Liked Everything Is Different Now by Tom Junod (theatlantic.com)

The unsayable thing—the taboo thing—to say about 9/11 is that, while it might have provided an occasion for Americans to rediscover their patriotism, it was in the moment exactly what it felt like: a defeat. It is the same with January 6, 2021. This was the defeat of a police force, the defeat of a presumption, the defeat of naive faith in the native goodness of our fellow Americans—a defeat made all the more bitter for being an inside job.

Replied to Shocked, but not surprised by wiobyrne (digitallyliterate.net)

The mob that rampaged the halls of Congress included infamous white supremacists and conspiracy theorists.

Thousands invaded the highest centers of power, and the first thing they did was take selfies and videos. They were making content as spoils to take back to the digital empires where they dwell.

Members of the mob also used a site called Dlive to livestream while they rampaged.

A coup with no plot, no end to achieve, no plan but to pose.

Ian, I have been been thinking about the Gram piece and wondering if sharing events is in fact fuelling things, even more so from abroad.

I was left thinking of something Chris Gilliard ironically tweeted:

Liked “A Second Rabadash” — C.S. Lewis and Dangerous Leaders by Matt MikalatosMatt Mikalatos (tor.com)

here’s my hope for myself and all of us:

May we, like Susan, have the wisdom to recognize if we’ve been deceived by a leader who appears wonderful in one context but has “another face” when he gains power.

May we, like Edmund, remember our own failings and be generous with our enemies, and hopeful that true change is still a possibility even for a traitorous fool.

May we, like Lucy, see clearly into the hearts of our leaders.

May we, like King Lune, be kind-hearted and compassionate with our enemies.

May we, like the people of Calormen and Archenland and Narnia, find peace in the years to come.

In the meantime, friends, let us each be faithful in the things we are called to, despite what our leaders may do. Vote, speak up, and do what’s right. Aslan’s on the move—let’s keep our eyes open for him.

Bookmarked The Pro-Trump Mob Was Doing It For The Gram by Elamin Abdelmahmoud (BuzzFeed News)

As a coup, the actions of the mob were a failure. In the wee hours of the morning, Joe Biden was once again declared the winner of the 2020 election. They didn’t stop shit. But as fodder for content, Jan. 6 was a resounding success.

Elamin Abdelmahmoud argues that the coup was simply about capturing attention.

You can see this most clearly in this photo, where the man in the god-knows-what costume, Jake Angeli, the so-called QAnon Shaman, is posing on the dais of the Senate, his friends carefully framing him to get the perfect shot. It is the Trump supporter equivalent of an Instagram influencer getting a photo beside a perfect mural.

Mike Caulfield takes this further, wondering if this is more than just confirmation bias, but rather a case of brand building?

can we really say the motivation is as simple as “confirmation bias”? Or would we be better off thinking of these dynamics around issues of personal brand-building, its incentives and disincentives?

Replied to

Bookmarked #IStandWithDan vs #DictatorDan: how fringe accounts gamed Twitter during Melbourne’s lockdown by James Purtill (ABC News)

New research shows the #IStandWithDan and #DictatorDan warring Twitter hashtags were pushed by a small number of orchestrated and hyper-partisan accounts.

James Purtill reports on the influence of social media in regards to the messaging around Melbourne’s lockdown.

New research shows they were driven by a small number of fringe, hyper-partisan accounts — many of them anonymous “sockpuppet” accounts created specifically to support either side, but posting as an independent third party.

Although it is not clear if there was a central organisation behind the campaigns, but the ‘Dictator Dan’ message did align with the News Corp papers and Sky News.

On a side note, I think the War on 2020 team captured the absurdity of the ‘dictator’ movement in their skit:

Liked This was the year Australia restored trust in its politics – and that really is a miracle (theguardian.com)

When there are shared facts and values, and when governments are seen to be broadly competent and connected to the needs of citizenry, politicians lay the foundations of trust, because citizens are bound together rather than occupying detached alternative realities.

