2016-11-28 Mon


I finished reading ďStranger than we can ImagineĒ by John Higgs (Signal Books ISBN: 978-0-7710-3847-1) at

Half past three this morning, which tells you something about the book. On the second page of the first chapter Higgs uses (not ďintroducesĒ) the Concept of Relativity and the book gets even better after that.

On page 310 he writes ďA Human Body, for example, contains ten times more Non-Human Bacteria than it does Human Cells.Ē Which leads me to ponder about my self.

I have thought for nigh on seventy years that I am Chris Greaves. I am what I am. Five foot six tall, a distressing one hundred and sixty eight pounds of ME with a brain.

Turns out that Iím not what I thought I was. I am Ninety Percent Foreign Muck.

Seventeen pounds of me exists to lug almost one hundred and fifty pounds of bacteria around. Thatís almost a sack of wheat Ė three bushels.

Presto Cards

Christopher Greaves Home_IMG_20161112_102630866.jpg

I was struck, too, by this Poster at Clarkson GO Station.

How to use your one-tap magnetic transit card, in four different ways with a total of 3+5+4+2 or fourteen steps.

Most of the complexity arises from the option to have a single pre-programmed default trip assigned to the card. For example ďIf I board the train at Clarkson and donít tap-off please assume I got off at Union StationĒ (I am going to work). I am hoping that the same default rule works in the other direction.

The Transilien System is much simpler to use: You tap on and you tap off. Everybody does it. But you donít need to be reminded to tap off or to tap on. Turnstyles are opened by a card-tap. You cannot legally and physically enter and you cannot legally and physically exit the system without tapping your Navigo Card to open the turnstyles (or gates or ...)

There are some places where you donít need to tap. You enter the turnstile race and the doors swing open automatically. But the system gets to harvest its data!