Hey, it’s been 27 Weeks, over half a year and … it feels like it’s been twice that long. Week 27 was out of control. I told a few people that it used to be thing a day, but now it feels like 500. A few minutes later I joked about remembering what it was like when there was only one thing a week that was destroying our democracy. My, how things have changed and not for the better.
Sorry this is late! Doctor’s appointments and leaking upstairs neighbor bathrooms always get in the way (not on the same day, though, and luckily no lasting damage to my bathroom).
Week 24 marked the first 100 days of 45’s regime. I’m currently rereading The Handmaid’s Tale and when I got to the section of the novel where Offred talks about how her world went from normal to an authoritarian regime, what struck me was how insidious it was. One day things seemed normal, and the next day too, but when you look back you see how dramatically things changed, but at the time you barely even noticed until something dramatic (in her case it was a bankcard not working and then losing her job) happens to you. I struggle, sometimes, to keep myself cynical enough to be aware that what’s happening in this country, in the United States, is not normal. In the novel Atwood talks about how humans adapt, how people normalize what’s going on around them because it’s how we survive and much of Offred’s story is about exactly that. And I worry that we, as a country and as individuals, are doing the same thing. That’s why I will continue to share Amy Siskind’s links/commentary as long as she posts them. We need these reminders.
Now, onto my links.
- Texas Voter ID Law Led to Fears and Failures in 2016 Election Efforts to implement the nation’s strictest voter ID requirements — a solution in search of a problem, according to one critic — foundered amid court defeats, confusion and at least one giant oversight. (ProPublica) Note: I donate to ProPublica every month. Also, if you only read one article from this list, read this one. It’s long, but worth every second you spend on it. Why? Because, among other things, it exposes why the voter fraud lies are so widespread and why the damage they do is so dangerous,
- How America’s Leading Science Fiction Authors Are Shaping Your Future The literary genre isn’t meant to predict the future, but implausible ideas that fire inventors’ imaginations often, amazingly, come true (Smithsonian Magazine) Note: My only complaint is that they didn’t interview any women SF authors.
- In Music, DRM Is Back While Ownership Is Going Away (Copyright and Technology)
- What Goes Through Your Mind: On Nice Parties and Casual Racism (The Toast)
Taken by me on a walk.
Though I am no longer a librarian in my work life, I will always have a soft spot for libraries (and I visit all the time to chat with my old coworkers as well as to check out books). And in the spirit of librarianship, there are two articles one (the Time article) is an old article, but the second (EFF) is recent and reflects certain changing aspects of our society.
- How Black Lives Matter Went Global: Activists for black, brown, and Indigenous rights around the world have adopted the Black Lives Matter slogan alongside homegrown movements against racism and police brutality. (BuzzFeed)
Blowing snow on the river (02/14/2-15) © ellenm1
A mixed bag today, just in time for that awkward few weeks between Thanksgiving and Christmas. Enjoy the links.
These links are depressing in a variety of ways, except for that first one.
I just want to state, for the record, that I had no idea that the Brontosaurus had stopped existing, as it were, for so long. I thought it, like Pluto losing it’s planet status, was a relatively new thing. Surprise! Who knew? Not me.
Hey Brontosaurus by Roger Jones
Hey, look, some links!
- The future of loneliness As we moved our lives online, the internet promised an end to isolation. But can we find real intimacy amid shifting identities and permanent surveillance? (Guardian)
As someone who has a social life divided by the internet and the physical world, I found the first article to be fascinating, if somewhat ill-informed. I truly believe that friendships you make online are just as real as those you make in person. Actually, I don’t just believe this, I know it. I have several very close friends who I only know through the internet. I’ve met a couple of them in person and I was the bridesmaid in another’s wedding. But there are others who I may never meet, as we live oceans apart. This doesn’t devalue our friendships in any way, shape or form.
I believe the crux of the problem is relying on the idea that followers on social media are the same as tangible friends — the ones you talk to (you may email them every day, or every week, month or even once or twice a year — but they are your friends and not just people you happen to know). I have over 100 followers (each) on twitter, tumblr and on Facebook. I would only consider a handful of these to be actual friends and of those, even fewer who are close friends. If you confuse friendship and followers, then you’re missing two things: the point of social media is not to create a super large group of actual friends and friendships cannot be bound or determined by anything other than the relationship between two people. I feel that the author, at the end of the article, came to realize that it is the quality of the friendships, not the quantity of the ‘friends’ that really matters.
Oddly, I’ve read a bunch of stuff this week. There’s no theme to these articles, they’re covering a variety of topics. Sometimes I include an ‘if you only read one’ but this week, all of them are pretty good.