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Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly — Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
Our home has one small garden in the front and one in the back. In the front, snowdrops are starting to stretch their bodies and welcome spring. It is thrilling to watch them. Batch by batch they dot the space not used by waste bins, Uno’s stroller, and our bikes. In the back, a grapevine is growing a protective ceiling above the garden. Ana and I are very curious to experience how the space feels once the leaves are sprouting.
Yesterday Ana made plans with our landlord to prepare the backyard for spring. Our landlord’s name is Claus and he lives on the ground floor. I’ll introduce him another week. One day I might even make him a website. It is fantastic to have a neighbor to make garden plans with. Just like it is fantastic to have you reading these words.
Reading in Color by Mary Ellen Bartley.
Cecilie Udsen Gleberg Falk is a digital product designer working with sustainability for a shopping site. She enjoys writing (in Danish) about traveling and is occasionally posting photos from her trips on Instagram.
K: How would you describe your work to my grandparents?
Cecilie: I try to use an analogy of architecture; that if you want to build a school or a museum, you need someone other than the builder or the craftsperson. You need someone to make a vision for how this space should be used; who is it for, how should they interact with the building, what is the purpose of their visit?
I think of digital places as spaces just like physical spaces. They need to be designed. Our society is increasingly reliant on and shaped by technology, so I think the hundreds of decisions that happen in the design of these systems need to be treated with just as much responsibility as we do with physical surroundings. This is what I do for my work.
K: What is progress to you?
Cecilie: The Danish author Inger Christensen writes in The Condition of Secrecy that the unfortunate thing with the concept of numbers is that there always is a greater one. Therefore numbers are perfect for salary negotiations, pension schemes, and measuring increases in GDP. Unfortunately, numbers have been universally accepted as a true measure for progress and growth.
Regardless of the number of trees on this planet, there will always be a higher number. But this does not reflect reality. The amount of trees or frogs or cells is not infinite. Our lives among endless rows of imagined numbers have made us bound to this idea of growth having no upper limit. I wish the concept of progress would be detached from the paradigm of growth, and we could instead think progress as a more cyclical or qualitative idea.
K: What was your first internet handle? Where did you use it?
Cecilie: Remembering the amount of energy I put into coming up with a really cool internet handle is such a great time capsule. Chatting online in the late 90s on random Danish chat fora there was no profile picture to worry about. I only had the screen name to distinguish myself. For an early teen like me, it was crucial that my name showed a sufficiently obscure cultural frame of reference to be cool… Mine was ‘Yemchuck’, which was the last name of photographer and then-girlfriend of Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan. I later found out that I misspelled it (it’s Yemchuk without the c), but this handle was my email address until not that long ago.
K: What webs are you woven into?
Cecilie: 2 years ago my partner and I relocated from Copenhagen to Berlin. My biggest anxiety about moving to a new city was starting a new social life from scratch. I hadn’t as an adult been in a situation where I didn’t have several friend groups around me. It was equally terrifying and exhilarating. Berlin is quite gratifying when it comes to meeting a lot of new people, but the challenge is becoming part of the webs that you take more for granted with your ‘legacy’ friend and family circles.
Books are such a great unifier and in Germany it seems much more common to read on the subway, in waiting rooms etc. I had a book club in Copenhagen, and in Berlin it emerged organically through a friend and ended up with a very diverse group of people from different places. The fun part is how much our opinions diverge. I attribute a lot of it to both culture and language - e.g. the time we read Serotonine by Michel Houllebecq the two non-Europeans hated it, whereas the German, Italian and I loved it. Had it not been for a book club, I would have never managed to plough my way through the long battle scenes of War and Peace, but now I’m really happy I did. One of the best pieces of advice I’ve gotten on reading is that you should select the book out of desire, but finish it out of duty. I always finish the books I start reading.
I’ve noticed literature becoming more and more widespread as a community topic, both in the real world and digitally. I adore the newsletter and magazine The Happy Reader. In every edition it analyzes and discusses a selected book, both by professional writers as well as the readers themselves. The books are often obscure, such as a selection of old Japanese ghost stories collected by the enigmatic Greek-Irish Lafcadio Hearn.
Watch Bezos* make wealth. (*and then try to compare it with a minimum wage worker)
Everest Pipkin is always worth reading. Also when it comes to bl—ch—: “During unprecedented temperature increases, sea level rise, the total loss of permanent sea ice, widespread species extinction, countless severe weather events, and all the other hallmarks of total climate collapse, this kind of gleeful wastefulness is, and I am not being hyperbolic, a crime against humanity.”
This website is as cool as a breeze. I suppose it could have been included among the roadside flowers or the secret link. But recently I decided to include more obscure stories in this section. Stories you can only find online. So expect more of this type in the following issues.
How much energy does the Bitcoin network use? More than Argentina.
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly — Observations from the Internet Wilderness.
Last week this letter was sent to 741 people. Thirtyfive are crazy enough to chip in every month/year to support me making time to write. Logo by Studio Hollywood. Print by Luka. Photograph by Ana Santl.