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What an unfathomable pile of shit

So I have to write a retrospective of, not just a year, but a decade. A decade that didn't really have a name - "the new tens" is dumb, and when people think of the "twenties" they think of flappers and cloche hats, so god only knows what we'll call the next decade.... the f***ed?

Anyway, it started off so well. America had a black president. Not Morgan Freeman in a movie, but for real. This was huge when you consider that my mother grew up in a time of Driving Miss Daisy, To Kill A Mockingbird, Rosa Parks, and Martin Luther King, Jr. To go from overt racism and segregation to a person of colour as Commander In Chief in such a small period of time was a huge step forward for the most influential country on the planet.

In 2010, a volcano nobody can pronounce gave much of Western Europe clear and plane free skies for a few weeks. We realised how messed up the stock market was when a Flash Crash caused by automated feedback took out a trillion dollars in a little over half an hour. Wikileaks became a thing, as did many many released documents stating the bleedin' obvious. On a more personal note: I got myself a low cost and slightly rubbish digital PVR, redid my blog, sat out a hurricane, got a much better PVR (with th same SoC inside), got myself a Katana (in case zombies attack), and moved my entire site due to...issues.

Things improved in 2011. Devastating earthquakes hit New Zealand (6.3, 180 deaths), and then Japan (9.0, 15840 deaths and about 4000 missing - mostly due to the subsequent tsunami). The long road to hell began in Syria. But it's all okay because for a few weeks in April, the entire world could be obsessed by Prince William marrying Catherine Middleton before settling down to Occupy Wall Street because it's clear to everybody that the only lesson that the money men learned from the financial woes of 2008 was... keep on dicking with everybody. The Iraq conflict is officially declared to be over. A much bigger problem swiftly follows... I met Mick, finally, and got a new passport. My last purple one. Not that I knew it then... We found a cat, and I got chemical crap in my eye.

2012 was a weird year. It began with a showoff captain utterly failing at showing off a cruise ship. The FBI slaps down MegaUpload and with it vanish huge amounts of video, none of which was created by the uploader, if you see what I'm getting at. And I'm not sure what's worse, the rampant piracy or the fact that the guy who founded the site was actually called Kim Dotcom. Queen Liz had a diamond jubilee. In February. In Britain. The weather was... about what you'd expect. The Encyclopaedia Britannica stops making a printed edition after 246 years of publication. The guy running Russia becomes Vladimir Putin, and so begins a slow crawl back to the glorious days of the Soviet style of Russia. Japan, never ones to take a beating, open the world's tallest self-supporting tower. At 634 metres, the Tokyo Skytree is erected in an earthquake prone country, surely poking Cthulhu with a very large stick? Everybody falls in love with Britain thanks to a spectacular Olympics held in London, with many people watching the opening and closing ceremonies just to laugh at how awful it was, only to be blown away by how amazingly good it was. And how very very British. Probably incomprehensibly so. But where else would you get a global stage for nurses dancing with hospital beds and a creepy giant baby. Of course, Americans, who have a barely functional medical service if you're less than middle class, generally reacted negatively to that part. It's called jealousy. For everybody else, Britishness was a sort of delightfully quirky awesome.
Obama gets voted in for a second term, and just a month later has to deal with loads of young children being shot to death in what was at the time a shocking event, but is getting increasingly normalised due to America's total inability to understand that they really do have a problem with guns. Well, not specifically guns so much as complete whack jobs with easy access to guns mixed with an apparent fettish for over the top weaponry that belongs in the hands of soldiers, not civilians. But, hey, I'm just yet another clueless foreign asshole that doesn't understand, right? Well, at least I'm a clueless foreign asshole that doesn't have to worry about being shot down as collateral damage to somebody else's freak out. Acts of terror happen in France, as in many places. Near-daily mass shootings... don't. They just don't.
I got myself a car - a Citroën C1 (yikes, it's that old now?), and was sent a Beagle xM which kick-started my return to RISC OS, met Mick again, got a Raspberry Pi.

In 2013, Russia endured the largest meteor to hit the Earth in over a century. Edward Snowden beats Wikileaks at their own game, basically because he isn't an idiot with a massive ego. Oh, and he also had something useful to say. And that was about as good as it got for 2013. On a more personal note, I begin coding support for MIDI for RISC OS, basically because I can. I should have created a new API but I copied the original Acorn API (as peculiar as it was) because Maestro could use it. Rob's daughter features in a short, I win an iPad, and we do 54 vide greniers in a year. Because back then vide greniers were worth going to.

