Reflection Relationships Society

Care is regenerative, cleverness is extractive


Care is regenerative. If you care for someone and you put care into a system, it becomes more capable of caring for you. Cleverness, though, is always extractive. Cleverness looks at a situation, goes away, and thinks, “Aha! I’ve made a new idea out of that.” It’s taken something away from a system or situation and all it’s come up with is a clever idea.
— Dil Green

Via Jack Cheng

Personal Growth Relationships

Living through loneliness

Liked Loneliness by James G (

I felt like I needed to protect myself from what other people might think about me.

I tried to read people’s minds, as if I could know what they were thinking. What did they think of me? Was I interesting? Did they like talking with me? I knew, intellectually, this was impossible. By that time, the pattern was etched in my mind.

I asked myself a lot of questions. What if people were looking at me? What if I said the wrong thing?

There’s so much in this essay that I relate to! I’ve been lonely a lot of my life, and tried for many years to compensate with self-sufficiency. I refused to let having no one to go with stop me; I went to concerts alone, I hiked alone. But concerts aren’t that fun on your own, and hiking alone has its risks.

About ten years ago, I’d finally had enough of not having friends nearby and was determined to make them. I built a group of friends around writing, which ultimately broke apart a couple years ago. In the time since, I’ve discussed what went wrong with the friends I kept individually, and grown much closer to them as a result of honest conversation.

Relationships Technology

The hollow banality of the metaverse

Liked Who Is Still Inside the Metaverse? by Paul Murray (Intelligencer)

My hopeless, bizarre, maddening quest to find some friends in Horizon Worlds, which is Facebook’s — excuse me, Meta’s — home base in the metaverse.

The headset is decidedly antisocial. Once the Meta Quest is strapped on, it’s adios to the real world, so much so that the headset prompts you to demarcate a “play area” by spraying a virtual boundary line on the ground…

Henceforth, whenever I’m close to the edge of my boundary, the real world appears “through” the virtual one in a gritty, low-resolution black-and-white version of itself, like found footage in a ’90s horror movie. It’s hard not to suspect that this is how Meta wants you to think of analog reality.

Gamification is everywhere these days — in the classroom, at work, on your daily bike ride — but introducing it into a comedy club seems particularly perverse. The late anthropologist David Graeber talked about the “baseline communism” that holds society together, the many small acts of goodwill people perform for one another every day without even thinking… I’m sure Okiedriver, who’s clearly a kind, thoughtful guy, deeply invested in his club, would show people around for free. But because the club has introduced this points system, his goodwill has been, effectively, monetized.

[T]his upending of social norms has a strange flattening effect on interactions in virtual reality. […] Here, in the metaverse, nobody has any connection to anyone else beyond owning a headset, a weak tie if ever there was one. Consequently, the conversations tend to stay on the level of small talk. If you’re a metaverse developer and you regard the details of real life as basically cosplay, then you will see no reason a lasting bond shouldn’t spring up between two avatars floating in cyberspace. But in practice, when you remove everything that gives someone’s life shape and meaning, the essence that’s left doesn’t have a huge amount to say beyond stray thoughts on bitcoin or the latest episode of The Last of Us.

House Relationships

Don’t be the household expert

Liked Mum watched me correct my husband, then sagely warned me: ‘Don’t become the expert in the baby’ by Bridie Jabour (The Guardian)

But my mum told me, don’t become the expert.

Don’t correct your partner on how they change the baby or feed the baby, or whatever with the baby, because if you correct them then they will lose confidence and you both will become convinced that your way is the correct way.

Then you will go back to work and still be the expert. And the baby will go to school and you will still be the expert, the one who does everything for them, knows what foods they should eat, what the routines are, how everything should be done. The person who is always turned to.

I feel like this applies way beyond kids, to every aspect of running a household. Don’t take ownership unless you want to always own that task.

Plus, being able to let go of only doing things your way is a relief to your mental health 😊


Thread of appreciation


This must have been challenging to compile but it’s very thoughtful and kind!

Getting Shit Done Relationships Work

Hosted co-working hours


Two types / styles of co-working is brilliant.

Admin tasks, phone calls, to do lists, morning pages, emails, open chat

Organizing bigger projects, deep work, focus, no open chat

“There will be opportunities to share but for the most part we just get to work.”

Hosting something like this for the Women of Waste (free) could be a way of giving back and also connecting with people in a low-stress environment. I’d need a paid zoom account but in the scheme of things that’s a small investment.

Another way you could break it up would be to make a quiet room for deep focus and no conversation, and the main room would be open for chat. I think that would only make sense with a larger group.

This might be a format to first experiment with hosting an IndieWeb blogging co-working session like I’ve thought about.

Business Entrepreneurship Featured Relationships Society

Build a reputation instead of a personal brand

Replied to The personal brand paradox (

When we position ourselves as a brand, we are forced to project an image of what we believe most people will approve of and admire and buy into. The moment we cater our creativity to popular opinion is the precise moment we lose our freedom and autonomy.

But rather than manufacturing a personal brand, why not build a reputation? Why not develop our character? Imagine what we could learn from each other if we felt worthy as we are instead of who we project ourselves to be.

I think it’s interesting to look at personal brands through the lens of insecurity. I imagine many people think of it as “positioning” or storytelling, but underneath, those are needed if you’re afraid you won’t be enough on your own.

I think it can be helpful to consider personal branding as a form of self discovery, a tool to help determine what you want to do, but there can be a risk of self containment.

Activism Featured Future Building Personal Growth Relationships

Allow room for allies to make mistakes — because we all make them

Replied to we will not cancel us by AdrienneAdrienne (

We hurt people.

Of course we did, we are human. We were traumatized/socialized away from interdependence. We learned to hide everything real, everything messy, weak, complex. We learned that fake shit hurts, but it’s acceptable…

Canceling is punishment, and punishment doesn’t stop the cycle of harm, not long term.

We will be accountable, rigorous in our accountability, all of us unlearning, all of us crawling towards dignity. We will learn to set and hold boundaries, communicate without manipulation, give and receive consent, ask for help, love our shadows without letting them rule our relationships…

Shaming and condemning mistakes simply makes others less willing to try or speak up, and less willing to admit their mistakes. This has a chilling effect to keep people in line with what the loudest have decided is right, even when there are valid arguments for other perspectives, and hardly encourages relationship building across identities and ideals. Righteousness is just as unhelpful from the liberal corner as it is from the conservative.

You can hold people accountable without being a dick about it. Not to tone police, but sometimes people on social media talk about others as if they aren’t a person too, and the intensity of condemnation feels greater than the sin. “Nice” is bullshit, but you can be kind and critical.

Art and Design Relationships

Gifting art

Liked Reflections for 2022, Aspirations for 2023 :: Notes On Attention Paid — by Michael Bogdanffy-kriegh (Reflections for 2022, Aspirations for 2023)

I also aspire to move my production and distribution of art work into the gift, or sacred economy. This is an approach in which the work is offered up as gift. To family and friends without expectation of return, to interested individuals at whatever cost works for them. In exchange, they can give me something they have made, or make a contribution of whatever amount of money it is worth to them.

This reminds me of Lucy Bellwood’s Boat Gnome pin exchange.

I keep seeing this book Sacred Economics recommended, maybe it’s time to give it a try.

See also: Rethinking Success of Art Outside Profit

Business Entrepreneurship Relationships

Introduce yourself with past, present, future

Bookmarked A Simple Way to Introduce Yourself by Andrea Wojnicki (

The secret is using a simple framework: Present, past, and future.