#026: secular churches • 2021 recap • miraculous cake

Welcome to the twenty-sixth ceremony of Ephemerata: reflections, observations, and life at the edge.


I’m doing this to stimulate discussion around what I find interesting, and also to share things before they disappear into the void of my journal.

Thanks to Boris Mann for becoming a backer this week ❤️.


  1. Secular churches
  2. 2021 recap
  3. Apps disappearing soon
  4. Asides
  5. Music


I’ve thought for a while that the modern world needs a secular church, and a recent Interintellect writing challenge (which I ended up winning…) prompted me to document my thoughts:

I tend to describe modern life as ‘fragmented’. Lacking a ‘canonical place’ to create continuity from shared experiences, people rarely collide on a regular basis and end up separated from one another, despite wishing otherwise.

Although there is an abundance of spaces, events, and communities, they tend to lack continuity unless you are a part of groups specific to work, school, clubs, activities [continued…]

2021 RECAP

I went back and forth on this, but ultimately decided to write an end-of-year recap.

This year gave me a bazillion things to be thankful for, but I can’t express enough how grateful I am to have found writing as my current medium of choice for making sense of the world. I ended up writing over 12,000 words between all the longer-form texts (enough to fill a small book)!


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My iOS apps are currently free and will disappear from the App Store in February 2022; read Going fully web to understand why. Download them now to avoid eternal regret.


[Listen as if people are telling you a bedtime story.]
Elena Stoodley

Miraculous cake. Talks about the ingredients in cake to give a sense of how the entirety of humanity is part of everything we do. I appreciate being able to look through a profound lens like this every now and then—it fills me with gratitude for seemingly mundane things. If the same process is active at this moment, what would be the future equivalent of ‘cake’?

You certainly can’t make a cake by collecting a few eggs in Asia and walking across an entire continent to where the wheat is, all while picking up milk and sugar somewhere along the way.

I became a member of Resonate and it only took me a minute. They’re building a fair stream-to-own platform that compensates artists more while charging listeners less (with no monthly fees or b*chain) 🤯. If you know anyone who can support them, please share their call.

If I have the space and freedom to give attention to others spontaneously, the same applies to self-care: there is no bad time to attend to myself, be welcome.

Jazz Pianist Reacts to SKATE by Anderson .Paak and Bruno Mars. I was once fascinated by the feeling of being moved nearly to tears by a series of chords, yet not able to explain what that means to people without lots of experience making music… Charles Cornell gets at some of this, albeit still talking to musicians, but with more heart-warming enthusiasm than I might display publicly (for something that can seem so technical): it’s clear that he has a strong personal and emotional connection to what he’s hearing, and that this is enriched by a deeper understanding of the materials. As he mentions, there are different ways to interpret musical harmony, but this might be a good way to get a glimpse at how music nerds (like me) hear songs. You might also learn a thing or two about theory, and share his excitement at how this song brings complex techniques into mainstream music. (via April)

The Phrase “No Evidence” Is A Red Flag For Bad Science Communication. Prompts us to examine the language we use to communicate certainty, as the same mistake can be made by professionals and amateurs, with helpful or malicious intent. Perhaps ‘via negativa’ is more understandable: instead of “no evidence” to support a claim, focus on ‘yes evidence’ that a claim is false. We can be more aware of our own limitations to understand what is knowable.

[“No evidence” is ambiguous because it can simultaneously mean that 1) there were no studies; 2) there were studies proving the claim is false; 3) we assume it foolish to test.]


This week, I’m going to share music from my yearly recap: the five most listened to albums of the year from my personal library of purchases.

All the following items can be accessed as a one-click playlist via Joybox without accounts or sign up—just open and play.

Playlist via Joybox


Check out Fleeting Arrivals for more music.

(I heart music)

I always love receiving music. Send me recommendations anytime, anywhere!

That’s all folks!

Feel free to reply and share any reflections you might have, or just say hello.

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Thanks for being here. Wishing you good vibes for the year ahead 🌊 💫.

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