Sunday July 22, 2012
Book 13: Random Access Memorabilia — Part II: Write

Note: Dietz's statement about Oisri's ridges and hills may seem irreconcilable with Tagii's claim that Oisri's radius is exactly 1/2063rd the radius of her gravitational masking bubble. In particular, Tagii claimed that her instrumentation lacked the resolution to find a rounding error.

One might suggest that the masking bubble itself has ridges and hills, but Tagii certainly would have said something about that. The answer, sadly, is much more mundane. Tagii is stating Oisri's average radius from a large sample of points, and the ridges and hills are regular enough that for any statistically significant sample that average radius comes out the same. More measurements only reinforce the statistical perfection of Oisri's sphericality.

We could have spent a day letting Tagii explain her measurement methodology to Kevyn, but the current story already features n+1 days of making jokes with numbers, and "n" = "too many."


DIETZ: You see, Oisri's true, deep surface is not a perfectly smooth sphere.  It's heavily textured at all observable scales.

There are ranges of hills and ridges, ripples up and down those hills, and a pock-and-pebble texture on the ripples.

But it doesn't stop there.  The pock-and-pebble features are further textured with pits and grains, like sandpaper.

And it continues!  The sandpaper grains have textures at the microscopic, and molecular levels.

DIETZ: Of course, we couldn't read the microscopic or molecular levels without digging a hole first.

KEVYN: Wait, "read?" What do you mean by "read?"

DIETZ: I mean there's information encoded at every level.  These textures are a fractal scaffold, like a carrier wave, with modulations of the wave containing the information.

The prime number relationships visible at the highest level provided the tools we needed to begin reading.

KEVYN: And by reading the ripples and ridges you knew where you should dig?

DIETZ: *on screen* Exactly.  It was a thrilling piece of cryptanalysis.


DIETZ: Also, we dug down to the only perfectly flat spot on the entire surface.

KEVYN: Okay, less wow.