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Writing Every Day for a Month

Article Table of Contents

A long time ago, years, I wrote a short post every day. For a month. It was lovely. I theoretically could make each of these a different post, but I’m choosing to smash 30 days of writing together into a single document. Newest stuff is on the bottom.

Here we go:

2022-10-28 Increasing Agency #

Here’s some thoughts around agency, and children, and relatedly adults:

Article 1: Cultivating agency (Nadia Eghbal)

My sense is that those with a strong sense of personal agency don’t always realize that not everyone shares this position. Instead of responding to antinatalist arguments with thinly-cloaked shaming and appeals to the “natural” self, I think it’d be more effective to respond by teaching people a sense of personal agency. If more people believe they can control their environment and be the change they want to see in the world, I hope they’d be inspired to raise the next generation: not as victims, but as the heroes of our future.

“[A]n imperfect struggle to live well and love a world badly in need of repair is better than staying still because things are terrible.”

Article 2: The Most Precious Resource is Agency (Simon Sarris)

The act of creation causes imagination, not the other way around. To understand this is to understand the ecology that fosters the unique. Agency is precious because the lucidities that purposeful work and responsibility bring are the real education. The secret of the world is that it is a very malleable place, we must be sure that people learn this, and never forget the order: Learning is naturally the consequence of doing.

Additionally, I would recommend Ivan Illych’s Deschooling Society


2022-10-29 Ken Burn’s Holocaust Documentary #

Today, I spoke with someone about The U.S. and the Holocaust by Ken Burns.

I really like Ken Burn’s stuff, and am slowly working through his entire anthology. I’m also working through Studio Ghibli’s anthology, very different vibe, more on that another time.

I keep coming around to how dangerous and harmful the association of “white people” is. “Whiteness”, and protecting white, protestant America, the American way of life, patriotism, nationalism.

I no longer call myself white, I call myself “white-passing”, beacuse I am. My mom’s parents are paraguayan, so I’m half south american, by blood. But her dad is indiginous indian (Guaranì), and her mom’s family hails from Rosés, Spain, in the Catalan region.

The documentary is potent. Hitler was really impressed with how the federal government of the USA conducted regimes of ethnic cleansing against the original populations of the region (native populations), and he was impressed with the government’s regime of social control for black people.

He considered expelling the jews from the region between germany and modern-day russia to be similar to how the US government “conquored the west”.

White people who hated black people invented Euclidean zoning in the 1920s. Euclidean zoning is a cute term for a regime of social control implemented at the municipal code level, mediated through permits and applications.

Ford (Henry Ford, you know him) was a HUUUUGE fan of Hitler. Ford and GM (the companies, you know them) were some of the biggest advocates of certain regimes of social control outlined in The Slaughter of Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing

2022-10-30 Banned Books #

America has it’s own version of the Holocaust. It involved the jews, and Black people, people of Asian decent, and Native populations.

When you’re done with the next few paragraphs, if I am successful, you’ll have an embodied sense that the federal government of the USA, and it’s supporters, went to war with ethnic minority populations in America, throughout the 20th century. I’d argue this history is intentionally lost and hidden from view today.

I’ve always been attracted to things that at least some people think are bad for me. My parents could regale you with stories about this, probably. Highschool me was a piece of work, and a handful.

Anyway, anytime I find a book that’s been banned, at some point, I want to read it.

I read Maus I & Maus II recently after learning that they got banned by some random schoolboard.

I hope to some day create a free little library, full of books that have been banned at some point.

It’s my little anarchest, provacative attempt at changing the world. I’d put a sign on the outside that says “be careful! These books have been banned!” and I’d add a little explainer inside of each book about who banned it, when, and why you, dear reader, are making the world a better place by reading it.

I’m annoying.

I’ve read some books that I think would be banned, if institutions today still could ban books, or maybe they wish they could ban a book but are not dumb enough to forget about the Streisand effect.

For example, if I could get every Christian bookstore to stock The Origins of Proslavery Christianity: White and Black Evangelicals in Colonial and Antebellum Virginia, I’d die a happy man.

This book, given to a moderately attentive highschooler, would permanetly change the trajectory of their life. I read it for the first tine in 2017, because in reading the title I knew I would have to read the whole book.

This book would be banned, but it’s currently low-profile enough it doesn’t need to be banned - it’s better for modern religious institutions to just act like it doesn’t exist.

Anyway, I found the modern-day equivalent of a banned book. It’s banned from Amazon! (I emailed the company, asked why I wasn’t able to purchase it from Amazon, then said “Amazon de-listed our books!”)

The Slaughter of Cities: Urban Renewal as Ethnic Cleansing #

It’s riveting, albeit challenging to wade through. It’s huge, almost 700 pages, and isn’t organized in a ‘traditional’ way.

I’ll grab quotes from it at some point, but this book is banging. If you want a take-down of western culture, and a book that pulls the covers back on the evil things done in the world under the name of helping others, this is the book for you!

Do you know a lot about Urban Renewal? From Wikipedia:

Urban renewal (also called urban regeneration in the United Kingdom and urban redevelopment in the United States[1]) is a program of land redevelopment often used to address urban decay in cities. Urban renewal involves the clearing out of blighted areas in inner cities to clear out slums and create opportunities for higher class housing, businesses, and other developments.

A primary purpose of urban renewal is to restore economic viability to a given area by attracting external private and public investment and by encouraging business start-ups and survival.[2] It is controversial for its eventual displacement and destabilization of low-income residents, including African Americans and other marginalized groups.

Plenty of cities in America still have active urban renewal authorities. I live in Golden. Here’s some links. I include the URLs, because URLs tell a lot. These are all institutions formally associated with municipal governments:

Check out these fine folks:

Here’s a prototypical example of “urban renewal” meets “highway planning”:

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OK, I’m done for today.

