February 2, 2024

2024.02.02
It's Groundhog Day! Again.
Like, my God is not an old man in the sky. It's a metaphor. For a mystery. That absolutely transcends all categories of human thought, including being and non-being, but that's too many words for the back of a quarter. That's Joseph Campbell. I got all the best teachers later in life. Like Barry Taylor, the road manager for AC/DC, said, "'God' is the name of the blanket we put over the mystery to give it a shape." Shouldn't I have learned that... in church? Why am I learning this from Barry Taylor...the road manager for AC/DC?

But it doesn't matter if you're an atheist or a theist. I actually think we're all kind of in the same boat. Really I do.

Some people thing God created the universe. Some people think Nothing created the universe... which is the funniest guess.

And the nothing people make fun of the God people. They say, "God doesn't exist". I'm like, "okay, maybe". But you know what definitely doesn't exist? NOTHING. That's the defining characteristic of nothing, is that it doesn't exist.

So what are we talking about? Either you think it's God... something you can't see touch taste photograph and science can't prove, or you think it's nothing... something you can't see touch taste photograph and science can't prove. But I think we can all agree, if your nothing sometimes spontaneously erupts into everything, that's a pretty goddamn magical fucking nothing, you guys.

And ask... ask the "nothing" people "what happens when you die?" They'll tell you "Nothing. You go into nothing." I'm like, "You mean you merge back with your creator? ...That's heaven, bitch."

So no one, no matter what you believe, you shouldn't be afraid to die. 'Cause if you go into nothing, and one of the things nothing does is explode into EVERYTHING, nothing isn't the end, it's just a pit stop on the way to a new beginning. Let's pray. "Heavenly Father, you are in fact no-thing..."
Pete Holmes, "I Am Not for Everyone" Netflix Special
(I previously quoted the first bit, but realized the second part is a nice and sympathetic issue of the hand waving both sides do. The God people don't want you to ask "then what created God", the Nothing people need to believe that "maybe nothing is, like, unstable" - which still implies some kind of something of a framework...)
layoffs.fyi tells me dot-com-bust-ii is still ongoing and it's a miserable time for techies, though the US added many jobs in January.

Still I wanted to add this image I ran into on tumblr after failing to search for it a few weeks ago, about how productivity growth and wages have violently forked, starting in the late 70s.

The punchline of the musical "Hello, Dolly" is that mean old Vandergelder share's Dolly's view that "Money, pardon the expression, is like manure. It's not worth a thing unless it's spread around, encouraging young things to grow.". I think even that racist anti-semite Henry Ford got that paying better wages is better than waiting for "trickle down" to magically occur.
A history of MAD
via Statista - I've really been wondering about this chart, especially hearing how the USA added a surprising chunk of jobs in January.

Tech jobs took a massive hit at the start of quarantine but was back where it was in about a year - and kept on going.

This chart makes it look we're still about about where we might have been otherwise, but this is as of October 2023... and I haven't seen too many signs that the roller coaster back down leveled out or resumed its ascension.