The Reader Interview
The one edition where it is you writing to me.
Another Sunday, Another Naive Weekly — Observations From The Internet Wilderness.
Thank you, Everyone.
Last week I asked you to join an experiment. Would it be possible for us to answer one reader interview together? All of us. More people than I could imagine have contributed to the shared document over the week. It is heart-warming.
You find the outcome below. I'm in awe of your thoughtfulness and willingness to participate. We’ll do it again next December.
THE READER INTERVIEW
Everyone is a vivid reader who gets lost on their way home. They spend more time on the internet than anyone I know and has an incredible amount of questions for trees. One day I’d like to meet Everyone in person.
K: What was one rabbit hole you recently fell into?
Everyone: I wish it was running. Instead I have been trusting too much. You fall quite deep when you trust. Like when you fall into the Korean room/apartment tours on YouTube, Google Street view somewhere in Nepal, generative art, Battle of Trafalgar oil paintings and exploring nature in Red Dead Redemption.
My own relentless drive and excitement for new ideas brings me unknown places. Currently I’m digging all restoration videos on YouTube. Paintings, old tools, game consoles, are just the surface. I’m also rediscovering an adventure game I obsessed over as a kid and realise there is a YouTube channel with all the background music. Crying with nostalgia.
I’m also deep in searching for that perfect gift for a loved one. Unfortunately the initial idea had to be dropped. Now I’m trying to find home but I’m getting lost. The internet is stressing me out again. Consume, consume, consume. I want curation, quality, connection.
K: What question would you ask a tree?
Everyone: Tree, please tell me, what will happen to the world next year? How is your breathing? Are you drunk from all the carbon dioxide? Will we survive from the climate crisis? Please say yes. If not, what is afterlife for you?
How do you so beautifully deal with the practicalities of everyday life? Have you ever fallen in love? What is the craziest thing you’ve ever seen? Have you ever thought about moving? Do you feel the cold in the winter, when you shed your leaves and stand bare? Or does it make you proud to see yourself strong at the core, holding life within? Perhaps you could tell me how you stay so consistent, so confident? Or is it all a front?
What’s your favourite time of the day? Mine is accidental early mornings. When I wake up with an insane amount of focus, perspective and energy and can perform in twenty minutes what I’d usually do in a day. All while the rest of the world around still sleeps. Maybe this is similar to when a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it. Does it make a sound?
Yesterday I thought to myself when digging up grass and roots around the walls of my house, if plants even care of being moved. I think more of the containment of the actual plant. The isolation from the rest. How do you feel when being isolated from the others? I’ll make sure to ask our Christmas tree about this. And if it can connect to the internet? Logging in.
K: What is the size of your internet?
Everyone: So small that I desperately want to feel lost again. Still it fills my calendar. I’ve tried skipping video and image content on the web to regain control. It makes the Internet a lot smaller without images. I’m also limiting my internet activity and endless browsing time and trading it to more time for reading and longer sleeping hours. After all, it’s winter and people in the northern hemisphere should sleep more.
On the flip side, I let myself drown to mainstream social media and should be exploring more. Lately I’ve been reminiscing about the early days of Tumblr. Maybe I should ask an algorithm what is the size of my internet? Still, I guess it’s the size of the encounter between my curiosity and my laziness. It is the boundaries of my thoughts. It is, I am. Small and full of trees. It’s giving me serious wanderlust.
K: Where do you go fishing for different feeds?
Everyone: I seem to have forgotten how to surf about 10 years ago. Or the content feeds I read all became so self-referential that they lead nowhere else. But I must say I am surprised how wholesome some groups on Facebook can be. I joined a small boomer group for people who mill their own flour before baking after I installed a kitchen counter mill in my apartment. It is delightful to ask a question there. All the reply-guys are offering emotional support, but it is about core-temperatures of wood-baked, home-milled rye bread types.
Otherwise it is through conversations with the people around me, travels and podcasts. It started with podcasts like WTF and Nerdist, continued with The Hustle and Future Crunch, now it’s mainly Naive Weekly and Briefing Day.
