- You're not going to believe what I am about to tell you, by Matthew Inman, The Oatmeal
- Nick Brown Smelled Bull, by Vinnie Rotondaro, Pocket— Narratively
" A plucky amateur dared to question a celebrated psychological finding. He wound up blowing the whole theory wide open."
- Should We Stop Keeping Pets?, by Linda Rodriguez McRobbie, Pocket—The Guardian
As a pet owner and a guy who grew up on a beef farm, I disagree with this. City dwellers have a tenuous grasp of what animal life is like in the wild. Dogs, and cats in particular, domesticated themselves because it was a soft touch.
- The idea ancient people didn’t live until old age is a myth, by Christine Cave, Quartz
- Kansas City becomes first major American city with universal fare-free public transit, by Martin Cizmar, 435—Kansas City's Magazine
- UC Berkeley’s Ultra-Popular ‘Adulting’ Class Shows Just How Badly Our Society Has Failed Young People, by Minda Zetlin, Medium—Inc. Magazine
- The marvel of the human dad, by Anna Machin, Aeon
Among our close animal relatives, only humans have involved and empathic fathers. Why did evolution favour the devoted dad?
- How White Feminists Oppress Black Women: When Feminism Functions as White Supremacy, by Monnica T. Williams, Ph.D., ABPP, Chacruna.net
- The Unimaginable Reality of American Concentration Camps, by Masha Gessen, The New Yorker
"The debate over Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s use of the term “concentration camp” is not about language or facts. It is about how we perceive history, ourselves, and ourselves in history."
- 6 Dangerous “Urban Survival Myths” About Water, Survival Cache
- Against metrics: how measuring performance by numbers backfires, by Jerry Z. Muller, Aeon
Capitalism, Communism, Anarchy
- ‘When the revolution becomes the State it becomes my enemy again’: an interview with James C.Scott , by Benjamin Ferron, Claire Oger and James C.Scott, The Conversation
- Why was East Germany so 'Poor'?, by Bad Mouse, YouTube
- Welcome to the Global Rebellion Against Neoliberalism, by Ben Ehrenreich, The Nation
"All of the countries recently experiencing popular revolts—and most of the rest of the planet—have for decades been ruled by a single economic model, in which the “growth” celebrated by the pedigreed few means immiseration for the many..."
- Don’t misread Darwin: for humans, ‘survival of the fittest’ means being sympathetic, video by University of California, Aeon
- The Anarchist Daughter of the GOP's Gerrymandering Mastermind Just Dumped His Maps and Files on Google Drive, by Alex Lubben, Vice
“I won't be satisfied that we the people have found everything until we the people have had a look at it in its entirety,” she said.
The New Fascism, and Antifa
I hear a lot of well educated people saying that the people some of us are calling fascists don't meet all the criteria for being "real" fascists. Others have even accused us of calling anyone we disagree with a fascist. I predict that a few decades from now those same people will be saying they wish they hadn't been quite so fussy with their definitions, and had acted sooner to oppose these "new fascists", even if they weren't identical to the fascists of the twentieth century.
- Vikings were never the pure-bred master race white supremacists like to portray , by Clare Downham , The Conversation
- The Future Is Fascist, Unless We Act Now, by Dawn Allen, Legal Reader
Lots of links to good resources in this one. Also an explanation of why a section on fascism belong on this blog.
- Is the Future Fascist?, by Umair Haque, Medium-Eudaimonia
"Climate Change, Mass Extinction, Inequality, and Stagnation All Fuel Fascism. But Those Define This Century. Now What?"
