Happy birthday to my brother, who was born on the 22nd a few years ago.
Sunday afternoon I went to see Ready Player One with Jeremy and Heather. It’s a Spielberg adaptation of Ernest Cline’s book of the same title. Jeremy and I both read it a few years ago. Jeremy was really excited about the movie, and he was perplexed at my merely moderate interest. The thing is I wasn’t into much of popular culture when I was growing up, so the book wasn’t that nostalgic for me. The same goes for Stranger Things, especially since I was about ten years younger than those characters. But still, I liked the movie. They did a good job of sticking to the overall story while changing it enough that it felt new.
I appreciated the story’s overall point, that the real and virtual worlds have a complicated relationship and that it’s a good idea not to lose touch with the real one. One issue is false intimacy. At least that’s what people used to call it. These days they talk about parasocial relationships and catfishing. People can easily be fake online. But I think it’s important to remember that plenty of people are fake in person. The real world doesn’t necessarily solve the problems of virtual one.
I also think about the relationship between the two worlds when I’m listening to futurists describe advanced technology. For example, someday there might be whole civilizations of digital people. As rich as their virtual lives might be, they’ll still run on physical hardware that has to be constructed, protected, and maintained. They might have robots to do that, but the point is that something will still need eyes and hands on the physical world.
My grocery shopping system has a long list. It’s divided by frequency (weekly, monthly, etc.). I wanted to sort all the items by their location in the stores. But that would take another couple of hours, so I settled for sorting each sub-list as I get to it. With that, I’m considering my setup done, and now almost every day I have the pleasant experience of knowing I can drive right past the grocery store without stopping on my way home.
For my computer backup, I decided to stick with Jungle Disk for now. It was quicker and easier than switching to a new service, and I’m almost at the backup size limit for the free version of Cloudberry. The price of the cheapest paid version equals about a year of Jungle Disk for one user.
The next job will be sorting through the piles of stuff filling my closet.
My irritation with this bottleneck is growing, so after I take care of certain parts of my modeling project, I’m going to try to concentrate on this one till I get it into a satisfying state.
I’m feeling a little scattered on the modeling project. I’ve made a task list to keep all its current branches in view so I know which are best to work on. Mainly I want to finish organizing and commenting on the notes I’ve already written, and then I should be in a better position to consult my outside sources.
I finished Becoming Dallas Willard, the biography by Gary Moon. It was enlightening and inspiring to me. There’s a lot I could say, but I’ll stick to a few comments.
On the enlightening side, I think of it as the missing bibliography. Moon gives some (for me) much needed context to Willard’s books–why he wrote them and what influenced him. It was also illuminating to find out where Willard started–the circumstances of his early life and the kind of person he was at the time. The book’s title was well chosen. The person the public knew is someone he’d had to become.
On the inspiring side, I like the person he became. I want to learn from him, and already the book has me caring a bit more about my flagging spiritual life. After my current audiobook, I’m thinking of getting Eternal Living, the companion volume of reflections by people who knew him. It’ll boost my motivation and give me more to learn from.
I’ve also thought about reading a couple of his books on apologetics, Knowing Christ Today and The Appeal of Gentleness. But I looked at the critical reviews, and honestly I could see myself having the same reactions. So I don’t know that I’d gain much from him on that front, except for one thing. My sense is that Willard’s faith was mostly grounded in his religious experiences, and my respect for him makes me more interested in looking into that topic.
After my brief side trip to Willardland, I’ve returned to the Wingfeather Saga with book two, North! or Be Eaten. Sometimes I put a lot of time between volumes of a series, but in this case I didn’t want to wait too long and risk losing interest. For some reason I haven’t been in a fantasy mood the past couple of years. But this book has been easy to jump into. Starting a new series and discovering its world can be fun, but a lot of the time I’m impatient with a story’s setup. The first Wingfeather book was like that for me.