atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#4007: You're not getting much of anything today.

I am incapable of sentient thought.

I finished up the CBT stuff today. My schedule will vary as needed but this week I was on 12-4 PM W-Th-F, and have to be there at 7:30 tomorrow morning for the two hours of orientation we couldn't do last week due to technical issues.

The first hour of work just d-r-a-g-g-e-d past, but once I got into the swing of things the time seemed to go faster. But by 3:30 my brain was starting to throw exception errors; it was like trying to put one more sweater into an already full suitcase, but I was almost done....

Finished it all at 3:45. It's actually 16 hours of training accomplished in about 12, so that's probably why my skull feels as if it's been stuffed with high-density foam padding; this is the first time I've ever felt like this. (Neuroplasticity declines as we age, after all.) It's not a headache; it's just...full.

Normally I can do this kind of thing faster than the people around me, even if they're younger than I. I don't know what material the other recent inductees (who were hired for different jobs) have to do, but there is some overlap. To be honest I'm not too concerned with proving that I'm smarter than they are to anyone other than myself, for ego reasons.

* * *

Speaking of being smarter than others...

Og has a post up about a post at Sarah Hoyt's blog, where he commented on the fact that heavy industry will never be replaced by cottage industry.

To me, that's self-evident, and since Og's blog is 'way ahead of Hoyt's in my blogroll I made this comment at Neanderpundit long before I read Hoyt's post and the attendant comments:
You cannot, for example, build a modern diesel locomotive in a garage. Not a full-size one capable of hauling 100 cars full of coal over the Rocky Mountains, anyway.
Turns out Og used exactly that example, only more detailed.

How do you build a railroad without access to large quantities of steel? How do you smelt the steel without some kind of smelter? How do you heat the ore without large quantities of fuel (or energy, at least)? How do you get all that stuff in one spot? And why do you build a railroad if you don't have any of the other stuff, first?

The biggest worry I have with #RELEASE_CANDIDATE_ONE is time: the story begins on a world that was colonized about a hundred years earlier, and in that time they've built up heavy industry to the point that they can build large iron ships and steam trains. I worry that a hundred years isn't enough time for the infrastructure to be established. I calm these fears by reminding myself that this world doesn't have an EPA or other government apprati dedicated to throttling the wheels of progress; also that they don't need to invent anything like a Bressemer Convertor or a polyphase alternating current motor. Even so, it seems like a perilously short time.

The Industrial Revolution on Earth took almost two centuries to get from muscle power to atomic. How much of that time came from the fact that so much of it had to be invented first? How much is due simply to economic factors? I mean, you can't build a 2,500 mile railroad if you're still smelting pig iron in 20-lb batches, even if you're given detailed blueprints and assembly instructions for everything you need to build.

Hell, even if an archangel descends from heaven and wills the track into being for you, how do you build the train?

I'll tell you what you'd do in those circumstances: you'd build wagons that rolled along those tracks, and pull them with horses. You need stuff to build stuff.

That's Og's point, and it's just a reflexive "we're smarter than YOU, naysayer!" response of Internet commentors that is driving the arguments against his position. He's trying to explain to these people why the utopian vision of cottage industry cannot work in a modern industrialized civilization, why you can't eliminate heavy industry without knocking us back to the medieval era. But since they're focused on the utopian promise of technology, they don't want to hear someone saying, "No, you're still going to have to have big industry."

Oh well.

* * *

Bluesun has found something wonderful: a vegetarian's description of a chicken sandwich is METAL!

* * *

I and my full brain require rest. See ya!

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  • #8257: It really amuses me, in fact.

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