sum growth & sum flicking away…


the days i feel like i’ve made some progress on a problem are good days. The days i puke, too, are good days. But when it’s my wife that’s puking, it’s not so clear whether it’s “good” or not…

She is getting better at it; used to be she would just keep drinking Maalox or taking Alka Seltzer until she was finally able to stave it off. Now she downs glasses of water and crams her finger down her throat. And it works; she has had at least three all-night ralphing sessions in the past, oh, six months.

Ok. Looks like she’s done now– it’s 1:25am. She just put on 2001: A Space Odyssey; it always lulls her to sleep.

Speaking of 2001, since i bought the DVD for my birthday on May 1, i’ve watched it a half-dozen times or so, and have noticed alot about it in the decade or so since i’d seen it last. Much of note illuminates the changes that have happened in the world in this past decade-or-so.

For instance, one of the main themes of the film is HAL screwing up. Time after time during the introductory “Discovery’s Mission to Jupiter” scenes, references are made to how “perfect” HAL is, how he nor any of the 9000 Series computers have ever made a mistake. It was such a shock to realize that again, after all these years!

I mean, here i make my living every day trying to work around computers that are screwing up. Every day. And in 2001, HAL is trying to reconcile human dishonesty and deception. The Discovery has a hidden, secret, mission that HAL knows about but the human crew don’t.

I think in Arthur C. Clarke’s book, this is explained much more. I don’t remember for sure, but i think HAL doesn’t even know, consciously, the secret part of the mission until they actually arrive at Jupiter.

But the point is, HAL goes kerbonkers. So Dave Bowman disconnects him. Or rather, “disconnects his higher functioning.” A lobotomy, in effect.

And in the movie, from there to the end is just one acid trip after another until the Star Child at very end.

But in the book, HAL actually encounters an alien intelligence, i think. Or does that come up in 2010? I know that by 2010, at least, HAL has become a disembodied, fully self-conscious being.

I love science fiction! It’s so cool to look back to the real 2001, and know that that was the year of 9/11, and of Bush’s retreat back to the savage nature of the ape-scenes of 4-million B.C. 2001. Bush practicing more honesty and deception…

What a huge opportunity lost! I totally understand why Natalie Maines told that London audience she was embarrased to be from the same state as Bush. Me too.

In order to grow, we often have to flick off some old ways…

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