Old and poor? Crime pays

Years ago I thought that if you were elderly and poor, homeless even, then committing a crime in order to go to prison (three squares, a bed, TV and mates to talk to) would be an ideal habitat.

Turns out the Japanese are doing just this. See the comment below (link included).

What else should the elderly be doing? Sharing their homes with oppressed college kids who need to save $ for room & board?

Dangerous work that doesn’t require high physical strength or acuity?

The military. Don’t send youngsters in to a war zone – send old folks?


Rare Earth: more evidence

I keep a running list of the reasons why we should consider Earth as rare in the Universe.

Two additions I’ve recently added are this:

• Theia’s impact delivered more than just iron and nickel to Earth’s core (producing an extra large magnetosphere) but also (probably) delivered additional carbon, nitrogen and sulfur — chemicals which, like oxygen and hydrogen, are volatile and tend to get boiled off during a planet’s accretion phase (forming from the solar system’s proto-disc).

• Tidally locked planets and moons would lose their magnetosphere (the dynamo engine within a iron molten cored planet). Without this magnetic shield solar and cosmic radiation would ravage any life that had arisen on the planet.

The reason I keep this list is that it supports the 2^Nth theory I maintain about how to calculate a Rare Earth.

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The “Two to the N’th” theory is an approximate probability that describes the uniqueness in the Universe of a electromagnetic-energy manipulating species — that is, us. Essentially, all factors that contributed to the existence of humanity can be distilled down to coin flips. Every coin flip = 50% probability. Add up a bunch of coin flips (landing on heads) and you get a probability that represents how unique we are.

For instance: If we assume that one out of every two stars in the Universe/Galaxy is singular not binary (binary star systems are too unstable to support planetary life) that’s coin flip number one (2^1). Of those, if half are the right size (a very conservative estimate) — another coin flip (2^2). If you examine all the factors, turn them into 50% (one flip) or 25% (two flips) or 12.5% (three flips) etc. you end up with a whole load of coin flips or powers of two (2^Nth).

I’ve done the compilation (that is, keeping this growing list) and determined that over 60 is the current number of coin flips that all landed up “heads” which represents how lucky/unique we are in the universe. The probability of flipping 60 coins and ALL OF THEM landing heads — represents the probability of Humanity.

How often would 60 coin flips all land on heads? Well, we know it happened at least once (that US!). But what is 2^60th power?

1,152,921,504,606,846,976

The probability of Humanity is 1 out of 1.1 quintillion. Is that rare? Probably.

I continue to collect these “features” which helped contribute to our existence. I suspect that we’ll get to seventy here some time soon: 2^70 = 1 sextillion.

Here’s a handy approximator:

  • 2^10 = ~one thousand
  • 2^20 = ~one million
  • 2^30 = ~one billion
  • 2^40 = ~one trillion
  • 2^50 = ~one quadrillion
  • 2^60 = ~one quintillion
  • 2^70 = ~one sextillion (or one billion trillion)

 


Grave of a child

I’ve stopped reading and writing.

childsgrave

My kindle is chock full of “To Read”s yet, there they sit. I’ve got a dozen story ideas listed on a whiteboard each one glaring down at me. My blog inbox is bulging. My outbox is crickets. My fingers creak as I write these words. In fact, penning this post feels like digging the grave of a child. But it has festered and begun to stink and so must be put to rest.

I spend my time now, wasting it. Youtube, Netflix, and of course the job — I have to teach myself Accounting 101 in the next few months. It’s killing me inside.

And yet, there’s this tectonic ache building within me. The stress between artistic plates strains as I attempt to ignore it. But when the slip finally comes on what will I expend my efforts? What topic, concept, or endeavor deserves my time? And herein is the thrust of this post…

Why do we read what we read? Why did you choose to read these words? What drove you to select that novel? That Aeon or Medium or WordPress article? And, more importantly, should I consider your underlying needs for written entertainment as I choose my next writer’s work?

There’s no end to online explorations as to “why we write and/or create” — what the muse whispers in our ear — what inner force compels us to imagine, sculpt and produce.

But what about the flip side? What drives you to consume? What notions worm their insidious threads of quest, of exploration into your mind? Notions that will not be suppressed — that insist that you read that novel, research that technology or phenomenon, study and probe those people, places, events and ideas until you are satiated?

And shouldn’t such factors influence what creative topic or concept I choose next? For I prefer (as do all writers) to write words that will get read and enjoyed, celebrated even. Sure, we write foremost for ourselves. But if we didn’t care to have our work consumed by others, we would write it — and then delete it. So of course writers crave readers.

