I've written previously about how I want to interact with technology. In short, I've come to realize that though I cannot absolutely extract myself from the powerful tools of modern society, I can engage in a mindful dance with them. Within this framework, I've also reflected on how I can better find meaning as a reader in the digital age.
I hinted at it in "Cartographer of Meaning", but the the missing link so far since I wrote it has been well, links. I'm generally wary of the overwhelming firehose of the Internet: it's too easy to get lost in what's urgent, the shiny things wrapped in trending nowness. These distractions are at the expense of the timeless and important. Still, there's a wealth of refreshing, thoughtful, and valuable things to discover out there. I want to share more and the proposed idea of creating a public-facing commonplace book was to solidify these refreshing things' place in my mind's structure and also pass them along for others, too.
What seems so simple -- the sharing of a commonplace book -- quickly met resistance and an internal debate on my end. On one hand, I think it's extraordinary that humanity has progressed to the point where the rapid spread of ideas is so easy. However, the moment I hand those little morsels to the social apparatuses that spread them further, I feel like they lose a bit of their worth. That moment of transition becomes not about what I'm passing along, but me, the sharer. How many likes and comments does it earn? Are people engaging with it? Does it make me look smart, thoughtful, eclectic?
All of that is just the garbage that comes along with a good intention: This is good, check it out. So, I'm going to try to avoid the garbage and try experimenting with a collection of links instead of attaching myself to the ball and chain of individual share points that are inevitably tethered to some sense of status. In these collections, I have the chance to offer a little bit of commentary, point out some good parts, and network what I'm putting down with what I already know. Hopefully, doing this minimizes the garbage. I'll call these collections Commonplace Links, a nod to the commonplace book. Look out for the first one soon.
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