Article pairing: is blogging self indulgent?

All I Want Is a Place to Quip by Ian Bogost (Substack)

(Emphasis mine)

I’d never be allowed to write 820 words (so far) of ramble at The Atlantic, because we write to respect our readers’ time. This isn’t writing to help people, it’s writing to give me the pleasure of having written.

This was, back in the day, the great joy of blogging: the unedited ramble. But not only has that mode of writing fallen out of favor, but also I don’t even remember how to do it. The thought of writing 500 or 700 or 1,200 word newsletter posts for the people who previously consume[d] my 10-word quips seems like a terrible joke…


Never Again by Lucy Bellwood

I’ve wondered with increasing frequency whether it makes the most sense to start consolidating everything on my own site, but the fact is there’s something valuable about maintaining these different tonal environments. I like having Patreon as a space to talk (mostly) about craft and maintaining a creative practice; it keeps my blog free of any pressure to produce “worthwhile” content. 

(Emphasis mine)


I created this digital garden to lessen the pressure on myself for the quality of what I write here, since I try to write more in-depth pieces on my blog. But the value it provides me in exploring wandering threads of thought and working through disconnected ideas from the same source does not also give value to readers. I need this site to get me thinking without expectations, but I also need to write more often on my blog.

Is longform blogging self-indulgent, or is there any value to seeing how others think through a problem? Do rambling, unrefined explorations better show personality or release emotions? Do people polish out all the originality when they revise to conform with expectations of professional writing, or do they more clean up cruft and cliches, and clarify thinking?

(I find Bellwood’s comment about thinking of her blog as where she puts content that’s not worthwhile funny because I find her blog immensely helpful and interesting.)


Life Advice from Neil Postman

Bookmarked Neil Postman’s Advice on How to Live the Rest of Your Life (

Some of his advice I like, and some makes him sound like an asshole. Here are the bits I agreed with or found worth thinking about.

Do not watch TV news shows or read any tabloid newspapers. Life, as it is, is terrifying enough.
In every age, it’s the same story, life is too busy and there’s too much news. I think part of the problem is we live in a globalized world but never learned how to think like we do when most of our lives are so local. We feel this responsibility to be global citizens when we cannot physically empathize with that many people, cannot influence the government of other nations (hell, truly cannot influence our own Federal government meaningfully). To feel as though we are connected to the rest of the world, to attempt to understand how our own nation acts internationally, we read news from around the world, about which there is literally nothing the average person can do. Even most politicians lack power at this level.
Sure, a lot of what’s true locally is influenced by bigger picture structures, but we shouldn’t forget that what really matters in our own daily lives is determined at the local scale. Our lives are constructed in symphony with real spaces that shape how we can live our lives on a daily basis. The places we live are shaped locally and when we neglect to fight for walkable, green communities the cars and NIMBYs will always win.
The lesson to be learned from the NIMBYs is the power of loud voices in shaping our communities. They aren’t afraid to take their egregious 1950s attitudes directly to Councilmembers, those of us who want a people-centric community with public amenities would do well to follow their example for the good instead of the fear of change.

Establish as many regular routines as possible… The point is to reduce the number of decisions you have to make about trivial matters. Save your energy for major questions that arise in our technological society. Regularize the trivial to cope with the significant.

Nowadays seems like technologists do this with “uniforms” which is maybe more important for CEOs and politicians who are judged on their appearance, while I work from home and don’t meet with anyone important so I just need to look passable on Zoom. But I can look for “templates” and routines to adapt in my life in the places I notice friction: keeping exercise consistent and the same time of day so I don’t have to decide what to do and when, or picking theme nights in advance for dinner to reduce the decision stress. Taco Tuesday is Taco Tuesday.

Avoid multiple and simultaneous changes in your personal life… Change is tremendously stressful, so control the amount of newness you must face.
A good reminder to not make drastic decisions and life changes during the pandemic, if possible.
Keep your opinions to a minimum… Although middle-class America seems to require an opinion on everything, you will find it liberating to say the phrase “I don’t know enough about it to form an opinion.”
This is probably good for me to chew over, who has an opinion on everything. But has to be weighed with privilege on what we’re able to ignore.
Carefully limit the information input you will allow… As a general rule, do not take in any more information after seven or eight o’clock at night. You need protection from the relentless flow of information in modern American culture.
Probably a good idea. Ties back in to not knowing how to live in a globalized world.
The question is what he means by information — does that include any form of intake (e.g. fiction), or just news and facts? How about reading nonfiction? For me I think news and Twitter are the information suspects.
Seek significance in your work, friends, and family, where potency and output are still possible. Work, friends, and family are the areas where what you think and do matters… Information used to be an agent or instrument for action, but nowadays, information is often inert — you cannot act on it… Try to dump useless information from your head.
Again, a balance in not stressing ourselves out about things we can’t control while advocating for a better world for all. Not forsaking responsibility to society — but focusing our efforts at a scale and scope we’re likely able to impact. That probably means local or County scale, potentially State, but for the most part probably donations are the best way to pitch in on bigger battles.

Divest yourself of your belief in the magical powers of numbers. Quantification has a very limited effectiveness. Any attempt to apply quantification to human affairs represents pure superstition of a medieval kind.

