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My New Year’s wish for you

December 31, 2011
Earthrise, from Apollo 8

We live in the thin veneer - a two-mile layer on a globe 7,000 miles across

The World

In the new year I’d love to wish for a sudden attack of good sense among the world’s leaders. Maybe a full-on effort to develop clean energy for example. And cut the US military budget by half, so we’d only be out-spending the next largest mil-budget by a factor of three instead of six. Or if you prefer, outspending the next five countries combined instead of the next 20. I suppose it could happen, but planets don’t generally win lotteries. So my wishes will have to be more personal in nature.

And us…

I love movies, and especially ones where the main character is changed by the story. Which is to say, they learn something that deepens their humanity, often at a terrible price but sometimes not. This is called character development, and it marks the difference between James Bond and Wikkus from District 9 or Sarah Connor from Terminator. In Bond movies, a bunch of stuff happens, but 007 himself is no better than when he started. In a good movie the main character is edified by the experience.

Shakespeare said “All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players…” So I guess that makes you and me actors in our own little movies.

So my wish for you is that your character development this year be an inspiration to your audience, whoever that may be. And that the ratio of benefit to cost be high. As happy a New Year as can be, may it all add up in December, and many sequels.

Idle question for New Years’…

What percentage of New Years’ posts do you suppose use the “Earthrise” picture?

NOTES:

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. December 31, 2011 at 21:32 | #1

    “We do not know the play. We do not even know whether we are in Act I or Act V. We do not know who are the major and who are the minor characters. The Author knows. … But we, never seeing the play from the outside, … cannot tell at what moment the end ought to come. That it will come when it ought, we may be sure. … That it has a meaning we may be sure, but we cannot see it. When it is over, we may be told. We are led to expect that the Author will have something to say to each of us who has played. The playing it well is what matters infinitely.” — C.S. Lewis, “The World’s Last Night”

    Yeah, some inspiring character development would be nice, too. :-)

    A happy, healthy, and joyful new year to you and yours, George.

    • December 31, 2011 at 21:36 | #2

      Youse Guys got me all teary-eyed. Happy New Year!

  2. WeeDram
    December 31, 2011 at 21:47 | #3

    It has been really good to be together, even when apart, for a bunch of years.

    Best.

  3. Keith
    January 1, 2012 at 00:19 | #4

    I am proud to call you friend. Happy new Year to you and your Diane.

  4. Chas, PE SE
    January 1, 2012 at 10:28 | #5

    Imagine a soap bubble, an inch in diameter. Now imagine it is scaled up to be 8,000 miles in diameter. All the life we know about in the entire Universe would fit into just the soap part — I think it’s closer to 8 miles than two, picking nits.

    We’d better take care of it…. (bubble pops)

    Happy and prosperous dianural period, George.

  5. decrepadmin
    January 1, 2012 at 10:38 | #6

    Thanks Chas! I love the soap-bubble analogy. I will be stealing that.

    It is true there is life in the deep ocean and birds soaring miles high. But we don’t get out much – the vast majority of humanity lives in the one mile starting at sea level. You’d think we would be more alert to changes in that tiny realm.

  6. January 3, 2012 at 02:31 | #7

    Happy New Year, George! I hope it’s a good one for you!

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