Rainy day here


These author sites I’ve created remind me to live in the deep past, where my book is set. That’s good, but sometimes strange. Last night, without leaving my home office, I was teaching an economics class at a high school in Hong Kong nearly halfway around the planet. It was 10 PM for me and 10 AM for the students when the class started.  It’s become so common that it’s tedious to point out how astounding that is, that capability to interact real-time with people anywhere on earth. But the really astounding thing is how easy it is to forget to be astounded. When you’re involved in doing it, it’s like any other videocall: we use Google Classroom for this connection, but it’s very like the Zoom calls that we have had with our family or friends or offices. It’s just a group of high school students arrayed on the screen in front of me. I move my mouse on my computer and they see that motion 8,000 great-circle miles away; they write on an electronic whiteboard, and I seem to read their words as they write them down.

I don’t think about it as it happens. But now, looking at this site, I think: what a long way we’ve come from Kaikos and Chaisa and Sntejo and Prsedi, all the characters in my book set 8200 years in the past. What a strange journey we set out on when we took those first steps toward adopting agriculture and innovation as our human path.

Just a random thought on a rainy day in Kensington, Maryland.

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By Ullman