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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.

November 8, 2020 - No Comments!

Shareables | Nov. 9, 2020

Martha Nussbaum's Powerlessness and the Politics of Blame Jefferson Lecture: "Anger is a poison to democratic politics, and it is all the worse when fueled by a lurking fear and a sense of helplessness. Taming anger is an antidote we'll have to take to reduce the risk of Trump 2.0 in 2024. And, to demand folks who represent us find common ground with opponents using rational faith and realistic negotiations. Nussbaum mentions how The Furies needed Athena's persuasion: to "Lull to repose the bitter force of your black wave of anger.” Athena gives them the incentives of honor and respect from Athen's citizens if they tone it down and learn to replace their feelings of retribution with kindness. It's what Dave Chappelle, who I count among the oracles, pushes us toward, too.

Chekhov poet of loneliness: "Dramas misrepresent the world precisely because they are dramatic, but the really significant events are the small ones we barely notice, the kindnesses we forget to extend, the attention we do not pay, the opportunities we miss, and the inevitable waste that our omissions entail."

Oxford Comma Doctrine inspired by Mary Norris

Choose to use it or not and don't make it a moral issue. Judge each series on its merits, applying the comma where it's needed and holding it back where it's not. For anything that needs to be read fast or text needs to be streamlined to save time and space (like in newspapers and in UI), don't use it.

Made the switch to Shampoo bars

I ♥️ Japanese mundane halloween costumes

November 1, 2020 - No Comments!

Shareables | Nov. 1, 2020

Everyone has views persuaded by identity over pure analysis and we’re all biased to our own personal history: "Your personal experiences make up maybe 0.00000001% of what’s happened in the world but maybe 80% of how you think the world works."

Martha Nussbaum profile, an exceptionally smart person writing in an accessible style: "People are inclined to be selfish and narrow in their sympathies. To get them to endorse any political project involving sacrifices of personal self-interest (redistributive taxation, support for national defense) they need to be summoned outside themselves by some sort of sustaining emotion."

Handmade Linen clothes worth the wait

Annie Dillard “Total Eclipse" full essay in the Atlantic

Women in Econ series, Christina Romer episode is a good one for our current economic state.

New Covid strain may be more contagious: "While the jury's still out on whether this variant is more transmissible in the real world, it still can be neutralized by antibodies against all the vaccine candidates. It's not mutating into something more dangerous or pathogenic. It's behaving like a normal virus."

Daily Stoic: I signed up for the daily emails. On days I start the day reading them, I'm ~20% more focused. It takes some work to put aside the occasional plug for super mushroom miracle coffee and Ryan Holiday’s books. And....that Holiday is the former marketing director of oversexed American Apparel and wealthy enough to turn passion projects into a full-time gig. 😬

October 24, 2020 - No Comments!

Notable words

One of the advantages of working together for many years is that the daily rigamarole can be dispensed with quickly, leaving ample time for discussion of weightier concerns - such as rheumatism, the inadequacy of public transit, and the petty behavior of the inexplicably promoted.

Count Alexander Rostov in A Gentleman in Moscow

October 24, 2020 - No Comments!

Sewing

Sewing straight with a machine is hard when you start. Deceptively hard! I spend many hours making things on a computer, where rework and redoing are faster. I wish sewing wasn’t a sitting activity, but otherwise, it's the great off-screen hobby I've needed.

Pants are too ambitious for a first project. But if you're set on making pants, make baby ones. Here’s a super mellow Skillshare class I followed. It took me all day with corrections and improvisations like adding a pocket and redoing the elastic band a number of times.

True to me, I'm drawn to a proletariat fabric color palette and denim and linen fabric. I'll be sticking to scarves for a bit to build up some seam control. I'm excited to get to the point where I can fix my own clothes.

And, do buy cheap thread for the undoing and redoing of amateur seems in the beginning.