via the reawakening of hibernating Nazi battalions from the bottom of nearby Lake Totenkopf. The plot is foiled when, with the help of a 50-foot-tall incarnation of the goddess Eris, the four members of the AMA are killed: Wilhelm is killed by the monstrous alien being Yog-Sothoth, Wolfgang is shot by John Dillinger, Winifred is drowned by porpoises, Werner is trapped in a sinking car; the major protagonists, now gathered together on board the submarine, are menaced by the Leviathan, a giant, pyramid-shaped single-cell sea monster, growing in size for hundreds of millions of years. The over-the-top nature of this encounter leads some of the characters to question whether they are characters in a book; this metafictional note is swiftly rejected. The threat is neutralized by offering up their onboard computer as something for the creature to communicate with to ease its loneliness.
Hagbard managed to defeat the Illuminati Primi and went to Alpha Centauri in 1999. Carmel - a pimp living in Las Vegas Freeman Hagbard Celine - leader of the Discordians and a central protagonist in The Illuminatus! Trilogy George Dorn - reporter for Confrontation Saul Goodman - New York City detective Rebecca Murphy Goodman - Saul Goodman's wife Howard - a dolphin Joe Malik - editor of Confrontation Mao Tsu-Hsi - Illuminati recruiter Simon Moon - anarchist Barney Muldoon - New York City detective Tarantella Serpentine - an Illuminati-trained prostitute Markoff Chaney - a midget on a cross country mission to spread chaos Fission Chips - a British secret age
Cyberia is a book by Douglas Rushkoff, published in 1994. The book discusses many different ideas revolving around technology and subcultures. Rushkoff takes a Tom Wolfe Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test style, as he becomes a part of the people and culture that he is writing about; the book goes with Rushkoff as he discusses topics ranging from online culture, the concept of a global brain as put forth in Gaia theory, Neoshamanism. In the preface of the 1994 edition, Rushkoff describes his book as "a special moment in our recent history – a moment when anything seemed possible; when an entire subculture – like a kid at a rave trying virtual reality for the first time – saw the wild potentials of marrying the latest computer technologies with the most intimately held dreams and the most ancient spiritual truths. It is a moment that predates America Online, twenty million Internet subscribers, Wired magazine, Bill Clinton, the information superhighway, but it is a moment that foresaw a whole lot more".
Rushkoff's first book was penned in 1992 but was not published until 1994 due to publisher concerns that electronic mail and the Internet were still obscure topics unlikely to gain traction. In Cyberia, Rushkoff emphasizes a "cyberian counterculture" out to redefine reality, where people begin to comprehend the systemic and spiritual implications afforded by building a technological civilization. Armed with new technologies, familiar with cyberspace, daring enough to explore unmapped realms of consciousness, his efforts in Cyberia represent the Promethean spirit intrinsic to countercultures throughout the ages. People mentioned include: Craig Neidorf, Ralph Abraham, John Barlow, Dan Kottke, David Gans, Jaron Lanier, Bruce Eisner, Fraser Clark, Mitch Kapor, Phiber Optik, Howard Rheingold, R. U. Sirius, Terence McKenna, John Draper, Neysa "Earth Girl" Griffith, Timothy Leary; the full text of Cyberia is available on Rushkoff's website. A downloadable pdf-version available from The Cyberpunk Project's library
Perl Best Practices
Perl Best Practices is a programming book focusing on standard practices for Perl coding style, encouraging the development of maintainable source code. It was published by O'Reilly. Perl Best Practices at the O'Reilly online catalog Detailed review at Slashdot
A CPU cache is a hardware cache used by the central processing unit of a computer to reduce the average cost to access data from the main memory. A cache is a smaller, faster memory, closer to a processor core, which stores copies of the data from used main memory locations. Most CPUs have different independent caches, including instruction and data caches, where the data cache is organized as a hierarchy of more cache levels. All modern CPUs have multiple levels of CPU caches; the first CPUs that used a cache had only one level of cache. All current CPUs with caches have a split L1 cache, they have L2 caches and, for larger processors, L3 caches as well. The L2 cache is not split and acts as a common repository for the split L1 cache; every core of a multi-core processor has a dedicated L2 cache and is not shared between the cores. The L3 cache, higher-level caches, are shared between the cores and are not split. An L4 cache is uncommon, is on dynamic random-access memory, rather than on static random-access memory, on a separate die or chip.
