Okay, well, I’m back on the laptop again, today. I think I did a decent job of gauging how long my post should be yesterday, despite using my phone to write it. It did seem to take slightly longer to write the same number of words than it would have with the laptop. It’s just easier to write faster when you’re using a (nearly) full-scale keyboard and more or less all of your fingers instead of your two thumbs to type.
Still, as I think I’ve noted before, I wrote a goodly part of my science fiction novel, Son of Man using a smartphone that was quite a bit smaller than the one I have now, and I think it turned out pretty well. At least, the feedback I’ve gotten from the few people I know who have read it and who deigned to comment—one of whom has sadly died—was good.
Not much has changed since yesterday, though. By which I mean I’m not sure why I’m bothering to keep doing this blog. I don’t think it’s doing me much good. As anyone reading regularly can probably tell, my mental health doesn’t seem to be improving at all despite the use of this unidirectional “talk therapy”.
I’m a creature of habit, though, so I’ll continue this until…well, until something stops me, or until I stop doing even this little bit of proactive stuff. I’m sure that will leave the world no poorer.
The hurricane that’s approaching is not supposed to hit this part of Florida, but to make landfall along the central west coast, but it’s still been sloppy and rainy, and a bit windy, these past few days. Sunday afternoon was sunny and clear, and I went for a long walk near the end of the day, but since then we’ve had wetness. At least the modest windiness—which may have at least something peripheral to do with the hurricane—makes it feel less muggy.
It’s almost pleasant, and even has a slight autumnal feel to it. It reminds me vaguely of the times in the year after school had started and as Halloween approached up north, when the leaves would begin changing—something that, alas, doesn’t really happen in south Florida—and you had to wear a light jacket against the breeze, but it wasn’t yet truly cold.
Of course, no jackets are required here in south Florida, unless you’re going to some high end club or restaurant, or unless you’re wearing one to keep off the rain. But an umbrella works better against the rain here, in my experience, and it doesn’t leave you so sweaty. However, if you’re riding a motorcycle, a good rain jacket is useful, and rain pants if you have them. A good helmet is more than adequate to keep your head dry, and even keeps it warm in what passes for cold weather in south Florida*.
Here I go again, talking about the weather. It’s rather pathetic, I know, I’m sorry.
I guess I could comment on political or scientific stories if you’d prefer. I don’t know what happened with the NASA probe thing last night, the experiment to try to shift the orbit of an asteroid. It’s a trial of concept, basically, to tease out the workings of the process of changing the long-term orbit of an asteroid, in case one ever appears to be headed for Earth.
The laws of motion and Newtonian gravity are more than adequate for us to tell well in advance where an object’s orbit will take it—if we know where the object is and how it’s moving—and what sort of change would make it no longer headed to intersect the Earth, if it were otherwise going to do so. Given enough lead time, even a tiny nudge can be more than adequate to prevent collisions.
Of course, also given enough lead time, a tiny nudge and the same technology could alter the trajectory of a hitherto harmless asteroid and put it in a trajectory to hit the Earth.
Don’t think I haven’t thought about it. Regrettably, I don’t have the resources to pull off such a scheme. However, there are now at least a few people in the world who have their own private space programs, some capable of interplanetary travel. I wouldn’t put it past Elon Musk to steer a modest asteroid toward Earth to cause just massive enough a catastrophe to support his point pushing for human colonization of other planets, as a sort of object lesson.
Okay, well, I don’t really think he would do that. He has too much to lose, and it could be quite tricky to steer such an asteroid finely, so that it hit where on Earth you wanted it to hit. But it might be a good way to unify the human race. I’ve often thought that we need a real supervillain to bring the world together. I would volunteer, but I don’t think humanity is worth the effort. I’m more inclined just to steer a whopping BIG asteroid at Earth and do a planetary reset.
I wouldn’t do this for any ideological reason, and certainly not for any religious reason. I believe the supernatural cannot exist by (my) definition**. I just think it would be a good test, of sorts. If humanity were able to come together to prevent the catastrophe, or to at least survive it and rebuild, they would have demonstrated their continuing worthiness. And if not, well, then not.
Honestly, given the fact that life is more or less inevitably dominated by fear and pain***, I often veer toward anti-natalism, and even pro-mortalism (look them up). Of course, given that I have children, and they are the most important two facts about the universe to me, by far, I can hardly be said to be a pure pro-mortalist or anti-natalist. But then, I never claimed to be.
I don’t think it’s usually good to try to define oneself by any “ism”. It’s vanishingly unlikely that any one given, finite ideology will have come up with reliable, complete, and final answers. regarding much of anything about life. If it had, I suspect that fact would have become evident, if not obvious, by now.
Knowledge and deep understanding is gained incrementally, not revealed by some “authority”; the universe is extremely complex, at least on scales like the surface of the Earth at this stage of cosmic evolution. We can’t expect any simple, easy-to-solve equation to describe even the eddies and whorls that take place when milk first begins mixing into coffee, and that’s more or less the stage of the universe we’re in right now (on a much bigger scale than a cup of coffee, obviously).
Okay, well, I don’t know how I got around to those subjects, but I guess that’s the sort of thing that can happen with stream-of-consciousness writing. At least it wasn’t just a complete rehash of what I wrote yesterday. Hopefully tomorrow will likewise not be a rehash. Tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow may creep on in this petty pace to the last syllable of recorded time (which record will eventually decay as time goes its interminable way), but each morrow will differ in its details, at least until all things are washed out by entropy. It’ll be a while—on the mortal scale, anyway—before that happens cosmically.
Keep your eyes peeled and your ears pricked up, though. It is coming.
*To be fair, if you’re riding at 70+ miles per hour, even a low in the low fifties feels pretty darn cold, but that sort of weather won’t be back for months now, and goodness knows if I’ll ever ride again.
**By which I mean to say, even if there were such things as gods and demons and angels and spirits and so on, if they really existed, then they would in fact be part of nature, and would have a “lawful” existence of some type, and would therefore be natural. Only imaginary things can be “supernatural”.
***I’m sure I’ve gone into this before. It is essential for any successfully reproducing organism to have strong senses of pain and fear, to avoid danger and to avoid and seek to mitigate damage. These must be more immediate and powerful—and potentially more enduring—than any sense of pleasure or joy. All pleasure and joy must, by nature, be fleeting, or else an organism will not be driven to work to survive, to reproduce as often as feasible. An organism that feels little to no fear or pain, and that experiences lasting and powerful joy from any given stimulus or circumstance, will live a blissful but short life, and will be outcompeted by fearful, aggressive, and pain-prone creatures. It would not tend to leave many offspring, all other things being equal.