2020 Year in Review
This is what we learned this year!
Wow, what a year! So much change, many challenges, and so so emails from retailers hoping to find us well. Sometimes they did, sometimes they didn’t.
One thing that I’m both proud of and grateful for this year is starting this publication. It’s been an exciting year (erm, five months) here at The Amateurist, too, where we’ve been exploring the world together through the lens of whimsical curiosity. You all have offered yourselves as sounding boards off of which I can bounce my silly little questions and queries. Thanks for being in my orbit, and double thanks for all the subscriptions, comments, emails, and shares. Every interaction that happens here gives me a little ding on my phone and, honestly, any dopamine hit is appreciated and well-received these days.
December has been a quieter month in this newsletter universe, since it’s the time of year for recharging the batteries by cooking, eating, and (virtually) spending quality time with my peeps from all over. I’ve come out the other side with renewed energy and a sense of possibility brewing for 2021. I’ll definitely keep you posted on what’s to come.
In the meantime, let’s review what all went on here in 2020.
Since August, The Amateurist (I, Nat) published 14 full-length articles, plus 5 Twitter roundups and one update on other projects. All told, it’s been good for a total of 26,808 words, not including this post. That’s a lot of words about a lot of things! From music to birds, bats, and toasters, living in space and living deep in the ocean, and insights into what makes us human, we’ve gone lots of places together.
My personal favourites from this year are, in no particular order:
Are bats birds with fur or dogs with wings? from October 2nd
Can living things survive in space? from September 6th
What is revenge bedtime procrastination? from Dec 10th
There are also ones that I’m fond of that I wish I’d spent more time on because there’s so much more to discover, like this week’s piece on muscle memory and November’s meditation on copying as an integral part of the creative process. I loved learning about these ideas because there are so many different thing to look at. I wanted to talk about athletic training and musical education specifically with muscle memory, plus the idea that certain cognitive changes can impact certain regions of the brain (does amnesia impact muscle memory? how does a diagnosis like ALS or Parkinson’s influence procedural memory?). With the article on copying, there’s more to discuss around the phenomenological-adjacent aspects of humans thinking of new or novel things at roughly the same time. It makes me want to know more about how writing systems were created separately, how scientific breakthroughs were happening independently of each other, and so on.
Maybe there can be a re-issue for these next year. We’ll see!
The whole catalogue is here to revisit (or discover for the first time). Once again, I am grateful for your support! See you in 2021, friends.