🐺 A Very Old Man for a Wolf: It’s the nature of the wolf to travel. By age two, wolves of both sexes usually leave their birth packs and strike out on their own, sometimes covering hundreds of miles as they search for mates and new territory. Whatever the reason, when wolves move, they do it with intent — and quickly. Humans don’t know how they decide which way to go, but the choice is as important as any they’ll ever make.
🌊 Klima: Schon 1,1 Grad Erwärmung: Die Weltmeteorologieorganisation WMO hat pünktlich zur heute in Bonn beginnenden UN-Klimakonferenz ihren vorläufigen Zustandsbericht des Klimasystems veröffentlicht. Demnach sieht es ganz so aus, als wenn 2017 eines der drei wärmsten Jahre seit Beginn der Temperaturaufzeichnungen wird. Das bisher wärmste war 2016, das zweitwärmste 2015 und das drittwärmste 2014. Danach folgen 2010 und 2005.
🌊 From Miami to Shanghai: 3C of warming will leave world cities below sea level: An elevated level of climate change would lock in irreversible sea-level rises affecting hundreds of millions of people.
🌊 New Zealand considers creating climate change refugee visas: New Zealand’s new government is considering creating a visa category to help relocate Pacific peoples displaced by climate change. The new category would make official the Green party’s pre-election policy which promised 100 visas for those affected by climate change.
🌊 Angry Optimism in a Drowned World: A Conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson: Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the world’s most highly reputed science-fiction authors and one of the key exponents of climate fiction. His work, set in the near future, brings us face-to-face with concepts such as the Anthropocene, terraforming and post-capitalism.
📚 Umberto Eco On Unread Books: I recall, though my recollection may be faulty, a magnificent article by Giorgio Manganelli explaining how a sophisticated reader can know whether a book is worth reading even before he opens it.
📖 The First Woman to Translate the ‘Odyssey’ Into English: Late in August, as a shadow 70 miles wide was traveling across the United States, turning day briefly to night and millions of Americans into watchers of the skies, the British classicist Emily Wilson, a woman of 45 prone to energetic explanations and un-self-conscious laugh
🛠 The Astounding Engineering Behind the World's Largest Optical Telescope: It's easy to miss the mirror forge at the University of Arizona. While sizable, the Richard F. Caris Mirror Laboratory sits in the shadow of the university's much larger 56,000-seat football stadium.
🛠 How much does a kilogram weigh?: The Kilogram doesn’t weigh a kilogram any more.
🤔 How the Politics of the Left Lost Its Way: One hundred years ago, the Bolsheviks seized power in Russia and set up the first long-lasting Marxist government. The Russian Revolution’s impact was wide-ranging. One important – and overlooked – effect was how it changed the idea of the term “Left” in political terminology.
👹 Fantastic Beasts and How to Rank Them: The relative plausibility of impossible beings tells you a lot about how the mind works.
😈 Did anyone notice how quickly the internet turned into a Lovecraftian horror scenario?: „The other day I saw someone hack a moving vehicle. At one point they made it stop. At another they made it so it couldn’t stop. Some of our best and brightest are going to create an army of four winged bats hovering throughout every city and we are going to connect them directly to the dimension where the nightmares live. I’m not saying it’s all bad, but I am saying Cthulhu lies deathless dreaming in this web we built him and he is waking up.“
🙁 Something is wrong on the internet: „Someone or something or some combination of people and things is using YouTube to systematically frighten, traumatise, and abuse children, automatically and at scale, and it forces me to question my own beliefs about the internet, at every level.“
🤡 I may not buy the SocialBots-Shenanigans but I very much buy the Russian Trolls-Story --> The right-wing’s favorite Internet personality was just outed as a Russian troll: Jenna Abrams’ tweets were beloved, at times, by both the alt-right and the celebrity blogosphere. Now, Congressional investigators have confirmed that her Twitter account was actually run out of St. Petersburg, Russia’s infamous troll farm.
👍 The Surprising Revolt at the Most Liberal College in the Country: Activists are disrupting lectures to protest "white supremacy," but many students are taking steps to stop them. At Reed College, a small liberal-arts school in Portland, Oregon, a 39-year-old Saturday Night Live skit recently caused an uproar over cultural appropriation.
While the imbalance between Mimesis Machines and Mimesis Shredders affects all portions of society, it is most acute for those under 35. In every category, (religion, family formation, wealth accumulation, and beauty-status anxiety) Millennials struggle. These broken systems frustrate mimetic desire at every step, and produce the angry, discontented people who staff the radical political movements of 2017. Lacking ways to diffuse mimetic conflict and rivalry, the young are returning to the oldest human rituals.
Every culture maintains its own particular form of scapegoating, from the Greek practice of Pharmakos to the Babylonian Submission of the King. The contemporary American practice is Disemployment, an expulsion ritual in which a mob pressures an employer to terminate a condemned individual. In 'I See Satan Fall Like Lightning', Girard describes the purpose of expulsion, “this act was supposed to transfer onto the animal everything likely to poison relations between members of the community. The effectiveness of the ritual was the idea that the sins were expelled with the goat and then the community was rid of them.” Over the past decade the practice of purging individuals to purify the community has undergone a troubling revival.
Kierkegaard, in Either/Or, makes fun of the “busy man” for whom busyness is a way of avoiding an honest self-reckoning. You might wake up in the night and realise that you’re lonely in your marriage, or that you need to think about what your level of consumption is doing to the planet, but the next day you have a million little things to do, and the day after that you have another million things. As long as there’s no end of little things, you never have to stop and confront the bigger questions. Writing or reading an essay isn’t the only way to stop and ask yourself who you really are and what your life might mean, but it is one good way. And if you consider how laughably unbusy Kierkegaard’s Copenhagen was, compared with our own age, those subjective tweets and hasty blog posts don’t seem so essayistic. They seem more like a means of avoiding what a real essay might force on us. We spend our days reading, on screens, stuff we’d never bother reading in a printed book, and bitch about how busy we are.