LIFE. EXPONENTIALLY. – By Tom Curley

Did you see DJT on Fox and Friends this morning? Or maybe you saw him on Colbert this evening. He was also on the evening news, so if you watched TV at all, you saw him. It was also all over social media.

Whoa! Talk about out of control. It would have been funny if life on earth were a comedy. But this was our actual, elected President Of The United States. POTUS. The Man. Sounding like an out-of-control elderly family member whose drinking problem has gone way over the top.

2018 is 2017 on steroids. It’s almost October and it is crazier and much weirder than last year. We expected crazy — but weird? And there are midterm elections in less than 2 months!

In 2017, we experienced “Trump Time.” A crazy story which would have normally lasted a week or two — 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.

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. Now those same stores last a couple of hours before the next bizarre event.

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 common sense 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.knowledge-curve.jpg

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.

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 eleven years ago. The iPad was released on April 3, 2010. Just eight and a half years ago!

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.

knowledge curve
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.

Fear

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.

Remember the 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.

Meanwhile, the doctor in charge, apparently known locally as “Candyman,” excused himself from his upcoming promotion to run the V.A. Maybe the doctor should be taking the test.

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 the end of September as I write this and I’m hoping we make it to November and elections. Last year, at this time we were hoping to make it to 2020.

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!”

A SLIPPERY SLOPE – Marilyn Armstrong

RDP THURSDAY – SLIPPERY


Life is a slippery slope, or at least it is for me. The last time I tried to climb a slope, it was so slippery, my shoes stayed in the mud and my butt stayed on the grass. Very slippery. And sloping.

Clearly, I should not try climbing slippery slopes, but it was so lovely down there, in the mud by the river.

A personal slippery slope

People use the term “it’s a slippery slope” when they are warning you that something you are doing is likely to get you into trouble, generally trouble from which you have previously extracted yourself.

I’m now at a point where I’ve slid down all the slopes. Everything is slippery and it’s nothing but slopes. So I’ll plod along and try to keep my shoes out of the river and the muck.

KEEP IT SMALL, KEEP IT SIMPLE. BETTER YET, ELOPE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Abstain from Ceremonies

If you survive the wedding, marriage is a piece of cake.

When Garry proposed, I was shaken. He was 48 and I was 43. I’d been married twice and my first husband (still alive) was Garry’s best friend. Don’t ask for details. As they say in modern RomComs, “It’s complicated.”

I had finally managed to get unmarried to number two which was complicated by requiring a board of Rabbis in Jerusalem to agree and you’d be surprised how complicated that can become. They are not modern guys.

Photo: Debbie Stone

Garry proposed. Once I got over the shock, I realized there would be a wedding, about which I wasn’t enthusiastic. I’d never been enthusiastic about weddings.

But Garry wanted the whole thing with flowers,  music, and his pastor from childhood (retired, but drug out of retirement for the occasion) … and of course, me. It had to be in New York, not Boston.

Having told me what he wanted for a wedding, Garry retired from the fray and let me get on with it. At some point, he figured out I would do everything and he could show up in a tuxedo. Voila! Done and done.

Somewhere in Ireland

It’s a blur. I don’t remember the details though I have it on a CD and that helps. When you are a bride, you get moved around, told where to stand. You wear shoes so painful you need the jaws of life to remove your feet. Also, the gown had no shoulders, so I had to wear some kind of corset thing. It was a warm September and beneath the corset, it was sweaty. Then there were stockings and a veil, flowers, hair, and makeup. Sheesh.

As for the date, it was simple. It would be when Garry’s baby brother, the honorable Dr. Anton Armstrong, conductor of the St. Olaf’s Choir wasn’t going to be on the road with the choir. We wanted him to sing — and HE wanted to sing — but he’s a busy guy. Then there was a bagpiper (my former first husband insisted). My Maid of Honor wanted to sing (lovely voice) … and another friend was going to sing too. NO way we were getting away with simple music and anyway, Garry has a streak of Hollywood director in his soul, so we made almost no plans for the party, but staged a big show as the ceremony.

