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Today was mostly a day of reading and writing. I wrote a blog post on the book Burnout
And then I read the book *Better Than Before*, which is kind of a self-help book on habits that's *pretty* good but not *amazing*. It has a lot of generic advice I've seen in other places but presented well. I realize that I should rely on Beeminder more than I actually do. I have problems, sometimes, with leaning into Beeminder because it starts to feel like someone externally trying to force my hand instead of what it is: future me trying to make sure present me does what we will have wanted us to have done in the future. Christ, the tensing on that feels weird but I hope you can tell what I'm trying to say.
Other than that I started picking away at my next set of articles, but I felt so---I don't know---out of it at that point that it felt like my brain was mush. I was trying to write about file formats, compression, and error correcting code and it just was all coming out as a really jumbled mess to my ear. That's when I decided to run errands and such and get dinner going instead of sitting there hating myself.
Speaking of hating myself, it's something I'm trying to do less of even though it's hard. I'm trying to learn how to walk the fine line of being honest about how I'm feeling but without spreading the memetic virus of bad expectations and self-hate-as-automatic-response. I've been thinking a lot about how we transmit maladaptive behavior to each other, particularly over social media. I feel like we could use actual epidemiology to see how bad takes transmit and infect others, how cruel nihilistic humor spreads like a contagion.
Maybe that sounds weird, but I've been growing deeply disillusioned with a lot of the spaces that once felt like my social safety net, the place where I found a lot of my friends and met someone I love dearly. I've been thinking about how I feel like "gamer gate" changed a lot and not just because of the kind of awful harassing behavior that was modeled on mass scale or even because far right elements learned they could mobilize the disaffected into a veritable army but because it broke the sense that we were existing in spaces that were mostly small. Instead of social networks like Twitter being places where, mostly, we existed in pockets of tight connections with the occasional loose connection linking groups together it became too much one largely connected graph.
That's terrible for us, I think, and I want something different. I worry about Gen Z lately because I feel like as an adult and a teacher I'm seeing ways that growing up without IRL spaces, growing up in these toxic online communities, is having pretty unhealthy effects. I'm a millennial which as the joke I saw goes means that the difference between me and Gen Z is that I remember a time when I enjoyed being online.
That joke rings true to me but I don't want it to stay that way. I want something better for us all.
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