You're reading Scholé Supplement, the bi-weekly newsletter for grokkists who insist on relating to the world with curiosity and care.

Each edition contains the latest from the Grokkist Press, events and highlights from our community, and a care package of snackable outside links selected to spark your curiosity.

We respect your inbox – use the links at the bottom of this email to manage your subscription or unsubscribe if this isn't for you.

It's still Kiwi summer here and I have been finding energy and peace by floating in the sea whenever I can.

Wherever you are, and whether you look outside and see surfers or snow drifts, I hope you are finding your own peace as 2024 rolls chaotically on with all of us just holding on and along for the ride.

And now, on with your regular care package of grokky things...

From the Press - Nathan has a video and essay on whether it even matters if we are living in a simulation, and I have a short on-location video from the geothermal clefts of Rotorua.

In events, we have our very first Red Thread Cafe coming up, and a grassroots workshop on the phenomenology of music.

Down in Snackables, you can find language to describe the specific variety of stuck-ness you may be experiencing, explore the world's most complicated international borders, consider when it might be appropriate to compare apples to oranges, find out how a 'murder of crows' got its name, and browse the best nature photography of the last 12 months.

Keep scrolling for all this and more.

Grok on!
- Danu

We thrive on word of mouth
This newsletter was sent to 465+ subscribers. Help us expand the grokkiverse by sharing the link to this issue with others:

From the Grokkist Press

Articles, videos, podcasts and other creations

If we're all living in a Simulation, does that change anything?

by Nathan Dufour Oglesby (4 min watch + 9 min read)

If everything you thought was real turned out to be in some way unreal, would it change the way you lived your life? A video and essay exploring Simulation Ecology and the ethics of Hyperreality.

Explore the Full Story ↗

Release your soul's pent-up steam

by Danu Poyner (2 min watch)

In this mini video essay, discover the whispered wisdom of Rotorua's geothermal clefts, whose hidden forces urge us to embrace our inner turmoil as a crucible for transformative creativity.

Explore the full story ↗

From the Grokkist Network

Events and updates from our community

Community updates and highlights

Click here to start exploring the Grokkist Network. Create a free account when you're ready to join in.

Through our Featured Member portal, we like to showcase the efforts of fellow grokkists who are shaking up, re-imagining or re-enchanting their own fields of practice with an insistence on curiosity and care.

Grant Swift Music

One Man Band. I do it for the music.

My performances as a one man band are a blend of spontaneity and precision. As a live looping artist, I create each musical element in real-time, ensuring no two performances are the same. From corporate galas to intimate weddings, I played over 130 events last year, spanning all genres. My album "First Elephant" and the single "Sunshine" reflect my dedication to crafting meaningful music that resonates with listeners across the country.

Explore the full Profile ↗

Notable threads and discussions

For an up-to-date list of all our public events shown in your timezone, bookmark the Events and Meetups space on the Grokkist Network.

We are a global community – events listed below are shown in the host's timezone.

Red Thread Café

🗓️ Tue 13 Feb | 9am–11am NZT (view in your timezone)
Facilitated by Danu Poyner

Welcome to Red Thread Café – a relaxed and informal social space for grokkists to connect over the weird and wild episodes that make up our squiggly personal and professional stories, and the red thread that runs through it all.

Whether you’re in a life transition, having a career crisis, navigating burnout, or simply looking for inspiration and new friends who you don’t have to explain yourself to, come along and chill out to share what’s been going on for you, exchange perspectives and resources, or simply enjoy the vibe while feeling less weird about yourself.

Open to all free of charge, regardless of whether or not you’ve taken our Find Your Red Thread course.

Event Details and RSVP ↗

The Music Itself

🗓️ Tue 20 Feb | 7–9pm ET (view in your timezone)
Hosted by Grant Swift

If music can express truth, or God, or something deeply human - how does it do that? What are the phenomenal aspects of music - what is it made of, and how do we perceive those parts?

These questions are essential for talking about music, and yet, so rarely do these questions get direct face time. It often seems as if musical discourse is something either mediated through social taste and personal preferences, OR, reserved for stodgy institutions of higher learning where “theory” and the “classical tradition” dominate the discussion. Can’t we talk about music in more interesting ways than that? Can we discuss the music itself without appealing to pure relativism, or old and narrow conventions?

