2023 – Living in the Fallout

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Sometimes it does have lasting repercussions.

It's a bit late for me to write this. I was stomped by the work while the article was about to be due. Yes, I worked throughout the supposed vacation. So I have to turn it in a bit late.

I cannot make myself state that 2023 was uneventful -- it was anything but. I quit my job and looked for another. My family has filed a major incident report, albeit not for my parents or my grandparents. Things have changed in an unprecedented way.

When we talk about changes, we usually mean something rather bothersome has occurred. After all, a welcoming change is not perceived as a change. It's just something "I earned" while changes are something "imposed on me". This rather peculiar choice of word is, in itself, unveiling. But I digress.

The new job is challenging. I have to open yet another support for a field that I have never studied before. This hot and new stuff, SteamVR, is itself volatile and would explode on you if you looked it the wrong way. There is even more guessing game to play when developing for SteamVR since not only the hardware is faulty, but the internals of SteamVR are also a black box that cannot be diagnosed. One has to collect the obliterated pieces after crashing even to start tracing what went wrong -- and to make things worse, SteamVR would almost actively fight against debugging. There is no debug mode, and it has an internal crash handler that is basically a catch-all-and-discard function that would prevent SteamVR from triggering the postmortem debugger! Now that's what I call a piece-of-manure design.

It is, as you may have guessed, exhausting. It's even worse than the last one. You get the chance to tilt the helm, at the cost of all stable income and a relatively coasting life. In addition to a bunch of suffering that one should expect from the position.

Enough about work. Technical details are not that interesting aside from we nerdy few.

About the incident. Welp. That's a part of a non-disclosable item. I kept the record but they are expected to be under the wraps for now. But I would like to talk about fallouts. Not the radioactive one, the figurative one. The lasting effects of a single event.

Sometimes things happen and they end. Clean and concise. Sometimes things happen and they keep affecting everything after. A lingering odour spoils the next batch and on. They are like nuclear warheads. The detonation is just a start. The blasting wave and fireball would eliminate anything in its radius in milliseconds. Impactful, deadly, and comes quickly. However, the much slower mushroom cloud is of more concern. They rise and rise, carrying decaying radioactive materials across the land. They combine with water vapours in the clouds and fall out from the sky. The raindrops would be black like tar, singeing things they have touched. This cloud could ride the wind and spread far away, bringing suffering and death along its path.

Whoever lived under the fear of a manmade apocalypse would know the insufferable nature of chronic fear and doubt. Questioning not only the outer world but also the inner mind whether any hope could be found. We shrivel in our tiny bunker, watching our supplies depleting day by day.

If what I experienced in Shenzhen was a bane of physical restrictions, what I have endured now is more on the mental side. Shenzhen might be uninteresting, barren, even. But what I perceived here is more on the hostile side. I could use the word "philistine" but it would be too harsh.

I guess I don't have to elaborate on the falling economy. There is enough depressing news and I don't want to spend any more emotional energy on it. All I can do is to do my job right and ensure what I've done is useful to at least someone.

Well. That's 2023 for you all. It's just another year of the world burning in front of us. Would we have a better one in 2024? That's remained to be seen.


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