Naive Dream Logic
Mythical monsters are embedded in our landscape.
Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly - Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
You must move to notice your chains. So I have encouraged you to leave your social media feeds with an empty stomach. To browse the Internet Wilderness for wildflowers and special fish, as we used to do.
Today I want to encourage you to stay still. To remain where you are. To notice the landscape you are part of and consider what you were walking away from. How does your Internet look? Who do you hear? How do you feel?
Rather than seeking new Internet landscapes, I want to imagine new Internet narratives. I want mystery, strangeness, and personal to replace exponential, domination, and efficiency. Today I want to spot the naive monsters, living right here where I am.
The New York Times front page covered by the daily sunrise. By Sho Shibuya.
Doug Banks is a poetic system thinker with a soft heart and sharp pen. I’ve worked closely with Doug over the past year and the worlds he narrates always impress me. Doug is yet to share his voice with the public, so consider this a teaser for the mystical world of Doug Banks.
K: Where do you go to get lost?
Doug: Mountains, hills, valleys — anything with a bit of elevation and mystery works. It’s strange, because I’m Australian, but I’ve never been drawn to water. It’s nice to jump into, but definitely not my natural habitat; I’m a land mammal, the higher the better. Something strange and wonderful happens in my brain when I find myself walking over bumpy earth, around the spiky memories of our planet’s chemistry, where the chaos of the Earth’s interior bursted out and onto the relative calm up here, in another age.
Do you ever feel like you walk through your thoughts, rather than think through them? It’s the only time I can really think clearly, flowingly, like it unravels the tangled matter in my mind, usually so congested even in a human city like Amsterdam. It’s kind of counter-intuitive that I’ve chosen to live in one of the flattest cities in Europe, in a country 3m below sea level. I don’t have an answer for that.
K: What would you be doing if given financial stability and three months space?
Doug: More of this, right now. Finding or creating warm spaces to write openly, seperate from the comparisons and metrics of social media platforms. I think this time is fast approaching, actually.
K: What question would you ask a tree?
Doug: What are you all doing down there, where we can’t see?
K: What was one rabbit hole you recently fell into?
Doug: Fantasies. Increasingly I’m reading and thinking about how the world functions as much on fantasies as it does on fossil fuels. Fantasies of being able to grow forever happily, of being able to recycle or repurpose as much this year as we need to use next year (despite the growth), of being able to do all that in a way that’s more equal and ecologically-just than how we did it yesterday. I’m not saying these things are impossible, but they’re much more speculative than we seem to openly acknowledge.
More and more I’m realising that these fantasies are a kind of ideological infrastructure for the status quo, keeping our eyes fixed on some solution-mirage just beyond the horizon, rather than seriously considering some of the more sobering alternatives right in front of us. I’m also realising that some of the most well-meaning attempts to do good can also be kind of dangerous, in a way, by sustaining the hallucination. This includes a lot of the work I’ve done; I’m still understanding this.
K: What is your most frequently used emoji?
Doug: This sassy guy.
K: What would be your fictional dream job title?
Doug: Librarian Gardener — but not a gardener for a library, nor a librarian for a garden. I’ll let you interpret that.
K: What would you love to sell that no one wants to buy?
Doug: My time and how it relates to being spent with other people’s dogs.
Listen to the sounds of any decade, vibe or country.
Create a cozy room to chat with your friends.
There is no equivalent of a disapproving glare on the internet. Therefore, most people retreat in silence when they notice a trash fire online, leaving many discussions to the extremists. Devon Zuegel offers a way forward.
Upsetting analysis of the booming Bossware industry by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Bossware is software that “puts workers’ privacy and security at risk by logging every click and keystroke, covertly gathering information for lawsuits, and using other spying features that go far beyond what is necessary and proportionate to manage a workforce.”
Google’s AMP Cache Project breaks good URL practice by confusing users who is hosting the content they are seeing. Instead of trusting the URL as we are told, the AMP project encourages people to trust in the visual appearance of the page. This is how phishing works too.
Craig Mod is a writer and walker. It took me time to adjust to his pace, but now his weekly newsletter about walking in Japan is one of my favourite. In the latest transmission Craig shares a wonderful quote from a 1896 diary by the English clergyman Walter Weston.
“A Japanese writer has, not without justice, somewhat bitterly complained of the numbers of foreign tourists who come to his country, and after rushing through it “at the rate of forty miles an hour” (though the average speed of the express trains is only about half that pace), then hurry home to record their impressions and pose as authorities on what they have only glanced at along the way.” - Walter Weston.
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly - Observations from the Internet Wilderness.
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Photograph by Ana Santl.