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.
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.
So. 2020. The start of a new decade. That’s just a bit surreal for me. I can remember wondering if 1984 would turn out anything like the novel. The future did turn out a bit like Orwell’s vision — it just took until 2016 or so to get there. It isn’t so much that Big Brother is watching (although, that too), but how our government corrupts and perverts facts and truth.
Good fiction is insightful about the human condition; good science fiction is insightful about our future. Over time, as advertised, the prescient film Idiocracy goes from SF comedy to anthropological documentary. Many others went from fiction to fact. (Fortunately, at least so far, The Terminator has not.)
Suffice to say, this year will seem surreal in more ways than one.
Today is the last Day of Christmas. If you’ve been following the song, your house is filled with leaping Lords, milking maids, two groups of musicians, and an awful lot of birds. But now you can usher them out, take down the lights and decorations, and put the tree out on the curb for pickup.
I’m guessing some of you did the de-decorating on December 26th and didn’t even buy your true love a partridge. On the other hand, the 2015 Christmas season apparently begins on August 31st (and includes “Black November”) so it’ll be back before you know it!
Until then, it’s time to get back to the grindstone.
Perhaps it is a personal penchant for irony-leavened paradox that has me pen a post titled 2014 that turns out to be more a look backwards. The dash of irony comes from the explicit mention of not being one who spends much time looking back!
But, also as mentioned, there is a time and place for most things, and January is a more ideal place for that than you may realize. The month is named after the roman god, Janus, god of beginnings and transitions, who has both a backward- and forward-looking face. The turning of the year is the time and place for both.
So here is a bit more looking back and looking forward.
It’s been quite a while since the last Brain Bubbles. What can I say; work has been sucking the bubbly out of me these last months. It’s like when all the oxygen is removed from water. No bubbles, and the fish all die. But being, in my own weird fashion, a cynical optimist (or am I a naive pessimist…I can never keep them straight), bubbles still do happen.
It’s also the end of that whole 12 days of Christmas thing. It’s now truly all over, and you can take down the decorations and toss out the tree.
It’s time to move on to the new stuff! Today’s edition of Brain Bubbles looks at some new things…