On September 15th. Today. In 1990.

When people asked if they could bring their kids, we said NO and they brought them anyway. Garry’s mother invited all her best friends because she was Garry’s Mom.

Happy anniversary!

I wanted to go to city hall and have the Mayor marry us. He was a pretty good friend then — still IS a friend, though he’s long out of office. We could have had a nice little ceremony on the steps of city hall, grabbed a plane at Logan and headed for Ireland. But we had to have this wedding. I think we were the ONLY people to invite 86 people and end up with 110 people. No one refused.

Everyone came.

“You mean — GARRY is getting MARRIED? I’ve gotta BE there!” He was Boston’s longest known bachelor, so this was an occasion for all and sundry.

It was a great wedding which I know because we had it taped. A couple of years ago, we transferred to DVD. It turned out mylar tape corrodes over time. Who knew?

With a few exceptions (mostly due to death), we know all the same people today we knew then. Funny how that works.

Photo: Debbie Stone

I suppose we stayed married because we were determined to make it work. We really cared about each other. Love is important in a marriage, but I have to say it is the friendship that keeps it going. When the flush of romance has been crushed under the pressure of two full-time jobs and Mr. Romance just wants to sit around the apartment watching baseball, being good friends matters.

Ireland

Love is a grand thing, but a deep and abiding friendship is forever.

Personally? Call an abstention on the wedding and spend the money on a fabulous honeymoon.

SHARING MY WORLD – Marilyn Armstrong

From Melanie, these are the second set of her questions. I feel like I should copy Fandango’s answers because basically, they are my answers. However, I’ll try to say something original.

Original. Hmm.

Okay, at least not exactly the same.

This Week’s Questions:

Are you a better listener or speaker?

I am probably a better speaker, but I listen. And I hear not only what someone says to me, but what they didn’t say.

Photo: Garry Armstrong – Chatting about flowers

You might say I hear between the lines.

If you were asked to design a warning label that would be tattooed on your skin, what would it say? 

I have a tattoo. It’s a Phoenix. I got it after I survived my third near-death experience.

I didn’t know I had a couple more to come. I actually (haha) thought I was done.

What are you passionate about?

I’m passionate about writing. Blogging is what I’m doing this time, but I have always written, professionally and just because. Even when I was earning my living as a technical writer, I also wrote funny stuff and free-lance news pieces … and some really good letters.

You could say I’m also passionate about taking pictures, but that has more of a hobby/enthusiast status.

Really, though I am most passionate about learning. I’m a born-again researcher. I will track an idea as far as I can until I’m satisfied that I’ve learned either 1) everything I want to know about it, or 2) I’ve learned everything there is to know about it. For now.

Whatever “it” might be. I do not understand people who lack the curiosity to discover what is going on in the world.

I suppose one of the things that upset me about younger gens is their lack of interest in concepts and ideas. Philosophy. Their minds do not seem to wander into strange and wondrous places. I hope there are some —  hopefully many — who do wander because they will save us all

If you could change one thing about your world, what would it be?

No Trump presidency.

What gave you a reason to smile this past week?   

I think the Red Sox have the Eastern Division in the bag. It doesn’t mean we will win the post-season games. Post-season is another season, but at least it means we’ll get to the post-season.

When life otherwise sucks, there are sports.

STABILITY AND GRACE – Marilyn Armstrong

As a start, I am totally convinced that a “stable genius” would have to be Mr. Ed. There was never a stable genius as well stabled and genius-like as he was.

I’m Mr. Ed, and I approve this message.

As for stability and grace?

If I walk with utmost care, I can look almost graceful until I hit a bump and fall down.

In Israel, I was told I would grow old with grace. They didn’t mean physically because no one ever accused me of being graceful. They meant spiritually graceful. I’m not sure that’s true. Mostly, I think I’m really quite cranky and these days, crankier than ever.

