This is how it’s going to work. I’m going to have thoughts. And then those thoughts will find their way here. So this is a series. Of thoughts. Published randomly. For no reason. Thank you for coming.
A giant telescope in Puerto Rico was recently decommissioned and will be destroyed. Even if you couldn’t give a flying fuck about astronomy you’ve probably seen the telescope in a movie at some point. The star gazers, from amateur to professional, are sad about it. The saddest part? The telescope was still functioning. It was not age that did it in. It was neglect.
And that part got me thinking.
Not about what we do to old things (well, maybe a bit of that, but we’ve been thinking about this for a very long time) but more about aging. And what we accept. We’ve all aged, surely, during the plague. Still, things are looking up and we seem to be about to enter the third act of this thing (though make no mistake, we are still in the second act and a lot of people continue to suffer), but it’s not done and won’t be for a while. We’re going to be wearing masks, still (unless you are the Pope and you’ve summoned… some dudes from the NBA to talk about poverty and social justice), and it’s going to take a long while before we’re “AC” (After-Corona, probably more acceptable than Post-Corona); delivering all these vaccines is going to be a logistics Olympics (this chaos in China, just this past week, for sudden mass testing, portends something more ominous, I feel, and I can’t help but think of the zombies scaling the wall in World War Z). And then there’s this: who do we vaccinate first? Think that’s obvious? Is it? Do we vaccinate the old and infirm (ie: the most vulnerable) or the…assholes? I can’t stop thinking about this article from Wired. It’s not so clear cut. (Though I think everyone agrees the medical front line is first.) But politics always has a way of making a hash of logic.
Speaking of logic or the lack thereof…Tik Tok. It creates economies and wealth where none existed and creates stars as well. Just don’t let your personal chef put a snail into your paella, lest you lose 1 million followers overnight. (imagine for a second that you had that problem, for real, and then had to explain yourself to millions of people all over the world). I’ve never been on TikTok and don’t intend to start (though Instagram really seems to be overrun with TikTok now, right? And Twitter. And LinkedIn for fucks’ sake! And I’ve noticed that there is a certain kind of suburban lady who drinks a lot of wine out of large wine glasses and chances are she’s wearing yoga pants and creating A LOT of videos) but I’m also wise enough (barely) to understand that it’s a TikTok world and we’re just living in it.
So does all the destruction around us mean a “great reset”? Do politics change? Do new ideas flood the marketplace to tackle the world’s problems? Do we develop ways to arrest destruction and advance? Or will we be stuck with AI news anchors reading old news? Is the status quo really what anyone wants (I know the answer, and it’s depressing). While I’m extremely happy to see a new administration in Washington (and even a very serious and very accomplished person dedicated to climate), I can’t help but feel these very serious and very professional (and very accomplished) bureaucrats and diplomats about to take over are mere stewards of a long term and inexorable American decline. Much like that telescope in Puerto Rico. Which as most people know, is a part of the United States.