Weeknote #4: Dystopia, vaccination, Midnight Mass

Halloween / Two weeks on the job / Moon: waning crescent

Speaking of reality: when you begin to perceive that modern society is bedeviled most of all by disconnection from reality, and that we already are living in dystopia, you see it everywhere. Therefore, the technocratic vision of the "metaverse" is hardly surprising, only the latest iteration of where we already are. Though it purports to be about connecting people, just as social media does, well... what has our experience of social media taught us in the last decade or so? As for me, I plan to delete my Facebook account in the coming weeks, or at least disable it indefinitely (after wiping it clean) until I can wean myself off of Messenger. When I made this intention known on my Facebook, a few people messaged me about wanting to remain in contact. I'm thinking of starting a mailing list made primarly of people I know, to which I can sporodically write updates about what I'm up to, where I'm going, etc. Haven't decided yet; we'll see.

I'm two weeks into my new job and it's been nothing but one problem to solve after another, though I'm settling as nicely as I can into my newly acquired title of "software engineer." By Wednesday I had submitted my first pull request; by the end of the week I was working on my own on a new feature for one of the company's apps. I'm doing TypeScript, Angular, NestJS, PostgreSQL, etc. to varying degrees. The advantage of being in a small team, naturally, is that I'm getting to do visible work right away, and along both the front and back ends. And despite me not knowing what the hell I'm doing at this point, I feel a great inner consonance with this line of work that I'm not sure how to explain; let's just say that, unlike any job I've taken in my life, it does not fill me with complete dread.

I received my second dose of the Pfizer vaccine on Thursday. Schedule was at 9:00 AM, but by 8:30 (when I arrived), the line had snaked all around the campus of the elementary school where the vaccination site was. It just seems to be an inescapable part of Filipino culture to show up to these things as early as possible, expecting that everyone else will do the same. I even overheard that someone had fainted from waiting in line so long in the heat. But four hours later I was out of there, ending this business once and for all (I hope). Mild side effects: a sore arm until 24 hours later, and what I can only describe as the feeling of having just barely recovered from the flu.

Today being Halloween, I felt a great urge to watch Mike Flanagan's Midnight Mass, starting with the first two episodes. I found them very intriguing notwithstanding the few jump scares (for which I'm afraid I don't have much of a stomach), but I'm a sucker for anything with overtly religious themes; and the show seems to take Christian faith seriously, whatever Flanagan's intentions. By the second episode, we get a classic rant on the problem of evil from one of the main characters, whose faith is shattered after spending four years in prison for killing a young woman in a car accident. Though it is an ancient problem and an ancient rant (the Bible itself is full of it), it remains an ever inescapable part of reality; every person alive must deal with it anew. And one has to grapple with the costs of taking it upon himself to overcome it: whether through a technocratic, transhumanist effort, or otherwise some kind of dealing with the devil... of which I suspect Father Paul Hill is guilty. Well, I still have to watch the rest of it.