Alphabet Meditations II: A

Dumb reasons I can’t sleep: I am thinking of all the things Elon Musk could do with $44b—things that would actually convince everyone that privatization of public services is sooOOooo great. Maybe he could tackle public transit in cities (doesn’t seem like a far jump from Tesla?). Maybe he could save the postal service. In a classic This Is Not The Onion twist, the UN once gave Musk a plan to end world hunger, and it only cost $6.6b. It’s unknown if he ever followed through, but signs point to no. 1

Every time there’s some Twitter kerfluffle, I feel my leg muscles seize up, like I’m some sort of small canid finally ready to catch the mouse. I don’t know if the mouse is my daily well-being and psyche, complex higher thought and nuance, or having my doomscroll time returned to me.

Maybe it’s several mice writhing together in some sort of better-life mouseball.

I’m ashamed I keep coming back to Twitter. If I’d had only bad times on the service, it would be easier to cut the cord. While I’ve literally been afraid for my safety a few times (ha ha) and it’s caused no shortage of panic attacks, I can’t say I got nothing out of the deal. That would be disingenuous: I was literally employed by them for a year, I owe my design career to the connections I made on the platform, and some of my best friends are folks I met on Twitter.

But I’ll do the billionaires proud. I will channel my good little capitalist. I believe I’ve squeezed all the value I can out of Twitter, so we probably need to break up for good.

It’s a strange problem to have, worrying about how to replace this weird app in my life. I am comforted that I’m not alone, and that many folks are figuring out what’s next. For all of our sakes, it needs to be more than rueing all the time wasted, or writing it off. We can flee the casino and burn our eyes on some unexpected daylight, cursing that we stayed all night as we scatter back to lonely hometowns, or we can try to learn something.

Something. Anything. Frankly, I’m begging us, lol.

There’s something in the spirit of Twitter that I want to cultivate. I want a place to share inconsequential written thoughts, or work through ideas without worrying if they’ll be useful or poignant. I want to sometimes write without any agenda, to just have space to muse. I want to see folks and be seen in some meaningful way. I don’t want to have to ceaselessly edit a thing before putting it out there—which is ironic, as nowadays I agonize over every Tweet.

Nearly a decade ago, I challenged myself to write a quick Medium post for each letter of the alphabet. It was just enough structure that I knew what was next and had a point to work from, but it allowed enough freedom that I didn’t feel constrained or discouraged. Most of them are terrible, and I outgrew each one almost as soon as I hit publish, but I feel an affection for the project and particularly for the structure.

As I baby-deer-leg my way back to longer trains of thought and nuance without perfection, I’m reviving the project. I will write 26 meditations on whatever, and work my way through the alphabet.

I’m not going to post on any set schedule or pick any themes in advance. It’s going to be a grab bag of random thoughts and structures. The only common denominator will be me. Ideally anyone interested can pop in once every few months for twenty minutes, read the ones that interest them, and then forget about me for a while—so I won’t be emailing each one out as I finish them.

If you feel so inclined to follow along, subscribe to my newsletter with the assurance that I will bother you infrequently (I think my last newsletter was in December?).

  1. Snopes has further deets on this. Folks point to the fact that Musk made a ~$6b dollar donation to a secret fund, but uh…if he gave a single buck towards world hunger after that Tweet, I feel like he would have told absolutely everyone, no?↩︎

April 26, 2022
social media     alphabet meditations    

These all my little bits of writing that don’t fit anywhere else.
Did you know I have a newsletter?