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Friday, January 14, 2000

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A Warm Day

When I left work a little before noon it was already warm. What a change from a week ago. It was in the 80s today. I saw on the news that Phoenix hit a record. Even when going into work about 6:30 the air felt almost warm. Too warm for this time of year. We need more cold weather before it's time for warm weather again.

We got over twenty new computers in our area today. Everyone had huge boxes sitting in their cubicles since we have to wait till Computer Service gets to us. It's always so exciting to get new computers. Now we all have to make sure that we get everything we want to save up on the server so we won't lose it. Every time I do this I lose something. I also need to remove a few personal programs since that's frowned on but not strictly enforced.

I finished "Stuff: The Materials the World is Made of" by Ivan Amato. It follows the history of how humankind has not just used the materials lying around but messed around with them. We just cannot leave well enough alone and are now well into materials that make much of science fiction obsolete.

It's a fascinating book. I never knew what went into making all the high tech materials we have now, from CDs to ball bearings in the space shuttle. There is almost a hubris in the idea that we can design what we want instead of waiting to accidently happen upon it, but I think we also realize that nothing is without a downside and are now looking ahead to see problems, not just possibilities.

The best thing about this book is the possibilities and hope that it brings out. Because of science our lives have been improved 100%, several 100%, over what people even 100 years ago had. Some people look on this as a bad thing, but I don't want to go back to streets full of manure and children dying of unknown diseases, or even known diseases that no one knew how to cure.

People aren't going to stop improving, changing, learning new things but we are realizing that we can look ahead to what might be instead of just looking at what new thing we've come up with. Still I don't think we can live without looking ahead. When we stop, we die. We may still breathe and talk and walk, but we're basically dead at that point. I am not a back to nature, nuts and berries type of person.

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Walked - 4 mile

(c) Rachel Aschmann 2000.
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