Category Archives: I Laughed.
Luddites are both annoying and fascinating.
They have the corner of a legitimate argument: technology has the potential to f**k us up royally. Yes, yes it does. I’m a Cold War kid. I remember watching The Day After.
I read (and sometimes write) dystopias. I’m a friggin’ science fiction fan and writer, fer crissake! OF COURSE I KNOW that technology has the potential to f**k us up!
So does a hammer. Or a spear. Or an obsidian flake.
Yes, technology usually needs to be managed. For example, in the wake of the invention of the automobiles we passed scads of laws governing their use. Where they can be used, how fast, what safety equipment can be used. Of course, we still manage to kill and injure about a million of ourselves yearly with the things, as I’ve written elsewhere.
As far as I can tell, the Luddite argument against self-driving cars is that they somehow won’t be regulated like every other invention and that they will somehow do a worse job at coordinating traffic safely than millions and millions of unconnected human brains all in various states of caffeine and fatigue and substance intoxication, plus under the influence of things like anger and grief and arguments and shouting children and dropping burritos in their laps.
Me, I think autonomous cars will do better. Sure, they can be compromised. So can your brakes and steering now — there are plenty of problems that will come up. There always are. Once upon a time fire displaced good old eating meat raw, and then someone burnt up their cave and died. I mean, a Luddite ought to be for going back to horseback… wait, you can fall off… I mean going on foot. Safety first! Hide in your cave!
Anyhow. The exchange with Luddites was amusing and silly. Here are a few tweets about it (this would be on my Patreon (sorry, patrons!), but they don’t seem to support links to tweets, so I have to put tweet-based posts here).
So, that happened. Whatever. I wonder why they just don’t go live without technology? I mean, the Amish manage it nicely without talking about it on Twitter, which you think Luddites would despise and not use.
It’s almost like their ideas don’t make sense except in at the shallowest possible glance — which they seem unable to see past.
At least writing this was fun, and I got to look up some cool images, and I got a blog post out of it. I hope y’all enjoyed it.
…is to hold it open with your toe so both your hands are free. Antics and toe courtesy of my middle son, 6 year old Victor, who now often reads the bedtime stories for his little brother Cuinn.
What a shame the real thing won’t be half as entertaining.
Musk shows some fitting sentiment with his idea to name his first Mars-bound settlement ship the Heart of Gold.
The literal meaning is nice. Our best intentions and loftiest goals, finally off to put some of humanity’s eggs in a basket other than Earth. Good show. The best intentions riff generally turns sour eventually, of course, but that’s simply the nature of time and change — someone gets the bright idea to try being meaner for a while, and everyone suffers until they get tired of suffering enough to demand some changes that may or may not help. It’s a fine sentiment, and probably best to start out with that rather than a bunch of cynicism.
The tribute to Douglas Adams and the Hitchhiker’s Guide books is wonderful, as is the general tribute to the role of science fiction in keeping our eyes on the stars and our thoughts on getting somewhere rather than simply digging in deeper like ticks until another dinosaur killer comes around to wipe us out (assuming we don’t take the nuclear and/or germ warfare route). Damn shame Mr. Adams isn’t around to appreciate it. I wonder if he’d be tickled or annoyed or both.
Is it the best name for a spacecraft for a Mars expedition? Maaaaaaaayybe not. Unless we intend to drop a whale and a bowl of petunias on Olympus Mons.
Come to think of it, Olympus Mons would be a fine place to keep a small catalog of planets for sale, or perhaps make a decent summer home for a couple of mice.
Maybe Heart of Gold really is the right name.
Me & my two little ones (3&5) came out to grill. This was waiting for us:
Just hanging out on the handrail of our front step. Very cool.
So Luna is minding her business and we’re minding ours. UNTIL…
Uh… you shouldn’t be there…
No, don’t go MORE toward my back, what are you thinking…
SERIOUSLY WTF NOT THE BEARD
…but she relented and returned to my back. Awkwardly and with great care I managed to take off my shirt with her clinging to it and transfer her to a tall potted pine.
And I draped the shirt over her refuge so birds wouldn’t see her. This last shot is from behind the shirt — it’s not so see-through seen from the other side.
Luna is safe for now… but I’ll be watching my back.
