a digital common place book | an @s_m_i production | one of a few

And yet: The internet I grew up on and still rather cherish on was one of weird flashing Geocities pages; strange usenet groups devoted to arcane fandoms; long, maudlin posts about people’s depression illustrated by ASCII art tableaus. It was text-based MUDs that elaborated on fantasy games before HBO was adapting them for our pleasure. There was no Twitter, no Facebook, but also no parents, few real names, and relatively little fear of surveillance. And the animating spirit was scrappy in a way that you can tell is gone because it is so hard to describe, standing here all the way down the line. Metafilter still reminds me of that internet. Maybe it’s that there are so few bells and whistles on their platform, maybe it’s because it’s crowd-written and so a very angry post will follow hard upon a cheerful one, maybe it’s because people there still seem enthusiastic about discussing things intelligently. It just isn’t as sanitized, and is consequently not as condescending, as a lot of the internet feels to me these days.
Tagged: #memories
When it’s men who are confronted by biases, we look at the bigger system. When women are, we put the onus on them to get ahead. And when it’s people of color facing bias? Well, that story is so familiar it barely makes headlines anymore. Journalists are paying attention to ageism in tech because it’s a new story that older white men, traditionally a very powerful demographic in the white-collar world, are struggling with how to succeed in a collarless culture that claims to reward merit but rejects them due to factors beyond their control. Maybe Silicon Valley has inadvertently produced an innovation here: It’s “disrupted” discrimination, to use the industry parlance. The tech-ageism stories, with their focus on culture rather than explicit policies, provide a new way of seeing the now-familiar stories about Silicon Valley sexism — and indeed, general workplace sexism, too. In most cases, companies aren’t actively alienating women. They’re rewarding people who match their deep-seated archetype of what “successful” looks like.


Vogue Italia takes ‘tribal’ to whole other level with this editorial in their March 2014 issue titled “Abracadabra”. 

In it, Dutch model Saskia de Brauw shot by Steven Meisel dons clothing that resembles skirt wrappers and headwraps/geles worn by women throughout parts of Africa, with facial make up and body paint that seems to serve as a grotesque shock factor, as she poses with various forms of wild life - all in a comical and mocking manner. 

I always wonder what goes through people’s minds when they come up with the themes and art direction for photoshoots such as these, and better yet, those who agree to execute their vision.

Thanks to elevenplaza for bringing this to my attention!

My question is: Are you offended?

What the actual fuck.

