Net API Notes for 2020/11/02 - Issue 145 - A Reminder to Breathe

This hasn't been a normal year. This isn't a normal election. Therefore, this isn't a normal newsletter.

That crispness in the air isn't just the seasonably appropriate weather. Anxiety has been in abundance for some time now. However, as the U.S. culminates a presidential election, everything has an additional edge. Clickbait economics and algorithm-driven derisiveness, combined with the stakes, means every sneeze and unsubstantiated allegation becomes outrage tinder over these final few days.

First off, NPR's Steve Inskeep has measured advice on how to proceed these next few days:

  • Wait before sharing
  • Understand that people want to manipulate you
  • Ask, "What's the source?"
  • Verify that it is from a reputable news org with editors
  • Consider if it is a big deal, or whether it is only a local incident or emerging story that is being made to look like a big, fatal deal on Twitter

There will be strong emotions. If you manage people (hell, if you talk with people), Lara Hogan has a useful blog post on 'What Do You Do When Your Teammate Shares Their Grief'. Best to prepare now rather than trot out that jazz hands during a spontaneous moment.

Control what you can control and keep the rest at an appropriate emotional distance. There will be a garbage fires, guaranteed. It will be sad. We may feel moved. However, each of us has a limited amount of energy. Spend it on the happiness, health, and ongoing safety of those you can impact. The alternative is exhausting ourselves while amplifying messages designed to perpetuate outrage and helplessness.

Finally, if all of that is too much for your health and well-being, opt out of social media for as long as you need. That is perfectly justified. Regardless of the results, the sun still rises Wednesday. Bending the universe's arc towards justice doesn't end on November 3rd.

As Rebecca Traister, a writer for New York magazine, says:

"The actions we take are going to be different depending on our communities, our families, our skills, our personalities, and our resources, and they’re going to involve fights—both external and internal—that will last a very long time."

The work will continue. If a break means you're able to reapply your shoulder to the wheel in the future, you have my permission to do it. The API stuff will still be there, waiting, when it makes sense to pick it up again. Our road is shared. I'll see you at the next waystation.


WRAPPING UP is a list of upcoming API events. Covid-19 has drastically impacted the number of in-person events, especially meetup groups. However, I believe it is a mistake to "bide time" until folks can safely meet again in person. Further, just doing what we did before, but in video, isn't enough. People already spend their days on video chats. Expecting a majority to, subsequently, volunteer to sit through more sessions is too much. "Zoom fatigue" is real.

Who's innovating in this space? What 'better practice' is emerging in the technology innovation space? I want to hear and share these stories. If you've had a positive experience recently, let me know about it.

Finally, I send a 'thank you' to my Patreons. In a world that too often hides the good stuff behind a paywall and leaves the crap free, you've volunteered to support this work. I appreciate that.

Till next time,

Matthew @libel_vox and

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