I thought of a book wherein someone is thinking about refrigerators and how absurd it would be to set up a little propane=>electricity generator to run the refrigerator. Fire to cool (absorption refrigeration). Of course, there are other ways to generate electricity that don’t involve fire. The real question for this hypothetical character is how can we make the idea of refrigeration not require power, except maybe to jump start the system. Is self-sustaining refrigeration possible in an environment with more heat energy than that which is wanted inside the refrigerated space? What kind of process could essentially draw the kinetic energy out of the system? Heat is motion. How can the motion in an enclosure be used to draw the motion out of the enclosed? Perhaps a sound onion layering to within that somehow sets up a pull from above on below.
Although the ideas involved with solving that problem are interesting in their own right, I then went on to imagine a world in which this character solves the problem. But with a tiny caveat: the process can accelerate wildly out of control and ultimately consume the entire universe; Earth would last around 72 hours.
The book would be about the effects of the metaphysical implications of the meaning of the solution as they dawn on him and spill over out into the world like or no.
The story doesn’t have to be simple.
It’s a story ultimately about the human condition.
This story is suggested to me by current events. The refrigeration solution is encountered by each person at birth and there are many choices to make and courses to take as we navigate the full implications of the meaning of our nature.
A couple recent gems:
There’s a lot of mica bearing rocks on my land. This picture really doesn’t do justice to the size of this mica, but it is by far the largest I have ever found. That’s an 5th gen iPod, which means its about an inch taller than a regular iPhone (to help a little with scale). The top piece of mica is what I would consider “normal” sized. I have a cup filled with mica, almost all larger than the normal sized piece. Truly land of wonder.
So, there was the umbrella stand on the property. Just the base part. It was old and rusted and had clearly sat in the place it was in for many, many years. I moved it. I noticed there were a bunch of bee carcasses stuffed in the top of the tube. I thought maybe bees lived in the old metal tubing. I started scraping them out. There were really a ton of them.
That’s only part of it. The bulk of them had already blown away in the wind by the time this photo was taken. These carcasses were old.
So, I kept knocking the tube against the concrete and eventually a spider came out. Big surprise. So I went to get my camera to take a picture. When I got back out, I couldn’t find the spider. I looked around for 10 minutes. It wasn’t anywhere!
Then I looked at my pant leg. Oooohhhh, there’s the spider. Hi, big fella.
I didn’t take the picture of the spider on my pant leg, although I should have, I guess.
I don’t know what kind of spider that is, but I know what he eats. Bees.
I was driving home and a most beautiful sunset took place. I didn’t have my normal crappy camera so I had to use my iPod’s crappy camera. One of these days I’m going to get a good DSLR. Ideally before monsoon season when the views start to get really amazing down here.
This and the following picture were actually taken on my iPod using the panorama feature. I thought they came out pretty good.