It has been a week of all sorts of calamities in the latest proof yet that 2021 is not joking and will do its best to outperform 2020. I don’t know about you but I find that thought extremely energising and motivating. You never know how much time you’ve got and all that.
The deep freeze of double standards
This week millions of people unused to negative temperatures got an excess load of them. For some reason, their suffering attracted not just sympathy online but also a confusing amount of mockery. What I found most bewildering was the fact that another set of millions of people who suffered similar electricity problems last summer did not attract that sort of negative reaction.
I’ve been forced to put this down to double standards: cool states don’t get mocked for their blackouts. Weird, I know, and raising interesting questions about the maturity of humankind when “cool” has come to equal “right” and “uncool” has come to equal “wrong.” Interesting times, friends and neighbours.
Business vs government
Another event involving millions of people, the Facebook Australian disaster of last week, may well become on of those blessings in disguise as many would finally feel that last push to get off the platform. Alternatives abound, after all, and are almost invariably better than this marketing channel with what I can confidently say are the worst algorithms in the industry.
Where other websites offer me customised ads of cars and energy conferences based on my search history and browsing habits, Facebook has kept amazing me by pushing pelvic floor exercise tools (Play videogames with your pelvic floor!) and computer programming training courses, among other, equally irrelevant, products and activities. I won’t go into FB’s censorship habits because it’ll ruin my mood, which has been great for more than 24 hours now. Suffice to say I’m rooting for Australia in this game.
Little C. spent this week at home with the sniffles and she had to catch up during the weekend because we only remembered to get her textbooks from school on Friday. I had the honour of explaining to her how multiplication of double- and triple-digit numbers works and I now feel I’ve cracked the secret of why so many mothers like to homeschool their children. Because it’s amazing when you see your child absorb knowledge you’ve shared with them, that’s why.
Okay, I know that’s not the whole truth (which is rather stinky if we’re being painfully honest) but I like this aspect of the whole truth. It really is a most lovely feeling to basically reap the fruit of your educational labour, which, to me, is comparable to the labours of Hercules, what with my track record of explainational failures. I’m adding the small victory of double-digit number multiplication to that track record.
Diversification: not just for economies in trouble
Boredom is a great motivator, I think we all agree on this. Of course, very often it is a great motivator for not doing anything but I’m talking about the times when boredom motivates us to do something new as a way of killing it. (Note to self: Boredom is suicidal) For example, learn more about planes and air transport.
I would readily adimit to a weakness for the subject of air transport. After all, I wrote a 45,000-word story whose main character is a plane even if the human characters think they are the stars. So it was no surprise to any part of me that when the other day I suddenly told myself “I’m fed up with grids and barrels, I need a change”, the obvious answer to the question “Where do I find this change?” was “In the aerospace news section of your aggregator.”
Am I planning to switch from the energy beat to some airline beat somewhere? Not really, no. I like my grids and my barrels well enough. But I do like to learn new things in new subject areas, so I’m now learning about automatic dependent surveillance-broadcast systems (fascinating stuff) and exactly how much trouble Boeing is still in (massive, by the look of it). In the meantime, I’m having fun through learning.
Oddly satisfying video for next week
We don’t know what got him this crazy. We had not used any strong-scented detergent on this floor. I had not dropped any catnip (We don’t have any in the house. Yet.). The mystery remains.
Do I have nothing better to do than read airline news? Oh, I do, I do. For example, marketing the two books I’ve published, querying the two I’ve completed but not published yet, editing the first draft that’s been maturing for months and finishing the manuscript I started this spring, which was not a good time for anyone at all. Anyway, if you’re in the mood for a quick read:
For vampires, witches, and dragons click here.
For a supernatural mystery that begins mid-flight click here. (This one’s free on Kobo)