Archives for December 2020

December 15, 2020 - No Comments!

Shareables | Dec. 15, 2020

Conspiracy theories aren't new: "The news desks at ABC/NBC/CBS stuck to the mainstream version of events, unless they had clear evidence that the official were lying." The internet doesn't. It's a good time to remember that modern nations are imagined communities. Besides our close family and friends, most communities are shaped by what we consume. Since I can't know my neighbors the way villages knew each other in the past, I have to have a common past and future in my head. Preferably, one based on truth. ⬇️

"If we do not have the capacity to distinguish what’s true from what’s false, then by definition the marketplace of ideas doesn’t work. And by definition our democracy doesn’t work. We are entering into an epistemological crisis"

Barack Obama

Anne Applebaum on complicity

Legibility on the web: part history, part appreciation for eyes still preferring printed material

On why your professional writing sucks: Ease up on trying to sound smart and to expect the reader is as clever and sophisticated as you.

Nature sounds: Bird out on your next walk 🐦

The big here and long now: "Now" is never just a moment. The Long Now is the recognition that the precise moment you're in grows out of the past and is a seed for the future. The longer your sense of Now, the more past and future it includes. It's ironic that, at a time when humankind is at a peak of its technical powers, able to create huge global changes that will echo down the centuries, most of our social systems seem geared to increasingly short nows."

How to be a good ancestor: It's easy to discount the future. An idea toolkit helps.

🪕 Emma Swift - One of Us Must Know via No Depression, a journal of Roots Music

December 2, 2020 - No Comments!

Dolly’s moment

I caught an interview with Prof. Loretta J. Ross on the topic of calling people in instead of calling them out. "Calling out assumes the worst. Calling in involves conversation, compassion and context." A succinct rebuke feels good but flattens a person.

I feel old-fashioned or worse, colonial, to be in Maya Angelou's we're more alike, my friends, than unalike camp in 2020.

In the heat of the moment, it's easier than to stop, pause, be smarter and epistemic in my position. I'm worried I'm getting worse at seeking better odds of being heard and crafting an explanation of my position with specifics and friendship.

Reading Dr. Ross, a black radical feminist leads me to my hero du jour: Dolly Parton. Dolly articulates what most of us can get behind: the arc of sorrow to hope. She defies labels. She knows when not to speak and about what. She's charismatic. She's a fantastic songwriter. She helped fund the Moderna Covid vaccine. She calls in cowboy hats, tiaras, feather boas, and knit beanies into her tent. I have yet to see that kind of plurality at a concert let alone a room or news feed.

Recent appearances by Dolly that I've found reassuring: PBS Newshour interview. Jad Abumrad podcast series Dolly Parton’s America and Sarah Smarsh's book She Come By It Natural.

Better yet, fire up Spotify, and listen to Parton at it.