Digest, 10/31/2021: And We're Back
the twenty-fifth weekly digest post
Hola! It’s been a long time. My girlfriend and I had a lot of fun on our trip up north, which was mostly a vacation and a little bit an investigation if we might want to move up there, some day, if things broke just right. Who knows. I’d have to feel a little more confident in the durability of this income stream before I’d take on a mortgage, and I do love New York. But I’m a New England boy, and I maintain a shameful attachment to the idea of owning my home someday, which is quite unlikely to be in the cards if we stay here in the city. It’s all theoretical for now; we’ll see.
People didn’t like Short Week much, although it did have some admirers. I enjoyed it as a change of pace. Of course the trick would be to be more selectively economical in general rather than to undertake an artificial (albeit fun) exercise in brevity. But, look - I write long. I always have, and I always will, because the world is complicated and I think we need to understand it with complexity in kind. And, by the way, longer writing in general stems from people playing self-defense in a discursive culture where everyone is reading everything with minimal charity and where lies about what you’ve said or believe are commonplace.
The deadline for the book review contest has come and gone, and I have had to turn down a few people who wanted to submit late; it just wouldn’t be fair to the people who got theirs in by deadline. But I’m sure I’ll have other opportunities for readers to contribute in the future.
This Week’s Posts
In the spirit of short week, let’s keep these short.
Monday, October 25th - As If Politics Mattered
The only radicalism is a radicalism of effect.
Tuesday, October 26th - The Main Thing with Kids is to Keep Them Alive
Educating kids is overrated relative to keeping them breathing.
Tuesday, October 26th - My Cancelation Was Quite Effective, as a Matter of Fact
Stop saying getting canceled didn’t cost me anything, please.
Wednesday, October 27th - The Stupid Baseball Hypothetical I’ve Chewed on For a Decade
What if a pitcher always gave up one run an inning?
Thursday, October 28th - Think Cruise Control to Driver Assist to Driverless Cars, But for the Economy
Maybe AI will end capitalism. (I never fucking said it would be socialism.)
Thursday, October 28th - Fight Club Explains Itself in Less Than a Minute and A Half
Fight Club is about the fear of intimacy.
Friday, October 29th - Who Asked For This Shit? (subscriber only)
Instead of “diverse” reboots, how about new shows for diverse creators and audiences?
Also the new book club is starting! Get involved! It’s a ton of fun.
From the Archives
“The best book ever written about totalitarianism isn't actually 1984. It's A Tale of Two Cities. And in that book, the most commonly repeated image, the central symbol, is of a giant eye. What Charles Dickens understood, and what the book argues, is that there is no such thing as freedom without privacy, that being truly free means being free to do things that you don't want other people to know about. And what I insist is that all the people who are busily denying that these revelations really mean anything recognize: if we give up these rights, we are choosing to do it. Every aspect of this is a product of human choice. We might be trapped in systems. But those systems are made up of human beings, and they are choosing to erode our basic freedom. Nothing can be chalked up to slogans or "the arc of history" or technology or Just the Way Things Are Going to Be. If our rights are getting eroded, it's because we're choosing to let them. Tell that to the defeatists and the apathetic alike.” - a fragment from a post I wrote at my original blog in June of 2013.
Song of the Week
Courtney Maum, Before and After the Book Deal: A Writer’s Guide to Finishing, Publishing, Promoting, and Surviving Your First Book, 2020
Again, maintaining this week’s dedication to brevity: most book about writing, including books about the profession of writing, are useless. This one is not; it has practical, actionable advice packaged with a sympathy that is adult rather than cloying, encouraging rather than juvenile. I wish I had it four years ago.
NFL Pick of the Week
Well I’m already late on this, but… I gotta take the Tennessee Titans getting three from the Indianapolis Colts. What do the Colts do better than the Titans? There’s no really significant injury for the Titans to swing a line like this; it’s sad to say that Julio Jones isn’t significant but he’s simply not that player anymore. Give me those points, even on the road. Just better talent all over the field for the Titans.
Comment of the Week
My wife and I run a childcare- well, she runs it, and I help as much as I can between shifts.
All children old enough to walk about are wee robots designed to self-destruct as creatively as possible. Your job is to toss monkey wrenches into their gears and sand in their gas tanks all day so they can get home alive. Astounding, really, how ambitious the little dudes are.
It would be grand to design system where you don’t have to have a second parent work full time to afford childcare so they can afford to work full time, but in its absence “keep the toddlers from suiciding” really should be the guiding principle rather than setting them up for algebra classes or whatever. - McJunker
That’s it! My next big goal is to be more efficient, more consistent with the timing of posts, and more professional all around. We’ll see.
A: count me in as a short-week fan
B: the inability to run the numbers and design a way to raise family on one parent's income is the sole reason why we're childless. I had a stay-at-home mom and can't see it another way. I recently watched a local politician's campaign video where he made "two parents, one income" a rallying cry. That was such a working class Big D no-duh not too long ago; a tough circle to square now when many many loud progressives would interpret "two parents, one income" as "let's keep the women at home." Which is a shame because, in Shorspeak, "two parents, one income" is a much more efficient sell than "please check out the White House Gender Equity and Equality Plan."
C: you seem like a Portsmouth, NH guy, real-estate-speaking.
I was a fan of short week. I like the long stuff too, but I agree it was a nice change of pace.