Mike Ault's thoughts on various topics, Oracle related and not. Note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are not contributing to the overall theme of the BLOG or are insulting or demeaning to anyone. The posts on this blog are provided “as is” with no warranties and confer no rights. The opinions expressed on this site are mine and mine alone, and do not necessarily represent those of my employer.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
Of course , real life is seldom if ever reflected in movies or fiction, otherwise these things would be called reality. Criticality is a required state for the nuclear reactor to reach a state of self-sustaining reaction. Essentially it means that the reactor core on average is producing more nuetrons, a little bit over 2 generally, per fission which allows for losses during the fission process (absorption of the nuetrons that doesn't produce fission, or leakage of the neutrons from the core.) A reactor can be sub-critical, where there simply aren't enough nuetrons to sustain a self-perpetuating reaction, critical, where the neutrons produced are just enough to make up for losses, and super critical where the reactor is producing more neutrons than needed to sustain a reaction. The term most of the writers are looking for when they want to portray a problem with a nuclear reaction should be "Oh no! The reator is super-critical!".
So what, you are probably saying, what does this bit of nuclear trivia have to do with regular life? Well, each reaction, if it is to be self sustaining, must reach a critical state. What this critical state for reactions of course varies for the type of reaction. For example, let's say someone sends out a spam email about rutabagas. Rutabagas are not very interesting vegatables, but, if you can get off enough emails to enough people who are interested in rutabagas the email will continue to circulate and take on a life of its own, essentially going critical in the espace.
This notion of critical mass for a successful email campaign of course also carries over to other forms of publicity and all PR shops hope for their campaigns to reach a critical mass of interest where they takes off on their own. Usually once a successful formula for reaching a critical mass in an ad campaign is found, with minor tweaks it can be applied to others. This also known as "going viral".
So, why have I been thinking about this? Well, of course there is my professional life where we hope each new RamSan SSD we launch will reach a critical mass in the storage world, where essentailly word of mouth does our work in selling it for us. Then there is my personal life.
If you have been following my recent posts you know I have been dabbling in self-publishing. Of course anyone who publishes anything wants it to reach a critical mass in its publishing domain, whether it is my technical, Oracle books, or my self-published fiction books, I want them to reach a level of popularity that generates its own publicity and of course, sales!
Well, enough lunch time musings. Be safe and enjoy life!