Can clouds think?
Sometimes I have trouble falling asleep. Especially if I’m riled up thinking about the newest stealth bank bailout, or wondering how to model rare, fat-tailed events, I’ll toss and turn, unable to get these problems out of my head.
Luckily I have a husband who is kind enough to tell me his stories at moments like these. I really appreciate his ability to draw out a story. He starts out slowly, and gets slower. He ends up at such a leisurely pace that I get completely distracted from my work-a-day concerns simply wondering what he’ll say next, when he’ll say it, or if he’s just fallen asleep.
It’s not just the slowness of the stories that do the trick, either, it’s also the content. He’s the master of the
boring relaxing, abstract, science-fictiony story with exactly one idea. He’s seriously considering starting a blog for his stories which he’d call `Stories that put my wife to sleep’. I honestly think it would work great for lots of people- a public service, really, especially if he made very very very boring podcasts.
It’s efficient too, he’s mentioned to me that he’s told me the same story sometimes 5 or more times but I can never last through to the point of understanding the plot, and it always seems new. I never know what’s going to happen next, if anything.
My favorite story, which I have probably heard 17 times, is the story of whether clouds can think. It’s unresolved, the answer, but it’s wonderful to imagine, very slowly, the decisions a cloud could make, things like very slight changes in its luminosity or which winds to take rides on or how high to fly.