🧠✨The Nexialist #0010
How Pandemics End | Decolonizing our Temporality | Bullet Journals | Bye Dissatisfaction | Counterculture x Counter-futures | Dark Forest Theory | What is Influence and more...
Welcome to The Nexialist, the newsletter that finds you in the dark forest.
Ten editions is a big deal for me. I’m pretty good with commitments in relationships and work, but not so good with personal projects. Until here… I think The Nexialist is proving me wrong. So thank you again for supporting, reading, sharing, and messaging me with love. I’m quite proud of what we’re doing here… Today I chose more reading material than usual, which even for me feels weird since I love my easy-to-watch videos. Let me know what you think.
Since this week I went pretty heavy on reading material, it’s the perfect time to introduce you to (or remind you of) M¥SS KETA. She’s not just a mysterious and sarcastic Italian artist/performer/rapper/diva but her songs are so well produced. The lyrics are also fun if you enjoy looking at online translations. Also, her looks are on point and she never shows her face, wearing the coolest masks since she exists (she was even interviewed for The New York Times about it). Enjoy!
Analysis of the ends of epidemics illustrates that epidemics are as much social, political, and economic events as they are biological; the “end,” therefore, is as much a process of social and political negotiation as it is biomedical. Equally important, epidemics end at different times for different groups, both within one society and across regions. Multidisciplinary research into how epidemics end reveals how the end of an epidemic shifts according to perspective, whether temporal, geographic, or methodological. A multidisciplinary analysis of how epidemics end suggests that epidemics should therefore be framed not as linear narratives—from outbreak to intervention to termination—but within cycles of disease and with a multiplicity of endings.
One of those wake-up call articles, writing in loud and clear words that the end of a pandemic is much more complex than just closing credits. Reminded me how time is not linear, and as many other things from the pandemic. Somehow in my head, I was waiting for an end date, but I should have known better.
⏳Decolonizing Our Temporality
“How’s your relationship with time?” Whenever Gustavo asks this question, I know I’m going to learn something new about time and put my temporal intelligence to work. It is a necessary question that has so many layers. Most of us don’t question why we follow time the way we do, with a certain calendar, a certain way to measure it. In this post, Gustavo invites us to decolonize our temporality and teaches us about the Tzolkin, one of the calendars used in Mesoamerican cultures based on moon cycles.
Tzolkin Quest: As a tool, we use an artifact from ancient Mesoamerican cultures which also resonates with the Pindoramic Amerindian temporality of the continent-country that we now call Brazil. The Tzolk'in is a calendar system that is also a periodic table of 260 time frequencies. Combinations that consider living fractal qualities of time that pulse in cycles of 13 measures: 13 days, 13 vines, 13 moons, 13 years… Small and large cycles that we called "time waves" and that, like a tide, carry energies that exist in people, in communities, on planets, stars, all over the kosmos.
Since I started following this calendar, it has been giving me a sense of continuity and it works as a daily meditation and self-assessment moment, with an inspiring message based on that day’s frequency. You can access it here.
At Torus Time Lab we believe in the importance of developing a new understanding of temporality and long-term vision. To rethink the shared values and habits of existence for the next era as we move on with the responsibilities urging in the next hour.
A few weeks ago, my friend Victor told me about how bullet journaling is changing his life, helping him declutter his mind. Bullet Journal is “the mindful practice disguised as a productivity system” and as Ryder Carroll, the creator of the method says, it’s an analog way he designed to “track the past, organize the present and plan for the future.” Again, time and habits all around me.
This week I started my own and I’m loving it. I will show how I’m doing it once I figure out what works best for me, but I have to say it’s such a joy to use colored pens and stickers. There’s an entire universe of people doing their journals and showing them online (look for #BuJo on Instagram), and it’s great for inspiration. However, if you like the idea, don’t let those super elaborated ones keep you from doing it. In the video, you can see quite a basic way to do it, no fancy tricks or notebooks, and you can adapt to your needs and which habits you want to track. I’m back at doing yoga and meditating, and avoid drinking during the week, for instance.
