- Bypass paywalls on popular online publications for free, by 7 Labs.
There is a lot of important information out there that is behind paywalls, many requiring expensive subscription to overcome.
Above the Fold
- Why You Don’t Have to Feel Too Sick About What Happened Last Night, by Douglas Rushkoff, Medium—Gen
- How much money you need to be among the richest 10 percent of people worldwide, by Kathleen Elkins, CNBC Make It
- Winning is for Losers: Enspiral and the Politics of Consent, by Douglas Rushkoff, Medium—Team Human
"How a collective in New Zealand is pointing the way to social change from the bottom up"
- America is a Smoking Fascist Dystopia, by Umair Haque, Medium—Eudaimonia
"America Has Less Than 50 Days to Save Itself From Even Greater Disaster"
- The Big Myth: Republicans Are Better Managers of the Economy, by JP Kobel, Medium—The Startup
"Based on historical data, Democratic Presidents have a much better economic record than Republican Presidents."
- We can’t have billionaires and stop climate change, by Jason Hickel, The Correspondent
"Over and over again, the evidence points to the fact that billionaires—and millionaires, for that matter—are incompatible with planetary boundaries. If we want to live on a safe and habitable planet, we need to do something about inequality."
- Neither nasty nor brutish, by Cathryn Townsend, Aeon
"The Ik – among the poorest people on Earth – have been cast as exemplars of human selfishness. The truth is much more startling."
This article makes some very good points about selflessness and generousity as basic human traits.
- The self is not always selfish: Mary Midgley takes on Richard Dawkins, video interview with Mary Midgley on Aeon
I don't agree with everything she says, but yes, selfishness is certainly not the central element of human fitness, just the opposite.
- Just as predicted by many Donald Trump claims to have miraculously recovered from COVID-19 after just a few days. While we know from all the best medical advice that recovery takes far longer. Is anybody in any doubt that he is faking?, by Steven Haddock, Quora
- Trump’s COVID: Some People Never Learn, by Dawn Allen, Legal Reader
"Trump’s COVID diagnosis is the result of a politically-motivated, cavalier attitude towards masks and distancing, but the Right will offer no ‘mea culpa.’"
- Identify the Different Symptoms of the Flu and Covid-19, by Donald G. McNeil Jr., The New York Times
"With fears of a “twindemic” in the United States this fall, here’s a guide to understanding what’s making you feel terrible."
Capitalism, Communism, Anarchy
- Late-Stage Capitalism and the Pedagogical Resurgence of Anti-Fascism, by Colin Jenkins, Hampton Institute
- Here’s What The Real Future Probably Looks Like, by Jessica Wildfire, Medium
"It’s not all starships and robots."
The author is clearly not a kollapsnik, and is missing out on some of the basics, but even so she is catching on surprisingly well.
Responding to Collapse,
- Mutual Aid, RBG, and Where We Go From Here, by Dawn Allen, Legal Reader
"Our rights never should have rested in RBG’s hands alone. The recent surge of mutual aid groups may help prevent that situation in the future."
Resource Depletion, formerly (and still including) Peak Oil
The change in title stems from the fact that it's not just oil that is peaking.
- Forget Peak Oil Demand, Supply Crisis Could be Hitting First, by Cyril Widdershoven, Yahoo News
- New Study Casts Doubt On The Climate Benefits Of Natural Gas Power Plants, by By Alexander C. Kaufman, HuffPost US
"The emissions and methane leaks from new gas plants zero out the CO2 cuts achieved from closing coal plants, a peer-reviewed analysis found."
- Where To Live Around The World To Escape Climate Change—Expanding my analysis beyond America, with a sobering conclusion, by Danny Schleien, Medium—Climate Conscious
"Stop saying that we are all in the same boat. We’re all in the same storm. But we’re not all in the same boat."
"In essence, the best places to escape climate change are also the world’s most economically prosperous places. The correlation is uncomfortably tight."
- Climate-Related Events Could Force Millions to Migrate in Next 50 Years, by Now This Earth, YouTube
Economic Contraction and Growing Inequality
- Forget Shutdowns. It’s ‘Demand Shock’ That’s Killing Our Economy, by James Surowiecki, Medium—Marker
"Gyms, restaurants, and movie theaters are all reeling for the very same reason"
Evidently, declining surplus energy is not the only thing that can cause economic contraction. The current pandemic is quite effective, and "opening things up" doesn't help much when people are still concerned about exposing themselves to a very real risk.
