It has been a bit quite around here of late. Part of that is work but mostly it’s because of something I learned watching Bambi. Thumper’s Law states:
If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.
So, for the moment, I leave you to your own devices and look forward to reentering the fray momentarily.
Posted in Random
Tagged Balance, Life
No, this is not really a productivity post. More of a procrastination post. Let’s face it, most of them are. Sorry…. A little while ago I wrote a post on how I work and an important part of that was based around Evernote. While I’ve been stuck in my tiny human world, I’ve been oblivious to the perceived imminent downfall of said company/service. That changed yesterday when I was notified that they were changing the service. Again. I have been an Evernote user for over 4 years, but as soon as I finish backing everything up, I’m gone as well.
First up, I use the free service, so it could be argued that I have nothing to complain about. Secondly, I’m going to complain. The complaint is obviously focused at Evernote, but it is applicable to an increasing number of companies in the digital age.
Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous fortunes, or to take arms against a sea of troubles, and, by opposing, end them?
We live in amazing times. To a fairly large extent we can thank science and technology for that. What do I mean by amazing? I mean that it is surprising where society is today, how we got here and the potential we have for the future. The key word in that last sentence was potential. Despite the progress made in quality of life, health, the ability to travel and communicate, to explore and ask big questions, something has gone, or is at least going, wrong. We could be doing so much better.
Seriously, people, WTF? It is like we have collectively decided that what we really need is another “dark ages”. We are still sending the faithful to foreign lands to kill to save lives. We are constantly terrified, or should that be terrorfied? The faceless terrorists and terrorism conveniently taking the place of the wonderfully effective cold war threats of communism.
OK, so this is a bit of a cheat blog. I usually manage a blog post every month, so in the interests of maintaining my record – which only I actually care about – here we go. I don’t have a lot to say or enlighten you with, at least as I start to write this. I also don’t have an apology. I’ve been writing. A lot. And not as much as I’d like. It’s also been oriented too much towards science fact and not nearly enough science fiction. I’ve also not been “spending” quite so much time on social media, which is a bit of shame because there are actually a lot of interesting people and things happening there. So, why?
Why? More specifically, why am I spending more time writing and less time telling people about it? Sometimes you have those revelations as a writer, actually in any endeavour, when you realise that you’re not that good. I was editing a lot at the beginning of the year while I tried to put some short stories into presentable, publishable, shape. My conclusion? Conceptually, I liked, actually I still like, my stories. I have a few in the closet and they cover quite a diverse range of ideas and styles. Perhaps more importantly, my writing was lazy. I am not sure whether my science education helps in being able to take a step back and judge my own work without prejudice. Well, at least not too much.
So this year has seen me swamped by work. Again. Still…. I’d estimate that I’ve been working around 70+ hours a week since the start of the year. This is not the first time that things have been so out of control. It is not a badge of honour, I am not proud of this, nor do I encourage it. In response to this, and the long list of things I “need” to do this weekend, I’ve been reading about how and why we should reduce the normal work week to 3-4 days, 20-30 hours etc. There appears to be a realisation that this is primarily an option for the affluent, but there is also a growing awareness that significantly increasing the minimum wage and even moving to a unconditional basic income- everyone gets to survive – is an absolute must if this is going to be tenable for everyone.
The problem, which is not directly mine or yours, is where does the money come from? It would appear now that we, as a society, need to pay two people to do one job. The reality is actually that we have all been taking on more and more – for whatever reason, but usually need – and doing two jobs for one salary. People’s time has been devalued, especially those at the “bottom”. I’ve been at the bottom and I’ve worked plenty of crap jobs to survive, so I do not say that with any disrespect – we all do what we have to, and what we can, to survive. So all this requires is a shift towards paying people what they’re worth, rather than what the market can afford.
The words inscribed on the One Pen come from the following verse, which describes all 20 Pens of Power:
Three Pens for the Fantasy-scribes under the sky,
Seven for the Horror-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for SciFi Creators doomed to die,
One for the Hugo winner on their shiny throne,
In the Worlds of SFF, where the Shadows lie,
One pen to rule them all, one pen to find them,
One pen to bring them all and in the darkness bind them
In the Worlds of SFF, where the Shadows lie.
—The Lord of the Pens, Epigraph