Grace!

As for stability?

I tread carefully so I won’t fall down. When you fall down and you are 9 or 10, no one worries. They pop up back on your feet, dust you off and tell you to get on with it. When you are 70 plus, they go into a tizzy and start dialing 911. If I had no better reason for not falling down, that would be a good one.

Hey, I have a great idea. Let’s play a game.

You be “Stable” and I’ll be “Grace.” We’ll run the country together, okay?

FOWC with Fandango — Stability
RDP Monday: GRACE

THE ROYAL WE – Marilyn Armstrong

FOWC with Fandango — Royal


The royal we — that is to say, me and Garry — went to the barber yesterday. There were no more excuses and it was getting ever increasingly difficult to find those magnets in his head.

Photo: Marilyn Armstrong

It sounds pretty funny, when I think about it, finding the magnets in your husband’s head, but he has magnets. They are what holds his transmitter to his skull.

Messages collected by a little microphone in his ear go to a coil and other electronic pieces. Presumably, from there, they go to his brain which translates these sound into human speech. Normal hearing does pretty much the same thing, but without the magnets and with the coil is there naturally from birth.

It’s a pretty cool setup. Even with all the ghost chimes and bongs and jangling in his head, Garry can hear, probably better than he has anytime before in his life.

I was there at the barber’s to explain that he needed one piece of hair cut shorter– not bald, just pretty tight to his head– so he could easily find the magnets. There are also magnets in the transmitter, so it’s magnet to magnet.

Garry may not have a lot of hair on top, but the hair on the sides and back of his head is thick. It was getting difficult to find the skull beneath the pelt. I was trimming the area, but the hair was growing a lot faster than I could cut it. And Garry is very fussy about his hair and heaven forfend I should accidentally cut an extra sprig of hair.

I would never hear the end of it. Okay, that’s an exaggeration. But he is very fussy about his hair.

The result was perfect and now, it’s easy to find the magnets. As long as he keeps the head reasonably short, all should go well. The royal WE did it again!

ABOUT THAT FOOD YOU’RE EATING … Marilyn Armstrong

Daily Topic Subject – Food Glorious Food
Game On – S2 Created by A Guy Called Bloke and K9 Doodlepip!

“This twice weekly game will be 21 questions or in truth 16 flexi questions, because there will be five permanent that must stay in place at all times.

But apart from those 5 permanent questions, should you choose to reblog, then you can change any of the other 16 questions or create 16 of your own, that’s down to you, however you must stick to the Daily Topic Subject.

The Rules …
1] Leave the Permanent Questions [PQ] always in place PLEASE.

2] Reblog should you so desire

3] If you do reblog, a pingback would always be welcomed so l don’t miss it.

4] This is a non-tagger/ non-nomination game.

This is quite simply a small questions game. The questions are not that taxing, or they might be if you don’t like questions — as many don’t. If you don’t like questions, why are you even bothering with this? The questions are just here for trivia based fun.” So sayeth Guy


Q1] What is the weirdest thing you have ever eaten?

Snails. It was a French restaurant. Garry said I had to try them. Disgusting. But Garry likes them. He also likes anchovies, so I suppose snails are right next door.

Q2] What was Cheerios original name?

It had an original name?

Q3] What is right when eating Pizza – eating the slice as it is, or folded?

Be free! Live it up! Whatever works for you. I’ve also eaten it with a knife and fork (don’t faint, please).

Q4] In hot dogs which is better Ketchup or Mustard?

The VFW raising money with its own hot dog stand!

I don’t use either of them. Actually, I rarely use either of them on anything, but absolutely NOT on hot dogs. I like a little pickle relish if I have some. Otherwise, nothing is fine.

PQ5] If you had to explain to someone who had never cooked ‘Scrambled Eggs’ in their life – how would you explain that  …. through mobile phone text?