That was the case with L1, while bigger chips have allowed integration of it and all cache levels, with the possible exception of the last level. Each extra level of cache tends to be optimized differently. Other types of caches exist, such as the translation lookaside buffer, part of the memory management unit that most CPUs have. Caches are sized in powers of two: 4, 8, 16 etc. KiB or MiB sizes; when trying to read from or write to a location in main memory, the processor checks whether the data from that location is in the cache. If so, the processor will read from or write to the cache instead of main memory, much slower. Most modern desktop and server CPUs have at least three independent caches: an instruction cache to speed up executable instruction fetch, a data cache to speed up data fetch and store, a translation lookaside buffer used to speed up virtual-to-physical address translation for both executable instructions and data. A single TLB can be provided for access to both instructions and data, or a separate Instruction TLB and data TLB can be provided.
The data cache is organized as a hierarchy of more cache levels. However, the TLB cache is part of the memory management unit and not directly related to the CPU caches. Data is transferred between memory and cache in blocks of fixed size, called cache lines or cache blocks; when a cache line is copied from memory into the cache, a cache entry is created. The cache entry will include the copied data as well as the requested memory location; when the processor needs to read or write a location in memory, it first checks for a corresponding entry in the cache. The cache checks for the contents of the requested memory location in any cache lines that might contain that address. If the processor finds that the memory location is in the cache, a cache hit has occurred. However, if the processor does not find the memory location in the cache, a cache miss. In the case of a cache hit, the processor reads or writes the data in the cache line. For a cache miss, the cache allocates a new entry and copies data from main memory the request is fulfilled from the contents of the cache.
To make room for the new entry on a cache miss, the cache may have to evict one of the existing entries. The heuristic it uses to choose the entry to evict is called the replacement policy; the fundamental problem with any replacement policy is that it must predict which existing cache entry is least to be used in the future. Predicting the future is difficult, so there is no perfect method to choose among the variety of replacement policies available. One popular replacement policy, least-recently used, replaces the least accessed entry. Marking some memory ranges as non-cacheable can improve performance, by avoiding caching of memory regions that are re-accessed; this avoids the overhead of loading something into the cache without having any reuse. Cache entries may be disabled or locked depending on the context. If data is written to the cache, at some point it must be written to main memory. In a write-through cache, every write to the cache causes a write to main memory. Alternatively, in a write-back or copy-back cache, writes are not mirrored to the main memory, the cache instead tracks which locations have been written over, marking them as dirty.
The data in these locations is written back to the main memory only when that data is evicted from the cache. For this reason, a read miss in a write-back cache may sometimes require two memory accesses to service: one to first write the dirty location to main memory, another to read the new location from memory. A write to a main memory location, not yet mapped in a write-back cache may evict an dirty location, thereby freeing that cache space for the new memory location. There are intermediate policies as well; the cache may be write-through, but the writes may be held in a store data queue temporarily so multiple stores can be processed together. Cached data from the main memory may be changed b
Robert A. Heinlein
Robert Anson Heinlein was an American science-fiction author, aeronautical engineer, retired Naval officer. Called the "dean of science fiction writers", He was among the first to emphasize scientific accuracy in his fiction, was thus a pioneer of the subgenre of hard science fiction, his work continues to have an influence on the science-fiction genre, on modern culture more generally. Heinlein became one of the first American science-fiction writers to break into mainstream magazines such as The Saturday Evening Post in the late 1940s, he was one of the best-selling science-fiction novelists for many decades, he, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke are considered the "Big Three" of English-language science fiction authors. Notable Heinlein works include Stranger in a Strange Land, Starship Troopers and The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress, his work sometimes had controversial aspects, such as plural marriage in The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, militarism in Starship Troopers and technologically competent women characters that were strong and independent, yet stereotypically feminine – such as Friday.
