The Bobiverse

  • Be sure to checkout “Tips & Tricks”
    Dear Guest Visitor → Once you register and log-in:

    This forum does not automatically send notices of new content. So if, for example, you would like to be notified by mail when Steve posts an update to his blog (or of any other specific activity anywhere else), you need to tell the system what to “Watch” for you. Please checkout the “Tips & Tricks” page for details about that... and other tips!

    /Steve.

Trey

New member
Oct 14, 2020
3
3
Has anyone read the Bobiverse?

Without spoiling too much, it's a four-book (so far) series on Amazon Kindle Unlimited about a guy who wakes up from death having been downloaded into a Von Neumann probe. It has a lot of the same irreverent tone as The Martian and Hail Mary and is high on the science-o-meter. I got as engrossed in these as anything from Andy Weir, and I read all four in a week (they're not short).
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave and tonkei

rfrazier

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
320
100
@Trey I've read all four. I think they're really good sci fi. Great technical detail and lots of geeky references that are fun. There's one caveat though. That is foul language. It's not too bad in the first three books but is still somewhat of a concern, like a PG-13 movie. The language doesn't add anything to the story. But, in the 4th book, he really takes the bad language to another level, some of which uses God's name in vain. To each his own, but that bothers me. I just finished listening to books 1-3 for probably the 5th time. Anything good is worth repeats. But, I got to book 4 and got less than 2 hours in. I have heard book 4 a few times as well. But, this time, I just put it down and went back to the trilogy about the Starkingdom Of Manticore, which I've also heard several times. I guess I need to get busy and use up some more Audible credits. But, other than the language, I recommend at least the first 3 Bobiverse books. Ron
 

rfrazier

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
320
100
Hi all. @Steve mentioned the Bobiverse books in SN 830. I just wanted to give this thread a bump in case he hadn't seen it. I wholeheartedly recommend Books 1-3 as the story is great and the sci fi is great and the world building is great. Books 1-3 have some foul language but I would say it's moderate. That's subjective of course. Those pros I just mentioned are also true of book 4, but I do NOT recommend it if you dislike foul language. It has a lot more. So much so that while I usually read any book I like many times, I have abandoned book 4 even after reading it a couple of times even though I really like the story. Your mileage may vary.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 

Steve

(as in GRC)
Staff member
Feb 1, 2019
377
1
1,000
66
Southern CA, USA
www.grc.com
Thanks, Ron! I'm currently half way through book 23 of 30 of my reread of the entire Frontiers Saga that's been published so far. So I have the rest of this book and seven others to go. Then I AM definitely going to plow into The Bobiverse. I can't wait! And while I find “foul language” unnecessary, I'm not overly put off by it. One might wonder, though, why its author made that choice. :) Thanks for the heads-up! I'll get there for sure!
 

danlock

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
169
55
USA
Your mileage may vary.
Speaking of mileage, I've just made the most recent edit to my list of books I enjoy (re-)reading. Because it was merely an edit, I'm not sure it shows up on most forum users' "Latest Activity" feeds, so I'm mentioning it here... People who had previously read what I wrote might not have noticed the more-recent expansions upon and edits to descriptions of Wolfe's Sun Saga and Saberhagen's Swords books. I also mentioned I enjoy the book RINGWORLD (1970) by Larry Niven and the later ones expanding upon the lore, all of which contain Ringworld in their titles and were written, in part, because Niven received such positive responses regarding the first book and wanted more, including expanding upon the physics of such an amazing scientific construct.

I think he described his reasons somewhere, such as in the introduction to The Ringworld Engineers or somewhe-- (Let me check.) Yes. It's in the Dedication in the beginning of The Ringworld Engineers (1980), which he starts by saying, more or less, "RINGWORLD is now ten years old. I never had any intention of writing a sequel..." and describes how it caught the fancy of many, who worked out tensile strengths and plausibility and all manner of things Ringworld-related. Freeman Dyson even wondered why it was one big ring instead of many smaller ones, says Niven in the described Dedication text, at the end of which he thanks everyone for all the mail and other things, without which RINGWORLD would lack a sequel. (I also have THE RINGWORLD THRONE (1996), which is sequel to the previous two... and I don't know if any were written after that, other than fan-fiction.)

