Activism Getting Shit Done

If you ever doubt a single person can make a difference…

Bookmarked ‘Only 11 People’ Responsible for Majority of ‘Book Ban’ Requests?…,‘Only 11 People’ Responsible for Majority of ‘Book Ban’ Requests? by Kim LaCapria (

A May 2023 PEN America analysis of “book ban” requests found that most were filed by just eleven people.

… just think of the dozen people who have single-handedly gotten hundreds of books banned across the US! 🙃

One person can do a lot of harm as the squeaky wheel. How can you be a squeaky wheel for good?

See also:

Unite Against Book Bans

The Rights of children

Oppression against public opinion

The tactic of destroying the meaning of words


Transparency for boring but important public meetings

Bookmarked Last Night at School Committee distills hours-long public meetings into half-hour podcast episodes by Kathryn Buchanan (Nieman Lab)

“We have created this podcast as an easy way for any parent, citizen, or interested party to get the highlights, and our take, on what happened last night at School Committee.”

Also the organization Documenters provides training for community journalists (they use the word citizen a lot on their website which makes sense from the “civic” standpoint of participation in representative government, but the word also has connotations about immigration status so I try to avoid using it outside of that definition)

This is a cool idea — but also having worked in government I know how long those meetings are 💤💤💤 More power to these reporters! I have appreciated a local reporter who live tweets local council meetings related to transportation (and am recalling they’re someone who I’m hoping has moved to another platform where I follow people?)

Art and Design Resources and Reference

Anti-Subscription Software Catalog

Bookmarked Anti-Subscription Software Catalog (

This website is a catalogue of non-subscription, free, open-source, and one-time fee software — which can provide relief from monopolized and financialized platforms. Why? The subscription cost can rise at any time, implement region-based barriers, and use deceptive design interactions to entice with tiered features. Say no to creative rent! Just A-S-C instead.

“Say no to creative rent” — I like it.

I use the Affinity Suite for my personal creative work.

Culture Music

Nicheless culture

Bookmarked 10,000 Gecs as 2023 Culture by W. David MarxW. David Marx (Culture: An Owner's Manual)

Yet what would have been even more embarrassing in the 1990s is the obviousness of the 100 gecs’s references. Their software prowess and major label budget allow them to sample nearly anything they desire (they got the real THX intro noise!), but for “The Most Wanted Person in the United States,” they rap like sorority girls doing “Paper Planes” at karaoke over the world-famous Sleng Teng riddim, the horse-neigh horn from “Insane in the Membrane,” and lines of dialogue from box office hit, Scary Movie (itself a parody of a pastiche of a tired genre)… 100 gecs are absolutely as clever as Prince Paul, but at least on 10,000 Gecs, they show very little interest in Paul’s old-school obscurity: whether that’s making obscure music for obscure communities or turning previously obscure source material into pop.

Now that “cred” has lost its value as a legitimate form of cultural currency, money is the only marker of success. And where the internet makes everything potentially non-obscure, there is no reason to celebrate esotericism.

Internet culture is a mashup of everything, except not really because there’s no point in referencing things that people don’t recognize. Everything is vibes, and vibes means drawing on emotions imbued in other works — and when many people associate their identities with popular franchises, mass culture is what most people have feels about.

History Music

History of synthwave

Bookmarked Synthwave Universe (

This article needs serious copyediting but has a list of bands that exemplify each synthwave subgenre and some key tracks in the development of the genre, plus an in-page playlist?

Activism Future Building

Police Scorecard

Bookmarked Police Scorecard (Police Scorecard)

The Police Scorecard evaluates police departments based on quantitative data on arrests, use of force, accountability and other policing issues to make progress towards more just and equitable policing outcomes.

Disappointed to see how poorly my city’s police department scores on data. In 2018 (?) a blatantly racist interaction with police got a lot of publicity here (fortunately no one was harmed, and the racism was more on the people who called the police but the police could have declined to respond). After that, the PD made a lot of nice words and gestures, including investigating body cams. But the overall rating is on par with Seattle’s, which is notoriously bad — I’ll never forget the Native American woodcarver the Seattle police murdered for having a knife in 2010 — and the per capita funding is higher than most communities (🤔 though do they adjust for cost of living differences? I wouldn’t expect an officer’s salary in WA to be the same as in KS for example).

