atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#5424: Fits and starts

The other night, shortly before bedtime, I managed to bang out a couple pages of the new novel (now given the catchy working title Apocalyptic Visions, given here because I expect to change it when I come up with something less evocative of Ellison's Dangerous Visions anthology from my birth year. I do not like Harlan Ellison and do not seek to emulate him).

As creaky as the process was, it jump-started things. I'd gotten the story to one of those places where the next step is not obvious to me, and couldn't determine where to go; a chance trip to a Red Lobster for dinner on Saturday night fixed that: Mrs. Fungus had a dish which included crab, and that led me to think about how one might transport seafood from one world to another, and the economics of transporting live crabs across interstellar distances. So when I sat at the keyboard, I used that inspiration to add another "this is how fucked up this society is" vignettes, and that led into a vignette which advances the plot. I would have kept going if it hadn't been bedtime. Probably should have, in fact.

Maintaining the momentum is the hardest part.

* * *

Getting closer to being able to regenerate teeth. Still need a veneer of something to cover the dentin, but convincing the dentin to regenerate fully is a big step forward.

* * *

This kind of thing is why the elites lost control of the 2016 elections. If you're going to lie, you should lie in such a way that your lies cannot be immediately and thoroughly exposed as such with only a cursory check of the facts. Make your lie as subjective as possible.

Incorrect: "All Chevrolet Cruze sedans sold in the U.S. are built in GM's assembly plant in Lordstown, Ohio."

Correct: "We sell good cars, some of which are made here."

In this rather simplistic example the "correct" example given above is untrue but so subjective that it's impossible to get a handle on where the untruth is. Of course, the tactic employed by GM relied on a gatekeeper press. Elites don't seem to understand that out here in "flyover country" our attitudes about the press are very different from theirs; so they came out with something blatantly untrue, expecting the press to be entirely uncritical about it.

Their attitude: if the mainstream media isn't saying it, it's inconsequential and can be ignored.

Our attitude: because the mainstream media is saying it, it's likely to be wrong or an outright lie; it's therefore inconsequential and can be ignored.

One need only look at how badly the entire "fake news" thing backfired on them to understand that point. And as long as these idiots continue to behave that way, they're going to lose.

* * *

I don't know which is worse. We had blue skies for about a week, but it was bitter cold outside. Over the course of yesterday the skies clobbered up, but it got warmer, such that when I left work around 10 PM it felt positively balmy outside.

The temperature was thirty degrees warmer than it had been for five days.

Today it's just as dreary as can be, looking more like November or February than January. But the weather site reports that it's 41° outside.

Only a couple of errands to run; otherwise the day is mine. I don't expect to do much.

One errand, though:

Over the new year's weekend, I had to get some keys made, copies of the keys to Dad's house. We had one set and needed three, so I went to the local Ace Hardware to get copies made. It worked out to about twenty dollars' worth of keys, for crying out loud, and it had to be done before the memorial so I could hand a set off to my brother-in-law.

And when the brother-in-law went to the house Wedneday morning, before going to the airport to go home, he found--to my chagrin--that none of them worked. So when Mrs. Fungus and I went to the house Saturday night we took both her set and the originals, and found that out of all the keys we had, only the originals worked.

None of the copies are any good at all.

So today I get to take the copies back to Ace Hardware and get new copies made, which they had better do correctly and free of charge, because if they don't that will be the last time I spend any money at Ace Hardware. I mean, I could understand it if one key didn't work, or even copies of one specific key didn't, but none of them work. And when I look at the copies, I can see how sloppily they were cut; comparing the copy to the original you can see curves where there should be angles. It's just shoddy workmanship, and there's no excuse for it.


* * *

So, thinking about technology--

The modern smartphone is an amazing piece of hardware. Mine's just an entry-level model and it's like magic. It occurred to me today that when I was born, computers were room-sized machines; now they're devices we carry in our hip pockets, and we make phone calls, and take pictures and movies with them. One device replaces phone, camera, movie camera, GPS, and music player; it also allows access to the Internet and provides a platform for entertainment such as videos and games.

Still can't replace a desktop computer, but that'll never happen anyway--there will be some applications for which a desktop is absolutely the only reasonable solution--but we're already seeing the smartphone take over many of the roles for which people formerly needed a computer, simple things like email and such.

In 2000 I watched Apollo 13 in my living room in Cedar Rapids. Jim Lovell told VIPs that they now had a computer which could store "a million pieces of information, yet fit in a single room", and I looked at my 8 megabyte Handspring Vizor Deluxe and laughed.

In 2017 I have a phone--a phone!--with 2,000 times as much storage, and the phone company is essentially giving it to me just to secure my patronage.


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