Well, this year has been a bizarre year. But it’s been a bizarre year for just about everyone, so yattering about it won’t be interesting.

I’m not sure it’s that interesting to report how we coped with the bizarre, either. Thank Gordon Bennett that I’m not living alone, as I did for much of my life. L kept me — sane is too much — how about not entirely antisocially eccentric? When we can, we, like a gadzillion others, go on long countryside walks. When we can’t, which is basically when the weather isn’t to L’s liking, we stay in. Is this that different to other people’s lives nowadays? I rather doubt it.

image: 2020

Do you want to be told how exciting it was to play the occasional computer game? Read the occasional book? I thought not. Bastards.

How about me writing some software? I’m quite proud of the static site checker! It checks … and … also … … bah, it’s all in the intro. Shut up.

How about my reaction to seeing incompetents in power repeat the mistakes of incompetents in power in the past facing similar problem? “Ooh, pandemic! What’s history tell us is the worse thing to do? What, more people suffer, and the economy is wrecked, by not shutting down properly? Why, yes, let’s do that!” Why political parties in the UK and the USA selected incompetents, and why populations elected them, is beyond me. The countries’ got what they deserved, but I have to empathise with those who suffered. But that’s hardly a unique reaction.

My photography’s gone to shite, it’s about as interesting as a cigarette stub. Although I enjoyed photographing the wildflowers and the summer walks, any half decent hobby photographer could do the same, and more so, and probably did. My poetry’s still stuck in a lean phase.

So what other stuff have I done? Well, I’ve resolved, to my satisfaction, my own conflict between religion and atheism. One takes religion, one interprets it with human nature and psychology in mind (e.g. as literature), one discards the poison of cowardice and opportunism, and all the magic crap disappears. What’s left is an evolved pre– written history cultural artifact that underlies a surprising amount of modern society. The results is worth exploring.

About the only podcast I listen to nowadays is The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe. It’s still interesting, but ….

Oh, and I lost my job. Sogeti, whom I used to work for, insulted me in the process, too. The trouble is, the insults were to try and make me bugger off by myself, and so they could forgo making the payments they would otherwise be obliged to make by getting rid of me. Those insults have left me with a bad feeling. Still, I got the payments, the ones the law demands they make. They’re a bunch of bastards. I shall address that.

I’m getting more and more hacked off with the behaviour of certain giant tech companies. So many steal private information without genuine consent. Consent is not ‘agree to our theft or have no access to things you have to access’. If they asked me nicely, agreed to pay my perfectly reasonable fees, and allowed me some control of the reuse, then I’d be happy to let them resell some of the information I’ve taken my entire life to create. Instead, they steal and resell. They’re far too big for me to control, so I have no genuine choice. All I can do is resist, but that is limited and time–consuming. If they had a smidgeon of civilised politeness in their character, they’d ask, not nick. It doesn’t help that the behaviour is only legal because of a get–out clause in the copyright laws, which prevents me copyrighting myself, otherwise copyright law would apply to my personal information and I, and many other people, would use the courts to stop the tech companies stealing and reselling this information without adequate compensation. I just have to hope the authorities tame them, as they appear to want to do. Right now, my choice is limited to taking sides, which is no choice.

Next year had better be better. Or else. Ho.