- Energy Transitions: Global & National Perspectives, by Vaclav Smil, YouTube
- On the Necessity of Land Reform, by Dawn Allen, Legal Reader
- The Minimum Human Habitat, Zero Input Agriculture
"Trialling and breeding crops and livestock that can produce without irrigation, fertiliser and imported nutrients"
Before jumping to the erroneous conclusion that this section was paid for by Monsanto, 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 to convince you that non-organic food is dangerous. In fact both conventionally grown and organic foods are equally safe. Sadly neither method of agriculture is even remotely substainable.
- Panic-free GMOs, A Grist Special Series by Nathanael Johnson
"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. I plan to include one article from this series here each month.
- Elephant in the room: Why getting the GMO story straight is so hard, by Nathanael Johnson, Grist
- Modern Conservatives Have Nothing To Offer America, by Dr. Thomas J. West III, Medium—Politics
"A recent op-ed from a noted conservative thinker exposes the moral and intellectual bankruptcy at the heart of conservatism."
- Why I dropped ‘conservative’ from my Twitter profile, by Jennifer Rubin, The Washington Post
- The Rules for Displacing an Ailing Presidential Candidate, by Brian C. Kalt, Lawfare
- Just How Disastrous Are the Latest Polls for Donald Trump? by John Cassidy, The New Yorker
- Corruption: What Does It Mean To You? by Dawn Allen, Legal Reader
"Political corruption used to mean fraud, bribery, and the abuse of power for personal gain. To some of us, it still does."
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
- Techniques of Science Denial
Pseudoscience, Quacks and Charlatans
- Moon landing deniers show an image with a crosshair behind an object. How can this be explained by someone who doesn't believe the conspiracy? by Krister Sundelin, Quora
- I recently heard this flat-earth argument: "If the Earth were spinning 1,000 mph, a hovering helicopter would get left behind as the Earth rotated away underneath it, or it could simply wait for its destination to come to it." How do I respond? by Daniel Steadman, Quora
- Does the Bedford canal experiment prove the Earth is flat? by Brennan Herring, Quora
Gender and Sexuality
- Transgender kids’ brains resemble their gender identity, not their biological sex, by Alex Bollinger, LGBTQ Nation
"We might literally be talking about girls' brains trapped in boys' bodies, and vice versa, according to a new study."
- The number of trans people killed in the United States has hit an all-time high. 2020 isn’t over, by Daniel Villarreal, LGBTQ Nation
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 deal of confused thinking.
- Does everything happen for a reason?, by Kelly
"Looking at how we respond to the terrible fact that hard and horrible things happen to perfectly lovely people"
- One Book Explains Everything That’s Wrong with America in 2020, by Jessica Wildfire, Medium—Apeiron
"“The Secret” inscribed a toxic ideology we must undo."
Poverty, Homeless People, Minimum Wage, UBI, Health Care, Affordable Housing
- A B.C. research project gave homeless people $7,500 each—the results were 'beautifully surprising', by Bridgette Watson, CBC News
- Affordable Housing in a Rebuilt Economy, by Dawn Allen, Legal Reader
"Affordable housing was an issue even before COVID-19. Now we must decide what homes are for: sheltering people, or making a profit?"
- How to Grow & Harvest Your Own Organic Corn Syrup, High Mowing Organic Seeds
- Attack Surface, by Cory Doctorow
I haven't actually read this one yet. The link is to a review. Sounds like I'll be reading it next.
- Emergence, Foreign 19, by C. J. Cherryh
- Resurgence, Foreign 20, by C. J. Cherryh
- Divergence, Foreign 21, by C. J. Cherryh
- A Boy and His Dog at the End of the World, by C. A. Fletcher
- Articulated Restraint, by Mary Robinette Kowal
- First Flight, by Mary Robinette Kowal
- For Want of A Nail, by Mary Robinette Kowal
- Relentless Moon, A Lady Astronaut Novel, by Mary Robinette Kowal
Didn't finish any non-fiction books this month, but I'm working my way through a couple of good ones and hope to finish one or maybe both by the end of October.