IT’S EXPONENTIAL, DR. WATSON – BY TOM CURLEY

I’m not the first person to see this, but have any of you noticed that 2018 seems like 2017 on steroids? January is barely half over, and it seems like over a half-year has gone by. In 2017, we experienced “Trump Time.”

A crazy story that would have normally lasted a week or two, or maybe even a month, lasted for two days, tops. We were reeling from the insane shit the Shithead-in-Chief did on a Monday, only to completely forget about it because he did something even crazier on Tuesday. And that’s how it went all year.

But something happened, or seemed to happen on January 1, 2018. The crazy went into overdrive. I say ‘seemed’ to happen because his turning the crazy up to eleven was inevitable.

Why? Well, it’s because of the word exponential. Most of us know what it means, but I think most of us don’t really understand it.


ex·po·nen·tialˌekspəˈnen(t)SH(ə)l/

adjective

1. (Of an increase) becoming more and more rapid. “The social security budget was rising at an exponential rate.”

2. MATHEMATICS – Of, or expressed by, a mathematical exponent, for example, “an exponential curve.”


More specifically, we need to understand exponential growth, something that gets bigger and bigger, or grows faster and faster over time.

It’s hard for humans to think like that because we are hard-wired to think linearly. It’s easy for us to understand it takes a guy two hours to paint a room, so he can paint two rooms in four hours. Commonsense, right? That kind of commonsense  is part of our DNA. It helped us survive in the old caveman days. Back then, we had to be able to figure out in a hurry how fast we had to run to get to that tree before the really large saber tooth tiger caught up to us and ate us for lunch.

The best example of exponential growth today is in technology. Like, say, computers. There’s a thing called “Moore’s Law.” It says the processing power of computers doubles and the cost is cut in half every 12 to 18 months.

That was true, but, it is a perfect example of linear thinking.  In reality, the time that computers double in power and drop in cost is taking less and less time. Science and all knowledge, is growing at an accelerated rate.

It has always been that way. The increase in human knowledge has always been on an exponential curve, but the way the curve works didn’t make it seem that way until recently. On an exponential curve, things grow at a steady rate for a long time. Then suddenly, it hits a tipping point and everything begins to race along much faster.

Think about it. Humans have been on this planet as Homo sapiens for a few million years. Most of that time, we spent surviving. And throwing rocks at each other. Then, about 12,000 years ago, we stopped roaming and settled down. Although we still threw rocks at each other.

We created agriculture and civilization. Why did we do that? Because we discovered beer. I know this sounds like a joke, but it’s true. There’s a great documentary called “How Beer Saved The World.’  It’s fascinating, but that’s another blog for another day.

Basically, we had a choice. We could continue to wander around and throw rocks at each other. Or,  we could stay home and make more beer. And throw rocks at each other. It wasn’t a hard decision.Think of all the science — all the knowledge — mankind figured out starting 12,000 years ago up until 1900. By the 1900’s the industrial revolution was well underway. Cities were lit by gas and some places, by electricity. People and industry moved on steam-powered trains. The internal combustion engine was in production.

All this knowledge doubled between 1900 and the 1960’s. From  horse-drawn carriages to putting a man on the moon.

Well, that was fast.

The knowledge of mankind doubled again between 1960 and 1980, then doubled again by 1990.

Can we remember when smartphones didn’t exist? When iPads didn’t exist? They’ve been around for a while, right? Actually, the iPhone came out June 29, 2007. That was just ten years ago. The iPad was released on April 3, 2010. Just seven and a half years ago!

When my step son was diagnosed with kidney disease, he was told he would need a transplant. I asked his doctor if an artificial kidney would soon be available. He said, yes, but not for at least 50 years.

A few years later, he received the transplant and Ellin was the donor. After the surgery was over I asked the same doctor the same question. His answer? “Oh yeah, they will probably make a kidney from his own stem cells. Maybe five, ten years from now. ”

That was five years ago. Today, they’re talking about making kidneys with a 3D printer.

What happened?

