A few more random questions (plus some answers)

  • Why do wasps exist? They don’t gather pollen or make honey, they just sting and do gross things like lay eggs in spiders so their young can eat their way out.
  • Why is it so easy for me to slip into passive voice when writing? You’d think by now I’d have learned but I’m only a bit better than I used to be.
  • Would it be more or less depressing to know we are the only intelligent species in the universe? On the plus side, no risk of alien invasion. On the negative side, humans are generally terrible people.
  • What will the internet look like in a hundred years? When you think back to cars a hundred years ago and compare them to today, all the fundamentals are still there, we’ve just improved on the core design. Will the internet still consist of people obsessively checking Facebook but doing so with implants instead of smartphones?
  • Shower or bath? (This one is easy: bath. Warm and relaxing and for extra fun you can add bubbles or Epsom salts or something crazy like that. Showers are just go in, clean, get out.)
  • Why is the four-day work week not a thing yet? Seriously, we don’t need five days. It sucks. I can be productive with more free time–let me show you!
  • Could you write a decent novel that consists solely of lists? Something to consider for NaNoWriMo 2016 (ho ho).
  • Why not crop squares?

Random questions February 8 2016 edition

  • Back in the pre-Internet days, how did people come up with pithy quotes to pop into conversations, magazine articles and books? Did they memorize a bunch they liked, waiting for a chance to use them? Were quotes so often repeated that you’d find yourself finishing a quote someone else started quoting? Did people buy books of quotations and study them with the fervor of a student the night before a big exam? I wonder because now with the Internet it is trivially easy to find quotes said by anyone about anything.
  • Why have personal computers evolved so little in 40 years? In 1976 the first Apple computer was being built by Jobs and Wozniak. Five years later the IBM PC debuted. Look inside one and then look inside a PC from 2016 and they are immediately identifiable as being the same thing. There’s a motherboard, there’s ram and drives and cables and all of it is put together in a clunky kind of way that seems designed to draw blood should you have reason to tinker inside one. Actually, this is probably due to computers largely being commodity items. There’s little reason to innovate or improve on the low end, so it’s inertia and the steady improvement of technology combined with reduced costs that lead to things like the 5.25 inch floppy drive giving way to the 3.5 inch floppy drive and so on. Where pricing is more at a premium, like in the ultrabook market, you do see much nicer machines. Sure, they can’t be as easily expanded as a typical PC box but in exchange you get machines that are fast, light and far less likely to make you bleed. Okay, this turned out to be kind of an obvious question.
  • Why do people like to complain? Does it release a specific pleasure-inducing chemical? I could look the answer up but I’m lazy and I kind of like clinging to the mystery.
  • Why do so many dog owners let their dogs off-leash in areas that are clearly not off-leash?
  • How do countries evolve to have driving on the left or right side of the road?
    • Related: Do countries follow the same rules for which side of an escalator to stand/walk on?
  • Why do we still find violence the go-to solution for so many problems when it almost never actually solves anything?
    • Related: Why do so many politicians believe you can bomb an ideology out of existence?
  • Which is more likely to be real: aliens, the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot?
  • Who would win in a fight, aliens, the Loch Ness monster or Bigfoot?
  • Why do I have literally hundreds of games but only ever play WoW and a Mahjong game on my iPad?
  • How do I make myself write fiction again? Are truly passionate people rare or am I just easily distracted?
  • Why do crowds of people move so inefficiently?
  • Is Social Media Widget a good band name?
  • How long will it take for humans to evolve past the need for sleep?
  • If I could remember all of my dreams in exact detail, would I want to?
  • If you get into an argument in a conflict resolution training course, do you pass or fail?
  • Seriously, what was Lovecraft thinking when he named his cat Nigger Man and then used the same name in a story?