Author Archives: Wyrd Smythe

About Wyrd Smythe

The canonical fool on the hill watching the sunset and the rotation of the planet and thinking what he imagines are large thoughts.

Reboots

The other night, I watched the first episode of the CBS reboot of Murphy Brown, and my first thought is that I hope it gets better. A lot better. The only part I liked was the cameo by Hillary Clinton playing “Hillary Clindon,” a potential secretary for Candice Bergen’s Murphy Brown. (If I remember the original show correctly, Brown had a long and troubled history with secretaries, which puts a bit of icing on the scene.)

Seeing the main characters again, for me, was awkward and close to cringe-worthy. They seem very much a product of their era (1988-1998) and didn’t translate well across the two decades that have brought so much social and technical change.

Part of the problem might be that I find CBS half-hour sitcoms tediously dull, cliché-filled, totally unfunny, marshmallow realities.

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Edge of the Knife

The universe may not be connected in the Dirk Gently sense (or perhaps it is, wouldn’t that be fun?), but I can’t help but be bemused by those occasional moments of synchronicity. Just striking coincidences — almost certainly — and just a product of one’s own mind connecting personal dots, but still.

When a moment of such synchronicity involves favorite TV shows, South Park, NCIS, and Doctor Who, plus the Mandelbrot Set, it covers a lot of bases and adds an extra special element of cosmic delight. (Not to mention all the options for the lead image! (Except not really. Gotta be the new The Doctor!))

Fundamentally, it’s all another riff on an old standard: Yin-Yang.

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Realism

In debates (or even just discussions) people sometimes ask how we know the physical world is really there. A variation asks how we know that what we perceive as the real world is the same as what other people perceive. (One example of this is the inverted spectrum.)

The most accurate answer is: We don’t. Not for sure, anyway. There is at least one assumption built in, but it’s one we have to make to escape our own minds. According to ancient philosophical tradition, the only fact we know for sure is that we ourselves exist. (Although I think there’s an argument to be made about a priori knowledge.)

But, as with the excluded middle, accepting reality as an axiom seems almost necessary if we’re to move forward in any useful way.

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Now What?

Of late I find myself in a state of profound despair. Many attempts to post; all end up in the trashcan. It’s not having nothing to say, but finding no point any more to saying it. My faith in humanity was always a bit tenuous, and the last decade or so has really given it a beating.

Things on a personal front ain’t so great, either, but that just makes it all that much harder to take. The Kavanaugh (Kava No!) hearings, and all that went with them, made me sick to my stomach. Once again I see how far we have not come.

I find I’m losing my last illusions about people. Maybe that’s a good thing?

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I Hate Apple!

Not long ago I wrote a post about not “liking” dinosaurs, and a crucial caveat there was that I also do not dislike dinosaurs — that I was essentially neutral on the subject of dinosaurs. To me they’re seriously old news. Not on my radar, as it were.

What certainly is — unavoidably — on my radar is modern technology, and in particular the ubiquitous touchscreen device and its myriad apps. After being subjected to an Apple iPad for over two years now, I’ve come to have a deep loathing for almost every aspect of the whole thing! And, because of my issues with it, I see no reason to ever own a “smart” phone (although I fear an eventual lack of choice in the matter).

Now be warned: this is me venting. I have very little positive to say here.

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All Bits Won

To advance, I’m gonna need another bit…


Got Time?

For the last week or so, on a physics blog I follow, I’ve been part of a debate about the nature of time. It’s been interesting and fun, but the conversation has reached that point where folks are mainly maintaining their positions, and it seems that the matter has stalled.

Some of the on-going assertions bemused me so much, that I was about to tender one more rebuttal comment… When I remembered what a wiser person, “back in the day” (before the web), said about online debates: State your view. Support it further if you need to address points raised. But once you’ve covered it well enough, just stop. After that, you’re just wasting your time; it’s rare that anyone changes their mind on the internet. Including yours.

Fair enough. I can natter on about it to myself on my own blog, though…

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Old Love Letters

I’m a keeper and a collector, especially of sentimental mementos. My (these days declining) love of physical books is connected to this. It’s exactly why I’ve dragged dozens of boxes of them every place I live. (Bookshelves are a whole discussion!) And it’s also why I still have every love letter I’ve ever received.

Which, I’ve come to realize, is silly — especially now, when I’m seeking a simple, small life. My goal in retirement is minimalism in everything. Clearance! (Going out of business!) Everything must go!

Quite some time ago, a friend commented that I hadn’t put anything on my walls — that years later they were as blank as the day I moved in. They’re still blank, at least twice as many years later.

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Bitter Irony

One of my very early posts here (God is an Iron) was about irony. It featured a pretty decent definition of the word by the dear departed, and much missed, George Carlin: “Irony is ‘a state of affairs that is the reverse of what was to be expected; a result opposite to and in mockery of the appropriate result.’”

The POTUS Putin America First…

It’s a good definition to keep in mind when considering how, for so long, a key gun rights Second Amendment argument is the vital importance of being able to stand up to a corrupt, tyrannical government…

Yet most of those folks seem to be supporting the current regime…

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The Break Break Up

In an almost weird bit of prescience, I broke up with Michelle Wolf’s The Break just days before Netflix did. The several articles I read announcing it reported that Netflix hadn’t offered a reason for the cancellation, and speculated on connections with an apparent history of failed talk shows. Netflix just bad at talk shows, was the implication.

Let me offer another reason, perhaps the real reason. The show was awful. It was painfully not funny, nor was it terribly creative. It tried hard to be, but the result was usually more like a bad SNL script. And, regrettably, Ms Wolf may not be a good choice for talk show host.

After hanging in there since the beginning, I just couldn’t any more. I had to bail.

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