2014 is when Ebola infected nearly twenty nine thousand and killed a little over eleven thousand. Speaking of maths, I downloaded and 'took' a GCSE maths exam and was shocked at how rubbish it was. Russia steals part of The Ukraine, the Caliphate is born, an airplane is shot down, and Scotland votes against independence. If only they knew... I tear apart the stupidity of The Year Of Code, the RiscPC turns 20 (!), I finally get myself an oscilloscope, and set a challenge of a blog post every day in December (what was I thinking?). Well, it's when the advent calendar stuff started. Speaking of which, I have one outstanding...

2015, halfway through the decade. Welcome to Boko Haram and Al-Qaeda massacring people. And crazed German pilots with a death wish. ISIL, Islamic militia, and we're realising that something has been brewing in the Middle East and the West with all their talk of liberation completely missed it. The Queen becomes the longest reigning monarch. Stephen Fry gets invited to an Irish religious programme and it goes about as well as you would expect. And amidst calls for him to be done for blasphemy, the country votes to legalise same-sex marriages. I tear a strip out of a "writing program" teacher, reply to a RISC OS troll, enjoy a gothic masterpiece called "Fatal Frame", begin my photo story "Final Day" (has it really been that long?), mourn the loss of station-master-kitty-spirit-God (makes sense in context), ARM turns 30, Mick visits and we go to Nantes (I never did get mom to go back), I take on Ovation and patch it up.

2016. One word. Brexit. Nothing else matters. From terrorist attacks to the final video recorder, it's basically everything that happened last year, only worse. And then America decides to elect a Racist In Chief which brings to a close their mythology about how great America is. They say it, they chant it, they wear it on hats, and then they support a man who practices the politics of exclusion. A long standing structural decay at the heart of the United States, not just physically but politically. You can no longer support the ideal of meritocracy (the best rise to the top) when the elected president (elected by college vote, not popular vote) is the walking definition of incompetence, nepotism, and utter refuge in audacity. Plus, it is clear that he is a fragile ego that's several cans short of a six pack. The country that voted a coloured president now support a party that stands for white nationalism and who doesn't seem to have a problem separating immigrant children from their families. Trump's cover for all of this is to spin lovely myths about a 1950s that never was. Pretty much directly out of the Brexit playbook, given a lot of that was based upon false nostalgia. The 1950s were shit. Don't take my word for it, I wasn't there. Go do some research.
At least I admit, despite an obvious liking for The Eighties (the time of my youth, so no surprise really) that as great as it was, a lot of its greatness was down to being a child and this insulated from the harsh reality of how bad things were - it's the decade of Thatcherism in the UK. So, yeah, I liked The Eighties but I wouldn't want to go back to them. All these people in the UK that are all nostalgic for The Fifties? Do you really want to go back? Because that time period that everybody is so nostalgic about? It didn't exist. Not the nice carefully sanitised way you want to believe it did. Just like the nice Eighties in my mind doesn't reconcile with the rampant greed (can you imagine Dallas being made today?), the Cold War, the cold heart of Thatcher, and who could forget AIDS? There's a degree of being careful what one wishes for, and it looks like Brexit is one long drawn final gasp of a formal colonial superpower that used to be important still not quite understanding...the world has moved on. The Fifties aren't coming back, the Eighties aren't coming back, and the days of bossing around Johhny Foreigner aren't coming back.
Oh, and Britain? No longer awesome.

2017, a clueless government led by a clueless Maybot triggers Article 50 because everybody is quite confident that it'll be the easiest negotiation in history. Meanwhile Trump is losing MPs in all directions, and WannaCry smacks everybody's computer down. Islamic terrorists attack an Ariana Grande concert, days later another at London Bridge, and in June we all get to understand how shoddy building materials, tower blocks, and a woefully unprepared fire service lead to many deaths. But it's okay, they're all low income families so nobody really cared. If you think I'm being harsh, consider that there are numerous other buildings in other places, constructed the same way, and what's being done? Oh, yeah, that's right. Nothing.
America has a big eclipse, and that's followed by several devastating hurricanes. Just ask the residents of Puerto Rico.

