Question about 2015

Saturday, January 3rd, 2015 11:23 am
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
[Edit: Many thanks to [personal profile] rialian and [personal profile] musesfool, both of whom answered this question on Dreamwidth. Guess I need to re-watch the Back to the Future trilogy this year.]

What is it about 2015, anyway? Why does that particular number on the calendar seem to be triggering a massive wave of "We're living in the future now"? I could understand it in 2000, when all the numbers were changing all at once and we were somehow in or almost in a brand-new millennium, and I understood it in 2001 (a Space Odyssey!) even though I'd been conversing with HAL for a couple of years by that point. And I'll certainly understand it in 2020, which sounds more like what I want my vision corrected to than it sounds like an actual year. But for some reason, 2015 has got all the Gen Xers and Baby Boomers I know asking "What year did you say this is again?!" Why is that? Is it some pop-cultural thing stuck in everybody's consciousness but mine? Or is there something else, some deep numerological significance of which I've been blissfully unaware?


Friday, January 6th, 2012 08:58 pm
hummingwolf: Mathemagical animation made out of string. (Incredible String Thing)
Isn't it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity.

--attributed to Václav Havel

"Think of the Hebrew word for question, she'elah," he [Elie Wiesel] continued. "There is 'el (God) in she'elah. God is in the question. But to give the answer? Keep asking the question."

Is this not also the lesson of the book of Job? Job's friends are trying to answer for God against Job's accusations, but they are ultimately scolded because they did not "speak rightly" to or about God. Job, after all, is the only one who has insisted on maintaining his questions against all answers.

--from Timothy Beal's book The Rise and Fall of the Bible

Spinning around in a spiraling circle
Upwards and upwards, not reaching the top
Higher and higher, the path keeps ascending
But somewhere the circle stops.

--from Sheila Chandra's song "Question the Answer"

Inescapable Questions

Wednesday, December 1st, 2010 03:30 pm
hummingwolf: Mathemagical animation made out of string. (Incredible String Thing)
Re: King Arthur and the Chocolate Factory

What would Arthur do with a chocolate factory? He often seems so terribly earnest, you have to wonder if he would indeed follow Merlin's instructions and allow everything to remain wacky and fun (and a bit creepy), or if he'd feel compelled to make the chocolate nutritious or something. Would Arthur's new chocolates all be antioxidant-rich dark chocolates with flax seeds and açai berries, fortified with fifteen essential vitamins and minerals? I mean, I'm the sort of person who will try the supposedly healthier versions of candies, but I'm also the sort of person who will try Cherry Cordial M&Ms. Arthur's innovations may not turn out to be top sellers.

How would new knights be called to the Round Table? Will golden tickets magically end up in candy bars going to the right children? It's obviously worked before, but it may not work so well once Merlin has left the kingdom.

Would Mike Teavee be a good fighter? Being quick on the draw with the remote control and playing all those video games should have improved his reflexes dramatically. But can Arthur keep Teavee's violence in check, or will Teavee always be a thorn in his side? How many times can you safely shrink and re-stretch a kid, anyway?

Will any Oompa Loompas become knights of the Table? Or will they rebel against Arthur and all that he stands for? "Oh, sure, little Pendragon, you claim that Merlin gave you this place and that you have the rightful rule over us, but how can we know for sure? Last we saw of Merlin, he was with you in the glass elevator that went busting through the roof. You came back alone, and all we heard from you about Merlin is that he supposedly had to go away for an extended series of dental appointments. And by the way, pulling a chocolate sword out of a marzipan rock does not prove you are King of all the Britons, no matter what that girl in the chocolate lake says!"

Will jousting competitions take place in the edible garden? 'Cos that would be cool. Jousting with giant candy canes!

When will Arthur learn that Joseph of Arimathea is not really his grandfather?
hummingwolf: Mathemagical animation made out of string. (Incredible String Thing)
Have you had a day when you found yourself wandering through some of your more ancient LJ posts and then you suddenly stopped, yelling out "Wait! Wait! How come I still don't know who called that crisis response team?!"

Yeah, it's been like that. Except I'm happy knowing that I don't really need the answers.