The Most Ridiculous Jeff Bezos – Elon Musk Comparison Animation Ever. Probably Because It’s The Only One.
Warning: restroom rocket-waving contest. Which is somehow not a euphemism. Probably not safe for work if your supervisors are touchy or you don’t want to be laughed at for watching something so silly.
Sorry to inflict this on you, but it was WAY too bizarre not to share.
So, yeah. Crowdfunding for a hat to guard your head from electromagnetic rays. The copy on the kickstarter caters to the casual worrier about various electromagnetic effects entering the skull, but you can bet the hardcore conspiracy theorist will be happy to have access to a mind control ray blocking hat that looks like a normal hat.
They have a version for babies, too. How very precious. And hey, who doesn’t worry a bit about being exposed to the bath of radio waves and magnetic fields that have been a fact of life in most of the world for the last 75 years or so? With the explosion of cellular networks and computer-telephones that fit in the palm of your hand, we’re probably as electromagnetically-doused as ever. It’s a worrisome thought for many.
Unless you’re one of the people who think they can heal you. Oh, it’s so confusing. That’s how you end up with people buying hats to shield their brains from EM fields, and another group looking to EM fields for healing, yet another group worried about the magnetic fields things like house wiring creates, and still another group buying magnetic wraps for sore knees and elbows in the belief that magnetic fields naturally heal human bodies. And still other groups certain that the government is using mind control rays on them, or controlling the weather with cellular towers, and so on and so forth. It’s a confusing and complex world, and nobody knows everything. No matter how much you learn, you will be ignorant about many things, and mistaken about many others. It’s frustrating. And a bit scary. And some people deal with that by becoming certain that they can avoid problems if only they buy the right hat.
Funny thing about the hats, though. Let’s say for the sake of argument that they really do prevent harm to your brain by shielding it from electromagnetic somethingorother.
What about your unshielded nervous system? If the EM waves harm your brain, don’t they harm your nerves also? Shouldn’t this hat be a tracksuit? Especially once you consider that, if the EM waves come from a direction that the hat doesn’t guard, like from straight on or underneath, the hat forms a parabolic receiver that concentrates the EM waves right in the middle of your head? You know, where your brain is?
And, as noted earlier, there’s a version for babies. Who spend a lot of time lying down and crawling. An even better position for a receiver to catch those waves and focus them into a point right in the middle of the brain.
At the end of the day, I don’t think devices like this hat do a hell of a lot more than make the user feel a little bit more confident about navigating this confusing world. And, not incidentally at all, making some cash for the purveyors. There are many more devices of this type than just the hat, that purport to shield or heal from something nebulous and unproven to cause harm. Personally, I think a small proportion of them are made by people who really believe in the threat or healing, but many more are made by people who believe in the power of scaring others as a means of swelling personal bank accounts.
Let me take a moment to tell you what this innocent-looking little child just did.
To set the stage: we’ve got 3 kids, my wife and I. A teen, an infant, and the 2-year-and-2-month-old pictured above, Victor. My wife is a big believer in the power of breastfeeding (I’m a fan as well). The infant, as infants do, breastfeeds pretty darn often. Mr. 2yr+2mo eats plenty of food, but generally gets in on the breastfeeding after we wake up, midday, and when we go to bed. Kind of a bedtime snack. Sometimes he watches his baby brother nursing and wants to get in on the fun, but to make sure he doesn’t ruin his appetite for solid food, he has his schedule. 3 times daily max, though if he wants less, that’s fine… have to make sure he’s got the opportunity to self-wean when he’s ready.
Tonight, his little brother was nursing. Victor decided to test the waters and see if mom would let him get his bedtime milk early.
“Mom mom mom mom,” he chattered, as he climbed up to horn in on little brother’s milktime.
“Not until we go night-night,” mom said.
“It’s night! It’s night!” Victor replied.
2 years old and he’s trying to cut his teeth on logical arguments.
Ohboy. The next couple of decades are going to be VERY interesting.
- Breastfeeding Beyond a Year, Two in fact! (lifeloveandlivingwithboys.wordpress.com)
- Breastfeeding A Toddler Made Me Proud (thegoodmotherproject.com)
- Common Breastfeeding Misconceptions – and Why They’re Wrong! (mamaearthy.wordpress.com)