As the new year draws close, it strikes me that I should end this site’s recent silence—even if silence is a perfectly reasonable response to the past year’s events—and proffer a few thoughts on what might lie ahead. Such thoughts often take the form of resolutions, so I’ll venture a few here.
Is the glass half-full or half-empty? The preponderance of evidence would seem to point toward pessimism, on almost every front. So my first resolution will be to seek out reasons for optimism and disseminate them when I can. Here are two cases in point, from today’s New York Times.
- People from around the world can come together to accomplish great things, as they did with the recent successful launch of the $10 billion James Web Space Telescope. This instrument has the potential to deepen our understanding of the universe, a perspective we might keep in mind when daily life seems overwhelming.
- Some progress is being made in cleaning up the environment, both visibly (electric vehicles, for instance) and behind the scenes (cleaner, more sustainable mining operations to extract the materials needed to power said vehicles).
All right, granted—these are just two examples. Still, to see both stories appear in one day’s edition of the Times is worth noting.
My second resolution is to make better use of time in general, and to be more discerning in how I spend each day. Toward this end, I’ve cut way back on tech-related activities (Linux, websites, this blog) and focused more on my core interests (reading, writing, other people, the state of the world at large). Here’s a tip for 2022: avoid the “metaverse” at all costs. Facebook is bad enough as it is, and we’re already too estranged from the real world. It’s quite disappointing to see Apple planning to go down this rabbit hole next year but since we’re being optimistic we’ll gloss over that for now.
Finally, a third resolution. (Please remember, these resolutions are entirely my own and I realize I may not be able to achieve/sustain them.) Try to be more empathetic. Try to be more understanding. Don’t jump to quick conclusions about anyone.
Given the state of American politics and the never-ending pandemic, that last resolution is going to be really, really tough. Still, one must try.
Happy New Year everyone.