Mankind reached the tipping point of that exponential curve. We’re at the point where the curve ends and the line goes straight up. This is when our knowledge quite literally explodes.

We’re way over to the right.

This is not something I thought of myself. There is a fascinating book by futurist Robert Kurzweil, called “The Singularity Is Near.” I highly recommend it.


What does any of this have to do with our Toddler-In-Chief? A lot. In particular, with his mental illness. Literally hundreds of psychiatrists and psychologists are screaming at the top of their lungs that this nut job is, well, nuts. and getting worse.

They have collectively pointed out that the stress of the job is accelerating his illness. He’s not merely getting crazier at warp speed. He has gone all the way to plaid!

You can see it yourself and you don’t need a Ph.D either.

Every interview he gives is a trip further down the rabbit hole. His last few interviews have gone from, “Bizarre” to “Unhinged” to “Insane” to “Insanely insane.” Read the transcript of his last interview with The Wall Street Journal. It was a literal word salad. Not a single sentence was complete or made any sense.

I just watched a news conference where the doctor that supposedly just examined Trump said he passed a cognitive mental test and he got all 30 questions right!

Really? The questions were things like “name four animals” and “point out what 3:15 looks like on a clock.” Wow, so the President is sane because he recognizes a cow, a pig, a dog,a rhinoceros and a pussy. He also knows when it’s quarter after three.

Short red hand was. at 3 and is now. moving toward 4. Long blue hand. has moved. to 15.

Do the same test next month.

I think Grandpa is not just losing it. He’s losing it faster and faster each day. It’s time to take away the keys to his car. Remove the big nuclear button from his desk. Get him into the memory care unit at a good nursing home. Hell, you can designate Mar-A-Lago as his official nursing home and lock him in his room. It’s only the middle of January as I write this and I’m hoping we make it to February. Last year, at this time we were hoping to make it to 2020. The month isn’t even over yet and he’s managed to shut down the government. Maybe that’s not a bad thing.

I apologize for not finding more humor in all of this. I try, but sometimes it just ain’t there. So, to make up for it. Here are two dogs playing “I Got Your Nose!”.

AN ENTIRELY DIFFERENT LIFE STRATEGY

The strategy and rhythm of life is different between working and retirement.


Garry just reminded me that he’s busy. By this he means he’s reading two books — one audio, the other print. He’s trying to keep up with his email and stuff on Serendipity and occasionally write a few things, too.

I was explaining that I have this whole Audies reading thing coming up. I’ll get my list of books tomorrow and for the next few weeks, I’m going to be busy. So I was hoping Garry might be able to write a little more because I’ll be on an actual deadline.

He pointed out he’s already busy but he’ll try. Which made me think about busyness.

So I said to him, but also to myself: “How did we have enough time to work full-time and then some?”

Garry worked insanely long hours, often 14 to 16 hours. Just as he was finally about to get some sleep, the station would call him back in. This is why he so treasures sleep. For most of his life, he barely got any. And on top of this, he worked strange hours, so his body was always on same bizarre schedule.

He remembers better than I do about work, even though he has been retired longer than me. “It was the schedule we lived on. We got up, we went to work, we came home. Then we did it again.”

“I don’t think I could do it … for any amount of money,” I pointed out. “I went out on disability … and that was three major surgeries ago. I don’t think I’m healthier now than I was then.”

“That,” said my husband, “Is the other thing. It doesn’t matter how much money they offered me. I don’t think I could do it.”

That’s the definition of retirement — when not only do you no longer work, but you can’t do it, not for any amount of money. You’re finished.

It’s hard to remember exactly what working full-time was like. I know I did it. I got up, commuted — sometimes ridiculously long distances (and that’s how I got hooked on audiobooks). Worked. Came home. Cooked, cleaned. Even occasionally saw friends or family. Then, I got up and did it again. We both did. Together, we worked about 100 years.

These days, I write a piece or two, read other blogs and maybe fix some pictures and listen to a book. Then, I make dinner and collapse into the sofa, I feel I’ve worked a full day.

