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Joshua Whiting

librarianish person, writer, creator


Essays


I AM ASYNCHRONOUS LIFESTYLE - 3000

Posted: 2021.10.22
So I am finally doing it - deleting my Facebook account. Not even Kate DiCamillo can stop me this time. I just have to stay clean by not logging in ever again for 30 days, as the last of their slimy hoops left for me to jump through. I drafted a long, awkward letter to my Facebook friends that I intended to post on the platform a few days before going through with the actual deletion.
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A Horse Called Dreamer

Posted: 2020.08.05

The school district received a herd of ponies. I was supposed to catalog them, barcode them, and figure out a good protocol for checking them out to students.

They were all in an old corral out in the desert, and seemed wild and restless, as if perhaps they had just been captured and swept in from that desert and we hadn’t exactly been told the truth about their (lack of) training. Also, it didn’t seem like anyone was taking care of them out there so it was maybe going to fall to me to feed them, scrape out their hooves, and do whatever else needs to be done for horses. I don’t know anything about horses.

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On Whether To Share Things

Posted: 2020.07.27
I’ve been here before. It’s a cycle for me. The compulsion to exist on social media, followed soon after by silence. I’ve posted variations on this dilemma before. I’ve almost posted on it many times more. I want and need to just live my life, do my things, think my thoughts, and not be performative about any of it. I despise so much in life that is performative, and I want not to contribute to it.
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The Opposite of Curation Isn't A Mess But Silence

Posted: 2020.06.22
Been thinking a lot about curation, both professionally and personally. Where, when, how, whether to do it. I’ve been in a holding pattern about sharing things for a long time now - I have digital and physical notebooks full of things to potentially share (good and helpful things, I believe), but it seems too big a deal to share them. There are too many options, each with benefits and drawbacks, each with different audiences, or in some cases no audience at all.
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A Break for a Minute to Imagine

Posted: 2020.04.16

In the past month I’ve found myself paralyzed in regards to social media, both personally and professionally. Whenever I peak into my feeds I’ve been easily overwhelmed by the content I see: deluges of RESOURCES FOR “ONLINE LEARNING1,” endless interludes of stay-at-home inanities and banalities, and then literal death and suffering, since underneath all of this inconvenience, opportunism, and political posturing it turns out there is an actual tragic pandemic that is taking lives.

I haven’t known how to contribute to this world, and ultimately decided the best way to contribute would be to just stay quiet. Or maybe I just choked and failed by dropping out of this resource-sharing, curating, connecting game at the very moment when it was suddenly THE THING TO DO.

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5 Things I Learned by Stealing and Reading the Earthsea Trilogy

Posted: 2014.08.19
A few weeks go I was at my wife’s family’s cabin and I was lurking around in a bedroom browsing my in-laws’ old bookshelf.¬†Hidden in the midst of a notable collection of Louis L’Amour novels, with an old framed photograph sitting on the shelf in front of them, I discovered copies of the original Earthsea Trilogy by Ursula LeGuin: A Wizard of Earthsea, The Tombs of Atuan, and The Farthest Shore.
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