Good opinion piece for a beginners’ understanding of this: “almost uniquely American crisis driven in good part by particular American issues from the influence of drug companies over medical policy to a “pill for every ill” culture.” There’s a lot there to unpack.
Old England is an imaginary place, a landscape built from words, woodcuts, films, paintings, picturesque engravings. It is a place imagined by people, and people do not live very long or look very hard. We are very bad at scale. The things that live in the soil are too small to care about; climate change too large to imagine. We are bad at time, too. We cannot remember what lived here before we did; we cannot love what is not. Nor can we imagine what will be different when we are dead. We live out our three score and ten, and tie our knots and lines only to ourselves. We take solace in pictures, and we wipe the hills of history.
-Helen Macdonald, H is for Hawk
We, with our propensity for murder, torture, slavery, rape, cannibalism, pillage, advertising jingles, shag carpets, and golf, how could we be seriously considered as the perfection of a four-billion-year-old grandiose experiment? Perhaps as a race, we have evolved as far as we are capable, yet that by no means suggests that evolution has called it quits. In all likelihood, it has something beyond human on the drawing board. We tend to refer to our most barbaric and crapulous behaviour as “inhuman,” whereas, in point of fact, it is exactly human, definitively and quintessentially human, since no other creature habitually indulges in comparable atrocities.
-Tom Robbins, Half Asleep in Frog Pajamas
The daily press is the evil principle of the modern world, and time will only serve to disclose this fact with greater and greater clearness. The capacity of the newspaper for degeneration is sophistically without limit, since it can always sink lower and lower in its choice of readers. At last it will stir up all those dregs of humanity which no state or government can control.
-Sören Kierkegaard, The Last Years: Journals 1853-5 quoted in Hunter S. Thompson, Hell’s Angels
For more quotes like this, see irepeatinmysleep.wordpress.com.
Another government pushing for more power. Another people giving up their freedom for the ‘promise’ of safety.
I started this blog-project Be Less Human [stumbling towards posthumanity] in May of last year with these words:
Whenever someone does something horrible, something reprehensible, something ‘evil’, we gape and wonder how humans can do such things. But what if this is just how humans are and what we need to do is to be less human?
It’s been twelve months now–I can hardly believe it–and in that time I’ve written about various and varied topics but what I haven’t done is defined what it means to be posthuman, or, more specifically, what I mean when I say posthuman. That’s still coming. It’s not that simple. I’ve been making notes but first I wanted to follow my interests and see if maybe a picture didn’t emerge by itself. I can offer you this though: You know when people shrug and say, ‘After all, we’re only human’? That’s what this blog is about. That’s the pivot, the fulcrum, and the bullseye.
I’ve also written, among other things, about poverty, that [t]he problem is that most poor people don’t want to eliminate poverty, they just want to be the ones that are rich, about the dilemma of nootropics, about the shakedown that is Original Sin, about our Running Man voyeurism, and about The Great Housing Reset, where one night a year, wherever you lay your head, that house, that brownstone, that flat: tomorrow, it belongs to you. I’ve also published a list of the entire contents of my room, as well as two poems which I’m not going to link to here, ‘cos they shit.
Part of the project was also to share interesting, thought-provoking and well-written articles, of which there were many, including The Guardian’s If you were an elephant…, boredpanda’s sharing of Beth Moon’s photography of really old trees, BBC’s Dissolving the Dead (fascinating read!), as well as articles on the future of sex tech and more politics (here, just one more).
Plus, there were quotes from James Baldwin, George Orwell, and Kurt Vonnegut, among others, links to some cool videos, including Do you have a pointless job? and Keiichi Matsuda’s Hyper-Reality, and some funny pics too, including this one:
But there was one article I really wanted to write, actually in January, that I never got to. It was to be called The Game and it was very important to me which is likely why it kept getting pushed back. But I am working on it now, though not today because I spent it writing this instead (another delay!), so it should be ready soon-ish. Until then, there is this: Change Everything (or, Warming Up for ‘The Game’). That’s right, time to warm up!
Thank you and good night.
“I think he wants to say it. I think he’s pissed off that he’s gotta hide from this. I think he wants to say that he made a command decision and that’s the end of it. He eats breakfast 300 yards away from 4000 Cubans that are trained to kill him. And nobody’s going to tell him how to run his unit least of all the Harvard mouth in his faggoty white uniform.”
-A Few Good Men
Let Trump testify.
It’s a zero sum game: there are only so many good jobs, so many good schools, so many good neighbourhoods. If the poor are to be allowed their fair share, the rich must give up some of what they have. On the level of the individual, it makes sense to want the best for your children. But collectively, it can only lead to inequality. We must change our thinking about the worth or a person.
A fascinating and disturbing look at psychopathy in children (and generally) with case studies and looking at the physiological factors and possible treatment during the developmental years.
Read the article here.