It’s 12:15 am and I’m writing this. It’s the second post I’ve written today. I also processed about a dozen pictures. I made shrimp for dinner and Garry cleaned up afterwards. A full day.

I am thoroughly and completely retired.

A THIEF IN THE NIGHT – RICH PASCHALL

The Big Blanket Caper, by Rich Paschall


Crimes like this often go unreported. Perhaps there is fear of confrontation. Perhaps there is embarrassment. Perhaps the deed is temporarily forgotten in the light of dawn. It is evil, nonetheless. Victims need to come forward without fear of retribution. Action needs to be taken against the perpetrators.

The evil doers of these deeds may feign ignorance of their wicked actions. They may say to those who will care to listen to their lies that they meant no harm, if harm was done at all. HA! These especially heinous crimes should be pursued by an élite squad known as the Special Victims Unit in order to bring Law and Order back to the home.

The Big Blanket Caper

We are, of course, talking about those dishonorable reprobates who steal the covers in the night. As a victim you may find that while you were once comfortable in your own bed, a wicked and immoral person has rolled himself (herself) up in your covers, exposing you to the open air. The warmth and safety that you once felt has been taken away by a corrupt person next to you.  Try as you might, you will never recover your portion of the big blanket that was a part of your property. You are left out in the cold, so to speak, while this iniquity goes unpunished. Prior to the light of dawn, there is no way to recover what is rightfully yours so you can re-cover yourself. This depraved action leaves you deprived of your security and domestic tranquility.

As if this encounter was not vile enough, there is also the matter of real estate. You may think that your stake in a territory would be sacred. You may believe what is your is, well, yours. There are, however, dishonorable “land grabbers” that will sneak in to take your space if the opportunity presents itself. You must protect yourself against the wickedness of those who would swoop in to encroach upon the land.

A property deed will not protect you. No proof of your ownership is respected by these degenerates. The pain and suffering they will inflict upon their victims are absolutely unspeakable. The worst criminal offenders should be pursued by the detectives of the Major Case Squad. Often, however, these atrocities go uncaught and unpunished.

The Case of the Real Estate Mogul

As you have probably guessed, we refer to those corrupt beings who are not satisfied with half of the bed. These noxious mates will take additional territory as if it was the Wild West and they were free to stake any claim they want. It is time to fight back against this villainy. Tweet your dissatisfaction with the term #MyLand. Let the world know we will no longer stand for this wrongdoing.

Victims of the real estate scheme are particularly vulnerable if they momentarily leave their space in the middle of the night due to calling of nature. It is impossible to ignore this call as if it were the phone that would not stop ringing. But beware! You may return to find that the malevolent mate has swooped in to claim half of what was once yours. You are left with just a sliver of land and little recourse against this sin.

Finally, the Big Blanket Caper and The Case of the Real Estate Mogul are not your only worries in the night. The corruption will also take another form. The pernicious conduct that may befall you may actually and quite literally make you fall. If you think the unpleasant actions that have been taken against you are a mere accident, think again!

The Department of In Home Security has issued a black and blue alert as fair warning of the cruel and mischievous outrages that may lay in your path.  These ITDs (Improvised Tripping Devices) may surprise you in the middle of the night as you tumble in the dark. Shoes, flip-flops, gym bags, shopping bags and any other item that may be used as a weapon will be left where you will not see them. BAM! You have fallen on your trip to the washroom or midnight raid of the refrigerator. You have been an unsuspecting victim in what you thought was a clear path in the night. No mere 4 watt night bulb is likely to provide protection against the disgusting action for which the villain will pretend was an unfortunate error.

Rest assured you are not alone and may speak out to bring down these troublemakers.

There are eight million stories in the naked city, these are just a few.  Feel free to bring these sinister actions to the police who investigate crime and the district attorneys who prosecute the offenders!

See Also: A Trip In The Night

ROADS AND WIRES – CEE’S WHICH WAY CHALLENGE

Cee’s Which Way Photo Challenge – January 19, 2018


Going back and processing pictures that have long waited for me.  Brookline in December, Cooperstown in summer.

Brookline in traffic
Red lights
Road and wires
Road to the lake