Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Long Now

On Friday I heard a portion of an interview with Stewart Brand, creator of The Whole Earth Catalog and CoEvolution Quarterly. The portion I heard was quite interesting, with Brand making the point that many of the proposals of the green left are inadequate, due to their inability to translate to the scale of world issues. He was advocating for us to be scientifically and technologically savvy, and not merely "green".

I noted with special interest the title of one of Brand's books: Clock of the Long Now: Time and Responsibility: The Ideas Behind the World's Slowest Computer. Though I have yet to purchase it, it sounds like something right up my alley. One feature of the book is discussion of a 10,000 year clock, meant to encourage societal focus beyond short term cause and effect. I'm intrigued.

I also find the title interesting because now can seem long indeed. Sally was in north central Washington all last week, and leaves again early tomorrow morning for five more days. Time will change more than once for me in the week ahead, slowing to a crawl while Sally is gone, and then literally falling back an hour as we exit daylight savings time. I expect it will gather speed again as we prepare for the NZ trip.

I'm wondering if the fading daylight is affecting others as much as I feel it's affecting me. I'm dragging around, accomplishing little, and not even worrying much about the fact. Perhaps I can rev up enough to install the under-cabinet lighting and molding in the kitchen this week. Sally began moving some things into the lower drawers today, and I need to finish the upper cabinets to facilitate more sorting and settling in.

We made one additional decision about the kitchen today, switching from the 120 volt Xenon lights we had intended to mount under the cabinets, to low voltage LED lights. They maintain a much cooler temperature, are much less expensive to operate, and have bulbs that will last 25 years or so. They were an expensive investment, but one that I think we'll be happy with.

We had a good Skype conference call this evening with the kids. Each time we do so I am amazed at having real time conversations with Evan in NZ, Erin in Corvallis, Megan in Kennewick, and Sally and I here. For one thing, it's a lot of fun. Perhaps this new technology stuff what I hear Stewart Brand talkin' about is worth considerin'.

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