Web Miscellany: Compilation #82

Hello, friend! How are you? How has you week been? I encountered several days of inexplicable insomnia this week, which receded just as quickly as it arose. I was very close to pulling out my old prescription for LDN. After two nights of rest, I’m beginning to feel like myself again. I spoke to my dietician and received some great feedback. I’m feeling good about our plan and my progress on a biochemical level.

My dear friend sent me a video of her giggling five-month old and, at age 32, I feel myself being drawn from the “not for me” to “maybe…” camp more quickly than I could have imagined. Oh, my heart!

We are building The People’s Network across Phoenix. My partner shared the LoRaWAN project with friends and at least 20 ham radio nerds operators and local libertarians are equally excited and have purchased one or more Helium nodes. Decentralization project with friend (and strangers), application of ammeter radio knowledge, and passive income potential? Count me in!

What are your plans for the week ahead? I’ll be visiting my parents to help with their garden and visiting my in-laws to introduce them to Miyazaki animation. I’m hoping for some additional down time to read and sew and generally embrace my home-body tendencies.

I hope that your weekend and the week ahead are wonderful and your loved ones continue to stay safe and healthy. Here are a few links from around the web. Feel free to share anything interesting you’ve stumbled upon in the comments.

  1. Food for thought: “The kindest people are not born that way, they are made. They are the sounds that have experienced so much at the hands of life, they are the ones who have dug themselves out of the dark, who have fought to turn every loss into a lesson. The kindest people do not just exist – they choose to soften where circumstance has tried to harden them, they choose to believe in goodness, because they have seen firsthand why compassion is so necessary. They have seen firsthand why tenderness is so important in this world.”– Bianca Sparacino
  2. From the archives: “The current theory is that my initial infection nearly four years ago broke something in my body–my cells are throwing on their armor each day and roaring out into battle, aiming to defeat an enemy that has long since retreated. I guess after all of these years of internal warfare, my body wore itself out.” If this is, in fact, autoimmune disease the clues have been right in front of me for at least three years, but I never considered that the attacker and victim could be one and the same. The Precarious Position of Those Diagnosing Rare Diseases.
  3. Twitter account worth following: Visualize Value by Jack Butcher: thoughts and learnings succinctly visualised through self-imposed creative restraints.
  4. On the challenges of emerging from lockdown: “During the pandemic there is more time to ask myself what I need. More time to be curious as to the answer. Sometimes the answer is something to eat, sometimes the answer is napping, sometimes it’s to cry, just to break open and cry. Like Alex in Flashdance in the confessional, bawling at all the possible dreams gone awry. Most people are afraid, if we listened to our bodies, they would lie to us. Who do we trust more? The body or the brain? Or, as the poet Brenda Hillman says, “The brain is part of the body.'” Ada Limón on Preparing the Body for a Reopened World.
  5. On dormancy: “I’m not languishing, I’m dormant. Like a plant. Or a volcano. I am waiting to be activated.” I’m not languishing, I’m dormant from Austin Kleon, in response to Adam Grant’s piece, “There’s a Name for the Blah You’re Feeling: It’s Called Languishing.”
  6. On urban planning: You may have heard of the ‘Fifteen-Minute City’ but a project in Stockholm is taking it a step further: the One-Minute City offers participatory and tactical ways for citizens to engage with their immediate neighborhood. The concept “draws inspiration from things like Lego or IKEA — or Minecraft — where you have a consistent system that can be adapted or hacked, remodeled, added to.” A transit hub may have benches and e-scooter charging, whereas a neighborhood may have a mini-park.
  7. Why success won’t make you happy: Some fascinating research results and insights into success as an addiction and why chasing it won’t make us any happier. “Unfortunately, success is Sisyphean (to mix my Greek myths). The goal can’t be satisfied; most people never feel ‘successful enough’. The high only lasts a day or two, and then it’s on to the next goal. Psychologists call this the hedonic treadmill, in which satisfaction wears off almost immediately and we must run on to the next reward to avoid the feeling of falling behind. This is why so many studies show that successful people are almost invariably jealous of people who are more successful.” You are what you measure–perhaps focus on internal achievement over outward success.
  8. Embrace the grind: Anything worthwhile usually involves a huge amount of mundane, tedious ‘grind’ work that’s not part of the ‘success stories’ we keep telling each other. “I often have people newer to the tech industry ask me for secrets to success. There aren’t many, really, but this secret – being willing to do something so terrifically tedious that it appears to be magic – works in tech too.”
  9. On Intergenerational friendship: “As humans, we historically lived in multi-generational groups. It is only in more recent times with urbanization and migration in the Western world that communities and families have become more fractured and separated geographically.” Prior to getting ill / exiting social media / pandemic lockdown, I had an extensive network that included all kinds of people–it was a wonderful thing.
  10. Annette LeMay Burke has been traveling the American West in search of disguised cell phone towers, collected in a project she calls Fauxliage.In case you were thinking of visiting Phoenix, here’s one more reason not to. This photo was taken within a mile from my home. The concrete heat bubble is killing thousands of real saguaro cacti each year, and these monstrosities are replacing them. As a child, I told people my hometown was “ugly-pretty,” translating to “I hate the desert, but there are some neat things about it.” All the neat facets have been slowly dying before my eyes. It makes me so sad.
disguised cell phone towers

3 thoughts on “Web Miscellany: Compilation #82

  1. I think the biggest measure of success is happiness, even if society seems to have a check list for measures of success. And those are interesting thoughts on kindness.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s really quite interesting. If you conduct an internet search for Helium Network, there’s lots of neat stuff out there. I’ve heard that the back-orders are extensive, so the miners tricky to get a hold of, but the technology is really fascinating. As more smart devices enter the market, it could be a great way to power them at a lower cost to all.


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