United States of Japan

I thoroughly enjoyed this book I must say.
Multiple other reviewers speak of Philip K Dick’s influence (do we ever never quote his name in every dystopian future story?) but I would say the style of writing reminds me of The Themis Files trilogy.

Japan emerges as the victor of the second world war with the USA and most other countries (Germany remains the other hold out) capitulating to the Emperor’s rule.
The alternate reality begins and ends with Beniko Ishimura and the George Washingtons (yes no shit, this is what they call themselves).

I don’t want to give too much of the plot and expansion of the story away, but this is a slam dunk for people like me who revelled in the Pacific Rim universe.

Serving up next: Mecha Samurai Empire!

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Oregeeen

 

I’m a sucker for everything sci-fi but this….just seems like a mash up of Lost in space, Altered Carbon, and Cloverfield Paradox (OH THE HORROR).

I very well will end up watching it but whether or not it’ll go down smooth like a 21 year old Laphroaig remains to be seen.

Ps: Good on you producer for throwing in the token asian dude for racial equality. Lol.

LABOURING on Labour Day

Holy balls. It’s already October!
The Lebron era in LA has finally rolled around and by God, the tempo Luke Walton has them playing at looks salacious.
Rondo seems to be relishing his newfound teammates who are more than keen to pop a J, roll to the rim or just bully his way to an easy two points.
It however remains to be seen how they’ll cope come (if they get there) the post season.
Without sharpshooters opponents will very likely just sag off but in this case,  Lonzo isn’t much of a shooter either so let’s see.

We spent the morning yesterday assembling a swing for the balcony now that the weather has finally warmed up enough.

The balconies are still a PITA to clean without a water source tho. I get penny pinching but like seriously, I’m sure it wouldn’t have cost them much to install a couple of taps.
I’ve gotten into the habit of giving myself the spooks by delving into some Reddit threads before going to bed (https://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/6jix5j/what_is_the_scariest_reddit_post)
and this in particular caused me so much distress I actually went downstairs and made sure my front door was locked down solid.
There are a lot, a lot of whacked out people out there.

Food For Thought

The Brevity of Life and Making Changes Before It’s Too Late

September 8, 2018

We sense it’s now or never, and this can manifest as a mid-life/mid-career crisis.

At a reader’s request, I’m excerpting an essay from last week’s Musings Report:

My friend GFB recently sent me a quote from Paul Bowles novel “The Sheltering Sky” (1949). If you are under the age of 30, it may not have the same impact that it has on those of us on the downhill slope of life.

“Because we don’t know when we will die, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens only a certain number of times, and a very small number really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that is so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more, perhaps not even that. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

The Bowles quote made me ponder the process of changing our lives, a process that requires greater sacrifices and effort as the inertia of our default settings grows ever heavier with age.

Everything requires effort and sacrifice to maintain: houses, yards, relationships, friendships, organizations, enterprises, roadways, social contracts–everything. If effort flags, things fall apart.

This is what sobers me about aging: the weight of our default settings rises while our ability to generate the willpower, effort and sacrifice needed to change our life declines.

When we think about the stages of life, the trajectories of our default settings and our ability to make sacrifices and exert effort define each stage.

When we’re young and just out of high school or college, we have very little baggage (unless we married and had children at a tender age), and so the effort to change–to move, change jobs, etc.–is significant but modest compared to future costs.

This is when people pursue their dreams, and rightly so: start a cafe, move to NYC or LA to break into the arts, film, music, etc., or move to Silicon Valley (or equivalent) to seek one’s fortune in today’s tech gold rush.

Few gain the success they hoped for in these markets, and so most move on to some place and career that can sustain a livelihood, marriage, family, career or enterprise.

Then a decade or so hence, the inertia has piled up and we sense our ability to make a radical course change is fading as the costs of change–the effort and sacrifice necessary to throw aside the inertia and gamble on a different path–is steepening.

We sense it’s now or never, and this can manifest as a mid-life/mid-career crisis.

The experience of this crisis varies with each individual, but in some way, the individual discovers they cannot continue doing what they’re doing–they run out of the ability to keep making the sacrifices and effort required to keep their current life from falling apart.

In this crisis, there is no choice but to chance a major course change and risk the storms of the unknown.

In an astonishingly brief blur, we reach the age of retirement or if not retirement, of re-appraisal of our inertia/default settings and our ability to turn the ship of our life onto a new course.

This re-appraisal often feels like our last chance to have a more fulfilling life or pursue a long-suppressed dream. It’s little wonder than the retirement of one spouse can trigger a divorce, as one or the other partner decides this is their last chance to jettison an unsatisfactory relationship and seek another way of living, despite the risks and the losses such wrenching changes incur.

What haunts me at 64 is the idea (shared by my friend A.G.) that many of the best ideas lie in the graveyard–ideas that were never developed and recorded and so they died with their originator. In this context, if one has ideas–for inventions, music, fiction, art, enterprise, organizations– the question in one’s 60s becomes: If not now, when?

The answer, if we cannot muster up one final push of effort to make whatever sacrifices are needed to get our ideas out into the world before we die–is never.

Observation suggests that few people manage to change the course of their lives in old age; the ability to conjure up effort and willpower fades and so things fall apart.

In other words, it’s always now or never.

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