Thursday, 10 June 2021

Scientific progress goes "Boink"!

 Yesterday my laptop went weird and panic came over me as it's the only one I have with me. Today I took it to the computer hospital and the whizzkid sorted the problem out in less than a minute. 

Yes, he showed me where the ON switch was! 

Not really! But it just shows how reliant we are on these things. Over the last twenty years I have accumulated 3 desktops, 3 laptops, 6 printers, 1 tablet, 4 mobile phone contracts and no end of other IT gubbins and doofers. But despite having had to use them for work and play every day for the last quarter century, I still struggle to fathom how they all work and interconnect. It's not my line of understanding. 

Because Covid has socially distanced me from my IT equipment, I have one laptop and three phones with me where I happen to be, and other stuff is scattered at locations elsewhere. It wasn't supposed to be this way and everything should have been brought together by now, but then a world pandemic blocking everything wasn't something I'd planned for. 

So I bought a new laptop anyway as an update and backup. Maybe it will help me sort out the electronic ID we are now being encouraged to have in Italy to interact with government bodies. I've had no luck creating that so far.

IT is created by a particular type of mind and mine cannot see the logic behind how and why things are configured and done in a particular way. I deal with international affairs, law and languages, and they are messy; human life is, though not necessarily in a bad way. The precision often needed in dealing with IT stuff is not natural or intuitive at all, I find.

That long preamble leads me into how intuitive I find being feminine. It's effortless as it's the natural me. I'm not saying I know what it is to be a woman; if you're a born woman it's hardly something you'd think about or discuss and I can't be sure if my experience is truly that of a woman as my body and upbringing were different. But being a man in the sense of having to do manly things in manly ways has always been alien to me. I have no interest in cars, competitiveness, sport, careers, status, war and so on that are the realm of the alpha male and of those who ape them. I don't get it.

I think it would help if science could fathom what causes some people to be trans (or all people, just varying in degree, as I think may actually be the case). We have some tantalising glimpses of what might be the causes in areas such as genetics, hormones, environment, and so forth, but no firm answers. Although science likes to be precise, I suspect the answers may not be. As I said, human life is actually quite messy, though not necessarily in a bad way. Persuading the ignorant and bigoted to accept life's variety and messiness is the tough part.

(c) Calvin & Hobbes: Scientific Progress goes "Boink" by Bill Watterson (1991).

A dip in the archives

 In 2015 I looked into how many people there might be who are trans:

How many of us are there?

I'm not sure there's been much subsequent progress in finding out. Research costs money, and money tends to be put into more high-profile, exciting things than looking into minority biology and care. One day we may know and if there's a natural cause then transphobic discrimination can be treated on the same level as racism.

The joy of being trans :-)


Sue x

Cari lettori italiani

Oggi un guasto al computer mi ha fatto riflettere su il progresso scientifico che c'è stato nel campo di ricerche sull'identità transgender. Ben poco! Credo la vita che viviamo sarebbe molto meglio se la gente sapesse le cause biologiche della nostra condizione.

Sue x


  1. Good to know you got the computer fixed. IMO, they are an odd best beast, computers. The operating system that sits on them - Windows, Linux, Ample, Android, or others - they all have ther their own quirks in doing things a certain way. Perhaps in the same way that some do some things very real, and struggle in other areas. None are perfect, IMO, but if you find something that works for you, enjoy.

    Ignoring work - which I use a laptop for - my home stuff is mostly via smartphone now. I only use the desktop computer to backup photos or for important upgrades on web sites. How things have changed eh?

  2. Sorry, "an odd best beast" should just read 'an odd beast'

    Still, at least I didn't type an odd breast 😁

    1. I'm well acquainted with odd breasts!

      You get used to your own variety of IT, it's true. If someone shows me how to do something, I can mimic that in future; but I find it hard to fathom out how to do new things unassisted even after so many years. It's not my lingo.

      Sue x

  3. Ain't that the truth about electronic gear and "boink?" And some of us are luddites - can barely get by when everything works right (namely Mandy). I don't look forward to those times when it happens and I find myself using search engines on another computer to try to figure out how to fix it! Out here in the sticks, it's generally "do it yourself." Or stow it away till visiting our son...

    Enjoy that newfound freedom - as long as it lasts! Who knows what the future brings as far as the virus...



  4. Thanks, Mandy. Fingers crossed for the future of the virus. And hoping your electronics stay healthy too! Sue x