Oh gosh oh boy it's NEWSLETTER time! Get hype. I'm hype, in case you can't tell. Let's take a stroll through the noosphere 🔮
First, I hope you saw the latest rhizomatic tendril of Wanderverse:
Members are encouraged to peruse what's on the way / works in progress:
My plans morph as things move forward. Whatever I end up shipping usually kinda rhymes with my original vision, but isn't identical. In fact, if I've learned anything from these publishing ventures, it's that nothing — on any level — will ever turn out exactly how I expect. Gotta keep rolling with the punches!
Over at Pirate Wires, Mike Solana invited me to explain the furry phenomenon:
Essentially, furry is all about playing pretend. Newsflash, it's fun to be silly and make up stories! A wolf with amethyst eyes would be awesome, that's why they keep putting them on those sick shirts.
If you're unfamiliar with furries, you might think the hobby sounds harmless, if perhaps a bit childish, and you'd be right. But you'd also be underestimating how ridiculously — how effervescently, and sometimes tumescently — over-the-top furries can be. Furries go hard for what we enjoy. By my way of thinking, the unabashed passion in face of constant ridicule is exemplary.
Because yeah, if you're not a kid and you roleplay as a fantasy animal version of yourself, people will make fun of you. FYI.
My headline asks, are furries freaks? Contra Betteridge, the answer is yes (and I'll get into why, don't you worry). Oddballs have a way of rolling into corners together. When it comes to furries, our insistence on aberrance has made us infamous, at least if you're sufficiently immersed in certain ecosystems of digital degeneracy.
I was flattered that Greg Fodor responded with "The Rise of Avatarism," an almost-manifesto that is delightfully brash and ambitious in its predictions:
Next, a few podcasts. I feel like I'm drowning in podcasts — it doesn't take many to count as inundation when your baseline is zero. But hey, maybe you don't feel that way? 😎👉 I'm great at this aren't I.
It was an honor to help my dear friend, the voluble raconteur @eigenrobot, welcome his serialized salon to the world:
wherein the eminent Sonya Mann holds forth religion, how one might try to even conceive of god, and the importance of hurting your audience with information about demons.
And I talked to another truly lovely person, Henry Zhu, about the insistent thingness of everything:
Lastly in the podcast department, I had the pleasure of joining gracious host John Lamberton for a wide-ranging conversation:
Sonya and I chat about coffee, cypherpunk, cyberpunk, nootropics, admiration for Gwern, Tor, Signal, Bitcoin, SciHub, PGP, opsec, threat modeling, encryption as a hermetic seal, Tarot vs Tetlock, zine making, artifact vs art, physically tangible art vs digital art, anarcho capitalism, distaste for cannabis culture, communicating across frameworks, becoming a theist after being an atheist, costly waste signaling, media diet suggestions, and more.
Further recommended listening and/or watching — this section is unusually large today, so don't be afraid to scroll vigorously if you're a text-only person (trust me, I get it). The rest of you, for your consideration:
To read... abundant material for your perusal, so please follow whim and whim alone. Let your intuition and curiosity do the work!
- "Engines of Sacrality: A Footnote on Randall Collins' Interaction Ritual Chains" and "Aztec Political Thought" by Xavier Marquez, h/t Gwern
- "Barbarians Past the Gate" plus "Technology, Class, and Ideological Realignment" by Justin Murphy
- "Ideas not mattering is a psyop" by Alexey Guzey, Stephen Malina, and Leopold Aschenbrenner
- "Quotes from Moral Mazes" (which I now want to read) by Zvi Mowshowitz
- "The limits of the proposed 'behavioral immune system'" by Will Buckner
- "Whalebone & Crabshell" (fiction) through the Dark Mountain Project
- "Tsunamis, pranks and uprisings" by Stahlblau
- "A place with no places." by Default Friend
- "A Conversation with Álvaro Santana-Acuña, author of Ascent to Glory" by Neglected Books
- Tech Moms' lovely interview of Vicki Boykis, machine-learning engineer and author of the engrossing human-scale newsletter Normcore Tech
- "Homesteading Book Review: The Urban Homestead" and subsequently "Homesteading Book Review: The Seasons on Henry's Farm" by a.keranih
- "What is going on in the world?" by Anders Sandberg
- "Running a Successful Membership / Subscription Program" by Craig Mod
- "How Newsflare monetizes video from over 60,000 contributors" by Simon Owens
- "R/Bujo's Top Tips on How to Plan When You Have Severe Depression/Impaired Functioning" compiled by /u/flowers_and_fire
- "The New National American Elite" by Michael Lind
- "The Reality Czar" by James McGirk
- Praxis, a four-book series by Tiago Forte
- "Memento Mori" and the followup "What are you avoiding?" by Michele Gill
- HEXEN 2.0 by Suzanne Treister
- An untitled poem by Khan & Polo
Lastly, dreamily, a black-and-white film series by Avy Faingezicht:
Okay actually lastly, if you like dreams, come step into mine. Talk soon 😘