Hard Question

Well, there is big question I get asked frequently during the day that I have trouble answering. You might be surprised at what it is. Simply put: "How are you doing?"

Things are not okay right now. I try to put on a brave face at work and keep on slogging away. We have a bit of "command uncertainty" in which the CEO and board of directors cannot come to a decision on how we're supposed to do things and the shareholders are electing people for seats on the board in two weeks. Hopefully we do not get a repeat of citizens howling at the moon shortly.

Remember, I work for USA Inc. so to say.

There has been an awesomely high level of stress at work. A major chunk of September into October has been spent on trying to get that under control. With greater responsibility in serving the public comes greater degrees of madness, it appears. The citizenry certainly hasn't calmed down since last year's howling at the moon let alone the Brett Kavanaugh affair,

I have at least opened an account on Liberapay since they're back up with two payment processors now. When time permits I need to talk to some legal specialists at work to make sure I have my interpretations nailed down on income definitions and how to appropriately handle any income that would be derived from money sourced via Liberapay. There are plenty of murky gray areas in tax law when it comes to things like Patreon and Liberapay in the United States where, unfortunately, I have seen equally persuasive yet completely contradictory outcomes happen. If I take a leap of faith and seek pledges to go back to writing documentation as well as other works, I do want to keep a roof over my head if possible. Until I get answers I am satisfied with, I won't directly link to my Liberapay profile but it is able to be found if you search for it.

As we start to wind down 2018, I have some leaps of faith coming up it seems. There aren't many safety nets under me. Exciting adventures may lay ahead?

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Trying Not To Abuse A Metaphor

Today is the 60th birthday of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. NASA TV went off its regular schedule today. With bumpers featuring the current Administrator, Jim Bridenstine, plenty of “history films” have been shown. I had a bit of a realization while watching narrators like Peter Cullen and William Shatner tell the tales of Apollo and the Shuttle’s Return To Flight respectively.

Shatner’s film on Return to Flight noted how we would have something new for the USA to ride to space in lieu of the space shuttle. The problem is that in the years from the film’s creation, we never made such a new system. As a country we made a sad trade-off. Rather than explore low earth orbit and perhaps the stars, we threw money at a monstrous new health care bureaucracy that has yet to work right. We traded dreams of exploration for realities of an even worse health care experience that cost even more money.

As much as people freak out in DC over Russia, we must not alienate our only ride to the International Space Station that we helped lead building. Since our wings for space were basically clipped during the Obama years, SpaceX has far too slowly tried to build commercial capacity instead while re-learning lessons we already went through as a nation from 1958 to now. Until Mr. Musk gets it together, the US space program is reduced to hitchhiking now just as much as it was during the Obama years.

Some days I end up wondering where we could’ve been without the clipped wings we’ve had. Our big advances have been in mobile phone apps and in creating vast surveillance structures like Palantir Gotham. Turning as insular as we’ve had hasn’t been a good thing for overall scientific innovation seemingly.

Where is the spark we need to wake things back up? Where is my moon base? Why isn't Canonical on the moon instead of London?

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