FNS

Brendan Schlagel

Background

Hey, I’m Brendan (he/him), I grew up in Seattle, and I’ve now lived in Brooklyn for around 8 years.

I studied photography and film in college, but have always been drawn to many forms of media-making. I particularly enjoy reading, writing, making websites, independent librarianship, and hip-hop.

At my day job, helping run a learning site / community for guitarists, I do a mix of web development, marketing, community management, and other miscellany.

Some fun things I’ve made / explored include…

  • Antilibraries: website curating great books + community for talking books / reading / libraries / related topics (fellow bibliophile? join us!)
  • Self Starter’s Guide: loose collection of experiments in self-directed learning, from a handful of unfinished books and curricula, to a series of idea exchange dinners
  • Personal canon: collecting books, websites, and other media that have most influenced me
  • I also like to blog, though it’s as yet a very irregular habit!

Interests

I came up with a whole list of “learning topics” a few years back but this is a great excuse to update it! Broadly, a few things I’m very interested in learning more about:

  • Library and information science: curation, annotation, antilibraries, organizing information
  • Economics of independent creativity: alternate theories / models for sustainable work, patronage and gift exchange, radical organizational structures, etc.
  • Tech / web dev / digital publishing: learning more elements of a modern web stack e.g. Javascript and some kind of backend framework (maybe Laravel), the Indieweb, wikis, and more
  • Hip-hop poetics, songwriting, production: I’d like to explore hip-hop lyricism more rigorously, maybe experiment with applying Oulipean poetic constraints to rap, and work on an album
  • GRAB BAG (other miscellaneous things I’m more loosely interested in): learning and pedagogy, building communities, ecology, deep time, psychogeography, cities, worldbuilding

Fun to look back at my list from a few years ago and see how my interests / priorities have evolved. It was initially five super broad categories, each with an absurd laundry list of things I’m interested in. My learning goals right now are similar in a lot of ways, but also more specific / well defined. I haven’t really focused down to making an actual practical curriculum; looking forward to doing a bit of that!

Learning Victories!

Learning for me feels like kind of a loose continuous process, hard to identify specific things here…BUT for now, some things I’m happy about from the past few years:

  • Basic web development: I’ve gradually picked up HTML, CSS, PHP, MySQL, WordPress…still a somewhat spotty foundation but I can build websites, which I really enjoy!
  • 3D product design: a few years back at work we prototyped a novel guitar smartphone camera mount, and I had fun learning Blender and Autodesk Fusion 360 to figure out how to make it
  • Antilibraries and consistent reading habits: I’ve kept my long-time side project about books going, from mailing list to website to nascent community, and more yet to do…

Mostly TBD, look forward to returning to update this :slight_smile:

Getting Ready

I do have a personal site (and a few other sites too!) Lots of works-in-progress. And just bought a few new domains yesterday…haha I’m probably in need of focus more than anything.

I made a new ‘Learning’ page on my website; more to come:

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