It’s hard to express how weird the year number 2023 seems. (I can go on about it a little because it’s Janus-uary, but I’ll try to not mention it again.) Honestly, I never expected to live this long. My lifestyle was never oriented towards longevity. I sought the brief exciting flight of the firework over the slowly dying coal ember.
Yet here I am, with 70 on the middle horizon, already outliving some of my peers, struggling to stay sane in a world that seems to have lost its way, and generally wondering WTF now.
I guess it’s like being permanently in recovery. One day at a time. Deal with today, let tomorrow come in its own time. And so, onto, into, and unto 2023.
Well, it sure went by quickly! Time really does speed up as you age. I used to think it was due to the relative length of hours to your lifespan, but I’m forced to accept how much of it comes from the mind literally slowing down. Not a great feeling for someone who long placed much of their self-worth in their intellectual abilities.
But, looking back, that the year passed by so quickly and for the most part unremarkably, is what seems to stand out most to me. It was a year… that was.
It didn’t have much that struck me as notable, but I do have some charts…
One: OTOH, holy cheeseburger with onion rings, it’s this blog’s Eleven Year Anniversary. Not to mention, just last week, the nine-year anniversary of retiring from the rat race. Perhaps it’s because Summer Solstice has passed (and now the light is dying), or maybe that my mom would have been 98 (the day after Tau Day), but I find myself more reflective and thoughtful at this mid-year turning than I do, despite the influence of Janus, at New Year’s.
Other: OTOH, I’m steeped in ennui and have never felt less like writing a blog post. The question is whether the pressure of the anniversary overcomes the desire to putter, read, or nap. I’m writing this (and presumably you’re reading it), so it looks like the day won over the mood.
So… Happy Something day. Here’s a standard disgruntled anniversary ramble…
That’s weird to me. I’m from the 1950s and can measure my life in scores of years (three-and-mumble). I was an avid science fiction reader by the 1960s, so recall an era where we wondered if the year 1984, let alone 2001, would be anything like the famous book.
As it turned out, in both cases: No. Respectively fortunate and unfortunate. The future turned out less extreme (but no less “interesting”). Both demonstrate the difficulty of prediction, a problem science fiction illustrates more often than not.
That said, the other face of Janus looks forward…
I hope everyone has been having a wonderful Chillaxmas. Yesterday was the last of the Twelve Days, so now it’s time to wash the dishes, take down the lights, and toss out the tree (or disassemble it, box it, and return it to the attic or basement, whichever applies).
Now it’s time to put on our two-way Janus hats to look backwards at Old Man 2021 as well as forwards at Infant 2022.
It’s also time to indulge (if not wallow) in my lust for data and charts.
The post’s title has more the sense of Ali vs Foreman than of Coke vs Pepsi. True, both are contests, but the the latter is a selection — the former is a fight. This post is about a major problem some posts created using the Classic Editor have when displayed in the WordPress Reader.
Specifically, breaks between paragraphs are lost. In some cases an entire post becomes one long paragraph. The only breaks come from the various HTML block elements that force paragraph breaks. (Things like horizontal rules, large images, or tables.)
Here I’ll explain what’s going on and how to get your paragraphs back.
“Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!”
Attention All Readers: Later this month (or maybe even sometime next) I’m doing a purge of Followers that, as far as I can tell, have never been seen since they followed this blog.
I’m keeping anyone I recognize from recent or past conversations (or repeat Likes), either on this blog or elsewhere. (Obviously I’ll keep my lurking IRL friends; y’all are safe from the Purging Angel.)
Point is, if you’ve been silently lurking, and don’t want to get purged, now would be a good time to make your presence known!
So, ten years. Over a thousand posts (1,142). Over a million words (1,381,652). Many different topics, from science fiction to science physics — those two representing both a key duality and a crucial commonality in my worldview.
What they have in common is the science — a fundamental aspect of my life almost from day one (My first two words were “star” and “light” — a prescience that both amazes and amuses me.) The duality is between fiction and physics — more generally between art and the aforementioned science. While this aspect goes back only to high school, it has become just as fundamental. The Yin-Yang of physics and humanity.
Throw in a love of books, TV shows, and movies, plus a fascination with mathematics, computers, and human consciousness, and this blog has had a lot of ground to cover. Arguably too much.
It’s a New Year, so it’s time for that Janus backward and forward State of the Blog Post. (I did plenty looking back in the previous post, so today I’m looking mostly in the other direction.)
As I’ve mentioned, I framed 2020 as a year for changes. Many of them got sidelined (or outright derailed) but the year did result in some decisions that matter here. I find I’ve gone beyond my rope when it comes to what I’m going to begin always referring to as “fantasy bullshit” (FBS).
That’s not to say fantasy bullshit is all bad (some is fun; some might even be necessary), but I am going to start calling it what it is.
Remember when “going viral” didn’t mean hospitalization and possible death? (Obviously if we go back even further to the original meaning, it did.) I had an old post go briefly and mildly viral last week. Big traffic spike with a very rapid tail-off. Most bemusing.
I’ll tell you about that, and about a spike on another post, this one weirdly seasonal — huge spike ever September for three years now. I have no idea what’s going on there. Most puzzling.
There is also a book about the friendship and conflict between Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrödinger that I thoroughly enjoyed despite it not being my typical sort of reading (I’ve never gone in much for either history or biography).