Time travel

A woman looks at a painting of a path running through a forest in full bloom

David Hockney, The Arrival of Spring in Woldgate

Having a crush is underrated, I think. I suppose I don’t know how having a crush is generally rated. Having a crush makes the moments between texts stretch out and this can be wonderful or terrible, but either way it does something to time, and I’ve always been obsessed with time travel.

I have a crush. Had a crush? On a person, but it wasn’t really about them.

I had a crush on a person I followed from Bangkok to Hong Kong six years ago, wandering cobblestone streets between ferns growing from the cracks of repainted walls as they told me about the meeting they’d had explaining social entrepreneurship to a manufacturing magnate in a skyscraper overlooking shimmering ships in Kowloon Bay. I can’t even remember their name, but I can’t ever smell the sizzle of rain on asphalt without thinking of them.

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I’ve been editing my last post in my head every day since I wrote it.

The ending is too abrupt, I decided. Pieces like this from writers I liked usually have a third act about some sociological theory explaining the story in the first two thirds. I tapped down notes:

  • Haidt says liberals prioritize care/fairness, conservatives value care/fairness/loyalty/authority/sanctity equally
  • Low-trust world substack very good and relevant not just for thinking about America but also what I should prefer at work
  • Liberals being more neurotic (this is important right)

Then on Wednesday afternoon, a… Coup happened?

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After the election was called for Joe Biden, I stopped thinking about US politics for what felt like the first time in four and a half years.

This was a 10/10 experience, and it lasted until earlier this afternoon, when I went to a South Austin coffeeshop for Can A Fracturing America Heal? [In Person Version], one of several Meetups I’d signed up for in a surge of high spirits on New Year’s Eve.

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1,792 miles

I left San Francisco, and arrived in Austin last Wednesday.

It took me five weeks to drive the first 12 miles, two weeks to drive the next 479 miles, and three days to drive the final 1,301 miles. A graph of my journey on Twitter flooded my inbox with DMs from excited VCs and alarmed epidemiologists.

On the road, I listened to 2000s pop punk and Jake Gyllenhaal’s narration of The Great Gatsby. The book is full of excellent lines, but a new one stood out to me: What was the use of doing great things if I could have a better time telling her what I was going to do? and I nodded as I drove, on my way to attempt the opposite.

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