And here they are…
I do like a bit of sci-fi! But I was just wondering, whilst reading one of the stories in Stephen Baxter’s Xeelee: Endurance, in the context of extraterrestrial colonisation and such things, how Earth-born humans would cope with/adapt to the the changes in the subjective passing of time?
The easy answer re those who find themselves living their lives on a starship is to run the starship systems according to Earth time: 24 hour days, 365 day years and so on. But what of pioneer colonisers of other planets? How would we adapt to a planet who’s days are, for example, a few hours longer or a few hours shorter than Earth days? Would we just sleep longer and have longer working days? Or if that planet’s days are longer still, would we split the days into 2, 3 or more Earth days?
I’ve read quite a bit of sf, but I don’t recall such things being particularly mentioned or discussed (except, thinking about it, for the likes of Star Trek’s ‘star dates’) – because surely, when humans start (inevitably?) spreading to other planets, even other star systems, our current system(s) for measuring time would become obsolete…
There’s a new thing on my deodorant. Underneath where it says, ‘anti-perspirant,’ it says, ‘anti-transpirant.’ In my understanding, when something transpires, it happens, so ‘anti-transpirant’ means the deodorant stops something from happening. Which I suppose is kind of true. You know, sweating.
I suppose I could have just googled it…
There is a friend of mine, for example, who said he had irrefutable proof that wearing hats warms up your brain cells too much and reduces your intelligence. He got straight A’s in his GCSEs at school, then trained to be a teacher – but a few years later, when he started wearing hats, he found that he couldn’t remember what a quadratic equation was.
Actually that didn’t happen, I was just making a point.
Having just read this…
… I felt depressed. I closed the webpage and decided to put it behind me. Then I got thinking a bit. And I decided the author of the article has got his priorities mixed up. I can see his point about The Sims highlighting the endless mundanity of life, but it undeniably does so in a humorous way. In a fun way. Some of the best comedy turns around the sadness, mundanity and dark side of life, and makes it palatable. And through making the negativity palatable, one is better able to appreciate the positive stuff.
So there’s that.
The author also speaks of wasting too much time playing videogames. ‘Wasting’ time? Is there not value in doing things that, at first appraisal, appear meaningless? What of art? What of watching movies, reading books, meditating, staring off into space? All ‘meaningless’ things can, I think, be argued as having meaning. It’s all about context and perspective and whatnot. With videogames, as with gambling… when the fun stops, stop. Then do something else meaningless. Or adopt a puppy. Or something.
The Anton Wright in question is thus:
And my response to the above-linked blog post is as follows:
At the time of writing, I haven’t yet seen the final episode of ‘Eden: Paradise Lost’ – but like yourself, Anton, I found episode 4 difficult viewing. As to the suggestion that the social experiment failed, however, that it was ‘ruined’ by ‘selfish and cowardly individuals,’ I have to say that I disagree. I feel for you, Raph, Katie, and others who appear to have been traumatised by the experience, but as to the outcome, the (potential) effect on the viewers, I think we have to see the positive.
The society of Eden was a microcosm. In likelihood, a true, albeit exaggerated, reflection of the wider society. Its darkness, but also its light. In highlighting the darkness of the Eden society – in particular the behaviour of the ‘Valley Boys’ – it served as a warning, a stark exemplar of how not to behave. And by the response on Twitter, overwhelmingly disgusted by the sides of human nature that were brought out, it seems clear that the viewing public are united against the kinds of views and behaviours that were expressed.
And then there’s ‘Too Many Logs’! 😎🤘
I’ll see how it all turned out tonight, then may express further views…
What I propose is this…
We should have a dual vote general election. In the first round of voting, you vote for who you want to form the government. This will have no effect on who represents you locally.
In the second round of voting, you vote for MPs to represent your constituencies.
In both rounds you indicate your first and second preference. If the winning party (of the first round governmental vote and of each individual second round constituency vote) doesn’t get at least, say, 60% of the vote, they have to form a coalition. Who they align with is decided by second preferences. This will reduce the likelihood that your chosen party will align with a party you are strongly opposed to.
The dual vote system does allow for the possibility that the distribution of first round (governmental) votes does not tally with the distribution of second round (constituency) votes. I would say, however, that they are unlikely to be significantly different, and the risk that they are not is worth it for the cause of greater democracy. (And would I be right in thinking a similar situation tends to occur in the USA, with opposing parties representing each of the chambers of Congress?)
General elections would, by my system, inevitably be a more lengthy and costly affair, but this could be compensated for by constitutionally increasing the length of service of a government and MPs. This, I would say, is okay, as the ruling party/parties have a greater mandate to rule under this more representative and democratic system.