- No Class, by John Steppling, Wrong Kind of Green Blog
I have mixed feelings about this one. There definitely are limits to growth and it is just as bad when the working class ignores them as when the upper class does.
- This Supreme Court Term Will Launch a Conservative Revolution, by Mark Joseph Stern, Slate The more I learn about what conservatives believe, the lower my opinion of them becomes. In this case, the upcoming decisions of a conservative majority super court seem to be based on racism and/or classism, with no thought what the long term consequences might be. The idea seems to be to put non-white, women, LGBT folks, working class people and the poor firmly in "their place". What harm could come from that?
- What Does It Feel Like to Be a Dog? by Alexandra Horowitz, Wall Street Journal
"Behavior and biology offer many clues to the mystery of canine emotions."
- Professional Romance Novelists Can Write 3,000 Words a Day. Here’s How They Do It, by Thu-Huong Ha, Pocket—Quartz
Insider tips from some of the best hustlers in publishing.
- Attention Angry White People: 8 New Rules, by KC Compton, Medium—Equality
- What Happened When Oslo Decided to Make its Downtown Basically Car-Free? by Adele Peters, Fast Company
Capitalism, Communism, Anarchy
- The Dirtiest Secret Capitalism Doesn’t Want You to Know, by Umair Haque, Medium—Eudaimonia
Have the Slow, Catastrophic Costs of Capitalism Exceeded the Long-Term Benefits? Or, Why Capitalism Failed Spectacularly as a Global Economy
- Capitalism is Dangerous for Your Mental Health, by Jimmy Wu, Medium—Reason in Revolt
"What if it’s not we who are sick, but an entire society that is incompatible with humanity’s social needs?"
- A Practical Utopian’s Guide to the Coming Collapse, by David Graeber, The Baffler
Nothing much in there about collapse, but some astute political and economic observations.
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.
- America’s Bizarre Plunge Into Authoritarian Fascist Theocracy, by Umair Haque, Medium—Eudaimonia
"Just How Weird and Extreme is This Collapse Getting?"
- How Fascists Warp the Idea of Patriotism, by Umair Haque, Eudaimonia
"What (The Problematic Idea of) Patriotism Means to Me"
"For the fascist, allegiance to a society is replaced by allegiance not just to tribe or even to 'homeland' — or even to a single figure, the demagogue. For the fascist, allegiance to anything or anyone is replaced by allegiance to a simple, ugly, grotesque set of ideas. First, that the strong are those who are pure of blood. Second, that the job of the strong is to dominate — abuse, enslave, annihilate — the weak. Third, so that the 'homeland' is cleansed and pure, too. Fourth, so that the fascists’s sons of violence and daughters of chastity inherit it."
While relative improvements have been made and more are attainable still, there are hard physical limits to the extent to which our economy can be dematerialized. Far from being the panacea that would allow unabated ‘sustainable growth’ as many green capitalists so desperately cling to, decoupling is one more siren song advanced industrial economies need to resist if they’re to avoid collapse.
- Why Degrowth is Essential: A Rejection of Left Ecomodernists Phillips, Sharzer, Bastini, and Parenti, by Ted Trainer, Resilience
- 'We're doomed': Mayer Hillman on the climate reality no one else will dare mention , by Patrick Barkham, The Guardian
"The 86-year-old social scientist says accepting the impending end of most life on Earth might be the very thing needed to help us prolong it."
- Goldilocks is seriously ill, by Tim Watkins, The Consciousness of Sheep, monthly newsletter
- The Drilling Frenzy Is Over For U.S. Shale, by Nick Cunningham, OilPrice.com
- TROUBLE AT MIGHTY EXXONMOBIL: Record Number Of Shale Wells While Permian Oil Production Remains Flat, The SRSrocco Report
- Idled frac fleets sold for scrap amid shale drilling slump, by David Wethe, World Oil
- Techno-fix futures will only accelerate climate chaos – don’t believe the hype, by Joanna Boehnert and Simon Mair, The Conversation—Environment and Energy
- ‘Managed Retreat’ From Climate Change Is Leaving the Most Vulnerable People Behind, by Drew Costley, Medium—OneZero
"FEMA’s program to help Americans adapt to climate change isn’t helping everyone"
- The Stark Inequality of Climate Change, by Rachel Riederer, The New Yorker
"Two new books argue from different angles that natural disasters—like flooding in North Carolina caused by Hurricane Florence—make inequality worse."
