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

Health Mental Health Personal Growth Work

Assuming no change is an option

Replied to The devil you know | everything changes by Mandy Brown (everything changes)

I had spent months chewing on the various dangers and risks of each step I could take, and had not at all considered the dangers and risks of staying put.

I can see now that I was, in fact, making several mistakes. Principal among them was that I considered no change at all to be a viable option. It wasn’t, and not only because the present circumstances were untenable, but also because they were not static.

The second, related, error was that I assumed that all the risk was in moving, that by definition staying put was the prudent option.

Activism Comics

oh no

Liked webcomic name – disrupt by alex norris (Tumblr)

this call for change is too disruptive. you can protest as long as it doesn't disrupt anything and I don't have to think about it.

See also:

Distortion and distraction

Protest as public nuisance

Getting Shit Done Lifestyle

Living by rules

Liked The Imperfectionist: Rules to live by by Oliver Burkeman (

What’s the default approach? You get enthusiastic about some rule or set of rules, then try to impose them on your life – using them, in a telling phrase I keep encountering in the world of personal development these days, as a “forcing function”.

In other words, you take a bunch of concepts, give them pride of place in your mind, then demand that your thinking and behaviour start conforming to the concepts.

It causes you to evaluate your real life – the messy and imperfect one you’re actually living – against a perfect conceptual structure, in comparison with which it can only ever be found wanting.

Art and Design Places

Read Overview Timelapse

Read Overview Timelapse: How We Change the Earth

Change is Earth’s most important and influential constant. From geological changes that take place over millennia, to the growth of civilization, to intense (and increasingly common) weather events exacerbated by a warming climate, the planet is constantly in flux. With areas viewed over various periods of time–days, months, and years–these changes become even more apparent, as does the scale and scope of human impact on Earth.

Overview Timelapse is a compelling photographic survey of the state of change on Earth today. With human activity driving this transformation faster than ever, visible signs can now be seen across the planet. Through its 250 mesmerizing images such as sprawling cities and the patterns created by decades of deforestation, this book offers a fresh perspective of change on Earth from a larger-than-life scale.

Great selection of aerial photography, with a wide variety of topics and scales. Super interesting to see the comparisons of locations at different times, though some were clearer to see than others. Lots of full page, high quality images so you can see a ton of detail. Consumption was very cool, showing the eruption of life at a couple large festivals in remote locations. The section on materials was clever, showing mines and processing and use of materials around the world. The final section, humans, was the weakest as some of the differences didn’t photograph well, though there were still interesting photos. I also appreciated the image sets, showing for example an aerial of the Camp Fire burning, then a before and after of a neighborhood in Paradise that burned. I didn’t read the essays but the image captions gave useful info.

Future Building Technology

This video pinpoints my worries about AI

Watched I tried using AI. It scared me. from YouTube

I just wanted to fix my email.

I am of the Napster generation and it is alarming to consider Chat-GPT could compare with that point of cultural change. The accelerating rate of change for everything is already exhausting. I don’t want to have to worry about whether people think AI generated text and designs are “good enough.”

But, this is how craftsmanship and skills die: a new technology comes along that gives good enough results, and not enough demand is left to sustain an industry of expertise.

Activism Getting Shit Done

Maintenance supports change

Bookmarked The Year Ahead by Nora N. Khan (

What I’ve learned: their maintenance in crisis seems both a matter of “grit”, as much as a matter of great invention… Maintenance is the daily, unsexy work that’s needed for the radical to bloom. It is thinking-heavy work that doesn’t get labeled as intellectual. Maintenance allows for a practice of *thinking with,* and *thinking through,* to a way out… The work of maintenance is foundational to create new spaces to protect that rare idea, that tender practice, that thread of a thought that can so easily be lost.

Not sure how I feel about this argument but I’m intrigued.

Future Building

Embracing authoritarianism to keep power and quash change

Liked 44 thoughts about the future by Ben WerdmullerBen Werdmuller (

Two. I think the (re-)rise of authoritarianism and the increasing importance of the climate crisis are linked. It’s not an accident that Bolsonaro was in favor of felling the Amazon or that Trump had such a strong fossil fuels agenda. If a wealthy industry feels like it might be politically under threat, it’s going to do everything it can to change the politics and create a context where it is protected.

Eleven. In a world based on profiling, probabilistic prediction models, corpus-based decision-making, and near-ubiquitous surveillance, only people who don’t conform to the models anticipated by the people who built and designed the systems and therefore aren’t tracked as closely can really be free.