But to be very honest I prefer fishing for different foods.
K: What would be your fictional dream job title?
Everyone: Thought Dynamic Engineer, Dream Whisperer or Human. I used to just call myself human. But maybe that is another word for Master Sorter of Things, Reviewer of Delicacies or Everyday Astronaut? My friend is a Road Guide Writer. She writes about great roads for walking, biking, driving, looking at.
The first job I ever wanted was to be a honey-taster. Today I want to test beds, mattresses and bed linens. I struggle to get up in the morning and getting a good night’s sleep is becoming a real priority. It resonates with my ambitions of becoming a Blanket Fort Builder and Architect.
I wonder how long we’ll still have job titles. If we all become hyper generalists I’d suggest we move to saying which projects we are working on rather than our specific skill or position. I want to sit and talk to people, or rather, listen. It is amazing what a difference listening can make. I don’t want it to be a job as such, but it would be a good way to fill the days.
I don’t like job titles, or rather how we judge people by their job titles. Is there another question we can ask instead of ‘what do you do?’ when we meet them? Like, ‘what makes you happy?’ or ‘tell me your favourite food?’. Perhaps I’m just a begrudging generalist who doesn’t know how they want to identify, but I believe we’re all so multifaceted that one job title can’t do us justice.
K: How do you prepare for death?
Everyone: I haven't thought about this issue. If you’re asking about my own death, I don’t know, because I don’t know what it means, feels and what comes after. If anything. Can you prepare for death? Because I don’t.
But I do thank death every day for giving me one more day and then think of all the things I was fortunate to get and live. I think about how I would like to feel when it’s time to go. But am I ready? No. On the other hand, would I like to live forever? No. Would you? No. Please, do not be scared and live fully.
The awareness that every day might be the last one encourages me to not make very-long-term plans. I also always make the bed and air out the room in the morning and clean the kitchen before going to sleep. You never know when it is too late, so I recommend regularly telling people how much they matter to you.
So I guess I prepare by aging and living. I make memories. I listen to my intuition and remind myself that this earthly life is only short-term, an eternity awaits and it’s gonna be awesome. Experience and time will give another perspective of losing people. However, I’m never prepared enough.
K: What is covered in your shadow?
Everyone: I don't understand the meaning of this question. Maybe it is because I am dealing with quite a few unimportant things lately. Things I care about too much and think about too little. Often coming from recent and not so recent conversations that I have had.
Somehow past conversations can stay with me forever. I keep considering possible modifications of the things I said. It is the self-doubt and self-hatred. It’s the dark side of the moon: I can’t think of anything that does not show (uncertainties, self-doubt, past wounds) but I sure do make my best to hide it on a daily basis. Unlike our mushroom lamps and my endless photo archive.
What literally is covered in my shadow depends on the position of the sun. Today I don’t have a shadow. I am inside and it is raining. I am the shadow. My shadow coats my inner self, hiding things that should perhaps be found. I need to lie out in the midday sun and inspect everything it has been hiding. But yeah, I also don’t follow this Q.
K: Who are your spiritual mothers and fathers?
Everyone: Books, I read at least 100 books a year, it is the source of my spiritual power. Next year I want to only read one book for the entire year. My life, everyone in it. Definitely everyone in it. Friends of different eras and ages. And the life under water. I feel spiritually connected when I am by the sea. And yoga, as cliché as it sounds, can actually heal you.
I feel both grounded and completely free when I let the natural world in: Stars shining in the sky, branches blowing in the wind, the absence of manmade noise, waves rolling out at sea, sand under my toes, the cold waters of a lake, just the thought of these makes my heart full and chest lighter. Children. Curiosity and creativity. Trusting the process and not letting go, even when things are a mess.
I don’t have that. But thanks Kristoffer for what you are doing. Your questions, both asked in person or typed out, are something else. Agree, obrigado. Tak.
Hi, I’m Kristoffer and you have just read Naive Weekly — Observations from the Internet Wilderness.
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