Byte-Counting: 18-year-olds, hidden tribes, mediocrity

Erica Schlaikjer
Oct 18, 2018 · 2 min read

Keeping track of top blogs, articles, podcasts, shows, movies, music, events & other units of digital information I’m consuming this week.

I once wrote in the Huffington Post: “If we actually digested mainstream media the way we eat food, we would be over-weight and under-nourished.” Consider this weekly tally of my thoughtful media consumption as the “byte” version of calorie-counting.


#ThisIs18. The New York Times Gender team launched a wonderful series inviting women to submit photos of themselves at age 18, with some words of advice to their younger selves. It makes me realize that we’re all works-in-progress. My advice to my 18-year-old self? “Don’t be so hard on yourself; learn to turn your guilt into gratitude.”

#ThisIs18 via @nytgender

Awkwafina on SNL. She’s only the second Asian American woman (following actress Lucy Liu) to host the show.


The Rich White Civil War.” David Brooks reviews a new report about America’s “hidden tribes.” The most active groups are on the extremes — Progressive Activists (8 percent of Americans) and Devoted Conservatives (6 percent). They are the richest, whitest, most educated and most secure of the groups — and they have nearly opposite views on most major issues, from immigration to sexual harassment. But the rest of us — the “exhausted majority” — are fed up by our country’s polarization. Hmm, a glimmer of hope for national unity, perhaps?

“In Praise of Mediocrity.” We’re afraid of being bad at hobbies, so we don’t have them. This author reminds us that we should embrace “the gentle pursuit of a modest competence, the doing of something just because you enjoy it, not because you are good at it.”


A Quiet Place. I finally got around to watching it. Suspenseful, horrifying. Beautifully crafted. Well-acted and -directed. A nice respite from Hollywood noise.

RBG. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — the “Notorious RBG” — is a bad ass. She fundamentally changed what it means to live as a woman in this country. The movie taught me that reacting with “useless” emotions like anger usually don’t help you get what you want. I was particularly impressed with the film’s depiction of Justice Ginsberg’s longtime marriage to her very supportive husband Marty — what a love story.

“I ask no favors for my sex. All I ask of our brethren is, that they will take their feet from off our necks.” — Sarah Grimké

Erica Schlaikjer

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Creator / Connector / Hybrid / Explorer. My thoughts are my own.