Various and Sundry, 9/22/12
Because a Saturday is a fine time to talk about a number of things:
* Charlie Stross has an interesting post up about the diminishing marginal utility of stuff, in which among other things he speculates why people who have more money than is possible to spend in one lifetime still go out and try to get more of the stuff. My own thought about it, to use a video game term, is that we’re basically tuned and trained to level up all the time, and to keep grinding away until we do — “I’m only a 79th level rich guy! 80th level is the top!” — regardless of whether the payoff is worth the investment. Also, of course, as status seeking primates, when you stop grinding away, then you lose status, and that’s when all the other monkeys turn on you.
One thing I think a lot about these days, and which I think I’ll probably writer a longer piece on at some point, is the idea of sufficiency: Knowing when you have enough for yourself and learning to ask whether you need anything more, or even want it. This is something I have no big answers for yet, but it rolls about in my head a lot. Writing is often how I figure out what I’m thinking about something, so once I have my writing schedule clear, maybe I’ll give it a tackle.
* For those of you wondering: The writing on The Human Division is coming along nicely, and as with many things where you are trying to do something new (or at least new to you) it’s going off in interesting and surprising (but I think positive) ways. When it’s done I’ll do a post-mortem, as I often do at the end of a project, and talk a little more about it then.
* I had a lot of people ping me for my thoughts about the Amanda Palmer thing involving the volunteer musicians she asked for while on the road. Actually, my thoughts were along the line of “Oh, look, an Internet kerfuffle involving the wife of a friend of mine. I think I’ll stay out of this one.” And I think those were perfectly reasonable thoughts. I will say I approve of the way she decided to resolve the issue. I’ll also say, on a related topic, that her new album Theatre is Evil is excellent and I’m delighted it debuted on the Billboard Top 10 for last week.
* I also have been asked for thoughts on the fact that in the last week the polls seem to have swung Obama’s way, and what that means for the election. My thought on that is that it is September 22, the election is November 6 and there are six and a half weeks between now and then, so let’s not either panic or get complacent, depending on who you are and who you support (if you support Gary Johnson, dude, have another bowl and enjoy yourself, since you already know how your November 6 is going to go). There are still the presidential debates and a bunch of chances for both Romney and Obama to do well or screw up — or for news and events to take their toll or lift either of them. So please let’s not all lose our brains.
* Also, it’s my sister’s birthday today. Happy birthday, Heather!
* It’s also the first day of fall here, and this is what it looks like from my back deck:
Hope your first day of fall (or spring!) is equally pretty.