When I couldn’t sit properly and write (other than for work), I think of the pieces I have in my list that I wanted to write, among others: trauma anniversaries and the relationship between data (quantitative) and stories (qualitative), my favourite literary moment (Proust’s Madeleine moment) found in books I have read, my current reader’s and writer’s block (how long do you think this will last???), vaccine envy (impfneid — see one of the links below), and the attempt to discover our post-pandemic selves.
Like many others, I am also looking to migrate out of a Substack. This is the reason:
Substack was publishing — and in some cases offering money upfront to — authors [Doyle] say are “people who actively hate trans people and women, argue ceaselessly against our civil rights, and in many cases, have a public history of directly, viciously abusing trans people and/or cis women in their industry.”
When I read this, I was thinking — this is not possible, I have friends who are trans people. Then I reflected on what I said — I do not have to have friends and families who are [insert targeted groups here] to be able to stand up for them. It is very easy to fall into this line of thinking e.g., “I can’t be racist, I have Black friends!” while newsflash: yes you can be racist while having Black friends, it’s called ‘tokenism’, among others. It is enough to know that if one’s humanity is not recognised in any forms, then all of ours would not have a chance to stand against the massive manufactured powers — be it capitalism, imperialism, white supremacy, or in Malaysia perhaps the archaic ketuanan Melayu — and be free all the same. Furthermore, the goal of TKOI, based on the movement of Design Justice, is all about “creating and participate in processes that champion social justice and liberation through a combination of values, practices, sites, and narratives”. Sites like Substack would not be able to champion this goal if they continue to uphold the narrative in their business practices — that they are OK to pay writers (practice), some of them problematic at that, to write for them and being secretive about it at first, but then disclosing it and being “proud of [it]”(values). ”
This is not the first time I changed platform —some of you here have been on this list ever since my days at Tinyletter and briefly at Mailchimp—and I really appreciate all of you for staying this long and giving my words of meagre quality a piece of your attention. I do not charge anyone for money here and I write sporadically here for fun (?), so the platform change will not hugely impact my writing. I am thinking of Revue, but I do welcome more suggestions if you have any.
READING IN MY TABS
How to poison the data the Big Tech uses to surveil on you (with data strike, data poisoning, and conscious data contribution) and how to defeat the Boston Dynamics’s Spot robot.
Technology and solidarity, sadly, won’t save Myanmar’s protesters. “You have to remember that no tech is hack-proof, no mechanism is completely secure. Everything has insecurity built in. Any mobilisation or campaigning or expression of your democratic rights should go with the assumption that technology can be insecure.” Related: how Myanmar's generals cut the country off from the internet — quite literally, with wire cutters.
This different take on procrastination by artist Roni Horn: “…when I’m inclined to procrastinate, it’s a signal to resolve the situation and get back to it. I’ve always seen it as a form of escapism or maybe laziness. […] I noticed that I procrastinated because I was unwilling to ask the tough questions that I needed to ask to move forward. And I saw that happen every time in the creative process, and I said, “No. You walk away now or you dive in.” It can be a make-or-break point.” Also, this article I kept sending to my fellow graduate students when they kept equating procrastination with laziness (newsflash: there is no such thing as laziness).
New German words inspired by the coronavirus: Maskentrottel (mask idiot), coronaFußgruß (corona foot greeting), and impfneid (the envy of those who have been vaccinated) — the last one is definitely something I have been feeling.
“It might not happen for a long time, but one day you run your fingers through the sand again, scoop a fistful out, and pat it into a new floor. You can believe in anything, so why not believe this will last?”
RESOURCES & TOOLKITS
Digital Rights Archive “is a searchable stack of high-quality research, analysis, and commentary on topics relevant to digital policy-makers. Timely reports, journalism, videos, and podcasts are unearthed by algorithms and handpicked by humans.”
A repository of Humane Tech, although I do wonder by the definition —”Humane design is a subset of humane technology and an upcoming field in information technology”, what is defined by ‘humane’ though? Does the framework also examine the intersectionality of ‘humanness’, and beyond it too (e.g. climate and environment)?
Connected Papers “is a unique, visual tool to help researchers and applied scientists find and explore papers relevant to their field of work.” Where was this site when I was still writing my thesis?!
Museo is a search engine for finding free, public domain images from a handful of museums and libraries.
Listening: Meryem Aboulouafa, a singer-songwriter from Casablanca, Morocco.
Watching: Feel Good, a semi-autobiographical Netflix series produced and starred by Canadian comedian Mae Martin.
Food & Drink: Lasagna and kombucha for lunch (fancyyyy) and crunchy bean sprouts with fried garlic (teppanyaki-style) and fish curry with rice for dinner.