This is the only Black & White Sunday this month, and I decided that it should be Traces of the Past (the recurrent photo challenge on this blog). Here is one of the most beautiful landmarks of Northumberland – the famous Bamburgh Castle. The day I took this photo it glistened nicely in late, golden sunlight, but for this opportunity I decided to show it in silvery tones i.e. in black and white.
World War 2 tank
Photo: Garry Armstrong – The landing field at the Tuskegee site
My mind rarely goes blank unless I’m looking for a word that has gone missing. But this time, literally — there’s nothing there.
We’ve done a bunch of similar words and I think I’m lost between synchronicity, clues, cabals, and collusion. Are these parallels? Of what are they parallels? What am I missing.
Right now, I’m missing something. I don’t know what it might be, but it is definitely leaving a hole where the rain gets in – and kept my mind from wandering. (That’s a line in a Beatles song, in case you missed it).
I look outside and it’s raining. Again. Cold. Raining. I get cranky (that was another word … from last week I believe) and irritable.
I would be glad for a parallel universe, though. A nice clean version of this universe, but without the sludge and the pollution and the murder. If parallels are “on offer,” sign me up for the “other” one. This one isn’t making me happy.
Sunday is Earth Day. I remember the first Earth Day and every Earth Day since. Earth has changed and I’m pretty sure we’re the ones who have changed it.
This isn’t a trick . It’s a genuine question based on a few premises with which you have to agree before we can begin:
1 – Climate change is real, based on science and facts. It isn’t a glitch in nature and if we ignore it, it won’t go away.
2 – We used to call it “global warming” – but obviously there’s quite a bit more to it.
3 – You are sure it is going to affect you … but exactly how?
4 – You are not a conspiracy theorist. You do not believe that climate change comes from an angry God or some weird technology.
5 – You’d like to know what you should be doing about climate change — and you are pretty sure that recycling bottles is probably not the ultimate answer.
These are questions for which I don’t have an answer. I have always believed that we were doing serious damage to the earth, even before it was officially proven. I thought it was pretty obvious. We still have pollution resulting from things we did in European river valleys a thousand years ago and these days, we simply make it worse. Even when we are trying to make it better.
The thing is, I know I had no idea what all of this meant on a personal level. I understood about rising sea levels. I got that part of the equation. I understood the increasing and probably endless loss of species — such as all of our large land mammals and probably all or most of our carnivores.
There will be no wolves, no tigers, lions, elephants, rhinoceros, giraffe. Whales will be gone. Slowly but surely because we are polluting the oceans and I don’t know if there is a way back from the mess we have made.
The air will become more polluted and we will never figure out what to do with our radioactive wastes. We haven’t even figured out what to do with the filthy, polluted soil in this valley or for that matter, the Rhine valley or along the Yangtze or Ganges.
Storms will be bigger, encompassing the size of entire oceans eventually. Right now, we have storms in North America so big they go literally from coast to coast. Super storms. Super tornadoes. We will have droughts and floods in sequence. Fires and mud slides in between and let’s not forget the occasional earthquake, just for fun.
It rained 30 inches in Hawaii over the past 24 hours and another monster storm is on the way. The concept of “monster storms” never crossed my mind.
Slowly rising sea water is pretty much what I saw in my head. I never imagined it would all be happening at the same time — and so fast. I thought it would take a lot longer for the water to rise. That the oceans would slowly edge up over the coasts. The rivers would rise and we’d have flooding.
Snow? Maybe we’d have less with rising temperatures … but I didn’t think we’d have storm after storm with warm weather in between so it would fall, then melt, then fall again, and melt again. I didn’t expect the bizarre alterations of seasons, either.
What did you imagine would happen? Did you imagine the mudslides in California? Or the fires? Or the floods in Puerto Rico and Texas? And now in Kauai?
Did we realize that the melting glaciers would mean that inland nations like Switzerland would have no viable water sources?
What did we think was going to happen? What do we think is going to happen next year and the year after? It won’t be nothing, that’s for sure. Something will happen and we will be in the middle of it. In the end, there will be few places left to hide.
I don’t think my imagination moved me much past a flooded basement. I never considered we might have an entirely flooded valley … or maybe a state under water. Or even finding myself turning up the thermostat in the middle of April.
Since the season is almost here, I implore you to not kill your early blooming dandelions. This is the food the bees need to keep alive until the rest of the flowers and plants bloom. Remember the bees because without them, we are dead, so skip that lovely Scott’s lawn for now. Let’s try and preserve life on earth rather than the nicest lawn in the suburbs.
