The benefits of ambivalence

Listened The Benefits of Mixed Emotions | Hidden Brain Media by Hidden Brain Staff from

We’ve all been in situations where we experience mixed emotions. Maybe you’ve felt both joy and sadness during a big life decision, such as whether to purchase a home or accept a job offer. Or maybe you’ve experienced mixed feelings about the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has shaped your life. Psychologist Naomi Rothman says that while these feelings of ambivalence are uncomfortable, they can also serve us in important ways.


  • People don’t like or trust those who express mixed feelings


  • Mixed feelings make us spend more time making a decision or learning more than jumping to a quick answer or decision (when feeling low “closure imperative”)
  • Mixed emotions connected with meaning making

Valuing outliers


Investigate outliers to see if they tell a different story from the average.


Five Books

Bookmarked Five Books by Five Books (Five Books)

If you’re looking for the best books on any topic, Five Books has the world’s largest collection of expert book recommendations.


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Read Good Deeds

Read Good Deeds

Nötchka Uumian, solo-scavenger and pilot, only came to Bandalier for business. But when her first ever heat cycle hits, she has two choices: get off the planet or find somewhere safe to ride out the heatburns. Determined to never end up mated and trapped in a kitchen, she heads into the Droid district. You can’t mate if the other person isn’t an organic right?

Low on funds and preparing for weeks of sexual stupor, Nötchka finds herself in the Nuts in Bolts, a nearly deserted Cozy House with a handful of older models, two of which aren’t even servicing. But the owner, Proto model Avan-8, is willing to trade sex for repairs and Nötchka is desperate. Everything will stay simple with droids… or it would if she didn’t end up liking them all so much. If she can just make it through her heat without too many feelings, avoid the pack of Dendärys males that seem determined to catch her, and figure out why women are going missing, it will all work out.

It’s definitely not vekking working out.

A lot packed into this! Several converging plotlines and a lot of bangin’. Sex positive, no shaming about sex work, good job 👍 I know character development isn’t necessarily the point of this style of story, but cutting down to 3-4 droids instead of 5 might have given each to get a little more time to differentiate themselves. As it was I feel the author did a pretty good job. To some extent I feel like Aven-8 was the most important relationship, and the others were supporting, but I probably wasn’t supposed to think that 🙂

I think this cover’s great, but the ones on Goodreads are not.


Be That Friend

Liked Okay. Apparently I’m not done talking about this…. – Ace (Ace)

You know what the second I stopped saying “I wish I had a friend who-“ and started being “the friend who-“ my life has gotten 100% more fulfilling


You know what the second I stopped saying “I wish I had a friend who-“ and started being “the friend who-“ my life has gotten 100% more fulfilling

No legitimately. I have a tea table in my room for when friends can come over again. Most of my friends have a key to the back door in my room. I make my friends sweaters and buy things they mention they want. I send handwritten letters in the mail to my friend who lives a block away. I annotate poetry books and give them as gifts when it’s not even a holiday. I keep extra gloves in my purse and jackets in my car.

I’m not trying to be like “ohoho look at me I’m such a good friend”, I’m saying the second I stopped going “I wish I had friends who would invite me to tea parties” and just. hosted the tea parties myself? I still got to do the thing. I still got to see my friends. I still got to be happy with them.

I don’t think it’s about who does it, I think it’s just the genuine act of caring for people, and giving a little light to the environments you’re in.

Okay. Apparently I’m not done talking about this.

It’s a lot of energy, I get that. Especially if you’re putting in all this effort, but not getting any back.

But I think that’s the reason no one does it. I mean we’re so worried we’ll start doing all these things and our friends won’t like it or won’t be into it, so we just don’t.

Only last week my friend messaged me, asking if I wanted to go stargazing with her. When I forget about our weekly virtual tea party, another friend called me to ask if I wanted them to host it this week.

I’ve been invited on hikes and picnics and pie making competitions over zoom, and it all sort of started with me going out of my way to be “that friend”.

