Courage is strategic

I have realised that I have indeliberately gotten into this new practise recently as I started to journal everyday in my 2020 Moleskine Planner. I am still in knee-deep with my university administration woes at this point of time — just like today, I received my Turnitin report one week after requesting (which I remembered only took me about 10 minutes when I was given a student access through Blackboard at my old university) and the report turns out to be corrupted. Asking them to resend would probably take another week to reply, because for some reasons these people in my current university only answer phones or emails only after a few hundred tries. If it’s something I despise with the passion of a thousand burning suns, it’s inefficiency.

Anyway, back to the said practise. Within these ten days of January, there were already two posts in my Moleskine journal which read like this, “I am having trouble merging my theories together. In one week I will look back at this post and realised it seemed so insurmountable now that I have solved it” and “I am having to jump through multiple administration hoops just to submit my thesis. In two weeks, I will look back at this post when I have submitted and learned from this inefficiency of others and vowed to never inflict this upon others”. For the record, I have successfully merged my theories in less than the vague timeline I have set for myself, and unfortunately still struggling with the administration woes. Was this practise also a form of speaking into existence, to hypothesise a situation one so much desires it might finally happen? I like it. I will do it more often this year onwards.

Speaking about speaking into existence, there is this imagined report from 2030 on how we ended the climate emergency. “In a climate emergency, courage is not just a choice. It’s strategic. It’s a survival strategy”, begins one of its lines. Amidst all the alarming articles about how the world’s headed towards destruction, it’s refreshing for once to hear stories of how it could look like if we all radically, collectively take action. After all, “what is human civilisation if not the result of all the stories we’ve been told?”

Now, to take action.

Some related, some not:


  • Reading: 50% into Ece Temelkuran’s How to Lose a Country, on the rise of populist leaders and why people quickly embrace their ideologies. Which brings us to this article that is worthy of a reflection, “He didn’t get elected because of Russia or misinformation or Cambridge Analytica. He got elected because he ran the single best digital ad campaign I’ve ever seen from any advertiser. Period.”
  • Viewing: I still think Parasite was the best movie I have watched last year (more so than Joker!). If you haven’t watched it, please do — and in the meantime, here’s Evan Puschak’s analysis on the movie’s very excellent montage. Also, I am resuming Season 2 of La Casa de Papel.
  • Listening: This The East is a Podcast episode on the background information of the axis of crisis of the United States, Iran and Iraq — and explained through a critical anti-Orientalist lens, as we all should. Also listening to the heavenly voice of Moses Sumney‘s.
  • Food & Drink: Just rice porridge today, and lots of coffee.

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