Rather than minimising the importance of moments of clarity like this – rather than pretending that government is about synchronising calendars – Morrison should make nurturing these conditions a project of his prime ministership.

Because the lesson of 2020 is democracies are in a larger fight than the transient scrabbles of partisan conflict that define our election cycles.

The crisis of 2020 will pick the world up and set it down in a different place, just as the global financial crisis did before it.

Liked Rebecca Solnit: On Not Meeting Nazis Halfway (Literary Hub)

If half of us believe the earth is flat, we do not make peace by settling on it being halfway between round and flat. Those of us who know it’s round will not recruit them through compromise. We all know that you do better bringing people out of delusion by being kind and inviting than by mocking them, but that’s inviting them to come over, which is not the same thing as heading in their direction.

This month, my feeds have been full of Trump. Here is a selection:

Although this is a significant decision for everybody in the world, I wonder if a part of the post-election actions have been as much about Trump’s effort to garner attention. I am reminded here of Doug Belshaw’s post from a few years ago, Curate or be Curated and the challenge that we face in regards to managing our feeds and thinking about who or what is filling our mental space.

After listening to a recent episode on corruption in politics on The Minefield podcast.

During this conversation Waleed Aly, Scott Stevens and Bruce Buchan discuss the current situation at home and abroad, I am left thinking whether people have simply become jaded by such discussions and how this all plays out.

Listened The Minefield from abc.net.au

In a world marked by wicked social problems, The Minefield helps you negotiate the ethical dilemmas, contradictory claims and unacknowledged complicities of modern life.

Started listening to Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens’ podcast on ‘wicked’ problems. I am always taken by Waleed Aly’s perspective on the world. I feel that the length of this medium allows more nuance than something like The Project.
Replied to This ‘BBQ Beer Freedom’ Meme Is Sending Us Right Now by Matt Moen (PAPER)

Experimental electronic artist, Holly Herndon, put an autotuned spin on the unhinged rant that has the internet in stitches.

I really enjoyed this remix:

Along with the Daft Punk version of Person. Woman. Man. Camera. TV, this election has produced some creative responses.

Liked Donald Trump’s tumultuous presidency has never made me laugh by Virginia Trioli (ABC News)

We are witnessing one of the most important battles of our times: not just the electoral one, but the battle between the power and importance of our institutions and of facts, and the self-interested misrepresentation of the truth.

The skirmishes are without precedent. Television networks actually took down and cut the feed of a US President as he gave a speech of countless untruths. Twitter now routinely deletes his tweets. Social media platforms suspend the accounts of his high-profile surrogates.

This is a moment of reckoning, the first time that a civil society has genuinely asserted itself over the jungle of social media and the ecosystem in which Trump has thrived and that he has so effectively used.

Bookmarked Rebecca Solnit on Black Swans, Slim Chances, and the 2020 Presidential Election (Literary Hub)

Donald Trump wasn’t really a black swan because everyone saw him coming; it’s just that a lot of people didn’t think he’d finish the journey. If you’re blindsided by climate disasters or Republican corruption, it’s not because they’re black swans; it’s just that you ignored the evidence. A pandemic like this had long been predicted. The nuclear catastrophe at Chernobyl was waiting to happen, thanks to bad design and bad maintenance protocol. One huge problem with human beings in general, but particularly those who suffer from overconfidence, especially because they think they’re in charge, is that we tend to dismiss the unlikely and prepare for what we think of as the likely, even as we live out a history full of black swans and unlikelihoods.

Rebecca Solnit reflects upon the world that we are currently in. She calls for hope, not optimism:

Black swans happen. Which is why I’ve modified the slogan, hope for the best, prepare for the worst to: Hope and work for the best (and also be prepared to wrestle with the worst if it arises).

This reminds me of a piece from the Librarianshipwreck in regards to COVID-19.

