Inspired | October 2018

Links

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in October.

The Racial Rubber Stamp by R.F. Kuang: “What I’ve seen is that the lone POCs in largely white writing groups often become tokenized faux authorities. We’re consulted just enough to give other work a stamp of diversity approval, but brutally marginalized when their opinions become inconvenient.”

On Likability by Lacy M. Johnson: “The truth is: sometimes I am afraid of what I write. You should be a little afraid of the story you are telling, too. And if you’re not afraid that someone won’t like it you’re still not telling the truth.”

What next for photography in the age of Instagram? by Sean O’Hagan

The arrival of the smartphone camera made all those concerns seem antiquated. It precipitated a new image culture in which photographs have assumed a fresh importance in our digitally mediated world, particularly the sharing of photographs on platforms like Instagram, where they are measured in likes, comments and repostings, all monitored by algorithms. Photography reflects, records and advertises our lives online. Is it, though, exhausting itself through its very ubiquity, losing its meaning in an age of almost unimaginable image overload?

The superficial evidence would suggest otherwise.

Pushing Past Academic Plateaus: How to Study in College at Dani Dearest: “When college started, that changed. All this time I had spent learning not to study.. I never learned to study.

The 3 Psychological Reasons We Cling to Conventional Wisdom (and How to Break Free) by Jay Acunzo

From the moment we’re taught in school that there’s a “right” and “wrong” answer, we treat every task in our work like we have to find the “right” answers, even the most complicated and creative things we do. Making matters worse, in the era of Advice Overload, everybody on the internet seems to have the “right” answer for us, no matter what we’re doing.

Ode to Gray by Meghan Flaherty

As the black-and-white photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson once said to the color photographer William Eggleston: “You know, William, color is bullshit.” In the realism of the black-and-white, gray is every color—without the tartness. The understudies take the stage, and not one seems to miss the headliners. We see the world without distraction. Andre Gide called gray the color of the truth.

Ditch the almond milk: why everything you know about sustainable eating is probably wrong by Tony Naylor: ” Our willingness to jump on the latest eco-trends and unquestioningly accept reassuring labelling can lead to unintended consequences. If we are serious about eating green, we need to read beyond the headlines and think rigorously about how we apply ethical advice in our own lives.”

The appealing myth of the frugal billionaire by Gaby Del Valle

In other words, the financial advice millionaires dispense onto the masses ignores basically every structural problem that keeps people poor in the first place, from poorly funded public schools to stagnating wages to being saddled with tens of thousands of dollars of student loan debt. Frugality is presented as a simple position to a complicated problem — a promise that anyone who saves enough money and has the right mindset can be rich, or, at the very least, not poor.

The Crazy Contentious History Of Taco Tuesday by Gustavo Arellano

Trying to pin down who “invented” Mexican food dishes and customs is a parlor game riddled with charlatans and tall-tale tellers. There are at least a dozen origin stories for the margarita, more than a few for Korean tacos, and too many theories about the origins of burritos to even pay attention.

But on the subject of Taco Tuesday, the evidence is clear: Taco John’s doesn’t know what it’s talking about. And the phrase was in existence long before the chain got around to filing for its trademark.

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?

Inspired | September 2018

Links

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in September.

Debut Advice: Self-care, Reviews, and Shifting from Reader to Writer by Paper Kyoko: “But in my experience, the sooner you put up boundaries and make a permanent mental shift from reader to writer, the better.”

Strictly analogue: Polaroid’s past, present and future – a photo essay by Christian Sinibaldi and Mee-Lai Stone: Guardian photographer Christian Sinibaldi tours the world’s last Polaroid film factory, in the Netherlands, the only remaining factory still making film for the much-loved instant cameras

Procrastination: It’s pretty much all in the mind by Nazima Pathan: “Experts say the study, in Psychological Science, underlines procrastination is more about managing emotions than time.”

(Deliberate) practice makes perfect: how to become an expert in anything by Aytekin Tank: “And for most areas in our lives, a baseline level of skill is enough. But if we want to truly excel, we have to push past this complacency and out of our comfort zone.”

Captain Marvel, explained by the people who reimagined her by Susana Polo

“Carol falls down all the time,” DeConnick says, “but she always gets back up — we say that about Captain America as well, but Captain America gets back up because it’s the right thing to do. Carol gets back up because ‘Fuck you.’

The Victorian Cards That Explained How to Use a Book to Flirt by Natasha Frost: “Young people wanted to flirt with one another; the cards were just one very small part of what the pearl-clutching Morning Oregonian, in 1871, called “apparently innocent indulgences” that paved the way “to ruin.””

• It’s been a while since I talked about the music I’m listening to, hasn’t it? (Besides Talking Heads, I mean.) I’m kind of loving this video from Nadine Shah. (Via. The interview is good, too.)

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?

Inspired | August 2018

Links

Every month, I share the articles and sites that I found most interesting. Here’s what caught my attention in August.

On Woman’s Weekly, and why we should all care about their new contract policy by Joanne Harris: “Womag writers are the canary in a very deep literary mine. If we, the more influential and better-protected folk of the literary world, allow their rights to be exploited, then sooner or later companies like TI Media will come for the rest of us.”

Jami Attenberg’s #1000WordsofSummer Turned a Corner of the Internet into a Supportive Literary Community by Amy Carleton: “Writing is work. And writing well, amidst all of our available distractions, online and otherwise, can be hard work. But this summer, one writer found a way to turn a potential distraction — the internet — into a motivational force and an affirming pop-up literary community in only two weeks.”

Is social media influencing book cover design? by Holly Connolly: “Like the recent revival of zines, the encroach of digital has resulted in a renewed appreciation for the physical – and beautiful.”

Writing and the Creative Life: The Tactile Experience of Writing by Scott Myers

The only paper remnant I have kept this whole time are the index cards. That I have refused to give up.

So I asked myself why keep working with index cards? I knew the answer immediately: Because of the tactile experience.

How to accept rejection: why failure can be the first step towards success by Donna Ferguson

Canaries and Coal Mines: Women in Games and the Birth of the Alt-Right by Leena van Deventer [video, 16 minutes]: “To me, navigating creativity in a post-truth world hinges on communicating and working within your values, and assisting others to do the same.”

The Internet of Garbage by Sarah Jeong: “Today, The Verge is publishing an interim edition of Sarah Jeong’s The Internet of Garbage, a book she first published in 2015 that has since gone out of print. It is a thorough and important look at the intractable problem of online harassment.”

Electronic Devices Privacy Handbook: A Guide to Your Rights at the Border by the BC Civil Liberties Association

This handbook is meant to help you make sense of the current state of play with respect to electronic searches at the Canadian border and at US preclearance zones in Canada, and to provide tools to protect your privacy when travelling with electronic devices.

Mike Garson’s first performance of “Life on Mars” with David Bowie, 22 September 1972

What’s the most interesting thing you saw online this month?