Yesterday’s dawn

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

More than most people who read this newspaper and probably more than most people in this office, with the possible exception of Ashley Hennefer, I live in the internet age. I’m probably the one guy you know who’d like to be even more plugged in. For example, if there was a way to install a plug that would recharge my phone off my body’s electro-chemical energy, I’d probably do it. I might even consider a chip to allow me to access the world wide web without any further appliances.

So when I have to write things that will appear as new long after I’ve written them—like this column, for instance—I feel a need to point out this temporal fugue state in which I write. Another example: the Mayan calendar will switch over with the solstice at 3:12 a.m. four days from now, but this column won’t even be published until Dec. 27, 10 days from now. In fact, the only thing that can save it from being completely irrelevant when this paper is removed from stands, 16 days from now, is if the Mayan doomsday predictors are right on the money, and the world ends—thus precluding need for this column at all.

But wouldn’t it be cool if something did happen at 3:12 a.m. Dec. 21? What if we did enter a new age or if it were the true dawning of the Age of Aquarius? What if that was the exact moment that Mike, the HOLMES IV from Robert Heinlein’s classic The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, became self-aware? Of course, I have an easier time imagining a Skynet dawn (from Terminator) with drones raining horror down on this planetary infestation than a computer that likes to tell jokes.

But we’ll see. As you read this—days after the solstice, days after Christmas, days before the fiscal cliff and New Year’s—you know far more of the future than I do. I wonder if you (and I, hopefully) have learned anything worth knowing.