Weekly Musings

Thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days

Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

This week, an idea that's been knocking around in my head has finally come to a stop. With that stop came the urge to write about it. That idea is somewhat contrarian, but isn't that what this letter is for sometimes?

And thanks to both the new subscribers and donors who came aboard in the last couple of weeks. Your support, even if you just read this newsletter, is greatly appreciated.

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With that out of the way, let's get to this week's letter.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

In this week's letter, I ponder something that hits very close to home for me. No, make that it hits right at home. You'll understand once you start reading.

So, let's get to it, shall we?

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

Last week, a friend in the old country told me about some disturbing news. In Ontario, Canada, one of the many cuts the Ford government has made has been to libraries. With those cuts, libraries all over the province can't afford to continue their inter-library loan programs and abruptly cancelled those programs. That's a pretty big blow, and it's news that jarred some thoughts and ideas loose in my brain.

Which leads us to this week's letter ...

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

What I had intended for this week's letter just refused to come together. It's about 50% there, but stuck in a holding pattern. That's OK, because I was able to dip into my archives and dig up another essay. I hope you enjoy it, dust and all.

With that out of the way, let's get to this week's essay.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

This time 'round, I'm going a bit meta: writing an essay about newsletters in this newsletter. Bet you didn't see that one coming! I hope this edition gets you thinking, not just about newsletters but online publishing in general.

With that out of the way, let's get to this week's essay.

Over the last few days, a couple of ideas have been knocking about in my head. They've been desperately grappling and struggling for supremacy. The idea that I didn't expect to come out on top actually made the other one tap out, which means it's the right idea for this week.

It's funny how that works, isn't it? Which makes these offerings from my keyboard a bit more interesting and surprising. At least, I hope they do.

With that out of the way, let's get going shall we?

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

This time 'round, I'm going a bit meta: writing an essay about newsletters in this newsletter. Bet you didn't see that one coming! I hope this edition gets you thinking, not just about newsletters but online publishing in general.

With that out of the way, let's get to this week's essay.

On Newsletters

You might not know this, but Weekly Musings is my second kick at the newsletter can. The first time around, I burned out. It wasn't the newsletter — I kind of burned out with all the writing I was doing.

In the weeks leading up to the first edition of Weekly Musings (and just about every week since then), I pondered newsletters and why they're becoming popular again. And why newsletters seem to be, or at least are becoming, what blogging used to be.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

As I may have mentioned in a previous edition of Weekly Musings, I became a citizen of New Zealand in March, 2019. I'm proud to call this country home, even with its problems and shortcomings.

I always have, though, admired the quiet strength of the people of this land and, especially, the people living in the city of Christchurch. It's that strength I want to pay a short tribute to with this week's letter.

On Resilience

Confession time: Christchurch is one city in New Zealand that has never had much of a pull on me. I'm not sure why. I like the city, but it never sparked my affection in the way that, say, Wellington or Oamaru have.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

A few months ago, my family and I spent a week touring around the upper part of New Zealand's North Island. I hadn't been to most of the places we visited, and I'm glad we took the time to make that trip. Like much of the rest of this country, the places we visited are beautiful in so many different ways.

Some of the roads, though, aren't beautiful. Narrow, winding, and sometimes scary are the best ways to describe them — sometimes with no barriers and a higher-than-warranted speed limit (what the you-know-what were they thinking?). I had to concentrate, but my family and I made it out of there in one piece. Some of the views, though ... I can't describe how beautiful they were. Here's a sample:

A view from outside of Nelson, New Zealand

Although I took notes about a few ideas for essays, I didn't have time to write anything. So, I dipped into my archives and dusted off a travel-themed essay that's a few years old, but which I also think is timeless.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

This time around, I'm trying to get back on track. What you're about to read is the essay that I meant to publish in the previous musing. In it, I ponder something we run into every day, but often don't notice or just assume that we can't do anything about.

On Information Pollution

Information.

To say it's everywhere is an understatement. If you think about how information comes into your brain, you'll realize that it's difficult if not impossible to escape it.

Information is in front of our eyes. It's in our ears. It's in our hands. We're bombarded by information when we look at a screen. While we're on a bus or train. While we're trying to savour that new hot beverage or pastry.

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Welcome to this edition of Weekly Musings, where each week I share some thoughts about what's caught my interest in the last seven days.

I had another essay ready to go, but an event in the last week got me seriously pondering another topic. The topic of the essay in this edition of the newsletter. As with the last musing, I don't know if the idea is as well formed or complete as I'd like it to be, but it's an idea I had to share with you.

Let's get going, shall we?

On Being Utopian

Like many people in New Zealand, and around the world, I was shocked and stunned, angered and saddened by last Friday's terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch. It was horrifying enough that the violence was directed towards a specific group. But that could have any of us in Aotearoa, anywhere at any time.

Dozens of people were brutally killed as the result of anger and hatred fuelled by extremism. A day after the attacks, I saw this post on Mastodon:

White supremacy must die

Those four words said a lot. And I found myself, yet again, wishing that all forms of supremacist and extremist thought would die a quick death.

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