refers to a situation in which the minority position on a given topic is wrongly perceived to be the majority position or where the majority position is wrongly perceived to be the minority position.
When I was little I assumed most people I met were also not religious 😂 I then carried that assumption forward to other geeky people like me, but I finally learned my lesson on this front in my twenties.
Now collectively the US is suffering from this phenomenon wherein Republicans cannot fathom that their views are unpopular and so believe elections are being stolen from them. Of course, no one wants to admit they’re in the wrong, and especially not when it puts them on the losing side, so we face an uphill battle for democracy now they’ve dug in and refuse to believe anything contrary to their belief in their majority, from demographics to clean audits to a complete lack of evidence of wrongdoing.
Meaghan Dew, who works on collections and reader development in a Melbourne public library, suggested that a key part of nurturing a personal library is working out what you really want from it. The aim is ‘not what you think your library should be’, she told me, ‘but the library that you are actually going to use and appreciate on a regular basis.’
I’ve always acquired books individually, without consideration for the rest of my collection; I’m intrigued by this perspective shift of personal library versus book collection as a thought experiment. I’m not sure what I would change by thinking of my books as part of a whole.
My books currently fall into a few categories:
Graphic novels, comic books, and zines
Hiking and travel
Gardening and plant / wildlife reference
Personal growth and productivity
Design and writing craft reference
This balance reflects what I like to read in hard copy, what I want to have handy for reference, and what isn’t available at the library so I need to buy it to read it 😉 (Another metric I’ve added for keep/discard in my thirties, after giving away dozens of indie comics: how hard it would be to replace or access elsewhere.)
A personal library can serve as:
a store for memories… a way to rediscover and revisit ideas and feelings…
a tool for research, which lets you encounter new ideas; and
a source of various pleasures: entertainment, escapism, solace, beauty, inspiration, and surprise.
Sometimes I feel like I could dump a bunch of the graphic novels, which I basically never reread, but this article’s suggestion of a store for memory perhaps fits my reasoning for keeping them around.
For years my personal allocation of books was whatever fit on this bookshelf; I purged and donated books (too) aggressively. I have disappointed people who know how much I read with the paucity of my physical collection 😂
But I have been buying more books in recent years, especially during the pandemic. So I said my Collected Sandman doesn’t have to fit. Then I granted myself an allowance to store comic collections in boxes (Fables, Lucifer, Transmet, Saga). Then I let myself put my husband’s books in a box — he can get his own bookshelf 😉 Then I started to squeeze books in horizontally. All this to say… I need a second bookshelf 😂 Part of a collection is presentation and ease of access, and right now they’re packed to the gills, the divisions visually unclear because I mostly can’t fit bookends, and not very inviting to peruse or use.
Listen now | We’re back with another vacation minisode. We’re talking about the dead platform to end all dead platforms. The one, the only Myspace. It’s responsible for more bad haircuts than another other website possibly. It also profoundly altered the way we think about the internet and in many ways set the stage for the TikTok takeover of the 20202s. Stay tuned to see which weird old dead website we’ll resurrect next! (Cover art courtesy of the Midjourney AI.)
In comparison to Myspace, Facebook felt like a more adult platform because of its simpler, cleaner design (versus everyone’s page looking differently terrible on Myspace)
Classist element because only college students could get Facebook the first year
Transition from the profile being important to only the network being important
I’ve had this pet theory for the last year: If you look around the internet, it just feels very creaky. It feels very old. Facebook is effectively over. It’s like its parent company doesn’t care about it anymore.
When all the users leave, they take with them all of these things that they’re doing on one app and try to do them on the other app, and havoc breaks loose.
This entire idea of, “I am me online,” it starts with Friendster and now it’s completely going out of fashion. It’s very common for a Gen Z internet user to just throw away a profile and make a new one… They don’t save anything about themselves. I was interviewing someone the other day who had nine different Twitter accounts with different personas for each. They just don’t care!
My willingness to write under my real name has been steadily declining over the past few years. Sure, I have a blog and Twitter but I’ve been avoiding going deep on questions and ideas which mean a lot to me – topics such as religion, mental health, sexuality, therapy, and my own childhood.
When I do write about them, it’s typically under a pseudonym.
… sometimes I do regret putting my website and my Twitter and my Microblog under my real name. Without the ability for friends-only posts, there is definitely a damper on writing about some topics and what things I’m willing to put “on the record” that wasn’t on my radar twenty years ago. The current political atmosphere doesn’t help, and I’m not eager to give the fascists the rope to hang me if they manage to take over, which I haven’t ruled out as a possible future.
Multiple accounts isn’t a new thing (‘finsta’), but disregarding an online identity altogether feels different.
You cannot pull apart an uncracked egg, because it’s smooth and edgeless. The whole point of the first step is to change the egg into the kind of egg you can pull apart, by giving it a place for your fingertips to go.
I like this analogy for a perspective shift to make it easier to start something. I find I often need to start working on a project to figure out how to approach the whole thing. I’m working on a new website now and many of the steps I wrote out for myself before starting have turned out to be dependent on other steps I didn’t think of, or that I thought could come later. But that’s fine, I’m adapting my plan as I go.
Even when things get better, when Covid cases plummet, when Congress actually acts, when a police department get reformed, when greenhouse gases get cut… the framing of the news doesn’t change. It remains the same: Vibrating with anxiety, reflexively disappointed, rarely delighted.
It’s like that friend you have — who always sees the worst in everything. You go out for coffee and feel empty afterward. Finally, you stop going.
I like this comparison — that the news is that person who’s always a drag.
So what would be better? In the essay, I make the case for routinely and systematically reporting out Hope, Agency and Dignity in every story.
Hope and agency for sure; right now the news feels disempowering and hope-draining — and that it’s intended to! The publisher’s goal is the clickbait headline, which often preys on your fears or manipulates you through your sense of identity — but in being so endlessly negative they support the fascists who want you to give up on social justice because there’s no hope, they back the corporations who want you to give up on climate change because there’s no hope, and they further divisions by turning you against the outgroup — whoever isn’t like you.
We need to see signs of agency and hope so we will risk action even when the stakes are high — especially when those in danger are someone unlike us.
Grey-rocking is this: someone antagonizes you and so you stay instinctually, defensively quiet, keeping your body language protectively flat. This has proven to be ineffectual politically. Your heart may race and sweat may flow from all your pores, but you give the antagonist no further reason to harm you.
Prior to the Gregorian calendar, farmers in China and Japan broke each year down into 24 sekki or “small seasons.” These seasons didn’t use dates to mark seasons, but instead, they divided up the year by natural phenomena.
I really like this way of breaking the year up into smaller pieces based on what’s happening in the world around you. I don’t pay enough attention to nature to have this level of detail, but there’s markers in the garden I notice, mostly what’s blooming and when the frogs are singing 😉 Winter always sucks for me so it’s nice to have a way to track the progression of winter into spring — when the oregon grape blooms, then the crocuses, then the red flowering currant and indian plum, and now the tulips.
That all sound hopeless and unstoppable, but it’s just what they want you to think. We need to act urgently, fix what we can, and set fire to the rest. We need to figure out how to achieve deep, structural change without the bloody costs of revolution. We need to squeeze democracy through the eye of that needle, and we’ve got a couple decades at most to do it.