2013 - The Good and the Bad

  • Posted on: 2 January 2014
  • By: Jay Oyster

2013 - a Year of ExtremesPersonally, 2013 wasn't that bad, particularly compared to the Hell that were 2011 and 2012. But from a more global and holistic perspective, 2013 was one heck of a rocky ride. Just in an effort to capture some of my thoughts about what just happened to us all, I thought I'd try to capture my view of what was particularly good and particularly sucky about the 13th year of this latest millennium. I think I'll talk about many of these things in more detail in other posts, so I'm just going to skim the topics.

Do you want the good or the bad first?



  • Selfies - both the activity, and the (shudder) word used to describe it
  • ObamaCare
  • The way that the Wealthy of America acted this year
  • Miley Cyrus
  • The NSA sticking their fucking noses into everything we do
  • The Do-Nothing House of Representatives
  • #hashtags on #fucking #everything
  • The continued decline of NASA
  • The decline into mediocrity of Apple
  • The way the Chinese are attempting to take over the world, first by stealing everyone's jobs, then by buying everything else with the money  (I know,it's sheer hypocrisy for an American to bitch about such behavior. But what can I say, the Chinese seem to be acting like a leech on the rest of humanity, while the American's *mostly* haven't been.)
  • Design trends - barn door hardwoor used as inside doors by wealthy homeowners, the proliferation of monochrome interior design
  • The trendiness of 'poverty' foods
  • The ever-increasing gap between the very wealthy in the United States, and everyone else
  • The loss of a great and good man, John Varkonda, Jr., the former caretaker of the State Forest on Martha's Vinyard, MA due to an abdominal aneurism on New Years' Eve.  (He was also my cousin. More on this one later . . . )
  • The government shutdown
  • The arrival of Walnut blight in the Eastern U.S. walnut range
  • The continuing inability of the human species to come up with anything approaching an effective response to human generated global climate change, and the acceleratingly bleak future that that fact is creating
  • Iron Man 3
  • Sea salt used in every god-damned recipe
  • The spreading obsession with 'gluten-free' foods
  • The god-aweful obsession with 'flat' interface designs and fonts too thin for old eyes, thanks to a 'right-on-schedule' backlash against Apple's iOS interface design choices.
  • TWIT-tv firing most of the staff from Tech News Today, including the wonderful-anywhere-else-but-not-on-TWIT Tom Merritt, and as an aside, the rising creepiness of Leo Laporte
  • twerking, again, both the act, and the stupid word to describe the stupid act

The GOOD Stuff

  • The rise of quadcopters
  • The continuing success of SpaceX, Tesla motors, and the Tony Stark of reality . . . Elon Musk
  • ObamaCare
  • Senator Elizabeth Warren
  • The dramatically falling prices of solar and wind energy, bringing them to (or nearly to) a competitive rate against coal, oil, and natural gas
  • The arrival of binge TV watching with Netflix original shows
  • Pacific Rim, the film
  • The success of gay marriage all over the U.S. and right around the world
  • speaking of 'Around the World', ladies and gentlemen, I give you the full cultural arrival of Daft Punk
  • The meltdown of the Tea Party and the rise of the Republican civil war
  • The falling popularity of Facebook
  • The continuing growth of the Maker movement
  • Speaking of which, the arrival of true 3D printing for the common man
  • Orange is the New Black, Castle, and Sleepy Hollow
  • Pope Francis
  • The discovery of more and more exoplanets
  • The suddenly rediscovered backbones of progressives

And as a bonus, these are the things that made me go 'Meh' in 2013:

  • UltraHD TVs
  • The latest product lines from Apple, Samsung, Google, Microsoft, Sony, and pretty much everyone else
  • The revitalization of Yahoo
  • ObamaCare
  • Anything to do with smartphones
  • Twitter
  • Saturday Night Live
  • Game of Thrones
  • The Higgs boson
  • and the number one thing that made me go 'Meh' in 2013?
    . . . . . . . . . . . Bitcoin