Distraction, in other words, is a symptom of a problem – not the problem itself. Those deeper and systemic reasons – such as an inability to cope with fear, anxiety or stress – deserve our concern, because it’s only when we start to address them that we can make real progress. When we begin to understand what we’re trying to avoid by clicking over to Twitter or checking the news for the 10th time today, we can begin to address the issue itself, and not medicate it through more distraction. We also begin to appreciate how habitual the act of avoiding discomfort via distraction can be, and how much it’s become a part of how we work and live.
How to be indistractable | Psyche
[T]here are unmistakable signs of trans-Atlantic trouble on the horizon that even the arrival of a pro-European U.S. administration can’t paper over. And that trouble is coming from Germany.
Germany Is Pouring Cold Water on the Biden-Europe Love Fest | Foreign Policy
The historical dissident whom Navalny most resembles is Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who was equally intense, willful, fearless, and physically and morally brave, and who possessed a focus that bordered on the obsessive.
Navalny Is All-In on Bringing Down Putinism | Foreign Policy
Getting a patient history from someone clearly suffering from amnesia was fairly pointless. ‘My brain can’t be broken,’ I offered, ‘It’s my best part.’
Up until this article, León’s project has been a closely guarded secret. Not even the local Spanish marine biologists know what’s happening.
Irresponsible practices of belief-formation are the deepest sin of a digital society since the stakes of credulity are simply too high.
My daughter has never heard me speak the name of the current resident of the White House. Tomorrow, he will be evicted by the Constitution. May he — along with his cronies, his enablers, his goons, his lackeys, his mouthpieces, and his vandals — be forever anathema.
Two-bean tamale pie.
The “Arrow” argument is how I see this.
The future is seen as ‘nobody’s time’, an unclaimed territory that is equally devoid of inhabitants. Like the distant realms of empire, it is ours for the taking.
After four listens over the past three days, I’m pretty confident Emily’s D+Evolution is an even greater album now than it already was in 2016.
Such large-scale social change should prompt us to ask larger questions: What kind of world do we want to live in when we emerge from these chaotic times? How much of that world will have been actively built with our input, and how much of it will have been constructed for us by engineers in ways that only in hindsight we will understand to have been foundational? What patterns of behavior and habits of mind do these solutions privilege over other ways of doing things? What are the likely unintended consequences?
Technosolutionism Isn’t the Fix | Hedgehog Review
Furthermore, his paintings also often suggest connectedness, even in the midst of isolation. The woman in Automat may have felt like she was the only woman ever to sit alone at a table in public, but she wasn’t, of course. The painting works for me because the experience is at once unique to the woman in the painting and a common occurrence. The reason I like Morning Sun and Office in a Small City so much is that, taken apart, they show individuals isolated from the rest of the world, but taken together, they show how alike we are. We are common in our loneliness.
The thought makes me feel a little less lonely. I want to run into Morning Sun ’s frame and tell the woman on her bed not to worry. If she just waits a year, a man will sit in an office in a small city and do the very same thing she’s doing now. And since I can’t, I instead tell myself that people all over the country and the world are doing what I’m doing. That I am keeping myself apart, and in doing so am connecting myself to a larger whole.
The twist in staring too long at Hopper in the era of Covid-19 is that you see not only the similarities between then and now, but the differences. This year, I don’t only relate to the loneliness of the figures in Nighthawks, I also envy them. Unlike us, they can safely meet strangers in diners and bars. Of all the things I used to feel looking at Hopper’s paintings, longing was never one of them.
How Edward Hopper became an artist for the pandemic age | New Statesman
The fast pace of technological change turns us all, in a sense, into “perpetual novices”, always on the upward slope of learning, our knowledge constantly requiring upgrades, like our phones. Few of us can channel our undivided attention into a lifelong craft. Even if we keep the same job, the required skills change. The more willing we are to be brave beginners, the better.
A fantastic argument for the value of a liberal arts education & for embracing a lifetime of shoshin (“beginner’s mind”).
The joys of being an absolute beginner – for life | The Guardian
When we give up on truth, we concede power to those with the wealth and charisma to create spectacle in its place.
The American Abyss | New York Times
Kiddo: Apu, look! Your picture is on that book!
Yeah, I’ll gladly resemble that remark.
J. Kenji López-Alt’s vegan garbanzos con espinacas y jengibre recipe is a winner — so much so that this is a photograph of my second bowl, rather than my first.
World-class lunch: tacu tacu with melted queso, Yellowbird habanero condiment, & a fried egg.
[A] people that no longer can believe anything cannot make up its mind. It is deprived not only of its capacity to act but also of its capacity to think and to judge. And with such a people you can then do what you please.
Before mass leaders seize the power to fit reality to their lies, their propaganda is marked by its extreme contempt for facts as such, for in their opinion fact depends entirely on the power of man who can fabricate it.
The life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous.
The President is merely the most important among a large number of public servants. He should be supported or opposed exactly to the degree which is warranted by his good conduct or bad conduct, his efficiency or inefficiency in rendering loyal, able, and disinterested service to the nation as a whole. Therefore it is absolutely necessary that there should be full liberty to tell the truth about his acts, and this means that it is exactly as necessary to blame him when he does wrong as to praise him when he does right. Any other attitude in an American citizen is both base and servile. To announce that there must be no criticism of the President, or that we are to stand by the President, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public. Nothing but the truth should be spoken about him or any one else. But it is even more important to tell the truth, pleasant or unpleasant, about him than about any one else.
Any excuse will serve a tyrant.
Aung San Suu Kyi:
[D]espotic governments do not recognize the precious human component of the state, seeing its citizens only as a faceless, mindless - and helpless - mass to be manipulated at will. It is as though people were incidental to a nation rather than its very life-blood. Patriotism, which should be the vital love and care of a people for their land, is debased into a smokescreen of hysteria to hide the injustices of authoritarian rulers who define the interests of the state in terms of their own limited interests.
W.E.B. Du Bois:
Either the United States will destroy ignorance or ignorance will destroy the United States.
Henry A. Wallace:
With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public.
A dissenting minority feels free only when it can impose its will on the majority: what it abominates most is the dissent of the majority.
No right is more precious in a free country than that of having a voice in the election of those who make the laws under which, as good citizens, we must live. Other rights, even the most basic, are illusory if the right to vote is undermined.
Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are.
Happiness, suffering, & asceticism.
The Semi-Satisfied Life | Aeon
We began to talk about it, quietly and carefully, in May. “Are you guys having trouble finding bucatini? We haven’t found any in a while,” said my friend Dan, one of my most bucatini-headed friends[.]
What the Hole Is Going On? | Grub Street
Out onto the ice.
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