Thursday, April 07, 2022

Desperate Junk


NY Times: "The cost to ship a container of goods from Asia to the U.S. West Coast inched up to $16,353 as of last Friday, before the latest coronavirus restrictions took effect, from $16,155 a week earlier. Rates have almost tripled from a year ago and have risen 12-fold from two years ago, according to data from Freightos, a freight booking platform."

"According to the World Wildlife Fund, wild animal populations have decreased by 68 percent on average over the past 50 years."

-- from the essay "Animal, Vegetable, Capital" by Ingrid Burrington, Lux Magazine, Issue 3, via Harper's, February 2022 pg 17.




Layzej said...

Culture warriors are the devil.

Entropic man said...

Perhaps something of interest?

Layzej said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Entropic man said...

A depressing landmark.

Layzej said...

Regarding, they didn't include China on this chart. According to Forbes, China likely has had 118 excess deaths/100,000. That means they did better than USA, but not better than Germany, Spain, UK, or even the global average.

And at what cost? They have quarantined entire buildings so that it is difficult for folks living there to get food. Pets are being killed. What did that buy them?

Layzej said...

Hey David, any picks for round 2 of the playoffs?

Leafs put up a good fight, but went down in round one. The two remaining Canadian teams are facing off against each other for round two. It's been 30 years since Canada had the cup. It's looking unlikely that will change this year.

David Appell said...

I'm sorry, I'm not paying attention to this blog anymore. Blogger no longer sends me email notifications about new comments anyway, which is part of the problem. I've complained, and they only give mealy mouthed answers in return, nothing at all useful. They don't care.

But also I think I'm done blogging. Finally this time for real. I think I'm done with science writing too. I gave up in early April and have been doing absolutely nothing since. I'm tired of begging for articles. I'm tired of writing about peripheral subjects. OK, that's my fault, they want to higher younger, more dynamic, more knowledgable writers. Can't blame them. Then I don't keep up in the fields any longer because no one will hire me anyway to write about anything current or important. Vicious cycle. I'm tired of begging. I'm tired of writing for piss wages. I'm tired of being poor. Haven't covered my expenses in 15 years. I'm tired of deleting my retirement fund. I"m tired of feeling like a loser. I've lost interest in it all. I'm struggling to keep my psyche above water. I'm struggling to give a shit about anything right now. I'm too old to think anyone will ever hire me to do anything interesting ever again, but not quite ready to pump gas. Honestly if my cat wasn't alive I'm not sure what I'd do. As it is we might move to Costa Rica or Vietnam where the cost of living is much cheaper. But I don't think he can handle the stress of such a move. Otherwise next year at this time I'll be living in my car. And I'm not even sure I care if I am.

So don't expect any more blog posts here -- about climate change, physics, science, or even hockey. I'm done.

Thanks for having read -- I do appreciate you, and especially a small subset of you, you know who you are.

Entropic man said...

Thank you for years of interesting post and for fighting the good fight on the climate denial blogs. You are still remembered. One of the deniers at Roy's mentioned your name only today.

When something is no longer fun it's time to change. I taught for 24 years and it broke me. Now I'm a museum guide and loving it.

David Appell said...

Thanks EM, I appreciate that, and also the encouragement. I feel pretty lost at the moment and drifting and weird, because I've almost never in my life felt this way -- I've always been motivated and passionate about SOME subject, going back to 5 years old. The subject changed over time but the passion didn't. But now my passion is fading fast and it feels difficult and strange and I feel lost. I've had little episodes of this in the past, a week or maybe two, but it always came back. This time it's been two months and it hasn't. Fed up with low pay and difficulty getting assignments and the whole deal of freelancing.

Thanks again.

Entropic man said...

No rule that you have to rush around with your tail on fire. I felt infirm of purpose when I left teaching, but found other ways to live.

You're a science communicator. Why not ask the Museum of Science and Technology about a guiding job. The basic message gets repeated, but you meet a lot of interesting people and have some amazing conversations.

Or why not pump gas? It gets you out into what passes for fresh air in Portland and again, lots of interesting people.

Whatever job you find will be 10% brilliant,Most of us have jobs that look boring but have to be done. Any job tends to become 10% brilliant, 10% misery and 80% routine.

I've been yard crew, farm labourer, pig farmer, seed tester, botanist, climate researcher, science teacher, haematology technician and museum guide. Some low status and some high status, but all worth doing.

Why not take a rest; spend a little while sitting outside cafes drinking coffee and watching the girls go by while you work out what you want out of life.

If the angst doesn't go away, talk to a doctor or counsellor. When I left teaching I had clinical depression. It took a year or so to rewire my mind, after which it stopped being a problem.

Layzej said...

We'll miss you David. I wish I had something helpful to add to what EM has already stated. I hope to see you about once you have had a chance to recover and find your new passion.

David Appell said...

Thanks Layzej, I appreciate that. I've really enjoyed all your comments and getting to know you too. Maybe I'll be back, I don't know.

Take care of yourself.

Anonymous said...

hey, David. there are people who read and don't comment. We miss you. Just letting you know.

David Appell said...

Thanks anon, I really appreciate that.

Anonymous said...

Hi David. Are you still in Keizer? Still looking at this blog once in a while?

I’ve recently met a young woman, 35 or so, whose homeless and trying to get her life back together. Not easy though, finding or sticking with a job when you have no car, no access to a shower or personal hygiene, no way to wash clothes, and you’re camped by yourself in a patch of bushes on a South Salem hill.

Anyways, she needs a roommate and a friend - but someone who’s a decent person and not abusive, an alcoholic, meth addict or felon. She’s very friendly and pleasant to chat with, and somehow has a cell phone (which she charges at night using an exterior outlet at a nearby church) and EBT card.

You can talk with me in person if you think you might be interested. I volunteer at “Helping Hands Resources” (1755 13th St SE, Salem Or.) on most Tuesday and Thursday mornings. Knock on the back door. I’m the only guy who volunteers on those days.

pete said...


You appear to be “retiring”. There are always mixed feelings about that. Perhaps it’s time to get a hobby or something. Myself, I do two things: I exercise a lot (hockey and bike riding) and I read a lot of books - most kind of trivial but some that are very interesting.

e.g. recently read Ishiguro’s “when we were orphans”. I have read most of his work but missed this. Very good.

The point is, there is a huge number of books to read - I had thought that these books were “kind of known” to me but I am continually surprised.

I also play piano but I am the worst piano player that ever existed.

David Appell said...

Hi Pete,

Thanks for writing.

No, I haven't retired. I'll never be able to afford to do that. I'm one of those who will be working until the day they die.

But I did stop freelance writing in March. I was just fed up with the whole freelance scene. A decent publication, I thought -- SLATE -- offered me $325 to write 1200 words about a very interesting topic. Half of which I know plenty about already.

But I just snapped. I'm sick of the freelance industry. Of being expected to work for such extremely low wages. I've been doing this for 20+ years and haven't made a living at it for at least the last 10. I'm tired of being treated like a chump. I'm tired of begging editors to let me write for them. I'm tired of never writing about anything important. I write articles and never get a single email in response. I'm not doing any good at all. My articles have been about very minor topics and nothing important. For whatever reasons -- my own personal failing and inabilities as a writer -- I haven't been able to make the next jump into the next level of publications. I'm washed up. I know it.

I have no idea what I'm going to do next. Not finding much interest, to tell you the truth.

I haven't been doing much since March. Took some time to get over

David Appell said...

Thanks Anon, earlier.

Best to your friend, but I'm not looking for a roommate right now.