The Roundup for May 19-June 1, 2018 Edition

(Remnants by Christopher Parsons)

We get to make decisions about how we react to unpleasant or unfortunate news. For some, that means getting angry and holding onto that emotion in order to focus the anger into ‘productive’ work energy. For others, it can lead to deep frustrations and a sense of being incapacitated. And in yet other cases it might involve both of those reactions — anger and frustration — that is quickly followed by letting go and appreciating the positive aspects of often difficult situation.

Letting go is strangely both easier and harder than either of the other emotional reactions, largely because it entails confronting why those emotions are being felt in the first place. Anger and frustration tend to represent outward manifestations of our own fears, concerns, worries, or other personal traumas. Engaging with them internally means dealing with those demons, whereas using them as energy or letting them consume ourselves externalizes such emotions in ways that prevent us from dealing with our own traumas.

At least one challenge is that social norms often inform us that it’s ok to just be angry. Just be frustrated. And that such emotions are normal and needn’t necessarily be ‘moved on’ from. It’s those situations, where those you’re encouraged to return to that trauma zone after it’s been dealt with, that can be the most challenging; those are cases where the puerile desire to experience our worse is often most challenging to rise above. Rising above it, however, is a kind of active work that promotes self-reflection and self-revelation. It’s not easy, but it’s perhaps some of the most important emotional labour that we can undertake.

Inspiring Quotation of the Week

“Concern yourself more with accepting responsibility than with assigning blame. Let the possibilities inspire you more than the obstacles discourage you.”

– Ralph Marston

Great Photography Shots

The idea of routinely capturing the same location, and tracing change, is something that is incredibly attractive to me. I often find myself pulled back to the same locations to see them at different times, with different light, and different natural coloration. And, so, I was incredibly impressed with Jani Ylinampa’s photos of a Finnish island through the seasons.

Music I’m Digging

Neat Podcast Episodes

Good Reads for the Week

Cool Things


Lessig Blog, v2: A time for silence


A week ago today, Aaron gave up. And since I received the call late Friday night telling me that, like so many others who were close to him, I have not rested. Not slept, really. Not connected with my kids, at all. Not held my wife except to comfort her tears, or for her to comfort mine.


I am still struggling to come to terms with Aaron’s death. I was first incredibly depressed. Then mad. I’m still at that point.

I was one step removed from him in more ways than I can count and, based on my grief, I can’t imagine the pain experienced by my friends and colleagues. His causes overlapped with my own. His principles often as well. I can understand and sympathize – and, to a large extent, support – his advocacy tactics. I can impose my own understandings on why he took his life and be saddened, but not necessarily surprised and certainly unable to lash out at him for his decision.

What is perhaps most significant to my mind, now, is that the challenges that faced Aaron similarly bear down on many of the members of the digital and civil rights community. Threats of outlandish prosecution. Warnings of how advocacy will be treated as criminal behaviour of the highest sort. Attempts to legally force and coerce colleagues to turn on one another.

Aaron can, and does, serve as a focus for some of the problems that some members of this community experience on a sadly common basis. We need to move forward to better help, support, and uplift our own. We need to work harder to make sure that suicide isn’t seen as a way to resolve the problems that some of our community experiences. To this end we have to buttress against the despondency, isolate, and fear imposed by elements of government with the hope, togetherness, and laughter that makes this community so important and productive.