Cecil is dropping some serious knowledge on the latest episode of “Welcome to Night Vale.” (via nicbarajas)
One of the great fears—among a life of great fears, perhaps the last great fear—is the fear of being no longer useful. We find a role in life, and we do that role to the best of our ability for as long as that ability is there. But all of us—even me, dear listeners—will someday hit a point where we no longer are able to do that thing that we define ourselves by doing.
And more than the fear of injury, more than the fear of death—this is the fear that looms: The loss of self. The self that is the self we imagined we were our whole lives.
But we were never that self, not really. We were only a series of selves, living one role and then leaving it for another. And all the time convincing ourselves that there was no change, that we were always the same person living the same life: One arc to a finish, not the stutter-stop improvisation that is our actual lives.
Worry less about the person you once were—or, the person you dream you someday will be. Worry about the person you are now.
Or: Don’t even worry! Just be that person. Be the best version of that person you can be. Be a better version than any of the other versions in any of the many parallel universes.
Check regularly online to see the rankings.
… data has now replaced God in the Far American West. We worship it and fear its revelations. All that matters is how much something is: how much it’s used, how much it’s viewed, how much it costs, how much it pays, how much it grows, how much it shrinks, how much it is returned to again, how much it is abandoned.Mat Honan’s resplendent profile of Stewart Butterfield is downright Couplandian. Relish in this one.
Be sure to read the entirety of Ben Davis’ examination of Instagram, art theory, and John Berger’s “Ways of Seeing”.
Isn’t it striking that the most-typical and most-maligned genres of Instagram imagery happen to correspond to the primary genres of Western secular art? All that #foodporn is still-life; all those #selfies, self-portraits. All those vacation vistas are #landscape; art-historically speaking, #beachday pics evoke the hoariest cliché of middle-class leisure iconography. (As for the #nudes, I guess they are going on over on Snapchat.)
Why this (largely unintentional) echo? Because there is a sneaky continuity between the motivations behind such casual images and the power dynamics that not-so-secretly governed classic art.