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Editorial – June 2021: Boredom And Indifference.

May 30, 2021 | By | Reply More

Hello everyone

I should stay from the start that as geeks we don’t necessarily suffer from boredom. Well, not for long. If we’re idle, then we find something to do, even staring into space, our minds are imagining something. Depending on what you read, some level of boredom is either good for you or might take you to an early grave. I’m making the assumption you all have your endorsed geek cards handy.

Whether we are immune from the problems of isolation from lockdownitus has yet to be proven, mostly because it depends on different circumstances. I mean, some of you have families so you’re not really isolated. Well, that is unless they look down a little on your hobbies. It does tend to imply that true geeks are true isolationists but that might be circumstantial evidence and how you define ‘friends’.

With my own agoraphobia, close proximity to humans is just toxic and my geekiness has protected me so far. 15 years of isolation tends to make me think those of you with varying lengths of isolation in the past 18 months as still amateurs in surviving the situation, although it has brought out some mental problems that people never thought they had.

Even so, with my own lengthy isolation, I was determined from the start to keep myself occupied and its meant I have far too many things to do for the time available so have to rationalise my time to each. Parkinson’s Law of time management rules to fit things in and give a little time for each. If something else comes up that needs to be done, then it adds a bit of variety. Even so, there is some division in terms of short and long term projects and always to be constantly learning and not to fret if something isn’t completed on time. Oddly, I seem to be getting ahead on the material for SFC all the time better in lockdown than before but suspect time management finally clicked in better once I accepted the outside situation better.

However, if ever there is an opportunity to prove that geeks are the best survivors in isolation, we have a chance to prove ourselves here. Even so, there can be times when there is too much of a good thing and even our hobbies become rote so needs the occasional shake-up and which I’m currently having a deep think about.

I mean, should we add new hobbies, explore aspects of our current ones, give them tougher objectives or even try being a little more sociable to see how we cope with it. I do think we ought to shake up what time of day we do things. Having a set day or even time of day for anything will make anything routine.

That doesn’t mean we should ignore Parkinson’s Law, it just needs a shake-up in the timetable from time to time. We are all susceptible to pattern behaviour but also a need to have some downtime to give ourselves time to think as well. If I sit back to think, I’m far more likely to take a power nap but the daily walk seems to be the time when I organise my thoughts, even if I’m not always doing it consciously. It’s more like creating a mental checklist for what else needs to be done today and add any fresh thoughts and your unconscious mind needs a gap where the 10% of your conscious mind is doing other things so it can prepare.

It’s a weird that that as much as we like regulated behaviour, we do like to have things shaken up from time to time. In the old world, that used to be called ‘holidays’ but really it is a shake-up in the schedule that can achieve the same thing. Even so, too much of a good thing and you want some normality. Even some big winners of things like the lottery realise that and money doesn’t buy happiness. It makes being the ‘idle rich’ contradictory. Too much of a good thing is as unhealthy as too much of a bad thing. If you want to stay mentally healthy, then you need some aims in your lives to achieve them.

Too much rota can make Jack and Jill dull people, geeks included. The same applies to relaxation of lockdown regulations. People so much want a change that it can give blindness to proximity dangers. Well, you can see the results for yourself or doing so yourself. Well, not totally. Even with the inoculation, many of us still respect distance and masks and its still a game of musical variants and how quickly they can spread. The Indian and Kent covid variants might have a lower death rate, mostly in the UK because of inoculations, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a risk. Some people advocate that life is a risk but I would add only when we can see the risk and evaluate our survival chances. You never can with infections because you can’t see them or even who are the carriers. Especially those who have fatal consequences.

The world isn’t totally covid-safe out there and even thought the double inoculation reduces the chances of death, it says nothing for acting as a carrier or whether you get long-covid symptoms and all that implies. If everyone is to be totally safe, then we must ensure all countries get fully inoculated. With only 2% of many countries being inoculated, clearly not enough has been done yet and many don’t have the means to keep an eye on how many have died of covid, let alone tracking mutated variants. The numbers presented in news bulletins don’t account for the entire world.

Even so, the belief that there won’t be any more lockdowns doesn’t make it so. All it means, at least for the moment, is preparation for the next. Line up some hobbies or activities that can be used to fill your time is a good use of brainpower and beats idleness. Preparation and planning is a better means to cope.

Boredom isn’t all it needs to be. It needs stimulation and employing our ability to act like a sponge and absorbing information to make judgement calls. The downtime to think before acting is an important aspect in all of this.

To tell the truth, I got as far as this in the editorial and thought, am I getting boring with this subject? All I need to say is too much of a good thing and your brain just needs a rest and find some other things to do or add to your hobbies to do. Make them a bit more challenging so you exercise your problem-solving capacity and see what comes of it. If nothing else, it’ll show the geeks have the right to be at the top of the tree when it comes to how not to be bored in a lockdown. If you think the lockdowns are over, just think the words covid-variants and how many people aren’t inoculated out there.

Let’s have a secondary subject for you to have a think about or this will be one of my shortest editorials and will develop a reputation that I writing boring editorials.

