Thoughts on Evil, Followed by My Silly Little Projects
My number one hobby is databases my number two hobby is diagrams
I read Middlemarch recently and absolutely loved it. Eliot traces human interconnectedness with such loving detail and such a firm grasp on consequences. There’s something to her ethos I really admire: on the one hand, absolutely unconditional compassion for each of her characters; on the other, a nearly-ruthless absence of sentimentality. I think Middlemarch has a lot to teach us about the doing of harm. The harm that’s done in the book is so human, so understandable, so upsettingly possible to trace in its causes and effects; it reminds us that doing harm is not inhuman. That we can’t put quite evil across the room and think, that is inhuman so I could never do it. It’s important to remember that we are capable of justifying all manner of horror to ourselves. It’s important to remember the potential for harm and even evil that lurks within all of us. If we don’t, we put ourselves at greater risk for mindlessly doing something awful because we thought some automatic angel in our soul would stop us from rationalizing too terrible an act. Our better angels are not automatic. They have to be trained.
While I was reading, I had a hard time keeping track of the characters. There are so many of them, all with devastatingly British names. To help me keep everything straight, I spent about three hours making a handy dandy little diagram:
Making it filled me with profound joy. I hope you enjoy it as well.
The other project I’ve been working on for a while is a database of sorts. It compiles skills, exercises, and activities from five different therapy modalities; I’ve tried to make everything I included really concrete and actionable.
Here are some screenshots of what it looks like:
Here is the link. It’s made in notion, but you don’t need an account to view it. If you do have an account, you can duplicate the page and save it to your own notion.
That’s all I got! I hope you have an okay day.