Tag Archives: censorship

Seeking Tribe #12: Home for the Holidays


I’m back at my Mom’s house and I’ll be here for the next 2+ weeks.

After spending my Thanksgiving watching Lord of the Rings and eating frozen pizza with one of my housemates, it’s nice to be celebrating the season in a more conventional way. Like listening to Bing Crosby and eating stollen.¬†

My plan is to spend the rest of 2020 reading books (being less online), scheming for a better 2021, and enjoying some quality time with my Mom and Daisy, her Havanese doggo.

This will likely be the last edition of Seeking Tribe for the year. I’m grateful to all 204 of you for joining and sticking with me on this adventure! It’s only going to get better in 2021, that’s a promise ūüôā

The Best of my Recent Reads:

  • When I was 15, my ‘Grandpa Chuck’¬†died.¬†A humble man, he was kind to those he met. His career included being a U.S. Marine, a Police Officer, and a long time Detective for the Rochester Police Department. His capability as a Detective was built through decades of treating those he met with respect. This accrued social equity provided information that other detectives could never attain.

    At his wake, hundreds attended. The wealthy and powerful, the poor and the meek, the innocent and the guilty. RPD escorted him to his burial; shutting down a major highway to keep the procession uninterrupted.

    This fundamentally¬†shifted my understanding of success.¬†I will never know how successful I was in life; I won’t be at my own funeral.

    Legacy is more valuable than currency.”¬†from my older brother Clark’s newsletter,¬†Forward.

    I was only five years old when Grandpa Chuck died. It was great to be reminded of this story. I learned a similar lesson from the life and passing of Paul J. Burgett – as anyone who has read my book knows.

  • This great migration from mainstream to ‚Äėfree speech‚Äô platforms will inevitably have the effect of fostering hyper-partisan, right-wing echo chambers ‚ÄĒ tailored realities which barely offer even a glimpse of an alternative opinion.” from the provocatively titled,¬†Tech’s QAnon Crackdown was a Huge Mistake¬†by Mark Ledwich

    If anyone has read anything that argues the opposite, I’d love to read it.

    Currently, I’m thinking that these heavy-handed strategies are mostly good for shareholders, not for society. We’ll bear the costs of increased radicalization, atomization while Facebook, Google, etc get to wipe their hands of being a part of a¬†solution to help rebuild genuine trust and facilitate open, critical conversation.

    The problems of online radicalization are not going away anytime soon¬†and we’re never¬†going back to a world where there’s a handful of mutually credible news sources.

  • Having earned a Ph.D. in English and taught poetry courses, there is no question raised so frequently as some variation of:

    Can literature exist on Instagram?
    Is Instagram poetry real literature?
    What do you think of Rupi Kaur?

    from Precursor Monthly РDecember 2020 by Tim Wilcox

    Tim and I recently collaborated on a podcast. We both read Life of Pi and watched Donnie Darko, these two pieces of media were released within a month or so of each other. We had a wide-ranging conversation about their numerous shared themes.

A Few Last Points:

  • Reflections on One Year as a Published Author¬†(new from me)

    Ever wanted to know how many copies I sold? Check it out.
  • Year Compass is a great little planning exercise for the new year. This is my 3rd Year Compass¬†in a row. I’ll likely be reflecting a bit more about what I’ve learned from my plans and failures in 2019 and 2020

My currently reading list: Collaborative Circles by Michael P. Farrell, Mere Christianity by C.S. Lewis, One Billion Americans by Matt Yglesias, Your Music and People by Derek Sivers, and The Art of Learning by Josh Waitzkin (almost done).

I’ve already got a lot planned for 2021 and I’m determined to make it a better year than 2020. This year has emphasized what is and what is not within our control. My plans are going to focus on what’s within my control and take to heart many of the other lessons that I’ve learned and re-learned in 2020.

I hope that each of you has an excellent holiday season (and a happy new year if you don’t hear from me)!

This post was initially sent on December 13th, 2020 as part of an early prototype of my newsletter Seeking Tribe, subscribe here!


Seeking Tribe #7: Back in the Coffee Shop


In Rochester, we’ve been extremely fortunate that our rate of coronavirus transmission has been low¬†knock on wood. One of my favorite coffee shops opened back up last week. It was wild to realize that I hadn’t been there for almost a year.

Where did 2020 go? Sometimes it feels like it will never end and other times I can’t believe it’s already the end of October.

This past week I spent more time writing than I have in the entire rest of this month!

Do you want to know my trick? The trick that will help you get over your writer’s block and help you get back on your grind?

I left all of my technology at home. No phone. No laptop. I brought a bunch of books that I could read but I started my session by opening up a journal. I took a sip of coffee, ate a bite of a tasty cherry danish and put my pen to paper. Once I got started, I quickly got in a groove and ended up writing for over three hours. It felt great to get these ideas out of my mind. The positive feedback was much better than from any social media notification.

It’s simple and it works. The biggest challenge is overcoming any fears or anxieties you have about disconnecting and taking the leap to isolate from your devices. It’s not love that keeps you checking your phone again and again and again. At its root, there is a fear or a neediness. This understanding won’t break your addiction¬†‚ÄĒ I’m probably more of a phone junkie than you are¬†‚ÄĒ but it’s part of the solution.

Your life might not permit you to unplug for so long during the day. You might need to wake up early or stay up late to get this kind of freedom from those who need you.

I hope some of you will claim a little time to yourself and unplug, even for thirty minutes, and write by hand. If you do, let me know how it goes!

The Best of my Recent Reads:

  • Censorship power, like the tech giants who now wield it, is an instrument of status quo preservation.¬†The promise of the internet from the start was that it would be a tool of liberation, of egalitarianism, by permitting those without money and power to compete on fair terms in the information war with the most powerful governments and corporations.” from¬†Facebook and Twitter Cross a Line Far More Dangerous Than What They Censor by Glenn Greenwald

    This piece does a great job of explaining, in detail, the threat created by the policies of overt censorship at Twitter and Facebook.

    You can despise the New York Post and the article in reference but do you believe that these corporations should be super-editors-in-chief of every newspaper? And will you then still argue that you support democracy and journalism? (Thanks to Quinn Banford for the recommendation)

A Few Cool Things:

  • One of my best friends, Luke Metzler, is a pop-star and just released the music video for his hit new song “Babydoll“.¬†I would appreciate it a lot if you would listen, like, and subscribe to show my friend some love.
  • In a few earlier newsletters, I included images of quotes from books that I’ve been reading.¬†I was able to create those easily by using this wonderful service¬†Readwise.io. If you use a Kindle and want to review and work with your highlights, this product is an absolute game changer.¬†Use this link and we’ll both get a free month!

    Great for reviewing quotes, exporting notes to Notion or Roam Research, and even highlighting physical books and turning them into digital notes.

New from Me:

  • The Virtue of Pessimism¬†

    “Pessimism is always hugging you, protecting you from unnecessary risks.”- Muhammad Miqdad

This post was initially sent on October 25th, 2020 as part of an early prototype of my newsletter Seeking Tribe, subscribe here!