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w/e 2022-02-20

We have, so far, survived the Storms intact. Relentlessly wet and blowy up here on the hill but no damage yet so hopefully all will be well…

§ Although 3½ days of work a week isn’t a lot, if you then spend the next 3½ days also sitting at the computer doing very similar activities for yourself, only to follow that with another 3½ days of work, this adds up to too many days, at the end of which you’ve had enough of computers and the internet and most things. IME. FYI.

§ In the two-and-a-bit years we’ve been here, when we go out for a walk on the country roads I’ve notified Tim Apple by selecting Outdoor Walk on my Tim Apple’s Watch. It’s only this week that I happened to scroll down a bit further and discovered there’s also the option of choosing Hiking which, from the icon, involves wearing a backpack and carrying a stick. While I haven’t been taking either item, should I actually have been Hiking rather than Outdoor Walking all this time?

Apple’s descriptions aren’t entirely helpful, saying that Outdoor Walk is “for activities such as walking on a track or in the park” which is oddly specific. Not on pavements/sidewalks? Does this imply it must be flat? But what if it’s a hilly park?

You should choose Hiking “to track pace, distance, elevation gain and calories burned”, all of which are also tracked when doing an Outdoor Walk. I think the only difference is maybe that during a Hike you can see elevation gain on the watch (Series 3 or later) which isn’t displayed (but is still tracked) during an Outdoor Walk.

I don’t know. Is this just some Americans’ tendency to make capital-H Hiking a thing, when the rest of us might just go for a walk? Googling, the internet shows plenty of other people uncertain about what the difference is. And I’m still wondering if I’ve been doing the wrong kind of walk for the past two years. Will I have to re-sit the exam?

Incidentally, I also scrolled far enough down the list of activities to realise there’s an extra list of activities to choose from including Fitness Gaming, Rolling, Pickleball(?). I had no idea. No Hoovering or Mowing The Lawn yet though.

§ I finished reading The Ministry for the Future by Kim Stanley Robinson this week and it was OK. My main problem was not believing any of it could happen, which feels like a problem for a work extrapolating from the present day a few decades into the future. It’s possible that I’m too pessimistic and unimaginative. Or it’s possible I’m too pessimistic and unimaginative and the book’s ideas are unbelievable.

Even a book that’s optimistic about humanity’s ability to eventually control climate change is pretty depressing – even in the best case, things are going to get worse before they get better. And if, like me, you’re reading it thinking, no, it’s going to be worse, for longer, than this, it’s not a cheery bed-time read.

There are some technological solutions to fixing rising sea levels, or carbon in the atmosphere, that seem unlikely but I could happily wave through on a scientific basis, knowing nothing about them. Sure, why not, maybe that would work! But even those require such huge amounts coordination and agreement between so many nations that I can’t imagine them happening.

The politics all feels a bit, meetings, meetings, meetings, introduce a global carbon crypto coin that ends all fossil fuel activity and ends all corruption, meetings, success!

Some big changes are swiftly nodded through as if they’re such a clear cut and obvious thing to happen it’s hardly worth spending any longer discussing them. In the space of a paragraph the entire world abandons all existing social media services for an open source service that gives them control over their data and waves hands vaguely about its goodness. Sure.

And some of it feels oddly cold and distant. Unnamed someones start downing planes around the world to the point where no one wants to fly any more – great for the environment! But given how horrific a single plane disaster is, it all felt strangely abstract and inconsequential.

I don’t know. If you read it and it gives you hope for the future I am very happy. We need to grab whatever we can.

§ We watched the currently-available first-half of the fourth-and-final season of Ozark. I always imagine Marty and Wendy have “Are we the baddies?” going round in their heads much of the time. Quite horrible to watch sometimes, seeing people doing terrible things, even to their own children, but at some level convinced they’re ultimately doing Good. But, still, excellent.

§ Bye.

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