👓 People visit roughly 25 places | Nelson’s log

Read People visit roughly 25 places by Nelson Minar (Nelson's log)
Interesting study summarized over at The Economist. The researchers tracked the movements of 40,000 people as they went about their daily lives. They found the number of places that people go to re…
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👓 UDP spam from DirecTV boxes | Nelson’s log

Read UDP spam from DirecTV boxes by Nelson Minar (Nelson's log)
I was watching my new Linux server’s bandwidth graphs closely and noticed a steady stream of about 70kbits/sec I couldn’t account for. 24kbps of that is my three DirecTV boxes sending U…
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👓 The Mueller Indictments | National Review

Read The Mueller Indictments by Jonah Goldberg (National Review)
When twelve Russian intelligence operatives are indicted, the only response from the White House is to gloat that none of this proves collusion.
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👓 I relished Om Malik’s post “Blogs are thought spaces” | Colin Walker

Read a post by Colin WalkerColin Walker (colinwalker.blog)
I relished Om Malik's post "Blogs are thought spaces" in which he said that he started blogging for two reasons: to share what he had learnt as a reporter, and to have a place to think out loud. This reminded me of something I wrote in 2014 where, I too, said I like to think out loud. Blogging has a...
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👓 Blogs as Thinking Spaces | Read Write Collect

Read Blogs as Thinking Spaces by Aaron DavisAaron Davis (collect.readwriterespond.com)
Nice reflection Colin. I find it interesting the way that focuses and intents associated with blogging develop and evolve over time. Although I do sometimes go back to my Twitter feed to find past conversations, I agree with you that it is a bit of dumping spot. For a long time my habit has been to ...
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👓 Blogging in 2017 | Colin Walker

Read Blogging in 2017 by Colin WalkerColin Walker (colinwalker.blog)
Having read a number of posts recently about people's experiences rediscovering blogging, and others questioning whether blogging was still a valid exercise in 2017, I thought it would be a good idea to re-examine why I do this. My own rediscovery period was last year. I was still writing but not tr...
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👓 Wrapping Up | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Wrapping Up by Kathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
Yesterday, I wrapped up the revisions on Generous Thinking, and I’m finding myself of very mixed minds about where I am today. On the one hand, I am super excited about getting the manuscript into …

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And probably letting myself do a bit more thinking-out-loud here.  

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👓 La plus rare et la plus pure | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read La plus rare et la plus pure by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
After yesterday’s search for the source of Simone Weil’s oft-quoted “Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity” went a bit Lot-49ish on me, I wondered whether I should just have been satisfied with that “attributed to.” But I’m glad I didn’t let it go, for a couple of reasons.
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👓 Generosity and Attention | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Generosity and Attention by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
Among the reading I’ve picked up thanks to suggestions from the most generous readers of the draft of Generous Thinking is a bit of Simone Weil. Alan Jacobs, who pointed me toward her work in a couple of spots, noted in particular that she “seems to have thought that [attention] is the primary form of generosity.” So I’ve been reading around in the places where her thoughts turn to attention, including Gravity and Grace and Waiting for God. A quick search online for Weil and attention, however, surfaces a vast number of references to her most quotable quote:
Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.
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👓 On Generosity and Obligation | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read On Generosity and Obligation by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
I am returning, at last, to the thoughts I was exploring in my recent posts on Miranda Joseph’s Against the Romance of Community (post 1 | post 2), and I’m starting to wrestle this morning with the big one: obligation. Thinking about community as a strategic rather than an idealized concept, community in its pragmatic coalition-building sense, leads me to consider the work required to create and sustain communities. If the kinds of communities that I am seeking in trying to imagine a more generous relationship not only between the university and the publics that it engages but also, crucially, within the university itself are first and foremost voluntary communities—self-organizing, self-governing collectives based in affiliation and solidarity—what exactly can we be said to owe those communities? Do those communities and our relationships to them impose obligations on us?