(no subject)

Wednesday, April 22nd, 2009 09:43 pm
hummingwolf: Mathemagical animation made out of string. (Incredible String Thing)
So tonight there was this conversation about computers becoming self-aware, taking over the world, and we wondered: what would happen if they made decisions based on emotion? What are the hardware and/or software equivaents of hormones? How do you know if your baby artificial intelligence is a girl or a boy? What happens when an AI enters puberty? What happens to the internet when the AIs start to hit puberty? Windows experiencing PMS: would anyone notice the difference?

One day I may make a sensible LJ post again, but this clearly isn't it.

Trauma. Horror. Despair.

Wednesday, April 8th, 2009 09:40 pm
hummingwolf: (My world is askew!)
Which of the myriad demons of marketing had to possess someone to create a commercial featuring The Burger King, Spongebob Squarepants, and "Baby Got Back"? Was the world not full of pain enough before this monstrosity was released into the wilds???
hummingwolf: Snowflake-like kaleidoscope images (Kaleidocoolth)
Is this video gothic?

A few questions

Monday, June 23rd, 2008 10:28 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Kaleidoscope (purple & white))
My known ancestors include people who came from England, Ireland, and Wales. Is it wrong of me to hope there are Scots in there as well so I can collect a full set?

This week is Lightning Safety Awareness Week. Among other things, we are all advised to stay indoors during a thunderstorm, and to "Wait 30 minutes after you hear the last rumble of thunder before going out again." This evening I completely ignored that advice, going outside while the thunder rumbled because the rain was falling while the sun was shining brightly in the west. Do you ever go for walks in thunderstorms just so you can see a rainbow?

When I caught my first glimpse of the rainbow, an involuntary "Whoa!" escaped my lips. There was a brilliant arc in clear jewelled tones from red to violet and backward again to green. Well outside that was a second arc which, while being dimmer than the primary arc, was still brighter and clearer than many rainbows I've seen. What I'm wondering now is: when there's more than one rainbow in the sky, where does the leprechaun go?


Sunday, May 27th, 2007 09:24 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Rummaging around in my desk looking for something else, I found a bunch of solid wooden cylinders, the diameter of an ordinary pencil and very slightly more than five inches long. What are they?

Edit: Okay, I have dowels! Now, why are there dowels in my desk drawer? How have I not noticed them before? Why are they there? Have they been here all along, or did some dowel gnomes sneak into my room distributing dowels? Now that I've found them in my desk, might I find them in other places as well?
hummingwolf: Mathemagical animation made out of string. (Incredible String Thing)

Do you intend to be something other than a reaction?

Question of the Day

Wednesday, October 25th, 2006 11:20 am
hummingwolf: animation of green and gold fractal, number of iterations increasing with time (Iterations in green and gold)
Sometimes it's easy to forget that plainclothes detectives are wearing a disguise.

Some of you are very good at fading into the background. (Others are not.) If you dressed up as yourself today, how different would that be from the costume you're wearing now?

hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Why does LJ's autosave feature save drafts of boring posts but lose everybody's interesting ones?

Boxes of a dozen large eggs are on sale this week, so I bought a box of brown ones instead of my usual box of eight large white. Why, when it usually pays to buy in bulk, are the boxes of eight usually cheaper per egg than the boxes of twelve? And why did it take me until just a few minutes ago to figure out why eggs are on sale for such good prices this week?

Why is it that most of my body is telling me this would be a great day to go for a nice, long walk in the city when my poor, still-blistered feet would rather bury themselves in a nice, soft carpet instead?

My red clown nose is trying to peel off. As it was thoroughly sunburned on Tuesday, this is understandable. But why does it feel like my eyeballs are trying to peel off as well?

I finished a large canister of plain oatmeal this week and opened up a new one. The lid on the new canister split in half, so I tried putting the new oatmeal into the old canister. I understand why you don't put new wine in old wineskins, but why can't I put 42 ounces of new oatmeal into an old 42 ounce canister? Even after a couple servings of the new oatmeal have been consumed, there are still several ounces left over that just won't fit.

Why do birds fall down from the sky every time you walk by? And why has it been so long since I last listened to the Carpenters?