I genuinely believe that the easiest answer to “how do I get friends like that?” Is to be one. In most cases, everyone else just follows by example, because they aren’t worried they’ll be wasting time and energy anymore.

[W]e’re so worried we’ll start doing all these things and our friends won’t like it or won’t be into it, so we just don’t.

Only last week my friend messaged me, asking if I wanted to go stargazing with her. When I forget about our weekly virtual tea party, another friend called me to ask if I wanted them to host it this week.

I like this thought. I’ll have to think about what I want my friends to invite me to, so I can invite them instead 🤔


Upward Spirals

Liked The power of upward spirals – The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee (The Aesthetics of Joy by Ingrid Fetell Lee)

Next time you’re in a bad mood, try these five tips for breaking out of a funk and harnessing the power of emotional spirals to boost your well-being.

  1. Go somewhere else
  2. Get active, don’t lay around
  3. Cross something off
  4. Bring a friend
  5. Make things to look forward to, build on small happinesses

Things That Make Me Happy



Bringing Workers Back to Maintain the Status Quo

Bookmarked What The ‘Return To The Office’ Fight Is Really About by Charlie Warzel (Galaxy Brain)

The money quote comes from Harvard Business School professor Ethan Bernstein, whose research found that “contemporary open offices led to 70 percent fewer face-to-face interactions.” Why? “People didn’t find it helpful to have so many spontaneous conversations, so they wore headphones and avoided one another.”

[T]he remote work debate is ultimately less about where we work and more about how we work. Similarly, the discussion over how much we should be in the office is less a discussion about the number of hours per week that butts are in Herman Miller Aeron chairs. It is fundamentally a debate about worker power and autonomy — and about who gets a say in designing the new rules that will govern our working lives…or whether we decide to design new rules at all.

In a monoculture, a very particular type of person thrives but also replicates itself through hiring like-minded and generally similar people. Not every workplace adheres to or has a rigid monoculture but many of the norms of the working world were designed by and still benefit a specific worker profile: white, male, educated, middle-class, congenial, sociable, and able to delegate obligations outside of the office to others…Left to its own devices, monoculture will replicate itself endlessly.


Book Bonding

Liked Not Quite a Bookclub 📚 (

I have never been the member of a social bookclub. It’s kind of strange, because reading is one of the few activities I have always made time for.
The thing is reading is fundamentally asocial for me. I enjoy reading or listening to criticism on books I’ve read, but mostly, I enjoy reading and thinking about things myself.

We don’t need to have a bookclub, but I know we’d be fast friends if you connect with the same art that I do.


Solidarity, Not Allyship

Liked Language is important: Why we are moving away from the terms ‘allyship’ and ‘privilege’ in our work by Muna Abdi (

I fear that in our attempts to name the dynamics of systemic oppression, we have adopted language that holds in place the very hierarchies we seek to dismantle. The terms that particularly concern me are ‘privilege’ and ‘allyship’ because both present a false dichotomy that separates our experiences and shapes them as oppositional.

The framing of ‘allyship’ is problematic for a number of reasons, and these are just some that I have been reflecting on:

  1. The term plays into the false idea that there is a hierarchy of oppression and that we have to ‘show up’ for others before we fight for our own self-interests. Although ‘allyship’ asserts an ongoing need for self-reflection, it does not allow space to examine the distortions that frame and misname our differences.

  2. It is framed to put the moral responsibility on White people to assist people of colour in anti-racist struggles. It positions White people as supporters, with no interests of their own at stake in these struggles.

We attach privilege to individuals, without exploring how it has been produced by a system of oppression and is in fact the end manifestation of the way in which that system operates.

This argument makes sense to me. I like the term solidarity and have found myself using it for things like supporting unionization efforts and wearing masks to keep it normalized for the immunocompromised — why not also for race? Solidarity feels more substantial somehow?

I think I’ll keep using the word privilege in conversation though because it is a simple way of communicating my background – as long as I pair it with the understanding that those experiences were systemic rather than due to my individual circumstances. The wording proposed here seems appropriate for writing but awkward for talking.