Jules, writing

notes on stuff

I haven't been on .art for very long, but I wanted to have a dedicated arts account. To get better at sharing my stuff and process and to find art and artists because art is made to be experienced. You can get some of that on art.

Me leaving boils down to two main reasons:

1. Instance administration

Most importantly, I don't think the instance admin is doing a good job. I don't trust her to run this place with the necessary awareness of (and actions against) how white supremacy plays out on the fedi and beyond. And her role in it. We all must ask ourselves this question. And deal with it. That's not happening right now.

After platforming white Ukrainian nazi propaganda and symbols, the admin seems more concerned with how this makes her look than with asking the important questions. Like for example: – Why is Ukraine so special to the white west, to me, that they can't possibly do anything bad? What is it, that distinguishes them from all the other people in different war and conflict zones? Well? – Why did I fall for the white nationalist's propaganda so easily instead of researching and getting context first? – Who am I in this? – Why am I so defensive about it? – Why did I only acknowledge my mistake after people told me it's a bad look? – Why is the only thing white people from the west seem to know about the (neo)nazi ridden situation in so called eastern europe, that russia is the bad guys and ukrainians are the victims? (It's true for the horrible imperialist russian war, so don't confuse me with putin-lovers. Get over this propaganda trick already.) The history and present of so called Europe is a hot mess, always has been. It's complicated. You should know that. Nationalism is not the answer, it's the problem. Why do you fall for it?

I'm not going to answer these for you.

2. Instance size

.art is simply too big. It turned into the fedi version of centralized social media for artists. If you're an artist, you need to be on .art, right? That's where everyone is. You want your art to be seen, you depend on selling it and on networking. So you're on .art. There's just no other place. Sound familiar?

This is not what the fedi is about. That's why we don't like mastodon.social. Among other reasons. Like how good moderation doesn't scale beyond a certain number of active users. It's certainly not working very well on .art. Because it's a really hard job and you can't just do it like that.

I think .art should stop growing, work on sustainable moderation practices, get people who really know what's important. And we need more artsy instances. Or just... be everywhere else instead. That's what I'm going to do.

See you between the stars.

First came the “okay, I can do it, I'm starting uni again”.

Then came the “fuck, it's all so dis_ableist and it costs so much (money and pain) and nobody seems to care”.

Then came the “but I'm prepared this time. I've never been so prepared. Okay, I'm gonna read this book called Academic Ableism to be even better prepared”.

And now I'm in the middle of reading it, setting up all sorts of (accessibility) things to help me get started. I had my first inaccessible uni zoom meeting last night. I managed to understand most of it, with the good headphones and on the big screen (I depend on lip-reading while hearing a lot, but I don't see very well, so I need both good video and audio). It's still exhausting. It does help in some ways, when I remind myself how these things are just how the university is built and designed to be. It does not make it less painful. But it gives me perspective. It's not about me personally, it's not only the fault of the people involved as educators who hate me. It's the system.

I won't change it and I can't burn myself out while trying to when I also want to actually study. So I have to manage my energy wisely. Yes, I have to fight for more accessibility and I will. But I'm not doing it without a plan and thinking about how to best approach things and not forget myself in the process. Sometimes it might be less costly to deal with one or two inaccessible zoom calls than to fight with tons of e-mails that might not even change anything. And sometimes I will still do it, because it needs to be done.

I'm actually enjoying the planning and setting things up for myself part. I just love to make plans. It helps that I have a lot of experience in distance learning, studying and working from home, so the plans can be realistic. I know myself and where my limits are much better than I did the last time I tried. And this time should be less painful than when I did my CS/math degree. I needed years to recover from the exhaustion.

One strange thing I noticed lately is, that I find it more straining to read long academic texts in German than in English. English is not one of my first languages, German is. But I always read scientific stuff in English. This degree is completely in German though. I didn't think of that. So I will have to train my brain to focus on complicated German texts again. That's funny, right? Brains are weird.

