Thursday, December 31, 2015

Looking Back on 2015

Generally speaking, 2015 was a pretty good year for me, I received a substantial (though not outrageous) raise at work, the social calendar is filled with comfortable routine- the monthly Secret Science Club lecture-with-beer and the weekly Tuesday night trivia contest at a local bar (our team has the winningest record for the year, but we've established a friendly rivalry with our closest competitors), the Saturday coaching gig is going well, and I was able to use my vacation time to spend some quality days with family. As is typical, I am working on New Year's Eve. I've always seen it as "amateurs' night", a night when the bars jack up the drink prices and some people tend to get stupid. It's quiet, and I've had a chance to reflect on the past year, and it's not a particular standout year. All told, on a personal level, 2015 was decent, though nothing truly spectacular (good or ill) occurred.

As far as "personal growth" goes, I'm pretty much skating along. The single greatest accomplishment I've achieved this year was getting comfortable enough with wild mushrooms that I've added them to my foraging repertoire... that sounds like a big "ho hum', but being able to find prized fifteen pound mushrooms isn't a bad skill to have. I've been a forager for years now, but this is taking it to the whole level.

On a broader basis, 2015 was a lackluster year- the problems of violence, systemic racism, and misogyny that have been with the U.S. since its inception continue, with no foreseeable hope of abatement. The inability of the Congress to get its act together to pass useful legislation is annoying, but on a local level, I see the new Tappan Zee bridge going up at a good pace, and the trains in the area run on time, so at least some stuff is getting done. Politics has seemed more stupid than usual this past year, but I think that's mainly due to the fact that a stupid, vulgar amateur has campaigned long after his suspected "past due" date, much longer than 2012's crop of numbnuts novelty candidates.

All told, it hasn't been a bad year, or a great year, or a particularly challenging year- there's a certain amount of stasis that seems to have set in, nothing of import is really occurring. Given the stupid attitudes of much of the public, and the media's complicity in the dumbing down, I don't know if I'm looking forward to an exciting 2016.


mikey said...

Yeah. Dumb, surreal political scene and an angry, polarized population finding reason after reason to hate and fear the other side, economic inequality that can only be fixed by those who benefit from it and religiously motivated violence spreading wider and getting nastier.

But the tech side is poised to do some great things. Big data analytics and machine learning are getting mature. Robotics and autonomous vehicles are ready for prime time. LHC restarts in May at 1400TeV.

So happy 2016, Mr. Bastard. Hope it treats you well...

ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

Our President got Fast Track for G.W. Bush's TPP (as well as his own odious TTIP and worst of all, TISA) primarily with GOP votes.

That makes 2015 a revealing year.

M. Bouffant said...

Just the kind of yr. we all need, free of massively unsettling & negative events in the personal sphere.

I hope 2016 is undisturbing to all of us.