The “incident” certainly raised the public’s awareness and interest in dealing with racism (at least on a superficial level — still plenty of NIMBYism over housing), and spurred changes in the administrative side of the government, so something positive did come out of it even if the police didn’t actually change much. The entire city government also received training on racism and bias. I think the police got more than City Hall folks like me, though I wasn’t super impressed by the half-day training I got, which focused on the metaphor that the US isn’t a melting pot (homogeneous) but a stew (lots of ingredients). That feels like barely enough to even start talking about the issue.

See also: An interactive advocacy website about police

Entrepreneurship Marketing

Marketing as gardening

Bookmarked Strategic Digital Gardening by Willa Köerner (Google Docs)

How could you treat your marketing as a digital garden you look forward to tending each day?

How could you treat your digital marketing as a luscious garden that your community wants to spend time in?

How could you treat your digital marketing as an ecosystem that you cultivate?

This is a different conception of digital gardens than I’m used to, but still an intriguing approach for marketing 🙂

Fertilize > plant seeds > harvest > cultivate > pollinate

  • For a given goal, identify seeds to plant in your community
  • Look for storytelling opportunities in work you’re already doing to help plant those ideas
  • “Plant flowers where you can see them” — think about places you already have good experiences online and how you could “privilege those spaces”
  • Consider what it feels like for people to walk through your digital garden, and why they’d like to visit
Art and Design Resources and Reference Travel

Portland Street Art Resources

Bookmarked Portland Street Art Resources (


Art and Design Culture Places

Carcinization of the built and visual environment

Bookmarked The age of average by Written By Alex Murrell (

This article argues that from film to fashion and architecture to advertising, creative fields have become dominated and defined by convention and cliché. Distinctiveness has died. In every field we look at, we find that everything looks the same.

Welcome to the age of average.

Like so many body forms converge on the shape of the crab, under the selective pressures of capitalism and efficiency, so too do buildings become the same, cars become the same, movies become the same.

When independent actors are all operating under the same selective pressures — aerodynamics and regulations and manufacturing constraints for cars, zoning and building codes for architecture, attracting a certain demographic for AirBnBs — convergence seems nearly assured. When a formula works, whether that’s the design of a coffee shop or the makeup techniques for a particular look, there’s little incentive to expand beyond that assurance of at least mediocrity.

Familiarity is another selective pressure. It’s as if there are a handful of uber-“brand” aesthetics that companies merely need to hitch themselves to — mimicking existing successful design becomes a shortcut to tie that business into the entire ecosystem marketing to that demographic. From that perspective, standing out could be bad.

See also:

What do Places give us?

The Homogeneity of Millenial Design


1941: “Who Goes Nazi?”

Bookmarked Who Goes Nazi? by Dorothy Thompson (

It is an interesting and somewhat macabre parlor game to play at a large gathering of one’s acquaintances: to speculate who in a showdown would go Nazi. By now, I think I know. I have gone through the experience many times—in Germany, in Austria, and in France. I have come to know the types: the born Nazis, the Nazis whom democracy itself has created, the certain-to-be fellow-travelers. And I also know those who never, under any conceivable circumstances, would become Nazis.

Who does

His body is vigorous. His mind is childish. His soul has been almost completely neglected.

His code is not his own; it is that of his class—no worse, no better, He fits easily into whatever pattern is successful. That is his sole measure of value—success. Nazism as a minority movement would not attract him. As a movement likely to attain power, it would.

He is a snob, loathing his own snobbery. He despises the men about him… because he knows that what he has had to achieve by relentless work men like B have won by knowing the right people. But his contempt is inextricably mingled with envy. Even more than he hates the class into which he has insecurely risen, does he hate the people from whom he came… He has an ambition, bitter and burning. It is to rise to such an eminence that no one can ever again humiliate him. Not to rule but to be the secret ruler, pulling the strings of puppets created by his brains.

She speaks disapprovingly of other “masculine” or insufficiently devoted wives. Her husband, however, is bored to death with her. He neglects her completely and she is looking for someone else before whom to pour her ecstatic self-abasement. She will titillate with pleased excitement to the first popular hero who proclaims the basic subordination of women.

Those who haven’t anything in them to tell them what they like and what they don’t—whether it is breeding, or happiness, or wisdom, or a code, however old-fashioned or however modern, go Nazi.