Hope, on the contrary, is not the belief that “things will get better” but the belief that “things can get better.” To be hopeful is not to be certain that things will improve, it is to refuse to accept that this is as good as it can get. If optimism says “this is the best of all possible worlds,” and pessimism retorts, “you’re right” – it is hope that responds to both by saying “a better world is possible.”

Liked ABC Politics with Annabel Crabb (view.mail-list.abc.net.au)

I’m assuming nobody in Melbourne is reading this because they’re all off getting their roots done or just openly, lasciviously strolling about without the threat of having their collar felt by the Recreation Rozzers. But on behalf of all of us at the ABC, may I convey our congratulations to, and admiration of, the great people of Victoria, who have had an awful lot chucked at them this year. The photo in this account of the Great Reopening is just glorious.

Liked Victoria’s coronavirus lockdown might be finally be over, but we are still deeply divided by Virginia Trioli (ABC News)

It’s a bit of a paradox, because at the same time we have banded together strongly like never before. We wait to see whether what happens next, our recovery and the help we get along the way, will bind some of the wounds as well.

Listened Should we attempt to escape from “politics”? from ABC Radio National

“Politics” is, it seems, inescapable. Christos Tsiolkas joins Waleed Aly and Scott Stephens to discuss whether we should preserve ways — in literature, in art, in comedy, in sport — to escape the limits of political conflict.

An interesting conversation about the challenges of discussing politics. I was really interested in Christos Tsiolkas distinction between the idea and the author when talking about Uwe Telkamp’s The Tower. This reminds me of John Naughton’s discussion of Simone Beauvoir:

As Gornick implies, the passage of time, and posthumous revelations, has taken the shine off the image of Beauvoir and her accomplice in literary celebrity, Jean-Paul Sartre. Subsequent biographies have revealed that they both sometimes behaved abominably towards other people. I guess it leaves those of us who, as impressionable students, were dazzled by them, looking naive. So what? Everybody was young and foolish once. And whatever one thinks about its author with the 20/20 vision of hindsight, The Second Sex was a genuinely pathbreaking book.

Bookmarked TISM announce two new releases and reissue campaign (Double J)

TISM have today announced the reissue of their catalogue on CD and vinyl, in news that will delight the many thousands of people who still so sorely miss this incredible Australian band.

TISM back, a breath of fresh air with ‘The Right Wing Guide to Pleasuring

Tim Smith, Victorian Liberal member for the sexually adventurous suburb of Kew, has certainly seen it all. From his birthplace of Camberwell, in the inner east of Melbourne, he has now, years later, successfully travelled the long and risky four kilometres to his High Street electoral office. Educated at Scotch College, Rugby School, and Melbourne University, Tim has experienced the whole range of social experience, right through from lawyer to orthodontist.

After a strangely garbled start to our discussion, in which he insisted his bill to change the spelling of his electorate to “Q” had no relation to conspiracy theories, he explained the basis of all good love-making: “Probably the most harmful effect of the disastrous coronavirus pandemic – besides the interruption to my golf days – has been the growth of weird fringe theories like ‘sacrificing for the common good’. Frankly, I’d never heard the phrase. When Tim Wilson showed me some filthy websites explaining the idea I was aghast.

Liked Liberalism and Its Discontents by Francis FukuyamaFrancis Fukuyama ([object Object])

Liberalism’s present-day crisis is not new; since its invention in the 17th century, liberalism has been repeatedly challenged by thick communitarians on the right and progressive egalitarians on the left. Liberalism properly understood is perfectly compatible with communitarian impulses and has been the basis for the flourishing of deep and diverse forms of civil society. It is also compatible with the social justice aims of progressives: One of its greatest achievements was the creation of modern redistributive welfare states in the late 20th century. Liberalism’s problem is that it works slowly through deliberation and compromise, and never achieves its communal or social justice goals as completely as their advocates would like. But it is hard to see how the discarding of liberal values is going to lead to anything in the long term other than increasing social conflict and ultimately a return to violence as a means of resolving differences.