A writer of numerous science-fiction short stories, Heinlein was one of a group of writers who came to prominence under the editorship of John W. Campbell at Astounding Science Fiction magazine, though Heinlein denied that Campbell influenced his writing to any great degree. Within the framework of his science-fiction stories, Heinlein addressed certain social themes: the importance of individual liberty and self-reliance, the obligation individuals owe to their societies, the influence of organized religion on culture and government, the tendency of society to repress nonconformist thought, he speculated on the influence of space travel on human cultural practices. Heinlein was named the first Science Fiction Writers Grand Master in 1974. Four of his novels won Hugo Awards. In addition, fifty years after publication, seven of his works were awarded "Retro Hugos"—awards given retrospectively for works that were published before the Hugo Awards came into existence. In his fiction, Heinlein coined terms that have become part of the English language, including "grok", "waldo", "speculative fiction", as well as popularizing existing terms like "TANSTAAFL", "pay it forward", "space marine".
He anticipated mechanical computer-aided design with "Drafting Dan" and described a modern version of a waterbed in his novel Beyond This Horizon, though he never patented nor built one. In the first chapter of the novel Space Cadet he anticipated the cell-phone, 35 years before Motorola invented the technology. Several of Heinlein's works have been adapted for television. Heinlein was born on July 7, 1907 in Butler, Missouri, he was a 6th-generation German-American: a family tradition had it that Heinleins fought in every American war starting with the War of Independence. His childhood was spent in Missouri; the outlook and values of this time and place had a definite influence on his fiction his works, as he drew upon his childhood in establishing the setting and cultural atmosphere in works like Time Enough for Love and To Sail Beyond the Sunset. Heinlein's experience in the U. S. Navy exerted a strong influence on his writing, he graduated from the U. S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, with the class of 1929.
Shortly after graduation, he was commissioned as an ensign by the U. S. Navy, he advanced to lieutenant, junior grade while serving aboard the new aircraft carrier USS Lexington in 1931, where he worked in radio communications in its earlier phases, with the carrier's aircraft. The captain of this carrier was Ernest J. King, who served as the Chief of Naval Operations and Commander-in-Chief, U. S. Fleet during World War II. Heinlein was interviewed during his years by military historians who asked him about Captain King and his service as the commander of the U. S. Navy's first modern aircraft carrier. Heinlein served as gunnery officer aboard the destroyer USS Roper in 1933 and 1934, reaching the rank of lieutenant, his brother, Lawrence Heinlein, served in the U. S. Army, the U. S. Air Force, the Missouri National Guard, reaching the rank of major general in the National Guard. In 1929, Heinlein married Elinor Curry of Kansas City. However, their marriage only lasted about a year, his second marriage in 1932 to Leslyn MacDonald lasted for 15 years.
MacDonald was, according to the testimony of Heinlein's Navy friend, Rear Admiral Cal Laning, "astonishingly intelligent read, liberal, though a registered Republican," while Isaac Asimov recalled that Heinlein was, at the time, "a flaming liberal". At the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard Heinlein met and befriended a chemical engineer named Virginia "Ginny" Gerstenfeld. After the war, her engagement having fallen through, she moved to UCLA for doctoral studies in chemistry and made contact again; as his second wife's alcoholism spun out of control, Heinlein moved out and the couple filed for divorce. Heinlein's friendship with Virginia turned into a relationship and on October 21, 1948 — shortly after the decree nisi came through — they married in the town of Raton, New Mexico, shortly after setting up housekeeping in Colorado, they remained married until Heinlein's death. As Heinlein's increasing success as a writer resolved their initial financial woes, they had a house custom built with various innovative features described in an article in Popular Mechanics.
