The Year is Twenty-Twenty-Three... Who Will You Choose to Be?

Big projects, new articles, and thoughts about the future.

The Year is Twenty-Twenty-Three... Who Will You Choose to Be?
By Pieter Brueghel the Elder - Web Gallery of Art: Image Info about artwork, Public Domain

The future is never quite what we expect, yet it generally turns out to be more or less exactly what we should expect.

Today is the first day of the year 2023, which basically seems like science fiction. Maybe it’s because I’m a 90s child, but there’s a part of me that still goes, “Oh, twenty years ago, you mean the 80s?” And yet, there is now a possibility (though a slight one) that I shall live to see a completely different “80s" generation emerge. When the 2080s roll around, will I be a dottering ninety-something, muttering about things that the young folk, with their fancy holographic VR gowns and submersible vacation bubbles, can’t even imagine for their antiquity?

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The truth is: there will be change, but there will also be fundamentals that remain intact. Humans will still be human. We’ll still have our wide-ranging complexities and ridiculous emotions. We’ll still be petty, vindictive, crude, and power-hungry. But, we’ll also be kind, compassionate, funny, joyful, brave, and unexpected.

2023 marks the beginning of a number of important things in my life. An intentional secularized ritualization practice throughout the year, drawing from traditions around the world. The goal is to touch in and gain respect with cultures and beliefs that are not my own, while at the same time building a pattern of reverence, connection, and rhythm that the secular capitalist life often bypasses completely.

I just finished reading Bossypants by Tina Fey, and in one of her chapters she mentions an apparently common name for the day after Christmas in Canada: “Boring Day". My goal is to rid my life of “boring days.” How can you life intentionally, mindfully? This is my guiding question.

January is also the start of larger projects for The Unenlightened Generalists. Katie and I have been hard at work for a couple of years, formulating our hopes and dreams for life. Read on, because some of these plans begin this month!

I’m also starting my Master’s in Library and Information Science program this month, which is crazy! I’ve been volunteering with EveryLibrary for a few months, and it’s incredible to me how invested in this path I’ve become just since the end of summer.


This week, I have some articles, and one, piece of microfiction for y’all. I’d like to maintain the microfiction habit… but there’s a balance to achieve in my practices. Especially as I enter the MLIS, I’ll need to continually reassess how much I’m doing. After all, I still want to make progress on my novel during this time.



  • Red Streets “All the good luck in the world doesn’t matter, someone always forgets to lock their window or their door.”

Unenlightened Generalists!

As I mentioned, Katie and I have finally reached the point where we’re able to make space for our projects. That includes new series’ of YouTube videos! I released my first video about my new MLIS program yesterday. This will be a regular series where I showcase everything I’m doing as I go through my MLIS. I’m really excited to have this series kick off. And to actually focus my camera better for the next video. Live and learn.

But, that’s not all! We’re also doing a workout challenge in January!

I designed this because I wanted to create a challenge that could work for a wide range of fitness levels. I wanted to seed it with good advice and inspiration. And, I wanted to showcase some of Katie’s and my favorite instructors from YouTube!

What’s included:

Another Unenlightened Generalists project that begins this month is our new Secular Ritual practice.

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This year, we’re going to start practicing holidays from around the world, as well as a few we came up with on our own. Some of these holidays are important to us personally (my family celebrated Lunar New Year every year when I was a kid, and Katie spent years living in an Ashram where they celebrated the Gita festival).

My personal inspiration for all of this emerged from the book Religion for Atheists: A Non-believer's Guide to the Uses of Religion by Alain de Botton. I truly believe that we need more ritual, play, intentionality, joy, mindfulness, and community in our world. I’m excited to bring these into my life in new ways by connecting to, and creating, traditions.

Subscribe to the UnenlightenedGeneralists on YouTube to get the latest from all these projects during the year ahead!

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World Wide Web

The comic depicts snow everywhere and Calvin and Hobbes excitedly exploring a new unfamiliar world.
On December 31, 1995, 27 years ago, legendary cartoonist Bill Watterson published his final “Calvin and Hobbes” comic strip.

Check out this fascinating metro map for the Spanish city Pontevedra.

Novísimo metro map, Pontevedra, Spain

What at first appears to be a map of different transit lines is actually a map of different walking times because Pontevedra is a car-free city.

In other news, Senator Bernie Sanders, to whom we all owe so much, released a stirring New Year’s letter to supporters on the 31st. I can’t find a copy to link to, so I’ll just share some snippets from it, here:

It was a year of struggle. A year with a number of hard-fought victories; a year of missed opportunities; and a year of difficult defeats.

It was a year where, despite dire predictions, the American people rebuffed Trumpism and American style fascism, retained Democratic control over the Senate and exceeded expectations in the House. To a significant degree, these results occurred because voter turnout among young people under 30 was higher than almost any time in the last three decades. Thank you young people for helping to save American democracy.


It was a year that showed, in poll after poll, that the American people want Congress to do something BOLD for working families.

In other words, it was a year that showed — time and time again — that the American people are with us and share our values. They want change, transformational change.

Bernie went on to point out the downsides of recent legislation, the massive failures of our government to function as it should, and the danger of paid-for conservative Democrats pose to our hopes for a better future.

[O]ur job in 2023 is to convert the support for the issues we care about into historic levels of participation. Think about what is possible if we are able to rally our people on behalf of a progressive agenda and a government that represents all of us, not just the 1%. […]

I can understand why many people give into hopelessness and cynicism and believe that change is not possible — especially now that Republicans control the House for the next two years.

But let us be clear, despair is not an option. Not today, not tomorrow, not anytime. We have got to remember that reality not only for ourselves but, more importantly, for our kids, grandchildren and future generations. […]

We must bring new people into the political process and encourage them to participate as well. […]

In the year ahead we must redouble our efforts to create a vibrant democracy where the voices of all people are heard.

We must fight harder than ever to create a nation that leads the world in the struggle for peace, and for economic, social, racial and environmental justice.

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New York’s Right to Repair bill will go into effect this summer, finally allowing people to repair the technology they own. This is hugely important, for reasons that Cory Doctorow states in this short essay.

Want to escape Goodreads? Since it’s an Amazon-owned company that does creepy things to your data, it makes sense that people want to find an alternative. While I’ve also recommended The Storeygraph in the past, today I want to highlight a really cool alternative called BookWyrm.

BookWyrm is a federated platform, which means that members there can post work to other social media networks, like Mastodon! This means: instead of only connecting with people who have BookWyrm accounts, you can share and connect with people on, like, a dozen different social networks. That’s what makes federation so cool!

What’s to come?

The new year is going to bring challenges, but I’m looking forward to these: it’s an adventure. This newsletter has quickly become a favorite part of organizing my week, so I look forward to continuing to share it with you all in the months ahead. As always, I love reading your comments. To support the work I do, just share this on your social media networks, so more people can find me!

And remember: go easy, and if you can’t go easy, go as easy as you can.


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