Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Another Study Period

A Private Sky

I've been studying history as well as working in IT waters.  IT has a timeline (a history) too.

Studying what you ask?  You want to know?

I won't be able to cover all of it in one blog post, but let me review.  Even if no one were to read this, Evelyn Wood Reading Dynamics says "doing a recall" is a good idea.

To review circumstances:  I'm care-taking for a family pet who needs a fit assistant.  Instead of hiring someone, I'm doing the job myself, as sitting kicked back in an easy chair with a relaxed mutt is in many stereotypical scenarios one of the best places to be.  People want this, especially with the gigabit fiber optics and BBQ out back.

Why should I act aloof (haughtily above it all) when I enjoy such privilege in Scenario Universe (non-simultaneous and eternally aconceptual)?  In addition to these physical comforts, I have the benefit of friends and family, pets.

So what am I complaining about?  Nothing, not for me, lets go take care of those refugees.  "First world problems" means "well taken care of" by world standards.  Now lets raise those standards for everyone, which means a global safety net, like the UN has been working on providing (FAO, WHO... UNICEF).

When people feel safe enough to change jobs, then those miserable in their current service might find where they better fit, and a happier population makes for a better experience for all of us aboard our shared Spaceship Earth.  A safety net means having time to learn, to study, to catch up.  People need that.  We're reprogrammable, but not in an instant.  Retraining takes work.

Then of course there's that eternal insecurity of not knowing tomorrow (as big as today, which is huge), as if omniscience were ever an option (or would help).  We all have our existential issues with mortality, even when a next meal looks like a pretty sure thing.  Alan Watts wrote about this stuff, as did Paul Tillich and many others.

Lets admit that in boosting physical well being, we're not pretending to resolve all metaphysical conundrums.  That's not to ignore metaphysical issues, just to stay humble and admit a smartphone or even smartcar may not supply the meaning of life, although these phones get pestered with that stuff daily.  Even bankers and financial advisers are smart enough to know they don't have all the answers, most of 'em.

I understand about data hog smartcars being attractive, even if not in auto-drive.  I should have posted this in BizMo DiariesLots of e-stuff, on the road.

However smart places to stay put in, shelter, need not have wheels, let alone wings.  Having swipe screens in the kitchen with apps and videos, however mounted or built in, makes as much sense as on the dashboard of a smartcar.  But what does the village look like?  Hillary said it takes one.

I think of the Blue House as a big wooden tent, complete with furnace and furnishings.  City blocks are like RV hookups, where you connect to services, including data, sewer, electricity and whatever.  RV camping and living parked in a non-mobile home, is more a matter of degree.

I'm camping, just with a heavier rig that's not designed for the open road, let alone the rolling waves.

I speculate that we're still waiting for something more to come out of Camping / Scouting that preserves a lot of the DIY ethic, but takes more advantage of bandwidth and other space program developments.

Science / research teams that show up (they have before in these blogs), live in and sample an environment (might need to have airlocks if mosquitoes are a serious threat), then leave with a plan to remove their equipment, including dwelling units, once the studies are complete.  What did these units look like?  Biosphere 2?  Lost in Space?

Since the units are designed to be moved, cleanup is not perceived as an onerous duty but as a logical completion of a project.  We get into weight (as in tonnage) as an issue, and the "more with less" phenomenon, which is what camping is all about, even if other types of architecture are more about being super heavy (bunkers, banks... fortresses).  Helicopters play a role.  An oil rig is a village.

Of course some of these pioneering villages will "stick" and grow over time, perhaps reaching a constant size rather quickly, then extending through time for quite awhile.  The map of how villages may shrink or grow is already a long one and that's not what I studied.

I was looking at the US stock market and all the scary news, and no it wouldn't surprise me if risk markets were skittish in the face of an uncertain future.   Where there's a dip in August you often see another one in September, I get that.  Nothing I can do about it either, like the weather.  Flap my butterfly wings?