Next Chapter in “Academic Ableism” is about Universal Design. I was expecting it even sooner in the book. I am used to a very precise, mathematical way of thinking and this kind of writing, where he's all over the place with his thoughts, is not something I particularly enjoy. They are mostly good thoughts. But I always find myself thinking: get to point already. But that's something I will have to get used to in this whole social science business.

I post quotes and thoughts to the fediverse while reading the book in this public thread if you're interested: https://rage.love/@jules/107768571316859613

I'm also thinking about note taking for my studies. I'm really drawn to pen and paper. I just like the process of writing by hand, feeling the ink dry and all that. But I have to think about the accessibility of my notes too. Because I'm going to write a lot of excerpts and summaries and I need to be able to read them comfortably. That could be a problem with my handwriting being very small. So I need to experiment a bit more. Maybe write some things on paper then scan / photograph the handwriting so I can read it enlarged on my tablet (where I do most of my reading) and type summaries for exam preparations and excerpts on the computer, so I can access them via screenreader too. I have another month before the semester officially starts, so that's plenty of time to figure things out.

I'm also trying to raise money via ko-fi to pay for uni related costs. I need 299€ to cover admin fees and required materials for the upcoming semester and I don't know how to do that right now. I'm not comfortable asking for financial help like this, but I need it and that's just how it is. It's not my fault. So I'm very grateful to all the wonderful fedi friends who helped already. It feels more good than complicated <3 Here's the link again: https://ko-fi.com/A674QB4

I was thinking about how to use this blog and finally came to a decision. It is going to be a journal of the things I think about.

Yes, that sounds just like what a journal is, I know. I'm looking for words here. I don't want to limit myself to “academic” thinking because what is that anyway? And is it something I just want to adopt, put my mind in a cage so it produces suitable thoughts for academic production? I sure do not.

So just a thinking journal. Somewhere to keep track of my process, lines and patterns of thought. What I read and what I was thinking and learning and also what I was feeling about it. That's important.

So it's not just a thinking journal. It's a journal.

But I don't want to go completely wild here. I do want to focus on certain things. Following me, you will probably read about (among other things):

  • disability
  • dis_ableism
  • intersections and crossing lines
  • anti-capitalist, anti-racist, anti-nationalist thinking and feelings
  • academic (critical) disability studies
  • systems of oppression
  • education
  • learning and studying and research as a queer disabled human
  • probably frustration with German university life
  • ...

I am a learner, a researcher, a scholar, a community organizer, a builder of bridges, a facilitator and educator, an enabler. think elevated music here

I am not an activist. I did once call myself one, but I am no longer comfortable with it. I am involved in activist communities and discourses. I am actively working on changing things. But I'm doing it differently now. I'm focusing more on empowering communities, being there for each other, helping us survive together and if there is some energy left after that, I might go to a protest once in a while or shout into the internet void together with my people or someone else. But I'm not expecting to change anything that way. Not really. It's more a thing I do to feel connected, to feel the rage and love together so I can keep doing what I do. I don't identify with that word anymore. It became something more resembling a job description in a neoliberal world than a necessity for survival. It actually is a job sometimes, right? (I'm not judging.) I am doing “activism” by fighting to stay alive every day in a world that would rather let me die because they see me as a burden or worse. I'm not. And I'm not an activist. So please don't call me that.

I do have lots of love and respect for every one of you and the paths you are on. We need all of us in all the ways possible. So I'm only talking about myself here, that's important.

Now see? A thinking journal. It has a mind of its own. That wasn't where I planned on going here...

One thing and then I'm done for today. You can find me on mastodon as @jules@rage.love. I recently found my love for posting interesting quotes and random bits of thoughts and comments while reading a book. And I do enjoy some interaction about it. So if you are interested in that but also want to connect on a human level, come say hi. It's a personal rather small account, so I'm usually not accepting random follow requests without some interactions first.

So I found this old write.as account and I might start actually using it for words.