Wednesday, August 9, 2017

We have had some nice weather lately which the weather people predict will continue for a while: cool mornings and warm (but not hot) days. Nice for tending the gardens and then doing things inside and cool enough we don't have to use the air conditioner.

I follow politics only in passing now that it has become an absurd "reality" show. We don't really follow the news any more. It seems rather removed for the most part. Because of our location we get Illinois/Chicago news though we live in Indiana. Most often we skim the headlines diving into a story only when something catches our attention. Since much is gossip or random violence we ignore most of it. I wonder how many people share our attitudes. It is hard to tell given the echo chamber that is the internet and the superficiality that is broadcast TV (news or otherwise.)

If I don't follow news or politics or economics (which has the same relationship to reality as politics nowadays) what do I read? I will take you an a bit of a tour through my usual reading list.

First up: Nimue Brown. Her piece on "dabbling" resonates with this confirmed dabbler. I also like learning new things often at the expense of finishing old projects. I have books detailing crafts I know I will never try--the books were cheap, the materials for the crafts are not. I have projects that have been off the stove completely for long periods of time for any number of reasons. Some of them will never be finished but I hope a fair number will be as I move them from shelf to back burner to high heat.

Then there is the intersection of technology and society/politics. Hardly a new phenomenon. North Korea has a system totally disconnected from the rest of the world and restricts access to that to only a few carefully chosen and trusted subjects. For years China has been tightening the controls on what their people can access and blocking those companies who don't comply with their demands. After the Arab Spring revolutions several countries in the Middle East demanded internet/telecom "kill" switches to help block the spread of future such movements. "Splinternets?" Yeah, I can see it developing. There are nasty tendencies in our "wild west" internet culture: bullying, hate, trolls, scams, frauds. But we had that without the internet. And I believe that information, like any technology, is a genie that doesn't go back into its bottle once released. It is always there somewhere in the wilderness.

Ronni Bennett is wonderful for discussions of what aging is like. This one is a fun piece that provides a lighter note. I agree with her totally on the sleeveless phenomenon. I don't think I have any sleeveless items left in my closet. I am at the point where if I can't wear blue jeans and a tee shirt or slacks and a pretty blouse with sleeves, I say forget it. My fondest desire is to never wear a dress or skirt again. As I read the last section on the loss of "You're welcome" I had a though Mom said: the full exchange used to be "Thank you for coming (or what ever)" followed by "You're welcome, and thank you for a wonderful dinner (or what ever)." Our interactions, especially verbal ones, seem to have been shortened, truncated. The "you're welcome" is left implied.

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