How to Set Up a Personal VPN on macOS, or Goddamnit I Can't Believe This Is the Sort of Thing We Have to Write These Days

Thorough disclaimer: I am not a security researcher. I am a grad student in the humanities who studies technical systems. I have a general understanding of what I’m talking about here but I’m far from an expert. Throughout I try to link to folks who know a lot more than I do, so that you can see critiques of this process and judge for yourself if/how you might want to implement some of these systems. In essence: caveat emptor.

On Children and Water

A few interconnected thoughts.

On Staying Up Late to Look at Arbitrary Borders

When I can’t sleep (which is most nights these days) I tend to do a few things:1

  1. There once was a time where this list was just “read and drink herbal tea” but I am like all of us imperfect. 

On “the Real World”

The news is a Category 5 shitstorm these days and it’s difficult to surface any rage-inducing story for any more than a few moments at a time. One in particular that’s driving pins into the back of my eyes is a pair of moves from Missouri and Iowa to eliminate the concept of tenure in their state university systems. These moves come on the heels of Wisconsin’s relatively succesful attempts to neuter the concept of “tenure” beyond any utility. These attacks are only going to become more and more common as increasingly Republican-led state legislatures defenstrate the American education system.

On the Desire to Surround Oneself with Wolves

Threaded tweets are bad now I guess, and the prevailing wisdom on Twitter seems to be “why are people tweeting when they could be writing blog posts?,” which I take as yet another riff on “you’re doing it wrong.” Particularly with reports of Medium’s demise not really exaggerated at all making the space for such thoughts increasingly scarce. That being said, I do have a blog so I guess I will kowtow to the times and put these thoughts here rather than as a tweetstorm. With any luck, Twitter won’t be around by the time that you read this and then I will come across as prescient rather than contrarian.

Galatea and the Play of Self-Disclosure

Another syndicated piece of writing, this time from Matthew Kirschenbaum and Neil Fraistat’s seminar on the nonhuman.

Corrupting Books’ Flesh and Blood

I have a lot of writing to do in grad school, and I want to get better about making more of it public. So for regular blog post and short essay assignments, I’m going to syndicate some of them across to my personal blog. Here’s one from ENGL718C: From Manuscript to Print: Medieval and Early Modern Histories of the Book.

Minimalism and Computing

A few weeks late on the hot take treadmill to this piece, although I was on writing hiatus so I get temporary immunity. From Kyle Chayka’s “The Oppressive Gospel of Minimalism,” back in the New York Times Magazine at the end of July:

Quick Notes on Resource Extractions

One of my first assigned readings in graduate school is Bruce Holsinger’s “Of Pigs and Parchment: Medieval Studies and the Coming of the Animal,” (2009) a short cri de cœur exhorting Medieval studies and the study of the history of the book to grapple concertedly with the simple fact that parchment culture depended on the mass slaughter of non-human animals.

On Putting Words on the Internet

Enough pixels have already been spilled on 2016, The Worst Year Ever. These pixels have also been thoroughly rejoined by an ostensibly different but ontologically similar set of pixels declaring that “no, the Black Death was so much worse, y’all”, which is a point but perhaps not the point.


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