33 Jottings and Ideas from 2021

Photo: Samir Belhamra

The years keep getting more and more bizarre yet strangely pedestrian. Here is what I discovered or at least was reminded of in 2021.

  1. The world is getting more and more loopy but a lot of people seem reasonably happy with it all.
  2. Eating a whole avocado in one sitting can be distressing to the gut.
  3. Birds are ever more delightful. Humans are a bit on the nose.
  4. We have all had feelings of “skin hunger”. Touch is the universal language and crucial to our wellbeing.
  5. Mark Zuckerberg wants to take over the planet with his dystopian Meta vision. Extremely uncool.
  6. Elon Musk wants to take over the planet and rule it from mars. Somewhat cool.
  7. Modern Monetary Theory comes of age — A government can apparently print as much money as it likes, dish it out, and never have to pay the debt back because it owes money to itself.
  8. The world will need to use/burn a hell of a lot more fossil fuels in the transition to a greener planet.
  9. Having fewer opinions is a vital key to a more fulfilled life.
  10. Tenderness, generosity and respect — what more is there?
  11. Microbes across the globe are evolving to eat plastic.
  12. The world is getting greener — global greening is real and happening.
  13. Brandolini’s Law states that the amount of energy needed to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it. So best to save your energy and not go around refuting.
  14. A big group of people can get smarter and better informed over time. But they can’t, on average, become more patient, less greedy, or more level-headed during periods of upheaval.
  15. The pinnacle of salads is Greek: Tomato, cucumber, red onion, kalamata olives with fetta, lemon juice, olive oil, oregano, salt, pepper (and a bit of lettuce — oh no!). Kalí óreksi!
  16. There is only one swimming elephant left in the world and his name is Rajan.
  17. Mushrooms are super-organisms that posses intelligence.
  18. Tiny homes have taken off, big time.
  19. The Boomerang Effect suggests that trying to persuade someone to do one thing can make them more likely to do the opposite, because the act of persuasion can feel like someone stealing your freedom and doing the opposite makes you feel like you’re taking your freedom back.
  20. Best to refrain from mentioning vaccinations to anyone.
  21. Frogs are super cool. We have a cute one living in our bathroom who comes and goes as he pleases.
  22. Making a list of things is silly.
  23. Psychedelics are making a great leap into being medicines for the mind.
  24. Can we ride out the winds of change? A good one to revisit.
  25. In the technosphere, more and more people are giving up their autonomy for convenience.
  26. A walk on the beach or in the forest or in a park is greatly underrated for washing off the gunk of a day.
  27. Dune by Frank Herbert: Arrakis teaches the attitude of the knife — chopping off what’s incomplete and saying: ‘Now it’s complete because it’s ended here’…From “Collected Sayings of Maud’Dib” by the Princess Irulan.
  28. UFOs are back. Or should we say UAPs.
  29. Firstly humans used fire, then wood, then coal, then oil/gas and now we are moving into powering the world with electrons (via the sun, wind, water).
  30. Bollox to new years resolutions. What if you never know where you are going? You would truly be.
  31. Documentaries of the year – simply extraordinary: The Alpinist and The Rescue.
  32. Remember what the door-mouse said: “Feed your head”.
  33. One of the most important disciplines is to “skim the lake”. That is: to be constantly purifying your thoughts. So forget about some of the above.

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