J. Martin

November 7, 2021

Groundhog Day, Covid Edition

Germany, I have to tell you, is caught in a time loop.

Time and again, everybody is shocked, shocked, that there’s an ongoing pandemic. Time and again, the schools aren’t prepared for shit. Time and again, policies are designed to appease the anti-vaxxer crowd. Time and again, at least one insane political decision is made, which in this case is dropping mask mandates in schools along incident rates of 200+ overall and 700+ in several regions while some schools even approach the four-digit range. And, time and again, the eso-fash crowd floods every available comment section to tell you that vaccinating kids is exactly like killing them with Zyklon B.

The question is, why do we have schools at all, why do we force children to devote up to thirteen years of their lives to learn pre-processed chunks of information about the world, most of which they will hate forever, to leave it without any clue about how science works? I wrote two blog posts on our school systems this year, one in February and one in May, “Opening Schools in Times of Plague” and “The Zombie Model of Cognitivism.” Maybe I should post them time and again and adapt myself to the Covid loop. However, if the idea that our school systems are outright terrible crossed your mind but you don’t know exactly why that’s the case, I recommend two clips of Ken Robinson—who passed away last year—as a primer: “Changing Education Paradigms” and his first TED talk “Do Schools Kill Creativity?” Both talks are immensely entertaining and illuminating. Give it a shot, you won’t regret it!

Otherwise, last week was too short and I was drowning in work. Also, in lieu of a game recommendation this week, I waded through the first two hours of Tim Rogers’s review of ときめきメモリアル / Tokimeki Memorial, a game type–defining dating simulation with a lot of clever mechanics (Konami, 1994). Sadly, my Japanese isn’t good enough to play this game myself; thus, the review. It clocks in at just under six hours and is interesting and funny, but explores the human limits of verbosity. So be warned.

Some fun stuff for you to enjoy: this year’s edition of the Japanese “mundane costumes” Halloween tradition, collected on Johnny Suputama’s website. My favorite costumes from this collection are (original Twitter links): “That Person Who Showed Up for the Free Trial Lesson”  and “Girl Who Started Decluttering But Ended Up on Her Phone.”

Finally, here’s a fox enjoying the first frost of the year in the “unexpectedly crunchy grass.”

Foxes are cute!