Some days I just can’t handle the bad. I’m outraged about the state our country is in, outraged about the things our country does, and stay current on the horror but some mornings I just want to read happy stuff.
What are some other sites y’all peruse when you want just the unicorn chasers?
What sites do you go to when you want to learn interesting things?
Okay while writing this I started googling variants of “most positive subreddit” and I found something I have to share. https://www.reddit.com/r/theocho (The Ocho was originally a fictional ESPN 8th channel). It’s a compendium of “fringe” sports and random feats that should be fringe sports. Here are some good examples
Work is stressing me out (writing code and system building, so far too often on- topic on the bbs), and national (Usa) politics are making me insane, so I’ve been thinking a lot about destressing in this way.
Honestly I’ve been doing a lot of wikipedia random articling. Reading dry facts about tiny New Hampshire Hamlets and the Lewis and Clark expedition is really helping me escape the closing-in walls. I must say, there seem to be a lot of " notable" footballers out there…
I don’t. I just develop darker bags under my eyes, drink more coffee and make more noise with my keystrokes.
I actually really enjoy the Today I Found Out YouTube channel. Yes, it’s clickbaity listbait. But as long as you don’t entertain the notion that you’re going to learn deeply, and that it’s error free it’s all very interesting stuff. Yes, basically someone is reading Wikipedia to me, and I’ve decided I’m okay with that. And if you watch enough of it, you pick up on some very subtle jokes, as in this video, where Simon makes Orwellian Tea and a bunch of commenters miss the joke:
Tom Scott’s YouTube channel is also nice and more adventurous.
All that said, taking for granted that we should all make time in our day to experience joy, I caution against excessive unicorn chasing. I’m sort of down on the insatiable American need for optimism. My friend and I were having a conversation about it just the other day where she darkly pointed out that Scent of a Woman would have ended in a murder suicide if it had been a French movie.
That wasn’t meant to depress you, but if you feel like you need to be wiser and braver after reading it, you could make yourself a cup of incredibly strong tea.
I also check out random Wikipedia articles often, and I’ve noted that, while it’s common for people to complain about porn stars not being significant enough to merit wiki pages, I have never had one of their pages turn up randomly. Footballers on the other hand, I’ve already found a squad or two or three.
Good ol’ Cracked? Granted, they do a fair amount of rambling about the state of the world, but it’s mostly entertaining rambling. (And if I’m going to mention Cracked, I must mention The Modern Rogue, now the domain of the ex-Crackèd.)
Dorkly is still cool, and The Comics Curmudgeon sometimes. The dire tales of Dear Prudence at Slate, reminding me that my life could be so, so very much worse. io9 stays pretty on-topic, though you might have to avoid looking at the sidebars.
I’d like to recommend The Nib or McSweeney’s, but those are not so much places to go when one is weary of outrage.
Twitter is mostly okay by me since the only people I pay attention to are humorists, and can easily avoid the temptation to put my two cents in. For that matter, there’s random tumblr aggregators, but I’m not really sure where to find them anymore except on Facebook, like https://www.facebook.com/tbotnetwork .
That’s one of my guilty pleasures! On the other hand, after 15 years of counseling with 6 different therapists, Dear Prudence is where I figured out I have a fairly severe executive function disorder and it’s completely changed the rate of progress with “improving” myself.
So when I waste time on that site it’s pretty easy to rationalize it as time well spent
Browsing The Toast archives is probably not without its pleasures, for that matter. (It was down for a while, but it’s clearly back.)
Speaking of archives, http://viruscomix.com/ is so very much worth your time if you haven’t binged it already, and possibly even if you have. Don’t miss the stuff in the Other section. (Also, the latest season of PeopleWatching is presently debuting on Youtube for US audiences.)
Can’t say about other sites mostly cause I can just keep up here lately.
As far as a break… Doing the Friday and Saturday crosswords with MrsTobinL doubly so if we are having coffee and pastries at the time. Joining her on Geocaching adventures on the weekends.
After an extended unemployment break and a schedule that now allows it I am going to the current semester of Schlock Cinema 101. Which reminds me I should go put in a review for Cry Baby Killer in the underrated movies thread.
I used to be outraged, now my psyche is merely pulverized, my joie de vivre replaced by a deep malaise crater. The blatant “la-la-la can’t hear you/your experience means nothing/calling out US admin abuses to foreign nationals like yourself is merely a difference in ideology” that is accepted in forums and private messages here. Posters with that attitude here also post on other public-facing sites and I get outraged there too.
Where I go: quieter, more out-of-the-way pockets of the internet. Mastodon instances are great because I can filter out keywords, choose my level of privacy with posts, read a feed of posts sharing a hashtagged keyword (e.g. #tarot, #mindhacks, #amreading), convert my friends’ Mastodon posts to RSS and Atom feeds if I want to focus strictly on them. Hundreds of Mastodon and its cousin Pleroma instances exist for dozens of sub-sub-cultures, identities, and languges. When Mastodon’s too noisy for me, I visit gopher phlogs, logs written without hasty, reflexive vitriol because they’re independent microblogs, written without the commercial imperatives of profit, marketing, branding, propaganda. I learn interesting things always – the phlogs aren’t private, they’re like whispering echoes of a past pre-multimedia internet. Example: I have found 30-year-old computer game executables; several gopherspaces have Recipe sections, and the venerable veronica browser helps me find them.
Sunshine, joy and rainbows I find at the Random Acts of Kindness, or Random Acts of Cards type subreddits, or subreddits dedicated to self-help, and my emotionally sustaining pursuits.
Goodreads special interest reading groups are balms for me as well. More general interest sites: Atlas Obscura, Archive.org.
One thing about being a biologist is that wherever I go, I see how my species wrote “MY DICK IS LARGER! PENIS, PENIS!1!1!11” all over the place. Figuratively speaking. Sometimes also literally speaking.
Seriously, we are terrible as a species. We seem to be poised to spoil everything. I’ve been so seriously remote places in my life and stumbled over non-native and invasive species, plastic and worse garbage, illegally logged trees or slaughtered and exploited wildlife, and worse. Living in a city I start to loathe right now and being restricted in my ability to get somewhere which most people would describe as “nature” is not making things easier.
Walking in one of those so-called forests would help. But I really have to actively stop myself not to think about the fact why all the trees are in a similar size class and why there is basically no understory, and why you don’t see many birds and insects.
BB is one site I come to when I need a distraction. The Mary Sue is another. XKCD, thrice a week. That’s nearly about it. Maybe some tech news, to have some novelty sans politics. IDK. Most other stuff is just making me worse…
Sometimes it can be useful to top up the mind with something cheerful, or inspirational, or simply distracting, though, before going outside, so as to head off brooding about the bad stuff the whole time you’re outside, so there’s that.