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Move Towards The Darkness

Thursday 28th January, and it's our sunshine allowance! The tail of the last almost unprecedented US NE blizzard passed over us yesterday, in rain and wind, we don't get the next wave until the weekend.

Unhappy, Darling?

I used to think the Addams family was invented, by the US popular classes, to express their bemusement at the customs and behaviour of their Old Rich. Living in crumbling mansions; dressing strangely, keeping odd hours; some oozy and monstrous bad case of their hereditary disease probably squelching around in a locked room . . . But maybe (esp given the actual dates: this iconic cartoon is from the New Yorker, 1942) it's just Culture, generally. The weird habit of caring about global issues, and having ideas, making connections and thinking that they matter (doesn't sound like my country's moneyed classes). . . Anyway, I always loved the joke (although I admit I prefer the stylish movie image, featuring Angelica Houston and Raul Julia on the sofa; in the middle of a midnight graveyard. I'm not immune to our society's mad craving for more, more more of whatever it is I like). Because yes, oh yes, completely: I know I'm generally very unhappy, darlings (and not a drop of wealth-DNA!).

Not many sunlit hours in my counting of the world. Always the doom and gloom. I apologise, but I can't change my nature, and in my defense, people like me have their own odd sort of fun. For instance, look at this little catalogue:

You want to know where schizophrenia probably comes from? You should read Band of Gypsys, written in 2003/4; in which a hallucinating Fiorinda (at a conference with the Evil Greenest Government Ever) gives a surprisingly cogent description about how her disease develops. You can read it there, or you can read it here, on al-jazeera today:

You want to know how viruses have suddenly emerged as possibly the vital mediator in "evolutionary" change, for all of life on earth? You can read it in Life (written from 1998-2000), when Clare Gresely expounds her theory of Continuous Creation, and the living troposphere. Or you can read it here, in last week's New Scientist

Information space? Look it up. Why do I "anthropomorphize" self-aware artificial intelligence? Let's say: this is no longer Asimov. Consciousness is consciousness. We have nothing to make it with; except our own selves. Of course we'll read them as human, if they're self-aware; if we ever admit it's happened.The question of what happens, when you reach the point where there's "somebody home" is a very disquieting issue, on the frontline.

Astonishing! Black Holes can turn into White Holes! Spewing out information, instead of devouring it! New Scientist the week before last, and also The Memory of Whiteness, Kim Stanley Robinson's neglected masterpiece (written circa 1983). Astonishing! A Black Hole could have a whole other universe trapped inside it! Escape Plans, 1986. (I think maybe Stan Robinson and I read the same series of Stephen Hawking articles)

I have also noticed that the multiverse is sneakily repositioning itself. We now have a situation where the "whole multiverse" is a thing, rather than the bizarre, endless multiplicity envisaged by Hugh Everett in his "many worlds" interpretation. Interesting! And its building blocks are units of information.

I could go on.

What does all this prove? That I'm one of the undiscovered brilliant polymaths? Luminary of a secret band of mind-gods? Well, of course I wouldn't tell you, but that's irrelevant anyway. What it tells you is that I pay attention. All the time, and whether I like what I see or not. It means you should probably listen to me when I tell you that Carbon Capture Storage is a bust. That there is no way shale gas can be a bridging fuel. That the troubles of our overcrowded planet are too staggeringly complex for any technological fix, and the hard way, from the bottom up, is the only way. That the Paris deal is just a big lie & you should quite probably listen* to the big men from BP and Shell, if you want to know the seriously scary degrees of warming that are now inevitable. That are now, like there is no way back

The only way you can save the world, should you accept that mission, & this is the truth I'm telling you, is to use less energy. Start now. Pretend there's a global war on. Because there is, & I'm not talking about the Caliphate, or even the refugee crisis (see above, "staggeringly complex"). Pretend you have to give things up. Because you do.

Don't be afraid to be scared. Move towards the darkness.
You'll like it here, I know you will.


The World At War (How did you guess?)

We watched episode 24 last night. The one about the Bomb, & how the decision was made. Hard watching, but then so was episode 23, featuring Okinawa and Iwo Jima. There are no happy endings to this story; which is as it should be.

But the one you should be watching this week is Episode 20:

Dear Elizabeth de Boer . . .

Who killed Robin Cleve Dufresnes?

You wrote to me on a post from last summer (A Rock And A Hard Place) asking me to divulge my proposed solution to the murder mystery in Donna Tartt's The Little Friend. Sorry! Email coming up, I forgot that you'd have to have provided an address, to post the comment. I have found it now. To anyone else who wants to know, just ask me. My answer has to be private, or otherwise it would be spoilers, even though this deduction of mine is pure speculation, of course.

& that's all I have time for. I have to get a haircut.

* I just noticed all the "probably" and "could be's" in this pep-talk. Oh no. I hate it when scientists do that. I try to blame it on their timidity, and those trolling "hockeystick" scammers putting such a scare on them. But I'm afraid it's (probably) endemic.