Wow. RINGWORLD was written (copyrighted) in 1970 (before my parents had met and approximately four years prior to my birth), its sequel was copyrighted 10 years later, in 1980 after two years of Niven's work and writing (when I was still smart, though a naive child!), and its sequel's sequel 16 years after that (26 years after the first book), after I had ruined my own life and was stupid and overwhelmingly, constantly exhausted following an impulsive decision when my hormones were altering my mood a lot (puberty), long before I had a prefrontal cortex (the impulsivity may have been tempered a bit if I'd had a PFC). That prefrontal cortex was probably in the process of developing throughout 1996, the copyright year of the third book.

  • As I understand it, the majority of PFC development takes place during years 20-25 (18-25?), with refinements occurring until around age 30 and smaller refinements have been measured in people throughout their 30s.
I read those things in peer-reviewed and cited scientific papers while surveying and assessing the extent of my own brain's damage during many years in the 21st century. It is not pseudoscience, although I acknowledge the possibility that my recollection of that information may contain inaccuracies (my memory is STILL far better than Latro's! See my expanded posting from yesterday if you missed that reference. I placed a link to that thread below the solid line under this paragraph.) and that the information I've related may have been superseded by scientific studies during the time since since I learned the PFC-relevant things I related after the bullet, above.

In case you forgot where I put all that text, which is STILL dated 2021-06-04, despite being edited and expanded yesterday, 2021-09-13, and several dates between, I'll link to it RIGHT HERE!
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: SeanBZA

rfrazier

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
320
100
Hi all. I just wanted to add a comment to recommend that those of you that haven't done so try audible.com as a way to listen to books. Narration quality varies widely but, for the good ones, it's a great way to consume the book. The Bobiverse books are available on audio and they really do a good job with all the voices. It's like living in the book. Like a movie, except much longer. Also, most of the Star Wars books have not only great narration, but also custom sound effects. I listen on my tablet when I'm driving. Since some narrators talk too slow for me. I bump the speed up to about 1.3X normal. Have fun.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
 
  • Like
Reactions: drwtsn32

drwtsn32

Active member
Sep 19, 2020
36
11
I second audible! Fantastic narrator in this case. Same guy who narrated Project Hail Mary.
 

Dave

Dave Jenkins, N1MXV
Sep 16, 2020
102
58
Gardner, MA (USA)
Hi all. I just wanted to add a comment to recommend that those of you that haven't done so try audible.com as a way to listen to books. Narration quality varies widely but, for the good ones, it's a great way to consume the book. The Bobiverse books are available on audio and they really do a good job with all the voices. It's like living in the book. Like a movie, except much longer. Also, most of the Star Wars books have not only great narration, but also custom sound effects. I listen on my tablet when I'm driving. Since some narrators talk too slow for me. I bump the speed up to about 1.3X normal. Have fun.

May your bits be stable and your interfaces be fast. :cool: Ron
Audio books, Security Now, and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me are about the only things I miss after my 100mile (round-trip) commute became 12 stairs.

Well, and a cafeteria where the cook didn't suck! (Now it's me.)
 
  • Like
  • Haha
Reactions: tonkei and PHolder

danlock

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
169
55
USA
Audio books, Security Now, and Wait Wait Don't Tell Me are about the only things I miss after my 100mile (round-trip) commute became 12 stairs.
WFH (Working From Home)? Were you not required to pay for gasoline/tolls/parking fees or train/bus/ferry (transit costs)? I guess any of those were not enough to cause a sufficient dent in your income or that any extra time you gained by not having to wait for transit or while traveling was not enough that you were impacted much by what you gained.

Even if you have to shop for and prepare food for yourself now, or order food and have it delivered (like pizza did for decades and other restaurants use other delivery services for now), you can do other things while it's cooking, such as listen to or watch SN or listen to an audiobook or W!W!DTM! ("This show was recorded before an audience of no one.")

Train of personal thought, continuing from the above in the way few brains, including mine, seem to do it: Come to think of it, I haven't seen or been to a Godfather's Pizza in I don't know how long. I remember one in near a place where I lived long ago which had a stand-up TEMPEST machine in an alcove above a stairway next to a dining room. It wasn't an arcade environment, really, but I spent a quarter or two, probably not exceeding fifty cents.​

Getting out for a 30-minute (round-trip) brisk walk at least once a day is a good idea for your health and for the continued health of your brain if you don't exercise in some way at home (I'm probably not referring to a thighmaster or a shakeweight).
 

