Vocational Awe and Librarianship: The Lies We Tell Ourselves – In the Library with the Lead Pipe:

Vocational awe describes the set of ideas, values, and assumptions librarians have about themselves and the profession that result in notions that libraries as institutions are inherently good, sacred notions, and therefore beyond critique. I argue that the concept of vocational awe directly correlates to problems within librarianship like burnout and low salary.

I think I’ve seen and felt a lot of vocational awe in the teaching profession as well. I imagine it’s true for a lot of other more “idealistic” jobs too.

Musical Pitch is Not “High” or “Low”:

In much of the Western world pitches are conceived of as existing in a metaphorical 2-dimensional space along a vertical axis where “high frequency” pitches lie higher and “low frequency” pitches are lower. but this isn’t a universal phenomenon. In some cultures, and even for some children in the Western world, this orientation is reversed. 

In many parts of the world, pitches exist in other metaphorical spaces (e.g. thick/thin; big/small); metaphorical spaces related to mass (e.g. heavy/light); metaphorical kinship relations (e.g. grandmother/daughter), age metaphors (e.g. old voices/young voices); or very culturally specific senses (e.g. crocodile/those who follow crocodile).

Here is a non-exhaustive list of pitch metaphors across cultures. (Google Doc)


I find it so strange which words we translate and which words we transfer. It’s bizzare to me that we don’t often call countries by the same name as the natives do, for example.

My guess is that there are different names for countries and cities in each language because some sounds don’t exist in some languages.

And of course things get even more complicated when poltics are involved i.e. Taiwan vs Chinese Taipei.

Coyote vs Acme and the blockbusters that may never be seen

…if Coyote vs Acme was finished, why not release it, anyway? The answer, apparently, is that distributing and promoting a film adds so much to the overall cost that it is hard for it to make a profit. It can be cheaper for a studio to dismiss the film as a “tax write-down”, and claw back millions of dollars. But the strategy is only legal if the film is never shown. Effectively, it has to cease to exist.

Films, it seems, are no longer being seen as works of art – or even as pieces of entertainment. They are being seen as items on a balance sheet, minor details in a global corporate strategy, and small components in a portfolio of intellectual property.

Reminder that large entertainment conglomerates are not your friend.

I Wish Bear Hadn’t Wasted Years

I’ve never used the markdown app Bear. But because I can be so productivity and app obsessed (working on it) I ended up reading this post about it.  

(As a side note: I’ve never really been interested in it either.  It looks like a great app, but I’m not paying a subscription just to sync markdown files over iCloud!)

I’m thankful I did read this post though because I ended up reading this piece of wisdom.

Writing things down is often more important than the act of storing them. I want to preserve my journal or lists of good places to visit in certain cities, but most of the other stuff, personal and work-related, is quite ephemeral. It’s almost like the message history with your friends. You think you want to preserve it, but if you actually scroll to the beginning of your friendship all those years ago, you’ll cringe a little.

I’ve switched between note taking apps more times than I’ve liked to admit, for various reasons, but one of the things that I always struggle with is how to store my notes long term. 

I always imagine this scenario where I want to be able to review all my notes.  But I’m not sure why I’m so worried about this scenario because I never review notes that I take.  

The reason I never review my notes is that once they’re written, they are no longer valuable to me. Writing is thinking, reviewing is not.  Rehashing thoughts I’ve already thought does not challenge me to think through and internalize information in the same way that writing does.

I think this feeling is related to what Chris Aldrich was describing in his latest musings on Zettelkasten for Coursework.

When you take a math class you might learn what 2+2 is and make a note about it, but by the time the course is over, that idea should now be so basic that keeping it in your system should be a bit laughable. Spending time to excerpt it from a lecture, make it atomic, and interlink it is a lot of make-work that isn’t likely to be useful either for the learning the thing to begin with, much less remember it in the long run to potentially use it again.

I take notes of things I want to internalize and recall as easily as “2+2”.  By writing notes, these things end up being easily recallable, and once they are I see my notes as somewhat useless and feel no need to review them.

Blogrolls are the best artifacts of the Early World Wide Web. Or Weird Wide Web if you like. As you would look at someone’s collection of books or vinyl, the same goes for blogrolls. It gives the reader, the digital wanderer, more avenues and alleyways (thank you Rancid) to discover.

I follow over 200 personal blogs in my RSS reader. Some people’s blogs I’ll read every post, some I’ll skim, some I keep to glance over post titles to see what is going in that person’s world.

I wish there was an easy way to keep a webpage in sync with the OPML file in my reader. The thought of manually keeping my blogroll in sync with my feed would be too time consuming. Though maybe it would be a fun project to post about 3-5 blogs I follow every week. Then again, I already share blogs and posts that interest me on my blog and it might be too redundant.

It has been so long, I do not remember if this was the logo. It’s been more than six months since Reddit cut off Apollo, and I’m fine with that. At first, I did go through a significant amount of withdrawal because Reddit provided me with an endless supply of new things to look into.

I think the biggest thing I miss about using Reddit were the amazing FAQ and Wiki pages some subreddits had. Whenever I had something I wanted to know more about, the first thing I would do is visit the subreddit and instantly have access to tons of well curated information by real people (which is unfortunately becoming a much rarer thing on the internet these days).

I’m an infrequent user of Discord, but I do hop in there from time to time checking in on various communities I’ve joined that are hosted there…But the new ability in macOS Sonoma to add any website to the Dock as a web app has drastically changed my Discord experience for the better. You see, the Discord website, which looks and works exactly like the Mac app, doesn’t ever require an update. That’s because it just loads the webpage fresh every time. By simply logging into Discord in Safari and choosing File → Add to Dock…I now have the web version on my Mac as a pseudo-application.

Can’t believe I never thought of this. I had the exact same issue, and often put off checking in on the very few (2) Discord communities because the updates are so annoying.