7 min read · Jun 2nd · Three-dimensional human beings can’t thrive in a one-dimensional space
There’s a line that Reddit founder Alexis Ohanian used to repeat back in the halcyon days of 2012. It went something like: ‘The world isn’t flat — but the world wide web is.’
The internet facilitates these powerful, complex parasocial relationships but, at the same time flattens everything that makes the messy, human elements of relationships possible. It flattens audiences, it flattens time and it flattens a lot of nuance.
It’s called context collapse, which is when a piece of information intended for one audience finds its way to another — usually an uncharitable one — which then reads said information in the worst possible faith. (For that piece, I spoke to Elle Hunt, a journalist whose movie opinion tweet exploded into a culture war argument as result of this audience switching.)
~15 min read · Apr 17th · To solve my typos, I had to become a typo.
In this article, of course, you see nothing but perfect prose, thanks to the magic of spellcheck and copy editors. But when I’m typing quickly in a fast-moving chat, it’s chaos.
Although not an official diagnosis, doctors and researchers refer to this phenomenon as “dystypia” — a disruption of the ability to type on a keyboard. A similarly modern phenomenon is “dystextia,” where someone has trouble typing on a phone.
Maybe the new frontier of typing isn’t typing at all. Not everyone has fingers, not everyone has the ability to move their fingers easily. Accessibility for people with decreased mobility or sensation or prosthetics is already underway.
2 min read · 2020-04-24 · Most career advice on the internet is from people who had some sort of meteoric success. Why read advice from someone who’s had a mediocre career? But there’s massive sampling bias. All this advice…
20+ min read · Jun 29th · Everyone from Silicon Valley billionaires to self-help enthusiasts is repurposing Stoicism for our modern age, with results that are good, bad, and highly indifferent.
Too much emphasis on these reductive tips can breed certain strains of Modern Stoicism that feel awfully life hack-ridden, or focused primarily on things like productivity
Whatever the ancient Stoics intended, Stoicism is so open for interpretation today that those who aren’t inclined towards activism can use it as an excuse for passivity, whether consciously or not. One might look at Epictetus’ dichotomy of control and think, "If climate change or police brutality is out of my control, then it’s not for me to worry about."
It's perhaps unsurprising then that billionaires love a philosophy that doesn't require them to give up on their wealth, but accept their role in the world, and counsels the less fortunate to not worry so much about their circumstances and accept their lot—as Zeno did when he lost all of his possessions.