Dave

Dave Jenkins, N1MXV
Sep 16, 2020
102
58
Gardner, MA (USA)
WFH (Working From Home)? Were you not required to pay for gasoline/tolls/parking fees or train/bus/ferry (transit costs)? I guess any of those were not enough to cause a sufficient dent in your income or that any extra time you gained by not having to wait for transit or while traveling was not enough that you were impacted much by what you gained.

Even if you have to shop for and prepare food for yourself now, or order food and have it delivered (like pizza did for decades and other restaurants use other delivery services for now), you can do other things while it's cooking, such as listen to or watch SN or listen to an audiobook or W!W!DTM! ("This show was recorded before an audience of no one.")

Train of personal thought, continuing from the above in the way few brains, including mine, seem to do it: Come to think of it, I haven't seen or been to a Godfather's Pizza in I don't know how long. I remember one in near a place where I lived long ago which had a stand-up TEMPEST machine in an alcove above a stairway next to a dining room. It wasn't an arcade environment, really, but I spent a quarter or two, probably not exceeding fifty cents.​

Getting out for a 30-minute (round-trip) brisk walk at least once a day is a good idea for your health and for the continued health of your brain if you don't exercise in some way at home (I'm probably not referring to a thighmaster or a shakeweight).
Oh, I wasn't saying there weren't benefits to working from home. I was saying those are the things I miss with the change. My transportation costs were just gas and wear and tear on me and the car (no tolls or parking fees), which is still a significant savings! The announcement of the office closing came one week after I donated my Honda Civic with 351,351 miles on it and upgraded to an Accord with the long commute in mind.

There are many benefits to WFH. I got two hours of my life back each day. I don't have to drive an hour+ in the snow. Nor do I have to wrestle with the "it is a beautiful day now but the forecast is for 18" of snow by the time I head home... do I go in?" decisions. The nice shiny new car will last WAY longer when I'm not putting 30,000 miles a year on it. While not as convenient as a cafeteria, I get to have what I want (and am willing to make) and at a substantially lower price.

On the other hand, there are also down sides to WFH: it is very isolating. And, when all my team members are a click away, I get in WAY fewer steps. In the fall, the "scenic route" (10 miles shorter but 15 minutes longer) was just beautiful as were many of the Christmas light displays along the same route.

Which category "24/7 blissful togetherness with the wife" falls under is left as an exercise for the reader. As is the fact that one can do things like advance the laundry, during work hours.

There is a park behind my house with a 1/4 mile walking track. I do try to get out and walk and I also have a treadmill 20' away which I was routinely using for half an hour a day most days before making my lunch. Until recent, hopefully temporary, physical limitations made walking difficult and walking on the treadmill dangerous.

But, I could listen to SN and such (on 1.5x) while driving. I can't really do so while working.

Dave
 
  • Like
Reactions: tonkei

Dave New

Active member
Nov 23, 2020
34
9
I also miss the ability to consume lots of podcasts (This American Life, TWiT, SN, Marketplace, TED radio hour, and a sprinkling of ham radio podcasts) on what was my 115-mile round trip daily commute. I certainly DON'T miss the traffic jams, and the hundreds of dollars of fuel spent each month. On the plus side, I drive company unlimited-mileage lease vehicles, so putting 40,000 miles a year on a vehicle didn't hurt much in that department. Now I have a vehicle sitting in the driveway that has only 2300 miles on it, after six months of possession. Seems a great waste, to be paying lease payments on it, but I figure as soon as I purchase at the local dealer (with my employee discount) instead, we will suddenly go back to working at the office.

We've been told, though, that in our new "Era of Agility" that we will only be working 30% at the office, in an environment that doesn't include a fixed office location, but instead a 'meeting area' for our group, which will be shared with other groups on a rotating basis. We do have a fixed location for our lab test equipment, though, so there's that at least. Plans have been put on hold repeatedly, and I've only been in the building twice since this all started, once to clean out my office, and once to get my company laptop upgraded with a larger SSD, so I could load my CAN tools and Visual Studio software on it again.

