Since Dr. Li seems so determined to be chatty with me, I decided to ask him what exactly Dr. Cranor is trying to accomplish with our daily sample-blasting activities. He grinned, looked around, and said, “What, indeed?”
So I said, “No, seriously, dude.What is she trying to do here?”
And he said, “Josefina Cranor is a woman of occasionally piercing insight, but sharply limited vision. She does not see things as you and I see things.”
So I decided to go for broke and asked him what he would be doing differently, if he were in her place. I mean, if he would only talk about it in terms of how much more awesome than her he thinks he is, I thought this might be the only way to get a comprehensible, coherent answer out of him.
Then he told me, “Dr. Cranor’s marvelous machine is an infant that cuts its first teeth on the fabric of this world. How typically short-sighted of her to think it could blithely digest more empyrean matter without making certain… adjustments to compensate. ”
I totally had to look up “empyrean”, but I’m pretty sure that’s what he said. So, not exactly comprehensible, but it did sound coherent at its core. I tried one more time, asking him what adjustments he would make.
“The phase induction variables, for instance,” he said. “The range she uses is much too narrow, just like her vision. I would start the harmonics vibrating in a wider band, and then narrow it down as I found the proper resonant frequency.”
The scary thing is how much things like this are starting to make sense to me, after I’ve thought about them a little. Looking at the first statement and connecting it with the second, it sounds like Dr. Cranor’s trying to get some kind of harmonic reaction in the things we blast with science-stuff from her science-thing, but she calibrated it on samples of ordinary minerals and the stuff she wants to get the reaction from isn’t reacting as expected. So, the solution is to try a wider range and then re-calibrate it based on the responses we get.
Tomorrow I’m going to try to find an excuse to ask Dr. Cranor if she’s thought about trying an initial wider range for the phase induction variables, and hope that means enough to her that she doesn’t need to test my knowledge.