2018 begins with a big American government shutdown. SpaceX manages to launch an enormous rocket (and to hell with the environmental pollution of doing so). There's a national school walkout in America because of guns, and everywhere else because of a young Swedish girl whose name everybody mispronounces (it's like grey-tah toon-bairk, and not greh-tuh tun-berg).
Terrorist events, mass shootings, and Trump agitating, talking to, then agitating some more a North Korean dictator. Canada legalises recreational cannabis. A young football team are stuck in a flooded cave and Pedo-Musk demonstrates that making a big loud appearance is better than getting stuff done. Facebook gets a kicking, but not hard enough. Ebola, again. A big bridge collapse in Genoa highlights that it's not just America with crumbling infrastructure. Everybody converges in France to remember the WW1 armistice. Everybody, that is, except the British who do their own thing in London. The Yellow Vests (Jilets Jaunes) bring France to a standstill, the worst protests since the infamous 1968.

2019 gave us yet more of the same and threw into the mix the infamous Boeing 737 MAX, something that now seems to be a catalogue of short-cuts in order to make a new plane 'feel' like an old one so pilots didn't need to recertify. Some terrorist dickhead messes up live streaming video for us normal people. Disney buys 21st Century Fox. Scientists picture a black hole and a cute nerdy girl gets all the (unwanted) media attention because she's so far from everybody's idea of what a nerd is. Notre Dame burns. It's official - Russians meddled with the elections, though the version the world gets to see is somewhat redacted. Japan's emperor abdicates. Maybot finally goes. She is replaced by somebody even worse, who calls a snap election and, god help us all, wins a landslide majority. So Brexit is happening. It's absolutely what everybody wants, despite three and a half years later nobody knowing what sort of arrangement is actuall going to be put in place. England wins the Cricket World Cup, and coincidentally BBC's sports personality of the year programme gives lots of accolades to the cricket players. Trump finally meets The Queen and the outgoing Maybot. All hell breaks loose in Hong Kong. It's the hottest/wettest/windiest... just pick a weather related adjective, it was all that and broke records doing so. But don't worry, that little Swedish girl is nuts and the politicians bank rolled by oil and mining companies are telling the truth, there's no such thing as a "climate emergency", there's absolutely nothing to worry about. Pedo-Musk demonstrates in court that it is totally okay to call somebody a pedo when it is meant in jest and not literally. Though, to be honest I feel dirty calling Musk a pedo because of the missing 'a'. The word implies somebody who likes children, not somebody who likes walking. We could even go a step further and use the 'ae' ligature, but I think those little facets of the language would be totally lost on somebody who claimed, in court, that it's really no big deal to imply that a person likes fiddling kiddies and won. A nutjob, of which the world has more than a few, attacked a popular Japanese animation studio. 36 members of staff died, 30 more injured, making it the country's worst massacre since the second world war. People in Iceland hold a funeral for a new-vanished glacier. Thomas Cook goes under. Parliament is prorogued, and that is subsequently declared to be unlawful. People march for a People's Vote. Trump faces impeachment. France is still on strike.
For me? I'd like to talk about discovering Burger King. I'd like to talk about getting a laser printer talking to RISC OS over WiFi. I'd like to talk about playing with Minitel. How about writing with Google Docs and a cheap tablet? I'd even like to talk about my adventures with a Playmobil car.
But my mom died. Not of cancer, but due to a reaction to a medication to help with said cancer. In, like, two and a bit months. She picked me up from work on my final day at the end of July, she was in hospital for my holiday in the beginning of August, she came home, got worse, and was dead before September was out. That's ALL I'm going to remember this year for, and what a shitty way to finish a shitty decade.

 

The decade started with Obama. And ended with Trump. That's about all that needs said about that.

The decade started with "something needs to be done about the climate" and a long debate on Al Gore's now infamous hockey stick chart. And it is ending with young people on strike due to a "climate emergency", and a brave girl giving world leaders a bollocking to their faces for their endless amounts of bullshit. It is both refreshing and strangely cathartic, even if we all know that nothing much is going to change.