Considering so much is coming out about UFOs and now newly renamed to the public as UPAs – Unidentified Aerial Phenomenon – in the media at the moment, do you ever get the feeling some countries are inclining to believe mankind is being built up for the ‘truth’ behind them or whatever that means. If they aren’t human, then they are a natural phenomenon or extra-terrestrial or a mix of both.

Logistically, this falls into three camps. It’s already been established that some reports have been set to conceal American stealth technology although when you consider the U2, Blackbird SR-71 and such are high altitude Mach 3 aeroplanes, its less likely that you would see them speeding from the ground or mistake them for alien spaceships. No matter how much you look at the recent footage in the press, could you confuse UPAs with a stealth jet that can evade radar systems and these certainly don’t.

The general cover-up tends to be because whatever it is constantly can fly through NORAD and other countries air radar with ease and therefore is continually compromising them. No country would want to admit to that, let alone how many times aircraft have been sent in pursuit of something that they can’t keep up with. Mind you, if they were extra-terrestrial with conquest in mind, they would make short work of any air force than just zoom away. If they are piloted by anything, they clearly aren’t an aggressive invasion force.

If extra-terrestrials were so clever at avoiding being seen, then why do we get so many reports when they aren’t? That would suggest that they aren’t perfect or deliberately from time to time to see what the reaction is. The fact that the largest part of the population don’t believe or care is an indictment of mankind’s own psyche on such matters. That would probably cover all manner of subjects. Alas, self-interest rules.

Should an extra-terrestrial vehicle float down or land on a governmental lawn, I suspect the majority of mankind would be inclined to believe it was a Hollywood special effect and not the real thing, so how would extra-terrestrials get us to believe that they really are here against such apathy or disbelief?

It was once thought that mankind needs to be prepared for a first encounter with sentient extra-terrestrial life so as not to be afraid or have cultural shock. I think today, any government has a bigger problem of mankind not really caring and that is far more worrying. Well, unless they bring life-saving gifts or can sort out our pollution and global warming problems. That in itself could be a separate topic. Mankind has always had a weird habit of thinking something else, invariably a god-like element, will resolve all our problems. An extra-terrestrial first encounter might give such a wish although they might also explain that is why they left their home planet. If they are here to study mankind, there has to be a stage when they come out of whatever they call a closet and formerly greet us. If they are to avoid biasness to any one country, then one would have to hope that it is at least at the UN. If they choose one country over another, then the others would be concerned over any political alliances.

We might welcome extra-terrestrial colonists but they would be joining the queue when it comes to racial intolerance before acceptance? Mankind still has a long way to go before we would be deemed racially tolerant. At least we should be grateful that they won’t need to be educated in terrestrial schools.

From a Science Fiction point of view, we’ve highlighted so many different scenarios that many of them are lodged in mankind’s collective consciousness that we might either be very afraid or be grateful they are here. The one thing no one has thought of is mankind’s general disbelief or indifference. Maybe we truly need to be woken up to the idea that we aren’t alone in the universe and the extra-terrestrial problems might actually be worse than our own. At the least, we should at least be friendly because if they are interstellar travellers then they are further up the evolutionary tree than we are.

 

Thank you, take care, good night and we can only hope that extra-terrestrials like geeks.

Geoff Willmetts

editor: www.SFCrowsnest.info

 

A Zen thought: Slow down, relax and think.

 

What Qualities Does A Geek Have: Inactivity is not necessary lazy but thinking time.

 

The Reveal:  If extra-terrestrials reading the Internet, let’s hope they aren’t too selective.

 

Observation: As the triffid plant has a flowering head, you do have to wonder if its seasonal and does it lose it and goes into a dormant state or at least while its digesting its prey.

 

Observation: With all the UFO revelation talk in the media at the moment, it might be interesting to have a first contact event. After all, many of us constantly masked so less likely to take on any extra-terrestrial germs. The real question is will they wear masks to stop themselves getting covid or see is as a means to walk among us incognito?

 

Observation: It’s very interesting with UFO sightings that many observers have seen a cigar shape and yet none, as far as I know, have ever photographed said shape. Thinking from a logistical point of view, one could hazard a guess that they were only seeing on extreme side of one of those oblong thingies.

 

Computer Observation: For those of you who have played with your Norton 360 or other utilities to speed up the start-up of Windows 10, picking things to turn off or after load-up thinking that they aren’t important, ponder on this. Turn Microsoft Edge back on and see the difference. Although I doubt we need it on boot-up, I do suspect it serves a different function liking checking updates, date, etc that we aren’t normally aware of.

  Oddly, the same thing seems to apply to MS OneDrive although the verification code comes far too late in the day to confirm identity but there is an improvement in speed once it’s on at start-up.

  I’m beginning to think delaying or stopping any of these thing in boot-up are speeding things up. If your Internet connection is slow showing a screen, it might be a matter of simply turning your computer’s Internet link on and off to restore the signal.

 

Feeling Stressed: Don’t be indifferent. Caring means you see other people’s perspective.

 

 

Category: Culture, Offworld Report

About the Author ()

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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