Thinking about quitting? Wait, hear me out…

Close-up of 100 dollar bill
Close-up of 100 dollar bill
Photo by Giorgio Trovato on Unsplash

It’s been a crazy year. There have been some good months and some bad ones, a global pandemic and the most catastrophic presidency in the United States in my lifetime. It hasn’t all be great economically, either. I’ve had my $10,000 months and I got lazy for a while and had had some weaker months. That’s how freelancing goes, and it’s especially how it goes when you write for Medium. I’m OK with it and just accept the ebbs and flows as part of the gig.

When it comes to writing, change is the only constant. You win some months, you lose some months. But I’ve performed well enough often enough that $10,000 a month is my monthly goal and that’s where it’s likely to remain for the foreseeable future and I’ll keep it there throughout 2021. If I don’t make that in a month, it’s safe to say I have room to improve, at least in my own mind. …


Relationships

Learn to View Happiness as a Set of Skills

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Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

How often in life do we bounce around from person to person, always trying to find what we feel will make us truly happy? We spend so much time searching for that perfect relationship. It’s as if we can’t give ourselves permission to be happy until we’ve found the perfect partner. And, ironically, in doing so, I’ve seen a lot of people become miserable, lonely, isolated, and unhappy in a way that makes them unattractive.

This makes it harder to find the very partner that they’ve convinced themselves they need to be happy. The circular reasoning here is mind-boggling and I’ve noticed that when people do this, they usually want the joy of a relationship without the pain or uncertainty that might come along with it. …


Like the flu or common cold, some epidemiologists think SARS-CoV-2 might become a seasonal disease.

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Image by rawpixel.com

COVID-19 has changed the world. It will be a generation or two before the ripple effects from COVID-19 finally begin to dissipate and scatter out of the minds of the public imagination. And even then, the technologies we’ve implemented, the changes in how we address contagious diseases, and how we’ve adapted to live our lives, will continue for as long as the human race persists. In a way, COVID-19 will be with us forever. The lives we live right now and the decisions we make are shaping history. …


Science

Beware the anti-science lurking behind clickbait headlines

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Bill Gates has been in the media a lot these days. When you’re a billionaire, you’ll draw the ire of some. When you’re a philanthropist, you’ll draw the ire of others. And when you’re a corporation that’s loosely tied to either of things and a man named Bill Gates, you’ll probably get it worst of all. I’m not sure how this was published. I’m much less sure how it became an editor’s pick on the Forbes site.

But there it was in my news feed today. I’m talking about an article from Forbes titled Bill Gates Venture Aims to Spray Dust Into the Atmosphere to Block the Sun. Whatever Could Go Wrong? It seems like Forbes decided to use the good old fashion clickbait method to spread their article. Fear-monger for clicks, drum up the conspiracy theorist in all of us, and make your money on the onslaught of people flooding your website to see how a mega-billionaire philanthropist is going to destroy the world. …


Productivity

Here are five extensions I couldn’t live without

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Rawpixel

Raise your hand if you’ve ever sat back in awe at the shocking amount of browser tabs you have open at one time. Raise your hand if you’ve ever left those tabs open “just in case” and then never ended up needing them. If you’re anything like me, some of those tabs have probably been sitting there since 2019.

Raise your hand if you have a social media tab open in the next window right now. And have you worked all day staring at a screen until your eyes hurt and you got headaches?

If any of these apply to you, go ahead and give me a silent nod. …


Condemn the behavior, not the individuals.

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Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

One thing I rarely talk about on Medium is my stance on prisons. As unpopular as it is, I’m a prison abolitionist and I have been for nearly ten years.

It’s not that I don’t think dangerous people should be locked up, or that they should be able to roam free and harm the rest of us. But I do believe that we can do better with 21st-century science than we’ve been doing with 18th-century penitentiary systems.

Understanding Prisons

In my view, prisons teach people how to be worse, not better. At least in the United States, they do. And they’re often packed with people who don’t deserve to be there, whether it’s people of color wrongly prosecuted or people suffering from mental illnesses. …


Let the game of whack-a-mole begin

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Shutterstock

Let the game of whack-a-mole begin. I’ve been wondering what would happen to the QAnon movement for weeks. Since the eruption of violence at the U.S. Capitol, it feels like we’ve all been watching and waiting to see where the destructive ideologies that carried out the assault would go next.

What’s their next move? We all know the rest of us can’t find peace until these ideologies dampen and lose their grip on the countless millions of Americans they’ve caught ahold of.

Would they fray and fizzle out like a cult that had lost its leader? Would they stand around, each person looking to the next, shoulders shrugged as they raised empty flattened hands wondering what to do next and who they look to for guidance? …


Politics

The wakeup call that a lot of people need

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Shutterstock

It’s 4:26 p.m. on inauguration day in the United States. Joe Biden has just become President of the United States in what represents a major shift away from Trump and a repudiation of his values. While it’s a day of celebration here in the United States it’s also a day of mourning and that mourning is twofold. As we count the dead and brace for the coronavirus pandemic to ramp up and become even worse, we’re also mourning the loss of reason in large swaths of the American population.

My social media feeds are filled with vitriolic hate. I can’t read a news article without absolute hatred spewed from the text comments of Trump supporters and sympathizers spanning every internet channel I’ve been on. It’s ubiquitous. It’s ominous. …


Politics

Trump waged war with the Republican Party itself. This is the fallout.

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Photo by Caleb Fisher on Unsplash

The world woke up on edge today as we brace ourselves for the finale of Trump’s Presidency. It’s Trump’s last full day in office. He’ll transfer the reigns of power tomorrow, and while there’s a sense of relief at the sight of the incoming administration, there’s a sense of worry as Americans orient themselves after five chaotic years of Trump’s presidential run and subsequent presidency. We’re worried and it’s understandable. We’ve watched for years as Republican leadership has let Trump’s misgivings and abhorrent behavior slide time and again.

Time and again the nation looked on shaking our heads as Republicans said, “I believe him. From here on out, he’ll behave.” Every single one of us knew it was only a matter of days, if not hours before we’d be saying, “I told you so.” …


Politics

Trump’s visit to the Wall shows that it dawned on him: he’s lost

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Joe Duncan; Sources: Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay and Shutterstock

There’s been much clamor this week about the MyPillow CEO, Mike Lindell, visiting Trump at the White House. That’s right, the same guy might recognize from the MyPillow commercials has been in communications with the White House over the past few weeks, as Trump’s last few days as President are winding down. Today is Trump’s last full day in office.

Lindell paid a visit to Trump at the White House a few days ago, and photographers were able to snap a photo of the notes he’d written on a piece of paper which basically spelled out an idea for a possible coup. Yes. …

About

Joe Duncan

From Los Angeles, California. Life isn’t a series of many moments, but one moment that is always changing. Buy me coffee here: https://ko-fi.com/joeduncan

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