- The Future is Fascist, by Rhyd Wildermuth, A Site of Beautiful Resistance
Eco-Modernism, Decoupling and the Religion of Progress,
- The Wikipedia article on eco-economic decoupling
- Dark Thoughts on Ecomodernism , by Chris Smaje, The Dark Mountain Project
- Ecomodernism: a response to my critics, by Chris Smaje, Small Farm Future
- The end of civilization will be painted green, by Tim Watkins, The Consciousness of Sheep
- Australia teeters on the brink of a humanitarian crisis as food, fuel and water run low in bushfire-ravaged regions and the NAVY is called in ahead of horror 46C weather predicted for Saturday, by Brittany Chain, Daily Mail Australia
- Dennis Meadows, The Limits to Growth, a Peak Prosperity podcast wherein Christ Martenson interviews Dennis Meadows
- Scientific Models and Myths: What Is the Difference? by Gail Tverberg, Our Finite World
Responding to Collapse,
- Scientists: it’s time to get serious about degrowth, by Vitaliy Soloviy, Sustainability Times
- Oil Shocks. Airplanes are energy gluttons. Shut down the airports. Refine crude for ships, trains, and trucks, by Alice Friedemann, www.energyskeptic.com,
- From Boom To Bust: Permian Shale Towns Face Exodus, Zero Hedge
- What Would Net Zero Emissions by 2025 Look Like?, by Dave Pollard, How to save the world
- Want to Stop Climate Change? Start With the US Military, by William Astore, The Nation
"Our endless wars are taking countless innocent lives and destroying the planet itself."
- Autralia's "Black Summer" Fires, photo shared on Facebook.
- Australia's "Black Summer" Fires, a visual aide to understanding the magnitude of the problem.
Economic Contraction and Growing Inequality
- How the Finance Industry Fueled Four Decades of Inequality in America, by Ken-Hou Lin, Medium—Marker
"The credit market has been revealed as a regressive system of redistribution benefiting the rich and devastating the poor."
This is an excellent description of the effects of economic contraction (primarily inequality), without ever admitting that that contraction is happening, or venturing any idea about what might be causing it. In my opinion the contraction is indeed happening and is driven by decreasing surplus energy. Growing inequality is a result of the upper class manipulating the economy to retain a growing slice of a shrinking pie.
- The Market Is Huge! Revisiting The Big Market Delusion, by Aswath Damodaran, Seeking Alpha
One of the ways in which markets malfunction, bubbles get blown and eventually collapse. I can;t say I agree with the author's conclusion that bubbles are, on balance, a good thing.
- It Bears Repeating: Renewables Alone Won’t End the Climate Crisis, by Andrew Nikiforuk, The Tyee
- Tesla—Semi. The people at Tesla claim their truck's energy consumption is less than 2 kWh per mile.
- Given the laws of physics, can the Tesla Semi really go 500 miles, and what will the price be? Alice Friedemann, at the Energy Skeptic blog, reckons a 30,000 lb. battery would be needed. Some of her realistic/pessimistic assumptions appear to account for this being the heaviest battery estimated by any of the people on this list.
- Key Specs on Tesla’s Electric Semi-Truck Still Secret. Jerry Hirsch at trucks.com figures on a 700 kWh,10,000 lb. battery.
- In The Truth About The Tesla Semi-Truck, in which the people at the You Tube channel Real Engineering say 900-1000 kWh would be needed for a 500 mile range, requiring a battery weighing 17,380 lbs., costing about $180,000
- You might also want to read Tesla's Quest for Better Batteries, wherein Real Engineer explain how he believes Tesla may be able to increase the energy density of their lithium ion batteries up to 300Wh/kg in the future
- Why Tesla’s Electric Semi Truck Is the Toughest Thing Musk Has Attempted Yet, according to Julia Pyper at Green Tech Media
- Tesla’s Newest Promises Break the Laws of Batteries, according to Tom Randall and John Lippert at Bloomberg, who talk about an 800 kWh battery, weighing more than 10,000 pounds and costing more than $100,000.
- Electric trucks like the Tesla Semi are 'pointless both economically and ecologically,' according to vehicle-tech experts at Business Insider.
