Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Driving in Atlanta nowadays is like a scene from Godard's Weekend.  In 1967, Jean Luc already understood our dystopian automotive future.

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Living and driving here in the Deep South (and these two things are intimately connected), one thing you quickly learn is that down here, you never, ever use your horn.  It's considered rude and ill-mannered and will most likely result in the direct opposite outcome than you were intending.

So it's with interest that I note, on my horrible, horrible drive home from work tonight, as the much-praised Waze app seemed to lead me from one appalling traffic jam to another, that the congestion has gotten so bad that I actually heard Atlanta drivers honking their horns while stuck in traffic.

Literally, it's a first, and another omen of the impending apocalypse.  

Monday, April 24, 2017

My New Home

So it appears that we're not only going back to the Cold War, because why not?, but we're going to  bypass Poland and Berlin and even Vietnam and take it all the way back to the Korean War.  

It's been convincingly argued that reality as we know it is just a figment of some future computerized video game, and it appears that the whatever-it-is at the controls is rewinding our history and replaying its favorite parts.  So if we're all just characters in a video game, I may not be escaping reality in my Minecraft fantasy world as much as indulging in an alternate, equally synthetic reality.

Here's a quick tour of a home I rebuilt from ruins in the Minecraft/Fallout Mashup.  Bonus points for being right across the street (Comm Ave?) from Fenway Park.  That would make the river behind me the Charles, but would that then make the desert across the river the post-apocalyptic remains of Cambridge? 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Meditations Whilst Stuck In Traffic

Impermanence: This traffic will not last forever.. There was a time when I wasn't in this traffic jam, and there will be a time when I will no longer be in this, and at that later time, it won't seem to matter nearly as much as it seems to matter now.

Stoicism: This is the situation.  Thus, the cars are not moving.  How I react to this situation is my own decision - why increase my suffering and the suffering of others with impatience and anger?

The Origin of Suffering:  This is the world as I'm experiencing it at this moment.  To wish that the world was somehow different is to cling to a false illusion, and clinging to delusion is the origin of suffering.

The Idiot Driving Ahead of Me:  There's at least four car lengths open ahead of him.  Why doesn't he move forward and let all of us behind him advance a few tens of feet?  Grrrrrr!  Beep!

George Carlin: "Did you ever notice while driving that everyone going slower that you is a moron, and everyone driving faster than you is a maniac?"

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Alternate Reality

Meanwhile, for those of you keeping score at home, I'm still spending an inordinate amount of time escaping the depressing reality of the here and now by retreating into a Minecraft fantasy world.

Here's a tour of a recent house I built.  My skill set is still pretty limited and I don't go for all the modifications and add-ons that others apply to their game playing, but I have advanced way beyond the level I was at the last time I posted a game-play video.   

In any event, in the Minecraft world, there is no President Trump, no Republican-led Congress, no I-85 bridge collapse, and no impending world war.   Just zombies, creepers, giant spiders, and ghasts, but those are all pleasant by comparison.

Friday, April 07, 2017

The Futility of Philosophy

"Quick!  It's an emergency!  Someone call a philosopher right now!," said no one, ever.

Wednesday, April 05, 2017

The apocalypse has surely descended upon us, or the Masters playing the video game in which we're trapped are surely in a foul mood.

Highway I-85 collapsed in a fire I passed over late last week, and while the Georgia DOT hopes to have that section of road repaired by June 15, no one is holding their breath expecting the deadline to be met and in the meantime, the northeast quadrant of Atlanta is nearly impassable.  I've telecommuted since last Thursday and only attempted to drive to the office today, but, oh, let me tell you about today.

After severe thunderstorms and tornadoes hit Georgia on Monday, not one, not two, but three fronts passed through the state today, each bringing golfball size hail, thunderstorms, and the occasional tornado.  My iPhone batteries almost ran out from all the flash flood and severe weather alerts I've been getting all day.  The commute, already trying and challenging before the highway collapsed, was all the worse for the traffic-choked detours and side streets, and then nearly brought to a complete halt by the weather and the limited visibility, flooded roads, and work crews occupying lanes during rush hour trying to clear clogged stormwater drains.   

It seems that whatever you believe controls things around here, be it science, be it chance and happenstance, be it the old or the new gods, be it the Destroyer of Dreams and Destructor of Delights, be it two 13-year-olds playing a video game somewhere in New Jersey, whatever, it seems someone has decided to close Atlanta off so no one can escape and then flood us with rain, hail, and thunderbolts just to see what we'd do.

Many of us here are not amused. 

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Of Course It Was

News reports are now saying that it was a person smoking crack under the highway that started the fire, that collapsed the underpass, that snarled the rush hour, and that is going to have Atlanta's already challenged traffic totally tied up in knots "for the foreseeable future."

Crackheads - this is why we can't have nice things.