The Art of Solitude

Solitude? In this time of endless noise? Here’s an article on the importance of solitude.

“If [Blaise] Pascal’s observation about our inability to sit quietly in a room by ourselves is true of the human condition in general, then the issue has certainly been augmented by an order of magnitude due to the options available today.”

“Everything that has done so much to connect us has simultaneously isolated us. We are so busy being distracted that we are forgetting to tend to ourselves, which is consequently making us feel more and more alone.”

The most important skill nobody taught you

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The true cost of being a carnivore

The true cost of eating meat? Well, I’m glad you asked! It appears the Guardian has done most of the research on the economics of meat. Something you might want to go all veggie about.

What is the true cost of eating meat?

As concerns over the huge impact on the environment, human health and animal welfare grow, what future is there for the meat industry…

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A lovely photo of cattle in the Brazilian Amazon:

The meat atlas is also worth a read!

‘Hit and Miss’ Modern Gene Editing! Crispr edit could be ‘off-target!’

Frankenstein 1818 edition title page.jpgNothing sets off my Modern Prometheus alarms as the most recent interest in gene editing, particularly in that little bit of Crispr that seems to find its way into biological gene forms. Just like Victor Frankenstein creating his creature from dead body parts in Mary Shelley’s novel from 1818, we now have scientists in China working to find the way to ‘edit’ genes like the ones that they suspect cause cancer. Sound like fun? It didn’t turn out so well for Victor, and without actually understanding what’s happening with genetic ‘disorders,’ is it such a good idea to shoot in the dark?

“Modern gene editing is quite precise but it is not perfect. The procedure can be a bit hit and miss, reaching some cells but not others. Even when Crispr gets where it is needed, the edits can differ from cell to cell … Another common problem happens when edits are made at the wrong place in the genome. [oops!] There can be hundreds of these “off-target” edits that can be dangerous if they disrupt healthy genes or crucial regulatory DNA.”

But it’s already happening, right?

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A bit of micro-cutting to get those genes back into tip-top shape! Victor Frankenstein eat your heart out. Boris may be closer than you think!

Gene editing – and what it really means to rewrite the code of life

 

Cast by Chronic Illness Into a Limiting Role

Longreads

Maris Kreizman | Longreads | November 2017 | 10 minutes (2,462 words)

In junior high, I had my heart set on attending a famous performing arts sleep-away camp in upstate New York. All I’d ever wanted from the time I was 4 and saw a local production of Oliver! was to be a Broadway star. I could barely contain my jealousy of all the child actors who were making it big in musical theater that year, 1990: the orphans of Les Miz, the orphans of The Secret Garden, the orphans of Annie. I had the talent to be an orphan too! I just needed a chance to go away from home, I reasoned, because very few successful orphan characters are discovered living with their parents.

If only I could attend French Woods, the place where Natasha Lyonne and Zooey Deschanel had spent their summers — a destination…

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Morton on Humanity: The Anthropocene

A dried-up reservoir bed in South Korea.It’s a long read on The Guardian, but definitely worth it.

Timothy Morton wants humanity to give up some of its core beliefs, from the fantasy that we can control the planet to the notion that we are ‘above’ other beings. His ideas might sound weird, but they’re catching on.

‘A reckoning for our species’: the philosopher prophet of the Anthropocene

 

 

Jaywalking 101

A hundred years ago, if you were a pedestrian, crossing the street was simple: You walked across it.

Today, if there’s traffic in the area and you want to follow the law, you need to find a crosswalk. And if there’s a traffic light, you need to wait for it to change to green.

Fail to do so, and you’re committing a crime: jaywalking.

The forgotten history of how automakers invented the crime of “jaywalking”