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There is a Beep – published in Nature

There is a BeepThere is a beep.

An applied neurophysicist walks into a bar. It’s a nice bar, red leather upholstery, jukebox in the corner, bartender in a white dinner jacket. More of a lounge, really. And this neurophysicist walks into the place like he owns it.

Maybe he does.

“Joe,” he says, sitting down, “fix me up a stiff one.”

And the bartender bends behind the bar and comes up with one of these silver shakers that rattle like a million dollars on ice and he rattles it and breaks it and there’s this rich brown, velvety fluid emerging from the shaker and sloshing in slow motion into a heavy, cut-crystal glass.

The physicist goes to the lavatory. You know it’s the lavatory because it says lavatory right on the door. Not toilet, not WC. Lavatory.

That’s because the physicist is British and hasn’t taken to the language of wherever it is he is.

So now the neurophysicist is gone. The lavatory door swings shut behind him.

Read the rest of There is a Beep in Nature Futures


In academia it’s a pretty big thing to get published  in Nature. Not quite on the scale of getting a nobel prize but enough for my colleagues at work to wonder at my sanity when I tell them.

Well, I was pretty giddy myself. First story where I could buy my family a dinner out with the proceeds. First story in a major magazine. First print publication. Lots of firsts.

Pretty fun to write this one (big thanks to everyone who critiqued it), pretty scary to send it in (even bigger thanks to everyone who told me I should, and a shout out to Douglas Smith for his excellent suggestion that got me to actually carry through).

As part of the publication I also got to write a post about writing There is a Beep on Nature Futures Conditionals blog.

Dreams of Futures Past Book Cover

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