What I learned last week (#148): extractive circuit

Learned last week: drawing tool, mind mapping, Utah rap, and more!

A weekly selection of what I was reading, drawing, writing, and doing.


Drawing is good for you:

I learned about a tool for setting up a 3D figure in any position: https://setpose.com/. After a couple weeks off I’ve been drawing a bit more lately and this is a good tool for breaking “drawers block”.


How our collective way of living is unsustainable and breaking:

I was rivited by this essay. Even though it was admittedly bit dense and hard for me to grasp at times (I have a simple brain), the way our “extractive circuit” of capitalism and abuse of the environment is portrayed here is very convincing and terrifying. I could certainly see myself clearly as a participant.

Put more simply, our imaginary white-collar Californian now works harder and longer helping to maintain an artificially futile level of production and requiring mass consumption of everything from energy to electronics. And she does so for less. Her real wage has stagnated for several decades; even though the professions imagined above could place her income above the 48 percent of Americans who earn less than about $31,000 a year, they don’t come close to the levels where twenty-first-century capitalism truly pays off (not even taking into account the grimmer picture in wealth.)[1] Her lifestyle is thus supported by financialized debt, which in turn requires her to ever further “innovate” and “diversify” her “human capital.” This includes but is not limited to the intensive self-maintenance through biochemicals, pharmaceuticals, and other technological interventions to her body and its internal composition and processes. She does consume more, but this is not a particularly pleasurable form of desire fulfillment. It is rather her very desire to continue to exist that is rechanneled into the logic of capital accumulation.

The Extractive Circuit https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-extractive-circuit-singh-chaudhary


Mind maps:

I got lost looking at and thinking about mind maps last week and the collection of mind maps that Austin Kleon has posted over the years.


Being a better writer starts with, you guessed it, more writing:

I enjoyed coming across this similar advice in multiple forms this week.

There are 2 things I have come to believe about writing: The average person should write 5x more things than they do. The average written thing should be 5x shorter than it is.

Write 5x more but write 5x less

Writing less you say? Yes, and it is a lot harder than it seems.

There are two things more difficult than writing. The first is editing, the second is expert level Sudoku where there’s literally two goddamned squares filled in. While editing is a grueling process, if you really work hard at it, in the end you may find that your piece has fewer words than it did before, which is great. Perhaps George Bernard Shaw said it best when upon sending a letter to a close friend, he wrote, “I’m sorry this letter is so long, I didn’t have time to make it shorter.” No quote better illustrates the point that writers are very busy.

The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do


Everyone is strange:

I don’t know what to think of a rap festival in Utah, but this video and the Channel 5 with Andrew Callaghan channel, is absolutely fantastic.


Quote I was thinking about:

Nurture your mind with great thoughts, for you will never go any higher than you think.

Benjamin Disraeli

What I wrote and drew about this week:


What I did, was reminded of, or was thankful for last week:

  • We went wine tasting last week (it is becoming a monthly thing now!). This tasting was focused on strange or unusual grape varieties (Halloween tie-in). The stand out for me was Mantlepiece Cinsault 2019 from South Africa. Cinsault is the grape varietal and I had never tried it or even heard of it previously.
  • I’m all caught up watching Foundation and really enjoying it. I have heard mixed reviews coming from die hard fans of the book but it has made me curious to explore the text, so surely that says something? Some of the ideas exposed in the show are wild. I especially like the latest sequence aboard the ghost ship Invictus.

Last but not least, check out what I’m up to now.

Comments welcome!