At home, with the missus, we've been working our way through things like the Marvel and Star Wars movies and spinoffs on Disney+, and Star Trek (the movies and series) on Paramount+, and oh yes, The Expanse on Amazon Prime. Can't wait for the next (and apparently final) season of that.
 

drwtsn32

Active member
Sep 19, 2020
36
11
Just about to start Bobiverse book 4! By the way, why is the subject of this thread marked as "off topic"? It's definitely on-topic!
 

danlock

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
169
55
USA
Just about to start Bobiverse book 4! By the way, why is the subject of this thread marked as "off topic"? It's definitely on-topic!
I see it's in the Community Conversations > Science Fiction section of the forums. I think that very little could be part of Community Conversations and be justifiably called Off topic unless it specifically discusses, without exception, something another forum's name specifies messages within should discuss (and even then, moving the message to the specific forum would probably be better than labeling it Off topic), but I can see how some of the topical diversions this thread has taken might have moved it away from Science Fiction and, more specifically, The Bobiverse. (I guess those diversions could be called the "scenic route" as opposed to the "direct route," a shorter distance while consuming more time).


@Dave: I apologize. Although I thought about it several times in the interim, I did not read or respond to your message. I took another kind of scenic route; I didn't really go anywhere, and the beauty of the mountains and scenery around me didn't change (except on days when California wildfire smoke obscured the view and turned the sky to yellow). It was my "going to do it" and then forgetting/being distracted each time.

While composing that message to you, I thought of doing laundry while doing some of those other things and/or moving it from the washer to the dryer, etc., or folding washed and dried laundry, and almost mentioned it. I thought I had, but then I realized I didn't know whether you had your own washer+dryer or had to go to a laundromat or, if the latter was the case, whether you felt comfortable leaving your clothes/etc. there while you went home and cooked or had to stay with them the whole time. I think that's the reason I omitted laundry from my list of suggestions for the extra time you have in a WFH situation.

Another error I made was thinking of you as a single man, something I did probably because it's a tendency to think of people with a mindset somewhat like mine from my own perspective, which is that of a single adult male. I think humans tend to do that when they don't know better and/or haven't taken the time to think about another person from a broader, more objective perspective. Some people (more women than men, I think), are more prone to see things from another's point of view or holistically. Or maybe I'm just selfish and mentally myopic.

Maybe it's down to naiveté, of which I have much more than I realize, because it's more or less impossible for me realize or know anything I don't know, which also prevents me from knowing the depth or extent to which I lack knowledge about anything of which I am naive. That's probably something which is true about everyone alive, whether or not a person is willing to admit it. Even the smartest, best-educated, and knowledgeable people living, a quality I may have (as a child) hoped to one day approach, cannot claim to know all things without revealing naiveté through the very act of making that claim.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dave

Dave

Dave Jenkins, N1MXV
Sep 16, 2020
102
58
Gardner, MA (USA)
Maybe it's down to naiveté, of which I have much more than I realize,
Two humbling personal childhood epiphanies of mine (possibly everyone's) were
  1. when I looked over at some guy in another car in my world and it hit me that, to HIM, *I* was just "some kid" in another car in his world.
  2. when I went from knowing everything about everything to realizing that not only did I not know everything about anything, I had absolutely no clue just how much I didn't know about those things... OR about an unknowable number of other things.
I did probably because it's a tendency to think of people with a mindset somewhat like mine
I think about that a lot. I have wondered if it is more American than human. Without getting into politics, I have always been amazed when our politicians apply our (or their) values to other people and think that those people would react the way we (or they) would or that they are motivated by the same things we are.

It is also a close parallel to how subtlety rarely survives transcription. We write something we thing is perfectly clear, or, worse... clever, but do so in our current context and even our current mood. Then the reader uses their current context and their current mood to interpret the written word and perceives everything from judgement to insult. Or, vice versa, completely misses that they have been disrespected and respond happily. (I am more likely to do the latter than the former.)

FTR, old married man, one adult daughter, single family suburban house, basement home office, in the room next to the washer and dryer.
 

