It’s Friday. I say that just in case you didn’t know (or perhaps in case you’re reading this some day other than the one on which I posted it, which is possible).
As usual, I don’t know what I’m going to write about today, but if experience is any guide, I’ll probably just write something anyway, and I’ll have more words than I ever intended to have written before I’m done. You can all see how my book Unanimity grew to be more than half a million words long in its first draft. I just write and write and write and write.
I guess it’s much the way some people just talk and talk and talk and talk. I often do that, too, if it’s a topic in which I’m interested, and if there’s anyone around to whom to talk about it, but I often soon get glazed looks from other people, so I have to catch myself and shut up and walk away, chagrined. When I’m writing here, there are no glazed looks to be had, and if anyone really isn’t interested, they don’t have to keep reading. If they do keep reading, it must mean they were interested. That’s a nice thought, in a weird way.
I’m going to write a post tomorrow, since I’m working tomorrow, but I may just share a video that I’m considering posting to YouTube. I made it quite a few months ago (I’m not sure when), and just haven’t yet uploaded it. I can’t recall what made me reluctant to do so, which probably means I didn’t have terribly convincing reasons. It’s a silly video, but it was a bit of fun, about a comic-book-science idea I had regarding whether, perhaps, Superman’s powers were derived from solar neutrinos*. I describe the process of my thinking, my “back of the envelope” calculations, and my conclusion, which will probably be obvious from the title of the video. I won’t say more right now, but if I post it to YouTube, I’ll probably embed it here, tomorrow.
As for anything else, well, there’s really nothing else going on in my life as far as I can see. I had a pretty good response (for me, anyway) to my blog post yesterday, in terms of number of people who came to read it, and that was rather gratifying.
It would be nifty if I could reach the number of readers that Jerry Coyne has for Why Evolution Is True, especially if I could get his level of engagement from readers who comment. I read his website every day (except when I’m not working), and I often comment and almost always “like” the posts, which is not dishonest, because I actually like the posts I “like”. It’s one of the few reliable refuges of sanity and intelligence that I have found in the world.
Yet, weirdly, even there, I almost always feel embarrassed after making comments, like I’m probably just annoying to PCC(E) and everyone else who comes to the site, and I really ought to shut up, if not for my sake, then for everyone else’s. This is how I tend to feel about life in general. Most of the time when I actively participate in anything, I come to feel that I’ve embarrassed myself and made everyone else uncomfortable.
Probably no one really notices, to be fair and to try to be rational, but it’s difficult when you can’t really tell how people react to you, or what they think or feel, and it seems similarly that other people are utterly unable to catch messages that I’m trying desperately to send, where I feel like my emotions must be written all over my face and be painfully obvious, but apparently, they aren’t. Admittedly, when I look at my face in the mirror (I can only rarely tolerate it), I do usually find just a sort of non-expression.
It’s odd, isn’t it? I can read Shakespeare or a poem I like, or recite movie lines and things and apparently do a good job of expressing emotion when doing so, and sometimes it seems that the only times I can actually feel my own emotions are when I’m singing a song that expresses them, but otherwise I can’t seem to convey feelings I’d really like to get across, and can’t seem to land messages that I honestly, desperately wish that someone would get.
I sometimes feel like someone from one of those Star Trek episodes in which a character is “out of phase” with the rest of the universe, or some other, similar such nonsense**, and I can see and hear all the other beings around me, but I can’t seem to reach them, and they certainly don’t quite seem able to hear or see me.
It’s not like being an anthropologist on Mars so much as feeling like an anthropologist from Mars. Only, really, no one comes from Mars, so I must have come from someplace else***, but I don’t have any idea where it might be, or even if there is such a thing, a place to which to return, or fellow beings like myself. Quite possibly not. The universe doesn’t guarantee anyone that they will find a place that they feel they belong. The universe only really guarantees one thing, and it clearly is not taxes.
Would it be better to be a mutant, unlike any other beings in the universe, or to be an alien that has lost its home planet, if that planet even exists at all, anymore? What are your thoughts?
*Of course, Superman doesn’t actually exist, but it can still be fun to imagine comic book level scientific explanations for things that happen in comic books, and to try to apply a certain degree of scientific rigor to those explanations.
**Nonsense physics-wise, I mean. The episodes can be quite good if you can get past the fact that the science fiction ideas are logically contradictory and physically senseless. Good writing, directing, and acting really can make up for a lot.
***And I’m not an anthropologist except out of necessity. If anything, I’m a misanthropologist.