- Climate Gentrification — an entitlement for the rich, by David Wineberg, Medium—The Straight Dope
- ‘Worse Than Anyone Expected’: Air Travel Emissions Vastly Outpace Predictions, by Hiroko Tabuchi, New York Times
"The findings put pressure on airline regulators to take stronger action to fight climate change as they prepare for a summit next week."
- Half a century of dither and denial – a climate crisis timeline, by Jonathan Watts, Garry Blight and Pablo Gutiérrez, The Guardian
Fossil fuel companies have been aware of their impact on the planet since at least the 1950s
- Climate and War: Bill McKibben’s Deadly Miscalculation, by Luke Orsborne, The Wrong Kind of Green
"Military R&D is not geared toward saving the planet from human destruction. Any overlaps with so-called green technological development is secondary to its primary, narrow framework of creating efficient systems of killing to protect a national agenda set by the interests of the wealthy elite. This framework, more often than not, runs contrary to environmental protection. From the radioactive contamination of people and land caused by the use of depleted uranium, to the pollution of drinking water, to the creation of hundreds of superfund sites across the US, America’s military is well understood to be not just a massive source of greenhouse gases, but one of the largest polluters on the planet."
"Only when people join together, rejecting mass consumer culture embodied in capitalism and enforced through militarism, to instead create leverage through sustained civil disobedience and the creation of ecologically minded communities that view life as sacred, can the kind of radical demands needed for the potential of a livable future be realized."
"Rather than masking reality with feel good propaganda that profits the wealthy, it is our decision to move with a fierce and loving intent from within a darkness we are able to acknowledge, that gives us the capacity to be both carriers of genuine transformation in a troubled yet salvageable world, and steadfast companions in one that is doomed."
- Leading Australian engineers turn their backs on new fossil fuel projects , by Ben Smee, The Guardian
- The four stages of vitamin B12 deficiency, by Maria Cross, Medium
"Given up animal foods? How to ensure you don’t get to stage four. The damage could be irreversible."
- Red Meat and Your Health: Should You Cut Back?, by Fueled by Science, medium—Lifestyle
"Carving up the latest studies on red meat to reveal what we know — and what we don’t."
- Raw Faith, by Burkhard Bilger, The New Yorker
The nun and the cheese underground.
I make cheese myself, and have no choice but to use pasteurized milk. The cheese still comes out pretty good.
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
"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.
- Five common GMO myths: debunked, by Real Farm Lives
- How to Survive Encounters with Dangerous Animals, by Wes Siler, Pocket—Outside
- Here’s an Idea: Don’t Pay Them, by John Nichols, The Nation
"Congressional Progressive Caucus cochair Mark Pocan has a great idea: If Trump appointees block congressional testimony, block their paychecks."
Without something of this sort, American democracy is just about finished with. The famous "checks and balances" don't seem to be working.
- Alberta: Help Canadians Understand, by Anybody But Conservative, Facebook
- Fiscal restraint? Doug Ford's Ontario government spent billions more than Wynne had planned in 2018-19, by Jasmine Pickel, Financial Post
- How Non-English Speakers Are Taught This Crazy English Grammar Rule You Know But Never Heard Of, by Cassie Werber, Pocket—Quartz
Hungarian kids know, do you?
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
- Let's Talk About ‘The Game Changers’…, by Thomas Mitchelhill, Medium—Film
This article points out a good deal of pseudoscience in the film it discusses, but I still don't really agree with the "very simple point" it makes at the start.
