I’ve just enrolled in a program to have wired broadband installed into my home. Well, it’s actually a home unit, one in a group of more than 64! The company I chose is going to wire me up next week. Hopefully that will mean the broadband and phone will both come on. To date I’ve been using only Mobile phone, because in the long run it has worked out much cheaper. But this new deal is going to cost me about $10 more than I pay a month now, and I’ll be getting almost unlimited broadband + a phone line. I once had wired broadband, back maybe 12 years ago, and it was something like $100 a month, but compared to Wireless broadband, was quite slow. With a Wireless USB dongle these days I can get speeds of 700 kb/s, and the wired broadband promises up to 20 MB/s. That first time, I lived in a different area too. I was actually hoping the National Broadband Network would be in my area, but it hasn’t been put in yet; according to their web-site, my area will get wired by 2016! The NBN of course is a federal government scheme to put broadband within reach of every Australian. Their web site gives speeds & their Wireless Broadband speeds are amazingly high. Of course the wired broadband, actually using fibre optics, is impossibly fast. And their prices are quite competitive. I’m paying less for my new service than I was 12 years ago, but am getting much more and faster too! Now all I need is for Pirate Bay to come back on-line……
December arrived the other day, after the warmest November on record in these parts. I mean they claimed the average temperature over the month was the hottest it’s ever been, as far as records go. (The records only extend back to the 1800s though!)
It felt slightly warmer than usual to me, too. Winter had been so dry there had been weeks, literally piled on end, when it felt like Spring and not a drop of rain fell. There were no clouds either. Just endless blue skies. But, according to the Weather bureau, the average temperature didn’t create any sort of new record. It was just another effect of the overall changing weather patterns.
At the same time, nights didn’t get much warmer! Usually it would become chilly by around 10 pm and stay like that until 5 am when the temp would suddenly drop 3 or 4 degrees C (usually that is). Even today, for instance, a week into Summer, the day was quite warm, around 27 C, but right now at 11 pm, I’ve had to put on an extra shirt to keep from shivering.
They predict that this Summer will be very dry and warmer than average. But they also say that the overall weather patterns are changing and from now on things will remain hotter and that will get more pronounced as the years go by. They expect a 2 degree rise within 50 years, resulting in lakes drying up, seas shifting, crops failing, etc. Just one disaster after another.
I know I won’t be around to see any of it, however.
I’ve reached a place where I find it harder and harder to believe almost everything I’ve ever been taught was true or real. Most particularly, that “life” has some meaning. Lately, I’ve seen it as having no meaning at all… apart from what you attach to it. ART, is a way to give it some type of meaning, but there isn’t enough of it around to satisfy me. So, life has no intrinsic meaning, or for that matter, value. We’re not simply a randomly collected bunch of molecules spinning in a universe so vast it’s beyond our comprehension. We’re something even worse. We evolved through a process of trial and error, experiencing pleasure and pain and getting our cues from that. We’ve been around for a very very long time, not merely hundreds of thousands of years, but into the millions and only in the last few millennia have we actually done anything more than what most animals do. We actually have gained scientific knowledge of the world and of our own bodies, and as a result we’re been able to extend our life spans a lot.
But that can’t substitute for actual “meaning.”
As for the Religionists, I can’t see that they have any foot in the door so to speak, or that they hold a corner on truth. Buddhism is perhaps closest to a scientific outlook, but try telling that to a practicing Buddhist! Nope, religionists tend to all be irrational at some poit or other, even the Buddhists. Eventually almost all religions tell to accept some tenant of their creed on faith, and if you straight out reject that approach, you find yourself unable to see meaning in life itself. The religions also tend to dissolve into a morass of myth and fable, folk legend. As history, they show what humankind had to do to survive and even conquer. But when stacked up against Science, they fall over.
I have every right to be pessimistic, too!