In episode 103 of the Weird Studies podcast, J.F. and Phil consider the Tower card of the Tarot. As they have throughout the series, they especially refer to the anonymously written Meditations on the Tarot.

As with virtually every other episode, the whole thing is worth your time. But here I just want to note their discussion of gardening as an act of co-creation. Organic gardening, that is. As they note, modern chemical gardening and farming is, in fact, a stubborn imposition of human will on the natural world. But organic methods are a cooperation between human intention and nature’s ability.

Gardening in such a way is an act of trust, or faith. The human sows a seed according to their intention, but the fruition is a matter of hope based in the prior demonstrated vitality of the soil. The fruition may not come—but that is often because the human has made some error in judgment. The co-creative relationship may need to be adjusted on the human side, but faith in the living Earth is never misplaced.

Can you believe that Rachel used to say she had a black thumb?

Lower Cascades Park. Bloomington, IN.

New staff member started yesterday. I think he’s going to be great.

You know what’s not great? The fact that I’m back in the office for a few weeks to train him. The commute. Merciful heavens, the commute. 90 minutes per day of the worst of humanity, which brings out the worst in me.

Pete Larson: “Why I Farm.” This is different from Pete’s usual videos, which are typically recordings of him working on his farm. This is almost like a manifesto for small, community-centered farms—and a damn fine manifesto at that.

Door is done! Now everything around it needs new paint.

Two things that prompted the memory of quitting social media I just posted:

  1. Reading Nobody is Talking About This by Patricia Lockwood. I second @JohnBrady’s recommendation, which is how I found out about it. Obviously it’s a short and engrossing book since I read it in less than a day. (It may have distracted me from work a bit yesterday…)
  2. This from Rhyd Wildermuth:

In the process of breaking my years-long addiction to social media, it was the internalized self-limiting framing of writing with which I struggled most. This kind of reduction and flattening are seen best in the formulaic way in which the algorithms train us to write, the repetition of meaningless phrases like “I don’t know who needs to hear this, but;” “Unpopular opinion, but”, “Okay, sooo,” or the meme-derived rephrasing of opinions in the form of conversational comparisons between “literally nobody ever” and the target of the post.

Becoming trained to read and write by computers, we begin also to think like computers. Our writing becomes as processed as the food available in supermarkets and our thinking as standardized and as unremarkable as its flavors.

The clearest and most disturbing realization I had after quitting Big Tech/algorithmic social media was that my mind had been colonized by the timeline. I thought about what it told me to think about, to the exclusion of what I may have pursued on my own, synchronistically and independently.

New video: Screen door, before painting.

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