Sunday, December 31, 2006

Happy 2007

I've been sadly absent from posting here this past month. So I resolved that I will do better in 2007. There is so much to comment on, to laugh at, to communicate. May all your wishes for the New Year come true.

Friday, December 08, 2006

1 of 20 Questions

Recently I participated in a postcrossing game called 20 Questions. I sent a list of questions to a gal in the Netherlands and I answered questions sent to me by a gal in Norway. One of the Norwegian questions I think deserves some expansion.

What do you think the world will be like in 200 years?

The short answer I gave was that people will be more educated about each other's culture because we'll be more crowded. Except for the people on the moon.

NASA reports that they are planning on a base at the south pole of the moon by 2020. And this is only 14 years from now.

If we look back to 1806, we might get a perspective on 2206. Lewis and Clark had just finished their exploration of the future western United States. There were colonies all over the world, governed by European powers. Australia was just a penal colony. Asia was only of interest to Asians who did not reach out to the rest of the world.

Events are excellerating today crazy fast (as is the current fad to say.) Look at how the Internet grows on a monthly basis. One can find information on any subject that pops into your head, within seconds. The societies that keep their people in the dark about computers will be washed over and trampled by the technically elite. With such vast stores of knowledge readily available, people will be more enlightened. Cooperation will increase as we begin to look at people in other countries as people just like us, and not foreigners. Human misery such as Darfur will be impossible to sustain as we will all be effected faster.

It would be nice to be in a time capsule and awaken in 2206 to see what has happened. I believe it will be a better, although as I said, more crowded world.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Signs of the Season

Finally winter has shown its face on the Double Barrel Ranch. By this I mean we went below the freezing mark overnight and so we have lit the woodburning stove.

Another sure sign is that I dragged out the Christmas card list and a few decorations. I think Christmas is a good thing, even if there were no baby in Bethlehem. Society needs a season for giving and in the Northern hemisphere, a season to string extra lights to bring sparkle to the darkest days of the year. Heaven knows the retail markets need a centerpiece to ensure they make a profit. And the non-profits need our meditation on our good fortune to spring cash from our pockets for their worthy causes. Not to mention the tax advantages if one is so well situated that one is worthy to deduct charitable giving.

But I digress. Christmas is the season of joy and the measure of that expands and contracts over the days leading up to the holiday: joy at seeing loved ones, sending & receiving gifts and cards, admiring lights and decorations; then there is the un-joy of long lines, trying to get the right gift before they are sold out, spending too much, and a long list of social niceties that you'd rather skip but are obligated to follow. Everyone should have to do things they find less than enjoyable. It is for the common good.

I imagine God up in heaven with a large abacus. He slides a few counters to the good when we have the Christmas spirit, and subtracts a few counters when we moan and grouse. And we get a whole row slid to the good when we acknowledge the baby in the manger.