Some books linger in your mind, long after you’ve put them away because you finished them. You might have finished reading the book, it isn’t done with you yet. For me, most books by Cory Doctorow fall in that category.
His latest novel is Walkaway. It’s his first novel for adults since Makers came out in 2009. In my mind, Walkaway and Makers share a lot of idea’s under the surface. Where the protagonists in Makers turn their backs on the world of traditional work to create their own little venues, many of the people featured in Walkaway turn their backs on society as a whole. Rather than actively fight the rich and powerful, they decide to undermine that rotten part of society by walking away from it.
Both ways of moving away from the traditional way wealth and power are spread root in an idea that many things, like the information to manufacture stuff everyone uses, and information itself, should be free. With that comes freedom for people.
In Walkaway, Doctorow shows a future where some mega rich people wield all the power, and all others are a cog in the machinery that adds wealth to those already extremely wealthy.
If you are interested in themes like that. And in science fiction that stays close to today to show us something about humanity, Walkaway is your book. Go read it!
Earlier today I pulled my Nintendo Wii from storage, connected it to my TV, set up its peripherals and rummaged around the house for 45 minutes in order to scrounge up enough batteries for one wii-mote and the balance board. All that to introduce the little girl to this fun little console.
I bought my Wii in 2007. Somewhere early in the year, around my birthday. And I have had a lot of fun with it. It has been connected and regularly used until about two years ago, when I started to baby-proof my house because our girl started to crawl, explore and pull on every cable she encountered.
Now she is old enough to be careful. And the little guy isn’t crawling yet, so there is room to play.
Going back to an older console, for me, is always a weird mixture of nostalgia and wonder, wonder about the fact that this was once the pinnacle of technology. Well, one thing I know, the Wii is still the fun little console it was 9 years ago. Not as powerful as other consoles from that time, but due to its unique nature, at least as much fun to play with. I’m curious how long it will captivate the attention of my little one.
This period between Christmas and the new year lends itself perfectly for reflection and planning. Most years, I use it for that exact purpose. 2015 was, in many ways, different.
That difference lies in the fact that this has been an extraordinary reflective year for me. The battle against depression was waged on two fronts, both with medication and in therapy. Obviously, the last bit is nothing but reflection. On life, on myself, on the people in my life and even on the reflection I have already done.
I got a nice long view into the abyss I call my mind and I found it at times scary, but mostly very interesting. I learned a lot and am pleased that I can now say that my depression is of biological origin and will be controlled by medication in the future.
Another reason for reflection was the birth of our son. As the birth of our daughter did in 2012, the arrival of this little bundle of joy (smack in the middle of my depressive episode) also lead to reflection and introspection.
This also passed and now I find myself in the position that this traditionally reflective period has little need for reflection. I know where I am, I know where I want to go. The only thing left is going there. And that will be the exiting part of 2016.
To all of you I wish the very best for 2016!
It has been one year since I first wrote on my blog (post no longer available) about being depressed. In the past year, many things have happened. I have undergone intensive psychotherapy and am still on medication to ease the edge of the depression. My second child was born, a son this time. I changed jobs.
Many changes, many new challenges, with the challenge of depression being the central thread that somehow influences everything else. In the end, after this year, I can honestly say that, though I haven’t exactly beaten the depression, I do feel much better.
There is an almost magical lure to be felt when watching a blank canvas. The way it shows that everything is still possible, that you can turn it into anything you want it to be, is intriguing to say the least.
To feel like that again, I have deleted what was, to be able to create what will be. I look forward to it!