In 1965, after various chronic health problems of
Stranger in a Strange Land
Stranger in a Strange Land is a 1961 science fiction novel by American author Robert A. Heinlein, it tells the story of Valentine Michael Smith, a human who comes to Earth in early adulthood after being born on the planet Mars and raised by Martians. The novel explores his interaction with—and eventual transformation of—Terran culture; the title "Stranger in a Strange Land" is an allusion to the phrase in Exodus 2:22. According to Heinlein, the novel's working title was The Heretic. In 1991, three years after Heinlein's death, his widow, Virginia Heinlein, arranged to have the original unedited manuscript published. Critics disagree about which version is superior, though Heinlein preferred the original manuscript and described the edited version as "telegraphese". In 2012, the US Library of Congress named it one of 88 "Books that Shaped America"; the story focuses on a human raised on Mars and his adaptation to, understanding of, humans and their culture. It is set in a post-Third World War United States, where organized religions are politically powerful.
There is a World Federation of Free Nations, including the demilitarized U. S. with a world government supported by Special Service troops. A manned expedition is mounted to visit the planet Mars. A second expedition 25 years finds a single survivor, Valentine Michael Smith. Smith was born on the spacecraft and was raised by the Martians, he is ordered by the Martians to accompany the returning expedition. Because Smith is unaccustomed to the conditions on Earth, he is confined at Bethesda Hospital, where having never seen a human female, he is attended by male staff only. Seeing this restriction as a challenge, Nurse Gillian Boardman eludes the guards and goes in to see Smith. By sharing a glass of water with him, she inadvertently becomes his first female "water brother", considered a profound relationship by the Martians. Gillian tells reporter Ben Caxton, about her experience with Smith. Ben explains that as heir to the entire exploration party, Smith is wealthy, following a legal precedent set during the colonisation of the Moon, he could be considered owner of Mars itself.
His arrival on Earth has prompted a political power struggle. Ben persuades her to bug Smith's room and publishes stories to bait the government into releasing him. Ben is seized by the government, Gillian persuades Smith to leave the hospital with her; when government agents catch up with them, Smith makes the agents vanish is so shocked by Gillian's terrified reaction that he enters a semblance of catatonia. Gillian, remembering Ben's earlier suggestion, conveys Smith to Jubal Harshaw, a famous author, a physician and a lawyer. Smith continues to demonstrate psychic abilities and superhuman intelligence, coupled with a childlike naïveté; when Harshaw tries to explain religion to him, Smith understands the concept of God only as "one who groks", which includes every extant organism. This leads him to express the Martian concept of life as the phrase "Thou art God", although he knows this is a bad translation. Many other human concepts such as war and jealousy are strange to him, while the idea of an afterlife is a fact he takes for granted because Martian society is directed by "Old Ones", the spirits of Martians who have "discorporated".
It is customary for loved ones and friends to eat the bodies of the dead, in a rite similar to Holy Communion. Harshaw arranges freedom for Smith and recognition that human law, which would have granted ownership of Mars to Smith, has no applicability to a planet inhabited by intelligent life. Still inexhaustibly wealthy, now free to travel, Smith becomes a celebrity and is feted by the Earth's elite, he investigates many religions, including the Fosterite Church of the New Revelation, a populist megachurch wherein sexuality, alcohol consumption, similar activities are allowed encouraged, only considered "sinning" when not under church auspices. The Church of the New Revelation is organized in a complexity of initiatory levels: an outer circle, open to the public; the Church takes violent action against those who oppose it. Smith has a brief career as a magician in a carnival, where he and Gillian befriend the show's tattooed lady, an "eternally saved" Fosterite named Patricia Paiwonski. Smith starts a Martian-influenced "Church of All Worlds" combining elements of the Fosterite cult with Western esotericism, whose members learn the Martian language and thus acquire psychokinetic abilities.
