Code, nerd culture and humor from Greg Knauss.

Things fall apart.

Plans, friendships, schedules, jobs, lives, loves, bodies -- things fall apart.

Joanne's dad moved out of the ICU today and into a rehab facility, still paralyzed from the neck down and still without a real diagnosis. He woke up one morning four weeks ago and by noon he couldn't move. The doctors have no idea why. Transverse myelitis -- more of a generic catchall than a disease -- is what they're calling it, but that's only because they're out of ideas. "Sometimes these things happen," one of his doctors told me, matter-of-fact.

Things fall apart.

But they're not supposed to. The world isn't supposed to work that way. There are explanations, causal relationships, reasons. If you pick at something long enough, you're supposed to be able to find out where it comes from, what it is, how it works. It's the foundation of a predictable world and the only thing that keeps any of us attached to the planet, that keeps us all from going mad. Why plan, why save, why do anything for the future if the whole world could disappear tomorrow, could come collapsing down around our heads for no reason at all, leaving us with nothing but regret and wasted time?

But God or Fate or Nature or whatever you choose to call it doesn't give a crap about our tiny notions of order, our tiny needs. A healthy man is reduced to blinking out answers to yes-or-no questions, without trauma or cause? So be it. It's all entropy anyway -- chaos, the helter-skelter spin of atoms, all without a sense of justice or of mercy.

Things fall apart.

So you either accept it and give up and let the whole goddamned mess lie in pieces around you, or you take one small corner of the universe -- one piece of paper, one room, one relationship -- and offer up some resistance to the eternal collapse of things.

So screw you, entropy. Screw you, God or Fate or Nature. I'm going to take my pathetic little stand and I'm going to fight you in every way I can. Knock things down, tear out the walls, break the rules, I don't care. I'm still going to pick up what pieces can be salvaged and rebuild. I'll cry when I need to cry and scream when I need to scream, but the rest of the time, I'm going to be jig-sawing the debris. Maybe it won't amount to anything, but I'll be damned if I'm going to be beaten by arbitrary capriciousness.

Things fall apart. But that doesn't mean they can't be put back together.

Hi there! My name's GREG KNAUSS and I like to make things.

Some of those things are software (like Romantimatic and Buzz Clock), Web sites (like the Webby-nominated Metababy and The American People) and stories (for Web sites like Suck and Fray, print magazines like Worth and Macworld, and books like "Things I Learned About My Dad" and "Rainy Day Fun and Games for Toddler and Total Bastard").

My e-mail address is greg@eod.com. I'd love to hear from you!

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