Tagged: #racism
a list poem for working-class girls trying to grow up and into themselves
1. It is okay to leave anyone and anything and anyplace that makes you feel like shit. It’s hard, but it’s okay. And fuck explaining anything to anyone, unless you want to. Let them fucking wonder. 2. Know who the fuck you are. Not just on some touchy-feely fuzzy pretty-on-the-inside tip, but knowing who you are racially, culturally, in relationship to your sexuality, gender and your class- is a source of your power. You define that for you. Don’t ever let anyone else tell you who you are. This may change in time, as you grow and learn more. That’s okay. Manage any shame or guilt you may feel through acts of accountability. 3. Be accountable for what you do. This means owning up to how you fuck up, just as much as it means owning and defending the contested space you fill. You will fuck up, and only you can seek atonement for this. You will need to defend yourself, and rarely will anyone do that work for you. Acknowledging both your mistakes and your rights is equally important. 4. They will call you crazy. You are a woman. There is no way of going through the world in the moment we live in and not get called crazy by someone, often someone you wish would see you as deeply sane. You are not crazy. The world is fucking crazy. If you are affected by this imbalanced, unjust world, it only proves that you are a sentient being with some sense of empathy. 5. Empathy is built. You need to learn to really listen. This means listening without thinking about how it relates to you, or planning the next thing you are going to say. This means seeing everyone, regardless of who they are, as a human being. You cannot really be a human being unless you regard everyone as such, even your greatest nemeses and the gravest perpetrators. All of our damage comes from somewhere. Yours and everyone else’s. Learn to listen to others. Learn to listen to yourself. Empathy cannot exist without really, deeply listening first. 6. You are going to have moments of unbearable pain. It takes time to learn how to heal yourself. And healing sometimes still leaves scars. Healing is sometimes incomplete. Think of your scars as battle-wounds – evidence of how much wiser you are now- maps of where not to return. Cherish these scars and honor them. There will come times when they are the only reminder of where you have been, and how much you still need to grow. 7. You are going to have moments of unbearable loneliness. You need to learn how to love being with yourself, because ultimately, no one has the potential to love you like you can. It is beautiful to love and be loved, but these are just hints as to how to regard yourself. If you regard yourself highly, and learn to turn loneliness into soothing solitude, you will be capable of giving and receiving truly transformative love. 8. Find something that makes you feel like the world makes sense, even if you can’t justify it intellectually to yourself or anyone else. Personally, if I don’t rock a wall, get up, get laid, get down on a dancefloor, read a good book, write a poem, listen to a mind-blowing record or have a soul-shaking, satisfying conversation at least once a week, the world doesn’t make sense to me and I am unmoored. If I don’t get these things for a month, I become a total, inconsolable, incomprehensible wreck. This wreck can easily snowball into all kinds of self-destruction. Find what works for you and be loyal to it as a loyalty to yourself. 9. The world you live in is sick. This sickness creeps into all of us, and in many it manifests as an inability to love oneself, let alone others. Some of those afflicted with a parasitic strain of this illness will latch onto you as a host. You may believe it is part of your nature to nurture and support endlessly. These people will eat your love whole, and you with it, and leave you as a husk. You can grow again from your husk, but it will be hard, and it takes time and the training of betrayal and heartbreak to learn to trust yourself enough to determine who is worthy of your trust. Do not let anyone ride you. Only walk with those who will walk side by side with you, as an equal. 10. Do not fuck with lovers that don’t prioritize your pleasure. That can look like a lot of different things, and you’re probably still figuring it out. Don’t put up with lovers that don’t give you room to explore, to express, and above all – if a lover is only focused on using you as a vessel to reach their plateau –be out. This doesn’t mean to ignore your partner’s pleasure, but rather to see yours as of equal worth. 11. You are not responsible for the actions of those who hated themselves so much that they hurt you on purpose. 12. Collectivism is a beautiful concept, and something worth constantly striving toward and building. Collectivism has radically changed and challenged unjust structures and institutions. But if you sacrifice your own survival for the benefit of the whole, you will find yourself wringing your hands and questioning the meaning of your life and doubting the worth of others in light of their unabashed self-interest. Find a balance. 13. Do not carry broken people who are not in the process of rebuilding themselves. 14. You are not your job. Your job is simply a paycheck, and you are probably not compensated what you are worth and it is not your fucking fault- you inherited a broken economic system, and you will not be the first generation to fight for your right to live. But you need to fucking fight for your right to live, in solidarity, with those around you who are also struggling. 15. Going to college is an accomplishment. It does not, however, make you better than anyone else. It doesn’t make you essentially more intelligent. You never really make it “out” of the class you came from, and you never really make it “in” to the class you aspired to. 16. If you cannot translate what you have learned from whatever access you’ve had back to wherever you came from, then you have not gained anything- you have changed. Assimilation is a choice. Seek to be a translator. Seek to share your access to those who you may have left behind. Seek to disrupt the structures that taught those of us who gained more access that we are worth more than where we left, and less than what we found ourselves among.
17. Never take validation too deeply to heart. This is especially true of those who came up entrenched in the age of social media. The gaze of hegemony is always on us. Find validation in the ratio between how positively you impact yourself and others versus how you fuck up and hurt others. You will hurt others. Be accountable for this, when you need to be, and always be mindful of how often that happens in relation to those you help grow. None of us can be saints, but we can be salient and sentient. 18. Take your struggle to your community, and find community in those whose struggles intersect. It is only within one another that we will make any sense of this destroyed world and it’s corrupt ideology that we’ve inherited. Fight. Fight. Fight. 19. You are inherently valuable. You have worth. Ask no one for permission for this.
Tagged: #truth
The Psychological Power of Slow Web

how we process information can affect the durability of decisions and behavior changes. For example, let’s say you’re trying to improve your headline writing and decide to find some articles about strategies. If you set a quiet time to study them and read critically before deciding that headlines will be a priority for your writing process, you’ll probably get better at creating successful headlines.
On the flip side, if you skim a bunch of articles amidst a maelstrom of other blog posts and media, you may agree that great headlines are valuable, but your decision to implement strategies will be less likely to stick. Two weeks from now, you come across a similar article to remember, “Oh yeah, I meant to focus more on headlines,” and have the cycle repeat without any improvement.

(via The Psychological Power of Slow Web : iDoneThis blog)

[I]t is actually more expensive to be poor than not poor. If you can’t afford the first month’s rent and security deposit you need in order to rent an apartment, you may get stuck in an overpriced residential motel. If you don’t have a kitchen or even a refrigerator and microwave, you will find yourself falling back on convenience store food, which—in addition to its nutritional deficits—is also alarmingly overpriced. If you need a loan, as most poor people eventually do, you will end up paying an interest rate many times more than what a more affluent borrower would be charged. To be poor—especially with children to support and care for—is a perpetual high-wire act.

When racial-justice advocates call for more diversity, what they’re saying is that the hiring pipelines into America’s majority-white industries need to be expanded to include a truly multicultural array of voices and talents from all ethnic corners of America; they want equal opportunity for minorities who don’t necessarily conform to the social norms of the white majority. When exasperated hiring managers use the word diversity, what they really mean is that they’re looking for assimilated diversity…Faces and voices that are black but nonetheless reflect a cultural bearing that white people understand and feel comfortable with.

The exasperated hiring managers aren’t entirely wrong, by the way. In order to create a functional multiracial environment, the people in it need to have at least something in common…”

- Source. There’s a lot in this piece I don’t agree with, but there’s a lot that’s true and relevant and necessarily polemical.