atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#6291: Sunday is the day of rest

Especially since the grass is too damned wet to cut. It rained a lot yesterday. It rained at 3 AM. Rain, rain, rain, rain, rain.

It's 75° outside, but we're running the AC because it's F-ING HUMID--dewpoint is 67° which, at 75°, is like putting on a damp, clammy t-shirt that's been laying in the sun. It's not quite cool but it's not warm, either, and it's sticky and feels awful on your skin and never quite hangs right until after it dries.

So: we had hot weather until the pool was ready to go, at which point we got a couple days where we could use it, and now this. Blech.

* * *

Was I not just saying this a week or so ago? Now they're moving the goal posts and saying that it's actually an accumulation of "microplastics" which--conveniently--you can't see from the air or orbit, and which is somehow much worse than a vast island of trash floating on the water.

Still not convinced.

* * *

Sad to say, I don't think your balloon "got at him", anus. As the post concludes, "They can't touch him; he keeps right on running rings around them, he doesn't give a tinker's damn what they think or say, and it's driven them all crazier'n a shithouse rat."

The image of Trump as a diaper-clad baby mystifies me. I simply don't get what they're trying to say; it's supposed to be provocative but the only thing it provokes in me is bewilderment because it doesn't make any damned sense. I mean, at least when the Bush-deranged made effigies of him with a Hitler mustache, that made some kind of sense; but this? I got nothing.

The effigy game itself has run its course, anyway. When I see someone carrying an effigy of a Republican I just roll my eyes--this nonsense again--because the fact that someone went to the trouble of making an effigy tells me this is some kind of crackpot nonsense.

When I look at the pictures of the protest, all I see is the usual cadre of lunatics. I suppose they think that by going out in public and being transgressive they are making some kind of point, but in fact all they're doing is making manifest how insane they all are.

And Trump doesn't care. Okay? He knows that his mere presence drives you insane with helpless rage and frustration. It doesn't bother him. He's not the one going out and publicly frothing at the mouth; you are.

And, not to put too fine a point on it, your antics confirm to him that his policies are working.

* * *

I agree--call their bluff. All those "communities" who complain about police, who say that cops are racist, who beoman the fact that police racism is causing all kinds of violence in their neighborhoods--why don't we call their bluff and give them the opportunity to get the police out of their hair? Have 'em put up or shut up.

Of course it would rapidly descend into chaos. Police-free neighborhoods would be where all the crime took place. In all probability, vigilante groups would appear in these places, and they'd be worse than the Chicago PD allegedly are, shooting more black people dead rather than less. Or else those areas would end up being run by gangs. "Little Mogadishu" has a ring to it, doesn't it?

Either way, the people who formerly complained about police and protested every time some "choir boy" got ventilated while trying to shoot at police, those people would be begging for the police to come back. And maybe then Chicago would stop being the most dangerous city in the country.

* * *

I don't buy it. I don't buy it for three reasons.

1) I don't believe that the expansion of the universe is accelerating. There's no reason for it to do that. "Dark energy" is something we've invented to explain a phenomenon which probably has another explanation that does not involve coming up with something we can't observe.

2) Even if pretty much everything else in the universe ends up past the red-shift limit, there is no saying that we couldn't find a way to get to it. We do not know everything there is to know.

3) 100 billion years is a very long time. We continue to evolve. What will our needs be by then? Perhaps we'll be able to build our own universe at that time, a brand new one tailored to our specifications.

Everything we know about the cosmos is because of the light that reaches us from it. We're told that galaxy X at the far end of the universe is moving away faster than galaxy Y because their redshifts are different--but does this account for the fact that space has stretched while the light was on its way here? I don't know; no one has ever said so--but if we're not taking that into account, it means that we don't actually know how fast things are receding.

They must have. But I've never seen it said anywhere that they were.

Look: light is photons, yes, and space stretching is infinitesimal on a local level. But photons exist in a place where there is no time. To the photon itself, it exists everywhere along that line between galaxy and telescope. That's why we can do those bizarre quantum experiments where somehow the photon in Boston knows what the photon in Delaware is up to: for photons, there is no time.

