📚 I’ve been rereading the Stormlight Archive in preparation for the release of Rhythm of War. Substituting the kindle app for some chunk of my daily doomscrolling has led to me finishing a 1000-page book per week, which I think is illustrative of how much of my mental energy is being sapped by the two-hit combo of internet and 2020.

Sisyphus of Fear

Years ago, I spent one angry evening attempting to set up a wireless HP printer on our network. There were epithets, there were tears, there was the temptation to cut open a screen and throw the cursed machine out the window into traffic. Eventually, I was successful, but at what cost.

Five years ago, we moved to our house and I haven’t had the stomach to attempt this feat on our new network. At first, I claimed that it was only because I was waiting for an internet service provider to expand into our neighborhood and necessitate a new network, but when that came and went, I was forced to admit I simply feared the misery. For these years, it was easier to keep the machine on a high shelf, where on the rare occasion I really needed to print I could take it down, find paper, and USB it to my laptop sitting on the floor.

Finally, today, feeling well-rested and as emotionally calm as possible in Our Year 2020, I decided to take on this task. With a fearful heart, I pulled the machine from its place and the instructions from the web.

It took 2 minutes and it’s happily humming along.

Today, we cleaned up the Boxes of Mysterious Cords and I ran across my old iBook, neatly stored. On a lark, I booted it up. The screen is broken, but I still had the RCA adaptor, which the computer used to gamely send some video over to an external monitor. The screen was much too big for the input so the text was blurred with colored edges, like I was looking back through a time machine to the year OSX10.4. I’d cleaned the files off, but it still had a Hikaru no Go desktop image, my eternal friend the MoofMenu, Quicksilver, Sherlock, and Grapher.

This is the computer that I hauled all over Japan in my messenger bag as a student and a teacher of English, so it was a nostalgic reunion, even as I now return it to a boxy slumber.