Emphasis mine.


Rethinking the way we publish science

Liked The dance of the naked emperors by Adam Mastroianni (Experimental History)

To recap, I argued in my last post that:

1. We’ve published science lots of different ways for a long time, and universal pre-publication peer review is both pretty new and historically strange.

2. That system doesn’t seem to accomplish the goals that it claims to or that we wish it would.

3. It’s worthwhile to try other things.

That’s also why I’m not worried about an onslaught of terrible papers—we’ve already got an onslaught of terrible papers.

Sick burn 😂

But seriously, it is not good for society or science when access to scientific research is limited to academics. This only reinforces the perceived division between academics and the public, and exacerbates anti-intellectualism. And, it is hardly helpful for scientists to be silo’d away from the public either — any insular group will miss out on the perspectives and wisdom of other groups of people with different backgrounds and experience. Shifting the expectation that papers should be readable by laypeople would encourage plainer language and force writers to clarify their explanations.

If science weren’t hidden behind expensive paywalls, people outside academia could draw on the latest research for decisions, and participate in conversations about science. Codesign is on the rise in community engagement and graphic design; improving access could enable communities to give input to projects and future research. Instead of researchers coming up with projects on their own, they could listen to the needs of the community to fill in gaps (for example, the gap in medical research for women).

Also learned a new concept, weak-link problem, from his referenced article The Rise and Fall of Peer Review:

Why did peer review seem so reasonable in the first place?

I think we had the wrong model of how science works. We treated science like it’s a weak-link problem where progress depends on the quality of our worst work. If you believe in weak-link science, you think it’s very important to stamp out untrue ideas—ideally, prevent them from being published in the first place. You don’t mind if you whack a few good ideas in the process, because it’s so important to bury the bad stuff.

But science is a strong-link problem: progress depends on the quality of our best work.

See also: Imagining a better way — for everything

Reflection The Internet Writing

Questions to guide what you write online to help shape the internet you want

Replied to Revisiting Remarkable Content to Consider Digital Ecology by Tara McMullinTara McMullin (

1) Do you create the kind of content you want to engage with online?
2) How much would you enjoy (or at least benefit from) an internet where everyone was creating the same kind of content as you are?

I like these questions and her framework of stewardship of the internet you want to see, which is what I feel participating in the IndieWeb now is about — I can be an ‘early’ adopter of technologies that allow people to interact with others from their website, to help show that it can be done and spread its use a little farther beyond tech folk.

The internet is not some towering behemoth, either. It’s something that we produce every single day. Every morning we wake up and re-create the internet. The more people wake up and decide to create something else, the more the internet becomes something else.

In response to her two guiding questions, I am actually pretty happy with what I’m posting online, and do like to read other people’s blogs. My philosophy to using is to be empathetic, enthusiastic, and helpful — to applaud people’s accomplishments, heart-eye their cat pics, and share my advice or opinion when it’s asked for — basically, being friendly 🤷‍♀️ I was mostly a lurker on Twitter and never really interacted using Twitter, so it’s been nice to hang out in an online space where I feel comfortable chiming in on anyone’s post.

I also like to read long articles informed by deep knowledge or research, and cultural critiques. This… isn’t necessarily the kind of essay I tend to write even on my blog 😉 I don’t have the confidence in my breadth of knowledge to feel comfortable writing anything that draws on a solid understanding of history or modern mainstream culture. But, I could consider writing more about my areas of expertise. When I had a day job, I wanted a separation between what I think about in my free time (i.e. blogging) and what I was paid to think about, so I have written very little about the environment online. This could be something to reconsider now I’m freelance.

Her prompt of considering “the writers, podcasters, and creators who excited me,” and looking for commonalities across their work seems useful.

Some of the writers whose online work really resonates with me are:

  • Anne Helen Peterson – journalist applying cultural critique to a wide range of social justice issues
  • Craig Mod – multi-talented writer deeply engaging with place and the physicality of experience
  • Oliver Burkeman – reflecting on the creative process with a no-nonsense yet kind approach
  • Ingrid Fetell Lee – centering joy and the pursuit of happiness through daily life and personal growth
  • David Cain – sharing personal experiences generalized to reflect on making life better and less stressful
  • Courtney Milan –  personal reflections universalized and translated into tea and fiction, drawing on determination and clear-eyed, action-driven hope about the future
  • Robin Sloan – channeling excitement and curiosity and playfulness, and building a sense of community and wonder