Welcome, readers old and new, to Asymptotia. I hope that the things that you find here will be interesting (and perhaps even enjoyable), and at least a welcome distraction from your main activity. Perhaps you’ll find several reasons to return regularly for more. If you consistently don’t like what you find, that’s ok, I won’t be offended. Just move along to elsewhere and don’t get in the way of those who would like to stay.

One way to help enhance everyone’s experience here is to join in with the chatter and discussions in the comment threads following the main posts. Just say “hi” and let everyone reading know you found the article provoking in some way. Share your own experiences, point out other sources of relevant information, contrasting views, etc. Engage in conversations with me and -most definitely and probably more interestingly- with other commenters. Imagine that we’re all in a lounge somewhere sitting together chatting, perhaps in the warm sun or by a fire, each drinking our favourite drink, each perhaps nibbling on something sweet or savoury that takes their fancy. Let’s try to engage with each other in the spirit of the environment just described. (If you’re not sure what I’m getting at, see the comments policy at this link.)

So…. Enjoy.


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26 Responses to Welcome

  1. Athena says:

    Let me be the first to say, you have a fine-looking, brand-spanking-new blog! Congratulations! Glad to have your unique and interesting posts back on the internets!

  2. Clifford says:

    Athena :- You’re my first commenter since official launch… thanks! Come on back soon!


  3. Samantha says:

    Good to see you back online. Please pass the olives.

  4. Hi Clifford,

    Good to see that you have your personal blog. I rather enjoyed your non-scientific posts over at CV. You have a gift for enthousiasm and vivid descriptions that shoud not be underestimated. However, I agreed that it was somewhat overshadowing the rest of the CV postings. So having this blog around seems like a good compromise!

    I’ll be reading this with alot of interest in the future.

    Take care,


  5. damtp_dweller says:

    Hi Clifford,

    It’s great to hear that you’ve decided to set up your own blog. CV has been noticeably dull these past couple of months given that you’ve posted a great deal less there. Since you invariably posted the most interesting stuff, I’m looking forward to seeing what you can do here.

    Best wishes,


  6. damtp_dweller says:

    One quick question. Why exactly did you choose “asymptotia” instead of “asymptopia?” The latter sounds rather more correct to my (admittedly British) ears. Is asymptotia synonymous with asymptopia in the US, or am I missing some subtle wordplay?

  7. Clifford says:


    Wow… I just sort of wanted a fake word that sounded nice to my (also admittedly british by the way) ears. “asymptopia\” sounds like a disease to me, perhaps an extreme form or long sightedness that means you can only focus on infinity (!) while “asymptotia\” sounds more like a place or state of mind or being. I googled your word and found that I chose well. The name has been used a lot for a journal, a utopian society (hmmmm, see above vision problem), and so forth.

    I think I just dodged that bullet….. maybe.


    P.S. Most importantly, another downstroke instead of an upstroke would ruin the balance of the logo, which would not do at all.

  8. Clifford says:

    For a while, I was going to use \”Asymptotic Freedom\”, an excellent choice for a blog name, but then decided -as had been said before- that it sounds a bit like a terrorist organisation (there were other reasons too…e.g., I just prefer the current choice). Yes, best to stay away from names with \”freeedom\” in it for a while since I\’m maybe on enough watch lists as it is, possibly as a result of that woman who was sitting next to me on a flight the other day while I typed a draft of the About page. Out of the corner of my eye, I could see her reading a bit here and there when she thought I was not looking. She seemed to sit up and get a bit nervous when I typed the phrase \”The battle is to be fought on many fronts, including our schools, but not limited to that arena.\”

    She probably put the call through immediately we landed and she got out of earshot….. 🙂


  9. Amara says:

    I don’t mind the dust at all. Welcome to your own brand-new Universe!

  10. erc says:

    Hello (again)! A very welcome return to my region of the blogosphere. Samantha may have asked for the olives to be passed, but the wine has come my way more than strictly necessary this evening, so I shan’t say any more for fear of embarrassing myself. But when I’m not in the middle of a party, I look forward to reading more!