Dave New

Active member
Nov 23, 2020
34
9
old married man, one adult daughter, single family suburban house, planned basement home office, in the room next to the washer and dryer.

Wow. Wonder how many others on the list map to this specific profile? Currently on the 2nd floor in an unused bedroom, but about to do the 'big swap' and move to the basement, giving this room up for my grandson, who is currently occupying my spouse's former home office. In the meantime, my spouse is using a corner of our bedroom for her office, and is anxious to get her dedicated room back.
 

danlock

Well-known member
Sep 30, 2020
169
55
USA
We write something we thing is perfectly clear, or, worse... clever, but do so in our current context and even our current mood. Then the reader uses their current context and their current mood to interpret the written word and perceives everything from judgement to insult.
In fact, what we've written may be clever, but when it's misinterpreted by the reader it might seem as far from clever as possible, or it might be clever but in a very bad, very unintended way.

Many wars and arguments would be prevented if assumptions were less frequent & misunderstandings and misinterpretations and perspectives were not as various as they are, but the world would be a lot more boring, at the same time, and many fewer things would be invented, et al.
(In that light, it's not hard to understand a possible reason why the Star Trek universe's hive-minded BORG race must assimilate other cultures' distinctiveness and technologies to 'improve upon' its own.)

A good way to summarize it is by saying that pretty much everything depends on and is defined by the PERSPECTIVE and mindset and mental attributes of the person who sees/defines/remembers it (and the people nearby at the time, who often form a consensus of sorts), and that's why people can manipulate others' thoughts and memories after discussing something from a particular perspective, even introducing new, fabricated memories into another person's brain.

That was demonstrated on a show about aspects of the brain/mind I think I remember watching on Netflix years ago. Alan Alda, who loved deviled eggs (or eggs prepared in some way; I can't remember the details) at the beginning of the episode for a reason or a few reasons, by the end of the episode disliked eggs prepared in that way for reasons introduced to him by a scholar (IIRC, it was someone who worked on a college campus) during the events depicted in the documentary-style episode.​

Since my traumatic brain injury (or since I awoke from the resulting coma, although I don't remember learning I had awakened—or so I was told—until around three days after that), I've caused offense to many, many people in many, many ways, usually innocently. If something I say or do is inappropriate or offensive, I like to know about it right away so I can (hopefully) avoid that mistake in the future. Sometimes I can tell by a person's reaction even if nothing is said, but if I don't learn about it until days or weeks later from a third party, it's a lot more emotionally painful and stressful and I feel a lot of regret and frustration with myself. By that point, it's awkward to bring up the subject with the person I offended, if I happen to still have contact with that person.

I wish I could just put all the TBI stuff behind me and leave it there because it happened so long ago (1990), but, since it still affects me on a daily basis (overwhelming fatigue, poor memory, etc.), I can't.

I have one friend who was a best friend before the TBI and is still a best friend, but now he lives in another state and has a family of his own. When he was graduating (formally receiving his Ph.D.) and still single, as I was, he told me I knew everything that he did about his field of study. He didn't say that during the ceremony. It was probably a week or two before, or maybe afterward.

I doubt I'll bring up that topic much on these GRC forums or anywhere else, although I have in the past at times. I think I discussed it enough on my profile page here. If I remember after typing the remainder of this wild group of trails of thoughts in my head, I'll double check.

The entire basis of the humor in many comedic TV series in decades past is miscommunication.
The plot can be summarized as:
  1. Something ordinary happens in the daily life of a main character, which we (the audience) see.
    1. (a) Another main or tertiary character hears or learns something out of context and becomes offended or assumes something is A or D when it's actually B or C and informs another main character or resolves to solve it alone or stress about it alone by doing something drastic with other characters or alone.
  2. Calamity and/or Humor ensues. Tension builds for the audience.
    1. (2. (b)) The mix-up/confusion is resolved (including any subplots, usually also humorous or tension-evoking) during most of the remaining time in the episode.
  3. All is resolved and the show's characters become best friends again or in an enhanced/evolved friendship just before the ending credits roll, or as the credits roll.
[Added after the below paragraph was written: Come to think of it, I think I've summarized the plot of a much larger percentage of TV and film than I first realized... and even more if you replace "comedy" with "drama" or "<insert_genre_here>"]

