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?
To advance, I’m gonna need another bit…
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.
Infamous Fissure #8!
I’ve been semi-obsessed the last few weeks by the Kīlauea volcano on the Big Island of Hawai‘i. Back in early May there was a magnitude 6.9 earthquake in the volcanic system, and then things got interesting (in the curse sense). By late May a fissure in the east rift zone was emitting lava at a rate (100 cubic meters per second) not recorded in our history of recording things like that.
All that lava came from a reservoir — the magma chamber — in the volcano, so Kīlauea began experiencing “collapse events” as the summit subsided into the space left by the departed magma. These collapse events resulted in magnitude 5.3 (or so) earthquakes roughly every 32 hours (plus or minus a lot).
And a bunch of us interested parties were online chatting, watching, and waiting for the next collapse event!
It’s that time again, July 4th, a date that, for me, has multiple life events bound to it. The key one here is my blog’s anniversary. Now it’s seven!
I started it on July 4, 2011, a date I deliberately selected to — I hoped — add a positive life event to the mix (which most recently was my wedding anniversary for a marriage that lasted only four years). And, pretty much without qualification, it’s definitely been a positive experience! I’ve enjoyed the writing, and I hope it’s been entertaining, educational, and thoughtful. I’d like to think it has been. I’ve also met some great other bloggers along the way.
Oddly (and this wasn’t planned), it turns out I’ve written 700 posts here (this is #701). So there’s kind of a sevens thing going. Which is lucky, unlucky, or completely meaningless, depending on how you look at it.
Happy Summer Solstice (today at 10:07 UTC)!
And now the irony of the “Beginning of Summer” coinciding with the days starting to have less and less light. No sooner does summer begin when the system begins insuring its cyclic demise.
One tries not to take that as a statement of the human condition…
Where are all the aliens?
I’ve mentioned the Fermi Paradox here quite a number of times, but I’ve never made it the main topic of a post. Lately I’m becoming more and more convinced our world is facing a Great Filter, and that we may very well be seeing one answer to Mr. Fermi’s interesting paradox.
Which is a response to the Drake Equation, which I have made the topic of a post.
Essentially, the Drake Equation attempts to estimate the number of intelligent space-faring species in a galaxy and, by most accounts, comes up with a number noticeably larger than one. The Fermi Paradox says: Okay Mr. Drake… if so… where are all the aliens?
There’s really only one web comic I read anymore: xkcd. Randall Munroe continues to turn out thoughtful gems, and I really appreciate the ad-free nature of the site. I also find his What-If? series delightful; the first episode is one of my favorite interweb jewels!
But it’s his insight to the human condition and ability to nail a point with such brilliant brevity that I most relish. I value some of his comics as highly as I value favorite quotes; both are pithy petards against our myths and illusions.
And sometimes he even hoists my petard a bit!