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2019-10-10 | Memory | Dream Boat

Yesterday I emailed the author of Collapse OS to share some of my Z-80 projects. I heard back from the author and talked a bit about what I was working on that was similar in the present. I also mentioned that odd feeling of writing for the future. In addition to the pink beam idea, which is a bit of a weird idea, I told him about the idea of a dream boat.

When I was in second grade, they didn't know what to do with me. A local high school student volunteered to help kids with problems, and I was the kid. I remember she took me on a walk to a nearby creek. She said something about a dream boat, and I told her that I didn't know what that was. She explained that a dream boat was a tiny boat you put in the stream with a small candle. You would watch it drift downstream and wish on your dream boat, who was a person you wanted to fall in love with you.

Collapse is like an event horizon or a line 1/x. Nobody on this side can see across. There are any number of ways this can go down. We are aware of the current predicament. We are aware that humans still use 4 billion gallons of oil and related equivalents (natural gas) each day. We are aware that not only does our economy rely on this for everything, but that it is triggering positive feedback loops associated with global warming. Any kind of speculation on the other side of collapse, though, is foolish, besides, well, things will be much different and many will die between here and there.

Some of us attempt to address this, and have come to similar conclusions about what to do in the present. The author of Collapse OS is looking at the supply chain associated with computers, and trying to provide the future with a means to bootstrap from TI-84+ calculators and other Z-80 consumer items. Until today, I didn't know that the Z-80 was still in production in a modern consumer device. My focus is on portable means for systems analysis. My take is that it is impossible to predict what will be needed on the other side of the event horizon of collapse, but resilience at the other side (and interim states, whatever those are) will not only benefit from these tools, but could be used to make better choices.

I don't know that I've ever referred to the offering to the future as a dream boat before today. It kind of makes sense. It is something that is mostly imaginary, if this is your approach. You can't see the person. You hope they will fall in love with you, and so you send this tiny boat down the stream. The metaphors, here, are rich and luscious. I also like it that for me, personally, there is an innocence, here, because it is a memory of second grade, when I was barely able to grasp the world. Everything seemed magical, whether it was the Sno Boy truck or L. Frank Baum's books. A couple of years later I became fascinated by the movie Paddle to the Sea, which is appropriate on many levels in this stream of memory and correlation.

As I considered this, I realized that I was confused about whether the person who told me about dream boats was the woman who helped me in second grade or my aunt. My aunt is my dad's youngest sister, and she is relatively close to me in age. When I was in second grade she was still in high school (perhaps in college, but still relatively young). At first I thought that my aunt was the one that told me, but it doesn't fit with the stream, which was where I remembered hearing the story. It may be that my aunt is the one that told me. I also have the story of Alley Oop mixed in there, which I associated with my aunt. She was surprised that I had never heard of the Alley Oop comic. My memory is that she said that Alley Oop launched a dream boat. I'm sticking with the local high school woman for the dream boat story, though, for now.

Memory has a similar texture as the future does from this perspective. The correlations of a young brain and fifty years of time are certainly not as difficult to penetrate from the present as fifty years in the future, across collapse, but I can see it is a similar challenge. What I like about relating these two, is that it softens the stance in the present. In a way, trying to recreate these memories is equally as directional. My 2nd grade self knew very well what was going on in the present, but there were also many mysteries. It was a completely different world. Little about what I am saying now would make sense to me in 2nd grade. I could say I was making a Paddle to the Sea boat, or a dream boat, and that would make sense.

I did some searching on Alley Oop to see if I could find a reference to a dream boat. I'm still not entirely sure I have the story right, and now that I've added Paddle to the Sea to the water of memory, I am even more unsure. It turns out that as of today Alley Oop is from the future and time travels back to 1986 to recover a mix tape.

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