There’s something about writing things by hand, that makes you pay more attention, to put intention to it as well. It seems that in the past couple of years I’ve been instinctively trying to reduce my screen time. Pretty much everything I produce is digital, it’s where I work, get entertained, get informed… I guess I feel screen hungover. So this seems like the perfect way to go offline for a little bit and build healthier habits. Let’s see…
This video from Kurzgesagt came to me around a year ago, and it shows how being thankful works as an antidote to dissatisfaction. More specifically, writing down what you’re thankful for can be a great exercise for your mind to perceive the positive aspects of life, small or big. Of course, this is here because I included this field in my journal.
The internet didn’t kill counterculture—you just won’t find it on Instagram
This article by Caroline Busta in the Document Journal made my brain sweat with so many relevant questions, connections, and new words and concepts I hadn’t heard before. I selected a few parts to trigger you to go read it.
“To be truly countercultural in a time of tech hegemony, one has to, above all, betray the platform which may come in the form of betraying or divesting from your public online self.”
A truth specific to our time is that dissent against one level of authority is now very often driven by a deeper hegemonic force. Perhaps this is why, among many younger people (Greta Thunberg notwithstanding), there is less focus on battling current leaders and more interest in divining counter-futures.
Having spent the past several years intensively studying the development of Gen Z’s online political expression, artist Joshua Citarella points to the emergence of “e-deologies, radical politics as a form of niche personal branding.” In his 2019 report 20 Interviews, Citarella underscores the influence of Political Compass and gaming more generally on ideations of countercultural participation—or what he refers to as a “choose your character / choose your future” mode of “identity play that gained heightened relevance as American politics subsumed all of pop culture” during the mid-2010s.
🌑Dark Forest Theory vs. Clearnet
To be sure, none of these spaces are pure, and users are just as vulnerable to echo chambers and radicalization in the dark forest as on pop-stack social media. But in terms of engendering more or less counter-hegemonic potential, the dark forest is more promising because of its relative autonomy from clearnet physics (the gravity, velocity, and traction of content when subject to x algorithm). Unlike influencers and “blue checks,” who rely on clearnet recognition for income, status, and even self-worth, dark forest dwellers build their primary communities out of clearnet range—or offline in actual forests, parks, and gardens (e.g., cottagecore and related eco-social trends)—and then only very selectively or even absurdly/incoherently show themselves under clearnet light.
Protein always brings us excellent and delicious content. In their new series, Dirty Words, the aim is to redefine the meaning of meaningless words (or these overused words that make us roll our eyes.) This is the second issue, they focus on Influence and it is so great to see their take on where this industry is going. How has authenticity changed over time and what is the role of brands and cultural influencers? This shift from Cultural Influencer to Community Stakeholder makes so much sense, as we see influencers engaged with their community and politically aware.
Also, Instagram is dying… what is coming next? The report shows how platforms (such as Clubhouse, Onlyfans, and even this lovely Substack where I write to you from) that offer new ways to interact with creators, content, and their communities are thriving, and why that happens (this connects perfectly with the Dark Forest Theory mentioned above). It’s a must-read if you work with anything online. I took a few slides for you as a teaser, but I highly recommend entering their community, downloading it, and reading it.
Search for high-quality materials on digital rights and infrastructure—across text, video and audio, in English and in French. Powered by the curation technology—part-algorithmic, part-human—developed by The Syllabus, and presented with experts from the Centre for Digital Rights.
Just leaving this here, because it gives me so much pleasure to see a platform like this, with useful content, organized so beautifully, using human and algorithmic knowledge about such a relevant topic. Go browse! (I felt a bit of FOMO to see so many interesting titles, but at least now I know where to consult when I’m researching this topic.)
❤️If anything made your brain tingle, click like and don't hesitate to share it with the world. It helps The Nexialist to reach more curious minds. See you next week!🦦
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