Day 19: Lifted, A Bit

I’m sleeping more lightly than usual. It could be Spain entering daylight savings time but it started a bit before this. At least I’m getting some sleep. I think others are struggling. I don’t have much to write about here. I’m trying to write for my fiction project more.

  • I took Alqo out to the monte early along with Moment’s wide 18mm lens. I love using it but I’m itching for new landscapes. It might be awhile before that happens.
  • It snowed today. I went down to the “gym” (my house’s bottom level, not really a basement but an unconnected open space with a concrete floor and a yoga mat) and finished in time to see it. Lasted about an 45 minutes or so.
  • Half of my book order came. The second batch has physical copies of Capital and The Three Body Problem which I’ve already started digitally, along with some other great stuff, all quite long. Working all day on a screen all day, my eyes get tired quickly. Started Kropotkin this morning and it was so enjoyable to hold a book and highlight. Today I received:
    • Peter Kropotkin’s The Conquest of Bread
    • Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove
    • Brandon Sanderson’s Oathbringer
  • Reading Esmé L.K. Patridge’s Medium essay How to Cope with Self-Isolation, According to a 9th Century Islamic Philosopher.
  • Speaking of, Early Islam historian Ian David Morris is giving a free seminar on Twitch. I’m pretty excited about this. If you’re interested, do the reading first. It’s short.
  • Listening to This Is Scientist on Spotify (Similar playlist on Apple Music)

Lockdown: Day VI Reading List

The three intertwined and colliding global crises of COVID-19, climate change, and capitalism overwhelm us with so many challenges it’s almost impossible to think straight. But soon, for those not in precarity, not on the frontlines of a war against an invisible enemy everywhere in the public sphere, we must shine a light on this chaos, and ourselves at home, to see that the moment presents us with sink-or-swim opportunities for all of us. To hold this tension within ourselves will be very difficult, but it’s our only way. A better world and system is possible. Here are some of the things I’ve been reading and listening to.

  • We’re Not Going Back to Normal: “We all want things to go back to normal quickly. But what most of us have probably not yet realized—yet will soon—is that things won’t go back to normal after a few weeks, or even a few months. Some things never will.”
  • The Only Treatment for Coronavirus Is Solidarity: “The new coronavirus makes vivid the logic of a world that combines a material reality of intense interdependence with moral and political systems that leave people to look out for themselves. Because we are linked — at work, on the bus and subway, at school, at the grocery store, with the Fresh Direct delivery system — we are contagious, and vulnerable. Because we are morally isolated, told to look out for ourselves and our own, we are becoming survivalists house by house, apartment by apartment, stocking enough that’s canned and frozen, grabbing enough cold meds and disinfectant, to cut ties and go out on our own.”
  • After the Quarantine, the Flood: “In what ways are we numerous, enumerated, counted, uncounted, dividuated, enmassed, and divided? In what ways have we chosen to live this way, and in what ways is it chosen for us In whose interests are lives thus organized; which powers does this serve? And what, indeed, is the meaning of our modes of numerosity? I apply these questions again now, from a warm apartment, with ample food and the ability to support myself materially as I type. In this moment, we have been asked to mitigate being numerous together. Solidarity in the pandemic, for those in my position, is situated in not making things worse; this we can choose.”
  • Come On, You Live in a Society: “American politicians long ago shifted the burden of safeguarding the public from the government to individuals. Call it personal responsibility, call it deficit reduction, call it whatever you want; the consequences are the same no matter which label we use. The absence of any seriously developed health-care infrastructure abandons people to muddle through on their own. The absence of major labor protections forces people to work sick and will financially ruin anyone whose employers don’t offer paid leave. The preeminent message coming out of D.C. — and this is not a new trend; it is far older than the Trump presidency — tells people that they’re ultimately responsible for themselves. We are conditioned to think of ourselves as individual consumers first and as interconnected members of society second. Movements that hold the opposite view tend to be ruthlessly broken down and suppressed at worst, or at best, dismissed as the fantastical longings of childish adults.

Podcasts

Time to educate ourselves, create meaningful or whimsical things, to share, to hurt, and to find each other. An injury to one is an injury to all.