Join us for an exploration and discussion of the phenomenon of music, and of all the interesting ways we think about and experience it.

Event Details and RSVP ↗

Grok Café

🗓️ Sun 25 Feb | 2–4pm PT (view in your timezone)
Facilitated by Emily McGill

Welcome to Grok Café. Our goal is to bring the grokkist community together in an informal and comfortable setting, unearthing connections and interests between participants.

Whether you’re a regular or a first-timer, come along and chill out to share a heart space, info-dump each other's passions, and discover new friends while discussing whatever you want.

Event Details and RSVP ↗

🍬 Snackables

#1 - What does it feel like to be stuck?

So you wanna de-bog yourself
What I found in the mire
Being stuck is the psychological equivalent of standing knee-deep in a fetid bog, bog in every direction, bog as far as the eye can see. You go wading in search of dry land and only find more bog. Nothing works, no options seem good, it’s all bleh and meh and ho hum and no thanks and more bog. This is the kind of dire situation that drives people to do crazy things like ask a blogger for advice.

There is power in naming, and the author has developed a hilarious and painfully accurate taxonomy of intellectual stuck-ness, from ‘gutterballing’ to ‘declining the dragon’ to ‘the infinite effort illusion’.

I laughed out loud several times reading this – it’s a must-read for grokkists and so good that I’m probably gonna use it as the introductory reading for the next Find Your Red Thread cohort.

#2 - The world’s most complex international borders

As someone with an overactive sociological imagination, borders are endlessly fascinating to me because they are both completely imaginary but painfully real, as anyone paying attention to world events will be acutely aware.

WonderWhy has done a fascinating inventory of the most complex international borders in the world, from your garden-variety second-order enclaves (countries inside other countries that are themselves inside the original country), to an island that changes its nationality every six months, and a border that runs right through someone’s front door, meaning they have two separate doorbells – one for each country.

The series in four parts made over 10 years – the most recent was released around a month ago [Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4]

#3 - Comparison is the way we know the world

Comparison Is the Way We Know the World | Masha Gessen
I’m not arguing that because other people have made the same comparison I have, I am right. What I am trying to do is add a time dimension to this conversation. What struck me about this comparison is that King made it three years before Israel imposed the siege regime on Gaza. And it was the time dimension that was also absent from the challenges that the reporter offered yesterday, when she talked about population density and the smuggling of weapons. The population of the ghettos changed over time (and weapons were indeed smuggled in).

A delicate but forceful philosophical talk by Masha Gessen, recent winner of the Hannah Arendt Prize for Political Thought, about if, when, and how it makes sense for us to compare other things to the Holocaust.

Comparison is the way we know the world. And yet we make rules about things that cannot be compared to each other. Take apples and oranges. Why wouldn’t you compare them? Both are fruit, both have sweetness, one is usually more sour than the other, one has an inedible part on the outside, the other an inedible part on the inside, both contain calories, nutrients and vitamins, albeit different ones, and you can make juice out of either, but you need different kinds of machines for each. These seem to me useful ways of getting to know apples and oranges. 

#4 - How groups of birds got their names

A Parliament of Owls and a Murder of Crows: How Groups of Birds Got Their Names, with Wondrous Vintage Illustrations by Brian Wildsmith
Language is an instrument of great precision and poignancy — our best tool for telling each other what the world is and what we are, for conveying the blueness of blue and the wonder of being…

Maria Popova’s beautifully written essay (with illustrations by Brian Wildsmith) on the history of collective nouns for birds. Informative and aesthetically pleasing in equal measure.

[Language] is the birthplace of the imagination and forever its plaything: I remember my unabashed delight when a naturalist friend first introduced me to the various terms for groups of birds — from “a deceit of lapwings” to “a pitying of turtledoves,” and could there be a notion more charming than “an ostentation of peacocks”?

#5 - The best nature photography from 2023

The Nature Photography Contest
The Nature Photography Contest is an international photography awards for professional and amateur photographers.

Gallery of winners and finalists from the 2023 edition of The Nature Photography Contest, showcasing the beauty and fragility of our world.

A parting thought...

"It is hard to accept that someone can understand you without wishing you well."
Thomas Harris

Thanks for reading! Reply any time (replying also lets your mail provider know it's not spam). And before you go...