During my interview for Obsidian Office Hours, Anthony asked me whether or not I would ever consider using Obsidian.md for teaching notetaking to my students; my answer was, in short, no. At the time, I explained that I don’t have the kind of power to implement that sort of educational choice; I can’t, for example, install programs on the school laptops.

But there’s another reason I didn’t get into, and I want to expand on now.

I’ve written before about my frustrations with people who like to complain that they didn’t learn a particular critical life skill in school.

As…


The idea of a Resonance Calendar seems to have come from the community surrounding the notetaking app Notion, but I’ve adapted it for how I use obsidian.md and I’ve found it really useful as a practice. The idea is to keep track of and reflect on the various things that you read, watch and listen to. Each month, as a part of my spaced repetition learning practice, I select the most interesting of those things and share them here.

BOOKS


Feminist History is Real History

In the time of Hammurabi, there lived a Princess named Kirum, daughter of Zumri-Lim (king of a Semitic city-state in modern-day Syria). She eventually grew up and married her brother-in-law, Hays-Samu, because her sister had betrayed their father by failing to act properly as his “agent” in the foreign court. Zumri-Lim was forced to supplement one failed Ancient Princess with another, more loyal, alternative.

Unfortunately, it turned out that Hays-Samu was basically a violent treacherous ass (much like Kirum’s sister!) and Kirum was so miserable that she threatened to kill herself if her father didn’t come get her. …


My New Year’s Resolution for this year was to try and keep better track of what I read in a sort of modified resonance calendar and I thought it might be nice to share some of my January highlights, since I was going back over them as part of a spaced repetition practice anyway.

Books

I got a couple of books for Christmas that I dove into, and though I haven’t finished them yet, this month I spent some time with:


Some people think that if women ruled, there would be less war. This probably isn’t true. But there are some great examples of female rulers in history who came to power by being female judges instead of female military leaders like Queen Isabella I of Castile and Queen Artemisia I of Caria.

Modern rhetoric points out that governments rule via the consent of the governed, but most governments in history base their power in military might. “Consent” is defined by whether or not the populace is willing to die en masse to fight against a particularly corrupt ruler. Feudalism is…


Throughout history, the more militaristic culture is, the more it tends to value feminine power.

I had this epiphany when a friend and I were discussing how some people — in particular, some readers of fiction — are absolutely convinced that ancient women were treated poorly, with no rights, and spent all of their time barefoot and pregnant popping out babies. Everyone acknowledges a handful of exceptions — Queen Elizabeth, Cleopatra, Joan of Arc — as just that: exceptions.

There is this idea that history is a “march of progress” that authors sometimes run afoul of. I once wrote a…


It started with a question: what is the word for when a prophecy comes true?

I went to three sources of information in my search, because I lack the background to really dig into it on my own. I asked a professor of linguistics, a professor of philosophy (my college advisor Kate Norlock, who took to Facebook), and Mastodon at large — and in the end, I discovered four potential words. Predictably enough, they are Hebrew, Greek, English and Arabic respectively. …

Eleanor Konik

Eleanor teaches Ancient Civilizations and spends the bits of time left over writing books that bring history — and magic — to life.

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