Friday Night Review - 01.11.2018
Reading - Online
With time, many personal sites and blogs disappeared from the web as people flocked to the big silos where their content became a heavily monetized commodity. To me, the web had lost much of its soul as people gathered in just a few, huge noise chambers.
— Joe Jenett, “The Web Finally Feels New Again”
And here the key thing was to write the words in your own hand — by this means, by laboriously and carefully copying out the insights of people smarter than you, you could absorb and internalize their wisdom. Call it osmosis-by-handwriting.
— Alan Jacobs, “‘Commonplace Books’: The Tumblrs of an Earlier Era”
Tip of the hat to Phil Nunnally (@twelvety on micro.blog) for this one. Several in the community had a long thread about journaling, information organization and the digital vs. analog divide… which doesn’t really have to exist. I’ll take the side of Mr. Jacobs… “osmosis-by-handwriting” is a good thing… and vital to mental health.
Here’s a question for you. Suppose you want to start a private Facebook group, but you don’t want to use Facebook. What to do?
— Dave Winer, “Thursday, December 20, 2018”
This is a flawed question. And while I agree with Mr. Winer on many things… yeah… not here. The flaw in the question is “private Facebook group.” There are plenty of ways to create a private group outside of Facebook. I get that Facebook isn’t the entire problem. I get that facebook isn’t the only problem.
But it’s still… a… problem.
Reading - In Print
Completed Churchill & Orwell: The Fight For Freedom by Thomas E. Ricks. This was an excellent book that covers a lot of ground in a relatively small amount of space. Ricks should win an award for this one. His incisive analysis of the similarities and differences between these two individuals is certainly worthy.
Started Fantasyland: How America Went Haywire by Kurt Anderson. Anderson promises to explain how the hell we ended up where we, as a nation, find ourselves today. Thus far, he’s delivering on his commitment… and utterly decimating a number of historical myths along the way. There have been multiple moments where I’ve exclaimed “You gotta be f—ing kidding me.” I have some issues with the lack of footnotes/endnotes but I’ve spot verified his work enough to believe him.
Lack of endnotes/footnotes annoys me to no end. I like to verify… and sometimes I find items in the citations which I then add to my never-ending to-be-read list. C’mon publishers… stop robbing me of my joy.
Okay… so here we are… the end of what is essentially the second week of January. We’re past the resolutions and the goal setting. Now it’s about the daily execution. How are you holding up? Finding yourself a bit sluggish? Is the enthusiasm waning?
Yes, my Brothers and Sisters… I feel it as well.
This isn’t a bad feeling. It also isn’t a good feeling. It’s just a feeling. Recognize it as such and place no judgement upon it. Acknowledge it. You can even say, “Hey, Feeling… what’s up? Where did you come from? What are you doing here? Why… are you… here?” I won’t doubt your sanity if you actually say this out loud. I do it.
Then… banish it back from whence it came and get on with getting done that which you must do.
It’s the only way to get through this malaise. At least… it’s the only way I get through this malaise.
Have a great week.
P.S. The aforementioned Feeling has a name. Steven Pressfield names it.