Many Americans live in fear of exotic attacks, the like of which TV and Hollywood have already graphically depicted.  In a world in which humans were just not so crazy, didn't deliberately drive the bus off the cliff, we could relax more.  It'd be more like DisneyLand, where yes, accidents happen. But then Americans have made lots of enemies, they're told that too.  The world doesn't love them any more.  What happened?  No time to reflect given fantasy rules the roost.

Sketching more than just a smartcar but something like a lifestyle behind it, would please many investors, unsure what they're buying when robot cars are unveiled.

What's the future gonna be like?  Some giant crazy war?  Should we be saving to retire to a resort casino lifestyle or what?  Will the golf cart drive itself?  Or are we talking "virtual golf"?

People don't wanna be fooled (blindsided) by a future they didn't see coming.  I get that.

Like, sure, sure, we'll drink Pepsi and Coke, but then what?  Like in WALL-E maybe, the movie? That didn't look so bad, on that space ship, right?  A lot of us would be happy with that, no?  Those were self driving cars / chairs were they not, complete with Big Gulps.  Why did they go back to Earth again?  Something about not enough vegetables?

I think that's the easy chair talking.  The lullaby of the recliner.  This is how many Americans sit, watching TV.  I need to hike Mt. Tabor after this (just a small hill, but I've cut back since the heel problems).  Update:  maybe tomorrow.  I'll have a beer.

So much screen programming is just the engine running idle, turning over in fantasies, faux versions of professions invented for the big screen.   The not-real doctors treat not-real patients.  Not-real mathematicians help not-real police.  The answer:  "reality TV".  A bunch of games.

And they all have such superpowers compared to us, those fictional characters, or a lot of 'em do.  We can't hold a candle to fiction.

The "reality component" in people's fantasy lives is tough to gauge but even so, is an important variable through time.  Are they scared?  What do they see as inevitable?  Prophesies can be self-fulfilling you know.  Thomas Paine was at pains to remind us of that fact, reminding us that to prophecy was to songify, to auto-tune the news.

Televangelists of all stripes create some amazing illusions don't they, with that smoke and those mirrors.  Illusions jump start realities, just like The Turk (chess playing automaton, supposedly, in Napoleon's day) "proved" the possibility of chess-playing automatons, and now we have them.

I've also been studying demented cartoons, on advice from a lawyer I know (still practicing).  Thanks to my immersion in another season of Squidbillies (easy to find on-line) I found myself late to a lunch I'd been looking forward to.  I popped out of the Matrix just long enough to remember I have a life.

That being stupidly late pushed me to run which proved I still could, and brought me back to my days as a jogger, exiting my dorm window, golf course level, and running through the woods around Princeton's Institute for Advanced Studies.  Cue fall colors.  Make me look handsome.

Hyuk.  Squidbillies is pretty funny.  They're squid hillbillies see, and they have hatred for "Chalkies" (white people), at least in some episodes.

I saw where Putin of Russia was extending more of a hand to Greece, Orthodox Christianity being a bond between them.  This was old news by now i.e. I was going back to a different debt crisis.  Now we're looking at the US's again, another thing I studied.

People who don't read a lot of history probably don't appreciate what a house of cards it's always been.  Humans, like chimps on a chimp island, have a glimmer of what intelligent institutions might be like, but follow-through is somewhat difficult for this species and besides, the puzzles are really tough to work out.  We only came up with arithmetic fairly recently, in geological terms.

In Gnostic and some Christian lore, the Angels are downright mocking of Man for being such a ditz-brain, can't get it together, always flat on his face, saying to God (in some Gnostic gospels a She - I'd advise we let It pick It's own pronoun) that God ought not waste too much time with these backwater hick squidbillie humans of Planet Earth.

In today's terms, these "Angels" are some ET race that's just jealous for some reason.  At however many billion we should take a moment to pat ourselves on the back.  Malthus never imagined we'd make it to such numbers, which show signs of leveling off.