273.16 degrees of Kelvin Bacon is so close to being a good joke.
I can’t say ‘favorite’ because these are basically the earliest books I loved, or the latest books I have loved.
- Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
- A Field Guide to Ecology of Eastern Forests; North America by John C. Kricher and Gordon Morrison
- How to Be an Adult in Relationships: The Five Keys to Mindful Loving by David Richo
- Beloved by Toni Morrison
- Daring Greatly by Brené Brown
- A People’s History of the United States by Howard Zinn
- How the Mind Works by Steven Pinker
Hey buddy, how you doing? I’m good, thanks for asking. You don’t seem good. What’s going on?
I deeply appreciate when writers share how they’re really doing.
My ego is like a Cable News pundit telling me how to think and feel about everything that happens, and meditation is like turning off the TV and seeing life myself.
Since the time my firstborn was very little it’s always been clear he’s going to roll his own bowling ball and all I can ever hope to do is put bumpers in the right gutters.
Even when they call us mad,
when they call us subversives and communists
and all the epithets they put on us,
we know that we only preach the subversive witness of the Beatitudes,
which have turned everything upside down
to proclaim blessed the poor,
blessed the thirsting for justice,
blessed the suffering.
I love my iPhone’s Do Not Disturb feature which mutes the parade of bells and vibrations that come from it. I use it at night so I’m not woken up to the ding of some robot account which liked one of my Instagram photos from four years ago.
I’ve always wanted to use it for temporary moments throughout my day when I don’t want to be disturbed, but after forgetting to turn it off and missing important messages on several occasions, I stopped trusting it for this purpose. It’s just too easy to miss the little moon icon up there reminding me.
But with iOS 11, Apple introduced a related feature: Do Not Disturb While Driving. It holds back on notifications like its older cousin of a feature, but it also won’t let you interact with the phone while it’s on. You have to press an additional button asserting “I’m Not Driving.” My phone automatically turns this on when I’m in the car, which is annoying in the short term, but better for me overall.
But I’ve actually started to manually turn on the feature – you can put it in Control Center – for those temporary moments of peace. And because of the way the feature is designed, it won’t let me use my phone until I turn it off. This way I can’t forget it’s on so long as I try to use my phone.
Which is too often.
That Sandberg and (presumably) Zuckerberg resisted investigating and disclosing everything they could about how the Russians took advantage of them says everything you need to know about them.
The power that Facebook stewards is almost unimaginable, yet goes unchecked by regulation. I realize this is new territory for humanity, but leaving our fastest growing source of power in the hands of just a couple tech moguls is profoundly short sited.
So, do we just accept that people use the phrase ‘anal’ to mean ‘anal-retentive’ in polite conversation these days?
I’m stepping into a great big backyard. It’s familiar, yet new to me. It stretches on farther than I can see. It’s nice. I notice in the middle of the yard, there’s a small trailer. It makes me nervous because it looks…a little damaged. As I approach it, I can hear breathing sounds, quickening. There is a small window. I look in. I connect eyes briefly with a wild stallion and as soon as it sees me it panics. Jumping, kicking in the trailer. I fall backwards and then stumble up and away from the trailer.
Sitting on the porch I stare at the trailer. I can see it moving. The horse is pacing. I’m wondering what to do about it. I ignore it. I walk around it as far as possible, but I can’t stop thinking about it. At night I can hear the sounds.
So I throw a party. Loud music. Lots of people. There’s some caution tape around the trailer so no one gets hurt. And…for a moment…Yes! The sound is drowned. I’m feeling better than I’ve felt in a while. To keep it up, I drink, I laugh, I get a little reckless. Until I pass out.
But then the people are gone. The music has died. The drinks are out. And I can hear the horse and it’s angry. I’m angry. I can’t sleep, I can’t be free.
But I also have kerosene. I don’t know what this horse’s problem is, but it won’t calm down: I don’t really have a choice. Don’t judge me; I’m putting it out of its misery. As I pour the fuel around the trailer, the horse kicks wildly. The trailer may collapse before I’m done.
I watch the flames safely from the porch. I don’t know if I should say some words or something, but I wouldn’t know what to say. I didn’t even know its name. The trailer was moving, but now it isn’t. I feel sad.
The sadness kept me up all night, but the dawn’s light gives me hope. Smoke rises from the burnt out trailer which is still pretty intact. I approach slowly. Why am I so scared? As peer around the corner I’m breathless; I hear nothing inside.
But I see them. Eyes, open and sad but fierce. It kicks and neighs; I scream and recoil. Backwards, I fall.
I must have hit my head. I’m on the ground and I slowly realize I’ve been lying just a few feet from a wild creature trapped in an attempted murder site. As my eyes regain focus they fall upon the horse’s eyes. It’s lying down, but its head is raised. I never noticed how beautiful its eyes are. There’s fire still in them.
I climb to my feet. So does the horse. I slowly approach. It breathes faster. Its knees are quivering and I realize mine are too. I can feel the hair on the back of my neck. It breathes loudly and I want to run. I have to run.
But I don’t. I just stay. As I keep breathing, I notice its scars. They’re from me. It hurts me to look at them. But I keep looking at them. The horse keeps breathing, too.
I stay. It hurts, but I stay. I just…stay.
I’ve lost track of time, but…sometime…later I notice the door on the back of the trailer. I do something risky: I unlock it. The horse watches me. I throw open the door and light streams in. The horse shivers and watches me.
It trusts me, so I climb on and we ride out together into the great country that surrounds us, faster than I could ever go on my own, feeling a dangerous wildness and an exhilarating trust.
When I take my metal coffee thermos out of my bag it rubs against a grommet and sounds like a sword being unsheathed, and it's exactly how I want to start my day.
Joining Micro.blog has really gotten me curious about the IndieWeb movement. Looks like more changes to my blog are coming…
I’m less angry if I accept at the beginning of the day that being a parent will elicit physical pain by the end of the day.
This podcast about the internet and society really resonated with me, in particular, how each of the hosts described a time of great optimism for what the web could be, and how it’s all become pretty complicated and, um, disappointing in 2018.
So I thought about it and came up with my great (naive?) period of hope for the web. It was about 2006. I had stumbled upon a couple internet communities that were flourishing…
One was the show with zefrank, a quirky video blog that used a bunch of short, creative, and confessional segments by its creator. But notably it also encouraged, facilitated, and shared back contributions from the people who followed it. People were asked to (and did) submit little pieces of songs or sounds or pictures that Ze would put together in creative ways. The people who became the show’s community helped produce these cathartic pieces of group art. In today’s world — where groups of guys who’ve forgotten whether they are ironically or earnestly neo-nazis organize to abuse others on the internet — remembering old episodes of the show feels like remembering the internet’s Garden of Eden.
The other community was Radio Open Source, a public radio show and podcast hosted by Christopher Lydon (a name associated with the very beginnings of podcasting.) The setup of the show and the wide range of topics it covered fostered this incredible conversation on its website. Listeners shared insight from all kinds of perspectives that enhanced the context of each show and steered the direction of the next one.
Open Source has been through several incarnations through the years, and still exists, although I don’t think the community still does in the same way.