And because the photon exists everywhere between source and sink, when that distance stretches, it red-shifts. The bigger the distance, the bigger the red shift. And we interpret that as farther sources moving faster.

What observations have led to this notion that the expansion is accelerating? Again, I haven't seen any explanation that really satisfied me and doesn't seem to account for the basic property of photons to which I previously alluded.

All told I suppose it doesn't really matter. Any civilization that has the ability to build Dyson spheres and move stars around probably isn't too worried about the expansion of the universe, either.

* * *

It's why the left idolizes him so much. Nelson Mandela has been lionized because he was an ardent socialist. All that violence stuff--bah, omelettes, eggs, some assembly required. The left loves violence; that's why their color is red. Red is the color of blood, and oh boy do they love to spill blood.

* * *

One of the big problems I have with AV is that one character--I've mentioned him before, briefly--who is extremely hard to write.

It comes from two things. First, he's not all there. Second, he's an unlimited psionic, meaning he can do all kinds of spectacular things but usually does not. He's the opposite number of another, similar character, who is the driving force behind the collapse of civilization. Both characters can do everything, but both are better at some things and worse at others. "A" can teleport, even across interstellar distances; but while he can see tomorrow's lottery numbers, any time he plays them he doesn't win. "B" could win any lottery he likes (even one a hundred years from now) but he can only teleport locally. Like that.

"A" uses his powers obviously and randomly. The most recent scene I wrote ended up with him lifing himself from a chair, telekinetically, and flying out of the room a la Superman, cackling all the way.

How not to descend into farce?

First off, no one really takes him seriously, except in spots. Which is to say, they know they can't do anything about him, but they also know they're not really in any danger of being the target of his capriciousness. He plays tricks and causes mischief, but only rarely does he actually become dangerous to anyone, and never to anyone who he considers a friend.

But he is very dangerous. There's a scene where he gets caught in a crossfire between Our Heroes and Generic Bad Guys (a squad of invading troops) and he simply kills all the invaders--"cause of death: he died". Because their gunfire had ruined his favorite shirt.

Second, his very capriciousness means he's not around most of the time. 90% of his activity is spent elsewhere in the universe, doing things he never really explains to anyone.

But the scenes where he uses his power to do silly things like levitation etc, I worry about them being too trite or something bad. Like the scene I mentioned, where he flies off saying "Up, and away!" and laughing--is it too ridiculous? Is it bad writing?

Little by little, however, I find myself feeling more relaxed about it. I've laid plenty of groundwork in the story (and universe) for these guys and their psionic powers. We rarely see their use "on camera". Most importantly, though, is that this is the kind of crap he DOES. It's true to character. He's got these powers, and he does this stupid crap with them, entirely for his own amusement. He's not quite sane, he's mischievous, and "decorum" does not appear in his dictionary.

And far from being a deus ex machina, where his powers miraculously save the day, they complicate matters, or at worst are neutral. The scene with the shootout: Our Heroes aren't in any real danger, and are in fact in the opening stages of parlay with the invaders--and could have talked it out and resolved it without bloodshed--when this lunatic pops in and (after a bit of banter) kills all the invaders. It doesn't help anyone; it doesn't save anyone on our side.

He will play a part in the resolution of the conflict. He will not, however, save the day by doing something with his mind powers.

Because as silly as he is, there's one hard rule that he obeys: he's not here to save the day. The regular people, they have to do that themselves; relying on the occasional psionic superman to solve all the problems is how a race gets itself into trouble. People have to solve their own problems. It's not a noble impulse; it's actually selfish and lazy--but he has other objectives on which he's concentrating--"Big, important, secret things!"--so he doesn't have time to fiddle with mundane affairs, anyway.

* * *

As for me--Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest, and since I can't cut the grass, that's what I'm doing. I do have to wash the dishes, but I'll do that later on.

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