Link Blog, 2021
My favourite articles of the year:
Do you remember the high of ditching? It really wakes you up! I remember being existentially sleepy in a geometry class, eyelids heavy enough to weigh down a bounce house, almost too tired to keep my commitment to ditch and meet in the parking lot, but then as soon as I did, I suddenly had enough energy to power the school generator.
. There’s competitive games like that, where the match is essentially a confrontation of theoretical knowledge that each player has built up. But Street Fighter 3 is a game that, by design, doesn’t have a fixed answer to those questions. There is no “best” tactic; you can spend your whole life trying to find the perfect theoretical approach to a situation in SF3, but it will never be quite right.
About once a year, I do a little digital reset to help make my online life a little more pleasant. I’m not advocating that anybody do the same as me, but I hope that sharing some of what I do might help inspire you to manage the technology in your life in a way that reduces stress or distractions, and makes your time in front of the screen more fun.
Implementing web accessibility standards is not always hard. There are numerous ways designers and developers can incorporate accessibility principles in their web applications by using basic CSS and HTML.
So I stop and think. When was the last moment that took longer than 10 seconds, where I didn’t have an urge to check an app on my phone, see if I got new email, or impulsively do something else?
Too much of our advice presents for us a map, a magic incantation, an instruction manual, but those inevitably fail under rigorous testing. The map is to a forgotten world, the incantation was unique to the wizard who first spoke it, and the instruction manual is in Swedish.
The act of typing — either fluid touch typing or making mistakes — is a miracle of our brains.
Perfect is the enemy of good, and I know all too well that fussing over platforms distracts from doing the work of writing, but now and then it’s nice to reassure myself that I’m building this thing on sturdy foundations.
Blurred vision, blurring eyes, and eyestrain were reported by 70 percent to 90 percent of the sample, and some of the strong disparities between the clerical workers and the control subjects—such as with changes in color perception or stiff or sore wrists—were clear indicators of the impact of the soft repetitive strain of computer terminal use.
Whether you’re pitching editors or querying agents, trying to get your work published can feel an awful lot like calling out into the void and hearing nothing back except the mocking echo of your own voice, crowing that your idea or your writing or you, yourself, are worthless. It often feels disheartening, like nobody cares what you have to say. But it can also be incredibly freeing.
So the first step is recognizing that you, too, need rest. Don’t just want it, don’t just fantasize about it, don’t just talk about it and then deny it, but need it, require it, in order to keep going. The second step is advocating for the structures that make it possible — on a personal, professional, and societal level — so that others can ask and receive rest too.
“I don’t even use the compliments I already have at home!”
Our suggestions are very prosaic: Be nice to yourself. Eat mostly what you want. Trust your instincts.
There are so many new ways to count and measure and monitor your success these days, too, and you can see the detrimental effects it has on writers’ understanding of themselves and their work. The more you worry about how the world sees you, how your words land, whether or not you matter, the more neurotic and self-obsessed your writing gets.
No matter what you post, or how you word it, or how many asterisks and caveats you attach to it, you will suffer the worst-faith readings you have ever experienced.