Welcome to DU! The truly grassroots left-of-center political community where regular people, not algorithms, drive the discussions and set the standards. Join the community: Create a free account Support DU (and get rid of ads!): Become a Star Member Latest Breaking News Editorials & Other Articles General Discussion The DU Lounge All Forums Issue Forums Culture Forums Alliance Forums Region Forums Support Forums Help & Search


htuttle's Journal
htuttle's Journal
March 22, 2020

I got hit by a car when I was walking across the street about 10 years ago

I was in the crosswalk, they were turning left, and hit me at about 10 mph.

As I was walking, I could see the car turning left and coming toward me, I WAS ABSOLUTELY CERTAIN THAT IT WOULD STOP. I figured, they're going to wait at the crosswalk until I go past to get into the intersection while their light was green, since sometimes (rude) cars do that at rush hour.

I kept making this assumption until the last moment, when their front bumper was about an inch from my leg. At the very last, I finally realized, THEY'RE NOT GOING TO STOP!!!

Bam, I went over the hood, groceries flying. Didn't get hurt too badly, but got a limp for a few months (and a meager check from their insurance co).

Point is, when disaster strikes, IT'S OUT OF THE ORDINARY. You're not used to seeing it 'actually happen' to you. Your mind will want to 'explain away' what your eyes are showing you, so it can get back to what it was thinking about before.

This is what I'm seeing out there now. It's inconceivable that we will all be stuck at home for 18 months (through summer, then the ensuing 2nd wave outbreak next fall/winter). But we probably will. Believe it. Believe in math. This is happening.

Or you'll go right over the hood, too. Groceries flying everywhere.

March 20, 2020

Someday, when this is under control enough to call it 'over', what is 'normal' going to look like?

We can, and do, talk a lot about policies that we'd like to see, from health care to the economy and safety net, but it occurs to me that outside any particular political issue, there are certain things, both policies and technologies, that will probably just happen on their own, because a lot of people will want them.

All of this will have an impact on current jobs, if I'm accurate. Of course, an awful lot of those jobs will be gone by the time this is over too, so idk. This pandemic is going to change a lot of things.

Here's a few that I've been thinking about (and no rush...we have plenty of time to think about this right now...INDOORS...BY OURSELVES...*washes hands*) LO I HAVE SEEN THE FUTURE:

1) Fully online university degrees have arrived. My own university employer, UW Madison, was just starting to offer a few degrees that could be earned entirely remotely. After this is over, we'll be so good at this that there will be no reason not to offer the entire catalog online, except maybe classes like fencing (though with VR...who knows).

2) Automated checkouts will look a lot more attractive. This occurred to me recently, and while I'm well aware of the negative aspects of them, they seem to have some really valuable public health benefits, by eliminating some major health vectors. Frankly, the idea of a fully robotic fast food station doesn't seem so crazy anymore.

3) Electric bicycles and personal transportation devices. For those who commute via mass transit, and have been avoiding it since the plague began, electric bikes (and other personal conveyances -- I commute on a Segway MiniPro 'hoverboard' sort of thing myself) are a godsend. You can avoid being compressed with a lot of other people in the petri dish that is mass transit, as well as avoiding the problems associated with cart -- like needing somewhere to put them when you're not using them. Someday, there will be JohnnyCabs, and they'll have a self-disinfecting cycle that runs after every passenger.

4) Delivery robots and drones. It seems like an obvious thing right now, and the technology is nearly there. At my university, a company started offering food delivery from the dining hall using these cute little autonomous robots, about the size of a large cooler on wheels. They cross in crosswalks, follow pedestrian traffic laws, and move among crowds of students on busy sidewalks. It's kind of an amazing thing to see everyday, when you realize what you're seeing. It's also kind of weird when they wheedle up next to you at a crosswalk, as you wait together at the light (I wish they talked...). You get your pizza, and nobody dies as a result. Win/win.

5) I think that mass mass-transit is going to have some real problems. People are being forcibly awakened to the dangers of disease transmission in a dense environment, and something will probably have to change to make it seem like a great idea to stand shoulder to shoulder with dozens of strangers on packed bus or subway car. Planes with personal compartments, like old fashioned trains? Fewer passengers, but they'll feel safer. This is a huge problem, because we need mass transit.

6) Medical perimeter sensors will become a thing. They're taking everyone's temperature before they are admitted to public spaces in South Korea. It won't be long before somebody sells a less intrusive infrared sensor that can spot someone with a fever in a crowd. AI will allow more and more medical diagnosis to be done 'en mass' by nothing more intrusive than a metal detector that you walk through. With facial recognition, what happens next will probably depend on the country it's happening in.

I suppose there are alternatives, like global civilization and trade devolving into something far less global, a sort of dark age. But I'm pretty sure that I will have plenty of time to find a leather jacket, a sawed off shotgun and colorful feathers to put in my mohawk if things go that way.

Anyway, those are my quarantine dreams at the moment, hoping as I do that there is enough to salvage after this present danger has passed.

How about you?

January 8, 2012

A Bit of Fry and Laurie?

Just happened upon this series on Netflix while looking for Jeeves and Wooster (which isn't there right now).

It's hilarious, plus it's fun to see Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie on the cusp of 30 years old. Laurie's musical numbers are amazing! (and also very funny).

BTW, if you're into this sort of rapid-fire British sketch comedy, Netflix currently has Little Britain and That Mitchell and Webb Look, which are both very funny.

Profile Information

Gender: Male
Hometown: Madison, WI
Member since: 2002
Number of posts: 23,738
Latest Discussions»htuttle's Journal