October links

Mount Vernon, Indiana, 1937 [source]

Not that I was clinging to it with any particular vigor, but Jon Michael Greer puts a stake through the heart of my oh-so-wistful desire to experience life in an intentional community.

After posting about it in July and getting feedback from friends online and off, I’m coming to understand my interest in intentional community as my own peculiar run-off-and-join-the-circus pipe dream, a fond illusion that becomes less appealing and less practical the closer I look at it and the older and more ornery I get.

I’ve come to similar conclusions about tiny homes, van life, RV life, and tooling around the country in a skoolie: there is a romanticism about all of it that would fade quickly, I suspect, given the daily hassle of emptying the waste tank, keeping the laptop charged, and finding a safe place to park.

But YMMV! Share your experiences or desires to go minimalist/nomadic/communal in the comments if you like. Just because something’s not for me doesn’t mean I think nobody should do it.


On debt and death: an essay from Tennessee-born writer Molly McGhee on taking on her mother’s debt after her death. Found after falling down a rabbit hole via the prolific output of author Robin Sloan:

“Why are these people harassing me? What good does it do them?” I didn’t have an answer for her. Or I did, but it felt obvious and stupid to say out loud. They wanted money. Everybody wants money. The people in power don’t care if we live or die, as long as they get paid. […]

There are endless articles on why America has failed to curb the pandemic. The truth is simple. People profit from our death. Foreclosure companies, debt collectors, real estate agents, news corporations, health care tycoons, senators, and presidents, to name a few.

Molly McGhee, “America’s Dead Souls”

The Facebook Files is now a podcast. I’ve been following the story on NPR. Will I listen to the pod? Probably not. This company has already taken enough of my precious time.

On a related note, before I deleted my Facebook account altogether, I used the “unfollow everyone” strategy to clear my newsfeed of browsable content and give me a sense of control (heh) over who and what I engaged with. I did it manually, and it took a minute, but once it was done, it was workable enough, though ultimately unsatisfying. Still, for those who feel the need to remain on the platform, I recommend giving it a try, even though — or maybe especially because — Facebook really doesn’t like it.

Who is Oleg Deripaska and why does it matter that the FBI raided his Washington, D.C.mansion? The world is awash in treachery and greed. See how many famous faces you recognize!


Do you feel compelled to finish reading every book you start? Does it make you feel incomplete if you to abandon a book mid-read? Bibliophile John Warner feels no such compunction.

Suzanne Vega introduces and sings “Tom’s Diner.”

Music critic Ted Gioia offers ten suggestions for dealing with criticism. He’s writing for musicians, mostly, but it’s useful advice no matter what sort of creative work we’re putting out into the world. My personal favorite: #10. Because I’d much rather avoid it altogether — wouldn’t you? — but then where would we be?

Perfect fall soup. Skip the cream if you want, or replace it with coconut milk. Either way, it’s luscious.

Leaves are falling.

2 thoughts on “October links

  1. John Michael Greer also makes the preposterous claim (based on no credible evidence) that lockdowns that occurred before the vaccine was available haven’t saved a single life from the scourges of this pandemic. What is it about people with large fan clubs that make them think they’re experts on everything? So I’d take his opinion on Intentional Communities (based on what personal experience I do not know) with a heavy dose of salt. Many IC’s have lasted a long time, and the vast majority have been excellent means of practicing and learning about building community. Sure beats doing nothing, and is far more useful than the many American individualistic stock-the-bunker bar-the-doors prepper strategies.

    As for criticism, I’d also agree (from grim experience) that engaging with the trolls is rarely wise, as my writing on CoVid-19, collapse, radical non-duality, and (for some reason especially) on whole-plant-based diets has sadly taught me. As John Green keeps stressing, the most important decision we make in life is probably what to pay attention to. There is a handful of people with whom I strongly disagree but whom I profoundly respect, and I often seek out their views and ideas. But the vast majority of criticism is just baldly personal opinion, which IMO says much about the critic and little of value about the subject or object of the criticism. I find it much more worthwhile to focus my attention elsewhere.

    1. Yes and yes. JMG admits to having no direct experience with ICs, so his is just one more opinion, and not all that valuable, as you say. Perhaps I should reach out to Kevana before I give up my pipe dream altogether? As you write in your own Oct. 31 post, the questions I ask myself most are what projects do I want to be spending my time on and where do I want to be living in 5-10 years, given that things are well on their way to fascism here in the States? How and where can I be useful? What do I want to be doing? How and with whom can I have more fun?

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