Science Based Medicine
"Science is properly reductionist for a reason. In order to understand the world, and to have reliable empirical knowledge, you have to build your theories from the bottom up, but also confirm them from the top down. This means that we correlate ultimate effects with basic knowledge about mechanisms. Scientific knowledge does not have to flow in any particular direction. At times we discover something fundamental about the world, and then look for implications and applications. At other times we observe effects in the world, and then reverse engineer their cause. In either case real scientific phenomena become increasingly embedded in this network of knowledge. When a claim remains persistently isolated at one level, and neither leads to further applications or to more basic discoveries about the nature of reality, that is suspect."
by Steven Novella on the Neurologica blog
- How to Feel Better When You Have the Flu, by Dana G Smith, Medium Elemental
- Your Office Chair Is Hurting You, by Ashley Abramson, Medium—Elemental
"But also, forget standing desks. Try ‘active sitting,’ according to a trauma surgeon who wants to cure sitting disease."
- Apple Cider Vinegar Is A Total Waste Of Time, by Health Nerd—Medium
"The sour reality of apple cider vinegar and health"
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.
- I’m Terrified Of Becoming That Crotchety Old Man Everyone Despises, by Barry Davret, Medium,—Self
"Seven behaviors and mindset shifts that stifle old age thinking"
- A Johns Hopkins Study Reveals the Scientific Secret to Double How Fast You Learn, by Jeff Haden, Pocket—Inc.
Making one small change to the way you practice can make a huge difference in how quickly you gain new skills."
Gender and Sexuality
- Was I Ever a Woman?, by Devon Price, Meium—LGBTQIA
"A nonbinary person’s experience of privilege and social ambiguity."
- My Trans-Parenting Journey: About Puberty Blockers, by Martie Sirois, Medium-LGBTQIA
- The Supreme Court Considers L.G.B.T. Rights, but Can’t Stop Talking About Bathrooms, by Masha Gessen, The New Yorker
- You Won’t See a Trans Story Like Mine on TV, by Rachel Anne Williams, Medium—Human Parts
- Gender Desire vs. Gender Identity, by Amanda Roman, Medium—LGBTQIA
"Is wanting to be a woman the same as actually being a woman?"
- Every Day, I Dress Up as a Straight Girl, by Maya Strong, Medium—Human Parts
"How my closet keeps me closeted in other people’s eyes."
- The Spectrum From Monogamy to Polyamory, and Beyond…, by Joe Duncan, Medium— Moments of Passion
- The Problem With Mattel’s Gender-Neutral Dolls, by Devon Price, Medium—Human Parts
"By conforming to a stereotype of what it means to be androgynous, Mattel’s dolls do more harm than good"
- What I’ve Learned by Watching the Most Incredible Marriage I’ve Ever Seen, by Joe Duncan, Medium—Moments of Passion
"My Girlfriend and Her Husband: Polyamory and What I’ve Learned From Their Happy Marriage"
Poverty, Homeless People, Minimum Wage, UBI, Health Care, Affordable Housing
- Bill Gates says poverty is decreasing. He couldn’t be more wrong., by Chris Agnos, Sustainable Human
"Prior to colonisation, most people lived in subsistence economies where they enjoyed access to abundant commons – land, water, forests, livestock and robust systems of sharing and reciprocity. They had little if any money, but then they didn’t need it in order to live well – so it makes little sense to claim that they were poor. This way of life was violently destroyed by colonisers who forced people off the land and into European-owned mines, factories and plantations, where they were paid paltry wages for work they never wanted to do in the first place."
- Jump in food bank use called ‘canary in the coal mine’, by Laurie Monsebraaten, The Star
- Homelessness Among the Elderly Expected to Triple in 10 Years, by Victoria VanTol, invisiblePeople
- The most cost-effective way to help the homeless is to give them homes, by Matthew Yglesias, Vox
"Addressing housing directly is cheaper than relying on cops and emergency rooms."
- How rising rents contribute to homelessness, by Gaby Del Valle, Vox
"A new report shows rent increases in expensive cities can make the homelessness rate rise faster."
A slow month for fiction. Both of the books that I read are kind of second rate.
- Risk!, by David Ropeik ad George Gray
"A practical guide for deciding what's really safe and what's really dangerous in the world around you"
- Walking to Camelot, by John A. Cherrington
"John Cherrington and his 74-year-old walking companion set out one fine morning in May to traverse the only English footpath that cuts south through the rural heart of the country, a formidable path called the Macmillan Way."