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Why I like cryptosporidium

As you might have heard (with or without the assistance of vans with megaphones on their roofracks), a quarter of a million of us in the middle of England are currently without drinking water.

Unless you have an interest in the subject of water-borne parasites, you’d have no reason to know the first thing about cryptosporidium. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if, a week ago, not a single one of the quarter-million had even heard of it. Now, of course, it’s a regular topic around a hundred-thousand dinner-tables.

In truth, I still don’t really know anything about it other than its name and its effects on the body (effects which I came to know only too well a short time before I knew the cause), but what I have found most interesting to observe is the social effect of such an event on the human animal.

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Entropy and inertia

So. You resolve never to write publicly about a handful of things. Work could be one such thing, for example, because much of what you do is confidential. Your personal life could be another; some things aren’t meant to be shared with a wider audience. And so the list goes on. You could even make a standing joke of the long breaks between writing anything at all.

After a while, however, the list of things you don’t want to write about is longer than everything you’ve ever written. If you rule out the broad topics of work and personal life (which could be defined as everything not covered by work), what does that leave? Sleep patterns? And those extended breaks are all very well, but once you lose momentum it’s bloody hard to get going again.

So. You resolve never to write publicly about a handful of things, but it’s a mistake to cast that net too wide. As with so many things in modern life, the best approach is to CTFO.

We should expect, even insist upon, a little less order and a little more chaos.