Hello, good morning, and welcome to another Thursday edition of my blog post. Enter freely and of your own will.
I considered donning my metaphorical doctor’s hat* today and discussing the coronavirus that’s currently causing mass panic and near-panic, but I think there’s an abundance of such discussions out there now by people who get paid to talk about it—and, alas, by people who have no business talking about it. I’ll just say this much: while care and concern are warranted, and significant resources and planning are appropriate and necessary to address this problem, panic is not useful. It rarely is. Pay attention to qualified, sober sources, follow sensible recommendations about handwashing (which ought to be your habit, anyway), practice so-called social distancing**, minimize and avoid public gatherings, work from home if you can, and for gosh sakes, if you cough or sneeze, do it into your elbow, not your hand. If you do it into your hand by mistake, wash your hands right away, please. Ewwwww.
And, of course, if this disease frightens you—which is not entirely unreasonable—then use that fact to motivate you to take other, far more common and similarly dangerous diseases such as influenza seriously in the future. Familiarity should not breed apathy.
Likewise, pay attention to non-infectious but dangerous behaviors: use your turn signals (every time!), get regular exercise, don’t smoke, all that stuff. And it should go without saying that if you text and drive (or otherwise allow your cellphones to make you into a needless hazard for the innumerable innocents with whom you share the road), then you should be given painful electric shocks to your tongue and genitals, lasting one second for the first offense, two for the second offense, four for the third offense, eight for the fourth offense, sixteen for the fifth, and so on.
I myself have been rather sick over the last weekend and well into this week so far. It’s nothing as dramatic as COVID, just some “stomach” trouble, minor fevers and chills (for a short time), and then just generally feeling miserable and blah since late last week. Nevertheless, work continues on Unanimity, though I’m nearing the end of the book again, and I’m about to reread a particularly sad and tragic episode in it. Of course, it’s a “pseudo-sci-fi” horror novel, so such sad and tragic episodes abound, but this one feels particularly harsh to me…and I’m the one who wrote it, so there’s no one else to blame.
I’ve also been doing some musical tinkering here and there, despite being queasy and slightly febrile. I figured out some of the reasons I wasn’t satisfied with my song Breaking Me Down—beyond my comparatively poor production skills when I made it—and I’ve been working on correcting those problems and producing a better version. I posted a partially improved one here and on Iterations of Zero recently, but those are far from the finished product, though I didn’t know it at the time. Once I get the song into a form that I like, I’ll probably remove earlier versions at least from my YouTube channel, though I’ll likely leave them here and on IoZ for posterity and archaeology.
That’s an interesting thought, isn’t it? Archaeologists of the future may spend much of their careers scraping and sifting through the electronic remnants at the bottom of the crumbling ruins of our current, archaic version of cyberspace, where information may indeed remain forever, but in which it will continue to be almost hopelessly mired in what is surely one of the most lopsided signal-to-noise imbalances that life has ever seen***. Presumably their search engines will be better even than ours, but just imagine future civilizations trying to piece together an accurate picture of early twenty-first century life by going through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, or Reddit. God help them if they stumble upon “reality TV”!
Hopefully, they’ll know enough just to come to WordPress.
With that, I think I’ll call it done for this week. I hope you’re all as well as you can be, and continue to be as well as you can be, in this best of all currently available worlds.
*The hat is metaphorical. The doctor part is literal.
**I do that naturally, whether I wish it or not. How lucky for me.
***If you need to ask which side predominates that ratio, I’m not sure what to say other than to ask if this is your first time ever getting online.