This is going to sound, I don’t know, kind of entitled? But I’m going to bitch about a restaurant experience. Sorry. I just need to catalogue this so I won’t forget some of the details of a really badly designed experience. I never want to duplicate this in any of the work we do, ever. Continue reading
I’ve been, as of late, having a discussion of veganism with myself. (I know, right? what is this, sophomore year of college?)
my current viewpoint is that not eating animals is a personal choice, and that’s fine.
but when a person starts saying it’s immoral for humans to kill animals, then it implies a philosophical viewpoint I don’t prescribe to: that humans are separate from the rest of the animal population of this planet, and are free to decide others’ fate based upon that superiority.
that casts the human as a special creature on the planet. not something I agree with, entirely. we all came from the same essential biome, and as such are dictated by the world’s rules (which are currently showing us in no uncertain terms that we need to undo the industrial revolution’s naiveté).
I do believe that our cognitive abilities give us special placement as caretakers where other creatures might not be able to be—but I don’t believe that makes us morally superior to other animals.
so: my end statement about my own philosophy of food: it’s natural to kill for food and reverent to not waste any part of a body. but I don’t like killing animals as part of an industrialized process. it’s irreverent. so I’ll eat less meat to try and not take part in something I don’t approve of.
there! simple! that only took me like ten years to work out.
Was I the only gay man of a certain demo who experienced a flicker of annoyance in the way the media treated Jason Collins as some kind of baby panda who needed to be honored and praised and consoled and—yes—infantilized by his coming out on the cover of Sports Illustrated? Within the tyrannical homophobia of the sports world, that any man would come out as gay (let alone a black man) is not only an LGBT triumph but also a triumph for pranksters everywhere who thrilled to the idea that what should be considered just another neutral fact that is nobody’s business was instead a shock heard around the world?
maria popova’s work feels so pedestrian to me–which bums me out; i might enjoy it more if i would let the details go. but I can’t! the reality she tries to push has so many weird holes in it.
this came to some clarity over a snappy little twitter conversation with some friends, one of whom (oddly?) seems to think a few people criticize her because they’re envious, and because she’s a woman. not me: i bitch because her assertions are hilarious and implausible. just like paul ryan and his fake nine-percent body fat and fake marathon results. you know? the basis is kind of factual, the telling of it is probably bullshit.
su broke this down in mathematical terms. maria says in the sidebar of her site that it takes 450+ hours monthly of her time to curate and edit the fucker, which means she’s working on brainpickings between 15 and 16 hours per day. every bio statement she’s put out there has multiple bylines at multiple publications, so she has more than one job, one of which looks to be at least partially officey (meaning semi-regular hours). so by those numbers alone? i don’t buy it.
she later details her day here, and it is just precious how bad she wants us to believe that she is on the go and plugged in and with it. the first super-bullshitty thing she says is that she is doing sprints on an elliptical while reading longform pieces on her ipad. i read that sentence, and i was like, “???”
if you run, you know that doesn’t make any physical sense. you don’t sprint on an elliptical. you physically cannot sprint on one. a sprint relies upon you being able to bounce yourself forward using a part of the foot that’s strapped into an pedal. even if you were, hypothetically, moving fast enough to equal a sprint-like speed, it’d be more motion than could be tolerated for reading. you’d be using your upper body to balance while you’re charging along like an antelope, and that certainly makes it impossible to select text, copy and paste it into evernote, and file items using apple’s fat-fingered iOS interface. i mean, she says she’s using evernote to catalog this shit while she’s sprinting. so she’s obviously exaggerating, and i’m not sure why. does she want us to be certain that she’s so fucked up and ADHD that she can’t pay enough attention to either curation or running to do either very well?
at the end of the piece she claims to read and review 10-20 books per week. per week. what the fuck.
here’s another hilarious piece, in which she claims to work barefoot, standing on a wobble board. she also claims to do more push-ups in a minute than most people can, and also namedrops that she’s friends with Debbie Millman. this is not the writing of someone deeply engaged in her life, this is a person who is deeply engaged in what other people think of her life.
so, back to la la land. let’s assume that she actually does work about 20 hours daily. it’s nuts, but whatever, let’s accept her bullshit at face value. if she’s curating and reading and absorbing that much crap, where does she have the time to do any of her jobs well? she’s proven she’s a shitty blogger: here’s someone correcting one of her articles, which is just factually incorrect.
my hunch is that she has an idea, and then googles for source material, and totally fails in backing it up with real research. i say this because the source she’s wholesale copied her material from, goodreads, regularly appears as a top result for quotes from notable authors, and i get the idea that she’s looked for a hesse quote she likes and landed there–but then never checked to make sure the information is correct.
i’d also like to point out that she doesn’t ever link to, or credit, the goodreads page, which she has copied word for word, which is in total opposition to her silly creators’ code thingy. on top of all that, she uses the post as a springboard for her amazon affiliates account, not to mention four other posts of her own, which is selfish in the face of not crediting a source; it just indicates she’s more interested in her own traffic than exposing her readers to great sites–which goodreads is.
she also makes a hilarious sentence in the hesse post, something about “life’s most essential livingness,” and, what is that, anyway? i don’t know. does maria? or is she just banging together pretty words that sound vast to her?
my personal suspicion is in the clues she leaves in her choices: her taste is totally un-special, and the values reflected in her pieces often contradict each other. she’s looking for things that make you go, “oooo, cool” but she never strings those together into a coherent worldview.
for example: in the hesse post she talks about the fragility of life in presence of technology. not one week later, she posts a book review about the genius of polaroid photography–which was some of the most ecologically damaging chemistry ever created. for her to not connect those two clearly opposed ideas and make some comment about them? isn’t that what curation is? super weird.
With people living longer than ever, experts say this is the first generation that might care for its parents as long as it cared for its children. It’s something that has changed the life of former TV anchor Joan Lunden.
because everyone knows it only matters to americans if famous people do it.
Curators’ Code is (in theory) a project, a code snippet, and I think, a self-promotional concern and movement, which encourages online authors to credit their sources.
It is birdshot-riddled with holes and bad ideas.
I am more than a little surprised something this made it past the ideas-over-beers stage. It’s clearly an idea without much necessity, because it already exists.
More than surprised, I’m confused it happened, because it’s so clearly misthought, and by people we know are usually decent critical thinkers.