The older I get, the more common this experience becomes: finding that I am simply unable to read essays and articles on certain topics. I may, out of a sense of duty, begin to read something on these topics, but almost immediately my eyes begin to wander, or to glaze over. I strive to refocus; I re-read the same few sentences; but before long my mind has wandered elsewhere. Eventually I give up.

I used to be able to read about some of these things, but the way The Discourse asymptotically approaches the point of absolute stupidity — a stupidity than which no stupider can be conceived — has now rendered my brain dysfunctional w/r/t the following:

  • Critical race theory
  • Trans issues
  • Productivity
  • Burnout
  • The New Right
  • Denominational break-ups and church splits
  • Elon Musk
  • And, now of course, abortion (The Discourse around which has always been brain-dead, but was usually avoidable)

That is of course only a partial list, but it seems to cover about 90% of what I’m seeing in news periodicals these days.

One nice feature of Feedbin is the ability to create actions based on filters. So, for instance, I have just created an action to set any new article that contains the word “abortion” as read; that way it won’t show up in my “unread” feed, which is the only feed I look at. A couple of weeks ago I created a similar action for the term “Elon Musk”; I had already targeted posts that have “Burnout” or “Productivity” in their titles — if the Bad Words are not in the actual title then maybe their use in the text is innocuous. We’ll see how it goes; I’ll adjust as necessary. Keeping my sanity requires constant vigilance — unless I want to go offline altogether, which, believe me, I often consider.

On the other side, things I find that I want to read more about these days:

  • China, present and past, especially religion in China
  • Daoism
  • Anarchism
  • Infrastructure
  • Materials science
  • Scientific innovation, especially regarding climate-change mitigation
  • Water, and places where it is (a) scarce or (b) overabundant
  • Late antiquity in the West
  • … and one more topic I’ll talk about in a future post.

Mainly, though, I want to read more novels.

[I thought I had this post scheduled to go out tomorrow, but obviously I messed up. Consider this, then, a proleptic disclosure of the eschaton.]