2022-10-31 Intent Matters #


I didn’t mean to hurt you.

What a reasonable and appropriate statement.


I see that, and I believe you. It still hurt, and I don’t want it to happen again.

The next statement matters.


But I didn’t mean to hurt you. Why don’t you focus more on my intent?

Great question. What’s your intent here?

I want to feel better about myself.

I am uncomfortable with the prospect of being someone who makes mistakes.

I don’t know how or plan to change.

I believe people who ‘do bad things’ are ‘bad people’, and I don’t think I am a bad person, so I cannot handle the prospect of centering my bad actions in this story.

It wrecks someone to be repeatedly, intentionally hurt by someone who claims to be acting in your interests, to love you, and is close to you.

I feel anger for everyone who has ever been yelled at, spoken to cruely, attacked, and dismissed by someone close to them, who then irresponsibly wraps up interactions with a lie:

I love you

Words matter, so much.

Does the perception to be seen as ‘not bad’ overwhelms your ability to understand the impact you have on someone? For example, if you make someone feel terror, sadness, alienation, insecurity, and abandonment, the only appropriate response is to handle it with responsiblity and ownership.

It messes with someone’s internal state, and brain development, at a bunch of different levels, to be both scared and comforted by the same person in short order, repeatedly.

This is abuse:

does something scary

Don’t fear me!

does something scary

Don’t fear me! I love you, we’re friends.

does something scary

It’s inexcusable to repeatedly frighten someone and then coerce them into thinking that they’re not afraid of you. Do they flinch away from you? Are they walking on egg shells around you? Do they tell you they’re regularly frightened of you?

Do they make requests for different behavior?

If you say:

I didn’t mean that


I demand that you ignore my impact

You’re sending a message that says:

I demand that you aid me in allowing me to maintain an illusion about myself.

This is not how love between loving people is expressed, and you’d be forgiven for feeling debased when someone uses such weighty language (“I love you”) in ways that invert the meaning of love, so please do not do something so irresponsible as to say ‘i love you’ when there is such brokenness in a relationship.

And you invalidate them, and keep saying things that allow you to feel good about yourself, this is “unethical behavior”1

Taking responsibility would sound like:

I am sorry for the ways I’ve hurt you. I’ve done work to understand two things:

  1. How people should be treated
  2. How I sometimes treat(ed) you

There’s a gap between 1 and 2, and that is my gap. This is a conventional experience that many have experienced in the past, and will experience again, so I will not flinch from the idea that I have perpetuated bad things upon people I claim to love.

Indeed, my inability to demonstrate real love is rooted in damage done to me, at various times in my life. I understand the roots of the gap between what I want and what I do isn’t rooted in “I am a bad person”, so I can hold my mistakes clearly in my mind without my sense of self being decimated.

Here’s evidence that I’m not just saying things, but am doing the work to repair: {evidence 1, evidence 2, evidence 3}.

Dismissiveness, denial, anger, and minimialization is wholly toxic to those who are affected by such behavior.

At any point someone can start making the right decisions, going forward, but trust matters, patterns matter, and when I talk with someone about how to handle someone like this in their life, I convey to them that it’s madness and self-abandoning to continue to give this person privileged access to your life. The rightest course of action is to reduce the exposure and access in your life to someone like this.

They’ve un-earned it, and given that life is full of real actions, real situations, real risk, and real outcomes, it’s irresponsible to link your wellbeing to someone who acts like they’re hell-bent on destruction.

2022-11-01 Traffic 01 #

I ride a moped around, quite a lot.

I observe mobility networks from the perspective of one who can move through them in slightly unconventional ways (given a certain referance point) and who is a ‘very vulnerable’ user of the networks. An accident/incident on my moped, at nearly any speed, could leave me permanantly injured or dead.

It’s hard for me to even know where to start, when I want to talk about roads. Roads in America are quite broken, and “traffic planners” are negligent, and more akin to adherents of a cult than independent, thoughtful, creative, well-meaning individuals.

The federal, state, and municipal government actors in America are much closer to eugenicists than scientists. (Heh, it’s a joke, you see, because lots of scientists were eugencists!)

Political authority is a myth, a schema that exists with power only because enough of the right people believe it’s real, for the same reason that the Church dominated the political world in the 16th century because enough people thought it mattered.

Unfortunately, group hallucinations can still lead to real people with real weapons showing up somewhere and enacting real violence upon someone, which leads to real death and real destruction. Wrong beliefs matter. Wrong beliefs about roads matter.

Anyone who sits in traffic, or is stopped at any point in their journey from A to B, or experiencing the harm of a bad road network. The harms touch every aspect of life:

  • air quality
  • road noise
  • threat to physical safety
  • lack of opportunity to travel at certain times of day
  • expense of maintaining vehicles
  • lack of time to do something besides driving. (I’d rather read than drive, and healthy networks allow you to move and read at the same time.)

I am a foaming-at-the-mouth crazy person about this stuff, and don’t know how to express it, so I’ll be allocating a fair bit of my daily writings to writing about mobility networks.

I love riding around on my moped. It works during most of the year, most times of day, most weather conditions, it’s screamingly cheap, efficient, and fun to use.

Footnotes #

  1. I care deeply about ethical behavior, and in a move that makes me unappologetically insufferable to some people, I believe the rightest option when there’s a disagreement is to rigerously focus on why either party believes a course of action is or is not ethical and wise. Especially when dealing with power imbalances, if the high-power person/group is encouraging the lower-power person or group to ignore their judgement, it’s a HUGE red flag, and this course of action is well-understood in the domain of ‘safety science’ to lead to really bad outcomes, where actual people actually die. (See: Group dynamics & avalanch fatalities