Democrats need to learn to name villains and not just vaguely decry “division”

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’[T]here is … a very specific thing happening in the current American political environment that is driving the elevated level of concern. And that thing is not just a nameless force of “division.”

It’s a deliberate political strategy enacted by the Republican Party, its allies in partisan media, and its donors to foster a political debate that is centered on divisive questions of personal identity rather than on potentially unifying themes of concrete material interests. It’s a strategy whose downside is that it tends to push American society to the breaking point, but whose upside is that it facilitates the enacting of policies that serve the concrete material interests of a wealthy minority rather than those of the majority.

That’s what’s going on, and it’s time to say so.…’

Via Vox


The ‘Farmosopher’ Creating Language for Our Climate Doom and Rebirth

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’In English, there are no words to describe the existential pain of watching the catastrophic impact of climate change on the world around you. How do we explain how we feel when we hear about rising sea levels, burning forests, tornadoes and tsunamis ravaging coastlines, or animals going extinct?

Fortunately, a retired professor has coined a term for this ecological grief: “solastalgia,” or the feeling of being homesick while still at home and the landscape you love changes, often for the worse.

Glenn A. Albrecht, a self-described “farmosopher” for his love of gardening and philosophy, imagines a post-Anthropocene epoch (Anthropocene is the current geological age of negative human impact on the environment) where human beings live in symbiosis with nature for mutual benefit. In his forthcoming book Earth Emotions: New Words for a New World, Albrecht is creating language not only for the emotional consequences of climate doom, but also for a future world in which we regain harmony with the environment.…’

Via Motherboard


7 brilliant Japanese words English needs to borrow

980x’English is a phenomenal language, but there are circumstances where words seem to fail us. Often, other languages have already found a solution to expressing the complicated ideas that can’t be succinctly conveyed in English. If you’ve ever wanted to describe the anguish of a bad haircut, the pleasure of walking in the woods, or the satisfaction of finding your life’s purpose, read on.…’

Via Big Think


The benefits of owning more books than you can read

1245x700’Many readers buy books with every intention of reading them only to let them linger on the shelf. Statistician Nassim Nicholas Taleb believes surrounding ourselves with unread books enriches our lives as they remind us of all we don’t know. The Japanese call this practice tsundoku, and it may provide lasting benefits.…’

Via Big Think


Dark tourism: A new, morbid kind of travel

Unknown’Writing for The Guardian, Professor John Lennon explains that “Our motivations are murky and difficult to unravel: a mix of reverence, voyeurism and maybe even the thrill of coming into close proximity with death.” Professor Lennon wrote the aptly named book Dark Tourism in an effort to explain what it is about death and tragedy that so many of us find compelling.…’

Via Big Think


Are you a Boltzmann Brain?

Why nothing in the universe may be real:Unknown

’The paradox of the Boltzmann Brain can really pull the rug from under you if you follow it to all of its logical and illogical extents. This mind-churning idea proposes that the world is quite possibly just an effect of your disembodied consciousness and doesn’t really exist. And your sense of self is just a statistical fluctuation. It’s something that is more likely to come into existence by chance than the Universe that would have had to produce it.…’

Via Big Thlnk