I like seeing Gurdonark's mind at work. No questions about that.

Why are they forecasting a mostly cloudy day for Easter? That just isn't right.

Why do I eat when I'm not hungry but forget to drink something when I'm thirsty?

And here's a question someone may be able to answer: What tree or other plant began pollinating in significant amounts within the last few days? I've been doing better than usual this allergy season, but really started sniffling on Thursday.
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (8 months)
In one experiment, "researchers put different subjects in a positive or negative mood state and asked them to write down an argument in favour of a particular proposition.

"When their arguments were analysed for their quality and persuasiveness, subjects in a negative mood were shown to be far more effective in their critical thinking and communication skills."

So. Sad people are better at critical thinking than happy people.

More Americans are taking antidepressants than ever.

Many Americans are still planning to vote for George Bush.

Is there a connection?

No offense intended to anyone who plans to vote for Dubya. I'm sure some of you have excellent reasons for your views and your choice probably isn't entirely due to Prozac in your drinking water.

(no subject)

Thursday, May 29th, 2003 11:11 am
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Do you ever read advice columns and contemplate writing in with your own questions? And then as you formulate the letter in your brain you realize you already know the best course of action? And then you drop the idea and continue being stupid anyway? Yeah, me too.

(no subject)

Thursday, May 8th, 2003 02:34 pm
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
Question: Is it very weird of me to consider stirring some nice crispy bacon into the chocolate chip cookie dough?

Grrr.... argh.

Wednesday, April 16th, 2003 04:02 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
When a person asks questions in a response to an e-mail which contained the answers to each of the questions being asked, is it considered grounds for justifiable homicide?

Morning notes

Wednesday, March 26th, 2003 08:56 am
hummingwolf: Drawing of a creature that is part-wolf, part-hummingbird. (Hummingwolf by Dandelion)
This is how my brain works: Last night in chat, DC mentioned something about Pork Riblets. After asking if "Riblets" was a brand name, I babbled on about the word making me think of ribs and ribbits (frog sounds) at the same time, which got me trying to remember if frogs have ribs (forgive me, this was late at night and my memory was halfway to sleep). So after trying to remember something about the 10th-grade frog dissection other than the fact that our group's frog's brains were insufficiently scrambled and it kept trying to crawl out of the bag it was stored in, I grabbed the Franco to Goethals volume of the encyclopedia off the shelf and found myself looking at drawings of froggie vertebrae until I spied the label for the frog's Achilles tendon, which set me off thinking about what an amphibian Trojan war would be like. What ruse would Greek frogs use to get inside the city? Frogs tend not to ride horses into battle, you know. DC was a bit nonplussed when I told him he had to come up with an answer before I could go to bed or I'd be lying awake all night wondering about different wooden devices to be hidden in. Finally he came up with wooden lilypads (too flat), wooden flies, and wooden toadstools. Anybody else have other ideas?

In other news: Walked over three miles two days in a row. Amazingly still feeling capable of walking this morning, in spite of getting too little sleep. Hooray!
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
I am not a mind-reader. I do not know what you are thinking if you won't tell me. On those occasions when it seems that I do know what's going through your brain, chances are that's because I've been paying attention. I do that sometimes.

Because I am not a mind-reader, I often ask questions. I do this, not in some indirect attempt to accuse you of something, but in a direct attempt to learn answers.

Whatever it is that enables most social interactions in our culture to flow smoothly as if everyone were thinking the same thing, I do not have it. I do not share your assumptions. I share few of your pop-cultural referents. Quote from C.S. Lewis or an episode of Buffy the Vampire Slayer and I will understand you; quote from the latest hit movie and I will probably figure that what you just said came from your own fevered brain (and I will act accordingly).

Again, I am not a mind-reader. Not knowing what else to do, I tend to take people at their word unless they have shown that their word cannot be trusted. If you say something under the assumption that I will know you don't really mean it because everybody knows it's just the polite thing to say, please do not become angry when I act as if you meant it anyway. I am not trying to be difficult, honest! I'm just not a mind-reader. And I rather get the impression that the beings around me aren't mind-readers either, else they would know this stuff already.

