Anchored - Digital Race - Default Bad
|Reggie James||Apr 8, 2019|
There are a lot of new friends here brought from last week’s piece. I want to thank you for all the love and support. But don’t expect that style every week. This newsletter is generally a happy middle ground between my blog and my Twitter. Allowing me to write in a somewhat more formal manner, at a consistent rate.
Being completely honest. I am still drained from last week, and so this newsletter will be... bad? However you judge things, I’ll leave it to you. That said, let’s get into it.
Something I’ve been thinking about lately is how anchored we are to what we know. The structures that reinforce these paths. And what does it take to meaningfully break from this?
This came to mind when my friend Pasquale tweeted this.
It also comes to mind when I think about all of my university peers who feared they had so much status to lose that they all went into banking and consulting.
Everyday it comes to mind when I see what is getting built and funded and applauded and I ask myself if I’m missing something.
I think it is the realization that venture can exist without societal progress, as long as it returns capital, because in reality progress is simply neutral and specifies our sense of time not what is good or bad. Which is not the narrative sold. But it is also a reflection of how builders think. If we were all building super weird stuff, there would be no choice but to create systems to analyze this “stuff”. But we don’t, so we won’t.
What if this is what you saw when you saw me. Seeing me, as I see me. How would you define me?
Using scarcity as a framework, inspired by Alex Danco on a recent podcast, I believe that freedom of pure digital expression is a scarcity enjoyed by few.
As our cultures are increasingly less defined by proximity to one another, but through digital commons. New abilities arise to rewrite the very nature of how we view each other. How we share culture. If I am an iridescent genderless flower being, how do you interact with me then? Are you forced to look at my works, my interests, the pure quality of my thought? Could you still latch on to your perceived sense of my race and gender based on my behavior? And what does that say about you? Are you even aware that this is what you are doing?
I think it is a beautiful question worth exploring.
It is an ever-present job, to condense fact from the vapor of nuance. The interplay of how we view ourselves and our quick glance at one another. Our belief that we have the right to confront and challenge intention and execution.
Everyone on Twitter is “default bad” and they have to prove to us why they aren’t. What does this do to how we view each other. I don’t think I have an answer, but I do know that it is exhausting.
What’s also exhausting is going through the exercise of constructing understanding. This brings me to the David Foster Wallace speech at Kenyon College, This Is Water.
I think at the center of how we view each other, pulls at how we choose to see the world. Our sense of manipulation of it and ourselves. Are we aware of our own awareness, and can we allow ourselves to see beyond the singular experience.
Can we create fictions around others that we deal with briefly and internalize those narratives at a rate and reality to allow ourselves peace, and give someone else compassion.
Thanks for reading.