Saturday, January 13, 2018

Day 2942

I'm glad I didn't wake up this morning with a message on my phone saying that a nuke was headed my way. It was all a mistake, but that didn't stop the conspiracy theories. Why is it so hard for people to believe simple human error in cases like these? Chernobyl and Three Mile Island were caused by human error. So were the Challenger and Columbia Space Shuttle disasters. In 1961 a B-52 accidentally dropped two nuclear bombs on the city of Goldsboro, North Carolina. Luckily, neither exploded. In 1979 a technician put a training tape into an operational computer by mistake causing NORAD to think a major soviet attack was underway. As recently as 2010 the Air Force lost control of over 50 nuclear ICBMs for over 45 minutes. The Russians made similar mistakes throughout the cold war. When you think about it, we're really lucky we're still here.

People love conspiracy theories. They'd rather believe that Stanley Kubrick staged the moon landing on a Hollywood sound stage than the fact that the entire world watched the event on live TV. There are people who believe that pharmaceutical companies invented cancer to sell drugs. Others believe that aliens are living among us. I guess it makes sense that there are people who believe that the alarm in Hawaii this morning was created by hackers for some nefarious purpose.

It's easy for me to believe human error as an explanation for just about anything. Humans are idiots. We tend to think we are much smarter than we really are. I have listened to five people try to explain Bitcoin and how blockchains work. None of them made any sense. Does anyone really know what a blockchain is? Anytime I hear someone tell me that something is completely safe and transparent, I begin to worry. Did you ever see that documentary called "The Origins of AIDS" about how tainted oral polio vaccine distributed in the Belgian Congo in the 1950's led to the beginnings of the deadly disease? It may not be a nuclear bomb that ends humanity, but one way or another we are accidentally going to do something that ends horribly wrong. That's just the way we are.

I almost made a serious error today. I tried to repair the directory on my computer using Diskwarrior without realizing that the version I was using was not compatible with the Sierra operating system. I've used Diskwarrior for decades and it has saved me from some serious crashes. I haven't used it since I upgraded my hard drive and operating system though. Oops. My bad. Luckily, I was able to force the program to abort before it caused any damage. When I was trying to figure out what to do next, I also discovered that the Apple Disk Utility no longer lets you repair permissions on your hard drive. Damn. Yesterday it was my phone. Today it is my computer. Apple is no longer my friend.

It was a beautiful day today, but it was still very cold. We had such a mild Winter last year that I keep forgetting that January is almost always very cold. I just leave my Winter coat on the sofa now because I have to put it on every time I take Dash outside. I have to follow Dash around every time he goes outside because I don't want him to eat something that will make him throw up. His rear legs are so weak that he also tends to get stuck in the dense Asian Jasmine ground cover in the back of the yard. If he poops, I carry bags so I can clean it up right away. If I don't, it is almost a certainly that I will step in it the next day.

Hopefully, I can limit my mistakes to stepping in dog poop. It's hard to avoid human errors because there is so much that can go wrong. Will I make any mistakes tomorrow? Definitely. Will my mistakes cause hundreds of thousands of people to panic? I certainly hope not.

Taylor is today's Dalmatian of the Day
Watch of the Day