June 24, 2024

things to read: june

tightly packed blueblossom flowers with a bumblebee enjoying the nectar
photo caption: the tightly packed blue flowers of a blueblossom plant. a bumblebee on one cluster enjoys the nectar within. i love getting a drink with the girls!

Happy Pride! Life is definitely happening this week. No post today, but here are a few things I’ve read recently that I wanted to share.

“Queer” by Finn Mackay

The aim of reclaiming terms like queer is to remove their power as slurs, and in so doing weaken the status quo of conservative sex and relationship norms. If people use the term as a descriptor for themselves, proudly and defiantly, this can render it meaningless as a slur. This is another meaning of the term queer: as a verb it can be used to describe the act of de-norming, or of critiquing and drawing attention to norms that are so common they have been absorbed into our lives without comment. Why is sexuality so policed? Why does sexuality matter? Why are the powerful triads of sex-gender-sexuality so influential, shaping every aspect of our daily reality with the assumption that everyone is either female, feminine, and heterosexual, or male, masculine, and heterosexual?

Lionel Wendt – creator of a truly Sri Lankan idiom by Ellen Dissanayake

There are many people who can impress a listener with their brilliance and discernment, but only a rare few who make those with whom they converse feel that their own ideas are interesting and worthwhile as well. Such a person is excellent and desired company anywhere, and all the more invaluable in places where the time has come for new directions and new ideas and – most essentially – a climate in which to develop these. Such a place was pre-independence Ceylon in the 1930’s and 1940’s, and such a person was Lionel Wendt.

See more of Lionel Wendt’s work at Huis Marseille.

Four Lenses for Better Understanding Your City by Tiffany Owens Reed

If you’re like me, you like having frameworks through which to interpret complex systems. Cities are complex systems, but they don’t come with neat handbooks for properly understanding and interpreting them. This is probably a good thing, because it teaches us to respect the complexity of cities and to stay curious rather than thinking we’ve found “silver bullet” solutions and explanations. But it can also make it hard to know where to start when it comes to thinking about better understanding your town.

photo of josh martinez

my name is josh martinez. i have always loved trying to understand systems, and the systems that built those systems. i spend a lot of time thinking about how to get there from here.

i own and operate a consulting practice, Future Emergent.

say hello: josh[at]bethefuture.space