Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Thoughts on space travel

I remember reading an article about deep space travel and human crews losing interest in contacting Earth after just one generation. The language would change to fit their everyday observations. If they were traveling through the emptiness of space, words like mountain would disappear and they'd have to make up new words to describe things they saw that they didn't learn about.

If there was a way to communicate with Earth, it would be used by the first generation of space travelers. They would have the mission to explore and colonize or whatever else they set out to do. But as they had kids and moved on in their giant space colony ships, interest in maintaining the mission for some faraway civilization they will never see again would wane. I'm sure this would spawn some kind of weird religious thing. There would be factions that wanted to maintain contact and factions that would not want to communicate. There would be factions that didn't care one way or another.

But as time passes, all of that would become more obscure. The original mission would be a Genesis story; familiar enough to remember but unimportant enough to dismiss upon hearing. The floating colony, generations removed from launching out of Earth's pull, would be completely apart from Earth. Earth would forget them, too.

It reminds me of the different philosophies of Gene Wolfe's The Book of the New Sun series. The "rebel" faction remembers space travel and escaping Earth while it is utterly unimportant to the vast majority of the world. It reminds me of today. We look at history as a series of big moments and while we live through the big moments we can't even recognize as such. The right wing can dismiss the BLM protests because history paints the civil rights movement as massive. It's fixed in time. It's in the past. It's in the history books. We can't see the enormity of our moment right now because we are in it. Soon, it will be fixed in time too.

The times we are living in are important and massive and it is important to think about where we stand. We no longer have the luxury of knowing exactly how we'd act in great moments in the past. You can say you would stand against tyranny, you can say you would fight racism and oppression if only you had lived through that moment. You can say you would support Martin Luther King, JR and the protesters marching peacefully. It's easy to imagine yourself on the right side of everything. Be what you imagine yourself as in the past now. Be on the right side of the present.

Thursday, August 13, 2020

Things I learned about babies


This is some #dadlife #advice. Here are some things I learned about babies in my one year of experience.

1. Babies shouldn't crawl. Crawling sets them up for a lifetime of knee and back damage. They don't even know what they're doing to themselves. If they're not ready to walk, they're not ready to move. You see your baby crawling? Grab it by the ankle and say, "NO!"

2. I'm going to be stuck on this crawling thing for awhile. If a baby is crawling around, they are obviously not at eye level so they are a tripping hazard to you and your guests. Who wants to spill their beer or break their face just because a baby is crawling around trying to learn about the world? Learn about the world on your own time, baby. Daddy's trying to get tanked.

3. Again, crawling. You should be in your high chair at all times so I can look at you with my peripheral vision if I deign to do so. Don't want your food now? I'm no waiter. And if you think I am one, I expect a tip. Do you have a job? Can't afford to tip, can't afford to eat out. Your food will be up there all day with you until you decide nutrition is something you want to be serious about. You're not moving until you can mow the lawn!

4. Babies make a lot of poop. Nobody told me this.

5. Sometimes babies try to get your attention because they want to smile or something. You ever wonder why Russia is so dominant all over the globe? It's because they bathe their children in vodka and leave them in the backyard. They don't smile. That's how you raise a kid, Punchy.

6. A strict cruelty-free diet should be given to children. This is how they learn about cruelty.

Being a dad is such a joy. You can send dad memes to all your dad friends until your kid starts screaming and you have to remind him who's boss. "Daddy's scrolling through his phone endlessly here, kid. Why don't you go play with the wall?"