My wife and I got lucky. She emigrated from Japan in late December 2019, just days before 2020 rolled around. (My God, what happened to that whole year?) If she hadn’t come in those early weeks, we might still not be together. We didn’t lose anyone, but obviously many did. The Economist estimates 10 million dead worldwide. That’s more than the Holocaust.
Now that life is reemerging, it feels like things have changed—similar to how they changed after 9/11. It’s not that most of us did anything differently on 9/30 than we did on 9/10. Rather, a course has shifted that will take some time to realize.
Social media is done. That’s not to say it will die, but it’s not what it was just five years ago. It used to feel like we were really making friends. People would HIRL and travel to meet each other. Now, it feels like one big church potluck. We trade polite nothings with the fellows in our sect because those other people are dangerous, and let’s face it: empty promises are better than no promises at all.
I can like a picture of someone’s dinner while I’m half-watching TV and feel less alone for it. But that’s a lie.
It’s time to do something different.
My social media time is going to be cut way back. My art + fiction blog, Curiomancy, is going to be retired completely.
I’m starting a new project on Substack, The End of the World Almanac, which will be a kind of home base where I work through the sense and nonsense of life in the future.
I haven’t decided yet how best to make it interactive, but I have decided I’d rather have deeper interactions with few than superficial interactions with many.
Without ado, I’m inviting you to join. I’ll be honest. I’m still figuring out how it will work, but I’d like it to be a kind of interactive story-making machine, both a fantasy and a reality, that tries to make sense of our strange future.
So sign up now, before you forget—or the timeline changes again. If it sucks, you can always opt out later.
In the meantime, tell your friends! The more people we can get on board, the more fun and useful it will be.