But what do readers crave? And why? Why do you read what you read, watch what you watch?


Amazzzzzzzzzon

If Amazon /must/ exist (and no one can convince me that it should), then why can’t I buy weed on Amazon?

Weed has saturated the Best Coast. Why hasn’t Bozos, er, Bezos figure out a way to sell Cannabis legally on his beloved garbage garage website?

Really, Jeffrey — what the hell?

Where is the buzz of the drone delivering my buzz while I drone on and on?

Space? Bah! You’re an amateur. Quit while you’re (way) behind (Musk). Get me my drugs – STAT!

Amazzzzzzzzon


We all wear masks

In the United States, Thanksgiving is over and most of us can store away the masks we wear for family occasions. We unlock the chest, rummage to the bottom, and tuck them beneath the yearbooks and faded photo albums. We’ll unearth them again at the Winter Solstice holiday (Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the New Year).

Meanwhile, we’ll only have to tote around the two or three we use daily to get through our work-a-day lives. Flip-slip-snap! On goes the work-mask. Zip-clip-pip! Here we swap one out to talk to our children (or elders). Peal-squeal-kneel, we don the one we wear for our spouse.

These masks we wear, do we even consider them? Do we ever resent them? Or, embrace them — gathering them in droves as flavors of personalities we expose?

And then, at night, we sleep and our masks melt away while we dream; our true selves bubble up through the falsity of cultural-behavioral control. In our dreams we are who we are, our masks flitting over our faces like tissue — there and gone, torn away by our unconscious desires to be both ourselves and our un-selves.

How many masks do you wear? Are there those you find uncomfortable? Alluring? Disturbing?

 


Twenty pounds of acorns

UPDATE: 30 hours later and all the acorns are gone; squirreled away into every orifice the land and forest can offer. The juniors, naively, try to bury what they steal from the pile in the yard, directly. Pat, pat, tuck, tuck, their little paws smooth the ruffled grass and earth in the pretense of an undisturbed, you-didn’t-see-anything condition. Were humans to vanish this instant from the area, no doubt, in a year we’d have oak-sprouts bursting forth. In 20 years, a new forest would emerge. But, alas, we, nature’s infidels, persist. Hopefully, some of those luscious nodules find their way into those furry rascals’ bellies, come spring.

Brooke Breazeale bet me 5 pounds of chestnuts I couldn’t find 20 pounds of acorns. So I had to show her up.

I rigged a bag-on-a-hanger and a broom and, ahem, cleaned up.  Boy, are our squirrels gonna love that pile!

Over near where I now work (woohoo, 5 weeks down and 500 more to go!) are acres of massive oak trees that drop the most gorgeous, plump acorns. The “mast” have pale yellow flesh and I find myself wanting to chaw down on a few of the lovely specimens. Of the local tribes of the Willamette Valley, the Kalapuya, who claimed this area before Lewis & Clarke and John Astor showed up (John Jacob Astor is the namesake of Astoria — and a member of the Waldorf Astoria family hotel chain), used to harvest these seeds, shell them, leech them to remove the testas (which contain bitter tannin), and then mash them up to make meal for flatbread. I have considered replicating their process, but, alas, Dave’s Killer Bread is a lot more easily come by…

If you’re not familiar with the Willamette Valley — it’s the reason the Oregon Trail was created.

Enjoy you rambunctious tree rats, you.


A better TODO list

(Sent to Atlassian – makers of Jira – an issue management software application.)

Missing layer — per user task list MyTODO:

MyTODO

  • Is it a todo? Checkbox.
  • Is it a thing to remember – informational? Star.
  • Or is it a discovery node? Something to have answered? Question mark.

I’m sure I could think of a dozen enhancements (as could you).
But basically, a simple personal task list linked to content found in the Atlassian cloud. I’d like it possible to use a Surface or IPad to write/recognize text, but plain keyboard entry is fine. And that’s it.

Sure, things like duration spent per task, maybe another task type (but things to do, things to remember, things to ask are really all you need). And priority? It’s either hot or not.

Links between tasks would be nice perhaps. And maybe arbitrary HTTP links. But simple is the key here. If one needs complex entry – add a Trello board or Confluence post or Jira Ticket — right?

I’ll stay on line while you guys create this…
Or do you need help?

Oh, and I checked out the Atlassian marketplace: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/ — all the TODO or checklist or tasklist plugins? Yeah, they all suck.

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I mocked this up in Paint, of all things.