- Magical Microbes: How to Feed Your Gut, by Amy Fleming, The Guardian
- Time to change aid to give people sovereignty over their food, by Preet Gill, Open Democracy
"The world has more than enough food, but current UK aid policy helps concentrate power over it in corporate hands."
- Philippines approves Golden Rice for direct use as food and feed, or for processing, International Rice Research Institute
- USDA Pesticide Data Program Report – Year After Year Consistency, The Alliance for Food and Farming
Before jumping to the erroneous conclusion that this section was paid for any of the big bio-tech companies, stop for a moment and understand that organic agriculture/food is a multi-billion dollar per year industry that relies on fear to get people to buy its product. Millions of dollars are spent yearly to convince you that genetically engineered organisms are dangerous, while the scientific consensus says just the opposite.
- Panic-free GMOs, A Grist Special Series
"It’s easy to get information about genetically modified food. There are the dubious anti-GM horror stories that recirculate through social networks. On the other side, there’s the dismissive sighing, eye-rolling, and hand patting of pro-GM partisans. But if you just want a level-headed assessment of the evidence in plain English, that’s in pretty short supply. Fortunately, you’ve found the trove."
A series of articles that does a pretty good job of presenting the facts about GMOs.
- The genetically modified food debate: Where do we begin?, by Nathanael Johnson, Grist
- Statement by the AAAS Board of DirectorsOn Labeling of Genetically Modified Foods, by The American Association For The Advancement Of Science
- CRISPR Cheat Sheet: The Most Important Gene Editing Stories of 2019, by Emily Mullin, Medium—OneZero
- How To Spin Yarn Using A Drop Spindle, by Christine MacLeod, YouTube
- What ‘The New York Times’ Got Wrong on Bolivia, by Greg Grandin, The Nation
"By endorsing a military coup against a democratically elected government, the Times betrayed its values and its journalists."
- English is not normal, by John McWhorter, Aeon
"No, English isn’t uniquely vibrant or mighty or adaptable. But it really is weirder than pretty much every other language."
- Dogs hear words the same way we do, by Virginia Morell, Science
These are of such importance that I've decide to leave them here on an ongoing basis.
- Debunking, Wikipedia
- Pseudoscience, Wikipedia
- List of topics characterized as pseudoscience, Wikipedia
- Rational Wiki
- Science Based Medecine
- Snopes, debunks or validates urban legends
- Bad Astronomy
- The Skeptics Society
- The 8 Best Fact-Checking Sites for Finding Unbiased Truth , by Megan Ellis, MUO—Make Use Of
- Pain Science, by Paul Ingraham
Pseudoscience, Quacks and Charlatans
- Wikipedia article: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity
- Wikipedia article: nocebo effect
- Pain science.com: Electromagnetic Sensitivity Absurdity
- Rational Wiki: Electromagnetic hypersensitivity
- Science based medicine, search results on emf sensitivity. There are some excellent articles near the top of the search results.
- Quack Watch: "Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity" Is Not a Valid Diagnosis
- A major funder of the anti-vaccine movement has made millions selling natural health products, by Neena Satija and Lena H. Sun, The Washington Post
Lacking an Owner's Manual
The human body/mind/spirit doesn't come with an owner's manual, and we continually struggle to figure out how best to operate them.
- Real love stories, by Sue Johnson, Aeon
"Romantic expectations are often ridiculous and unhelpful, but attachment science can guide us to real and lasting love."
- The Hardest Part About Learning Hard Things, by Scott Young, Pccket Worthy
- Relationships Fail Because Most People Have Conversations Like This, by Nicolas Cole, Medium—P.S. I Love You
- Your Bedroom Is Too Hot—What is the ideal temperature for sleep? by James Hamblin, The Atlantic
- To Become Super-Likable, Practice “The Ben Franklin Effect”, by Barry Davret, Medium—The Startup
Gender and Sexuality
- The XX & XY Lie: Our Social Construction of a Sex and Gender Binary, by Sara C, Medium
"When a scientific system misses millions of people, is the problem with the people who don’t fit or the system itself?"