This decade started with social media becoming a thing. There was Myspace, there was Facebook, and a fledgling Instagram started. More and more people started blogging, and it was going to be the way that normal people could find out what's really going on instead of the partisan print media.
What a pile of shit. Just like anything else, advertising and the promise of easy money were too tempting, and soon people were corrupted to present their own screwed up spin on things. From video game players with extreme opinions to "mummy blogs", it pretty quickly stopped being about anything related to authenticity and became about keeping the cash rolling in. Who'd have thought one could make a living writing crap? Well, most of us can't. Or maybe I'm just an anomaly because you don't see adverts on this site. I may talk about things, I may review things, but it's my opinion. Not one I was paid to have, not a ghost writer feeding me content, and not inserted adverts curated by some unknown third party.
But pretty soon all of these disparate voiced began to converge in a few places - Facebook, Twitter, etc. Making it a two-way street for the lazy and feckless. Because people don't want to look for a blog any more. My readership isn't big because pretty much everybody doesn't know I exist. No, people just want to have stuff shoved in front of their faces in order to occupy their vast time and tiny minds. That's why people like Twitter and Facebook. It's a never-ending stream of drivel that they can peruse. And, yet, we run into the problem, the obvious honking problem, that not only is the lion's share of the profit being made by the company running the service rather than the people creating the content, but there's also a veil of secrecy over said content. As recent events have shown, getting everybody together allows for dead-easy profiling. It also allows for person-specific targetting of "advertising" (read: blatant lies) to help sway people's opinions prior to important votes. And since it's all a social dystopia, it's perfectly cool to link Jeremy Corbyn with the IRA and say that Turkey is going to join the EU and flood the place with Muslims, because it isn't them telling those lies. It's you. The few of you who were carefully selected as being the most likely to share this information with everybody in sight. So it's the old "friend of a friend" ruse, only on a truly massive scale. And with, effectively, no comeback, no control, and no way of verifying that the stories are even real.
I dropped Facebook years ago, after failing to convince a line manager that the hoaxes that she enthusiastically shared with everybody were just that - hoaxes. One I recall was about people at risk of being booted off of Facebook if they did not share a suitable amount of content. Therefore, the user is advised to share this article (and others like it) with at least twenty others to help keep up their sharing quota. She dutifully did. And she was not alone.
The lovely idealism of "social media" and getting everybody talking to each other has descended into a pit of half truths and outright lies, presided over by mega companies getting insanely rich and, well, not contributing much to the underlying infrastructure (both technical and social) that they are abusing. The dream long since died, but we're all so hooked on our quick fixes that life without regularly checking our feeds (whether it be old-school email, or something modern like an RSS from somebody we follow) seems unthinkable. We can't unplug, we won't unplug, because without the drug of social acceptance, there's nothing. Just a vast gaping void of emptiness.
Yet, for all that, we don't realise that not only have we stared into the abyss, we've fallen into it. The true void is in all the time and effort that we expend in reading other people's thoughts and opinions in preference to having thoughts and opinions of our own. It's just so much less bothersome to believe in someone else's propaganda.
That's the havoc that this decade has wrought upon us, in the guise of "social media".

On a similar note, one of the biggest "advances" (deliberate scare quotes) is the concept of streaming. If you sign up, you can listen to all the music you like for a simple monthly fee. If you sign up, you can watch all the movies and TV programmes you like, for a simple monthly fee. Except if what you want to watch is with a competitor, so you need to sign up to multiple things. Or like Prime Video's Channels, multiple things within the same package. It's like Sky, only you watch what you want when you want.
But it's a fools paradise. And I say this as somebody who has just signed up to Netflix. I did it to alleviate the winter boredom. I'm here, alone, nothing to do, and quite fed up of how utterly broken the Prime Video app is in that it's damn near impossible to find anything; not to mention huge swathes of content is of English language origin but it's only available with a French dub. Netflix is the answer. Their suggestions are better, they have a wider range of categories, it's generally easier to find stuff. And all that I have seen has been available in English (either natively, or as subs for series like The Girl From Nowhere). Indeed. my only two qualms with Netflix are firstly that I have taken the cheapest (SD) option. I get that one should pay more for having more concurrent devices - if two people are watching different things at the same time. But SD? It's 2020 tomorrow and a company is still punting content in SD? For god's sake! At least Prime Video adapts your viewing to your bandwidth. Of course, I cannot comment on Netflix quality because my first free month comes with a bump up to UHD quality, and I don't see any sort of override so I can't degrade back to SD to see what it'll really be like. But, really, it's a bit naff that they aren't at least offering HD these days.
Remember, from a technical point of view, that many people in the world consider SD to be 480p. I, as a European, am used to the likes of PAL where "SD" is 576p, which really isn't that far from 720p (basic HD) and may indeed be comparable to the sort of quality that can be achieved from an anamorphic PAL broadcast. The difference between PAL and HD is only 144 lines vertically (and about 360 columns horizontally). The difference between basic HD and 480p is a much larger 240 lines. This will probably be noticeable, even when watching on a five inch phone.
As I do.
Lying in bed.
With endless cups of tea or hot chocolate.
And that brings me to the second problem. Why the hell am I doing this? Is my life such a pointless mess that it's totally okay to just spend all day lying in or on my bed watching Hungerford, The 100, Faster, iBoy, Rim Of The World, Jessica Jones, The Innocents, The 9th Precinct, Two Cops, Girl from Nowhere, Scorpion, Under The Dome, The Warning, Pandora, Inception, and plenty more on my list when I've finished that lot.
Well, if the last few days are anything to go by... uh... yes.
And that's probably not a good thing. Not really.

