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A sensitive issue

Another week that just didn’t seem to make sense. 2020 will be the year of incongruities. Pandemic sweeping the world, forcing the US to shut businesses down. Some scared to leave their homes, others adamantly arguing everything should open.

Race relations once again coming to a head, with the question of fairness, inequality, and ethical behaviors at the forefront. How do we respond to our countrymen?

Derisiveness and partisan-pandering; vehemence and bile; hurt, pain, and agony. And with protests, riots, disease, and race, everyone has an opinion, but there is no consensus.

Holding out hope is the best we can do. Saying what we believe is important, but listening is even more so. If all we do is puff our chests until they collide with someone else’s, then the resolution never comes. Just more suffering.

 

Recent Items 5

If you like camping, The Dyrt is trying to provide updated information on open and closed campsites around the nation.

Or maybe looking for a new podcast?

If you like to journal, and you’re female, the National Women’s History Museum is interested in your CORONAVIRUS journals.

Saying “No” more, from a 2014 article in the Huffington Post.

Paris, books, c’est l’amour. Used book shopping along the Seine.

And, to soothe the weary soul, the orchestral stylings of composer John Williams, streaming for free until the end of June.

To infinity, and beyond

NASA administrator Jim Bridenstine suggested on Saturday that the SpaceX launch carrying astronauts to the International Space Station, from US soil no less, would encourage kids to want to become ‘the next Elon Musk, Jeff Bezos, or Richard Branson’. Jenny List, writing on Hackaday, felt something was amiss.

“I was slightly shocked and saddened to hear this from the NASA administrator, because to my mind the careers of Musk, Bezos, or Branson should not be the ones first brought to mind by a space launch. This isn’t a comment on those three in themselves; although they have many critics it is undeniable that they have each through their respective space companies brought much to the world of space flight. Instead it’s a comment on what a NASA administrator should be trying to inspire in kids.

Ask yourself how many billionaire masters-of-the-universe it takes for a successful space race compared to the number of scientists, engineers, mathematicians, technicians, physicists, et al. From the anecdote of the NASA administrator it takes about three, but if he is to make good on his goal of returning to the Moon in 2024 and then eventually taking humanity to Mars it will take a generation packed full of those other roles.”

I wasn’t born when Armstrong first stepped on the moon. But I’ve seen the video. I’d wager that the majority of humankind has seen that footage. And behind that walk was a technological feat like no other before it. In the July 21st, 1969 edition of the New York Times, Glenn Seaborg, then Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, is quoted:

Even as a scientist who has spent a good deal of his life involved in large-scale technological projects, I find the moon landing an amazing scientific and engineering feat. It personally reinforces my feeling about the great power and potential of science and technology and my belief that through cooperation and concerted efforts man is capable of solving almost any problem, of meeting almost any challenge. I hope the moon landing will have such an uplifting effect on people all over the world and help united us toward meeting some of our goals here on earth.”

Actively seeking disruption

I’ve spent the past four years seeking a disruptive way of doing things. That includes biohacking, career shifts, travel, focusing on writing, among other things. We live in an age of disruptive technology, and there’s no telling where the next paradigm shift will come from.

Being prepared for it doesn’t mean knowing what it is. Rather, it is expecting it to happen, and merely being prepared.

I think it’s telling that the pandemic sent us into a panic spiral in the way that it did. As a nation, and maybe as a global community, we weren’t prepared for the response required in such a situation.

Anticipation is key for the positive, and negative, adjustments to come.

Ephemeral Internet

The internet gives us an unrivaled tool for accessing information. It has no equivalent. It is a library, forum, school, and community. However, its prevalence is also its disadvantage.

How easy is it to become distracted while browsing the internet. To let our minds, inclined to wander through a biological imperative, just flit from item to item. The vastness of what can be found through mere keystrokes is boundless.

We rely on those who cultivate the internet for us. Give our attention to the screen through which we access this information.

But at the end of the day, it’s still a screen. It’s nothing more a windowpane through which we’re choosing to experience the world. Its content is ephemeral, not tangible.

Sure, getting outside is hard right now. We’ve all been cooped up. But it’s important to still try and have meaningful, real-world interactions. Not just the online ones.

Be you. Be weird.

One of my first shows out of college, I was backstage on Sundays with a handheld UHF/VHF television, probably a Sony Watchman, watching football games. At the time I followed the Miami Dolphins with a religious fervor.

I was new to the theatre. I worked in a sports venue and I grew up a fan of Miami. So, it was just something I did.

In the theatre, there are a number of types. The sports fan is among the rarities. Admittedly I don’t follow sports all that much now. Still own a good deal of Dolphins swag, but I couldn’t even tell you who they got in the Draft.

But the thing is, sports or no, theatre or no, it doesn’t matter what you’re in to. You just need to be you. No one else. Be weird. Be yourself.

HBO to the max…

HBO Max had a lackluster beginning when only about 90,000 people downloaded the new streaming service’s mobile app. By comparison, 4 million users opted for Disney’s Disney+ service when it debuted back in November.

Three HBO streaming options are available: Now, Go, and Max. I can at least differentiate Max from the other two, but differences between Go and Now are beyond my understanding.

When the streaming wars become such that all content is only available through a number of individual services, each with a $7 price tag or above, there will be push back. That market can’t handle that kind of saturation.

Not to mention the changing face of television and film production