Niobium

[41 is] the smallest integer whose reciprocal has a 5-digit repetend. That is a consequence of the fact that 41 is a factor of 99999. — Wikipedia

I don’t understand a lot of things, these days. I don’t understand what a 5-digit repetend is, or why 41 being a factor of 99999 has to do with anything. I don’t understand how much all this has changed in the last thirteen years of posts. I don’t understand when building web stuff got hard. I don’t understand why I can’t find anyone who sells wall lights that look nice without charging a hundred notes for each one, which is a bit steep when you need six. I don’t understand why I can’t get thinner and still eat as many sandwiches as I want. I don’t understand an awful lot of why the world suddenly became a terrible, frightening, mean-spirited, mocking, vitriolic place. And most of what I do understand about that, I hate.

We all sorta thought that we were moving forward; there was less hatred of the Other, fewer knives out, not as much fear and spite as there used to be. And it turns out that it wasn’t gone; it was just suppressed, building up and up underneath the volcano cap until the bad guys realised that there’s nothing actually stopping them doing terrible things and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. So the Tories moved from daring to talk about shutting down the NHS to actually doing it and nobody said anything. Or, more accurately, a bunch of people said things and it didn’t make any difference. Trump starts restricting immigration and targeting Muslims directly and puts a Nazi adviser on the National Security Council and nobody said anything. Or, more accurately, a bunch of people said things and it didn’t make any difference. I don’t want to give in to hatred — it leads to the Dark Side — and so I don’t want to hate them for doing this. But I do hate that I have to fight to avoid it. I hate that I feel so helpless. I hate that the only way I know to fight back is to actually fight — to become them. I hate that they turn everyone into malign, terrible copies of themselves. I hate that they don’t understand. I hate that I don’t understand. I hate that I just hate all the time now.

I’m forty-one. Apparently, according to Wikipedia, the US Navy Fleet Ballistic Missile nuclear submarines from the George Washington, Ethan Allen, Lafayette, James Madison, and Benjamin Franklin classes were nicknamed “41 for Freedom“. 41 for freedom. Maybe that’s not a bad motto for me, being 41. Do more for freedom. My freedom, my family’s freedom, my friends’ freedom, my city’s freedom, people I’ve never met and never will’s freedom. None of us are free if one of us is chained, and if you don’t say it’s wrong then that says it right.

Two photos from today.

Niamh and a message board saying that she loves me lots

Anti-Trump protest in Victoria Square, 30th January 2017

One is of Niamh, and her present to me for my birthday: a light box like the ones you get outside cinemas and churches and fast food places and we can put messages for one another on it. I’m hugely pleased with it. The other is of today’s anti-Trump demo in Victoria Square, at which Reverend David Butterworth, of the Methodist Church, said: “Whatever we can do to make this a more peaceful city and a more inclusive city, and to stand up and be counted, we must and should do it together. The only way that Donald Trump will win is if the good people of Birmingham, and of other cities that we’re twinned with like Chicago, stay silent.” People standing up, and a demonstration of what they’re standing up for. Not a bad way to start making me being 41 for freedom, perhaps.

Happy birthday to me. And for those of you less lucky than me today: I hope we can help.

More in the discussion (powered by webmentions)

  • kitwallace responded at twitter.com Happy Birthday and a silent thank you for sortable every time I use it
  • Amicable WereZonkey responded at twitter.com Just in time before my birthday ends, the annual birthday post. Rather bleaker this year than normal. kryogenix.org/days/2017/01/3…
  • Sebastian Lenton responded at twitter.com happy birthday! 🎁🎊🎉
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com I'm glad it helps! And thank you :-)
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com cheers!
  • Broken Canoe responded at ... (twitter.com)
  • Chris Taylor responded at ... (twitter.com)
  • Jan Moren responded at ... (plus.google.com)
  • Will Cooke responded at ... (twitter.com)
  • Stephen Smoogen responded at twitter.com Happy Birthday. Thank you for that post. It echoes a lot going through my head & heart. Maybe that is good because we arent alone in despair
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com thank you -- for both the wishes and the support. It's been on my mind a lot...
  • Linux Lady05 Winter responded at ... (plus.google.com)
  • Oliver Grawert (ogra) responded at ... (plus.google.com)
  • Eric Beyer responded at ... (plus.google.com)
  • Colin Watson responded at twitter.com happy birthday! May some rays of light return, via your cool light box or otherwise.
  • Chris Halse Rogers responded at twitter.com Happy birthday! Remember, no matter what you do, unless you want to murder tens of millions of people, you're *not* as bad as them!
  • Ted Gould responded at ... (twitter.com)
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com Cheers, pal. Cool light box is indeed cool, as was the hug from Niamh that went along with it :)
  • Stuart Langridge responded at twitter.com thank you, mate. On both counts.
  • Birmingham.IO responded at twitter.com Stuart Langridge: Niobium by @sil buff.ly/2klbQXw #PlanetBirmingham
  • Andrew Spencer responded at ... (twitter.com)
  • Michał Prędotka responded at plus.google.com So.. Happy birthday 🍻
  • Michał Prędotka responded at ... (plus.google.com)
  • David Cooper responded at plus.google.com Firstly, a very happy birthday (for yesterday). Secondly, this is exactly the post I wanted to sit and write today. The way that the media and politic…
  • David Cooper responded at plus.google.com Among the things I don't understand: how I'm forty-one now.http://www.kryogenix.org/days/2017/01/30/niobium/
  • David Cooper responded at ... (plus.google.com)
  • Chris Moore responded at ... (plus.google.com)
  • Daniel Wood responded at ... (twitter.com)
  • mickey megabyte responded at plus.google.com 1/41 = 0.024390243902439...
  • Richard David west responded at ... (twitter.com)
  • gergo lippai responded at ... (twitter.com)
  • Eric Casteleijn responded at ... (plus.google.com)
  • Charles Profitt responded at plus.google.com I see you wander down the same paths I have regarding why things have changed... this despite having evidence in front of us for so many years in our…