Accidentally throwing out gum in a trash can with no bag and feeling bad about it. (The can was slightly too deep, and the social situation slightly too weird, to dig it out, Father.)
The sound of the rotary phone ringing at Fireside Bowl.
Getting turned down by U.S. Bank for a free checking account because Hayden’s and my business, Avrom Farm Party, has only seasonal revenue (?!). [Update 5-18-19: Hayden was able to open the account at another location.]
Michael Slote on the relationship between caring/empathy and thinking/rationality: “[…] Even if morality isn’t based on reason, there is no reason to suppose that moral individuals, as conceived by care ethics, have no need for their rational, or reasoning, powers. A mother who cares about her child wants to know how to do what is good for her child, and this involves knowing and initially learning all sorts of nutritional and medical facts, just for starters” (The Ethics of Care and Empathy 120).
The Vox article about Dr. Gary Bloch, who “prescribes income” to his patients (helps them apply for social benefit programs):
“[Studies since the 1960s] looked across every geographic location, across every disease, across accidents and trauma and growing up in poverty. Then they drilled down further into the biological markers and epigenetics — changes in the way genes are expressed as a result of people living in adverse social situations. […] There’s an incredibly strong body of evidence that proves the link between poverty and poor health outcomes.”
“We have two full-time people, permanent salaried staff funded by the government, who are focused only on improving our patients’ income security. They’ll sit with patients individually and work on financial literacy and getting bank accounts and getting them to file their taxes.”
“The challenge is getting governments to think long-term — to convince people who are elected for four years to be willing to take a chance on something that won’t see outcomes until probably long after they’re out of power.”
Paraphrasing Rudolf Virchow: “Politics is just medicine writ large.”
Tim Kreider’s NYTimes Opinion column from 2012 in which he argues that people ought to remember to play, to avoid seeking comfort in excessive busyness (where privilege allows): “If your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary” (via Austin Kleon’s newsletter).
Stumbling upon one of the garages where rickshaw drivers park their rickshaws.
Their LED strips lighting up the night.
This badass micro-nonfiction tweet from Pam Grier, Ph.D.: “In 1976, I placed Richard Pryor’s injured horse in the back seat of my 4 door Jaguar to take to the Vet. I drive down the 405 with Richard in the passenger seat wearing his bathrobe, Ginger his horse thinking I’m crazy, drivers following us, we saved her life that day.”
Thinking more about my late Grandpa Tweedy as the weather gets warmer, because a memorable part of my childhood was riding around in his hot car in Belleville (sticky leather, all that stuff), the smell of gasoline in his and Grandma’s dank garage, just generally sweating on visits to Southern Illinois.
The guards of the Muslim community center playing with traffic safety batons like lightsabers.
The blasphemy of using a sheet of Apple logo stickers as a bookmark while reading Our Band Could Be Your Life.
Reaching the last dregs of the body wash and toothpaste I bought last fall—when I was starting my last year of college.
Rodney A. Brooks explaining a feature of jellyfish neurons, which I took to be a cute, if not scientifically inapplicable, illustration of why drumming softly can be a good idea (via Edge.org; emphasis mine): “[Jellyfish] have a central clock generator, the signal gets distributed on the neurons, but there are different transmission times from the central clock to the different parts of the creature. So, how do they handle that? Well, different species handle it in different ways. Some use amazingly fast propagation. Others, because the spikes attenuate as they go a certain distance, there is a latency, which is inversely proportional to the signal strength. So, the weaker the signal strength, the quicker you operate, and that’s how the whole thing synchronizes.”
The concept of “thingeries”—public libraries for borrowing objects, not books (via Alan Jacobs’s newsletter).
New Zealand becoming “the first western country to design its entire budget around wellbeing priorities and instruct its ministries to design policies to improve wellbeing” (via The Guardian).
Simon Jenkins’s Guardian op-ed about crowds and Venezuela’s confusing, disintegrating revolution: “The greatest of historical fallacies is to confuse crowds with power. Venezuela has disappeared from the headlines, because its headlines were about crowds, not about the realities of power. The trouble with crowds is that, sooner or later, they go home.”
“I believe that where the crowd can be most effective is when deployed tactically against a specific, winnable goal. In the climate change argument, local crowds in the north of England have all but stopped fracking. Anti-GM food campaigners won their war in Europe. Demonstrators against the Sackler family in New York are wrecking its reputation and cutting arts funding. Where power is shamed by publicity, it can concede ground without too much inconvenience.”
I still think, maybe naively, that the ultimate power in a state lies with the people (or with “crowds”) and that even the specter of the crowd’s power sometimes, partly helps to keep our government in line.
Getting home just in time to watch the rain from the porch.
Watching and loving Y Tu Mamá También with Sammy.
Learning that Facebook recently hired a co-writer of the Patriot Act to be its general counsel.
The rating of the bound version of the Patriot Act on Google: 35%.
The lone review of the Patriot Act on Google Books: “stupid ass law.”
A tentatively heartening stat from a Fast Company story about plant-based meat: “Around 30% of American consumers now say that they’re reducing their meat consumption, and 32% consider themselves flexitarian.”
A venture capitalist in the article: “Historically, making the decision to bring on a plant-based burger in McDonald’s would have been a very risky decision to make. […] Why would you put your job at risk and your reputation at risk to take on a veggie burger? [Now] if you’re in that position of influence, and you don’t take that risk, you’ll actually miss out, and you’ll be the one who kind of came in behind competition.”
I like how he describes the change in terms of individuals’ concrete actions. I don’t like how it potentially supports anarcho-capitalists’ idea that there is a free market solution for any crisis, including excessive meat consumption.
The amazing 1874 specimen book of chromatic wood type from Wm. H. Page & Co., viewable for free on Archive.org (via “Meanwhile” by Daniel Gray).
Getting home late enough to see (and be momentarily freaked out by) the newspaper delivery.
The student athlete walking around with ice bags strapped to her knees.
The two people in full hazmat-style dust suits in the Chase bank at ~11PM.
Rachel Kolb’s amazing essay about getting a cochlear implant, in the NYTimes: “Once I got the cochlear implant, a transmitter of rough-hewn sound that set my skull rattling and my nerves screeching, I found that music jolted my core in ways I could not explain. Deep percussion rhythms burrowed into my brain and pulsed outward. A violin’s melody pierced and vibrated in my chest, where it lingered long after the song had ended. Other tunes sounded overburdened, harsh and cacophonic, and I longed to shut them off and return to silence — as I still do.”