- The B Word, by Trista Mateer, Medium—Human Parts
- Is “cis” offensive? by Cursed E, Medium—Equality
There is No God, and Thou Shall Have No Other Gods
I don't think I've made any secret of the fact that I am an atheist, but I may not have made it clear that I think any sort of worship is a bad thing and that believing in things is to be avoided whenever possible. Indeed, I do not believe in belief itself. That's what the "Thou shall have no other gods" is about—it's not enough to quit believing in whatever God or Gods you were raised to believe in, but also we must avoid other gods, including material wealth, power and fame.
Further, many people today (including most atheists) follow the religion of "progress", which is based on the belief that mankind is destined to follow a road that leads from the caves ever upward to the stars, and that however bad things seem today, they are bound to be better tomorrow due to, technological advancement and economic growth. This is very convenient for those who benefit most from economic growth, but it is hardly based on any sort of science and leads to a great many confused and incorrect ideas.
- Common Sense Atheism, by Barry Goldberg, Quora
"Because you shouldn't need a Ph.D to defend your lack of belief"
- The Secular Religions of Progress, by Robert H. Nelson, The New Atlantis
Intelligence and Consciousness
- The consciousness illusion, by Keith Frankish, Aeon
"Phenomenal consciousness is a fiction written by our brains to help us track the impact that the world makes on us."
Puerto Rico, Venezuela
Poverty, Homeless People, Minimum Wage, UBI, Health Care, Affordable Housing
- What would happen if we randomly gave $1,000 to poor families? Now we know., by Francisco Toro, The Washington Post
- What 60 Minutes Missed: 44 Percent of U.S. Workers Earn $18,000 Per Year, by Charles Mudede, The Stranger
- Working As An Escort Helped My PTSD, by Laura LeMoon, Medium—The Establishment
- Poverty Grew in One-Third of Counties Despite Strong National Economy, by Tim Henderson, PEW
A rising tide, it would seem, does not float all boats. Something that many of us have known for a long time
- Supreme Court leaves cities with one option on homelessness: More housing, by Benjamin Oreskes, LA Times
- Here’s What Most People Don’t Know About ‘Being On Food Stamps’, by Nin McCollum, Huffpost Personal
"Despite the supposed 'low unemployment' numbers touted by politicians and talking heads, almost half of Americans are working in unskilled, low-paying jobs. Many others are unemployed and/or underemployed and can’t even secure a part-time job. I’m one of those people, but I’m not a unique case. And I believe it’s important for people to hear my story so that they can have a better and more complete picture of what’s really happening in America and why."
- Among the World’s Most Dire Places: This California Homeless Camp, by Thomas Fuller and Josh Haner, The New York Times
- New study finds most Americans don’t really care about inequality, by Annalisa Merelli, Quartz
- Facebook's Head of AI Says the Field Will Soon ‘Hit the Wall’, by Will Knight, Wired Magazine
"Jerome Pesenti is encouraged by progress in artificial intelligence, but sees the limits of the current approach to deep learning."
- What Elon Musk Got Wrong With Artificial Intelligence, by Anne Gherini, Medium—Inc. Magazine
"Experts agree that we may not be ready for fully autonomous solutions."
- Finland has the most efficient education system in the world, by JennyAnderson, Quartz—Northern Lights
Except for one new book (Little Coffee House of Kabul) onloan froma friend, I've been re-reading old favourites.
- Little Coffee House of Kabul, by Deborah Rodriguez
- Look to Windward, by Iain M. Banks
- Vacuum Flowers, by Michael Swanwick
- Triton, by Samuel R. Delany
- Quarter Share, by Nathan Lowell
- Half Share, by Nathan Lowell
- Full Share, by Nathan Lowell
- Double Share, by Nathan Lowell
- Captain's Share, by Nathan Lowell
- Owner's Share, by Nathan Lowell
- Two Cheers for Anarchism, by James C. Scott