I don’t text. No, seriously, the other day I had to text something to make my car radio work. I realized I didn’t know how. I eventually doped it out, but I don’t text. I make phone calls. I write instructions. I used to write manuals for software and hardware. Sorry, no texting.

Although I make scrambled eggs, I’m not one of the world’s great egg cookers.

Q6] Watermelon – salted or unsalted which is better?

Salted? Seriously? Why? Who puts salt on watermelon? Is that legal?

PQ7] Who in your opinion is the best TV Chef? Explain why and provide links to support your theory.

I have no opinion. Never watched a single TV show starring any chef. Sorry.

Q8] How do you eat your Oreo Cookies – split apart or just bite into them?

I buy the thin ones and I never split them. Actually, until the thin ones came out, I didn’t like Oreos.

Q9] Everyone loves a sandwich, however when it comes to cutting them in half do you do so diagonally or straight?

I usually don’t cut them. I just start at one end and eat straight through. Anything left over goes to the most aggressive dog in the room.

Q10] Spaghetti is best eaten twirled around the fork or cut up with a knife?

That’s a personal choice. There IS no right way. Anyway, I break the spaghetti in half before I cook it, so it’s just easier to eat any old way.

Q11] Pecan – a simple word in itself and yet there is a huge controversial debate on pronunciation – so is it  “Pee-can or is it Pick-ahn?

Everyone I know calls it a pee-CON. Pick-ahn? I don’t know anyone who pronounces it that way. Maybe down south? Or out west? Or  … in Lebanon?

PQ12] What is your most favourite quote with regards food that sums you up the best?

You cook. You clean. I’ll eat and praise your greatness.

Q13] What is the main ingredient to Gingerbread Cookies?

Let’s get quibbly here. There is gingerbread and then, there are ginger snaps. There is no such thing as a gingerbread cookie. I make gingerbread and if I do say so myself, it’s pretty good and smells like heaven.

Gingerbread (mine)

I also bake — or used to bake — amazing ginger snaps. I didn’t invent the recipe — it came from a cookbook, but they are really good. These are a crisp, ginger-flavored cookie and is related to gingerbread by its primary flavoring — ginger.

For both of them, the primary ingredient is flour. In pretty much everything you bake, flour is either the primary ingredient or the second of two equal amounts. Very occasionally, a recipe will call for more sugar than flour, but I don’t bake things with that much sugar in it. I’m pre-diabetic and would like to remain “pre.”

Q14] Which country is the second biggest market for fast food – China or Canada?

I would bet on China simply because it’s huge and contains so much of the human race. Canada is a physically big country with a relatively small population, so I don’t think they’d beat out China for anything except maybe, moose. Canada definitely has more moose.

PQ15] What is your favourite meal to cook and explain why?

I don’t think I actually have one. There are so many things I can’t eat — or Garry can’t eat — a lot of the fun foods are not fun anymore.

Q16] What is venison?

Deer.

Q17] True or False – Beefsteak is a variety of Tomato?

Yup.

Q18] It’s Halloween, and you need to make a Jack-o-lantern, so you need to find a  … ?

A pumpkin that’s the right shape for your art. After that, you would want a knife and a scoop. Preferably a small and very sharp knife. Maybe something like a gouge — a round thing you might use to core an apple (there’s a word for it, but I don’t remember it). A thin line magic marker isn’t a bad idea, either, if you’re getting fancy.

For a final piece de resistance, you’ll want a candle and something with which to light it.

OR, these days, if you are a painter, you can skip the carving and paint the pumpkin. The good thing about painting is that a painted pumpkin doesn’t rot as fast as a carved one.

Q19] Are humans omnivore, herbivore or carnivore?

Omnivore unless you are a vegan. If you are a vegan, you’re a herbivore.

PQ20] Are you deleting any questions, if so which ones?

Nope. Food is not so important to me today. Time does weird things to appetite.

Q21] What is another name for Sweet Corn?

Maize.


And kudos to: https://aguycalledbloke.blog/2018/08/30/game-on-series-2-confidence-2/