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I am generous with what I have—I choose to be generous with what I have—precisely because we are no longer committed to one another as members of a shared social structure. Instead, the shift of responsibility for the public welfare toward private entities displaces our obligations to one another in favor of individual liberties and, I think, leaves us queasy about the notion of obligation altogether.  

The game theory of things tends to pull the society apart, particularly when it is easier to see who is paying what. If the richer end feels they’re paying more than their fair share, this can tend to break things down.

I suspect that Francis Fukuyama has a bit to say about this in how democratic societies built themselves up over time. Similarly one of his adherents Jonah Goldberg provides some related arguments about tribalism tending to tear democracies down when we revert back to a more primitive viewpoint instead of being able to trust the larger governmental structures of a democracy.

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👓 Writing Is Hard | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Writing Is Hard by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
And then there are the mornings when I can spend two hours trying to untangle the logic in a single paragraph. I’ll grant that the thing I’m trying to say isn’t, and shouldn’t be, simple. And the paragraph is one of the keys to explaining why this chapter is in the book at all, so it’s important to get it right. But I didn’t expect it to be quite that hard to say. And the difficulty makes me wonder whether I’ve really gotten it straightened out at all.
Leaving this here, in any case, to remind me to be a bit humble in this process. I have found few things quite as difficult as writing with clarity.
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👓 Reading, Anxiety, Possibility | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Reading, Anxiety, Possibility by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
Every so often you come across That Book, the exact thing you need to read, and a lot of the time it’s something that you might not have run into before and that you certainly had no idea you neede…

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dismissing pleasure in reading (whether as illicit, or unserious, or whathaveyou) opens space for anxiety to become one’s dominant reading affect, and particularly “anxiety about whether we’re reading the right stuff, or reading for the right reasons, or reading in the right way.”  

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👓 Strategy and Solidarity | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Strategy and Solidarity by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
As I noted in my last post, I recently read Miranda Joseph’s Against the Romance of Community as a means of thinking a bit more deeply about the ways that Generous Thinking deploys the notion of community.

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Calls to work on behalf of the community or to the community’s values wind up not only, as I noted in my last post, ignoring community’s supplementary role with respect to capital but also essentializing a highly complex and intersectional set of social relations.  

This reminds me of some studies in psychology about why people vote and for whom they vote. It’s not always who they would vote for individually, but who would a group of people like them vote? This makes the “community” portion far more complex than it would appear.

I should track down the original references, but I think I remember reading about them via either George Lakoff or possibly Malcolm Gladwell.

Under late capital, the non-profit has been asked to take over the space of providing for community needs or supporting community interests that had formerly been occupied by the state as the entity responsible for the public welfare.  

I know the book American Amnesia talks about the value built up by a strong government working in conjunction with a capitalist machine over the past century or so. I wonder if the later half of the book gets into how to shift things back in this manner?

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👓 Community, Privatization, Efficiency | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read Community, Privatization, Efficiency by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
Thanks to a recommendation from Danica Savonick, I’ve been reading Miranda Joseph’s Against the Romance of Community. Danica pointed me toward it as a corrective for some of the ways my gestures toward community flirted with the romanticized notions Joseph seeks to question, and hard as it is for me (an optimist, for better or for worse) to open some of the ideals I hold to harder questioning, that questioning is proving fruitful.
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👓 What’s New? | Kathleen Fitzpatrick

Read What’s New? by Kathleen FitzpatrickKathleen Fitzpatrick (Kathleen Fitzpatrick)
Over the last couple of months, I opened Generous Thinking to a community review process at Humanities Commons. I am thrilled with how the discussion went and am thoroughly enjoying the process of revision started.
Doing that work has had me reflecting a fair bit of late on my working processes, how they’ve changed over the last several years, and how I might want to transform them yet again. And one bit of that potential transformation is leading me, with Dan Cohen, back to blogging, and, with Alan Jacobs, to ponder returning to some related technologies as well.
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