After a couple of weeks "off" during which I fixed my OU assignment and then took the brief holiday in Dartmoor mentioned below, my next contract extension duly came through. It's been a week so far and a further week to do in this round.
I got a call today from the strategy director of a European carrier. They are organising a 'vision' event a couple of weeks time for their senior executives and, having read my book, decided to invite me along to do some futurology.
I'll post some more stuff after the event, if it goes ahead. Tell you what 'narrative' I eventually decided to put together.
I read an interesting New York Times article (here) with the intriguing title "Dark, Perhaps Forever". It is reported therein that Ed Witten is finally, reluctantly, a convert to the anthropic landscape of string theory.
I have never truly believed that the universe is necessarily so. That is, that there is a "final theory" which has, model-theoretically-speaking, a unique model.
However, the universe is put together so neatly that one feels that most of the structure ought in fact to be necessary, with only a few fairly natural parameters to be set (non-anthropically).
A kind of benign multiverse.
If it turns out that there really are 10^500 universes - all different - which are compatible with our best fundamental theories ... well, we're not explaining very much, are we?