I have a money-off voucher for a fiver, so I'm going to go into town, buy a pack of burgers or something. Come home, microwave them, and enjoy them. Probably while watching either Timelapse or Son of Rambow. Because, well, because I can. Which is never a good reason, but it's just so much easier to sit there drooling as endless stories unfold. Certainly easier than living in my own story. Because in my story, it's the end of 2019, it's the end of the new tens, it's the end of being a European, it's probably the beginning of the end of the United Kingdom...and it's all rather shit, really. A giant unfathomable pile of shit that I'm in danger of just disregarding completely. I don't want to become a drooling zombie, but I'm wondering if it isn't just easier that way. Things aren't going to change. Things are still messed up, and by any indication the modern twenties are not going to be a great magical improvement.

 

So, Happy New Year. I guess.

 

 

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Gavin Wraith, 31st December 2019, 17:43
And a HNY to you too. I get some comfort in the adage that a few idiots can make more noise than an army of silent sages. To a limited extent we can choose the world we want to live in. That is why I shun social media and sometimes read stuff written many generations ago. At my age I can afford to play the ostrich.
VinceH, 31st December 2019, 18:32
Gavin, you aren't shunning social media. Although only a small part of it, Rick's blog *is* social media, as is the ROOL forum, as is usenet (the original online social media), mailing lists, etc. :p 
 
Rick, might I suggest The Fall as a title for the decade to come. Not as in the Overpuddlian term for Autumn, but the Gary Numan song title. 
 
Lyrically, it seems quite fitting for some aspects of what's become more apparent of late (especially the UK with Brexit), and will probably get worse over the next few years. 
Rick, 31st December 2019, 19:06
The Fall is also a song by a group called Holyhell. Also appropriate.
Rick, 31st December 2019, 19:58
Oh, and I forgot to mention - Betelguise might be about to blow up, forever changing the familiar night sky. 
It's like EVERYTHING is broken now.
Gavin Wraith, 1st January 2020, 11:26
I like to look at https://apod.nasa.gov/apod/archivepix.html 
each day, just to remind myself how lucky we are to exist in a narrow slot between unimaginable violence and unimaginable emptiness. But I do not think we have to worry too much about Betelgeuse.
David Pilling, 2nd January 2020, 01:54
Interesting how things change. On the computer/IT side it is driven by technology - you could not have had Netflix 20 years back, phone lines and modems did not have the bandwidth. Perhaps that is why the 50s and 80s are not coming back, the tech is not going to be uninvented.
Rick, 2nd January 2020, 19:15
Ah, but you see David, NOBODY wants the Fifties like they really were. Utility clothing, rationing, still clearing up after the war, outside toilets, smog and such. 
 
They want this imaginary Fifties like on Call The Midwife (or that other one with the policeman on the bike), only with Netflix and Sky and running water and central heating and cars and pizza and microwave and all the many other modern conveniences that people take for granted these days. 
They're nostalgic for... I dunno... District nurses and seeing actual policemen (and women!) walking around? It's not the EU that's stopped that, it's a billion years of Tory austerity and cutbacks. 
 