    And “asymptotia” rolls off my tongue more readily than does “asymptopia” – great name! 🙂


  11. JC says:

    I liked your non-physics posts on CV.

  12. Moshe says:

    Hey Clifford, nice to see you again…regarding the name, I recently found that lots of good old jazz album titles could double as excellent blog names. If I ever start blogging, something like “in a silent way” (a tad unrealistic) or “conversations with myself” (a tad too realistic) could do the job (then there is “explorations”, “first meditations”, even “blues and the abstract truth”, and the list goes on…)

  13. Mark Trodden says:

    Welcome (although you’re hardly new to this) Cliffford. Good luck with this complementary venture. Cheers,

  14. Plato says:


    I hope you will also post more and go in depth on the Categorically Not site events as well. 🙂

  15. janet says:

    Hey, Clifford, good to know that you’ve found a way to eat up some of that pesky free time that you have so much of!

    Seriously, is there more than one of you, or do you not sleep, or is it just that I’m too much of a slacker to comprehend your energy?

  16. Clifford says:

    Hi Janet,

    Long time since I’ve heard from you. I don’t have any more free time than anyone else. If anything, I have way less. I just choose differently how I use my time.

    So do my clones.



  17. damtp_dweller says:


    Thanks for the info about why you chose the name. Given my background, I guess that I’m more used to the phrase “asymptopia,” particularly with reference to conformal infinity in space-time (Penrose, Hawking, Wheeler and others used this term almost exclusively in the sixties and seventies to describe the various limits of space-times; more recently, John Stewart wrote a book which focussed a great deal on the asymptotic structure of space-time, referring to such things as “asymptopia”). Regardless, you’ve picked a pretty cool name for the new blog.

    On a different note, assuming that you will sometimes post about your work, have you looked into incorporating LaTeX into the blog? I’m still surprised at the difficulty people have in including mathematical typesetting into blogs. It looks like instant messaging with Adium has no difficulties in this respect (thanks for turning me on to that in a post at CV by the way), but there are still very few blogs that manage to pull this off.

  18. Clifford says:


    I’ll be able to tex…. but not so easy for the commenters.

    The problem is that the nicest plugin I know about to allow LaTeX to appear easily on wordpress (it is called LaTexrender) is trivial to install, but relies upon the server running wordpress to be able to run things like latex, imagemagik, and pdftex in background. That very much depends upon the host computer: If you’re not hosting your blog yourself, you’re in trouble. As I am naievely expecting a reaonable amount of traffic to come to this blog, I decided not to host on my own computers… Asfar as I know, my host does not give me access to those applications (and does not have them all installed) and so I’m unable to provide that service. On my other two blogs (which are more private), I host them on my own computers whree I do have those installed. Therefore on those, I and those who comment on those blogs, can LaTeX to their heart’s content. So here, when I talk about my work, if I will be using equations extensively, I’ll probably write the post on one of my other blogs, and then move it over.

    I’ll look into some work-arounds of the problems I described. I should also mention that it is not that hard to find good examples of LaTeX on blogs. See Jacques Distler’s blog for a start. He’s been doing excellent work on the issue, but I do not know how much of that work (in MathML) -if any- is applicable to WordPress. And I don’t know if it ever will be since I gather from earlier remarks of his that he pretty much hates WordPress. But maybe others have done things. I will look into it… And if anyone has more wisdom on this….. chime in.



  19. lisa says:

    clifford … the new blog looks really good. i’ll try to be better at keeping up with you this time around!!

  20. Plato says:

    IN regards to equations-

    Scan paper to file and save as(equation.jpg) then upload to blog?

    Will come out in picture format…so? Using Haloscan(a new feature-a little window) you can upload your own equations as a “url link” to look.

    Haloscan can be inserted given the html language in your current discussion board design.

    WordPress, has same features in discussion area??

    Just a thought.

  21. 4ms says:

    Welcome back – looking forward to reading your posts, they have been missed.

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  23. john says:

    nice post

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