Saturday, February 2, 2013

That this is what your weary dreams are of

Today I continued thinking about decline of society, and it so happened there was a column by Juha Itkonen at, about difficult times (in Swedish, "Svåra tider"). Itkonen wrote about the movie Fight Club, how it was to see it in 1999, and how the 1990s seem to be a much more optimistic time, a time of happiness and optimism. Or as Itkonen writes, for those who can Swedish:

Men om man tänker på saken nu så var allt ändå bra på 1990-talet. Det var bättre, egentligen strålande. Min synvinkel är naturligtvis delvis vilseledande, jag var ung då. 90-talet är mitt mytiska 60-tal. Jag tror ändå att jag kan motivera mitt påstående också objektivt. Åtminstone jämfört med nutiden var 1990-talet hoppets, optimismens och de oförverkligade möjligheternas decennium.

According to Itkonen we have had it bad in the 2000s, quite different from the 1990s. And the movie Fight Club was a kind of premonition of future bad times.

On the other hand, failure is not necessarily a bad thing, if one learns from it, early enough. NYT had a good article about this, titled "Learning from Failure":

But “success stories” are rarely the whole story. Global health and development projects frequently go off course, and it’s not unusual for them to fail outright. What is unusual is for researchers to openly discuss their failures. That’s a shame, because it’s a basic principle of science that you get things right by analyzing what went wrong.

So, it is human to think of failure, and it is human to try to not to think about failure, but what we should develop is the skill to learn from failure.

I went for a walk in the Luukki forests today, walking first to lake Väärälampi and from there to lake Halkolampi and back to the parking lot. I took a compass with me, just in case, as it was getting dark by the time I started walking. And the compass proved useful, as at one point I went around hills and finally didn't any more know in what direction the lake Väärälampi was. A look at the compass, and I was back on track.

The snow was not carrying a person very well, so it was heavy going in places where a lot of snow had gathered. At one spot there was a hole in the ground and I dropped there, up to my waist in snow.

It started to get quite dark when I got back, the last photograph shown here was taken at 0.8 s, f/2.0, ISO 500, EV -1/3; not bad for handheld.

Today I was drinking a new type of tea, a black version of Tie Guan Yin, 40-50 percent fermented. I don't know if I like this, it tastes quite ok, but the smell is a bit strange. I like the green version of Tie Guan Yin, but this one, not so much. This was a small sample package I got from a shop where I bought tea, so no big matter. I have more than half a kilogram of various types of tea waiting for brewing, so I should avoid shopping for more...

(Posting title is from the poem Failure by A. E. Stallings.)

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