Toward the end of a year, I like to look back, to try to remember what I was reading and writing and thinking about, and the way to do that is to look through my journals, because it’s amazing how much of your life goes up in smoke if you don’t write it down.
Got a bit of a shock this year, though. I went rooting through the bookshelf, working backward to the journal book from last January, and realized that the year 2018 had filled eight volumes of 6 x 9 college-ruled spiral bound books of 150 sheets. That is, 1200 – count ’em, I said twelve hundred – sheets of paper, or 2400 pages.
I said, “Impossible,” but then I did the pretty elementary math, and realized that 200 pages a month is less than seven pages a day. On days when I’m talking to the guys, I usually fill at least eight pages, and apparently in 2018 I talked to them pretty regularly.
“Many a little makes a much,” the old saying has it. But still, that’s an impressive number of words. Makes me realize that I do more work than I usually think I do.
This one-hour TV show produced in Oregon features my long-time friend Dirk Dunning, discussing the hazards of LED lighting: hazards that he learned about, painfully and first hand, within the past year and a half.
A very unusual format: Host Dr. Don spends the first half-hour getting his guest to talk about his background, asking provocative (but not confrontational) questions to produce more than the standard resume. The second half is devoted to a specific topic of special interest to the guest, in this case, LED lighting.
Now, if you don’t care about LED lighting, maybe you should move to about halfway through the show, and go directly to Dirk’s explanation of the situation. You may find yourself more interested than is comfortable!
In any case, Dirk is a fascinating guy, as I have known for more than 15 years now, and I think you will find the show worth watching.
I have maintained for some time now that the loss of manufacturing capability overseas is not necessarily a total loss; perhaps not a loss at all, though certainly a massive readjustment. It seems clear to me that 3D manufacturing is the wave of the future, a wave we seem to be surfing successfully so far.
Plenty of blame to go around, and you may be sure there will be lots of finger-pointing, not all of it unearned. Besides the easy lessons to be learned here, there are also a few that aren’t quite so easy, not quite so obvious. Among them:
Collection is not necessarily preservation. It doesn’t do anybody any good to collect ancient Egyptian artifacts only to have them go up in flames.
Libertarians and Ronald Reagan to the contrary, there are some things that should not rely upon private efforts, and that cannot be done well without support for public institutions.
Beyond the need for digital archiving to reduce the risk of total destruction, there is the question of how our human history can be seen whole when the bits of evidence are scattered all over the place and collated nowhere.