Monday, 4 March 2019

What I've Been Reading, February 2019



  • Why We’re Underestimating the Risks to Human Civilization, by Umair Haque, Medium-- Eudaimonia
    " We’re Not Taking The Challenges of the 21st Century Seriously Yet. We’d Better Begin, Now."
    "I’m suggesting that a world splintered into nations that resemble a collapsed, fascist America — or maybe worse — each one bitterly contesting its share of dwindling resources, ready to do violence and commit atrocities, is going to be an age in which peace, progress, plenitude, and the survival of a whole lot of people grind to a screeching, lethal halt."
    Mr. Haque seems to think that if we just try hard enough and soon enough we can go on progressing and prospering. I disagree--he's missing the "declining surplus energy" problem, for which there is no solution. But I do think that quite a few of us might manage to survive what's coming, if we actually got to work at it.

Responding to Collapse,

A Paradise built in Hell, The Extraordinary Communities that Arise in Disaster
I'm borrowing the title of Rebecca Solnit's book for this section of links. Human beings feel, in times of crises, a deep need to come together to take care of each other. Contrary to the horrific picture of typical reactions to disaster painted by the "disaster mythology", in fact communities often come together to help themselves in the most extraordinarily positive ways.

Peak Oil

Climate Change

Economic Contraction



Dancing on Graves

The Scientific Consensus

  • How to make mountains, by Marcia Bjornerud, Aeon
    "In living memory, geologists believed that the Earth was slowly shrivelling, little guessing how vibrantly alive it truly is."

Science Based Medicine

Lacking an Owner's Manual

  • 5 Things Every Woman Needs From Her Husband, by Michelle Wuesthoff, from her blog"Live Life Beautifully"
    We've been married for 41 (and a half) years and what Michelle is saying in this article and the one below certainly rings true to me. I had a close look around her website and yes, she is a Christian. But, in these two articles at least, she isn't letting that handicap her too much.
  • 5 Things Every Man Needs From His Wife, by Michelle Wuesthoff, from her blog"Live Life Beautifully"

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 believe 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.

  • The Science of Miracles, by Barbara Bradley Hagerty, Medium--Science
    Prayer studies are a "wild goose chase that violate everything we know about the universe," Richard Sloan, professor of behavioral medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and author of Blind Faith, told me: "There are no plausible mechanisms that account for how somebody’s thoughts or prayers can influence the health of another person. None."
    "Consciousness is a product of brain function. Period." my comments: wishful thinking
  • Why I Won’t Teach My Child to Believe in God, by Mateo Askaripour, Medium--Religion
    "My journey from undoubting faith to disbelief, in four acts."
  • Reasonable Dubt-- How I Lost God, by Kiley Bense, Medium--Religion
  • Atheism Is Not Faith, It’s Reason, by Thor Benson, Medium
    "Let’s not pretend there’s no reason to question if there’s a God"
  • Atheism is not a belief, by Joe Nuxoll, Medium
  • Unbeliever, by Joao Nascimento, Medium--Religion
    " The never-ending war between believers and Atheists — the evildoers — must stop. I am nothing more than an unbeliever, but I am an Atheist. You are no more righteous than me. Believe in that."

Poverty, Homeless People, Minimum Wage, UBI, Health Care, Housing

  • We Don’t Need Private Health Insurance, by Adam Gaffney, The Nation " New single-payer plans don’t need to worry about carving out roles for health-care profiteers."
    Sound like at least some people in the U.S. are catching on.
  • Finding Home in a Parking Lot, by Sarah Holder, City Lab
    "The number of unsheltered homeless living in their cars is growing. Safe Parking programs from San Diego to King County are here to help them."





Unknown said...

I've just started browsing through your list and enjoying it as always! I just re-posted the ugly food article on facebook (hope you don't mind). Thanks for sharing these thought-provoking articles!

Irv Mills said...

@ Sylvia Leigh
Thanks for your kind words. By all means re-post or share anything you like.