I’ve been into self-quantification in the past but numbers definitely can be a trap. And we’ve seen how reductive GDP is as measure of societal success, where the US has a huge growing GDP yet poverty and suffering are widespread while being largely avoidable if as a society we prioritized people directly over businesses. Playing out right now in the debate over upping the minimum wage. It makes me sick to think how many people believe it’s reasonable to pay a person less than ten dollars for an hour of their time. We all are worth more — and need more — than that. If your business can’t afford to pay people a reasonable amount, your business model is not viable (or you’re exploiting your workers to steal the profits).

Patriotism is a squalid emotion.
Exhibit A: January 6, 2021.

SubtoMe button lets people subscribe to feeds easily

Bookmarked SubtoMe (

Universal Follow Button

SubToMe makes it easy for people to follow web sites, because browsers don’t do it.

Health Political Commentary Society

Whose responsibility is contraception?

Liked Vasectomy: The US men embracing permanent birth control (

Google Trends tracked a huge uptick in US searches for ‘vasectomy’, along with the related search terms “Roe” and “abortion”; search volume was even higher in places with trigger laws. A report from telehealth research company Innerbody Research showed searches for “where can I get a vasectomy” increased by 850% in the days after the news, with the biggest jumps in conservative states Texas and Florida. One practice in Florida told CBS News that the number of child-free men getting vasectomies under the age of 30 had doubled since the ruling.

Responsibility for birth control, even for long-term couples, has long fallen disproportionately to women; female sterilisation, oral contraceptives, IUDs and other options for women remain the most common forms of birth control in the US.

Honestly I was surprised at the breakdown of birth control. Nineteen percent rely on getting their tubes tied versus nine percent counting on their partner getting a vasectomy. Thirteen percent are on the pill, and another thirteen use the shot, ring and IUDs. (As of 2017.)

Littlejohn says real societal change will require a different line of thinking. “As long as we see this as something that men are doing to ‘lend a hand to their partners’ and being noble, in service of their partners’ not being able to prevent pregnancy,” she says, it perpetuates a narrative that men aren’t the default responsible party for contraception.

I like that conservatives are all “lol we’re going to make you have all the babies 😂 enjoy poverty suckers” and dudes are like “😳 wait I didn’t sign up for this.” Evangelicals are so out of touch with society they think everyone’s a misogynist like them who wants to treat their women like broodmares and have a dozen kids. Thankfully for women, that is not the case.

I am scared they’re coming for our birth control next, but I doubt they’ll restrict vasectomies because misogyny — they aren’t liable to give up control over their own bodies, they just want to control ours.

Lol ten years ago I wrote a shitty NaNo novel that was like a Hunger Games mashup with forced sterilization and forced birth and it was not nearly brutal enough. I’m someone who’s well off and lives in a blue state and likely will always have access to the contraception of my choice — and it still fucking sucks to live in a USA where I have to question if that will change. So I can see the appeal in a permanent option that would protect my decision not to have kids.

Art and Design Comics

Crow Comic Adventure


By False Knees. Collected on Instagram, preorder print book. This is so delightful. Sold!

Getting Shit Done Personal Growth

Intrinsic Motivation

Bookmarked 52 Helpful Examples of Intrinsic and Extrinsic Motivation (Mindmonia)

Understanding the differences between the two types of motivation and how to leverage them is essential for your long term success.

4 steps to the development of intrinsic motivation:

  • Autonomy
  • Competence / Mastery
  • Relatedness (group belonging)
  • Purpose

Write about what you care about

Liked Clamsplaining (Clamsplaining)

I’m Dan Killam. I’m an environmental scientist studying clams, climate, pollution, and conservation.

And if that’s clams, please do name your blog Clamsplaining and share #clamfacts 😍 I think anything can be interesting if the person talking about it cares.

Meta The Internet Websites Writing

A decentered argument as website

This whole website nicely complements what I was contemplating recently about blogs.

Some relevant pages:

The bookness of books

Toward a nonlinear essay

You won’t find an instruction manual for writing a nonlinear essay in any of the pieces in this collection. And you won’t find a full argument for writing differently in any single piece, either. But my hope is that both of those things will arise out of the whole collection.

On the virtues of hypertext

In other words, the links matter more than the text.

Brown contrasts the glories of the hypertext web with the relative order of the the social media feed. The feed corrals the unkempt wildness of the web and organizes it all into a nice little stream, filtering out all the noise…

Comics Fantasy Romance

Read Lore Olympus S2

Read Lore Olympus

Witness what the gods do…after dark. The friendships and the lies, the gossip and the wild parties, and of course, forbidden love. Because it turns out, the gods aren’t so different from us after all, especially when it comes to their problems. Stylish and immersive, this is one of mythology’s greatest stories — The Taking of Persephone — as it’s never been told before.

Art and Design Fantasy

Re-watched Tarzan

Watched Tarzan from

A man raised by gorillas must decide where he really belongs when he discovers he is a human.

First watched in 2020.

Efficient story-telling.

Artwork — weird — but works?

Ending — not sold — Kerchek dying and being forgiven? Tarzan giving up the chance to meet more humans and explore the world? Seems like a good fit for Jane, though, and better for him than being treated as a curiosity.