Our last post was not very good, but we published it because we want to get back into the habit of regular posting again. Why? Yeah, fuck knows.
Anyway, in it we opened an old Mac cube computer and were stunned to see things were exactly as we had left them. Our folder \Desktop\Current had invoices for things we have lost, had notes for things we have forgotten. We remember getting a new Powerbook mac and binning the Cube without ceremony. And yet the millions of lines of code have remained exactly as are, somehow written into blocks of what was once sand. We must have had 20 computers since then, been around the world a few times and had so many naps, wasted so much time. And those files have just been sitting there ignored, even though the power was off, even though we did not want them any more.
It makes us feel funny to think; of how certain things stay exactly the same, whilst all around them, everything else really, is changing.
Are we the ones changing, or are we the ones stuck fast?
Take a look at this sign we spotted on our one (!) allotted daily walk the other day:
Notice: Carters & others are warned not to stand under the jiggers.
A good husband provides. A bad forces his family to his in laws.
This note is on the side of an old factory in Stockport which is now a storage facility. We stored the contents of our old house in there when we were forced to live with Mrs Gin’s parents for six months.
Let’s be honest: Grim.
We were struck by several things. Firstly, it is an ornate sign. We cannot imagine a Victorian factory owner countenancing the expense of it without several accidents having happened. We stood there wondering what, and how grim they’d been.
Are we the prurient ones?
Secondly, what did it mean? Carters, presumably are people who drove carts. But what the Dickens is a jigger (*)? Why did factories have them? What were they for? Why not stand under one? Would a Carter or others know what ‘Jigger’ meant? To us, it’s vaguely a sexual word. Did they not call sex ‘jig-jig’ back in the day? Was Jigger a rude joke, then, or nickname? Weren’t the Victorians prurient? And yet they’re putting jokey sex phrases on their health and safety documentation. Are we, really, the prurient ones?
We were reminded of this when we thought about our old code. Browsing in our ancient text editor, we saw all those important declarations and ominous warnings about what would happen were one line altered by a lesser, more talented mortal. All the while we had been writing that code, through rain, snow, despair and sun that sign about Carters and the Jiggers had been on the side of that building, unseen growing more and more obsolete. And then after we had abandoned our computer for a shiny new laptop (which now is in landfill somewhere), that code had similarly stayed, also getting old. The world in which that code existed has gone. Web standards have moved on so much even our best code would not render on a modern computer. The warnings and declarations within it were pointless; the code was dead. It had not died, rather the world it needed to exist in had. Is this what will happen to us?
Like lingerie on a top model.
These wispy binds to the old worlds are fascinating. Not for what they are. Rather, they are like underwear on a model. It’s not what they hide. It’s what they hint at, its what the absence of them reveals, that is tantalizing. How much has gone. Why have unnecessary things – the sign, my old files -stayed.
Our question, after thinking about all this for far, far too long is this: “what then, is change?”
Ooh very deep Mr Gin you fucking twat.
*we found out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydraulic_jigger
Why not stand under one though?