I’m mostly done with the outlining, so this week I’ll write the updated essay and hopefully post it by the end of the week, which is the end of this project month.
I took my car to the insurance’s auto body shop, which decided it was a total loss. The car still drives fine though, so I kept it for a lower payment from the insurance, and now I’m officially car shopping. It’s been 14 years since I’ve bought a car, and last time I did a lot of research, but this time I’m mostly relying on Consumer Reports. Their most useful info is behind a paywall, which usually I don’t like, but for buying a car it feels like a good investment.
I listened to Hit Hard by Pat and Tammy McLeod, read by the authors, a memoir of coping with ambiguous loss in the form of their son’s brain damage from a football injury. Their story had considerably less poise and more conflict than Colors of Goodbye, so in that way it felt more relatable, and I found myself identifying with Tammy’s perspective and way of coping. But it’s still a hopeful and encouraging story, and it makes me feel a little more like maybe I too could adapt to a hard change like theirs.
My next audiobook is While the World Watched by Carolyn Maull McKinstry, a memoir of growing up in Birmingham during the civil rights movement of the ’60s. I’m hoping it’ll give me a window on that movement that will help me understand our society’s current struggles.
After many years, the alarmism of the Internet has finally eroded my apathy about the environment. I’m not sure how panicked I should be, so I’m just wading into the material and letting the debates clarify things for me. Interesting people I’ve found so far are David Wallace-Wells with his book The Uninhabitable Earth, Jem Bendell with deep adaptation, Michael Shellenberger, and the people at the Climate Feedback website. With this on my mind, it’s odd seeing the mundane ways we spend our lives when this epic emergency is unfolding around us.
With the general life stress I was already feeling this summer, I question my reading choices over the past month or so, but oh well. I’ve been staying emotionally afloat.
Continuing my AI movie project, I watched Bicentennial Man. I think it’s extremely unlikely that an AI would spontaneously develop recognizable emotions and want to be human, so I don’t think it was great as an AI story. As an exploration of what it means to be human, I found it to be decently thoughtful, in a ’90s sort of way, and I liked the robot costumes, technology props, and set design. I have a new appreciation for Sam Neill, and it was nice to see Lynne Thigpen.