That basic premise occurs everywhere, from shows that were under 30 minutes to movies that exceed two hours in length, some of which have many similar subplots, but it made me think of shows from Father Knows Best to The Andy Griffith Show to Bewitched to I Dream of Jeannie to M.A.S.H. to That Girl to Three's Company (and its many spinoffs) to multiple popular comedy series in the 1970s and '80s. I see reruns of those series on OTA/broadcast TV stations such as TV Land, MeTV, MeTV+, LAFF, Rewind TV, DECADES, and many others (which might be the same networks with new names, rebranded versions of the former now-defunct or deprecated (as a coder or probably any modern tech user might say) names); I dunno whether some of those networks exist by those names anymore, and at least two of those I learned of a minute ago just by looking at part of the list of channels detected by my TV.



I need to refresh my memory—I don't know what, exactly, the words network, channel, station, affiliate, etc., mean in relation to each other. Although I love and strive to use precision and concision in all I say or type, I often break that rule by typing or saying more than is necessary. Anyone who has read almost anything I've posted already knows that.

Aha... Scripps Media calls what it owns a "portfolio of 61 television stations in 41 markets." So a station is identified by its call letters, such as KERO or WMAR, KNXV or WXMI, KGUN or WCPO (all taken from . I see that some of Scripps Media's stations are NBC, some are FOX, some CBS, and some ABC. I'm not certain, but I think those company identifiers are probably affiliates.​
What it lists as its Networks are things like CourtTV, Newsy, Bounce, ION, Laff, Grit, DefyTV, TrueReal, etc. That's interesting because I get Grit on at least three different stations locally, and Scripps Media's major affiliate (as I defined it above, whether correctly or incorrectly) is not among them, but CourtTV and CourtTV/MYSTERY are. Laff is on an NBC affiliate (NOT owned by Scripps), and ION and ION+ are a on a different station entirely (with a few other Scripps networks, leading me to believe that the station is owned by Scripps, although the aforementioned local major network owned by Scripps regularly broadcasts its status as a Scripps Media station and I don't think the "other" does).​



I tend to give people the benefit of the doubt as well. What if the person who just snapped at me is merely having a bad day? What if I did or said something that offended them? Should I ask the person if there's anything I can do to improve their day? I need to think like that more often instead of feeling offended.

I know that people are very diverse and, if their personality has become offensive habitually or if they're just angry about something unrelated which occurred a few minutes ago, I know they can change, given the chance and, if required, some positive feedback.

Humans are not dogs (literally.. I know they are figuratively compared to dogs in many ways much more graphic and specific than the phrase snapped at me I used above), but the same sort of thing often works for dogs and probably other mammalian/other pets.​

[any parenthesis/backets/etc. I didn't close during the last edit will remain for the time being]
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: hyperbole

Dave

Dave Jenkins, N1MXV
Sep 16, 2020
102
58
Gardner, MA (USA)
but about to do the 'big swap' and move to the basement, giving this room up for my grandson, who is currently occupying my spouse's former home office. In the meantime, my spouse is using a corner of our bedroom for her office, and is anxious to get her dedicated room back.
I had been working from home for 3 years before COVID. I finally had my home office complete with ceiling fan, smart switches, even a custom-built book case, and finally got everything unpacked. My adult daughter, who lives with us, was doing billing for a local hospital. Enter COVID. Everyone has to work from home. Initially she was at the dining room table, then on the desk in her crowded bedroom. Which, of course, is suboptimal both logistically and mentally. And, with the end of the pandemic [seemingly] in sight, she was then told that WFH had worked out so well, it would become permanent so they could repurpose the building they had been in.

So, after a massive cleaning and disposal effort, I turned the basement guest bedroom (turned storage space) into a home office. I ran network cables, added an additional router, and moved all my stuff (personal computers, work computers, HAM radio equipment, etc.) downstairs, new HVAC system, bought a nice new standing desk for upstairs, all so she could have the upstairs office. New boss comes in, finds out that they were all sent home with ZERO support, ZERO equipment, and that they were all working on personal equipment (huge HIPPA no-no), looked at the cost of doing it right and immediately decreed that WFH would NOT be allowed and ordered everyone back into the office. The upstairs office is now only used by the cat.