(no subject)

Wednesday, February 19th, 2003 07:42 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
When the question you most want to ask and the question whose answer you most want to avoid are the same question, you know you're in trouble.

Of course, when the question you most want to ask is the same as the question all the potential answerers most want to avoid, you're in a different kind of trouble.

Don't mind me. I'm just muttering to myself here.

Maybe I ask too many questions anyway, but it's the only way I know how to learn.

How many times can you fly out
and leave me with an open empty hand?
This time will be the last time
I send that little bird to find land

For days it just kept rainin'
oh the rain just kept comin' on down
I thought I'd never get a sign
and I thought for sure that I was gonna drown

yonder here she come then, flyin'
until that day I couldn't sing a note
it's hard to wait for information
yeah, and I can't wait to dock this old boat

and if I ever get to Heaven
I'll admit I doubted some
I'll tell them everything that happened
and ask 'em why it took so long

(no subject)

Sunday, February 16th, 2003 01:45 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
Sometimes I ask too many questions. Sorry.

Time for me to shut up and go to bed.

Why is it

Saturday, February 8th, 2003 10:22 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
that sometimes we can look at a situation objectively and see why a certain course of action would be a Really Incredibly Bad Idea, yet still want to pursue that course anyway? You can enumerate all the obvious ways in which it would damage you or someone you love, you can trace in your mind's eye the trajectory of each fragment of the metaphorical bullet you want to shoot out and see each metaphorical organ that would be punctured; and still you want to carry out the Really Incredibly Bad Idea, consequences be damned. Why is that? It's so clearly contra-survival, you wouldn't think the propensity to be so foolish would survive in the species after all these countless generations. What is up with that?

Oh, maybe it's just me. Maybe nobody else out there ever gets these deep irrepressible longings for something they know is bad for them.

::briefly ponders world history::

Nope, not just me.

(no subject)

Wednesday, January 15th, 2003 05:44 pm
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
You ever feel like the universe is just one big, fluffy, playful kitten--and you're a mouse that's been dipped in Eau de Catnip?

I hate having nothing to offer except need and want and self-pity and useless dreams crushed underfoot. And, erm, melodrama. Stop me before I angst again.

Hey, all that silly optimism is being stripped away. It never felt comfortable on me anyway--it's the wrong size, the wrong color. Maybe now I'll find out what I look like underneath.

This post has been brought to you by incipient depression and the number 15.


Monday, January 13th, 2003 09:22 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
Not long ago there were reports of a study whose results indicated that people who frequently use the words "I," "me," and "my" are less happy than those who use these words less frequently. It seems that people who aren't thinking of themselves all the time are more cheerful than those who speak more in the first person.

In my case, many of the times I use the first-person terms, I use them to show that I realize that what's true for me isn't necessarily true for anyone else. Sure, here in the journal I talk about myself more than other people--this is my journal, after all. But in regular conversation, it looks to me that a lot of my self-references are indications that I understand that other people aren't always like me. Of course, my perceptions here could be off and I really am terribly self-absorbed.

In any event, now I'm wondering: Are people who don't speak much in the first person happier because they're less interested in themselves than they are in the amazing world around them, or are they happier because they have the luxury of assuming that everybody else is just like them?

(no subject)

Thursday, January 9th, 2003 10:02 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
I asked a while back: "Do you ever get the urge to rend the fabric of reality and use the tattered rags to dust your living room?" This morning, reality seems to be rending its own fabric, but it's not leaving rags behind--the rags are simply turning into more dust. How does reality do that?

This post has been brought to you by caffeine deprivation and the number 36.

(no subject)

Thursday, October 3rd, 2002 10:54 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
Is it wrong of me to consider starting some weird philosophical discussion just because some unsuspecting person refers to Hurricane Lili as "immanent" when they really mean to say "imminent"? And have any of you found yourselves humming The Who's "Pictures of Lily" at random moments ever since you first heard of this storm?

(no subject)

Saturday, July 27th, 2002 12:06 am
hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)
If we are what we eat and we keep eating it, are we cannibals?

(It's just possible that I need more sleep in my life.)


hummingwolf: squiggly symbol floating over rippling water (Default)

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