No. 87 Every single frustration is a teaching
No. 87 • 11/18/2022
Every single frustration is a teaching
Whenever I find myself fearful, highly agitated, angry, or overly frustrated, I run the source of those feelings through the Self-Development-o-Meter and ask myself: What is this situation trying to teach me? That's been my spiritual work for as long as I can remember, but has been intensely important over the past two weeks.
With the property we're about to close on (in an hour from now! More on that next week) has come a teeny, tiny, minor headache involving a person who has been "looking after" it (read: poaching game and treating the acreage like his own private boy's club). The lead up to dropping the verbal hammer on this guy brought up a barrage of unprocessed "stuff" from when I was in middle and high school and the handful of scuffs I found myself in. Consequently, I've been running "Why is this situation making me so cray, and what can I learn from it?" through the Self-Development-o-Meter.
Thanks to my trusty Guides, here is what I have come up with so far:
- I am no longer in 6th grade
- I have a litany of human resources at my back
- I know how to be direct and clear in conflict
- Santa Muerte
- I take zero guff and have the words and brow line to back it up
- Psalms 16, 23, and 27 are hoodoo certified
Jumping every time a billionaire farts
I've decided that I'm no longer going to jump every time a billionaire makes a move I disagree with. A. Because that's like every five seconds, and B. Because it's unsustainable. I already Don't Use Amazon (that much). I'm already off Zuck's platforms of death. And, I'm already finding my way off Twitter. But, all of these were done in an effort to stick it to the lame-os. Well, I'm done with that approach.
Instead, my moves are going to be based in enhancing positive experiences. Instead of trying to stick it to 'em, I'm gonna reimagine the genuine positives in going smaller and more independent. I'm gonna reframe the leap from one platform to another as a way of enhancing collaboration and friendship, not as a means to punish Eff Bezos.
There are real benefits to leaving the convenience of corporate-enabled meeting places for more independent ones, in the same way punk and hardcore shows were almost always better when held in some kid's parents' basement than when they were held at the local bar. Containers inform their contents. Elon accidentally nuking Twitter is just an opportunity for making new friends.
PKM has got a commodity fetishism problem
Maggie Appleton's recent piece refers to Tools for Thought (TFTs) not as products, but as "ways of doing," methods passed down from generation to generation. And, I'm very glad she framed it this way.
PKM and its sub-genre, "tools for thought," have got a commodity fetishism problem. They're obsessed with products and gadgets, which makes for a rather overly-monetized scene. Everything is about scale. Right down to your own thoughts. As such, "tools" in TFT like "management" in PKM, reinforces objects, commodities, products, which in turn reinforces purchases, subscriptions, sign-ups.
However, by expanding (exploding?) the term "tools" and replacing it with "ways of doing," it's possible we can disrupt the commodity-obsession that walks hand-in-hand with pkm. At least at the cerebral level. Perhaps, we can then redirect the discourse toward actions and ideas, and leave the toys for the kids.
Which level of busy are you?
Michael Lopp breaks busyness into seven stages:
- Level 1: Not busy
- Level 2: Stuff to do
- Level 3: Significant commitments
- Level 4: At capacity
- Level 5: Cracks in the facade
- Level 6: Crushing commitments
- Level 7: Unsustainable
(Details about each in link below).
As far as I can tell, I've been at Level 3 for the past few years. Big fan of Level 3:
"Level 3: Significant commitments I have enough commitments that I need to keep track of them in a tool because I can no longer organically triage. My calendar is a thing I check infrequently, but I do check it to remind myself of the flavor of this particular day."
For those who are interested in such things: I use Todoist for all my tasks and ClickUp for collaborative project management. I'm also a firm believer in keeping a log of what I'm working on. For more on how I do that with my writing projects, see this.
Stating salary ranges becoming a required thing
"A new [NYC] law going into effect on Tuesday will require companies with at least four employees to post salary ranges for openings, even if the jobs involve remote or hybrid work."
To me, this is objectively great. The power is so far screwed in favor of the employer that forcing them to give at least a range makes asking for a salary less anxiety producing. Why should your application be dependent on how much you'd like to make? That just seems arbitrary and power-dynamic-y. Though, I'm curious what all you small business owners think about this. You likey or no likey?
Habitual social vs Ritual social
Big quote dump here:
"Big social—my moniker for the collective of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube—is emblematic of what I call habitual social. Habitual social apps depend on having a large daily user base, usually measured as daily active users, or DAUs. The more time each user spends, the happier the platform.
"Habitual social apps thrive off of your bad habits—things that you’ve become wired to do. The notorious “doomscrolling” means consuming until you run out of content, you’re interrupted, or you’re painfully aware of the time sink. This is increasingly my experience using Twitter, YouTube, and TikTok, and, in a past era, Instagram and Facebook.
"Some things feel different, though—taking a few moments out of my day to play Wordle or post to BeReal. I do these consciously and attentively, as daily rituals, and I’m optimistic that social products can foster rituals, not just habits. Ritual social apps aim to create regular, purposeful moments, even if small ones; they’re at their best as a mindful microdose of meaning and feel-good."
My typical approach to handling social media consumption (and the advice I give to others) has been based largely in individual efforts. Change this. Do that. Stop this. Stop doing that. But, now I'm thinking there might be a world where our efforts are matched by the apps themselves.
The patterns in the protests
"I've seen a lot of technology waves in my time: cloud, social, mobile, wearables, crypto, and now AI. Every time, the same story plays out: there is a long gestation period, followed by a breakthrough story that kicks off a hype cycle. Lots of silly decisions get made, and most of the hoped-for value never materializes. But then the dust settles, the tourists leave, and a smaller group of people keep building; before you know it the technology gets woven into our lives in a boring-yet-useful way."
This is a great take on "technology waves," but it's also a great take on how political and social justice waves work.
White Expressions of Antiracism as a Social Justice "Wave"
It all started with a long gestation period in leftist circles, in recent times with the White Panthers, 80s/90s punk-hardcore, anarchism, third-wave feminism, Tim Wise, etc. Then came the breakthrough: George Floyd + social media cracked the seal and the antiracism scene erupted into the mainstream. Along with genuine pushes forward came a sea of typical white antiracist BS (infighting, shaming, purity tests, cancel culture, cult-like allegiances, you name it, white activists brought it). Then, once the media hype settled, and the protests disbanded, the tourists and would-be culture fascists went back to their hovels. What was left of the movement got recouped into the mainstream. "Defund the Police" became police reform and more cops held accountable and prosecuted. That's objectively good, but not the societal restructuring The Youth were hoping for. Such are trends.
Do you desk or do you dance around?
"[T]he purpose of my desk is to take me to the right state of mind and reflect the creative person I’d like to become."
I'm posting this, because I feel a number of you may benefit from what the author has to say about setting up a desk or creative workspace.
Personally, I'm much more mobile/modular with my creative environs. I sit (or stand) in a variety of places around the apartment or out in the world depending on how I'm feeling or what kind of work I'm about to get into. I might sit on a meditation cushion on the floor with my computer on a chair in front of me. Or, I might stand at the kitchen counter. With editing (proofreading, copyediting, etc) I take a much more loungey approach. I'll often find myself sprawling across any big chair, throwing my legs up and over the top or sides. It's a whole scene.
tRump said he's running and no one really cares
The GOP is a literal criminal entity that should be banned from political involvement. Moron, the enabled face of the GOP (regardless of what they now say), is a media construction. He is a walking propaganda film. If the media abandons him, he will cease to exist. Be wise, media. Be wise.
And, that's that! See ya next week.
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