Someone commented that “working on a problem” was, for WordPress, their version of progress. So I got to thinking. What is the opposite word — the antonym as it were — of progress?
And after considerable research I discovered there is no antonym because “progress” is a contextual word and what is means depends on the way in which you use it. If you are talking in military terms, the answer would be “retreat.” If you can’t move forward, the way to go is backward — another antonym. Also, don’t forget “reverse.”
If by progress, you mean “to go inside,” you can use “egress” which means “to leave” — but it really isn’t an antonym since progress is rarely used to mean “going into a building or room.” Generally, it means to “improve upon an existing state.” Or, to fix something that’s wrong. Or, to go forward when you haven’t been … well … progressing.
Regress is more mathematical than progress and has a lot of important applications in the coding world. But it doesn’t have much to say about making a bad situation better or worse.
I found this oddly amusing. Rarely do you find a relatively common word which has no antonym. In every case, the “antonym” was marked as “sense-specific” or as I prefer to put it, “contextual.” It means what it means in a limited, specific way.
One way or another, “progress” in this case would definitely be some kind of “forward movement” of the project, which happens to be figuring out why names suddenly don’t come up linked to the people who wrote the posts.
First off, what does “putting it back on hold” actually mean? You mean — you took it off hold? Why when you never fixed it, would it have been on hold at all? It’s broken. Fix it.YOU broke it, not me.
So I wrote:
I am comforted by the fact that you are working on this major issue. Please don’t worry that my post about it has been reblogged many times in a variety of languages. I’m sure no one really minds having you make a complete mess of their contacts with the outside world. After all, we only do this so you can make more money and have no personal stake in the matter at all.
Many people will be comforted knowing you are working on fixing your broken search engine. It’s touching, really it is. After all. I’ve written 7,000+ posts for you — and been a premium customer — yet my NAME — nor any of the names of the other four writers on my site — can be brought up through your engine — even though they always showed up in the past. How special is that? What I love BEST about you guys is how hard you work at “fixing” things without apparently having any clue as to the other issues involved with the work — like what happens to databases when you disconnect the names of customers, probably by eradicating the pointers that have so effectively worked for years.
Listen, if you need people who actually understand how this stuff works? I used to be in this business and I know some really top-notch people who can fix a database to perfection. Of course, that means that EVERYBODY in your tech department also has to learn how they work so they don’t casually destroy them without even knowing what they are doing.
Have you considered hiring PROFESSIONALS to work with rather than kids just out of school? I know you might have to pay them a better salary and that’s rarely done these days, but it’s worth considering. Because as someone who spent a lot of years of my life working with databases, you guys are clueless.
Your friendly neighborhood paying customer with a 40 year background in the problem you can’t solve (because I’m sure you have no idea how you broke it in the first place),
Freaking HAPPINESS ENGINEERS? Do they blush when they have to say that in public? Doesn’t it make them cringe with embarrassment? Has any WordPress “happiness engineer” made you happy? Their job is fixing the problems that they — themselves — have created. So effectively, they are “technical assistants” whose job it is to fix the messes they make.
Why do they make the messes? Because as far as I can tell, they really don’t know what they are doing. They just do stuff and when it stops working (duh!) they say oops. With luck, they attempt to fix it. Some things never get fixed because they have no idea what they did to break them. Talking to our happy band of Happiness Engineers, I am often confounded by how little they know about the stuff they are doing. How lost they are and how obviously young and clueless they seem to be. Every now and again, you get a smart one and it’s such a relief.
Finally! An engineer who knows what a pointer actually IS and can recognize a database when he sees one — and even knows how important the database and search engines are to the platforms of which they are, in theory, in charge.
Such is progress. They are making progress. Well, actually, no one has said they are making progress. That’s actually my own inference.
Are they making progress? Are they in full retreat? Are they moving backward? Are they in “slow progress” mode – which in the development world is identical to “no progress” mode?
Inquiring minds would love to know. By the way, I tried their link and it is blocked to plebes like me who don’t “get” development. You need a password, which of course I don’t have.
No problem. I’m sure, in weeks to come, they will be sending me another note letting me know that they have yet to make any progress, so they are taking this “off hold” because they are “Happiness Engineers” and they really want us to be happy.
I want to be happy too. Let’s all be happy together.
To participate in the Ragtag Daily Prompt, create a Pingback to your post, or copy and paste the link to your post into the comments. And while you’re there, why not check out some of the other posts too!