Friday, October 22, 1999

Jungle Palace

We have taken up temporary residence in a beautiful patch of jungle, in a
gulch two miles west of Makawao.  There is a stream cutting through the
middle of the property, splitting two meadows.  Large fruit trees fill the
area, and drop food from the sky regularly.  There are several structures
scattered about under the trees --  a main house that feels like a large
sailboat cabin, and a bedroom with loft that looks out over the trees.  I set
up my hammock on the front porch, and go out to it in the morning to scribble
my equations when the surf is small.

B and I went with D to visit a pretty blond woman named S
before she ascended the mountain to give birth in a large tub.  She was
fairly typically Mauian in her philosophy, and B and I went back and forth
discussing and relating our world views and hers as lucidly as we could as
she experienced her body's developing hormone bath and the onset of regular
contractions.  (I am certain her child will be born an atheist.)  It was a
fascinating juxtaposition of situations -- to be carrying on a discussion of
the emergence of patterns, on a porch in the jungle as the warm rains fall
all around, with a woman moments away from giving birth.  The conversation
itself was not particularly interesting, more of a warm up for a dance we
will be doing often -- struggling to elaborate to many of these Mauians a
reinterpretation of their far out beliefs that makes more sense.

The people here seem very curious about us.  Rationals seem more bizarre for
them to encounter than visitors from space.

We share this house with a three inch long cockroach named Kafka.

Visited a computer entrepreneur yesterday, H, who has a house here on
Maui that he shares with his Mauian wife and her son.  They fly back and
forth from his home and work in Los Angeles.  Quite a character.  He took us
out to dinner at a good but wildly overpriced restaurant in Lahaina and
regaled us with his tales of the software business and other topics all over
the map -- from the effect of language on meaning and the hopelessness of
translation, to the superior architecture of Commodore computers.  He's very
fast paced, especially for here, and I look forward to hanging out with him

The surf has been fun, with a double over head day three days ago, but
nothing extraordinary yet.  The crowd is definitely a factor, but the vibe is
more mellow than I expected.

I climbed a very large Mango tree by the stream and contemplated the
construction of a treehouse.

Propane gas leaks from the tank and wafts unpleasantly about the property.

I'm getting back into wrangling with the physics.  I wonder if anyone else
has seen that the Palatini variational formulation of General Relativity
arises straight forwardly from a Legendre transformation in all spacetime
coordinates?  Probably.  I wonder if my work will lead to anything really new
and cool, or just keep my mind amused.

Large avocados thump when they fall and hit the grass.

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