See subject line. As usual, I'll start with the ones that involve me:
- Gift memberships are now available! I feel silly announcing this after Christmas rather than before, but so it goes. Maybe ur fave has a birthday coming up? Also, I updated the membership page for 2021.
- Timothy Wilcox and I podcasted about the book Hell's Angels by Hunter S. Thompson and the movie Bonnie & Clyde, both of which came out in 1967, sharing themes of news-mediated "reality" and fraught masculine frustration:
- Relatedly, Tim and Grant Dever compared and contrasted Life of Pi and Donnie Darko, both products of 2001 that were first received and interpreted in the weird, anxiety-ridden atmosphere immediately post-9/11. I enjoyed their conversation:
- Another podcast! Henry Zhu and I discussed my return to Christianity, winding our way through auxiliary topics such as "doubt and spiritual malaise, the phenomenology of faith, fractal reality, happeningness." There's a transcript at the link, if you're like me and prefer reading to listening.
- Penultimate podcast (idk why so many podcasts this time) — Matt Parlmer and @eigenrobot delved into the nitty-gritty: "We both decide that we hate Boston and that Borderers need reparations." Pretty sure that's tongue-in-cheek, but you'll have to listen to find out.
- Final podcast: A Becoming Creature. The name speaks for itself.
- EleutherAI is working on GPT-Neo, a genuinely open redux of GPT-3 (h/t @generativist).
- Brady Dale co-created a nifty social RSS aggregator called Elevenist. If you long for the halcyon days of Google Reader, this is the website you seek!
- Pamela Hobart published a guide to stop thinking in circles: "Break free of frustrating mental loops with this EXTREMELY CONDENSED set of cognitive, emotional, and philosophical skills."
- Hyperlink Academy is still out here doin' thangs. Peruse the roster to see what strikes your fancy! And/or read the team's takeaways from running the Meta Course.
- Helen Flynn Germain has a truly lovely folk album titled And Now I Own A Knife. Jealous that I didn't come up with that metaphor, tbh.
- Fantastic Twitter thread by painter Kendric Tonn:
- Anton Troynikov debuted a proper website! (I nagged him about this.) Lots of great material addressing the future of science, and the future in general. "Rewilding the Web" is particularly of-the-moment.
- "The Herd of Independent Minds: Has the Avant-Garde Its Own Mass Culture?" by Harold Rosenberg (h/t Rudzki). Spoiler alert, the answer is yes — take that, Betteridge! Shockingly prescient piece from 1948.
- "Survey Chicken" by an actual blanaba. "I think a lot of people would agree with me that surveys are bullshit. What I don't think is widely known is how much 'knowledge' is based on survey evidence, and what poor evidence it makes in the contexts in which it is used." A must-read.
- "The Fraying of the US Global Currency Reserve System" by Lyn Alden. Another must-read, at least if you're interested in macroeconomics.
- "Starships of Future Past" by Adam Jesionowski.
- "Church and Community" by Ben Hsieh.
- "2020 in review" by @rootsofprogress / Jason Crawford.
- "Anonymous Deliverance" by @estnihil, who you may remember from cringe discourse.
- "Urn Again," one of David Johnston's many splendid posts about restoring a Scottish castle.
Lastly, this tweet made me happy:
Kbye. Talk soon!
Header artwork by Wassily Kandinsky.