The church is besieged by Fosterites for practicing "blasphemy", the church building is destroyed. Smith is arrested by the police, but escapes and returns to his followers explaining to Jubal that his gigantic fortune has been bequeathed to the Church. With that wealth and their new abilities, Church members will be able to re-organize human societies and cultures; those who cannot or will not learn Smith's methods will die out, leaving Homo superior. Incidentally, this may save Earth from eventual destruction by the Martians, who were responsible for the destruction of the fifth planet, eons ago. Smith is killed by a mob raised against him by the Fosterites. From the afterlife, he speaks to grief-stricken Jubal, to dissuade him from suicide. Having consumed a small portion of Smith's remains in keeping with Martian custom and some of the Churc
Unix is a family of multitasking, multiuser computer operating systems that derive from the original AT&T Unix, development starting in the 1970s at the Bell Labs research center by Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, others. Intended for use inside the Bell System, AT&T licensed Unix to outside parties in the late 1970s, leading to a variety of both academic and commercial Unix variants from vendors including University of California, Microsoft, IBM, Sun Microsystems. In the early 1990s, AT&T sold its rights in Unix to Novell, which sold its Unix business to the Santa Cruz Operation in 1995; the UNIX trademark passed to The Open Group, a neutral industry consortium, which allows the use of the mark for certified operating systems that comply with the Single UNIX Specification. As of 2014, the Unix version with the largest installed base is Apple's macOS. Unix systems are characterized by a modular design, sometimes called the "Unix philosophy"; this concept entails that the operating system provides a set of simple tools that each performs a limited, well-defined function, with a unified filesystem as the main means of communication, a shell scripting and command language to combine the tools to perform complex workflows.
Unix distinguishes itself from its predecessors as the first portable operating system: the entire operating system is written in the C programming language, thus allowing Unix to reach numerous platforms. Unix was meant to be a convenient platform for programmers developing software to be run on it and on other systems, rather than for non-programmers; the system grew larger as the operating system started spreading in academic circles, as users added their own tools to the system and shared them with colleagues. At first, Unix was not designed to be multi-tasking. Unix gained portability, multi-tasking and multi-user capabilities in a time-sharing configuration. Unix systems are characterized by various concepts: the use of plain text for storing data; these concepts are collectively known as the "Unix philosophy". Brian Kernighan and Rob Pike summarize this in The Unix Programming Environment as "the idea that the power of a system comes more from the relationships among programs than from the programs themselves".
In an era when a standard computer consisted of a hard disk for storage and a data terminal for input and output, the Unix file model worked quite well, as I/O was linear. In the 1980s, non-blocking I/O and the set of inter-process communication mechanisms were augmented with Unix domain sockets, shared memory, message queues, semaphores, network sockets were added to support communication with other hosts; as graphical user interfaces developed, the file model proved inadequate to the task of handling asynchronous events such as those generated by a mouse. By the early 1980s, users began seeing Unix as a potential universal operating system, suitable for computers of all sizes; the Unix environment and the client–server program model were essential elements in the development of the Internet and the reshaping of computing as centered in networks rather than in individual computers. Both Unix and the C programming language were developed by AT&T and distributed to government and academic institutions, which led to both being ported to a wider variety of machine families than any other operating system.
Under Unix, the operating system consists of many libraries and utilities along with the master control program, the kernel. The kernel provides services to start and stop programs, handles the file system and other common "low-level" tasks that most programs share, schedules access to avoid conflicts when programs try to access the same resource or device simultaneously. To mediate such access, the kernel has special rights, reflected in the division between user space and kernel space - although in microkernel implementations, like MINIX or Redox, functions such as network protocols may run in user space; the origins of Unix date back to the mid-1960s when the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Bell Labs, General Electric were developing Multics, a time-sharing operating system for the GE-645 mainframe computer. Multics featured several innovations, but presented severe problems. Frustrated by the size and complexity of Multics, but not by its goals, individual researchers at Bell Labs started withdrawing from the project.
The last to leave were Ken Thompson, Dennis Ritchie, Douglas McIlroy, Joe Ossanna, who decided to reimplement their experiences in a new project of smaller scale. This new operating system was without organizational backing, without a name; the new operating system was a single-tasking system. In 1970, the group coined the name Unics for Uniplexed Information and Computing Service, as a pun on Multics, which stood for Multiplexed Information and Computer Services. Brian Kernighan takes credit for the idea, but adds that "no one can remember" the origin of the final spelling Unix. Dennis Ritchie, Doug McIlroy, Peter G. Neumann credit Kernighan; the operating system was written in assembly language, but in 1973, Version 4 Unix was rewritten in C. Version 4 Unix, still had many PDP-11 dependent codes, is not suitable for porting; the first port to other platform was made five years f