travis vachon

Reflections at the Beginning of a New Era

The events of the last week have been among the most momentous of my life. While we remain solidly in the period where the ultimate consequences of the assault on the US Capital by insurrectionist Trump supporters and the apparent enablement of these domestic terrorists by Trump himself are impossible to determine, I am perhaps foolishly optimistic that the long incubation period of Trumpism has given us the time to develop the memetic antibodies that will be needed to fight back against the rising tide of fascistic nationalist populism domestically and around the world.

It feels, at the end of this interminable week, like the cultural and political paradigms of the United States may have changed forever. With scores of seditionists kicked off Twitter and Facebook - including their leader, the 45th President of the United States - it seems that social media giants may see the writing on the wall that in the future they will be held more accountable for the conversations that happen on their platforms. Ironically, Trump's dream of repealing Section 230 could be be more realistic than most imagine - as a society we seem to be moving toward treating social media giants more like the newspapers of the past - spaces for public discourse, yes, but liable for the conversations that happen in those spaces. It is deeply ironic that the result of this increased liability would be the near-universal refusal of those platforms to publish the kind of hateful content that has become Trump's signature style.

My personal commitment in this moment - beyond doubling down on my anti-racist organizing and continuing to focus on changing the technological systems that aided and abedded on of the most dangerous incidents in US history - is to take it as an opportunity to hone and solidify a regular writing practice. I hope to keep a clearer log of my thoughts and philosophical explorations going forward so that I can reflect on this new era in a more considered way in the future.

Last week, amid the chaos and worry, I managed to write "Morning Papers" on 3 of 5 week days, and this week I hope to make all 5. I hope to use this daily writing practice to solidify a weekly (at least!) publishing practice, a habit I hope to maintain for the rest of my life and will trace its beginning to the publishing of this very post. I plan to use this space for anything I find interesting - I apologize, dear reader, that I do not have any intention of using this space to write to satisfy the needs of others - while I do hope some of what I write here will prove helpful to my readers, my intentions for this practice are entirely rooted in providing a new space for meditation on and development of ideas I believe deserve deeper thought.

If you are an RSS sort of person, you may be interested in subscribing to the feed for this blog - otherwise please follow me on Twitter for all the latest updates.