3 Reframes, 2 Tactical Guides, & 1 Call to the #Matriots

Resources for Widening and Grounding Our Perspectives

Reading Time: 6 minutes

📜 Slow Thought: A Manifesto

I’m working on a long-form piece about self-care in 2021 — what’s available, what’s needed, what needs to be scrapped. In my research, I revisited this piece that underscores the outlaw move of slowing down in a frenzied world.

We need a philosophy of Slow Thought to ease thinking into a more playful and porous dialogue about what it means to live.

I won’t rehash how the pandemic Moment and the new administration in the US signal a sort of breakpoint in the System. A pause in the breakneck “Eternal Now” (as Aldous Huxley called it).

This quote from the article, from Norwegian philosopher Guttorm Fløistad sums up the initiation into the Slow Thought movement:

The only thing for certain is that everything changes. The rate of change increases. If you want to hang on, you better speed up. That is the message of today….

The culture and the systems demand speed and growth. It’s written into their code. And it is not sustainable. For each of us and for the systemic crises we face, the operating principles of faster, bigger, better will find us cornered again.

Fløistad continues:

…It could however be useful to remind everyone that our basic needs never change. The need to be seen and appreciated! It is the need to belong. The need for nearness and care, and for a little love! This is given only through slowness in human relations. In order to master changes, we have to recover slowness, reflection and togetherness. There we will find real renewal.

Click here to read the full piece.

🪃 Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save the World

One of the brilliant books published in 2020, Tyson Yunkaporta’s opus walks us on a journey into a new/old way of knowing and thinking. He invites us into a mode of conversation with and about the world. From the macro to the micro, he nudges us towards a new way of being in our everyday lives. Using Indigenous Knowledge and methods, he ushers us towards a wider perspective on systems thinking and complexity.

Here are four potent quotes from Sand Talk worth marinating in:

On collective knowledge creation:

Our knowledge endures because everybody carries a part of it, no matter how fragmentary. If you want to see the pattern of creation, you talk to everybody and listen carefully.

On the importance of the winding path

We don't have a word for nonlinear in our languages because nobody would consider traveling, thinking, or talking in a straight line in the first place. The winding path is just how a path is, and therefore it needs no name.

On the necessity of a diversity of viewpoints

Every viewpoint is useful, and it takes a wide diversity of views for any group to navigate this universe, let alone to act as custodians for it. I stand in this gully and see the Rainbow Serpent in one place; you stand on the hill and see him in another, and he gives us different messages that we are supposed to share with one another.

On the regenerative path of sharing knowledge

I need to pass these concepts on so I can leave them behind and grow into the next stage of knowledge. Failing to pass it all on means I'm carrying it around like a stone and stifling my growth, as well as the regeneration of the systems I live in.

Check out this Rebel Wisdom video as well for an interview with the author.

📹 Century of the Self

As part of my research for two future essays I’m noodling, I keep returning to these fundamental questions:

Aside from God and gods and spirit, what is the most macro, most overarching organizing principle in my life?
What systemic force more than almost any other “drafts the course of my days,” as I said in Slipstream Attuning?

I keep coming to capitalism. In particular I come to the form of capitalism that dominates the US, which seems to force our individual hands in ways we can hardly fathom.

And that’s why I’m placing here the Century of the Self, the Adam Curtis documentary released in 2002. In four parts it introduces us to the ways in which politicians and consumer culture appeal to the more primitive impulses of our natures in order to keep the population under control. Highly entertaining and a visceral lifting of the veil, this docu-series is about “how those in power have used Sigmund Freud's theories to try and control the dangerous crowd in an age of mass democracy.”

This documentary series more than just about anything I’ve seen before or since grapples with the girth of the challenge we face in rewriting the code of our society to make life better for more people.

Click here to watch the first episode on YouTube.

🧰 The T-Shaped Information Diet

I just joined the new app Clubhouse.
This, after ramping up my engagement on Twitter again.
This, after opting in to an array of newsletters as I’ve been building this Pocket.

All that’s to say, I’m gorging myself on content.

Because of that, I’ve been getting curious about what system might work to hone this influx. Could I chisel it down from the onslaught that it has become to a more manageable stream?

And then Nick De Wilde put out this fantastic piece. He constructs a sturdy framework for building a just-right content diet. His method for charting each of our personal and professional selves helps deliver optimal knowledge curation to fulfill each aspect.

I’m excited to take an afternoon and spring-clean all my apps, feeds, and subscriptions to better suit me and my bandwidth. And I’ll be grateful to have had “The T-Shaped Information Diet” as a map to the terrain.

What Can You Do About QAnon?

Now that the Trump Presidency is over, and his Twitter megaphone is quiet, there’s a newfound calm in the air(waves) that we all deserve. A Washington Post article from January 16th claimed that misinformation about election fraud dropped by 73% upon the cancellation of Trump’s social media accounts. That’s telling.

But I hesitate to take that as a signal that conspiracy theories and particularly the QAnon phenomenon are also out the door. And according to this short take, it might be dangerous to assume that Q and its frenzy will find their exit and resolve naturally.

This short video explores (and warns against) the reflex to ridicule those who espouse conspiracy theories. The hypothesis is that ridicule forges the beliefs even deeper. And besides, we all believe weird shit sometimes.

So what can we do in our personal lives when someone we know gets into QAnon? According to this resource, it’s simple and hard:

1. Stay Connected
2. Share Information they may be lacking, and ask questions about their claims
3. Be Patient

Click here to watch the 10-minute video.

💞What Is a Teenage Girl? by Samantha Hunt

A beautiful complement to the Slow Thought Manifesto and to Sand Talk above, this beautiful article by Samantha Hunt is about feelings. In particular, it’s about the danger, the challenge, and the endorsement of feeling those feelings in a society that doesn’t often support it. The relentless pace of drama, politics, and outrage — particularly over the last four years — often puts us at a default of numbing out. We disallow the appropriate reactions.

As a father of two young daughters, I was particularly moved by the lens this article brought to the so-called “heights of teenage girls’ emotions” which our culture so often labels as “anxiety or hysteria.” Instead, Hunt asks us:

[What if we] likened these heights of feeling to space exploration, deep sea diving, scientific research into what makes us human? Our girls are explorers and experimenters. Why then not listen to our deepest feelers, those humans who might provide us with a blueprint for the best, most human way forward? Why behave as if feeling things is silly and nice?

In the ongoing project of making life better for more people, bringing the deepest feelers among us forward to chart the way, resonates.

In the ongoing project of turning over the patriarchal norms of American society, putting the so-called “matriots” forward would usher our collective into the next stage of development of our democracy.

In the ongoing project of reckoning and repairing the wounds that are our legacy as a nation, encouraging the truth and a true feeling of its ramifications might be the key to the movement.

Thanks for reading, friends. Have a great week.