Thursday, September 2 2021

Quote of the Day

Everyone looks at me, and I look away.

Because, do I qualify as an Earthling? And do I even want to? I’m not human, and all I can think about is laying claim to this heritage, which I want so bad that I feel sick to my stomach and dizzy with joy when I think about it. Calling myself an Earthling feels like a step backward.

Charlie Jane Anders, Victories Greater Than Death

WoT trailer drop!

The Wheel of Time – Official Teaser Trailer | Prime Video

I am so freaking looking forward to this!!

YouTube rabbit holes

As fun as they can be, I’m feeling like my algorithm is a little stale lately. I’m sure that’s because I’m not going down the right rabbit holes, or whatever. They have take to showing me content that is so far out on the politically Marxist branch that I can metaphorically hear it creaking as I step on it, ready to snap under the weight of its conceits. I like me some Marxist theory, and when the revolution comes I’ll happily take up a pitchfork and when I inevitably get turned on I’ll just shrug and sigh. But collapsing the whole of the human experience into a single economic theory is…tiresome, shall we say? Also equating small change to no change is defeatist to the point of nihilism.

I’m starting to wish that more podcasts set up a camera or that those on Zoom calls were recorded, and people would throw those recording up on YouTube. I want to listen to podcasts, but while I will sit through an hour long podcast while I can watch the speakers talking on YouTube, I hate listening to disembodied voices for an hour (unless I have managed to find some busywork to do while I listen).

I get that this is a me problem, but I feel like I’m missing out on some great content rabbit holes. A thought to ponder on. Maybe I just need a hobby like crocheting or something.


Those of you who watched the final episode of Game of Thrones (my condolences, obviously) may remember a moment when Tyrion Lannister asks the surviving cast members what unites people. “Armies? Gold? Flags?” He pauses there, to let the audience know that something insufferable is coming, before answering himself: “Stories. There’s nothing in the world more powerful than a good story.”

Look. It’s not a good line. It’s an unsupported thesis, wildly out of place in a show that brutally mangled most of its own plotlines in the name of grim realism, or maybe just cool CGI…

And yet: I teared up a little. I’m not proud! I just have a helpless biological response to anyone who suggests—in any context, at any time—that stories matter. Because they do, to me, very much. So what could be better than stories about stories?

Alix E. Harrow, 7 Speculative Stories About Stories,

Really I just want to save this one. And believing that stories matter is what sent me to grad school and shaped most of my writing desires, anyhow.


Revisiting Parkinson’s Law by Cal Newport

Very good points, especially in light of my new experiment to sprint once an hour instead of put in 2.5 solid hours of deeply hard, focus-heavy work. While spreading out the hard work (and doom and gloom) over the day has helped immensely, I don’t have any timelines in place for finishing researching or this whole novel project. And maybe that’s a problem. Maybe I’m note-taking too well; it’s been like almost 3 weeks of note-taking, I think? And I’m less than halfway through the book? I mean, there’s an overwhelming number of facts in The Uninhabitable Earth, but maybe, like Cal suggests, that’s just an excuse. I’m going deep on this book because I believe this research will set me up to write any book set in the future, as climate change is the future and unless we write far beyond it it has to be shown. But maybe that too is an excuse.

This advice is sound. After reading Ferriss’s book, I began to work backwards from a constrained schedule — forcing  my professional efforts to fit within these tight confines. As predicted by Parkinson’s Law, these restrictions don’t seem to decrease the quantity of projects on which I make progress. If anything, I seem to get more done than many  who work more hours.

Cal Newport

I honestly have no idea how long any of this might take, and the thought of trying to set up milestones–either calculated out or arbitrarily–pretty much gives me hives. But maybe that is what I need to do, or this novel will take 10 years to write instead of 3.