So, uh, yeah. I think the turkeys have just voted for Christmas... 
David Pilling, 3rd January 2020, 13:48
OK, I get it - the idea is people selectively want things to be as they were. OTOH I'm sat here and can't think of a recent political promise to make things as they were. Theresa May promised to bring back grammar schools, that didn't go down well. 
District nurses we still have, quite visible. Police a rare sight. 
I don't buy the nostalgia argument - because I recall things were not better then, because there is no going back and because when there have been offers to bring things back they've usually been rejected.
David Pilling, 3rd January 2020, 15:28
... In last election Labour promised to nationalise everything. Apparently a popular policy, around 80% approval. But they did not sell it as nostalgia - no "remember when British Railways always ran on time" - instead progressive policy. Problem with harking back is the Einstein definition of insanity - believing that repeating an action will have a different outcome. Or in City terms, "this time it is different", is a very expensive phrase. So it is quite a thing to promise the past.
Rick, 4th January 2020, 18:44
Ah, but nobody is promising the actual past. Just a bizarre notion of "the way things used to be" far back enough that there aren't so many people that actually remember clearly.
Rick, 4th January 2020, 18:54
Consider my mother. She was born in 1948. So it's probably fair to say that she won't have remembered much before the age of five (1953) and she probably won't have cared much about the outside world and all that's going on until she hits a two digit age. She'd have been 10 in 1958, so much of the actual Fifties probably would have passed her by. 
It's like how I talk about the Eighties...I was born in 1973 but I can't say I remember much about the 70s other than my mother dressing me in brightly coloured corduroy, which was apparently trendy back then... 
So, to remember the actual Fifties as it was we'd need somebody born in the BEFORE the second world war, or earlier. Somebody in their nineties. They are around, certainly, but not so many. 
So it's the promotion of an era that never was to people who weren't there, mixed in with some rubbish about how great Britain is (catch the colonial era references from Johnson and Rees-Mogg) in order to make people think that plucky little Britain can take on the world again and... Well, that's about where the vision starts to fall apart.
Visitor, 4th January 2020, 19:32
"Things improved in 2011. Devastating earthquakes" 
- WHAT? 
 
"The true void is in all the time and effort that we expend in reading other people's thoughts and opinions in preference to having thoughts and opinions of our own." 
- strange opinion for a person who writes a blog. 
Rick, 4th January 2020, 21:20
Point one: oops, you have suffered a sarcasm detection failure 
 
Point two: self deprecating humour and mocking the audience aren't unheard of 
 
I'm guessing you aren't that familiar with British humour? 
 
Copy paste this: https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BritishHumour
Jason COCKcroft, 5th January 2020, 21:11
Yeah I'm not optimistic for the future at all.
Gavin Wraith, 5th January 2020, 22:04
I spent most of the Fifties five hundred years earlier. Bernard Boase may be the only one to understand this remark.
Rick, 5th January 2020, 22:22
You're a time traveller and I claim my five pounds. 
 
Actually... Just tell us it gets better...
Gavin Wraith, 5th January 2020, 22:53
In 1950 William Tenn published a story called The Remarkable Flirgleflip, which I warmly recommend. When time travel will be discovered/invented criminals will be sent back to our own ghastly time, as a punishment. Best to bone up on the topics of Punforg and Spindfar; they could prove useful in the future.
VinceH, 7th January 2020, 12:39
Time travel is hard. 
 
Just saying.
Bernard Boase, 8th January 2020, 13:00
Just finished reading and discarding my school reports from 50s/60s hoarded by doting, now deceased, parents. Little therein to be seriously nostalgic about!
Rick, 12th January 2020, 18:13
Bernard: My school reports were, I think, lost to time. 
Most were variations of "must try harder" (many of the quotes that James gives off his school reports in the SIBA stories were actual quotes from *my* reports!). 
My favourite was the learned history teacher who said that I spent far too much time "tilting at imaginary windmills". Probably because he knew my mother was smart enough to have read Don Quixote. But I bet he didn't know that she read it in its original language! 
 
Vince: I do not believe in the grandfather paradox. I feel that there is some mechanism that would prevent a time traveller from going back and killing their grandfather (or Hitler, or any other event that would render their travel pointless and/or impossible). They are there, doing that, so clearly they have a need to. 
Except, if they kill the grandfather they'd never be born so they could never go back but if they didn't then the grandfather doesn't die. It's not so much a paradox as a violation of logic. 
 
On a related note: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u4SEDzynMiQ
VinceH, 13th January 2020, 18:56
The Bootstrap Paradox Capaldi's Doctor is describing is something I call a 'closed loop paradox' (mainly because when I first started pondering such things, I didn't know the term bootstrap). 
 
It's brilliantly depicted in 12 Monkeys. Willis is sent back in time because of what happened, and if he hadn't gone back in time, it probably wouldn't have happened. 
 
Slightly less good is Terminator; As revealed in the second film, the events in the first film lead to the very developments that result in the events in the first film happening. (So far so good). But then they break the loop - and then they had to re-engineer it in order to make subsequent films work. (And don't even mention the TV series!) 
 
All of which reminds me that I need to finish off a particular story (IIRC it's currently at around 75K words, but I haven't looked at it in a few years). With the aid of a good dose of funny, it suggests time heals itself if changes are made that should be paradoxical. (The grandfather paradox is specifically mentioned - and turned into a joke.)

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