Illusory Follies Andrew Flanagan's Blog


Vertical Farming

Vertical Farming is a neat, futuristic approach to producing food within urban environments. I'm not terrified of running out land and of populations booming too much nor am I running scared of global warming or cooling or whichever it is but I still think that the idea is very neat.

Image courtesy ©atelier SoA architectes I think it could actually be made a cost saver in large cities. The idea is sort of similar to terracing unusable land to make it usable but instead of making land flat, you stack it. I really do think that the answer to a lot of "society's woes" is that these things will at some point become cheaper than doing them the "old" way. I just see this one as becoming worthwhile sooner than some of the other wacky ideas. So I guess I view this as more of an investment in new technology than just philanthropy to support these projects.

The reality is that shipping and transportation is becoming more and more difficult and massively increases the price of products. I've not seen it mentioned, but why not have the first floor be the "fresh produce" grocery store?


Done? Good, now start again.

That's how I feel these days. There's always been "overhead" stuff that I have to do. You have to take showers and dress and clean up after yourself (at least somewhat). You have to spend time getting ready for work and driving to work and reading emails and just doing all the boring monotonous things that no one enjoys but are required.

Well, I've now hit the point where about the time I'm wrapping up all the "overhead" tasks and ready to do something useful I realize I'm out of time. More "overhead" tasks crowd in around me and it's time to brush my teeth and get to bed early so I can wake up early and repeat.

It's terrible.

Granted, I have time to write this blog entry. But you know what? I've sadly actually tried to allocate "overhead" time to write to my blog! I guess I feel as if it's a journal in many ways and so writing in it is part of this complete healthy life.

But this makes me think: maybe it's not that I get nothing but overhead done but rather that I've put far too many tasks into the "overhead" category merely because they repeat frequently. Nowadays, virtually everything I do is scheduled. I schedule my oil changes, how many times we vacuum the house, every odd job and maintenance task is updated on my calendar if I can think of it. My daily status report for work is scheduled (and I receive a horrible email warning me about it every day). If Sarah and I want to have fun, we generally schedule some event weeks in advance and I shuffle some of the chores off of that day in the calendar and reallocate them to make a little extra room.

So maybe it's not about overhead, maybe it's about spontaneity and the realization that precious little can be done on the spur of the moment anymore.

I hate routine. Maybe I should write a program that takes my tasks and in an intelligent way re-arranges them to surprise me without totally destroying any sense of order.

Hmm... that sounds like a program that would probably have to pass the Turing test. I think what I'll do is make an entry in my calendar to write this program. Maybe next Tuesday. That sounds good.


Oozy rat in a sanitary zoo

I stumbled across a website that was talking about the "magical number seven, plus or minus two". The Wikipedia article that I link to has some great stuff. It's really quite fascinating. I myself have found that I am able to really track 8 things at a time. If I'm stressed it seems to drop to 6. I use this quite a bit for making lists. Most lists I wish to make are short (less than 7 items) but I often wish to make them when I'm without a writing device (no PDA, pen and paper, etc.). So what I do is simply think out the list and make sure I firmly remember the number of items. Then, when I need to recall the list, I quickly think of the appropriate number (which is easy to remember) and the items tend to "fall out" of my memory quite easily. I have tried to track multiple lists and can succeed in juggling a few (although it's unnecessary since I rarely have more than one list in my mind at a time).

Sometimes I wish I was autistic (since many of autistic people seem to have this cognitive numeric limit removed). It would be fun to track lists that contained hundreds or thousands of items.

Okay, well maybe not "fun" but useful.

Or I could just get a digital voice recorder.