Daily Archives: November 23, 2022

Ask Old Jules: Fear of getting old, Thoughts that blow your mind, Meaning of life, What people don’t know yet


Old Jules, are you scared of growing older? Lately I’ve been depressed I’ve been worrying about a lot of things. A lot of people are so negative all the time around me lately. How can I change my attitude towards this all and try to ignore the pessimistic idiots who keep dragging my mood back down again?

I’m three-and-some-change times your age and growing older doesn’t frighten me. Nor, for that matter, does not growing older.

What you’re talking about is not an age thing. It’s in the fact human beings just aren’t all that intelligent and certainly aren’t enlightened enough to give you advice worth following [though many here think they are both].

Nobody’s dragging your mood down except in the sense you’ve handed over the reins to them, said, “I give you the power to influence how I feel, how I view life, how I respond to whatever’s around me.” You have the choice not to give them that power.

Old Jules, what thoughts have you had recently that have blown your mind?

I’ve been thinking a lot about time lately, about how the past within personal memory seems concrete enough, but how it resembles a venturi as it approaches the present. About how the present is gone so quickly it mightn’t exist at all as a practical matter. Any attempt to nail down the present is doomed to failure because it’s gone before you can get a hold on it.

Been trying to build an analogy or model to allow a better look at the way I, we understand time, or ignore it, and maybe arrive at a better grasp of what it’s all about, behavior of something in physics, particles or some such thing, with behavior that rhymes with the way time behaves in our minds.

Because time probably doesn’t exist. Which should mean the ‘future’ is as fixed as the past.

One of the analogies I’ve considered is something akin to a lens with the present being a retina, but I’m generally liking the venturi better at the moment.

I’m leaning to the opinion we aren’t better prognosticators, predictors of the future is because we’re looking in the wrong place for it. A straight line through the past, through the neck of the venturi and out into the future would appear to be the logical place to look, but it isn’t there or we’d be a lot better at figuring it out. I have an idea the location is being distorted by the movement through the retina or the neck of the venturi.

Old Jules, what would happen if all but 20 people suddenly vanished from the planet?

If no two of them were located within 1000 miles of the nearest other they’d each learn to live with themselves pretty thoroughly.

I’m a hermit anyway, and too many decades around the star to care much one way or the other. If I happened to be one of them I’d do my best to avoid the others until my time ran out. I’m not much impressed with humanity.

Old Jules, what do you think is the meaning of life?

It isn’t complicated. This pre-schooler figured it out all by herself:

Jessica’s “Daily Affirmation”

Old Jules, what’s something no one knows yet?

1] Why the magnet poles of the sun reverse themselves every 11 years, roughly.

2] Why there’s a huge, empty piece of space out there [discovered since Hubble] with nothing visible in it.

3] Why the magnetic poles of the gas giants are sometimes so far from the spin axis

4] Why the mountain range a mile beneath the ice in Antarctica doesn’t meet our expectations derived from our speculations about how mountain ranges are formed.

5] Pretty much everything else.