Hello and good morning. It’s Thursday, and so it’s time for another edition of my weekly blog post, though it’s not the only post I’ve written this week. I wrote another one, on Tuesday, that didn’t really have anything but random writing and thoughts. I say “random”, but it’s not literally random in any kind of probability sense. It simply was not pre-planned. I’m sure that the various things I wrote, though stochastic at some level, were predictable by any adequately sophisticated model of me, if there is such a thing.
It’s the last day of June in 2022. It’s been summer now for a little over a week, at least in the northern hemisphere, but I don’t see anything particularly noteworthy or different about that fact. The weather hasn’t changed significantly, which is not surprising. The days are shortening*, but this close to the peak of the sine curve, the rate of change is too slow for there to have been any difference noticeable by anything other than highly precise observations. And, of course, temperature changes tend to lag behind the change in daylight hours, so it will continue to get warmer for a while, just as the temperature gets cooler after the winter solstice, even though the days will have already begun to get “longer”, because the ground and the oceans are heat reservoirs that act almost like capacitors for the heat changes relating to the change of daytime.
I haven’t written any more on The Dark Fairy and the Desperado this week; Saturday was the last time I wrote anything at all (fiction-wise). I’m in a bit of a dry spell. It’s not writer’s block. I could write if I chose to do so. I just don’t have any wish to write. I also haven’t played guitar in a while, certainly not in about a week, also. I just don’t really give a shit about any of it; I don’t think anyone else cares much either, though about that I’m on shakier ground than regarding my own apathy, or antipathy.
As you know, if you read my blog post on Tuesday, I did another Shakespeare video, this time of Richard III’s famous little soliloquy from the play of the same name**. I also recorded a brief video yesterday morning—wearing shades and mask, since I don’t much like to have to look at my face when I’m just being myself, and I’m the one who has to do the editing. I was sort of “riffing” on an entry in Eliezer Yudkoswsky’s book, Rationality: From AI to Zombies. It’s a book I highly recommend; if you have to choose between watching my video (when I post it, which I intend to do), or reading the book, then read the book. But my video is shorter. It’s about the notion that learning science from science news can be unsatisfactory and even misleading, and how much more joy (and learning) there can be in getting the basics, learning about honestly “settled” science. It may seem a weird topic for someone to do a video about, but it’s the sort of thing that matters to me, even when very little else does.
So, I plan to post that to YouTube soon, possibly even today, and then I’ll probably make a bespoke blog post in which to embed it here, to try and increase its reach. Maybe as many as ten people, even, will eventually watch it!
That’s most of what’s going on with me now, to be honest, apart from my gradual—or not so gradual—disintegration. I don’t know if I’ll write any more fiction or do any more guitar playing or singing, let alone writing any new songs. I doodled some words yesterday that could be turned into a stupid, silly song, a sort of response to the line “groove is in the heart”, from the song Groove Is in the Heart, which is a song I actually like quite a bit. But the notion in my words was that while groove is in “the heart”, i.e., that you can get the feeling and enjoy music on a solely emotional level, to actually make and play music, you need to use your higher mind as well. It’s a silly little, inconsequential idea. I don’t have a tune to go with it, and I don’t think I ever will.
I hope all of you feel better than I do. Odds are that most of you do, especially considering that on top of everything else, I had a bout of gastroenteritis yesterday starting at about 2 am. I still had to go to work, because on Wednesdays I take care of certain particularly crucial office functions. Also, I knew that a coworker of mine, who shares some of the aspects of my job, had to leave early. So, all that was unpleasant. But apparently, my discomfort is not obvious enough that other people adjust their behaviors to at least a minimal degree.
Perhaps I’m too stoic; but I don’t feel like I’m stoic. I feel like I’m growling and screaming. Apparently, though, this alexithymia stuff is worse than I thought, at least in my case, because no one around me seems to notice anything unusual or different. I guess one of the problems with always being weird, and always having been weird, is that people take any erratic behavior or attempted signal-sending as just another kind of weirdness—or perhaps it just comes across as the same kind of weirdness. In such circumstances, even if someone feels that they are drowning, other people seem just to take it as merely an instance or a continuation of one’s peculiar, quirky swimming style, and they don’t do anything, even as they watch you go under for the proverbial third time. I don’t think they’re simply indifferent to the fact that someone is drowning, but I suppose it is, in principle, possible. They may even be pleased.
I don’t know if any of that makes sense. I’m not sure that anything I say or write makes sense. I’m far from sure that I, myself, make sense even to myself. I don’t feel well at all, but I don’t seem to be able to do anything useful about that fact. I guess that’s just one of the things that happens when the person you hate most in the world—and the person who hates you most in the world—is yourself.
Oh, well. For those of you in the US, I hope you have a good Independence Day this coming Monday (which will be July 4th). Try to enjoy the holiday and remember what it’s about. Maybe even read the Declaration of Independence; it’s not very long. You can skip the list of grievances if you want. Above all, though, be good to yourselves and to those you love (and those who love you), and if you can, spend time with your family and friends. Give them the benefit of the doubt, even if they say or do things that irritate you. It’s almost certain that you do the same to them.
*By which I mean that the length of time in which the sun is above the horizon is decreasing, not that the days have turned into Crisco or something.
**Richard III, I mean, not Soliloquy. As far as I know, there isn’t any well-known play called Soliloquy (though I would be surprised if no one has ever written such a play), and certainly, there’s no such play by Shakespeare.