Your real job

I tell my students, when you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else.

~ Toni Morrison


Active resistence

The first time I rode one was nearly a decade ago, in Kyoto. The electric bike I rented was huge and unwieldy, but that tug of its motor never left my mind. I went to climb a hill and it felt as if a giant had gently placed his hand on my back and pushed me forward. That stupid smile has been on my face ever since.

~ Craig Mod from,

With that name, this guy is clearly awesome, right? If you want to go down a fun rabbit hole, do some searching for “how popular is” and “usage of” with your first name. Yikes, statistics. But I also like this piece because it’s about bicycles. In particular, it’s about electric bicycles which I have been very intentionally ignoring the existence of, for fear of developing a yearning for another bicycle. *ahem* I digress.

What I really love about Mod is that a few years ago he took down everything he was doing, which was all free to read with a “hey please support me” …and he said, “hey guys, please support me, I’ll go write and photograph and I share it with you.” And it worked.


Sheer nonsense from the jump

This is sheer nonsense from the jump. Americans don’t have, and have never had, any right to be free of shaming or shunning. The First Amendment protects our right to speak free of government interference. It does not protect us from other people saying mean things in response to our speech. The very notion is completely incoherent. Someone else shaming me is their free speech, and someone else shunning me is their free association, both protected by the First Amendment.

~ Ken White from,

This is long (by Internet standards, so maybe 5 minutes?) but borders on a being a ribald savaging of a New York Times editorial. Bully for Ken White. He had me at the byline. If you’re not a fan of White, it’s still worth reading until the part I’ve quoted. If you read that far, you may just become a fan of White’s writing. (And of course there’s more of him quoted here too.)


Satire and free speech

Over the past few years I have been made to see, in sum, that the nature and extent of satire is not nearly as simple a question as I had previously imagined. I am now prepared to agree that some varieties of expression that may have some claim to being satire should indeed be prohibited. I note this not with a plan or proposal for where or how such a prohibition might be enforced, but to acknowledge something I did not fully understand until I experienced it first hand — that even the most cherished and firmly-held values or ideals can change when the world in which those values were first formed changes.

~ Justin E.H. Smith, from

I’m not sure what to say about this, other than: This is an interesting article.